The Creative Diary in Quarantine 04 – Layers of life

A life full of layers …

Our life has several layers: different emotions, different events, different impressions, different energies … This exercise is about expressing these different layers.


Collage, drawing and writing

  1. Have some magazines on hand. Choose some large images that feel like layers that are going on in your life right now. By layers I mean different energies, different events, different emotions … give it your interpretation.
  2. Tear the large prints into strips. Now make a collage of different strips on top of each other, alternate your layers. Life is like that too: a variety of impressions, energies, experiences … alternated with each other.
  3. Take some markers (Posca’s, alcohol markers, simple markers) to add some elements on your layers: a word, a sentence, symbols …
  4. Take a separate white sheet (computer paper or others). Now draw a body in simple lines and colors with how you experience those different layers in your body. I personally put this music on to do that. But in silence is just as good.
  5. Cut out your body. and stick it on your layers.
  6. Write down something if necessary. Remember: 10 minutes of writing a day boosts the immune system (researched!).


“It’s our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting.” – Ellen DeGeneres –


What if … you can’t draw. Then try it anyway. Drawing in the creative diary is not about a result, but about self-expression in line, shape and colour.

What if … you don’t have big images in magazines. You can also work with coloured paper or with smaller strips and layers. Or you can paint layers of watercolour on top of each other.


TIP: Paper has a ‘tear direction’. That means, it tears more easily in one direction than in the other. Is your paper tearing very ugly? Then try tearing in the other direction.

Want to connect? Here is a Facebookgroup where we share the work we want to share (no obligation).

Important to know:

Working in a Creative Diary is NOT about results, it’s about expressing you inner self. It is NOT about techniques, techniques only help you to express yourself in more different ways. The exercises I give are an INVITATION, not an obligation. You can do the exercise, or not, you can do it differently, it’s at your choosing. The most important thing to remember is that you’re putting yourself and your (inner) world on paper, you are NOT making art. So feel inspired by images, but don’t compare yourself ! Fun and self-expression come first.

What do you need?

  • markers
  • coloured pencils
  • writing materials
  • scissors
  • glue
  • watercolour
  • soft pastels
  • oil pastels
  • some magazines

And of course: a journal/diary. I recommend an 8,3 inches x 11,7 inches notebook (A4 format) with blank paper, but take whatever you find in your house. Blank papier is good too.

More information:

The exercises used in this Creative Diary are based on a method described by Lucia Capacchione, American art-therapist and author of the book The Creative Journal, by Anne-Marie Jobin, Canadian art-therapist and author of the soon to be coming book The New Creative Journal, and myself, Sarah Timmermans, Belgian art-therapist and psychologist (Dutch book: Het Creatieve Dagboek). The method blends knowledge from writing therapy, art-therapy, psychology and basic creativity. It’s a simple method that doesn’t requires any artistic skills and has been used with many ages, many individuals and many groups of people. More questions? Please write me.

Who am I?

I’m Sarah Timmermans, Belgian art-therapist, naturopath and psychologist. I’m trained by Jungian art-therapist/psychologist Csilla Kemenzcei. I work with individuals and with groups. I’m specialised in using diaries, tarot (archetypes) and dreams.