Local Artist Shawnacy Kiker Perez

Shawnacy is a poet, fiction writer and mother; teaching English, Spanish and Creative Writing at Cornell College, Kirkwood Community College, and the University of Iowa’s International Writers House.

Class 1 of 6

Welcome to Intro to Art Journaling! Today’s focus will be on setting up your journal and workspace. It's always important to create space for your creativity, but especially now, when there is so much uncertainty. Grounding yourself in a creative practice can be an effective (and awesome) coping tool. Throughout the week we'll get into working with altered books and explore some creativity prompts. These prompts are intended to spark your creative fire, and don't necessarily have to be confined to the pages of an art journal. If a prompt inspires you to make music, cook, dance, create a new look, or plant something in the garden, go get to it! 


  • A used book, hard back is best, but anything you have will work.  
  • Gel Medium or white craft glue such as Elmer’s Glue
  • Masking tape (possibly)
  • Gesso or white paint or whatever color you want/have on hand
  • Paint brushes
  • Old credit card, or used up gift card
  • Water container

Creativity is bigger and wilder than any one book, as we all know, but a book can be a great place to start. So, grab your supplies and I'll meet you at the table! 

Prep for the days and weeks ahead

The next classes will include prompts for what to put on the pages of your art journal. For each prompt you follow, you will need a new canvas page to work on. You can repeat this process in this lesson for each prompt you follow, or you can try using another book to alter. There will be a few prompts each week, but you can work at your own pace.

If you want to spend some time gathering materials for the prompts yet to come, that would be helpful.  This can be anything that you want to use on your pages. Here are some suggestions:

  • AJ.W1C1.jpegOld magazines; cut or tear out images that intrigue you.
  • Decorative paper; tissue paper, wrapping paper, etc. 
  • Greeting cards with notes someone has written to you
  • Words or phrases cut from promotional mailings or magazines
  • Feathers, string, thread, sequins; things to play on the page with

Gather these in envelopes or folders in your workspace. The gathering process helps spark ideas that you may want to explore in the coming classes! 

Class 2 Prompts

Transform and Alter
Meaningful Word

Additional art journaling classes and prompts can be found here:


Share your work and stay connected!

We are curious to see your project! Upload photos in the comment section below. If you have trouble, or want to share a short video, email us at info@eiaaprogram.org. Leave your school name in the comment box and we will share images with your school!

We want to stay connected to our creative students when we get back to the new normal. While you are here, learn more about the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy. While we don't have much taking place in real space/time during the pandemic, we will get back to our regular live and in-person classes. When we do, we'd love to have you as a member!

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