The Creative Diary in Quarantine 06 – Brainstorming

Brainstorming …

Brainstorming is looking for associations with a theme or a word. You can do that in a normal way or you can combine it with doodles. Who likes to do handlettering, modern calligraphy or zentangle? Now is the time to indulge!


Drawing and writing

  1. First work with a black marker. In the middle of your magazine, write a word you would like to work on: a theme, today’s date, a word that you randomly pick from a magazine …
  2. From that theme, draw arrows with words that you associate with it. Turn it into arrows and use shapes, types of lines, symbols …
  3. At the finish you can add colour here and there or decorate the middle circle some more. Just do what you feel.


“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.” – Paulo Coelho.


What if … you have no inspiration? Then check out Handlettering or Doodling on Google. You will find something there.


TIP: Handlettering is something very fun to do. You don’t need more than a pencil and a black marker. You will also regularly find free workshops online or tutorials on youtube. Sometimes it is also called Modern Calligraphy. Find a nice quote and convert it into something fun.

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.