How to Start a Self Care Visual Journal

drawing Feb 06, 2020
How to start a self care visual journal

Hey there! Zoey from @zoetryandletters here to share my favorite self-care activity: creating a self care visual journal. I did this in my bullet journal, which is a Leuchtturm1917 dotted journal, but you can do yours anywhere, a journal, a paper, even a sticky note. I like to pin this visual journal up, because looking at it makes me happy, and reminds me to do something I love every day, which is crucial for mental wellness. Now let’s get started.



Step 1: Plan your Layout

The Visual Journal is essentially using doodles and lettering to create a list of your favorite self-care activities. Here, I’m using a mind-map style layout, where I have "Self Care Loves" lettered in the center of the page and will have all my activities surrounding it. This gives me the freedom to add as many doodles/activities as I like!


You can either draw the doodles first, or write out the activities first, depending on which would be your focus, and hence take up more room in your page. Since this is a journal tutorial not a lettering one, I decided to focus more on my doodles with simpler lettering. 

This step is the most therapeutic part. You’re free to draw in anything that represents your favorite self care activities. Sometimes I use a pencil to draft my illustrations, other times I go in straight with a fineliner drawing pen and draw whatever I desire. I try to position the doodles randomly across the paper with spaces for the lettering. Be sure to use a waterproof pen for this step, because we’ll color over the illustrations and don’t want the ink to smudge!

Step Three: Lettering

Now it is time to add text to our visual journal! For the lettering, it doesn’t matter if you’re a lettering artist, just have fun trying out different writing styles. I start with drawing composition grids (seen below) to plan how to layout my texts, then fill them out with lettering after! This helps to structure your lettering as a group, and avoid them getting mixed up with the title of other activities on your page. 

Pro tip: Create a color palette for your visual journal. This helps create a cohesive look between the color of your lettering and doodles. I went with brown, tan and blush (969, 942,772) to give my spread a cozy and feminine look. 

Step Four: Color in your doodles

Following the color palette we picked out above, it is time to color in your doodles with your Tombow Dual Brush Pens. Be sure to use the side of the brushes to cover large areas and the tip to fill in the details. I usually color a second layer with the same color brush to add shadow details. 


Step Five: Snazz it up

Your Self-care visual journal is as unique as you, so let’s make it super special (optional if you prefer a minimalist style). I like my visual journals to be filled, so I added a few patterns to fill up the gaps between the activities and washi tapes to decorate the edges. Feel free to add stickers, glitter pens and tiny self-affirmations to spice up your visual journal. 

I hope you enjoy making your own self-care visual journal, tag me at @zoetryandletters on Instagram so I could see yours! Remember to put it up to remind you to have some time for your self-care every day. I block off 15 mins before work and 5 mins before bed, to spend a little time doing some of the things I’ve written in my self-care visual journal, it really doesn’t take much time and keep you calm and happy to take on your day! 

I am Zoey Chua, a hand lettering artist behind Zoetry&Letters. I specialize in creating hand lettered designs that help brands form unique, creative, and personal connections with their audience. My work focuses on inclusivity, self care, and poking fun at the awkward situations I get in because of my introversion.