Art Journaling for Mindfulness Part 2: Dreams

Art Journaling for Mindfulness Part 2: Dreams

By Barbara K. Stump, MA

Have you found yourself staring at a blank page wondering how to begin with Art Journaling?  To pick  up where we left off from the last blog, finding a sketchbook to create an art journal is key. However, that blank page can be daunting.  I get it! So start slowly by choosing art materials you enjoy and are familiar with using. It can even be just a pencil-especially if you love to sketch!  In the last blog, I shared some helpful tips to kick off the art journaling for mindfulness series. Also in that blog are affirmations for the month of March, which you can experiment with for a few beginning entries.  These mindful art journal prompts are meant to help you become more self-aware while you create. In Part 2 of this series, we will look at the idea of journaling about dreams. What are some things you hope to happen? What are some of your goals? Have you made a bucket list of things you may want to accomplish in your lifetime?  

My inspiration for  journaling about dreams stems from  viewing Dream Catchers last week while in Arizona.  By all means I am not an expert, but I will say I had no idea how significant they were until I was enlightened by the owner of a Native American Art Gallery. Dream Catchers are beautiful pieces of artwork. The symbolism of objects used to create a dream catcher is unique to the artist.  The stones, gems, and beads selected to create these pieces of art are carefully considered. Interestingly enough, the art gallery owner told me she made one for herself to hang over her bed. In the middle of her dream catcher she placed a gem shaped like a cowboy hat. Soon after doing this she met and married a cowboy-ranch owner. If you have your eyes set on wrangling a cowboy, this might work for you- you never know!? Haha. Nevertheless, can you allow yourself to dream about something else that is important to you. Your life? Your goals? Your future self? Why not?? Dream big, and as though your heart has never been broken. As Aristotle said, “Hope is a waking dream.”

In case you find Dream Catchers as interesting as I do, here are few more things I learned about them:

  • Origin Indigenous People.  Different tribes and different cultures may have different meanings for what the dream catcher means. 
  • Circle – The round shape of the wooden hoop. This represents the circle of life. There is no real end or beginning, it is continuously moving around.
  • Web – Made with net or thread. Sometimes artists expressing their personality, or artistic ability, may use color in their web design. The web is used to catch the bad dreams that are coming through when the person is sleeping, and at the same time allow the good dream to come through.  
  • Stones & Gems – Are weaved into the web to represent the “spider” who created the web.  Used to  embellish the way the designer would like the dream catcher to feel.
  • Feathers – Allow the good dreams to have a passage to the web and be caught by the person sleeping below it. 
  • Nightmares – Dream catchers are also made to ward off nightmares. The nightmares that are caught in these beautiful webs are said to be burned up by the morning light.

So, the prompt for our second Art Journaling for Mindfulness is to make your own Dream Catcher.  You don’t have to actually build one out of a wooden hoop and thread, but instead draw or paint your dreams in your journal. For those of you feeling ambitious and wanting to create some artwork for your home you could use this prompt to create a larger scale piece. Use any materials you would like to illustrate your Personal Dream Catcher.  You are the artist and the writer of your life! Be intentional with your hopes and dreams! Make it as colorful, or not colorful, as you want. Then fill the web with objects to symbolize your dreams.

Your dream list can include:

  • Goals you want to achieve
  • People you are hoping to meet
  • Jobs you are hoping to hold
  • Places you want to visit
  • Experiences you want to have
  • Skills you want to learn
  • Things you hope will  happen
  • And…anything else you would like to add

 In your Art Journal you may wish to write words to describe your materials and creative process. Also, if you have magazines lying around your house, you could clip objects or phrases of inspiration from these. Then use those to collage into your dream catcher page(s). Try to be your most supportive self! Remember the shape of a dream catcher is a circle to represent it is continuously moving. There is no beginning or end. **However, in your journal it does not have to resemble a dream catcher. You may interpret this prompt in any way you choose and with whatever art materials you would like to use.  It’s just the idea of capturing all of your hopes and dreams in your journal. Your entry for this prompt may be one page, or it may be several pages. I can not emphasize enough, there really is no way you can ruin an art journal. It’s all about exploring your own thoughts and feelings. You are the artist and the writer of your life! Be intentional with your dreams, and have fun in the process. 

Barbara is an art education consultant and G3 contributing writer. Check back in two weeks for Part 3 of the Art Journaling series!