25 Art Journaling Prompts Recommended by Published Artists

by Stampington & Company

The dreaded blank page can sometimes stop us in our tracks when we sit down to art journal. We don’t know whether to start with choosing a topic or theme, writing down our thoughts, or putting together a color palette. The next time you want to create a journal page and don’t know where to start, consult this helpful list of 25 art journaling prompts developed by the creative minds behind some of the inspiring artwork in  Art Journaling magazine.

  1. When writing in your journal, start with who, what, when, where, and why. The why is most important because there is always a deeper meaning to everything we create. (Shared by Caterina Giglio)
  2. Go outside and find five objects that interest you. Use your imagination to represent each object in your journal. You can use the item itself or its color, shape, or texture to influence your piece. (Shared by Stephanie Aune)
  3. What is one of your favorite childhood memories, and how can you illustrate it in your art journal? (Shared by Leslie Wood)
  4. Use a gel print or a “cleanup page” as a starting point for a background. (Shared by Jo Hanson)
  5. Choose an old book page, notice what words jump out at you from the page, and use those words to create a new story in your journal. (Shared by Leslie Wood)
  6. Base a journal page on your favorite lyric from one of your favorite songs. (Shared by Carrie Todd)
  7. What do you see when you close your eyes? Create it on the page. (Shared by Peggy Gatto)
  8. What was your favorite song in high school? Bring it to life on an art journal page using only three of your favorite art supplies … and no words! (Shared by Nicole Austin)
  9. Close your eyes and use the very first color that pops into your mind as a starting point. Flip through a magazine, find pages with that color, tear them into pieces, and create a color collage. (Shared by Michelle Schratz)
  10. Where are you right now? Draw a picture of your surroundings or write a sentence or paragraph about your life right now. Date the entry. (Shared by Lydia Velarde)
  11. Create a page that’s inspired by your favorite place. Think about the colors, textures, patterns, and shapes you experience there, and incorporate these into your page. (Shared by Diane Adams)
  12. Think of a childhood memory, whether it is fuzzy or vivid, and try capturing the colors and feelings of it. (Shared by Narah Kimberly Minardi)
  13. Imagine a favorite and enjoyable sound. How can you create this sound with color, patterns, and images? (Shared by Marnita Patton)
  14. Use your favorite drawing tool to mindfully focus on creating lines on your journal page from left to right, filling the whole page, or draw differently sized circles all over the page, etc. These will serve as a wonderful background. (Shared by Marnita Patton)
  15. Use a patterned paper napkin on a page. Decide to use only parts or all of one. Adhere them with matte gel medium and build from there. They are also beautiful when muted with a wash of diluted gesso. (Shared by Jennifer Tritle)
  16. Create a page that includes a face without using a paintbrush. (Shared by Karen Campbell)
  17. Grab three colors you seldom ever use and create a page with them. Start off the page with your eyes closed and paintbrush in hand. (Shared by Tiffany Goff Smith)
  18. Look around for a small abandoned art project and use it, or part of it, to jump-start a page. (Shared by Debi Barton Haverly)
  19. Explore using stencils in your art journal. Use one stencil in many different ways. (Shared by Kim Collister)
  20. Collect magazine images that intrigue you through color, texture, subject matter, etc., and use them as inspiration for a journal theme or page. For example, replicate the colors of an exotic desert, capture the energy of a Bolivian marketplace, or use the colors from a fashion ad (Shared by Carol A. More)
  21. Incorporate photos of unknown people in your art journal. Let your mind conjure up a fascinating and adventurous history for the people in the photo to feed an imaginative layout. (Shared by Sharon Hoerth)
  22. Journal about your favorite music album or a collection of songs. (Shared by Tina Walker)
  23. If you found a map to the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, what would your pot of gold look like? What would it contain? Create your version of your pot of gold on your art journal page. (Shared by Amber Walker)
  24. Start a page with splatters of paint and a large circle or a series of circles to get the page covered quickly. (Shared by Chris Tessnear)
  25. Use words and imagery to express the emotions that nature evokes within you. (Shared by Lynne Moncrieff)

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