There is no joy quite like the joy of playing with art supplies. That’s why you should create your own art journal starter kit, even if you don’t consider yourself to be an artist. Playing with art supplies is the fun you deserve.

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paints, paint brushes, and abstract painting with the text "An Art Journal Starter Kit for Not So Visual Artists"

It’s no secret that I love journals and notebooks. If you hand me an old blank journal, I’ll use it like nobody’s business. Hell, that’s what my ideas journal is all about.

And you know your girl has The Artist’s Way artist date ideas for days. So it’s no secret that an art journal starter kit is the key to making sure you always have an artist date ready to go.

Yeah, I’m no visual artist. But I love playing with art supplies.

And if I’m being honest, the best way to feel creative when I’ve got writer’s block or when I just don’t feel like writing is to make some art.

No, it’s never good. In fact, it’s quite terrible. And that’s okay.

But this post isn’t about art quality. It’s about me preaching the gospel of art journaling for those who need to expel some creative energy before it festers inside them. So, let’s talk about art journals, shall we?

Art Journal Ideas

Your art journal can be whatever you want it to be. It doesn’t have to be special or pretty or even something that you share with the world.

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Don’t let those people with perfect sketch books get you down. Yes, they have very Instagrammable art. But that doesn’t mean you have to. And if we’re being honest, they had a ton of not so Instagrammable art before they got to the level they are now.

And for that matter, your art journal doesn’t have to be a traditional sketch book.

Consider buying a scrapbook journal kit if you like playing with papers and paper punches. This kit could also help you keep memories you don’t want to lose, and could give you a creative place to use all the photos you take.

Consider collecting some junk journal supplies and turning them into a junk journal. If you already have a pile of different fun papers and bits of ephemera, this could be a great way to make your own junk journal that becomes the canvas for all your art supplies.

There are no bad art journal ideas, gang. Do whatever sounds fun.

Art Journal Starter Kit

There are tons of art journal starter kits out there for sale, but I recommend you make your own. An art journal kit should be personal, and you don’t want a ton of supplies that you don’t like using.

You can find tons of art journal supplies online, and I’ve got a list of things I think would be fun to use.

001: An Art Journal Book

A good notebook is worth its weight in gold, and the same could be said of an art journal book. Think about the supplies you’ll be using, and make sure you choose paper that can handle it. A Moleskine is great if you just want to sketch or use colored pencils. But you may consider a thicker paper notebook if you want to use watercolors. And if you need to use some glue to paste things in, a mixed media book is the way to go.

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002: Art Journal Stickers

You can use any stickers you like in your art journal. You can get flowers, butterflies, or stars. There are stickers that look like old stamps or vintage stuff. And you could even use planning stickers if you want to remember specific dates in your journal. And don’t forget stickers on stuff that you have around you. Old wine bottle labels and the stickers on fruit can be fun little additions to your art journal.

003: Mixed Media Art Journal Supplies

Okay. Let’s be real. You know you like to play with ALL the supplies. And getting as much mixed media as possible is the way to go.

Scrapbook paper can be cut or torn to add fun textures to collages. Washi tape is always fun for sticking things onto a page. Paint pens are great for decorating pages and for coloring over other mixed media. And a good pair of scissors will go a long way when it comes to cutting paper and bits of things you want to paste into the book.

004: A Small Watercolor Palette

I absolutely suck at water colors. But I still love the use them. This watercolor palette is great for beginners. You can get a set of brushes to go with it, or if you want to travel with this thing, I recommend getting a water brush to make it so much easier to work with.

005: Good Glue

Some glue is terrible and some of it is not. Elmer’s Glue is fine, and if that’s your favorite, get it. But I always prefer a good glue stick to a liquid glue, and glue dots and roll on glue are great for traveling with.

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006: A Notebook Cover

You don’t need a cover, but it’s great to have if you’re going to throw your art journal in your bag and go around with it. I’m currently lusting after this Moterm A5+ cover, and as you well know, I’m a fan of a good traveler’s notebook. Think about what size you like to work with, and then get a notebook cover to complete your art journal starter kit.

Do You Like to Art Journal?

I love art journaling, but don’t do it nearly enough. Do you have a specific type of supply you like to keep in your art journal kit? What do you recommend for new art journalers? What’s your favorite medium to work with? Do you have very controversial opinions about glue?

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