Making things: Festive season prompts for your art journal

As the year draws to a close this of us who like to write a journal/ do morning pages / junk journal/ travel journal/ art journal/ letter journal/make digital art might want to reflect on the year that has been and the year that is come. Or we might want to celebrate and document the traditions of the festive season. Or we might want a way to let off steam when old uncle Billy tells one more cracker joke at the lunch table. Either way, here are some ideas! A month’s worth to get you from here firmly into January. Pick a number that corresponds with today’s date, or you have my permission to cheat and just pick the one you like best.

  1.  Draw in your journal / sketchbook with a child and paint over, around and next to it later
  2. Tis the season for – Document 6 things that you love that you saw this week and associate with this time of year
  3. Tree of life – trees feature in lots of traditions as signs of life and symbols of life’s journey. What has this year looked like as a tree? What is the tree doing now? What is it looking forward to next year?
  4. Pick a colour theme that relates to this time of year for you and do a whole page in that (it might be white if you are in snowy lands, or turquoise if you spend southern hemisphere summer at the beach)
  5. One memorable gift from childhood – what it looked like, smelt like, tasted like, and how it made you feel
  6. Get those photos on the page – find some favourite photos from the year just gone and print them (on copy paper, on photo paper, on tracing paper) and include those in your journal pages. You can write over, under and around them.
  7. Wrapping paper – see if you can gather a small snip of every piece of paper you are given and turn it into a cohesive collage
  8. Favourite holiday movie?
  9. Favourite winter / summer tradition?
  10. Favourite Christmas carol? (even if Christmas isn’t your thing). Either write out the lyrics or use one image from the song to start a page
  11. Stamps -getting cards? What fun things can you do with those stamps?
  12. Honouring a loss – think of one thing / person/ stage/ part of your identity you ‘lost’ this year and honour it by noting all the reasons you loved it/ what it(/they) taught you/ how precious it remains as a memory/ how right the timing was to move on
  13. Your favourite holiday dish and a recipe and memory of that dish
  14. Follow your whim – if you have been researching an odd topic, or fascinated by a project or invention this week, add that into your journal
  15. Your senses – what does today sound like, smell like, taste like, feel like either literally (maybe right now where you are) or metaphorically (if the day as a whole had a smell, taste, sound etc)
  16. What a character – spot someone on your daily commute, dog walk or errands and try drawing them / collaging them and writing some words about their life from their imagined perspective. how might they be feeling about this time of year?
  17. 20 awesome things about this year – write the list as background and pick one to represent visually on the page
  18. One friend who stood by me this year and I’m grateful for
  19. One place I loved going to this year
  20. One new person I met this year who was interesting
  21. One journey I took that was longer than I thought
  22. One recurring theme that kept coming up for me this year
  23. One thing I bought/found/was given just for myself that brought me joy
  24. One dream I had that came true
  25. One wish each for next year for my mind, body, heart and soul
  26. An animal I enjoyed meeting this year
  27. An act of kindness that made me happy
  28. A plant I was astounded by
  29. A memorable sunrise or sunset
  30. A peaceful place
  31. A reminder list of all the self care activities that help me feel good and I will do from time to time in 2017



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