3 Ways to Use Art to Reconnect with Yourself

Reconnecting with ourselves is not always easy. For someone, it can mean solitude and listening to your inner needs and desires. For other ones, it means expressing your creativity. If you have troubles understand and finding yourself, art therapy can help you explore your inner world. The visual arts have the power to obtain access to the hidden parts of ourselves, and allow is to activate your emotions and the intuitive parts of your body. When you need to express feelings in a safe way, there is no better way to do it than creating art.

The following techniques are meant for everyone to try, and they don’t require talent or ability to draw. These art therapy activities will work if you are honest with yourself and if you give yourself the permission to experiment and explore your inner self. Creating art without any emotional constraints will reconnect you to the playfulness you had as a child. It will reconnect you to your intuitive self without judgment. And in today’s world, that is a bit of something all of us need.

3 Ways to Use Art for Reconnecting to Yourself

Scribble Drawing

Scribble drawing is a great way to warm up. Simply take a piece of paper and a pencil or a brush, close your eyes and move it as you wish. When you think you have filled most of the page, open your eyes and look at the shapes which you have created. Look the page from different angles. Try to imagine a scene into your drawing. Take colors and other materials to transform those messy shapes and lines into a scene. Once you are finished, you should also give it a title. Think about the piece you have created. What does it say? Is there a lesson that you need to hear?

Illustrate a Mandala

Mandalas have been used in the art of different cultures for centuries, and they often represent either the universe or wholeness. Creating a mandala is a mindful process of self-expression that can help you integrate both of your conscious and unconscious.  The process of drawing mandalas is also very satisfying and relaxing. Therefore it can relieve stress and anxiety.

3 Ways to Use Art for Reconnecting to Yourself

Create a Self-Portrait

Creating a self-portrait doesn’t mean you have to draw yourself. Take images from magazines, or use clay and paint. Your artwork doesn’t have to resemble you at all, but all the images, colors and shapes you implement into the piece should be somehow significant to you. When you are done, give your self-portrait a title and try to reflect on it. Try to answer how is this portrait similar or different from you in real life.

You can also try creating a future self-portrait. When creating it, don’t worry about what it takes to become the person you want to draw. Just follow your heart’s desire, and you will discover some desires you weren’t even aware of. The piece you create should facilitate introspection.

The art you create is always a reflection of your internal state whether it’s your thoughts, longings or fears. Expressing your feelings and ideas will help you listen to them which will automatically lead to relief and fulfillment.

This post was written by Tamara. Tamara works as a contributor for MAC Fine Art. She is an art historian and a curator who in her free time loves writing, visiting museums, and binge-watching Netflix.

3 Ways to Use Art for Reconnecting to Yourself

Plan with Me | December Bullet Journal Layout

It is finally the last month of 2017! December’s bullet journal layout is the last that I will be putting in my current bullet journal. This means this is the last time you will see this notebook! I know, you don’t really care, but that is still crazy to think about, is it not?

Anyways, this month’s bullet journal layout has a central theme: CHRISTMAS! I have tried to stick with red, green, and gold. I found this beautiful hello December inspiration (with minor modifications and my own touch of course). This is the simplest and least sparkly page I created this month, featuring a reindeer!

Monthly Spread

This month I gifted myself with some Arteza watercolor brush pens and played around with them. I used a red pen and a green pen to highlight certain areas. The rest of this layout is very basic and simple, utilizing calligraphy handwriting done with Tombow brush pens. The linework was done using Plugis liners.

Weekly Spread

For the first week of December, I didn’t go crazy. I was playing around with handwritten calligraphy using my Tombow brush pens. Other than the new font, I kept this spread very simplistic.

So, I am absolutely in love with this week’s spread. I used some script stamps on the sides and some beautiful gold washi tape. Then I accented the black and gold with red script and calligraphy handwriting. This layout was super simple to create but so good looking!

For this week’s bullet journal spread, I combined the use of my Arteza watercolor brush pens and Tombow brush pens. I even snuck some silver in on Christmas Eve, for this I used a Pilot extra fine point paint marker. I used the watercolor to give this layout the feel that it was at a Christmas tree farm, I love it!

Last, but certainly not least is the spread for Christmas week! I wanted this layout to be simple and elegant. I purchased some beautiful gold washi tapes and lined each page in it. Then I used simple red titling. Of course, I wanted Christmas to stand out, so I used more washi tape to indicate this day. You cannot really see it in the photograph, but I used some stamps to label Christmas day in gold ink with a little gold Christmas tree.

There were no tracking pages this month, but check out these tracking layout ideas!

Did you do something special in your bullet journal for Christmas?? Tell me about it in the comments!

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Bullet Journaling Tools:

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Bullet Journal Header Layout Inspirations

I am always looking for new ways to design my bullet journal title pages. It gets boring doing the same thing every single week or month. My favorite activity is scrolling my Instagram feed to find so many awesome bullet journal title designs and this week I’ve decided to share some of my finds with you! Here are some different title styles and examples of each!

Layered Bullet Journal Title Look

When it’s well executed, the layered look is a really cool way to title a page or section!

