"30 Journals 30 Days"

Thank you Connie Hozvicka of Dirty Footprints Studio for this inspiring opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with Art Journaling! Below are my responses to Connie’s questions.

How long have you been Art Journaling?

I first started keeping a Visual Journal about 5 years ago. I came across the idea inThe Art Therapy Sourcebook by Cathy Malchiodi. The connection between art and healing has always been fascinating to me. There is such a therapeutic value in the process of creating art. When I read the section on Visual Journals I knew it was something I wanted to offer to my students. Of course before I could teach it, I needed to experience it for myself. I dove right in and instantly fell in love with the freeing creative process.

In the beginning keeping a Visual Journal was much less intimidating than keeping a written diary. The process was loose and it didn’t require a topic or deep concept to get it going. Insight simply appeared to me during the process of moving art materials around on the page. However, once I was comfortable with allowing those thoughts onto the page in visual form I also started keeping written journals. Visual Journals were in essence my “gateway drug” to journaling. Right now the boundary between my written journal and Visual Journal has become a bit blurry. I am just as likely to fill 3 pages of an artists sketch pad with text as I am to smear paint with my fingers over lined pages in a leather bound journal.

How has Art Journaling impacted, changed, or enhanced your life?

It has been a tremendous source of self discovery and healing for me. I relate the process of keeping a journal to that of meditation. My journals have been a place where I have learned to listen to my inner voice, gain clarity on ideas and receive answers to questions.

My journals have been a place where I could dump ideas, process emotions, contemplate life, and document all that I am grateful for. When my life experiences were moving forward my journal was filled with vibrant upbeat messages. When I felt stuck words of encouragement would emerge on the page. And when words couldn’t contain the emotion I was feeling paint alone served as a release.

What are a few of your favorite Art Journaling materials?

Pretty much anything I can reach on my desk will make it into my journals. The most likely to show up are acrylic craft paints, ink & stamps, markers, sharpie pens (in a variety of colors) and cut out magazine images.

Who are some of your favorite Art Journalers?

Honestly, up until a couple of months ago, I had no idea there were so many other people out there working in Art Journals. Just goes to show you that we are never alone in what we are doing. I’m still too much in shock at the number of incredible journal artists I’ve found online to choose any favorites. But, I do highly recommend the book Artists Journals & Sketchbooks by Lynne Perrella. She showcases several artists and their work.

What kind words of encouragement would you say to an Art Journal newbie?

A Visual Journal is a place for processing and experimenting. It is one of the few places in life where you can be messy and no one else ever has to know. It is a place where the final product is not measured in aesthetic merit, but in personal and emotional value. Keeping a Visual Journal is a priceless gift that you can give yourself!

Where can we contact you…give us some link LOVE!!
Of course there is my website, right here at www.jenifferhutchins.com. You can also follow me on Facebook under Jeniffer Hutchins, artist. I also welcome personal e-mail at jenhutchins@gmail.com.

Short Bio.
Jeniffer Hutchins is an artist inspired by nature and the beauty of life. She shares her wonderful life with her equally creative husband, Dan and their son, Noah.

If you’d like the detailed version of my bio please visit the ABOUT page on my website.

Read more of the “30 Journals 30 Days” interviews at Dirty Footprints Studio Here.


  1. Mary
    July 31, 2010

    Jeniffer I loved reading your journey with visual journaling. I just recently picked up a copy of “The Art Therapy Sourcebook”. Since I had already been experiencing the therapeutic benefits of visual journaliing I wanted to learn a little more about it from a different side. I have not gotten to the visual journaling part! I think I’ll thumb through it to find it. 🙂

    That is a great photo of you and your precious son!!

    1. Jeniffer
      July 31, 2010

      Thank you Mary! My copy of the book is flagged with about 100 post its. It provides such amazing insight into the connections between art and healing. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

  2. ABCcreativity
    July 31, 2010

    yum! i love the energy if your pages.

  3. lynna g
    July 31, 2010

    Beautiful post and I love your art

  4. Kristi
    July 31, 2010

    Jeniffer, thanks for your note on my blog . . . “Trust Yourself” is a pretty common theme in my journal too!! So funny that we have to keep telling ourselves that! Why is it so hard to remember?!

    Your journals are great — I feel so free looking at your images. I love that you’ve blended the line between your art and written journals. I still have pretty strict rules for myself on that front, but I can see how freeing it would be to let go . . . I’m going to work on that.

    Thanks for your inspiration. 🙂

  5. Natasha
    August 1, 2010

    Jeniffer! I JUST picked up “The Art Therapy Sourcebook”! When I read that I wanted to hug you! I’m finding that I am fascinated by the therapeutic benefits of art journaling..of art in general so I’ve been exploring and that books seems like the perfect way to do so.

    You have such great, honest, open, energy both in your words and your art. I enjoyed all of your pages but the one before the newbie advice sang to me…gorgeous colors. So glad to have *met* you here and Noah is TOTALLY adorable!!

    1. Jeniffer
      August 1, 2010

      Hugs right back at you! You are the second one who just picked up the book. Synchronicity is so beautiful.

  6. sharon blessum
    August 7, 2010

    I also live in art journals………..so hello from the pages……

    I love your energy, your website, and want to connect with you more……….I write poetry and marry it to photography……….and will be involved in the new Joyful Jewel, as an artist friend of Mariah’s, so I truly hope our paths will cross. Sharon BLessum

  7. Caraleen Baker
    October 16, 2012

    looking forward to staying in touch — I am presently teaching visual journaling to persons with acquired brain injuries — very rewarding

  8. Jeniffer
    November 1, 2012

    Hi Caraleen,
    A rewarding endeavor indeed. My husband has also done much work with people who have acquired brain injuries. I know first hand how much an activity like visual journaling can benefit! Blessings in your teaching and personal journey.


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