Creative Journaling With Art: Making a Self-Portrait

    Mari L. McCarthy March 4, 2011

    Your journal is a multi-faceted reflection of yourself—yourCreative Journaling 2 resized 600 triumphs, struggles, heartaches and dreams. Through your journal entries, you can follow your evolution as a person and see how you have changed over the years.

    If you are a person who fills your journal with pages and pages of writing, it can be a nice change of pace to use art and creative journaling to show a different side of yourself than you normally do. Here is your challenge: create a self-portrait in your journal without using any words.

    1. Don’t be intimidated if you think you can’t draw or paint.*** This isn’t an assignment for a grade, and there’s no prerequisite that you need to be Van Gogh or Andy Warhol to capture your thoughts and emotions through art.

    2. Think of different media that appeal to you—photography, charcoal sketches, collages from magazine clippings, even simple crayon drawings. Focus on one or two that you like the best, and gather the supplies you need.

    3. Reflect on how you see yourself and what kind of person you are at your core. What are your strongest personality traits, both good and bad? Are you passionate, generous, warm-hearted and hot-tempered? Or are you more reserved, thoughtful, shy and compassionate? Does your vision of yourself differ from how  others see you? What visual ways can you communicate your personality in your journal?

    4. Channel these thoughts into a creative journaling exercise. Draw, paint, collage, stencil or use other artistic media to represent yourself on the page. There is no right or wrong way to do this— it can be lifelike, abstract or anything in between. Just allow yourself an hour to create your self-portrait, and have fun with it – use different colors, textures and shapes to capture how you see yourself.

    5. When you are done with your piece of art, look at the finished product and write down  what it represents for you. Keep it short, just a paragraph on a separate page; express why you chose the media you did and what the different aspects say about you as a person.

    Have you ever created a self-portrait before? Have you ever done artwork in your Journal? 

    *** If you think the Inner Critic doesn’t “approve” of  personal journal writing, it goes ballistic over artwork in your Journal. Again, some more opportunities to give It some creative journaling adult supervision. You might want to do some free writing about your personal brand of artistry. Or maybe one of these Journaling Ideas will escort you to your awaiting canvas:

    6. Have a ten-minute free-writing huddle with your Inner Coach. Write down his/her words of wisdom. What did you learn?

    7. Bring your Inner Kid along to your next Journaling session and ask for some advice. Take notes, draw, and doodle. Have FUN!

    8. Paste a picture in your journal and write down the words that you see, hear, smell, touch and taste from it.

    If you want to learn how journaling can help you tackle life's challenges, please download the free eBook, The Journaling Guide to Manage The Stress and Strains of Life 

    Getting to know your true, authentic self is a lifelong journey. Our 23 Days to Self-Discovery self-paced journaling course will show you how to use your journal to know and understand yourself better. 

    23 Days to Self Discovery - Self Paced Journaling Course

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