MORE Mental Health Art Journaling with Nikalola | Nikki Jouppe | Skillshare

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MORE Mental Health Art Journaling with Nikalola

teacher avatar Nikki Jouppe, artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. hello there!

    • 2. supplies

    • 3. warm-up

    • 4. exercise one

    • 5. exercise two

    • 6. exercise three

    • 7. thanks & good luck!

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About This Class

After I published my first class about mental health: Art Journaling for Your Mental Health with Nikalola..

I thought of so many more exercises that I wanted to share with my students. Art has been a huge part of my own mental health journey and I wanted to share some of the things that have helped ME.

I am not an art therapist or a health care professional at all, but I think that as humans we have a responsibility to take care of our own mental health and art journaling could possibly be a good tool for you to try. I don't think that this class applies to any one diagnosis or condition, but rather this class can be helpful for anyone who would like to learn more ways to support their mental health.

I will start with a brief description of my supplies but I also really emphasize in this class that you should use whatever you have on hand and JUST GET STARTED.

If you want specifics about my favorite art journal, pens and paints, be sure to check out my other Skillshare classes for links and details.

Next, I will do a warm up exercise with you: a Brain Dump! This is a quick strategy for clearing your mind when it is whirling with anxieties and things to do. I will show you a few different ways to do this warm up and I think you will find one that suits you.

Then, we will dive right in to three exercises that will be so helpful in your mental health journey. The first exercise deals with leaving behind negative, limiting beliefs. I will help you identify what they might be and how they may be holding you back. There is a download available for you to print and look at to help you come up with your own list.

The second exercise deals with identifying new, empowering beliefs. We will use simple artwork and  illustration to visualize the way these beliefs can either limit us or propel us forward. I think if you can let go of your inhibitions and explore your inner thoughts, you will see all the ways that your own inner chatter can be very powerful and can affect your mental health in so many ways!

The third and final exercise will be an exploration of holding two conflicting ideas in our hand at once. This technique is helpful to explore how many times we see our feelings as black/white, good/bad and then how we can tend to "feel bad about feeling bad." When we hold BOTH in our hand at once we are able to see the nuance in every situation and appreciate that nothing is all good or all bad.

For all these exercises I will show you a few different variations so you can really feel free to do them however you want. This is not meant to be stressful! Just relax and have fun with it.

Be sure to follow me on Skillshare and Instagram for more info on my upcoming classes and all my daily artwork.

Please, reach out if you have any questions or comments at all! I love interacting with you all!

Meet Your Teacher

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Nikki Jouppe



Hey everyone! My name is Nikki Jouppe, also known as Nikalola and I live with my rowdy family in Montana! I have been teaching on here since May 2019 and I love encouraging others to make time for creativity! I feel like making time for art has helped me so much with my mental health and my mood!I was always an artistic kid but I put most of my creativity on the back burner when I first became a mom in 2004. Later on, I realized that I am a happier mom and a more relaxed human being when I make time for art every day! I have an Etsy shop where I sell some of my hand lettering pieces, and also am dipping my toe into the many ways I can sell my artwork on different sites online:

I have always enjoyed opportunities to teach: I try to do art projects with my kids' classes (th... See full profile

