20 Visual Journal Prompts | Creative Inspiration

Visual journals, a type of creative journal, have gotten way more popular lately! They’re a good way to combine writing and art, and an excellent avenue to exploring your own life through creativity. I highly recommend trying it out yourself if you haven’t already.

This post is a collection of ideas and inspiration to use in your own visual journals!

Sometimes it’s hard to think of something to make– you can’t think of a good topic, so you never end up making that page after all. Kickstarting your inspiration with a list like this is a quick way to get over that hump.

Visual Journal Ideas from Daily Life

Take direct inspiration for your visual journal by incorporating events and feelings from your own daily life. This is the easiest way to find a topic for a page– since it’s right in front of your and your own personal experience, you can find something to write and create from even the tiniest thing.

  1. Record the view from your window at different times of the day. This can be a combo of writing/drawing: draw your window and then write a few sentences about what you see outside of it during the morning, afternoon, and evening.
  2. Create a collage that represents your current mood or emotions. This could be a good way to process something that happened, whether negative or positive.
  3. Draw or paint a self-portrait using your non-dominant hand. Using your non-dominant hand forces you to use materials in a way you’re not used to, and can lead to some interesting results!
  4. Document a daily routine through sequential sketches or photographs. You know all those “day in my life” videos that vloggers like to do? Make one for yourself in your visual journal!
  5. Find an interesting object in nature and sketch it from multiple angles. This could be anything you find outside…a cool rock, a weird tree, a bush with tiny berries. Something that captures your attention!
  6. Illustrate a dream you had recently, focusing on the most vivid details. This one is difficult for me because I don’t often remember my dreams, but if I happen to have a really intense one that I DO remember, I’d love to capture it in my visual journal.
  7. Create a visual representation of your favorite quote or mantra. This could tie into making a vision board, another creative practice that involves visualization.
  8. Experiment with patterns using watercolors, ink, or mixed media. Design a simple pattern on a page and use wet materials to fill it in– this can be very soothing, actually.
  9. Document a memorable moment from your past using photos, tickets, or memorabilia. If you’re already an avid scrapbooker, you’d for sure have some of these things saved. If you’ve never done it before, try keeping a few pieces of paper “stuff” after an event and use it in a collage.
  10. Illustrate a scene from your favorite book or movie in your own style. This could be a drawing, a painting, collage or even just a doodle with some text.
  11. Use found objects to create a collage. Similar to number 9: find “stuff” that catches your interest and put it in a collage. That could be things like fruit stickers, brochures, junk mail, and so on.
  12. Draw a map of your neighborhood, including notable landmarks or places of significance. In a world of Google Maps, a hand-drawn map is a precious thing.
  13. Create a mood board using magazine cutouts, fabric swatches, and other materials. Nowadays this might be called an “aesthetic board” instead. Think of the Pinterest boards for things like dark academia or cottage core, and interpret that into a physical creation.
  14. Experiment with different textures and patterns using collage techniques. For instance, rather than glue something flat, crinkle it up first and THEN glue it. Now it’s got some texture!
  15. Illustrate a memory from your childhood, focusing on sensory details like smell and touch.
  16. Document the progression of a plant or flower from seedling to maturity. I suppose this works best if you’re already kind of a green thumb, but if you have a lawn or a small garden outside, you could even draw an interesting weed if you wanted.
  17. Use a single continuous line to sketch a scene from your daily life. As in, draw an entire thing without lifting your pen once! Wow!
  18. Explore a theme such as love, growth, or resilience through symbolic imagery.
  19. Create a visual representation of a favorite song or piece of music. Include the lyrics if you wanted, or just be more abstract.
  20. Document a journey or trip through a series of sketches or photographs, focusing on key moments or landmarks along the way. A travel journal is a wonderful way to be creative!

I hope this list gave you some ideas for what to do in your own visual journal. Happy creating!

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