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55 Art Journal Prompts To Boost Your Creativity

Looking for some art journal prompts to get the creative juices flowing and get out of a creative rut? Here are 55 prompts to inspire you!

There are many different types of journaling out there, which is one of the reasons why journaling is so great. The journaling format we are talking about today doesn’t require any words, although it can be a part of it.

This journaling format is called art journaling. By the end of this post you’ll have all the information you need to get started, and a plethora of different prompts to get your creative juices flowing.

What Is Art Journaling?

Art journaling can be defined in many ways. LIke with regular journaling, art journaling is a great way to process your thoughts and emotions. It’s more of a visual journal. You can start your page with a prompt or just brain dump and create just for the sake of creating. Daisy Yellow describes art journaling on her website by saying, “Art journaling is an open-ended form of art on loose paper or in a bound journal where the focus is on the process of creating and of self-expression rather than a particular end result.”

Now you may be thinking, “I’m not creative enough for this type of journaling.” The good news is that you don’t have to be an amazing artist to have an art journal. You just have to want to create for yourself. What is in your art journal is up to you and only you. Let it be messy and imperfect, who cares what it looks like. The important thing is what you get/learn from your art journaling time.

Why Art Journaling?

There are many benefits to making art journaling a regular practice.

One of the most unexpected benefits of art journaling was the impact it has on mental health. It can reduce stress and help get your mind off of any mental illness you may be going through. 

Another benefit is that it provides a place to process emotions. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what we are feeling. Journaling can help your mind make sense of what you are feeling and why. You can achieve this through reflective prompts or by spending time brain dumping and seeing what comes out.

This probably goes without saying, but another benefit of art journaling is how much growth you can have creatively.

Creativity is a skill, which means you can improve your creativity, even if you don’t consider yourself an artist. The more you come back to your art journal, the more you are practicing that creative skill. Art journaling can help you start thinking outside of the box when you are creating your daily journaling page(s).

As you start playing around with different mediums and prompts you’ll start seeing a difference in your art and creative expression will come easier to you. 

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Photo by Emily Park on Unsplash

How To Get Started In Art Journaling

Everything about this type of journaling is sounding great so far, right? Now that it’s time to try it for yourself you face the hurdle of trying to figure out what you need for materials.

Then there is the intimidation of the blank page staring back at you waiting on your art journal journey to begin. I’ll be going over all of these situations in this next session. Think of this as your getting started guide.

Question 1: What notebook do I need?

There are so many different types of notebooks, but not all of them are suitable for art journaling. When making this decision a big factor is figuring out how much weight the paper in the sketch book, or notebook, can handle, and if it will bleed through. Fox + Hazel has a great review of various notebooks one might buy for art journaling. One of the options is a handmade art journal.

A handmade journal can be great for starting out if you don’t want to put too much money into this new creative activity yet, or ever. You can use something as simple as cardstock and you are on your way to creating your own art journal. Start with a single page and see where you go from there.

Question 2: What Other Materials Do I Need?

Cost of materials shouldn’t hold you back from starting an art journal. Sure there are many different options on what you can buy for art journaling that are great. However, when it comes down to it you only need a few basic materials.

The Art Journalist has a basic list to get your art journaling journey started. This list only has five materials listed:

  • paint
  • paintbrush
  • old magazines or books
  • gel pens or markers
  • journal

If you want to buy more supplies like washi tape, then go for it! But it isn’t a necessity to get started.

Question 3: What do I put on the page?

You’ve got the journal and the art supplies so now you are ready to start.

If you are unsure how to start from a creativity standpoint, sometimes it can be helpful to see what other people have done. This isn’t an excuse to copy what you see. It’s more about opening your mind to what you can create.

For example, maybe you see a photo where someone had a painted background with pieces of paper with words glued to it that forms a quote, that could inspire you to use a painted background as well. Pinterest is a great place to get creative ideas like this.

Another way to start your art journal pages is to use prompts. This can challenge you to think outside of the box, push you out of your creative comfort zone, and more. In the next section you’ll find a variety of different prompts that you can use anytime you aren’t sure what to create, or want to challenge yourself.

