Art Journaling and Your Spiritual Autobiography
Keeping a journal helps you keep track of your spiritual autobiography or spiritual memoir. This journal can include sketches, drawings, paintings and other forms of creative expression. I want others to experience the freedom I have found through art journaling.
For me, art journaling to tell my spiritual story began in college. College was a place where new and strange influences came at me from every direction. At art school new ideas flooded my mind and new images constantly flashed before my eyes. What was once taboo had become commonplace. Every idea I had was stretched and challenged. Possibilities exploded at museums, at art openings, at lectures and from the countless influences from my diverse classmates. My teachers blew my little world open with their breadth of experience and their strange and curious ideas. The way I looked at the world changed at a rapid pace. I looked at the art I was making and wondered whether someone else had crawled inside my brain. It was one wild time.
College didn't just change my ideas about art and life. It changed my ideas about God. No longer was I surrounded by the Catholic influences of my elementary and high school years. At Pratt people believed all kinds of things about God. Some people didn't even believe there was a God. Pratt became a place where I could decide what I believed for myself. For the first time I felt like I really had the freedom to redefine myself and decide what I really believed.
When I entered art college I began using art more deliberately to tell my story. Art gave me freedom to express emotions, memories, spirituality and beliefs in a whole new way. Now when I made a painting it was much more about my internal world and much less about making “good art.” I had a new way to explore what I believed, and what I would become, and it changed me. Moving beyond adolescence and into my adult life came with new found freedom that redefined me in new and wonderful ways.
When did you first have real freedom to decide what you would believe and who you would become? How did this freedom change you? How did you express this new found freedom? Consider using art as a form of expression without worrying about making “good art.” Focus on what is happening in your internal world and actually “draw it out” in your journal. Try letting a picture help tell your story.