Categorie: Best of the Blog

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.

Mentor with Lau

What will you do for your creative dreams?

This question was an instant ‘fire-starter’ for me. In 2018 I started my own business without knowing exactly what it was that I was going to do and without having a solid business plan. I knew, however, that I wanted to do something with creativity, drawing and being of service to help shape a world of creativity, love, peace and harmony.

By giving myself permission to explore this desire and go on an adventure. By giving myself time to grow and try different things. But most importantly, by giving myself permission to play, have fun and receive support my business is now growing. This is a beautiful and natural process unfolding and it’s there for you too. 


Do you feel inspired by my story? Do you also have a deep feeling of wanting to go on an adventure and surf the waves of your life? Would you love to enrich your life and the lives of many others by creating from your heART? In a way so that comes naturally to you?

If so, perhaps you’re doubting where to start and how to change. Perhaps you even think it’s too late to make any changes to your life. Or perhaps you know exactly what you want, but you find it hard to bring your beautiful and creative plans into practice.

Laurien Baart

From my experiences as a pedagogue, teacher, mother, surfer and artist, I learned that following your (creative) dreams brings happiness, joy and fulfillment, and that it’s never too late to make a change. I also know that receiving support in the process is essential.

I’d be honored to go surfing with you in ‘the ocean of change’ and see you catch the waves of your life.

If you’re interested and think that I’m the right person to help you click here to read more:

Yes, I want to read more about Mentoring with Laurien

I look forward to catching waves with you!

Laurien Baart
Laurien Baart






Why going on a solo surf trip was the best thing I did for my business.

I’m running my own business from home and have a 15-month-old toddler. I’m organizing retreats in San Sebastián that weren’t selling. I was wondering why? I realized that I was craving exactly what I was offering. I needed a break. Some sunshine. Vitamin sea. Surfing. Good food.

It was a big thing for me to leave my family for five days. I do not take it for granted that my husband supported my desire and took time off from work to care of our son. I do not take it for granted that other women joined my (virtual) creative retreat. I have deep respect for you.


joy 1

Self-care is a struggle for many women. Guilt often kicks in as soon as we want to do something that is just for ourselves. Just because we want to relax, let go and have fun. ¨What am I thinking? No way! I don’t have the support I need.¨ is what our inner saboteurs tell us. And there’s always work to do or someone that needs our attention. Especially when you’re a starting female entrepreneur who has a family. Like me.

How on earth was I going to sell retreats when I wasn’t giving myself the retreat I needed? So here’s what I did: I booked a solo surf trip to Morocco. And I organized a free virtual creative retreat for people that wanted to learn how to reclaim their creative side and learn how to live more from their heARTs.


As an entrepreneur and mom you’re not only responsible for your family and business, but you’re also an example to your loved ones. Your kids, your partner, your friends and your clients. What do you show them when you’re not taking care of yourself? How can you show your loved ones that they’re worth the best, when you’re not giving it to yourself?

I enjoyed life to the fullest when I was in Morocco. I felt my whole body, mind and soul relaxing. I felt nourished by the fresh and delicious meals. I made new friends. I felt refreshed by the ocean. I could let go while practicing yoga. Surfing made me feel alive and connected to mother Earth again. I drew in my sketchbook while the sun was setting and the gorgeous colours of the scenery made me realize that I’m very lucky to be alive. I felt inspired, but most of all I felt freedom & joy.

Because of this experience I feel more passionate than I’ve ever been to continue with my projects. With a grateful heart and sparkling eyes, I’ll follow my inner compass. It tells me to keep going no matter what happens. I know that I won’t give up and I feel so grateful for everything that I’ve learned so far on my creative journey. Progress is always better than perfection, and not trying is losing out.

I’m sharing this with you because my journey can be an example to you. I hope that it inspires to follow your own inner compass. You live NOW and how you’d like to create space for you and your desires is up to you. I hope you realize that you can do so much more than you think. Your heART has what it takes. Live by it!

What’s the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself or for your business? 

With all my love, Lau


I’m running my own business from home and have a 15-month-old toddler. I’m organizing retreats in San Sebastián that weren’t selling. I was wondering why? I realized that I was craving exactly what I was offering. I needed a break. Some sunshine. Vitamin sea. Surfing. Good food.

It was a big thing for me to leave my family for five days. I do not take it for granted that my husband supported my desire and took time off from work to care of our son. I do not take it for granted that other women joined my (virtual) creative retreat. I have deep respect for you.


joy 1