Incorporating lists in your Art Journal

Hello, It’s Julia here again to talk you through how I, as a non-lister, am tackling this season! As a dyslexic person, words are not my friends, so I would never choose to find comfort or reassurance in creating a list. To me, this is a chore, an opportunity for spelling mistakes and quite frankly, a stressful task.   When this season was announced I definitely had some trepidation about it. I wasn’t sure how I could incorporate lists into my art journaling without it looking too organised. Neatness is also not my favourite! I know I can’t be the only one who feels like this, so I have created this tutorial to inspire anyone who feels like me, as well as any list lovers who want to mix things up a bit. I wanted to focus on how to be creative with our lists and how to stray away from the traditional formats.  

  • List around an image

gm-julia-non listers-01gm-julia-non listers-02  I like this way of listing as it isn’t your focal point when you first see the page. It is something to look at more closely, an opportunity to understand the page better without being confronted by text.  

  • Illustrate each point

gm-julia-non listers-03  I am not very good at drawing, but it is one of my 2016 goals to improve. I think this way of creating a list is fun and playful. It makes my brain work a little bit harder when I have to think about how to bring each point to life  

  • Pattern the page

gm-julia-non listers-04  This is one of the only lists I had art journalled prior to our current season. The mark making and patterns around the words almost distort the text. Something I am drawn to is making the reader work for your information – journalling is personal and can be difficult to share. Concealing your words like this can make it easier to share, I know it does for me.  

  • Breaking the list up

gm-julia-non listers-05 Rather than creating in a sequence, I like this method of how things randomly come into your mind. It creates a nice, casual aesthetic and as they are personal points, can be as in depth or vague as you would like. I hope this will help anyone like me, who is slightly scared by this season. Good luck and happy listing!


Julia is a British designer and creative enthusiast. She loves to express herself through shape, colour and pattern – living by the ethos of more is more!


  1. Katie Smith

    Such good ideas, Julia. I actually love listing, but I’ve been having a hard time combining lists with my art journal style.

    • julia Thomas

      I’d never know you were struggling, you’ve killed this season as you always do! Xo

  2. Meghan Deinhard

    This is wonderful! Thank you so much for those ideas. Yummy.

    • julia Thomas

      You’re welcome!

  3. Gilly Welch

    Definitely a challenging season this time, some really great ideas, thank you and your drawings are good I knew straight away what they were!

    • julia Thomas

      Thanks Gill! You’re too kind!

  4. Sarah Maddox

    These are great ideas Julie. I was wondering how to make lists of words more creative, thank you. I am inspired madame.

    • julia Thomas

      Ah, good! I’m so happy these ideas helped you!

  5. Tricia Allen

    Thanks for sharing. I love reading list but have proven to not be all that great and creating them. Thanks for these fun ideas.

    • julia Thomas

      You’re welcome! The listing part was most difficult for me too and I considered any week where I journalled at least one ‘real’ list, a success!

  6. Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

    this is so good! Like Katie, this has been a challenge for me since I’m a lister but art journaling my lists is not something i usually do. These are simple and easy techniques to help loosen up! Thanks.

    • julia Thomas

      You’re more than welcome V!

  7. Emily@squiggleandswirl

    I really like the random idea, I think I do that when I brainstorm. Around and object looks fun too, looking forward to trying that one!

    • julia Thomas

      Aces! Look forward to seeing your take on it! 🙂

  8. Clare Davis Etheridge

    Thanks for the great ideas, your patterns are so cool, it is amazing how effective a black pen and a splash of colour can be.

    • julia Thomas

      Thank you! Listing on the go is nice too, especially when you have simplistic supplies!

  9. Romana

    Lots to inspire here Julia. I especially love how you have used to book pagesto make your background and the black pen, so good!

    • julia Thomas

      Thanks! Magazine doodling is my first love ❤