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My 15 reasons to keep an art journal

- this text is the intellectual property of D.C.Thomas. For editorial use and other purposes, in order to obtain written consent, please contact the artist throught the contact form.

1. My art journal is part of my private art collection

Day by day, I collect thoughts and ideas in writing and sketches that depict my inner world - one that is both beautiful and sometimes gloomy. I seldom depict my out of body life experiences.

I get to face all of my feelings and document them.

The realm within me has reached out and it spreads onto the blank pages of a beautiful notebook, so my eyes can see it.

I am free to write and draw anything I want. Everything I've ever dreamed of and move forward, allowing myself to tend to the mind in a different way than I have done before.

I design and conceptualize my little art gallery with its temporary and permanent collections, and have a solo exhibit each month of the year. All of this, while doing research and still learning about art as much as can.

2. Habit can lead to discovery

Habit and practice can lead one to better results and the discovery for new things. Discovery of unexpected realizations can feel like a righteous reward.

Everything you construct in your art journal is the sum of your consistent endeavors.

Now and then, we would stumble upon things that we’ve only been led to by luck, pure chance and incomplete thought. And that is okay, really.

Once in a while, each one of us gets their share of luck in life.

Though, relying on good fortune is not a healthy, nor recommended approach.

Writing and drawing, once turned into habits, will keep your creative flow constant and your train of thought in a bold line throughout those pages.

Discipline those skills and put them on a schedule.

By facing your inner thoughts, fears and dreams, you will discover the facets of your beauty and uniqueness, while achieving consistency.

3. Organizing creativity

Have you ever seen a messy art studio?

Tubes of paints everywhere, canvases torn apart, others half painted, art supplies still with their seals on, glassless frames, paint splatter on white walls and stained vinyl floors...the list goes on and you pray for it to least, I do, because this happens to me when I take breaks from painting and burst that bubble which prevented me to see the cluttered space in which I work.

Well, an art journal can be just the break you need to bring some order into your life and organize ideas into lists, create your own patterns, lists of symbols and so on.

Take that journal with you outside, breathe in the fresh air and clear your mind. Vent and give yourself the chance to lay down your plans and detangle those lines of thought and questions.

4. Improving selectivity (while building an art portfolio)

You might feel this is the beginning of a very special project. Therefore, everything you make note of in your new art journal should be worthy of being documented.

It must be approved by your own selection process and by your own set of criteria.

Everything you write and draw about is important and it needs to be executed well. You look at those blank pages, at the beautiful covers of your new notebook and you know that the time and energy you will be dedicating to this project deserve a vast array of beautifully and carefully chosen words and nicely drawn lines.

One thing you can do, on one of the first pages of the notebook, is to make a list of characteristics and parameters in which you want to encapsulate everything you plan to work on.

Your inner critic knows how to do this and it's a challenge for you to see this list of DOs and DON’Ts with your own eyes.

Pursue your goals and respect your plans, especially when your inner critic is always traveling with you.

Add or subtract to the list as you make progress. Be as selective as you can and write down when you feel strongly about a change you just made.

5. The only audience is you

Take on as many roles as you want when you add something within the pages of this precious project.