by Lauren Fallat, LPC LPAT BC-ATR
New to art journaling? Or wondering how it can be used as a healthy coping skill for relaxation? In this blog post, we'll provide a brief overview of what art journaling is, the benefits of using it as a coping skill, and some ideas for journal prompts for the autumn season that you can use for inspiration.
What Is Art Journaling?
Art journaling is a form of self-expression that can be used to help cope with stress, anxiety, and other emotional challenges. It can also be used to document your life journey, and to capture and reflect on the positive moments in your life. It is a dynamic process of using your creative intuition to record and reflect on your life experiences as well as draw inspiration for daily life. It can involve any type of creative expression, such as drawing, painting, collage, stitching, mixed media and so on. The purpose is to provide a space for self-expression, reflection, and healing through an intentional and focused activity.
What are the Benefits?
-Art journaling can help you process difficult emotions
-It can help you recreate and reflect on recent or past memories.
-It can help you communicate your feelings and emotions.
-It can help you find your voice and allow you to express yourself without words alone.
-It can help you relax and regain a state of calm.
-It can help you feel closer to yourself.
-It can help you express yourself creatively.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of art journaling and how to get started, you can visit our arttherapynj.com website and read our past blogs that provide a more in depth exploration of the process. Here are the links to those blog posts:
Reflection on the Month of October
When we reflect on this month of October, we need not look further than our windows to gain an understanding of what this time of year might symbolize and call our attention to in a spiritual way. During the autumn months in New Jersey, many of us are exposed to the transition in climate from warmer weather to cooler temperatures and shorter sunlit days. We may witness the transformation of deciduous trees from their previous green color to shades of yellows, oranges and reds as they prepare to shed their leaves for the oncoming winter. In this way, we can think of the month of October as an external reflection of ongoing change and transformation that happens all around us. These changes can bring different feelings of nostalgia, sorrow, peace and calm and often there is joy in these progressive changes- playing in the leaves or noticing the unique colors that transpire before they fall. For many of us, change can be challenging in our own personal lives and we can take comfort in what autumn reminds us of- the beauty and uniqueness that change can provide us as well. The autumn season also eases us into a delicate reflection on death and decay, as certain plants shed their flowers and become dormant and grasses begin to yellow. It is during this time that we can also think about preservation as a theme, where we can witness animals begin to gather nuts, seeds and other varieties of food sources to store in preparation for hibernation.
Here are a few journal prompts that you can use to inspire your art journals for the autumn season:
Pressed leaves- You can use pressed leaves to create stunning prints and backgrounds for your art journal pages. Gather different types of leaves and colors to create a wide variety of images.
Leaf Etchings and Rubbings- Transfer the image of the leaf onto your pages using the etching and rubbing technique with a crayon or colored pencil.
Create a page or spread of multiple pages in which you create images reflecting on change and transformation in your own life.
Create a series of tree drawings that shift from summer to autumn and notice the changes in colors and branch/leaf structures.
Consider the theme of impermanence in your artwork. What processes can you utilize to represent the impermanence in a moment, picture, happening, etc?
Just as trees need to let go of leaves, consider an art journal entry that reflects on all of the different aspects of your life (habits, decisions, memories, hurts) that you are trying to let go of. Reflect on what is also being held onto and sustained for nourishment during difficult seasons of your life.
Create a mandala-inspired design in your art journal using a fall color palette! Colors might include burnt orange, reds, golden and mustard yellows, pumpkin orange and various colors brown reminiscent of different spices.
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