January Art Journal Prompts & Ideas for Collages

Sometimes you’ll want to make a collage but have NO idea what to collage about. A good way to jump start the creation process is by using a prompt! For this prompt list, I’ve focused on things that can be translated visually, e.g. colors or images or both. Here you’ll find ideas for colors, subject images, and themes to use in your collages in January.

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Collage Example (Video Tutorial)

A step-by-step video tutorial on how I made a digital collage in Canva using prompts and ideas from this post!

Birthstone Color Palette

January’s birthstone is garnet, a beautiful stone that actually comes in a wide range of colors but is traditionally associated with the color red.

Here’s a color palette I made that was inspired by January’s birthstone:

The colors and their hex codes are:
OLIVE #83740D
INDIGO #490D83

Tip: Upload this color palette into your image editing software to use it as a base for picking colors!

Word Association

Use these January word associations as starting points for brainstorming collage subjects or making a mind map. Since I’m located in the Northern Hemisphere, most of my word associations for January are related to winter/feeling cold.

Glacial: winter ice storm, frozen tundra, snowbanks, snow ball fights, hot chocolate by the fire, warm knitted sweaters, cozy blankets, fuzzy slippers on wooden floors.

New year: post-holiday food coma, taking down decorations, cleaning out the attic, making a list, starting on a new page, turning over a new leaf, being resolute, sticking to your guns, chance for a new beginning.

Zodiac Signs & Associations

January’s Zodiac signs are Capricorn, the goat, and Aquarius, the water bearer. Here’s a list of associations with each of those Zodiac signs:


Element: Earth
Ruling Planet: Saturn
Ruling House: Tenth
Spirit Color: Dark blue
Lucky Gem: Lapis lazuli
Flower: Pansy


Element: Air
Ruling Planet: Uranus
Ruling House: Eleventh
Spirit Color: Sky blue
Lucky Gem: Amethyst
Flower: Orchid

Remember, you don’t have to be born in January to use either birthstones or Zodiac signs for ideas! They’re just starting off points, to be used for brainstorming colors and image ideas.

January Full Moon Names

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, January’s full moon is called Full Wolf Moon. In the Northern hemisphere, this is when wolves start…howling a lot, apparently! Wolves howl to “define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and gather for hunting,” so January must be the right time for them to do that. 😉

Other full moon name variations for January include: Canada Goose Moon, Freeze Up Moon, Frost Exploding Moon, Greetings Moon, Severe Moon and Spirit Moon.

Holidays and events

NationalToday.com has a complete list of holidays and events throughout January. Here’s some of my favorites:

  • Jan. 1: Public Domain Day (the day when another year of media enters the public domain)
  • Jan. 2: Ancestry Day
  • Jan. 5: National Bird Day
  • Jan. 8: Universal Letter Writing Week
  • Jan. 10: Peculiar People Day
  • Jan. 20: National Coffee Break Day
  • Jan. 30: Yodel For Your Neighbors Day

Inspirational Quotes

Quotes are my favorite way to brainstorm a collage subject. Here’s some quotes about the month of December which I find particularly inspiring, with thanks to The Quote Garden and Routinely Nomadic for compiling them first:

“To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.” — Jean Paul

“January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow…”
— Sara Coleridge, “The Months”

“January is my favorite month, when the light is plainest, least colored. And I like the feeling of beginnings.” –- Anne Truitt

“…January, in ermine cloak,
With crystal spangles dight,
He gave the queen an Ivy crown,
And her fair shoulders white
He happ’d with tender ferny Moss
From many a cosy nook,
Or from the rounded boulders warm
Beside the frozen brook.”
— James Rigg, “The Progress of Queen Flora, Adorned by a Hundred Wild Flowers,” Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897

“JANUARY, The first month of the year, A perfect time to start all over again, Changing energies and deserting old moods, New beginnings, new attitudes.” — Charmaine J. Forde

“It is deep January. The sky is hard. The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.” — Wallace Stevens

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Text: January art journal prompts

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