When I talk about doodling, the response is usually a mixture of awe and resolve: “I can’t do that.” This response has always bothered me a bit because this is simply not true. Doodles are meant to be scrawled, imperfect, and VERY simple. They are not elegant works of art, they can generally be drawn by getting ideas off of Pinterest (view my doodle board here). No one starts off being able to doodle independently, you get ideas and inspiration, you copy what you see, (remember how we learned to walk and talk?) and eventually you’ll have some base skills to be able to doodle on demand and come up with your own. It takes time, but it is the simplest art form, where mistakes actually add to the flavor: PERFECT for beginners! So why don’t we do this in our Bibles? Whether you just add a pop of black and white embellishment with a doodled flower or vine, or whether you paint or color it in for a more polished look, this is one of the key skills (in my opinion) you can use in Bible journaling that isn’t too hard to learn.
Everyone starts somewhere…
I know it’s cliché, I know you don’t want to hear it, but seriously you guys: everyone starts somewhere. Those of us who are perfectionists kill our own creativity when it comes to art. We want to do it perfectly or not at all, we would be content to skip all the learning and growing pains and just pass go and collect $200 (am I right?). That is why I love this month’s kit from Illustrated Faith so much, it is all about doodling, it is all about just DOING it. It is about finding what inspires you and writing your story. As Christians, the very idea that “we have nothing to write or journal, our lives are boring,” is way off. If God is the author of our story, he doesn’t make mistakes, and we have a story worthy of writing, or remembering, even of sharing! That is the idea behind this month’s, “Doodles to Live By” kit. Designed by Elaine Davis, I love how it focuses on just getting you going, it isn’t too elaborate or difficult and lots of space for illustrations.
I’ll be completely honest, when I first saw this kit I was a little less inspired than with some of the others. My initial reaction (I know, I know, don’t judge a book by its cover) was that it just wasn’t as pretty as what I like to use for Bible journaling. However the content of this journal just got to me. I am passionate about sharing not just my pretty doodles and Bible journaling pages, but also ones that are real and not too overwhelming and imperfect. I am passionate about showing other people that ANYONE can do this and that is exactly what this kit does. It helps you get your feet wet. It takes away the facade of pretty and perfect and bridges the gap to the reality of 99% of us. I LOVE the message and I LOVE that it is a journaling resource for the “rest of us common, non-artistic folk” 😉
What you need to get started
Here it is, the magic ingredients, are you ready? As with anything, you will need some important tools before you begin your artistic journey into the doodling world:
That is it! And sometimes that is the hardest part. If you are a mom like me, having the time to sit down and “be creative” can seem downright impossible. When we do have a few minutes we are either too tired or too unmotivated to do something adventurous and right-brained. So here it is what I have found… use pencil! If you can sketch and doodle while you are watching TV or visiting with your hubby, it takes the pressure off. You can be free with your ideas, erase what you don’t like, and it is much more enjoyable than doing the final product. It also means that when you DO go over your doodles with a marker, you are going to like the result and won’t end up with Bible journal pages that you don’t like. The journal kit I am talking about, or any of Illustrated Faith supplies and tools are AWESOME, but you don’t have to feel like you need them before you can start.
Let’s talk about this month’s kit
For those of you who are interested in the kit, I want to share a bit more about what is included and how it works. Every month the team over at Illustrated Faith releases a bunch of Bible journaling supplies that will have you swooning, as well as a new devotional kit with supplies and tools and a 2 week devotional. The monthly devotional kits aren’t an autoship, you can choose the ones you love, there is no obligation. Every kit comes in a plastic zippered pouch, and includes stamps, washi tape, stickers, cut outs, tip-ins, your devotional, and a magnet bookmark. It is a great way to build up your Bible journaling supplies without too much up front cost, and also give you some inspiration and motivation to spend time in the word and to get creative. It has been helping me create more of a habit and routine around Bible journaling, rather than being a slave to the typical cycle of forgetting for 29 out of 30 days.
I love the color, yellow makes me happy. This gives you an idea of the scope of what you are getting for only $30. It is affordable and, for me, an investment into my relationship with God as well as a way of worshipping Him through art and expression and journaling.
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The days are usually on 2 pages with some space to write out your response, possibly a prayer or your comments, and then often a blank space for you to practise illustrating your faith. I purchased a super cute date stamp from them that I am dating my pages with so that I can refer to Rhema words as God reveals them to me and see how I have grown in my relationship with him. Other than that, I love using the washi tape in the margins or the middle of my pages, color my pages with stickers and cut-outs, and practise my doodles and hand lettering. This is a great way to practise what you want to do and then transfer it over to your Bible after you have a bit of design and some inspiration worked out.
You can purchase the kit HERE or check out the older kits and find one that speaks to you, I have reviewed all of the kits on my blog if you search illustrated faith, it should give you an idea of the concept behind each devotional as well.
Check out Shanna’s new book!
Have you heard of Shanna Noel’s new book, 10 Ways to Fall in Love with your Bible and Stay in Love? As someone who owns WAY too many Bible’s and can’t seem to find one that fits me, I needed this book. Shanna Noel is the creator of Illustrated Faith, incredibly talented, and one of the forerunners of Bible journaling in general. This book is only $9.99 and such a great read! You can pick it up here or by clicking on the picture below.
So there you have it, I could talk, I could gush, but the reality is, you just need to do it! Get out your Bible, get out a pencil and some simple printer paper or scraps and start practising. Take the pressure off yourself to have it perfect and enjoy the journey! Our God is a creative God and believe it or not, you DO have creativity built right into you. Maybe it looks like simple, black and white neat writing, maybe it is messy, maybe it is fun and bright, maybe it is sophisticated… however He made you, He did it well my friend! Ask Him for inspiration, set aside the time! Get creative with your God, and see what an amazing experience it is to worship Him with your creativity! And go! 😉