Word For The Year 2024: Germination

Word For The Year 2024: Germination

I’ve always set new year’s resolutions with good intentions but they never last longer than a month because their form is often too rigid to work in the ebb and flow of life. So, for the last few years I’ve been choosing a word for the year that gives me focus and provides a vision for the year to come. It indicates how I’d like to feel, be, or live, and sums up my wishes, hopes, and intentions, setting the tone for your whole year. A word for the year works better than a new year’s resolution because it’s more flexible and there are so many ways that I can embody it through the flux of life.

So, why not join me and swap out your new year’s resolutions for some art journaling around a word that embodies a quality you want to cultivate or a goal you want to achieve in the next year. The word you choose is deeply personal to you and reflects what you want to manifest in your life. It serves as a reminder of your intentions or goals, helps you to stay focused and motivated, and enables you to make choices that help you to be the person you wish to become.

Create your own 'Word For The Year' journal page

If you’d like to create your own journal page like the one I have created, this is my process:

  1. Find a quiet corner where you can clear your mind and find some peace. A small ritual might help, like making a cup of tea, lighting a candle or burning some incense. These small actions signal that this time is sacred and helps you to set your journaling intention.
  2. In a notebook, reflect on what you’ve accomplished in the last year. Take some time to celebrate these wins. When you’re done, write about on how you’d like to feel or what you’d like to achieve in the coming year.
  3. Brainstorm words that might represent this. Sit with each one and see if they fit. If you need to, do a little research on the dictionary meaning of each word and whether they have a symbolic meaning in myth or folklore, as this can add another layer of clarity.
  4. Once you’ve settle on a word for the year, spend some time looking through magazines for images that represent this. Work quickly and allow your intuition to guide you. Look though your collage fodder and choose any papers that have the right feel or colour combinations.
  5. Lay out and glue down your images and other papers in your art journal. Glue down any quotes or other phrases that feel right. Make additional marks with paint pens and your other mixed media supplies.
  6. In your notebook, use stream of consciousness writing to explore what this journal page means to you. Consider the images you’ve chosen: how do these relate to your word for the year? Do they give you any new insights that you hadn’t previously thought about.
  7. Add some or all of this journaling to your art journal page.
  8. Build up additional layers with mark making, water soluble pencils and crayons, and transparent ink washes.

Word For The Year: Germination


I used these steps to create my journal page for 2024, for which I’ve chosen the word ‘germination’. This is the process where a buried seed sprouts after a period of dormancy. Sprouting occurs when the seed coat is abraded away and broken down enough to let water in. Early growth relies on cell expansion, whereas further growth occurs through cell division. This process describes where I find myself on my journey as an artist, teacher, and surface pattern designer. I feel like 2024 is a year to be focused within myself, with the aim to better understand the creative process, make connections among new ideas, and become more proficient in my chosen artistic fields. On a practical level, I will gather inspiration around me, engage in small acts of everyday creativity, explore the creative process and what it means in my life, spend quiet time reading and contemplating, continue creating small paintings, understand deeply how I can be of service to those who love my art, take courses in surface pattern design, learn Photoshop and Illustrator, develop a motif library, find my unique style as a surface pattern designer, and develop further as an art journaler.

In my art journal page, I have chosen the colours of the earth and have added gold droplet motifs to represent the seeds germinating under the ground. The flowers to represent what might bloom from these seeds in future years. The eggs indicate incubation, which is a different way of representing a process akin to germination. The stacked stones feel very peaceful and suggest that contemplation and quiet are important in this process. Across the journal page I’ve added text about the scientific process of germination and what this means for me.

I hope this inspires you to create a ‘Word For The Year’ art journal page. I’d love to see your finished journal spread. Share it on Instagram using #journalwithstorypieces.

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