A few weeks ago, I had an email in my Inbox from a reader who wanted to know what a journaling Bible is. After answering the email, I decided to blog about it, so I wrote the following post for robinleehatcher.com. Because I have mentioned Bible art journaling in some of my Inspired by Life and Fiction posts, I decided to share the post with my friends here.
First, what is a journaling Bible?
A journaling Bible is simply one with wide outer margins (usually 2″ compared to the .30″ or so in most standard Bibles) to make more room for writing notes and prayers, etc. Often the wide-margins have faded lines to make writing easier. (See example at right.)
Click this link for some examples of journaling Bibles available on Amazon, many of which are backordered or haven’t released yet because of the growing community of believers who are ordering and using them.
And what exactly is Bible Art Journaling?
That was a question I asked last fall when I first heard about the Inspire Bible.
Pure speculation here, but as a “movement,” I’m guessing the grassroots community got started in 2014, maybe a little before. From what I can tell on the Internet, the practice of Bible art journaling exploded in 2015. It’s now being done by Christ-followers around the world.
FYI, the Inspire Bible mentioned above (cover at left) is an NLT Journaling Bible with over 400 line drawings already provided (art on at least 27% of the total 1500 pages). It looks to be a great way to begin Bible art journaling, especially for believers who enjoy adult coloring books and/or for those who are a bit timid about beginning to art journal with their own ideas.
Note: The only things you really need for Bible art journaling is a Bible and a pen or two. This practice isn’t about creating great art (although many people do). It is about getting deeper into the word and worshiping God through creativity, even if that creativity is with words alone. But oh my. What some people can do with paints, stencils, stamps, and other art supplies just blows me away.
If you want a better understanding of Bible art journaling, begin with looking at the Illustrated Faith website. That site has been having some issues and been down a lot, so I am linking to their Facebook page as well.
I also suggest you search the “Bible art journaling” keywords on Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. You will find so many examples you can’t possibly look at them all.
However, YouTube has become my absolute favorite place for learning about Bible art journaling. Over the past few months, I have learned lots of different techniques that have helped remove some of my fears. Not to mention I have listened to numerous women sharing God’s word as they demonstrated their art journaling in progress. What a blessing!
Best place to begin, IMHO, is with the YouTube videos that share a “flip through” of journaling Bibles. Here are three Bible art journalers (“journaler” is not a word in my dictionary but I’ll bet it will be added one day) who I follow on social media. These artists have made my favorite “flip through” videos thus far:
How to get started?
Well, the only way I knew to do it was to jump in. I already had quite a few art supplies: acrylic paints and brushes, watercolors, a nice set of colored pencils, Micron pigment pens, etc. I ordered an Inspire Bible (which will come in late March). I bought more supplies, based upon some of the videos I’d watched. I reorganized my office so that I could bring my art supplies into the room where I study and journal.
While waiting for my Inspire Bible, I took an older, wide-margined and little used Bible from my bookshelf and began experimenting with art journaling. I have found it to be a very special way of drawing closer to the Lord. I haven’t created any amazing works of art, but I have spent time meditating on the word, which is the reason I want to do this.
I am a complete beginner, and only God knows the future. But right now, I would love to reach the place where I have two Bibles filled with art journaling, one to pass down to each of my daughters. My study Bible that I have been using for nearly 20 years is heavily highlighted and jam-packed with notes, dates, and prayers in the margins that I hope will prove a legacy to my family. But I believe a Bible filled with art journaling might mean more to my daughters in the end. Maybe. Maybe not. Time will tell.
I’m sure there will be future posts on my blog about Bible art journaling. In the meantime, I hope you’ll find this one beneficial if you are at all interested in blending faith with creativity.
P.S. Someone recently asked how the college drawing class is going. Sadly, I had to drop the class due to some scheduling conflicts. I was sorry, but I will admit that whatever I had hoped to gain in that art class I have gained instead (and more besides) through Bible art journaling.