My Very First Art Journal and How I Finally Got Started

Hello wonderful you,

I can’t even tell you for how long I’ve wanted to start an art journal but, fear of messing up, of not being good enough and overwhelm kept me at bay.

For at least two years now, I bought supplies, journals, watched You Tube videos. I started teaching myself how to draw leaves and flowers (something I always wanted to learn) but I couldn’t get started with an art journal, I was afraid of messing up and not being good enough and there is so much I want to learn that it felt huge and overwhelming. So I kept on pushing it off, I’ll do it tomorrow, I’m tired right now, I have to cook, I have to do laundry, I have to…I have to…I have to…and then somehow it was at least two years later.

I love Anne Lamotte’s quote “shitty first draft.” You can’t be afraid of having a shitty first anything, no matter how overwhelming it may feel, that’s how you learn and grow.  Everyone has to start someplace and no one starts at 100, you have to start at zero and step by step you get to 100.

And then it hit me, I got the idea of having a notebook solely dedicated to play, to messing up, to not being good enough. YES!!! This is what I need, a place where I can be messy and starry and totally imperfect, my very own playground where I can have the freedom to unleash my imagination, play with color and shapes and create collage and splash watercolor and words on the pages. 

So, I decided that I need a journal solely dedicated to giving myself permission to mess up, to not be perfect, to play.  I had to stop thinking of this art journal as this sacred space of perfection that was unreachable. 

And so, one day I got brave and I started. I have this journal I bought from Ali Edwards for my ‘One Little Word’ course I’m doing with her for the year and it’s the perfect play place. I’ve been decorating in my daily planner/journal some days with stickers and some drawings of leaves but, it’s not like having a dedicated art journal. I’m in love with watercolor, with experimenting with mixed media art and collage and stamping, there is just something about it that is so inviting, so delicious it makes my heart sing and my art journal is the perfect place.

Giving myself space in the day to self-express to do something that is playful and fun, that connects me with my inner being, is bringing me so much joy.

Everyone should have a notebook that you can write whatever in it, draw whatever in it, just play in it. A notebook, a sketchbook, a journal, whatever you’re most comfortable with, large or small doesn’t matter, what matters is that this notebook is your permission slip, your playground, your very own space to mess up, to not be perfect, to just be yourself, a place to brain dump, no judgement here, no holding back here, no nothing here, all is a go, an all is good here notebook.

My invitation for you today – get a notebook that is strictly for messing up, for not being perfect and start, whatever your project, whatever you want to learn, make it fun and just start.

Well, that’s it for today. I hope this blog post serves you and inspires you. Leave a comment love to hear from you.

Wishing you a happy, bright and blessed week ahead ✴︎

Masha xo


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My big joy is to inspire, encourage and empower you to live the sweetest life for you. I love to share inspiration, how to, and my own journey towards wholeness and union with our Divine Mother. Oh and I love photography and cooking. I am thrilled that you are here and sharing in this wonderful magical mystery.

14 thoughts on “My Very First Art Journal and How I Finally Got Started

  1. Masha, what a wonderful idea! I always loved doing art .. a tremor I’ve developed as I age has kept me from picking up my paint brushes. You’ve inspired me to go with the flow .. it’s not about perfection .. thanks. Hope you have a beautiful day 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Lois I’m so happy for you and so happy that my post inspired you to pick up your brushes again. It’s definitely not about perfection
      YAY!!!! so happy for you. Have a wonderful day ❤️


  2. I love that you found a way to explore your craft–your pictures are beautiful! Absolutely love the leaves ones! I had the same fear as you with embroidery and then I found a beautiful kit that was reasonably priced and said why not. I did it and loved every minute of it!

    Would also love to see your decorated planner pages for inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I love the leaves as well, I loved drawing and coloring them. I’m finding that with every page that I create I find something new that I like or don’t like, I love it.
      So great that you went for it and loved the embroidery, something I want to try also at some point.
      Good for you, you did it, I’m cheering you on.
      Thanks for asking to see my planner, I may do a blog post at some point about decorating it.
      Hope you have a wonderful week ahead xo


  3. Oh Masha, this is wonderful!!! I’m so glad you started on a messy fun journal to give yourself the space and permission to just do it. This is exactly why I don’t do things creative anymore. Since I got sick, I always have an excuse because I don’t have enough time when I lose so much to being too poorly, or if I do have a spare 5 minutes I don’t physically feel well enough to bother. And so years later, I’ve done nothing. The problem beneath the practical is that I know I’m not good enough. Not good enough to creatively write and start a novel. Not good enough to sketch. Not good enough to paint. Not good enough to write non-fiction. Not good enough even to do doodles anymore. The fear of it being awful is a hard barrier to push past.

    “You can’t be afraid of having a shitty first anything” – I love that. It’s so true. I wonder how many people deep down put off doing things for this very reason.. quite a few, I imagine.

    Thank you for the inspiration, Masha, and I’m so pleased to see you’re expressing yourself and doing what makes your heart happy!

    Ps. You’re also very talented at art and creativity, not that it matters. But you truly are. xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Caz, thank you so much for your beautiful comment. I have a question for you – How do you know for sure that you’re not good enough to write, have you read your blog posts??? They are amazing, well thought out, interesting to read, great lay out.
      What I have come to realize is that I really don’t know if I am good or not until I started, with each page that I do I learn something, what not to do next time, what I’d like to do more of…I grow with each play page.
      And I definitely know about the fear, I’ve held onto it for years and because of it I, like you, did nothing.
      I hope that I’ve inspired you to go get a journal and stop judging yourself and just start, and remember this is just for you, you don’t have to show it to the world if you don’t want to, you can rip out the pages and shred them if you want to.
      I really hope you do start and give yourself this gift, you are amazing!!!! xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw Masha, you’ve brought a tear to my eye! That really takes a lot because I have super dry eyes 😆 I’m so, so glad you’ve faced that fear and done it anyway. Maybe I could try something soon because I like the idea of shredding the pages afterwards if needs be. I bought my parents a new shredder for Christmas so it’d be a good excuse to give it some use! Keep being awesome my friend and keep enjoying your journey of creativity xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love AL’s shitty first draft concept–it’s freed me so many times! And I love, love, love your idea of a notebook where you can just mess up. So freeing! Brilliant, Masha. I hope it’s beautiful quiet play for you:). And your soul!

    Liked by 1 person

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