Expressive Art Therapy is a wonderful tool for expression and healing. Carl Jung thought that symbolism was the way the mind represented the most important things, and using symbols and art to stimulate your subconscious can have a powerful effect on your motivation and commitment.
A couple of years ago, I joined a group of women who used digital art to motivate and chronicle our journey toward exercise and healthy eating. We each developed our own diet and exercise journal, and they were as different as we were.
If you’re interested in starting your own journal, you’ll only need a few things. First, decide what size fits best for you. The most common sizes are 8×8, 12×12 (you can easily find photo albums with page protectors in these sizes), and 8 ½ x 11, which is the standard size of page protectors and can fit easily into a binder.
Now, assemble your materials:
1. cardstock in various colors
4. quotes you find inspirational
Each page will be created from a different prompt. Each week for the next three weeks, I’ll give you some prompts to inspire you. Sit with your materials and think about the prompt. Then open the magazines, and keeping the prompt in your mind, rip out all the photos and words that “hit” you. Try not to think too hard about design and what’s going to “look” good. This isn’t a piece for art critics, this is a journal, and, as such, anything that you put in is meaningful and right.
The first step is to create an opening page. Think of where you’ve been, and where you want to end up. I did the one below in 2007 for my group. I used current and older (pre-motherhood) pictures to make this layout (I do mine digitally – if you want some links to digital tutorials and supplies, mention it in the comments and I’ll put them together):
The most important thing, and I can’t stress it enough, is that this is for no one but you. If you want to share, that’s great, and it can be inspiring to see others’ collages, but this is not an art contest, and it’s not meant to impress anyone. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a set of collages and layouts that you can keep in your personal album as a way to motivate yourself and remind yourself why you’re on this journey.
Also, if you’re interested in creating a gallery where we can share our layouts, mention it in the comments and I’ll see what I can do. I, personally, would love to see what everyone comes up with.
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