Art Journaling for Your Mental Health with Nikalola | Nikki Jouppe | Skillshare

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Art Journaling for Your Mental Health with Nikalola

teacher avatar Nikki Jouppe, artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.

      Hello there!


    • 2.



    • 3.

      Ideas and Inspo


    • 4.

      Let's get started!


    • 5.

      Exercise 1: Mental health pie chart


    • 6.

      Exercise 2: Notes to your younger self


    • 7.

      Exercise 3: Letter your mantra


    • 8.

      Thx and Good Luck!


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About This Class

Hello there! My name is Nikki Jouppe aka Nikalola!

I'm an artist from Montana and I designed this class for anyone who has an interest in art journaling, and who is intrigued by the idea of supporting their mental health with their art practice.

I myself have had many years of mental health challenges and have realized how much creativity has helped me stay strong and balanced.

I start the lessons with an overview of my favorite supplies, while emphasizing that ANY supplies you use are fine and even discuss using an iPad with the Procreate app.

Some of the supplies I mentioned are linked here:

Class Materials Shown:

Spiral Mixed Media Art Journal

Cloth-bound Travelogue

Prima Marketing Watercolor Set

Pentel Water Brush Pens

Tombow Permanent Brush Pens

White Ink Pen

Washi Tape




iPad Pro

Then we will go through a few of my own art journal pages that have a mental health theme. I want to encourage my students to be free and relaxed about creating in their own personal art journal and focus instead on healing.

Next, we will get a brand new book started: with stickers on the outside and even getting a few pages messy and ready to create on.

We will do three exercises together in this class that I believe will be supportive to anyone, anywhere in their mental health journey.

I hope that this class takes away some of the stigma of mental health and helps each and every student of mine.

Special thanks to all my friends and family who have helped and supported me through my struggles and also encouraged me to teach on Skillshare!

