A New Year in Art Journals and Choosing My One Word

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Some friends of mine were having a conversation about creativity, and how difficult it can be to find balance between looking outside yourself on line for inspiration, and ending up spending ALL of your time doing that, instead of creating.

That conversation made me feel the need to share A Year in the Life of an Art Journal. You may not know this, but I own and run an art journal prompt blog. Every year, I come up with a theme for the year, and share prompts twice a month. I also run a Facebook page called Monday Mugshots.

The thing is, it’s not always EASY to be creative.

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves as creatives, to do GRAND things with our time. So often, the idea that what we do NEEDS to be big can actually keep us from creating ANYTHING at all.

At the end of 2012, I was burnt out on creating art journal pages for A Year in the Life of an Art Journal, but I wanted to keep being creative. That was when I started the photo project, Monday Mugshots. I was really liking Monday Mugshots, because I was keeping up with the weekly prompts so easily. I decided to create a collaboration between AYLAJ and MM for the 2013 prompts. The collaboration was a ton of fun, taking pics outside of my weekly Monday shots, with a creative theme.


I am going to continue to keep MM and AYLAJ in collaboration with each other, only I am taking the “cop” theme of Monday Mugshots a little bit further.

No matter WHERE you are creatively, there is a place for you in these prompts!!

They are three part. The theme of the prompt (kind of a jumping off point) A photo prompt for the MM participants (take a pic with the theme, and you’re DONE if you want to be, or you can print it out for binding later) and a prompt for the art journal keepers. This year, we’re going to be playing with some fun portrait work. Trying out new techniques and ideas.

You don’t have to be a great sketcher, or painter to be part of this!! 

We tend to forget that part of what an art journal IS, should be TRYING NEW THINGS!! All of the prompts will be geared toward that. Testing and trying things out together.

I hope that you join!

You can read more about what will be happening this year “At the Precinct” by clicking HERE.

Every year, I also choose a word to keep in mind as the year goes by… a word to help with the direction I hope the year will take. This year, I chose FOCUS. I want to sharpen my focus, and keep my mind on things that matter to me…

I also created a window charm/light catcher to hang in the window to remind me. Have I mentioned lately how much adore Creative Paperclay®? I find new things to do with it all the time. This particular project would be great for a Kid Friendly art day!

What things are you thinking about, struggling over, and working on at the start of this new year?

  1. Diane


    January 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Great post. I’ve been going through this lately.


  2. Parabolic Muse


    January 6, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Okay, this post has a lot of intriguing things in it, and I’m printing it to read at break. I am having a year of journal madness and have joined another project and a class is starting, but I also think I can use some prompts.

    I didn’t know you liked paperclay….?


  3. Rachel Whetzel


    January 6, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    LMAO Chris, I hope that last sentence was in sarcastic font!!

    I hope you join us for art journaling this year! I would love to have you!

  4. Parabolic Muse


    January 9, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Thank you, Rachel! I did click on the ‘more information’ link in the body of your post, but I got some gobbledy gook. Is there a place where I can see prompts, or are they scheduled?



  5. Parabolic Muse


    January 9, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Oh, DUH I clicked on a different link and found the Precinct post. I’ll be able to figure everything out…eventually…!

  6. Rachel Whetzel


    January 10, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Thank you for the heads up, Chris!! I don’t know what happened, but it’s fixed now! lol

  7. Carmen


    January 17, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Thanks for stopping by mine with your lovely comments Rachel

    My word this year is Organisation. I’m thinking surely if I get more organised in work, housework, tidiness, TIME, internet usage etc that will equal more ART time? That’s the plan anyway. My OH is very much enjoying his role as internet policeman and chucking me off after 10 minutes or so

    I love that paperclay piece and I really enjoyed joining in with the first prompt!

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