Raw Art Journal Prompt: Moon Lake

Raw art is the art you do from the deep, often lonely, place inside you that brings you great joy, but often not great understanding from others. It’s the place that sets you free, that allows you to draw, write, collage, even when you “can’t draw a stick figure.” (That’s how people who can’t draw describe themselves.) You often don’t show your raw art to people because you feel vulnerable, even exposed. Raw art is not perfect, sometimes it’s not clear to anyone but yourself.

That is the exact place creativity lives. In the work that makes meaning for you. Not photo-quality illustration. Not museum-accepted watercolor. A page in your journal that you hug to your chest because you got it right for you–that memory, that pain, that sadness, that joy, maybe even all of them together. Raw art is intimate and a bit scary because it is so real to you, so heavy with recognition of who you are, were, can be.

This raw-art journal prompt is simple–print it out, use it as a background, alter it to show what you need to show. Write over it. What is it? It’s a stark silhouette of a mountain with a moon mirrored in the still lake. Or maybe it’s just a crack in the sidewalk. You can decide. Put the link to your raw-art result in the comments.


Monochrome moon rising over lake.


–Quinn McDonald keeps a raw-art journal. Her how-to book, Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art will be published by North Light books in June of 2011.


5 thoughts on “Raw Art Journal Prompt: Moon Lake

  1. Here’s a cool thing: I am very much an artist and a writer, but my tween is autistic. Austistic kids often have communication didorders and/or problems. She also looks at my art & feels like hers is not good enough. I am having great success introducing raw art journaling concepts to her and would like to introduce concepts to some of her skills class peers. I am buying the book as soon as funds allow. So far, she is really owning her raw art journaling work. I got a free sample from nook and read the sample to her and she immediately felt like it was meant for her! Thanks!

    • All good news. Raw art journaling is meant for people to try, there are no “not good enough” limits. I’m pleased you are encouraging your daughter to try it–there are a lot of exercises that don’t depend on coordination but on expressing normally buried emotions. Let us know what happens.

  2. I love prompts like this. I can never stick with one idea though. It could be this…or that..or maybe one of these. And I also like that it’s a creation just for me, if that is what I want it to be.

    Sometimes there is pressure to create so that some one else will like it, but the person who has to like it first is me! That can be hard to remember.

  3. What a powerful prompt. I have so many images I’ve created that I feel this way about – they speak so deeply to me, but wouldn’t even register for anyone else. It’s a beautiful reminder that sometimes we need to create just for us, for the clarity it brings. All the joy and pain rolled up into one, visible only to our eyes.

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