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

Level: All Levels

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1. Hello there!: Hey, guys, gets me Nikki Trophy, also known as Nichola. And I'm back in my studio with another art journaling class for you. In my first class intro to our journaling I got you guys started with your very first pages of your personal are journal and showed you how to incorporate it into your daily life In my second class travel are journaling. We took our books out on the road in this class are generally for your mental health. We're gonna go a little deeper, little more vulnerable. And we're gonna use our art journals as a way to take care of yourself and maybe even get to know yourself a little better. And so no matter where you are on your mental health journey, I hope you'll join me. I am not an art therapist. I am just a human being that has struggled with my mental health for over 20 years. And I have found that when I make time for creativity and art, I really just feel more centered and balanced. The first lesson. I'll show you all my favorite supplies, but I will also encourage you to just use whatever you have and I'm even gonna touch on using digital media like an iPad. In the next lesson, I'm going to get you started with your own personal our journal, especially for your mental health journey. We're gonna make it really personalized just for you and break in those first plane pages. Then I'm gonna show you a few pages that I've done myself with a mental healthy. I think they'll really get your creative juices flowing and inspire you for the class. Project Will do three exercises together in the first exercise. We will do a Pitre. What helps you with your mental health? Everyone's is gonna look so different. But I think that will be really fun. The second exercise, we're gonna do some re parenting of our inner child and that one might get a little emotional. And the third exercise, we're going to let her our mantra as if you're intrigued. I hope you'll join me in the next lesson. 2. Supplies: Okay, guys, we're going to talk a little bit about my supplies that I used for our journaling I home and on the go This is a little bit bigger book that I talk about in my first class intro to our journaling. I really like. It's both $7 it's just a multimedia paper book with a spiral lining so it can go flat, can get turned backwards. I like decorating outside of stickers. Try to put my name and number in there, and then this is the one I used for most of my daily stuff. Sophia Ni Little pouch here. First of all, the thing I get asked about the most is my little set of watercolors units by a brand called pre Marketing. As you open it up. You can see all the colors here, and you use a brush pen and you can. You can put a squeeze in each of these colors to kind of get him activated when you're ready to paint, and then you can just add this color. That's really very intense. Good, right? Anywhere you are, by far the funnest way to get color in your book rather than hauling in all these murders and then, Oh, this tray here is actually where you would have mixed colors if you wanted to make a blend . I kind of leave all this dirty paint on here because I think it makes the colors a little more moody and interesting when you don't have such a bright, fresh color out of here. You had a little bit of Brown's and just looks a little bit more sophisticated. I also keep just a normal pen for journaling little things here and there. This is just a standard ballpoint pen. This is a white in crown. It's by Univ all and I really, really love them for batting details after I've used watercolor. It's just a fun little effect you cannot use for my all time favorite inking pens. They are by Tom Bow. They come from Japan. They have a lot of Japanese lettering on them. I'm never quite sure what when I'm getting, they come in a little bit harder tip and then we're flexible, and I absolutely love them for drawing things and also for lettering. That tip is a little bit flexible. This one has committed quite while used and so it's getting kind of blunt on the and book. It's permanent. And that means that as I add to my illustrations, that I want to come in here and use more color leader and I wanna do something after the ink, I can be sure that it will not leave. I have a couple other odds and ends members in here. I have a paint pen that's kind of on these air by Posco thin. They have, like a very opaque ink, mixed for interesting details. This is another brush pen that I don't even know where I picked it up butts These A lot of these burst friends are water soluble, which means that when you had water, it is bleeding all over the place. This is one of my favorite pens. You confined about hobby lobby. There have always Japanese lettering on again. Again. They have very unique individual bristles, so they're very dry. At first. I believe this one is permanent. It's I just think it's such a fun, rustic style to add to your illustrations this very coarse, loose style. I do keep a ruler. I very rarely use it, but every now and then you want to do a pattern or something that has straight lines. And so when you use a rolling or alert when you roll it, you get perfectly parallel lines. And this is not something I do a ton off, but it doesn't actually take up that much room to put in your a little pouch. And then, if you ever do want to do some lettering that's perfectly straight or something, you have actual last of all. I have some different adhesives. I have three different roles of Washington. I have some tape runner at, he said, and I have a little glue stick. This is actually liquid glue, so, as you can see, if you wanted to add some little But see, I have this Citrus, for example, if I wanted to do this in here, just a little blue or just kind of right here is just dry. This is actually kind of nice for on the go, and you got in there for some collage effects and then ah washi tape. If you've never experimented with before, it's basically a tape similar to masking tape. It's not super super permanent, but you can add it to a page as a little accident or to actually hold in some tidbits. But it's just kind of to see these introduced some patterns really easily on a page. And then the last thing hasn't it is some different stickers that I find here in their years. Then I corporate that was to my pages, and this is just a random mishmash of things that I have a very tired and Melo she used hockey's the one thing you'll notice I do not have in my supply pouches, a pencil or an eraser. I almost never sketch my pages out. I just go for it. And if that is something, you're intimidated by it. By all means for your pencil and eraser, really, though you can truly use any materials whatsoever to create our in your art journal. I haven't known to sharpies, gel pens or even my kids crayons and markers. I also wanted to mention that I have really enjoyed creating art with my iPad pro in the procreate app. It is a mass freeway to explore with color, and there are so many awesome classes on skill share to get you started in this class. I will show some of the exercises in both analog and digital media, so you can get a feel for how they both are effective in your artistic practices. Next up, I'll show you some pages that I've made with a mental health theme. 