55 Art Journal Prompts To Boost Your Creativity

I’ve broken up these art prompts into sections so that you can access the ones you want to use easily. Let me know if you want to see more prompts like this in the comments.

Personal Prompts

These prompts are great to start out with because you get to connect with your inner creative self. It will make you feel more comfortable with art journaling because you won’t have to think about it as much. Who knows more about you than you do? This helps you focus only on exploring your creativity.

  • How do you define creativity?
  • What are your favorite things?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What is your favorite way to express your creativity?
  • What are your top 10 favorite songs right now?
  • What are your top 10 favorite movies?
  • What is your Enneagram number?
  • What are your dreams?
  • What is your favorite accomplishment so far?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • Where do you feel the happiest? 
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What are you grateful for?

Words

It’s amazing the power that a single word has when it is reflected through art. Anything goes here really. You can describe what this word feels like through your art, play with definition of the word, use it in a quote, the possibilities are endless. Here are some single word prompts to create with.

  • Create
  • Growth
  • Transformation
  • Joy
  • Gratitude
  • Fear
  • New
  • Accomplished
  • Family
  • Ambitious
  • Overwhelmed
  • Love
  • Drained
  • Sad
  • Thoughtful
  • Play
  • Friends
  • Focus
  • Imagination
  • Breath
  • Time
  • Path
  • Alive
  • Movement

Quotes/Song Lyrics

This is a fun category of journal prompts. There are many ways you can use this prompt category. You can choose a favorite book or movie quote, choose a lyric from a song you heard today, and much more. A fun idea could be to use the pages of an old book on your page for a quote from that book. Here are some other ideas to get you started.

  • A quote from a book that you read today
  • A quote from your favorite TV show
  • A quote from the last movie you watched
  • A quote from your favorite actor/actress
  • A quote from a memorable moment in history
  • A quote from your favorite author
  • A quote from your favorite book
  • A quote that inspires you
  • A quote that you relate to
  • A quote that motivates you
  • A song lyric from your favorite song right now
  • A song lyric from your favorite song of all time
  • A song lyric from a song that was released the year you were born
  • A song lyric from your favorite genre
  • A song lyric from a song that inspires you
  • A song lyric from a song that makes you smile
  • A song lyric from a song that you relate to
  • A song lyric from your most played song on Spotify last year

BONUS: Take On A Challenge

Consider this section more of a collection of prompt ideas. This is a fun way to keep you accountable with your new art journal practice. Challenge yourself to see how many daily prompts you can complete. Here are a few great places to find challenges.

Pinterest: This one is great for beginning your art journal. This challenge is fun because it mixes up prompts with different rules to follow on certain days (like using something from the dollar store).

Instagram: This account (@letteringchallengehq) is mainly full of lettering challenges, but most of them could work for art journaling as well.

Make up your own: You can create your own challenge by starting with a theme and going from there. You could do a theme like emotions, favorites, self love, etc.. You can also make the challenge a way to step out of your comfort zone and create a different rule to follow each day. Some examples can be you can only use three materials, You can only use the color orange, etc..

Another idea is to make the challenge completely random. Mix all of the different prompts as well as other great ideas. It can be whatever challenge you want to create. Don’t forget to invite your friends to join you to make it even more enjoyable.

Will you be starting your own art journal? If you do let me know if these prompts are helpful for you. 

More Posts on Journaling on GenTwenty:

About the Author

Kelly Clark

Kelly graduated from Liberty University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Journalism. Even though it took her a little while to find her career path, she was always meant to be in Communications. She remembers writing poems and songs when she was a little girl and pitching to my parents the reasons why I should have a cell phone when I was a teenager. She currently has a blog (budding-joy.com) where she talks about her weight-loss journey, mental health and personal development. Her hope is to encourage and inspire readers and let them know they are not alone. Reading blog posts like that are what helped her in tough times and she wants to pay it forward. She loves dance fitness, listening to music, and creating layouts in her bullet journal. She's a big fan of planning, especially when cute notebooks and pens are involved. Her dream job has changed so much over the years; right now she'd love to co-own a dance studio.

Website: budding-joy.com


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