Source: @devipaperandco

This header is cool because under the blank inked cursive is periwinkle highlighting

Source: @thedoodleplanner

Like the layout above, this one feature black inked cursive with colored highlighting.

Source: @bujo.studying

I love the mixing of fonts like in this layout. This one is super cool with the gray print with minimal cursive.

Source: @perspectiveportions

Here is another example of font mixing AND layering!

Source: @chris.ellee

Multiple Fonts

I love combinations of different calligraphies and handwriting, they will look so great in your bullet journal!

Source: @bu.joos

Like the previous section, these layouts feature more than one font. This layout’s header works like a header and subheader.

Source: @beccasbujo

How fun is the cursive and print font? Additionally, there is a doodle in the header!

Source: @booksarejules

Delicate, Simple, and Minimalistic Titles

Delicate, Simple, or Minimalistic bullet journal titles are the easiest to do and take up the least space! I use this style more often than not!

Source: @dioannakamil

This layouts is so little. It takes up very little space on the page, thus, qualifying it for this category!

Source: @thedoodleplanner

You could argue that this layout features a more bold header. However, It also features minimal lettering. This is why I added it to the more delicate and minimal section.

Source: @jihielephant

Here is another layout of my own. The simple lettering with the thin line detailing is a nice touch.

Source: @journalrella

The chosen fonts for this header make it feel minimal and delicate.

Source: @studyabl

If you look close enough to this header you’ll notice the faux brush lettering details. Additionally, it is super little!

bills, tracking, bullet journal, finances
Source: @jihielephant

This is a layout of my own, super simple print with thin lines to create the delicate feel.

BOLD Bullet Journal Titles

Bold bullet journal titles are so nice, and can also be super minimalistic. Plus, they are easy to read!

Source: @cwistina_s

This stamped header for December uses thick bold lines. The simplicity really adds to it, great minimal bold layout.

Brittany's Bullet Journal | Client Gallery
Source: @jihielephant

This is my own layout. The bold lettering was done using a Royal Talens Ecoline Liquid Watercolor Brush Pen.

Source: @booksarejules

This header covers the whole length of the page qualifying it for bold despite the seemingly minimal lettering.

Source: @capricorn.journals

Bold classic lettering is so refreshing to look at! Love this!

Source: @bujobreak

This header is bold, but bold pink instead of black ink. The thick lines make it really pop!

custom bujo ad

Creative and Artistic Title Inspiration

If you aren’t artistic than this style probably isn’t for you, but it is so beautiful!! Try doodling or letting your creative side free next time you’re designing your bullet journal!

Source: @archerandolive

I love the colors and details in this one!

Source: @bumblebujo

The colors and doodles in this one are so pretty!!

Source: @skip2mydoodle

For this layout the header is meant to look like the lettering is on a wood sign, super beautiful

Source: @jihielephant

Watercolor crystals are a gorgeous addition to any page, including a header!

An artistic layout can still be artistic, just add some doodles!

Circular Bullet Journal Titles

I love using shapes such as circles to make my bullet journal titles look more artsy and creative than I am actually capable of! It’s simple and the possibilities never end! Check out these amazing posts!

Source: @bujo.studying

I love the incorporations of flowers and branches in this bold red cover page!

December Bullet Journal | Red & Gold
Source: @jihielephant

Using paint and a circle can jazz up any header or cover page.

Source: @bujobeauties

Check out all these fun doodles that create a wreath effect!

Full Page Headers (aka Title & Hello Pages)

This style takes up the whole page and is generally fairly creative!

Source: @the_lemonade_store

Check out all the fun colors and detailing in this layout. It covers not only 1 full page, but 2 full pages!

Source: @contracrastination

How amazing are the drawings in this hello September page!? Mind blowingly beautiful.

Source: @bu.joos

I love the water coloring in this layout!

Alana's Bullet Journal | Client Gallery
Source: @jihielephant

This layout is fairly simple but covers the whole page!

Which of these bullet journaling title styles is your favorite? Did I miss a style that you love to use? share it with me!

>>If you’d like to learn more about starting your own bullet journal, check out the bullet journaling beginner’s 10-day challenge!

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Bullet Journal Instagram Title Page Round Up

My Gratitude Journey | Meaningful Artwork

I’ve titled this post ‘My Gratitude Journey,’ though it is mainly about a piece of artwork I spent a year creating and the story behind it. Warning, I have to get a little vulnerable to tell this story.

The Back Story

I’d like to start from the beginning. I was in a toxic relationship which ended in November—though he continued to harass me until I went to Cambodia in January. On my way to Cambodia I lost my phone, and with it, his demeaning text messages. I then spend 3 weeks in Cambodia exploring and learning about the culture. A lot of this trip was spent learning about human trafficking both in the country and in the world. I spent time with women, men, AND children who had gotten themselves out of sex slavery. I also witnessed a lot of poverty and kindness throughout this trip. (If you’re interested in learning more about my trip, I wrote about it here).

