Getting it All Out

 For me, art journaling is a great way to practice letting go of the tension produced by the pressure of the high expectations I put on myself. It helps me to release the kind of stress that produces creative paralysis, allowing for real breakthroughs that enable my creativity and my imagination to surface.

I'll take out a lined-paged journal and pour out all my emotions, writing everything out on my journal page as it comes to mind, venting every little thing, no matter how trivial it seems. 

I learned to do this when I was a kid suffering from horrible anxiety and insomnia that to this day I still grapple with. Writing in my diaries and journals helps me to relieve pressure, and it relaxes my mind so that I can eventually feel relaxed and calm. In some ways, it is like taking a mental jog around the block, or hitting a punching bag for 10 minutes!

As an adult, I learned to apply this exercise before I start painting or drawing. (Today there are many books written about this for anyone interested in learning about the different perspectives on this practice).

These are the benefits I experience:

  1. It helps to ease the stress of the day.
  2. It removes the fear of a blank page.
  3. It offers opportunities to experiment.
  4. It doesn't judge me.
  5. It gives my negative emotions an outlet.
  6. I feel relaxed and calm.

 

The final result?

My art journal pages provide me with the opportunity to have a truthful dialogue between my creativity and my thinking process.  When I get out of my own way and give equal priority to my spontaneity and my intent, I am usually amazed at what happens!

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Cristina Zinnia Galliher is an artist, mentor, and entrepreneur living in Northern California...read more.