To make your own, trace a bowl or cup to make a circle in the middle of your page.

You can break up the mandala into pizza slices, concentric circles, or fill it with a series of smaller shapes, like I did with these swirls. Use the watercolor dots background described above to make yours like mine, or a messy background with acrylics to change it up. Once the page is dry, use a pen to make swirl shapes until you fill the circle. Experiment with different shapes, colors, and sizes. For a different mandala pattern, check out this step-by-step post on creating a flower petal mandala.

If you have an old dictionary, you might even cut and paste the definition onto your page.

Our hands are also one of the most expressive parts of our bodies, second only to our faces.

Knowing this, you might choose to “pose” your hand in a particular way and trace this shape, rather than the traditional open palm with spread fingers.

Let your imagination have a little fun with the metaphors connected to hands.

Even if you trace your open hand, you can get very creative with what you put inside.

You may choose to leave your journals more free-form and expressive, or you may want to have more of a “finished” art product on each page. If you’d like to see a video with some live examples of art journaling, you can check out my video, How Art Journaling Heals for some inspiration and then continue on with the prompts here.

A beautiful background is always a great place to begin.

Art journaling does not have to be expensive or complicated.

It’s one of the most forgiving ways to make art because in an art journal, everything you make is safely contained within your own personal book.

Sometimes letting out my worries helps, and other times it makes me feel worse. If I’m feeling down, often it’s helpful for me to journal about the positives.