How to Get Your Creativity Flowing in 2021: 101 Inspiring Art Journal Prompts for Artists Block

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Need some inspiration for your Art Journal?

Art journal prompts are short phrases or single words that are used to inspire your creative art making in your art journal!

At some point, we all get to a place where we feel stuck in our creative journeys. It is just part of the ebb and flow of art-making and instead of being fearful or frustrated by it, let’s do something about it!

An art journal prompt can be about anything! From nature to your emotions – you name it, anything goes!

Often all this freedom to choose a meaningful topic for your art journal page is daunting and you can end up feeling a bit like a rabbit stuck in headlights. It really helps to have a set list of topics to choose from and this is why I have created this art journal prompts list.

[Related Article: Create your own Vision Board Art Journal]

101 Art Journal Prompts for 2021

  1. Gratitude
  2. My Still Place
  3. Fire
  4. Direction
  5. Roadmap
  6. Air
  7. Cooking
  8. Vintage
  9. Animal soul
  10. Redo
  11. Illuminate
  12. Celebrate
  13. Unwind
  14. Zest
  15. Crave
  16. Blind spot
  17. Wish
  18. Hands
  19. Ache
  20. Wound
  21. Reflections
  22. Pareidolia
  23. Home
  24. The gift
  25. Soul sister/brother
  26. The child
  27. Integrate
  28. Strength
  29. Feline
  30. Canine
  31. Trajectory
  32. Build
  33. Scaffolding
  34. Cerulean Blue
  35. Cadmium Yellow
  36. Organic Matter
  37. Botanical
  38. Vegetable Garden
  39. Unfurling
  40. Ecosystem
  41. Sustainable
  42. Recycle
  43. Waste
  44. Fresh
  45. Hope
  46. Flora
  47. Fauna
  48. Sentient
  49. Tea
  50. Coffee
  51. Candy
  52. Cookies
  53. Pancakes
  54. Chocolate
  55. Pudding
  56. Bitter
  57. Salty
  58. Sweetness
  59. Anticipation
  60. Boots
  61. Gloves
  62. Hat
  63. Vision
  64. That joyful moment
  65. Healing
  66. Tears
  67. Under the magnifying glass
  68. Macro
  69. Wide-open spaces
  70. Holiday
  71. Beach
  72. Under the sea
  73. Mountains
  74. Forest
  75. Savanna
  76. My Achilles Heel
  77. Making amends
  78. Today
  79. Sky fall
  80. Knitted together
  81. A happy memory
  82. Tragedy
  83. My favorite place
  84. The stranger
  85. Toxic
  86. Song lyrics
  87. A line from a poem
  88. A line from a novel
  89. Nectar
  90. Age
  91. Balance
  92. Habits
  93. Goals
  94. I wish…
  95. Dreams
  96. Light and Dark
  97. Opposites
  98. Fragments
  99. Sun
  100. Water

How do you use art journal prompts?

You can use them in whatever way that suits you. The most important part of creating art and working in an art journal or creative journal is to have fun and play. Play is a lost art for adults, and we really need to spend more time engaged in activities that allow us to have fun and create.

Many of these prompts are concrete objects that you could draw or paint quite literally. However, it can be quite fun to use these concrete objects more as symbols of something else. For instance, you may use the prompt Recycle to create an art journal page about what emotions you are ‘recycling’ in your personal life.

Here are some ideas of how you can use them for your art journal pages…

  • As a starter for a mind map.
  • Use colors related to the prompt.
  • Repetitive use of the prompt (Create your own pattern).
  • Find 5 images related to the prompt.
  • Find a picture of the prompt or take a photo and then annotate it.
  • Create a mixed-media collage with 7 images linked to the prompt idea.
  • Create an art journal page opposite to the meaning of the prompt.

[Related Article: How to Start an Art Journal of Your Own]

art journal prompts

Conclusion

I have created this art journal prompt list to hopefully inspire you and give you better direction in your art journaling process. In fact, this list can also be used for any art-making practice you are involved in, whether it’s visual art like your school Art Portfolio or your visual diary, dance, music, photography, or writing.  

My visual art students use these art prompts for a range of art mediums – watercolor painting, gouache painting, mixed-media, collage, charcoal drawing, printmaking, photography, and a range of other art-making techniques.

I hope these art journal prompts have given you some things to think about and explore. Wishing you lots of joy and play in your art making process!

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