Categorie: Art & illustration

10 tips for kickstarting your illustrated journal

Drawing the things from your daily life is a playful way to keep an illustrated journal. You’ll be amazed by how easily you fill up blank pages with your doodles and drawings once you’ve started. The creative process makes you become more conscious and aware of the choices you make in your life. You’ll be surprised how your own story and purpose unfolds.

Keeping an illustrated journal changed my life. I reclaimed my creative self and became more connected to myself than ever before. Drawing makes my heart happy. It makes me be. It makes me believe in my dreams again.

Laurien BaartMay these 10 tips for kickstarting your illustrated journal be help you to reclaim your creative self. Please never forget that your heart has what it takes!

Love, Lau

Shopping first.

Plan some me-time to visit a local art supply shop. Your intention of making space in your life for your creativity is worth a celebration. Going to a shop also has the advantage that you can feel and test the materials. On top of that you can get advice from experts. I created a yummy ‘Art Buffet’ on Pinterest where you find delicious art supplies.

Yes, I want to be inspired by this Pinterest Board.

Do this to your budget.

I encourage you to start low-budget when you’re getting your new art supplies for your illustrated journal. Don’t get me wrong, you deserve quality stuff but consider this: you’re starting. Keep it light and playful! Also, you won’t feel guilty if you don’t use them every day. If you get hooked you can always treat yourself with another trip to the art supply shop.


Start small and dream big.

Get yourself a small sketchbook to begin with. Go for a journal that’s passport size for example. When the pages are smaller it’s easier to fill them up. Look for a sketchbook with blank pages, preferably thick paper so that it works well with watercolour. Again, it totally depends on your budget which one to go with.

Keeping it light is key.

Get a small watercolour set that fits in your bag. I personally like the ‘Van Gogh’ watercolour set of 12. It’s not as expensive as a professional brand like Winston & Newton for example but the quality’s sufficient. You can always buy refills or choose new colours for it.

Laurien Baart illustrated journal

Get yourself a water brush pen my friend!

These pens are fabulous because they have water inside so you can draw everywhere. I prefer the Pentel water brush above the other brands that are on the market.

Go for waterproof ink.

Try a couple of different waterproof (black) pens. It’s very personal which one you prefer so you’ll have to test them first. Next, choose the one that works best for you. I write waterproof here because when your pen isn’t, the ink will run when you apply watercolour on it.

Creative retreat

Skip sketching with a pencil in you illustrated journal.

Instead of sketching with a pencil first, just start drawing with pen. I know this is scary! But keep calm and carry on, it’s just pen and paper. Give yourself permission to play and make mistakes. Learn from them as you go. Oh, and don’t forget to giggle.

Feel inspired.

Look around you for inspiration. Everything, and I mean everything, becomes interesting when you draw it. On the internet you’ll find tons of inspirational quotes, journal prompts, tutorials and challenges. If you really want to treat yourself on an online creative adventure you might be interested in one of the courses provided by  sketchbook skool. Let your curiosity guide you and try different things. See what you enjoy, amaze yourself!


Laurien Baart

If you feel inspired and you’d like to join a creative retreat in the Netherlands or San Sebastián please sign up for the creative retreat newsletter. Click on the link below:

Yay, keep me posted about upcoming creative retreats!

Go for it!

To draw or not to draw? Well, not drawing is losing out. I mean it’s always better to just give it a try.

Keep going and spread the love.

You’re amazing! You’re making art and you’re having fun. By reclaiming your creativity you become more of your whole beautiful self. Your heart has what it takes. Live by it!

You might be looking for a new notebook. Or you’d like to surprise a friend and encourage her to make art in an illustrated journal and reclaim her creative self.

Click on the link below to check LAU’s notebook collection:


Yes, take me to L A U’s  (he) A R T   S H O P



Map of Labour Land


¨When we consciously adventure into the landscape of birth, we learn to be present and we discover more about our role on this planet.¨ -Laurien Baart

Come, and adventure with me; Welcome to ‘Labour land’. This map is an invitation to explore the journey of giving birth and figuring out how you want to bring your baby into this world. A drawing for a journey of exploration which helps you to prepare, and become more conscious about the choices you make. A guide to give birth in a way that is aligned with your values and your heart. A free and loving birth.

Bringing ‘Labour Land’ into form happened while I was doing the visualisation practice ‘explore the landscape of your business’ of the course Become Your Own Business Advisor of Hiro Boga. The landscape of ‘the Wild and Free Society’ by Lou Niestadt also inspired me to create this map.

May the ‘Map of Labour Land’ remind you that you carry this awesome natural creative power of your female body. It’s my deepest wish that it empowers you to reclaim your inner knowing and wisdom of your body. So that you can bring your love, creativity and power into the world, to form it with your presence, your heART and your stories. More than anything, I want this for myself and my children; I want it for all of you; I want it for mother Earth.

With love,

Laurien Baart


P.S. If you feel that the ‘Map of Labour Land’ would serve your sisters, daughters, mothers, cousins, friends, community, midwives, doulas, (yoga) teachers, nurses and doctors, please share it with them.

Plant-based happiness


How to feel great? Eat rainbow foods and you’ll SHINE my friend!

I believe that to reclaim our creative side we also have to consciously nurture our mind, body and soul. This is key to be happy and aligned with who we truly are and to live from our hearts. 


That’s why we’re creating an ebook for you to pass on what we’ve learned.

We’d love you to have lots of awesome positive energy that you need to achieve all those amazing things you want to do in your life!

