Finding my creative side is one of the most difficult things I had to face when I started my (more serious) journaling journey. I really wanted to add something special to my journals but I simply lack inspiration and my creative side is non-existent.
I started searching all over the internet for inspiration but very soon that proved to be counter-productive. Why? Because I found SO MANY things! Not just so many but so many BEAUTIFUL things. And I simply didn’t know where to start.
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My biggest mistake was that I tried to do everything at once. I wanted to draw, I wanted to doodle, I wanted to use watercolors, crayons, everything… But ultimately, when I had my journal in front of me, I simply didn’t know what to do. My creative side was nowhere to be found.
So, in the beginning, I always had some examples I found online in front of me, on my phone, so I can copy them. But for me, the point of journaling is to get away from the screen so I needed to find my own style. And boy, that is hard!
When you start trying out a little bit of this and a little bit of that you really don’t know what you’re even good at. But I tried. And failed. Repeatedly. Nothing flamed that creative spark in me. So, I tried some more. I was convinced there HAD TO be something I’m good at. I wasn’t even aiming for “great” – “good” was perfect. So I tried some more. And failed – again.
But in the end, my journal was full. Yes, it was full with “failures” but those were MY failures. I really worked hard on it and in the end that was all that mattered.
So, how does this help you, you wonder? Well, the bottom line is this: try it. Try new things. Don’t be afraid to take those colored pencils and just doodle. What’s the worst that could happen? Like everything else in life, finding your creative side has everything to do with trial and error. You try as many things you can and in time you’ll find the one you keep coming back to. For me those are bubbles. I simply love those bubbles! You can fill the page with them, make different shapes, fill any void you have… That’s my go-to doodle. And if I’m really not in the mood for drawing and want a “quick fix”, I always turn to my Ultimate tool for non-creative soul – the wrapping paper!
Don’t be afraid of the basics. They too can be amazing! In a book Drawing for beginners! The Ultimate Crash Course by Amy Taggart I recently started reading/working on, I found this warming exercise. It’s quite basic: you take one page and anywhere on the page draw ten circles. Then choose another area and draw ten squares. Then ten swirls. You continue with those shapes until the page is full.
Although that was just a “warming technique” I decided to use it as a backdrop for my journal. I added a bit of color and ta-dah!: my ugly journal artsy page! As you can see in my pictures, it really can be as simple as that.
The best advice I was given is not to worry. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look like someone else’s. Don’t compare yourself to others. Take your own “ugly journal” as it is and be proud of yourself! If you need more advice on things you need to let go while journaling you can read it here.