How to keep an illustrated dream journal

Guys, it’s Julia here with the most exciting thing ever. Be prepared to put a journal under your pillow because we’re about to get early morning creative!

Creating a dream journal is something I have wanted to do forever and I am using this season as the perfect excuse! I often have vivid and lucid dreams, many of which I am sure will stay with me forever. I also have recurring dreams that have been with me since childhood, this has always fascinated me and spurred on my belief of other lives before and after this one – but that’s a whole other post… I am very very excited for this tutorial so will dive straight in!

Choose a journal size you can keep near to your bed and that is quick and easy to open up (if you want to be super neat, a diary is a good option. I have been using my moleskine diary for this)

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Keep a pen with this journal so that you can quickly write down and doodle as soon as you wake up. Your most active dreaming period is usually in the very early morning so I have sometimes been waking up, noting down dreams and then falling back to sleep for a few hours. The key to this is to act quickly – dreams fade so fast, even when they feel hyper real.

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I find that once I have the notes down, I can return to the journal and illustrate my dream pages further. I have been doing this in a separate “best” journal but you totally could have one for it all. I also like to read up more into dreams and I use my dream book to do this. I am a great believer in dreams meaning something, whether it’s merely your brain digesting the day or you realizing anxieties and fears you thought didn’t exist.

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I started this habit in March and am still active in it now. I don’t remember my dreams every night and sometimes it’s just a flicker or a feeling that will stay with me once I am awake. I felt like this was a good practice to get into and I needed a long period of time to actually have something concrete and a good scope of dreams to share with you all. It is a habit I want to keep up with and I am aiming to fill this journal with dream entries.

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Are you interested in keeping a dream journal? Do you think your dreams mean anything? Let me know as I’m excited to see into your minds!


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. Elizabeth D.

    This is incredible, Jules! I could stare at your work all day. xx E.

    • julia Thomas

      You’re too kind, thank you!!! xo

  2. Clare Davis Etheridge

    I have the most bizarre dreams and unless I write them down immediately (in the middle of the night), I forget them by morning. Sometimes I catch them but often not.
    I like how you have illustrated your dreams here, I think I need months of dream catching before I would have much to work with!

    • julia Thomas

      I have the same thing, this journal was from months, you need a good bank of time to get some concrete inspiration and content!

  3. Melody Willoughby

    Fascinating! I dream every night but have a hard time remembering. So I am going to try a bedside journal. Thanks for the great idea.

    • julia Thomas

      Can’t wait to see what you come up with! <3

  4. Emily@squiggleandswirl

    I’ve been struggling big time to remember my dreams. It’s true even the strong dreams I’m certain I’ll remember slip away so quickly once I’m conscious. I love the idea of a dedicated journal just for dreams as an ongoing thing, It would be great to express the dreams you want to understand and remember but not necessarily share with the world. Like a secret language! Thanks for the inspiration Julia xx

    • julia Thomas

      Exactly Em! I can’t believe I am only seeing this comment now – what is wrong with me?! xo

  5. Eleanor McComb

    This is so GREAT! I have been keeping dream journals on and off for years (I’m a crazy dreamer like you!) but for some reason I never really thought to use an art journal… derp moment. Admittedly I do use a whole lot of my dreams in my art – as inspiration and prompts, but never really as a way of recording them. The post it notes to hold the space and then coming back to flesh it out later is totally revelatory. I have to start a dream book immediately!

    • julia Thomas

      Please tell me the dream book is now a reality ?!