Ritual de lo Habitual: Habit Transformation with Journaling

If you are anything like me, you may have a bad habit that you want to change.  Today I came up with a kicky cool art journal exercise to help transform bad habits into something better!

Ritual de lo Habitual

To create your journal page you will need some supplies.  Here are my suggestions, however feel free to use what you already have on hand.

A couple of craft paints or watercolors

Acrylic Ink

Permanent Markers


Art Journal or paper

First paint the backdrop for your journal page.  Next add some drawings of your bad habit, or find some magazine images to represent the habit and glue them onto the paper.  Write "Ritual de lo Habitual" across the top.  I used stencils however you could use bubble letters or any lettering style of your choice.  (Ritual de lo Habitual is the name of a Jane's Addiction album, I thought the title was fitting for the page.)  Put a few drops of acrylic ink or watercolor toward the center of the page on one side.  Then close the book and press together to create a mirror image.  

Take your own liberties and make the page your own.  Be sure to leave space for writing, and unless you have paint markers you will want to use a light backdrop so that you can write over the paint.

On the left side of the paper, write your top reasons why you want to change the habit.  Then on the right side list some healthy replacements for the habit.  Then when you get the itch to partake in the bad habit you can turn to the list and find a healthy substitute to try out instead.  

Enjoy transforming your bad habits to good with this fun exercise!  You can make one any time you want to change a habit.  Keep them out somewhere you can see them, or use a photo of the journal page as the backdrop on your computer to remind you of the healthy replacements for your habit.  Before you know it you will have transformed a bad habit into something much better!

What does freedom mean to you?

This weekend is the first in my new weekend series of journal prompts.  During the week, approximately every Wednesday, I share a technique or idea for you to incorporate into your journal toolbox.  Then on the weekends I will share a journal prompt for you to explore in your journal.  

This week's prompt is a simple one, yet it could be highly charged for you.  With the political environment recently I've been doing a lot of thinking about rights and freedom.  So this week's prompt to explore is simple.  

What does freedom mean to you?  

I explored various aspects of freedom in my journal this week, the above image is what I came up with.  First write in your journal about what freedom means to you.  Then take some craft paint, and paint over the writing.  This helps you to work through what you want to say with your journal page.  It is a process of refining your message.  

So I challenge you to ponder what freedom means to you.  Everyone is coming from a unique place in life, with different experiences and life challenges.  Your vision of freedom will be very different from other people.  And that is beautiful!  It's important to understand the things you value in life in order to create a life you really love.  

Symmetry vs. Asymmetry

Happy Weekend!  I just wanted to hop on the blog, to share a little lesson in page layout with you. Dina Wakley, a keen art journal junkie, talks of symmetry vs. asymmetry in one of her books on art journaling.  Before I read it I honestly never gave the concepts that much thought.  I tend to appreciate asymmetry a lot, however I'm finding that symmetry is very comforting in my art journals.

The above journal page is an example of symmetry.  The design is fairly balanced on both sides.  I created the pattern in red by adding some water to the pages then placed a few drops of red acrylic ink onto the paper.  Next I closed the book and applied pressure to spread out the ink on the middle of each of the pages in a symmetrical way.  Similar to a rorschach, the design has an airy quality to it.  Adding a photo to each side of the image in a similar place on the two pages creates an extra element of symmetry.

Here is another example of a symmetrical page.  The pink rectangle is placed in the middle of the two pages, and then when I added the collage I made the two sides fairly even to create a symmetrical look.  

Now to asymmetry, which is fairly simple to achieve.  There are still things to consider in an asymmetrical composition.  You can add balance and harmony with the use of color.  In the actual art journal page the painted text is pink, which matches the platform sandal.  Red, black and blue also harmonize this work.

Play around with symmetry and asymmetry in your art journal.  Try out each layout and see which you like better.  Symmetry can evoke a sense of peace and calm, while asymmetry is often more energetic and can create tension.  Ok, I'm off to begin another art journal page!