How to Connect to Intuition Through Art Journaling, Guest Post by Rose Janine Keall. What is art journaling and why art journaling can be a powerful tool for intuition and transformation.
What is art journaling?
Art journaling is a creative outlet where you can express thoughts, and ideas, document experiences and
explorations; using both imagery and written words or text in a blank notebook or sketchbook.
Many artists use art journals as a space to play and explore techniques, and themes, try out ideas or new
art mediums etc, before committing to creating original artwork for selling/exhibiting.
However, the art journal can also be used to connect with your intuition in order to communicate
with the deeper aspects of yourself that perhaps have been dormant, hidden, or neglected!
Why art journaling?
So why art journaling? What is it that makes art journaling an effective tool to use to connect with
Art journaling gives you the opportunity to play, let go and be like a child through expressing emotions in a childlike manner. It allows you just to be, without making judgments or assessments that you may do in your daily life.
It can invite you to be curious and enquire into the nature of who you are in relation to what you experience through your emotions, particularly when you have no pre-conceived ideas of what you are creating on the pages. You could say art journaling is the doorway in which you can connect and receive guidance from you Higher Self. As you engage in creative play, it helps relax the mind, moving you into a receptive state, where you can connect to that which is beyond the physical, into your inner landscape.
The beauty of an art journal is that it can be a private place for you to develop a strong relationship with self. The blank pages act like a safe space or container for you to be totally vulnerable and honest as it allows for imperfection to surface and be embraced. There is no need to share this with anyone unless you choose to do so, or if you ever engage in therapy, in which this can be an invaluable support in your healing process.
Art journaling has been proven by psychologists and the medical profession to be of great benefit in regard to mental health and well-being. Carl Jung was one of the first psychiatrists who utilised this outlet, whilst exploring the unconscious in his work. He termed it as his dream/vision journal known as ‘The Red Book’ which has been exhibited in museums. It allowed him to explore the depths of the psyche through symbols, colours, imagery, writing, and poetry. The result of his explorations in the journal contributed to paving the way for new treatments such as art therapy. Art therapy: Definition, uses, and how it works by British Association of Art Therapists
Art Journaling as a Tool for Transformation
I would like to share my own story on how using an art journal connected me to the source of my own wisdom within and as a result changed the course of my life.
In November 2010 I was going through what you can term as ‘the dark night of the soul’. I’d taken sick-leave from my job which at that time was working in the childcare industry. It was during =this time on the sick I was inspired to start an art journal.
For a number of weeks on a daily basis, I would pour my heart out upon the pages of the journal, creating imagery and writing poetry with no pre-conceived ideas or outcomes in mind, it was just all very spontaneous outpourings. It was as if a dam had broken and all the water was just pouring out =with intensity and force as I felt I was in some sort of zone.2
This daily practise eventually led me to discover and tap into my ability to draw beings from spirit and was the first step towards making a change of career, to doing something I’m now passionate about.
I found it to be a very cathartic experience whilst at the same time I discovered wisdom and guidance was being expressed upon the pages.
I was amazed at how art journaling could have such a powerful and positive impact in my life, particularly in regards to connecting to my intuition in such a fun and creative manner.
Art journaling taught me the more fun and creative play I engaged in, the more it enabled me to tap into and uncover the desires and yearnings of my soul, that had been obscured by years of negative thinking, learned behaviours, and beliefs.
At the time of creating the art journal, I had little awareness of how influential the contents of my journal entries would be. It is only looking at it over the years since its completion, how much has manifested in relation to these journal entries. So, you could say it was a vision board in a book! An art journal can be your own personal oracle.
Over time I came to discover art journaling can be equivalent to using a deck of oracle cards. It is in fact a more personal approach to receiving guidance. This is because you are receiving a direct response during that time you create the journal pages, as the images and words will be totally unique to you. Though oracle cards are good, the messages and images are generally more generic because they tend to cater to many people and may not speak to you quite as effectively as your journal pages. This is what I’ve found in my own personal experience of using the art journal in this way – anyway. Not to say not to use oracle decks, in fact, you can combine the two to receive more in-depth guidance.
The beauty of the art journal being the oracle is that you are not relying on any external source. Therefore, it is a very empowering experience knowing you need not over time rely on anyone, or anything else to give you that guidance. You will be trusting your own emotional guidance system (intuition) that like a muscle in the body, will become stronger and more reliable if art journaling is practised on a regular basis.
How to use an art journal to connect to intuition
The first thing to note is you do not need an artistic ability to art journal, all that is required is a willingness to play, be spontaneous, and to let go of the expectation it needs to be a masterpiece.
The art journal gives you the opportunity to be a child again, allowing for imperfection to occur as it is through imperfection that brings forth the most honest and revealing information. If you watch a child, they do things impulsively and urgently caring not about the outcome or result. It is the act of creating itself that brings joy to them and nothing more. In fact, sometimes they will create something then destroy it immediately afterwards as this they see as being fun too!
This is one of the best ways of approaching your journaling because to receive guidance from intuition, you must avoid overthinking. If this happens the mind steps in and before you know it critical thoughts are running rife. This in turn makes it more challenging to receive guidance from your intuition whilst journaling. In fact, it may put you off completely from even having a go. Be willing to be vulnerable, suspend judging what you do, and allow your heart to open. Treat the journal pages like a wise counsel holding the space for you to offload and express.
You do not need to spend hours creating journal pages they can be very simple and can take a matter of just 15-20mins at the most if you are short on time.
This can be achieved by gathering images and texts from magazines, newspapers, old greeting cards etc. Gather some basic art materials like felt pens, cheap paints, crayons, glue stick, and scissors, whatever you wish to add to your pages. As well as a blank notebook, preferably cartridge paper that is not too thin.
The key to this is, choosing images and text that really resonate with you in that moment, ones that feel right, not what you think is right. If you are using art materials again choose the colours you are drawn to and do this quickly.
Add scribble to your pages, scribble is great for releasing energy, and helps you to relax into the flow of creating. Remember it is not about creating something pleasing to the eye, but more what message is being conveyed through the imagery, text or notes you are inspired to write down.
Once your page is complete sit with it and contemplate what is it trying to tell you. Sometimes it can be obvious and other times it may need you to reflect upon it for longer. Think about how it makes you feel, what the images are conveying to you. Does it trigger a memory or an experience? Or is it igniting your curiosity? It could be you are inspired to create a series of pages on the same theme to receive a more in-depth message.
There is no right or wrong way of art journaling all that matters is what feels right for you and most
importantly that you are having fun.
So why not have a go, you will be surprised how easy it is to connect with your intuition in this way.
Janine Rose Keall is a Spirit Artist who specialises in drawing portraits of Spirit Guides, Archangels, Animal Guides, and other light beings from spirit. Prior to being a Spirit Artist Janine worked in the childcare industry as a Senior Early Years worker for 15 years. Janine utilises her artistic ability coupled with her childcare experience and knowledge of Child psychology, to offer art therapeutic practices such as art journaling and creative activities to help overcome creative blocks and alleviate stress/anxiety.