How long have you been Art Journaling?

I have been keeping journals/diaries in one form or another since I was very young…my 2nd grade teacher got me hooked on entering a daily story in a diary, and when she told me I could decorate my cover – I was hooked! I have always kept a personal writing journal, and while I didn’t realize it was a “visual” journal, when I look back now, those journals were full of doodles, drawings, collage, and color in addition to my writing. I learned “officially” about art journaling via Rachel Whetzel, who rocks AND who hosts an art journaling group at www.oneyearartjournal.blogspot.com. In addition to my other journals, I continue to use the prompts featured on that blog today and participate there.
How has Art Journaling impacted, changed, or enhanced your life?
What keeping an art journal(s) has done for me is best described as giving me creative freedom. Instead of worrying about the usual aspects of a creative project (plan, finished product, message, how it will be received by others) I can seriously kick back with my art journal and just BE. I allow myself absolute freedom in this little creative place…I can use anything, do anything, write anything, FEEL anything, or just play…and it is all okay. I don’t have to show it to anyone unless I choose, and it has been an amazing place of comfort, power and exploration for me.
I have also found my art journals to be healing and therapeutic…for example, my day-job as a foster care social worker comes with a lot of responsibility, sadness, crisis, and stress…and I have found over the years that I carry every child’s story with me, which at times can be almost too much to bear. It has been so helpful to have my art journal available to me to release the powerful emotions & stories associated with my career, while safely containing them within the pages of my art journal.
What are a few of your favorite Art Journaling materials to use?
Anything within easy reach is fair game as art journal material to me! My favorite traditional art supplies are watercolor crayons (so smooshy & fun,) acrylic paint, chalk inks & pastels, all types of markers, crayola crayons, and lots of gesso/gel medium. I also like to use collage elements, stamps, text, and my recent fascination has been with stencils & spray paint. Confession: I have also been known, on occasion, to tear out pages from magazines in doctor’s waiting rooms to use as fodder for my journaling as well. Shh…
Who are some of your favorite Art Journalers?

There are so many wonderful journal artists to choose from…but here are some of my regular internet haunts:

What kind words of encouragement would you say to an Art Journal newbie?
  • Step 1: Lock that inner perfectionistic, critical beyotch in the closet and turn up your favorite music so you can’t hear her criticizing you.
  • Step 2: Get yourself any kind of journal and some crayons, ink, pens, paint, or markers and just dive in headfirst! If the blank page staring back at you freaks you out a little, paste some text (torn dictionary page perhaps?) on the journal or pour some paint on the page, close the book and smoosh it around, close your eyes &scribble or maybe use your hand to fingerpaint, and then voila! You’ve made a mark!
  • Step 3: Give yourself permission to let it all out, be yourself, choose colors & images YOU are drawn to, and especially – permission to make ugly pages…some of my most horrific looking pages mean the most to be because of the PROCESS of making those pages…
  • Step 4: Still not ready to jump in? Get yourself online and google “art journal” or visit some of the links shared here during these 30 days and you’ll find more inspiration than you know what to do with!
  • Caution: While it is tempting, and sometimes helpful, to try to emulate someone else’s style as you’re getting comfortable…be sure to let the YOU shine through…this is YOUR journal, you don’t have to show it to anyone, and for pete’s sake if you hate it when you’re done, gesso over it and start again! It’s all good. 🙂
Where can we contact you…give us some link LOVE!!!
Videos starring Heidi:


Short Bio:

I grew up in CO, blessed with 2 very creative parents…at 17 I moved to Southern CA and enthusiastically earned my bachelor’s degree in art, and upon graduation quickly realized that while art is the substance of life, it is not a substance that would pay my bills! Thus, I chose to continue my education while racking up lots more student loan debt to become a foster care social worker by day, which turned out to be an amazing and rewarding career, so it’s all good.

I’m ridiculously happily married to the most incredible & talented long-haired rock & roller of my dreams, and I spend the rest of my time obsessed with art, social justice, devouring literature, travel, rock & roll, coffee, photography, film, left-leaning activism, doing handstands on the beach & trying my best to embody the golden rule & be helpful to the world somehow. I’m really not ADHD…but you could say I am “coffee enhanced.”

Art Journal LOVE Letters is on sale for $24.99 the entire month of July!Go HERE to register and join Art Journal LOVE’s 1 year anniversary party!


Join The Paint Wisdom Newsletter!

My weekly newsletter is filled with studio updates,
announcements,& short musings intended to nourish your Artist Soul.