ConvertKit

The trip was the easy part though. Arriving home was incredibly difficult for several reasons. First, cultural reintegration kicked my butt! Getting used to carrying a phone around again, going back to class, listening to people complain—it was all incredibly overwhelming. So much so that I found myself experiencing incredible anxiety every time my phone went off and angry every time someone complained. The second reason getting back in the United States was hard, was my ex-boyfriend. He started contacting me again, and admittedly, that is probably why I became so scared of my phone. I had to turn it on silent because every time it made a noise or vibrated I felt panicky, and counseling didn’t seem to be doing me any good.

The Project

It was at this point that I felt the need to begin practicing gratitude. I couldn’t tell you what inspired the actual execution of my gratitude project. I don’t know if I had been browsing Pinterest, or if I had walked by the art building and had seen something similar. Not sure. But I decided to fill a large 18 by 24 size paper with things I was grateful for. The catch was to make it aesthetically pleasing. I wrote each word in a different handwriting and in all different sizes in a silver ink.

My Gratitude Journey | Meaningful Artwork

Every day I began adding a few more items that I was grateful for. I found myself writing down more than the indented 3 items a day for the first month or so. Eventually, I began feeling better, not only about myself but about life in general. It was amazing because soon enough I found myself hanging out in my room dancing to some fun music and writing new words on my project. My fear of my phone started to fade, as I began putting my phone back to vibrate and did not cringe or experience anxiety when I’d get a notification. PROGRESS!

My Gratitude Journey | Meaningful Artwork
My Gratitude Journey | Meaningful Artwork

The Point

You might be wondering why you should be interested in my story. Well, really the story is about overcoming difficulties by using gratefulness practices. If I can do it anyone can do it. Gratitude is so powerful! When you sit around thinking about all that is going wrong, all that is awful, or all that you wish was different, naturally, you will feel sad or angry. But, if you spend your time thinking about all that is going well and all that you enjoy about your life, naturally you will begin to feel great! I chose to share my story with you as an example of the power of gratitude.

I’d love to hear about your gratitude journeys, tell me about them in the comments below!

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My Gratitude Journey | Meaningful Artwork

How to Love Yourself Better | A 30-Day Challenge

Need to take better care of yourself? I challenge you to 30 days of self-love! For the next 30 days, pamper yourself with this challenge!

Are you up for a challenge!? Awesome! I challenge you to 30 days of self-love! For the next 30 days, pamper yourself! Self-love is so important; I cannot stress it enough! This challenge calls you to spend 30 days indulging and taking care of yourself, working on loving yourself. Self-love is more than just loving your life. It is loving who you are and taking care of yourself. So many people spend their time taking care of others (their spouse, children, clients, friends, etc.). This is great, but we forget to take care of ourselves! Take part in the 30-days of self-love challenge!

So what is self-love? Well, according to Deborah Khoshaba over at Psychology Today, “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our shortcomings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our efforts.”

This challenge incorporates a ton of ways you can implement daily self-love in a small not-so-time-consuming way.

Without further ado…

lady in towel

More On Self-Love & Loving Yourself

Self-love could be re-phrased as self-acceptance. When you accept yourself as you are right now, and love yourself just for being you (despite your flaws, despite your failures, and despite your past poor decisions) your life truly begins to open up. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a mid-life crisis or traumatic divorce to break us down. A bit like Humpty Dumpty, to allow us to build ourselves back together, we need glue (aka self-love).

Excerpt from A Lesson on Self-Love | The Importance of Loving Yourself

30 Days of Self-Love Challenge

This self-love challenge includes some of my favorite relaxation and self-care activities. But, please, by all means, love yourself the way that is best for you. If you don’t like puzzles but you like story-writing, then write a story on the days I challenge you to complete a puzzle. It’s completely customizable! Let’s get started!

  1. List 5 reasons why you are grateful for today
  2. Lit a candle when you get home
  3. Read 10 minutes before bed
  4. Do a puzzle or creative activity
  5. Stretch for 5 minutes
  6. Spend 15 minutes electronic-free
  7. Drink 60 ounces of water
  8. Get 7 hours of consecutive sleep
  9. Drink a cup of tea
  10. Clean or organize something
  11. List 5 things you are good at
  12. Take a 20-minute bath
  13. List 5 reasons why you are grateful for today
  14. Drink 60 ounces of water
  15. Spend 20 minutes electronic-free
  16. Meditate for 5 minutes
  17. Drink a cup of tea
  18. Stretch for 5 minutes
  19. Clean or organize something
  20. Avoid sugary foods
  21. Do a puzzle or creative activity
  22. Light a candle when you get home
  23. Get 7 hours of consecutive sleep
  24. Journal about your day
  25. Take a 20-minute bath
  26. Read for 10 minutes before bed
  27. List 5 reasons why you are grateful for today
  28. Meditate for 5 minutes
  29. Clean or organize something
  30. Journal about something that you love and why you love it
lady in red and white dress off white background

For this challenge, you will need…

  • An open mind
  • Willingness to love yourself
  • 30 days of commitment
  • A candle or multiple candles
  • A journal or notebook
  • Water
  • Tea, any kind will work
  • Bathtub
  • A leisure book of your choice

And if you don’t have all of this, don’t worry because you can change the challenge to fit you!

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