life journal workshop

Life Journal Workshop: Using Inspirational Quotes in your Journal

Every year for Christmas I give my husband one of those page a day calendars   with 365 Zen quotes. When he worked in an office I never saw the calendar. Now that we share an office, the calendar sits on his desk, just to my right. One day I notice that he hadn’t torn off any pages for a week or so. I ripped off the days of the week until the current day was on top. Before I tossed the previous weeks’ pages in the recycling bin, I flipped quickly through them. I found myself slowing down to read the pages, there were some great quotes! I have always been a lover and collector of quotes! I clip them from magazines and calendars, highlight them in books and scribble them in my journal. My friend Tina loves quotes too. I got a note in the mail from her recently and it was covered in quotes, inside the notecard and even on the envelope. I loved reading them and will keep those to paste in my journal or add to a collage page in the future.

Why do we love inspirational quotes?

Why do we love quotes? Facebook and Pinterest are full of them, to the point I am almost tired of seeing them but not quite! When I saw the Chogyam Trungpa quote above, I knew I wanted to do something special with it, it captures how I feel about creativity and life: it’s so important to LOOK at the world around us, to see and to pay carful attention. Too often we pay careless attention to the people and sights around us, moving through our days almost blindly, our senses dulled to the experiences and possibilities unfolding around us. I think that’s why we love quotes, they capture a moment, a feeling, or a belief with a quick intensity and powerful insight that strikes us deeply. life journal workshop In this example from my journal, I was struck by two lines of poetry by Pablo Neruda, one of my all time favorite poets, in fact I wrote my dissertation about one of his poems. We were on vacation for spring break last week and decided to take our kids to see the aquarium in Monterey, CA. I love this aquarium but hadn’t visited in years. I was delighted to find this snippet of Neruda’s poem Sea. In these 2 journal pages I   made the quote the centerpiece of the art. I had fun creating the backgrounds and decorating the quotes. These are both in my smaller 5×7 journal. I find I love working on these smaller pages, they feel less intimidating than the 9×12 pages plus they are easy to travel with. One of the key lessons I learned about art journals is to have several going at a time. I love the look and feel of the layered, textured backgrounds but can get very impatient waiting for layers to dry.

Your life journal assignment for this week:

1. Do you have a favorite quote? If so, create a journal page this week to illustrate it. 2. Need a quote? Here are links to websites full of quotes on every topic you can imagine. 3. If you are short on time this week, just pick a couple of your favorite quotes and copy them into your journal. Use them as a writing prompt and write for 5 to 10 minutes. Remember to have fun and settle into the creative process. This about playing not creating something perfect or worthy of putting on your Facebook page. If you do create something you want to share, you can share it on my Art Journal Facebook page. Take a look at these positive thoughts for kids! Take a break and color in these printable parenting quotes!

You Might Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Fabulous creative ideas! I love the idea of using the quote as the focus and working around it. This idea would work well for any creative project. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kama. Yes, quotes are a powerful tool for stimulating our creativity. If you come up with other fun ideas, let me know!

  2. I love quotes because they het to the heart of the matter far better than I feel able to. Well the ones I write down and send to my niece do any way!