Wild Art

6 Reasons Why You Should Keep a Nature Journal

By August 12, 2015 One Comment

I’ve been keeping journals since I was very little. Working as an illustrator it can’t be a surprise that my journals have always been filled with illustrations and burst with color. I’ve always loved hiking, climbing trees and trail riding. And I still do!

Keeping a nature journal has deepened my relationship with my outdoor surroundings. Most of the time you can fine me enjoying life in a cute house in the city with a National Park just around the corner, watching the deer and the birds and feeling the wind mess up my hair.

Keeping a nature journal has taken the time I spend outdoors to a really different level.

Here are 6 reasons why you might want to try it yourself.

nature journal 3 we are wildness

1. To become a better observer.

By journaling you will learn more about yourself and your environment. You will quickly realize that to be able to paint or describe the trees and animals you see on your trips, you have to look closely. I often take the time to look up a specific bird in one of my nature guides before putting brush to paper.
It only took a few weeks of looking up birds to paint after trips before I suddenly started to recognize them WAY earlier on my trips. Journaling made me so much more aware of the details!

2. To discover different ways to express yourself and become a better artist.

Do you like poetry or painting? Ever tried painting with gouache or writing a haiku? Your journal can be a perfect place to experiment with materials, and by doing that you will learn more ways to express yourself. Capturing your nature experiences in ink, paint or writing can be challenging, but just as much fun! A journal is a great place to experiment with paints and inks.

3. To take your nature trips to another level.

Nature journaling can really give your Nature expeditions a huge boost. When I started keeping a nature journal I suddenly started paying attention to things I wasn’t thinking about before.  I started looking for the perfect place to take a picture that truly represented my trip, I started collecting things and
started planning trips more carefully, to make sure I could journal about it afterwards. Planning trips and thinking about journaling can help you to focus on the present moment and to get everything out of it.

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4. To reflect & Learn.

Life happens and happens fast. So do your adventures in nature, if you don’t pay attention to the present moment. We often don’t see the step-by-step development we’re going through. Journaling allows us to track our progress, to look back on it, toreflect on our trips and hikes and learn from those experiences

5. To develop gratitude.

By taking the time to fill your journal with all those special little moments you experienced during your outdoor adventures you will make sure you will not forget them. The little moments will become the special details that add meaning to your trips. Flipping through a journal filled with personal photographs, illustrations and writing always makes me feel grateful for where I am today.

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6. To create a beautiful keepsake.

By keeping a nature journal you create a beautiful keepsake, full of memories about trips and adventures you can go back to by simply flipping the pages. Your nature adventures will always be there to take you back to that hike to the mountains, or that trail ride last spring. It will remind you of the time you saw that very rare bird or when you felt so at ease just sitting under a big oak. It can serve as a treasury of nature memories and a very much valued piece you can enjoy returning to for years to come.

nature journal we are wildness

Sterre Verbokkem

Author Sterre Verbokkem

Sterre is an illustrator and hand letterer living and working in the Netherlands. She runs her own design company and studio, Studio Brun. She is a dreamer and a doer and finds inspiration in nature. She is fascinated by the art of happiness and the way inspiration works. When she's not working, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her horses and feeling the wind in her hair.

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