5 easy ways to incorporate text into your visual journal

Text in your art journal pages

T is for Text in your visual journal. This might be one of my favorite letters on our journey through the ABCs of visual journaling. I love incorporating text into my pages and want to show you a few of the ways you can incorporate text into your visual journal. The art I’m sharing today has all been created while in Colorado leading my Wild Creative Abundance retreat and now staying with my mom for a week.

We love to create art together and have so much fun. Mom and I spent an entire afternoon playing with a gel press and creating beautiful prints and collage papers. I talked about that yesterday with the letter U for underpapers. Then we had fun making collage using some of the pages we created. Fun!

5 ways to incorporate text into your visual journal pages

art journal page collage
  1. Use collaged words cut from magazines, newspapers or books. In this page I used words I found on the newspapers we were using to cover the kitchen counter. The collage also includes gelli printing pages and other magazine images. I often don’t know why or what I am creating with this type of collage. Usually the meaning arises later. Today as I gaze at this page, I can see my love of nature and especially birds. My creative inspiration flows from my deep connection to nature and to animals and appears even when I’m not looking for it.
t is for text in art journal

2. Write words on the surface of your paper and then paint/create over them. This heart is from a mapping exercise I created for the attendees at my recent Wild Creative Abundance retreat. I loved seeing all the different forms these heart maps took. I also showed an example in this post of how I started a page with words and then built my layers up from there.

soul scribbles

3. Using text as art in your visual journal pages. I talked about starting a page with a soul scribble in this post. This morning I was working with the idea of innovation as a core value for my program The Creative Stretch that I lead with my friend Andrea.

I was looking for a playful way to explore visually what Innovation means to me and why it’s important. First, I did some writing, then drew a soul scribble on top of some left over paint on a page. Finally, I had fun filling the spaces with words, doodles and symbols that all reflect aspects of innovation. This process got me thinking differently about why innovation is important to me.

Adding your own writing makes your visual journal pages meaningful

4. Add your own poems or quotes to your page. In the featured image above I included a printed copy of a poem I wrote in my morning pages. Incorporating my own words, thoughts and quotes into my pages makes them more meaningful. They serve as reminders of where I have been or what I was thinking at a particular moment in time.


5. Pick one powerful word that conveys the meaning of your work. In my group programs and private creativity coaching I often incorporate collage using JourneyCircles™ like these in the image above. These particular circles represent my different soul guides and allies who support me in my inner work and journey to find deeper connection with self and with the Divine. Often our inclination is to to use too many words in collage and to me this limits the meaning. When we allow the images to speak first and then add one single word, we create a powerful reminder of what our subconscious is telling us.

Can you see how easy it is to incorporate text into your visual journals in a variety of ways?

Here are a few other ideas. I often use old book pages or old letters as collage material which adds visual interest and layers of meaning beneath the surface. At first I found it challenging but now I love incorporating my own handwriting on my visual journal pages. There is no limit to the many ways you can add text to your visual journal.

How do you incorporate text in your visual journal pages or which of these ideas would you be interested in trying?

Incorporating text in your visual journal pages makes them your own, it adds originality and meaning to the pages that words from someone else can’t always do. Then there are those magic moments when you find the perfect word in a book or magazine to add to your page. There is no right or wrong way to play with text in your visual journal pages.

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  1. Janet Miles on November 10, 2021 at 9:36 am

    Great ideas. I use magazine cutouts in a lot of my dream/vision boards. Love your work.

    • minette on November 11, 2021 at 11:13 am

      Thanks Janet, it’s about time to create a new dream board for the coming year. How often do you make them?

  2. Kate Loving Shenk on November 10, 2021 at 11:15 am

    I started an art journal this week, during a particularly stressful conversation, which suddenly was not stressful because of the fun of the doodle!!Adding text will be fun, too!!

    • minette on November 11, 2021 at 11:15 am

      Love this Kate, art journaling is so powerful for relieving stress.

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