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1. hello there!: Hey, guys. My name is Nikki GOP, also known as Nichola, and I'm back in my studio with another art journaling class for you. This one is called More Mental Health or journaling with Nikola. I'm not an art therapist or mental health professional, but I'm a busy mom of six living in Montana and have spent the last 20 years or so on my own mental hell journey, dealing with my own struggles and ups and downs. And I've really noticed that when I take time for creativity and art, it just really helps me process things in my life when I published my first mental health are journaling class. Earlier this year, I got such great feedback from my students that I knew I had to make it into a Siri's so we could get into some or exercises. I believe that we should all focus less on mental illness and more on mental health. Whatever our diagnoses are, we all have a responsibility to manage our big feelings and take care of our mental health day in and day out. I think that taking the time to be creative without expectation is really a great way to reconnect with our own inner child artist. Every kid out there paints and draws totally freely, and it's only as an adult that we let perfectionism get in there and kind of stifles all that. So all the exercises we do today, we'll be with that same playful, carefree attitude. We're not going for anything perfect here. We're just going to have fun and process things. In the first lesson. I'll talk about the supplies that I use, but if you know me at all, you know that I will encourage you to start with what you have today. And then we'll do a warm up exercise together where we will calm down, are busy brain. Then I'll walk you through three exercises that I've known to be very helpful on my mental health journey. I know that mental health can be a really tender topic for some people, and I am really just an advocate of having honest conversations and sharing our struggles with each other so well you'll be seeing in these exercises. Is my riel life stuff getting processed. If this sounds intriguing to you, I hope you'll join me in the next lesson. 2. supplies: if you've taken my other are journaling classes. You know that I definitely have a favorite are journal to work in, and I have paint sets and brushes and pens that I use every day. But I really want all my students to be encouraged that they can start today with absolutely whatever they have. I'll be doing all the exercises today on scrap paper from the Recycle bin. I'll disabusing a normal ballpoint pen. And even though I'll use my travel kit to add some color at the end of the exercises, just plain all kids paints and markers air totally fine for the level of artwork that we're doing today. Don't be intimidated. Our goal today is just to have fun and relax and get a little vulnerable rather than make stunning works of art. If you are curious about what my favorites are, you can certainly check out my other classes where all my favorite products are linked. So grab a stack of old paper and whatever art supplies you have on hand and let's get started 3. warm-up: our warm up exercise is going to be what I call a brain dump. I don't know about you, but sometimes when I finally sit down to be creative, I have a brain that just buzzes with all sorts of chatter, swirls and storms with anxieties and things I should be doing instead. And I really have a hard time shutting it off sometimes. So for this first technique, I'm just piling up all of things that are going through my head in a messy, overlapping pile and imagining it just buried underground. This is obviously totally illegible, but I love the visual of it all just in a pile that I can forget about for a while. At the end, I'm adding some flowers to the top of the dump site. Sometimes, though, you need to keep track of things that are whirling in your head, and the next brain dump technique is to start many lists at once and categorized things into different list. This is especially helpful when I'm about to go on a trip or I have something really huge going on. It's like my brain has too many tabs open, and when I make a list like this, I can externalize everything and actually start to get things. John, This is now basically a master list that I can keep adding to throughout the day. It really helps me to clear my head. The final way you could use the brain dump technique to make space for creativity is to think about the serenity prayer and tried to divide your inner thoughts into these two categories. This quote is really well known, and you might not be into the religious angle, but basically, everything in life can be divided into what you can change and what you can't change. Once you've done a brain dump, you're ready to start the first mental health exercise. 4. exercise one: for this first exercise. Today, we're going to talk about limiting beliefs. For starters, a belief is really nothing more than a thought that you repeatedly think. Sometimes we end up thinking things day in and day out that are really negative and are making us miserable. After being in talk therapy for quite a while, I started noticing that the meanest person in my life was myself. I had all kinds of negative thoughts that had become really limiting, and I wondered how I could ever stop because I'm a visual person. I pictured setting these heavy bags of negativity down on the side of the road and walking away from them, leaving them behind. After one of my appointments with my therapist, I came home and made a quick drawing of all the heavy weighted limiting beliefs that I was ready to drop and never carry again. Inside each of these socks, I wrote a negative belief that I had about myself. Then I painted the whole thing with my watercolors. I was so surprised how good it felt to have a visual representation of all that ugliness left on the side of the road. Today I'm going to show you how I'm doing that exercise again in real time. This time I'm drawing a hot air balloon with me in it, and I'm dropping heavyweights to the ground. This is a very intuitive exercise. There's really no right or no wrong things that can go in these bags. Start to notice your inner bully That's making life miserable for you. I also made a list of some prompts to get you started. If you're curious, it's available in the class. Resource is tab and you can download it and see if any of these help you identify the limiting beliefs you might have. I'm feeling in this illustration with a little paint, but you cannot as much or as little detail as you want for this one. It's not like these mental shifts happen overnight, but I have definitely felt a lightness inside. When I think about leaving all that heaviness and negativity behind, you can see that I'm currying in like it's a coloring book which I think in and of itself is therapeutic and relaxing. We all remember being a kid and feeling very free with our art supplies and not taking yourself so seriously so anything goes on these pages. That's why I'm using the scrap paper. I'm adding another little cloud in this guy here. I really try to keep these mental health illustrations light and happy these bags, though there's really no way I can illustrate them pretty. I want them to look heavy and ugly because that's what they are. And just the same way the weights would hold a hot air balloon pack Those beliefs that I have inside hold me back from living my full potential and from dreaming big No, I'm going to give a title to the page and here's how it alter note. I might need to prop this up in my studio somewhere so that I can see it as a reminder. Next up, we're going to talk about empowering beliefs. 