Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Art Journaling Idea for Beginners (and the Advanced)- Part 3

Today's post is the continuation of my Art Journaling Series (part 1, part 2), where I will be sharing some simple ideas and suggestions to help you get started with your own art journal. Even If you are more experienced in art journaling, you can include these ideas into your next journal entry! 

The ideas shared below are meant to help you get warmed up to the art journaling process, and inspire you to develop new ideas of your own. All the techniques are easy to follow, and are suitable for those with or without experiences in art. Please feel free to modify or add to any of these ideas to suit your individual preferences and needs. 

Art Journaling Idea for Beginners (and the Advanced)- Part 3

Before we begin, you may want to first check out my previous post- Why Art Journal?, where I talked about the different types of art journals, their purposes, and therapeutic benefits.

Symbols and Metaphors

One of the purposes of a therapeutic art journal, is for you to draw out your feelings.

A Drawing of your feelings allows you to see what otherwise could only be felt. The process can help you externalize, analyze, validate, and acknowledge your feelings through the language of art. With that being said, drawing out your feelings is not an easy task, especially if they are already difficult to be described in words. 

One of the techniques I'd use to record my feelings, is through the use of symbols and metaphors. I would often start off my drawing by mapping it out in words or short phrases, and allow the details/narrative to unfold as I draw. If you feel stuck or uninspired with your drawing, there's no rush to finish your work! Sometimes it helps to just leave it alone and return to it at a later time.

Here's is a simple breakdown of my process for creating a drawing with symbols:
  1. Choose a symbol, can be personal or universal.

    Ex. a bird

  2. Personalize the symbol through words or drawing (your own interpretation of the symbol that best describes your situation or feeling)

    Ex. a bird locked in a cage

  3. Draw your symbol. Include as many details as you like.

    Ex. what size is the bird and cage? What's the bird doing in the cage? How does the cage look like?

  4. Elaborate your drawing outside of your symbol, and let the story unfold. Include anything that comes to your mind (without thinking about their relevance to your symbol).

    Ex. Where is this cage? Who/what's around it?

  5. Reflect on your artwork and the creative process; is there a narrative to go with your piece?

    Optional: write it down in your art journal.

My Symbol

Credit: Gudetama Twitter account

Gudetama, one of my favourite Sanrio characters, is a lazy, unproductive egg yolk. 

my symbol


There's nothing adorable about my version of the Gudetama. 

He's weighed down, stale, and slowly melting away. It's only going to get worse over time, so he'd better do something quick before it's too late.


When I first created this piece, I had a hard time shifting my focus away from the symbol. I spent a lot of time crafting the details of the symbol itself (as seen by the shadows and highlights of my drawing), but my work still felt incomplete. I wanted to elaborate beyond the Gudetama symbol, but wasn't sure of what else to do but to cover the background with black. 

I went back to the the drawing a few days later, and out of nowhere, an idea suddenly emerged! I knew right away what I wanted to add to the background to complete my work (I will share the extended version of this drawing in the next post). 

This post first appeared on The Art Therapy Journey Of An Art Therapist, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

Art Journaling Idea for Beginners (and the Advanced)- Part 3


Subscribe to The Art Therapy Journey Of An Art Therapist

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription