The Creative Diary in Quarantine 29 – Symbols


Symbols are carriers of meaning. A symbol has a form and a representation, but also has a meaning. Some symbols have a universal meaning. However, many also have a personal meaning depending on what you associate it with.



  1. This is a free exercise. Take a sheet in your journal.
  2. Do something on your sheet with an arrow. Choose which technique yourself: writing, drawing or collage. An arrow is an important symbol with different meanings:


“Goal orientation, focus on a goal. Indicates in which direction one would or should develop.”

“Shows us which way to go. Often gives a hint about the next steps we want / need to take in our personal development.”

“The arrow often indicates male strength.”


  1. Which direction are you going or do you want to go? Write that down on what you made.


“Follow your arrow.”


 What if … you don’t know what to do with that arrow? Then think of the page we made not so long ago: give some color to your page, think of an arrow and find a picture that you can stick on your page, write something about an arrow, draw some symbols, some extra color … Make it a combined page.


P.S.I have a thing for arrows and archery 😉


Inspiration from Katrien Dejonghe.


TIP: Feel what that arrow symbolically means to you or where you see that arrow appear in your life. Write a reflection on this.

Would you like to get in touch with others? In Facebook you find a page where participants connect.


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.