5. exercise two: So this exercise is basically the flip side of the one we just did. We're going to think of what the replacement beliefs would be. It would lift us up and propel us forward. Basically, if you had your own personal coach or cheerleader that had the utmost of confidence in you , what would they say to you? What thoughts do you want to think on a daily basis that would put your mind at ease and encourage you? The first time I did this exercise, they illustrated this bunch of balloons with a Sharpie because to me they represented upward movement and lightness. But it might be stars or hearts for you, just anything positive. Inside each one, I jotted down and empowering belief that I wanted to start having about myself as I mentioned before. This doesn't happen immediately, but I have felt a slow shift. In the past year, as thes started to sink into my brain, the thoughts started becoming beliefs. I also made a sample list of these to download and look at. If you're having trouble thinking of your own, I'm showing you now how I am visualizing a ship that is moving along in the wind and the sale is gonna be made up of my empowering beliefs. These are thoughts that propel me forward and keep me thinking positive. I've never drawn a ship at sea before, so maybe it looks a little wonky, not a scale, but I just want a visual reminder of what is going to move me forward. These thoughts and beliefs will be different for everyone. Let your mind wander and picture everything you wish someone would tell you and then tell it to yourself. I think that these exercises of illustrating your limiting beliefs and also your empowering beliefs can really support your mental health because your inner chatter becomes a lot more kind and supportive. I like to keep the tone of thes illustrations kind of juvenile and just kind of lighthearted. I feel like inside of all of us is a little artist. And whether you've kept up your artistic practice in recent years or maybe as an adult, you've told yourself you're not. You're not an artist or you don't have time for creativity. I think you'll be surprised when you try to do these mental health exercises that it all kind of comes back, and pretty much anyone could draw boat like this. One eyed you're here. But remember, when you think about empowering beliefs may be a totally different image will come to mind . Maybe you want to draw it as a really fast car. Maybe you want to draw it as a tree growing. You get to decide what images you want to put these empowering beliefs on. So now I'm adding some colors, just kind of whatever color. Speak to me. I definitely tend to use a lot off reds and oranges and pinks in my illustrations with the moody blue water, and I'm adding a little stripes on this sale. There's no right or wrong way to do this. Now I'm gonna draw cloud in the sky that is blowing the ship forward with making some wind and kind of looks a little bit cartoony, but I like the way it turned out. So I hope you will be brave and post yours to the Project Gallery to 6. exercise three: So the third and final exercise we're going to do today is what I'm calling. Hold them both in your hand. When I first started therapy, a sometimes had a hard time even identifying all of my feelings and actually sitting with, um, I had a tendency of feeling like some emotions were good and some are bad. I wanted to feel more of the good ones and less of the bad ones, and I thought that I should have a lot of control over myself. The first time I did this exercise was after a particularly emotional appointment where I realized that I was having conflicting feelings about something. I was feeling irritation with someone that I actually loved, or I was feeling overwhelmed with my precious tiny little toddler. My therapist explained that I could hold them both in my hand at once. I'm not limited to only one feeling at a time. Basically, when I noticed that I had one of the bad feelings, then I started feeling bad about feeling bad. I love how, she explained, and I immediately went home and painted it that time I did it as a simple side by side list But for this demonstration today, I'm going to start by tracing my actual hand, and I'm gonna fill it with things that I am dealing with right now. Ah, lot of mine are about relationships, but maybe you want to write about your conflicting feelings about the weather or where you live or your job. The reason I think this is such a helpful exercise is that it's easy to see in a visual way that all of these opposite things can totally coexist. And there's no limits to how you feel. I'm being really open and honest here, and I'm sharing things from my actual life. So I hope that you can be honest with yourself to and delve into the situations in your life where you have more complex feelings where things are a little bit messy. I add a little bit of color at the end, but don't feel pressured if that's not your thing. I hope this exercise was helpful and enjoyable. You can either tuck it away in your journal or hang it on your fridge, where you might need a everyday reminder. I hope you just have fun with that 7. thanks & good luck!: Okay, guys, that kind of vulnerable. And I hope you guys are doing okay out there processing these things. If it stirred things up for you and you started feeling like maybe you could benefit from seeing a therapist yourself, please reach out and get yourself the help you need. I think the bravest people Oh, there are the ones that realize they need a little extra help and they speak up and they ask for it. I'm rooting for each and every one of you. If you're feeling out for it, take a picture. One of the pages we did together and use your computer to post it to the Project gallery. This community is so awesome and supportive. And I think all of us students on here would love to see how familiar these experiences are and how common are struggles are. I plan to make even more classes here on skill share with a mental health theme. So be sure to follow me here on skill share so you can be alerted to when those classes published. Also, I post daily artwork on instagram and all the new things in my at sea shop. And I'm Nikola everywhere. I hope this class and all my Arjuna Lee classes are a start of you taking better care of yourself and making your mental health a priority. Thank you so much. You guys take care.