Gettin’ Inspired: Journal Prompts for Art and Writing

by The Artist on January 25, 2011

We hear from people all the time that they’d love to keep an art journal, but they’re just not sure what they’d journal ABOUT. There’s only so many times you can draw the trees out your window, they say, before you want to turn them into firewood.

Before you get the axe, we here at the Wishkeepers Creativity Collective decided to help.  We’ve combed through our bookmarks to find some of the coolest lists of prompts (and other good info) to pass along to you.  We came up with a solid handful of kind souls who are not only sharing prompts, but in some cases, also techniques, artwork of their own, and heaping doses of inspiration, just out of the generosity of their spirits.  Check out the links, get yourself good and inspired, and go forth and journal!

five awesome prompt lists for art journalers

Milliande, which is a creative community of women online, ran an Art Journal Prompt-A-Day type thing for January!  It doesn’t look like all the days are up yet, but the days there are?  Made double-awesome by the fact that there are videos on each day, showing how one person interpreted the prompt and created her art journal pages.  If you’re a visual learner, or are visually inspired, you’ll dig these prompts.

There’s an intriguing project going on at A Year In the Life of an Art Journal. On the 15th and 30th of each month, they post a prompt with a song AND a technique to try.  You get to learn HOW to do new things while getting inspired to actually DO them.  There are guest hosts and posts about things other than the actual prompt, so do go check it out — there’s a ton you can do here.

Emily Falconbridge, of  the blog *e*, did a year-long weekly prompt series on her awesome blog. The prompts range from simple to complex, and often have multiple interpretations so you could, technically, use them more than once…and they’re all accompanied with Emily’s GORGEOUS artwork like the one shown above.  The rest of her blog is amazing, too.

Green Isles Crafts started a year’s worth of DAILY (!!!) prompts over at the blogsite for her artjournal. Daily.  Prompts.  She also shows step-by-step, with pictures, how she created her pages and what techniques she used.  If you’ve tried dissecting pages you like before, but weren’t sure how or why an artist did something, these walkthroughs can be of immense help in seeing inside the artist’s brain. Just check out her New York page, above, and it’s tutorial on January 24th (on the blog) — how could you make one of your own with the same techniques?

The Blacksburg Belle posted this great entry late last year with fifty inventive art journal prompts listed.  Most of them are positive and a little off the beaten path (check out #16 –  Write down some of your life mantras such as, “Choose love. Follow your heart. Live in the moment.” Write them over and over again on your journal page, but use different lettering styles each time, or the double-awesome #28  — Write a compliment to yourself for something you accomplished recently. Center a journal page around that compliment.  See what we mean about positive!?), and we’re thinking about just printing out the whole list, cutting them apart, and drawing one a day randomly.  (Or two, or three, or….)

Some of you may have noticed, in the sidebar there —->, the little notice that, starting on February 1, there’ll be a daily prompt for your journal and scrapbooking and Art-in-General pleasure.  We’re going to try the daily thing for the first couple weeks, and if the monsters have no problem in getting it to update like it should, we’ll keep that up for as long as we possibly can.  (If not, we’re going to make it a random prompt, instead, with new ones on the first of every month.  It all depends on technology, and the willingness to cooperate thereof.) :)

Now go!  Grab your books and your mark-making apparatuses (or is it apparati?  Apperatusies?  MARK MAKING STUFF.), and make something awesome!  (And show us, if you do.)

(ps!  All graphics shown are from the individual website of the talented bloggers who shared prompts!  No ownership is implied or intended; the monsters just wanted to give the readers a hint of what you’d find at their awesome sites.)

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

April January 25, 2011 at 1:14 am

Thanks for including my post in this fabulous resource for art journaling :)


peonyblue January 25, 2011 at 1:28 am

And thank YOU for posting such an awesome list! I may…uh…be working on a page based on one of your prompts *right now*, in fact. Ahem.


Joy aka GoddessJoy January 26, 2011 at 5:51 am

I’m going in a little bit of a different direction. I’m making my art journal digitally! I’m setting up an “art journal blog” for myself and can’t wait to start filling it with goodies!


peonyblue January 26, 2011 at 6:08 am

What an AWESOME idea, chickadee! (Most of my layouts end up looking like art journal pages, so I can’t wait to see yours….) :D :D :D


Tee Thompson January 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Thanks for including me in your list. I’m blushing now. It really only started as a way to share what I was already doing with my kids with a couple of people. I was going to text them daily… then that list grew to more than 15 and I decided to just do it on the blog… it’s grown a lot in a month. I have a guest artist coming up next week and more to come through out the year too.

Thanks again!


Maisy January 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Tee’s blog is fabulous! I honestly don’t know how she manages to do so much and the process photos and guidance are fantastic because they encourage real creative novices to jump in too.

This is a great post with lots of good stuff – I’m off to snoop! :)


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