3. Ideas and Inspo: Sometimes it helps to see someone else's art journal to get your creative juices flowing. One of the first ways I use my art journal for my mental health is to just doodle random patterns or flowers, lines or dots. Just the act of letting my brush or Pango loose and wild is calming in and of itself. Another way to use your art journalist to write down words that you are thinking about. Sometimes I write on lyrics from a song or quote from a book. Creating these pages help me to slow down and absorb the words even more thoroughly. And lastly, I used my art journal to process things that come up in therapy. The subject of therapy may seem a bit taboo, but I am a huge fan. It has helped me so much as a visual person. I've been able to really connect with some of these abstract ideas. When I've taken the time to draw or paint a visual image of them, I'll say it again and again, but really there is no wrong way to do this. I hope these pages are inspiring and you're starting to feel the confidence to start your own. Our journal. Let's go 4. Let's get started!: If you're starting with a blank book to support your mental health, you may want to take pains to make sure it's private and confidential. This come to your own personal vault of feelings. The secrets label your book Well, I always including address label and a few stickers to jazz it up, too. This is a fun opportunity to really make it feel like your own. Yeah. Next, I had a ribbon to the back of the book toe. Hold my place and tape in an envelope for random clippings and things that I come across to save. Then I like to start breaking in some of the pages. I'll start with thoughts for a simple list. Thanks. This time I'm doing a collection of things that I'm grateful for. I'm sure you all know that the practice of gratefulness is one of the keys to a long and happy life. Some other ideas for filling the dots are things that make you smile. People that have helped you out, compliments from friends, or you could just turn them into Daisy's. Later on, when you're nervously waiting for the dentist, anything goes. I'm also going to make a page of watercolor stripes. Who knows what they could be for later on. But I just like the subtle pattern of the lines, with all the colors bleeding together once. A few pages are messed up. I don't feel as intimidated, staring at all the crisp white sheets of paper, So let's move right along into our first exercise together. 5. Exercise 1: Mental health pie chart: so the first exercise is a quick one. We're going to draw a simple pie chart showing all things that support our own personal mental health. These things will be different for everyone and will take up a different sized wedge, depending on what you feel like. If it helps, you could start by making a list brainstorming all the different components of a life that feels balanced and peaceful. I first did this exercise in watercolor and ink, but I am also showing you how you can easily draw on a tablet like I did on my iPad here. I just went with my first intuition. What is the most important thing that supports my mental health, made that wedge the biggest and added more sections As I went in the digital version, I took the extra time to draw a simple doodle for each category. And if that looks fun for you, I recommend trying. You can see the I included sections for faith, talk therapy, creativity, exercise, time alone time with friends, vacations, alternative therapies and medication. Some other things that you might want to include could be sports, pets, meditation, hobbies and nutrition. Take stock of what things have made you feel strong in the past and include them in your pie chart. It helps to see it all in one place and realize all the things that could be contributing to your mental health or perhaps noticed what is missing if you are feeling low. 6. Exercise 2: Notes to your younger self: okay for this next exercise, we are going to go back in time of it. And remember a time in your past where you experience something kind of hard or difficult. This might be a very specific moment or a more general feeling that you had at a younger age. For me. I was the oldest child in a big family, and I was given a lot of responsibility at a young age. When I think back to that time in my life, I can think of a lot of things that I wish the adults in my life had told me. And as part of my mental health journey, it feels good to say them now to my inner child. I did a whole series of these pages in my art journal what I would tell my six year old self, my 12 year old self, my 16 year old self, my 21 year old self in my 28 year old self. Now I'm doing my 30 year old self. I started with a very quick sketch of myself at each age and surrounded it with speech bubbles that are filled with things that I wish I would have heard for miles around me. I just let my intuition lead the way. And I had no trouble filling 20 or so of these bubbles with sweet affirmations. I will warn you right now that this was a pretty emotional exercise. My first thought of it. I knew I was going to need to go somewhere quiet without interruption and let my thoughts flow out of my pen and on to the paper. The tears flowed to It feels so healing to re parent ourselves and take care of ourselves. In this way, there is a little person inside of you that has been waiting to hear these words. And I hope you enjoy this exercise and add some color at the end to 7. Exercise 3: Letter your mantra: one of the most common ways that I use my article to support my mental health is to letter . My mantra is, and this will be our third exercise together. Ah, mantra is basically just an affirmation that you say to yourself repeatedly. As I have recovered from a place of high anxiety, I have found that there are few phrases that really make me feel good when I can repeat them to myself in my head. When I make them into art, it really is taking it to the next level. The act of slowly painting or drawing each letter and adding flourishes is very therapeutic because you need to spend even longer with each word and you can really let the words sink in. Some of these pages ended up as stickers in my at the shop. You can check it out. It's called Nikola. I love having such encouraging words stuck where I can see them every day on my laptop or water bottle. If you don't have any mantra is of your own yet, feel free to use one of mine for inspiration. Use whatever supplies you have to make a page with your own encouraging words at the center . I never use a pencil first, but if it gives you more confidence, feel free to trace out the letters first to make sure all if it's OK and then go over it with colors that speak to you, you may end up with a piece of artwork to frame. 8. Thx and Good Luck!: so there you have it are journaling for your mental health. I hope you love this class as much as I love making it for you. I think there's an artist in all of us that needs permission to just explore and go wild. And your our journal is definitely a safe place for all of that. I think that we should all focus less on mental illness and more on mental health and think about all the ways that we can support that within ourselves. I am so excited to start seeing the projects come in in the gallery. I think we should all be brave and vulnerable and just put something out there. Maybe it's even just a picture of the cover of your are journal. Then we can see we're not in this alone. We're in this together. If you're having trouble loading your project from your phone, I recommend trying on a laptop or desktop computer. Not all of the features are available on the mobile app. Be sure to leave a rating and review of this class so that other students on skill share confined this and even better tell a friend that you think would benefit from this material . Be sure to follow me on skill share so that you'll be alerted of all the new classes that I have coming up. I have so many ideas and you can also follow me on Instagram or Pinterest where I have the same name everywhere Nickel Ola and you can see all the new things that come on my Etsy shop until next time. Thank you so much for taking this class and take care all right?