If you’re interested in how to thrive on a plant-based diet we invite you to subscribe to Lau’s mailinglist and to follow plant-based with Grace for inspiration.


Laurien Baart


Together with my friend and health coach Grace Chinn we’re spreading the plant-based message. From our experiences, we truly believe that focussing on eating more plants is a powerful catalyst to leading a happy and wholesome life.


Can’t wait for the book to add some green happiness to your kitchen? Grab here your LAU notebook for your best green recipes!

Veggie cuts by Lau


Believe in magic

Laurien Baart

What were your creative plans before you had to make a living? What dreams did you have before you became responsible for others?

Let me guess; you’d be a painter, a dancer, a photographer, a goldsmith, a writer or a musician.

You felt so alive. Bursting with creative energy and ideas. Feeling inspired and unstoppable. You were (and still are!) a beautiful little bundle of pure joy, energy and confidence.

Along the way, that inner creative fire slowly died. But you know what? It only needs one tiny magical spark. And that’s possible for everyone! You can choose to rewrite your future life story. If you decide to do things differently from this very moment on.

You are and you belong.

Decide to reclaim your what’s truly yours. Your creativity is your unique voice and when you use it, magic will happen. Don’t just sit and wait for it to happen though. It’s in the action and in the doing where you’ll feel those sparks of inspiration, passion and joy.

Which stories of the past are you letting go? How will you rewrite your future life story?


Laurien Baart

Try and fail but don’t fail to try

What’d happen if we freestyled a bit more in life and let go of our expectations?

Laurien Baart

Here’s a little surf inspired story: One day while I was getting out of the water I found a surfboard on the shore with a broken leash. I looked around for its owner and just when I started to worry I spotted someone waving at me. Apart from the broken leash there was something else about the surfboard that caught my eye: it didn’t have fins.

Fins allow you to control your board in the water. Without them it’s way harder to manoeuvre the surfboard. Curiously, I asked the owner what’d happened. He told me that he’d been surfing for years and that one time by accident the fins of his board broke. Instead of fixing the fins he paddled out again and discovered, against all odds, that surfing finless was loads of fun!

I think this is such a great example to illustrate that it’s important to let go of the expectations that we have. You might already (think that you) know that something’s impossible. That it won’t work… But. What if you knew that you’d be fine no matter what the outcome would be? Would you try?

With this message I hope you’ll give one of your (creative) ideas a try: Failure is an experience, it won’t make you less worthy as a person.



Am I ready to leave the house?


All the things you need to think of before you get to leave your home with a baby is just…

That’s why, my dear sisters, I created this roadmap for myself as a (breastfeeding) mama and I’m happy to share it with you!

Please, send this page to a mom friend, a mama sister or a mom colleague and spread the love. It’ll make her smile and give her that extra bit of confidence before she leaves the house with her little monkey(s).

Lots of love,

Laurien Baart


Dating a creative type

¨One of the basic tools of The Artist’s Way is the Artist Date: a once- weekly, solo effort to do something fun, and alone. An Artist Date is not meant to be high art. It’s simply to take yourself out on a ‘date’ that sounds like an adventure you would enjoy. ¨ From the book the Artist’s way for parents by Julia Cameron.

Last year I worked through Julia Cameron’s ¨El camino del Artista¨ and going on an Artist Date became part of my weekly routine: I went on solo surf and swim sessions, strolled along markets,  shopped in second-hand shops, watched movies, spent time in bookshops, the library and attended a workshop. As a new mom I want to set the stage for enthusiasm and go on creative adventures with my son. Getting to know him, discovering what mom I am and how I want to be as a mom are part of the journey. Now that he’s so little our dates are more ‘mini Artist Dates’ but that’s just fine.

When we were in San Sebastián we visited the (free) exhibition ¨Berenice Abbott’s Topografías¨ at Tabakalera and I made this journal page. As I was with Erwin I didn´t have much time, however, even half an hour looking at art inspired me.


Artist date Laurien Baart


I hope you’ll try to go on an Artist date too! I’m excited for you as for me it connects me to myself more than anything.


Laurien Baart

P.S. If you’re an artist or you just want to start looking for a more creative way of living I can recommend Julia Cameron’s book the Artist’s way.

Tiny book of big dreams


A tiny book still in the making but oh my, creating this one is just so much fun.

It all started with a pop-up birthday card for my three-year-old nephew. Because I wanted to look at the card too I decided to create a tiny book of all the minis in my life as a memory of them being so cute.

We adults fantasize about what our children are going to be and do when they’re older. This tiny book’s also a reminder that everyone has his OWN dreams and desires in life.

With love,

Laurien Baart

You are everything


This is a precious one as I drew it for our son Erwin, who was born on the 6th of October.

I love the idea of having a spirit animal and for Erwin I choose the seagull and the whale. Spirit animals are believed to represent skills that you want to learn or that you have, they symbolise who you are or who you want to be. They also guide, help and protect.

All right, back to the seagull and the whale; The seagull is fearless and a born survivor. It’s a spiritual messenger that connects different worlds (wind and water).  A seagull also tells you to trust your instincts and that there are many perspectives to consider. It shows us to expand the horizon and go where opportunities are. It’s said that whales are a symbol of the world. Whales stand for compassion, solitude, inner truth, creative energy. Whales communicate clearly from the heart.

So I mixed this with the elements, nature, vivid colours et voilà.

I think the idea of having a spirit animal is beautiful. Do you have a spirit animal too? 

A big hug,