Better than a Vision Board: Why Everyone Needs an Illustrated Discovery Journal

Better than a vision board: why everyone needs an illustrated discovery journal

At the start of 2021, one of the New Year's resolutions I wrote for myself was to engage in more acts of self-care.  If you couldn’t tell from one of my past articles (linked here) I’m kind of a big fan of self-care.  I believe that regularly engaging in self-care can positively affect our mood, behavior, and overall sense of fulfilment.   

One of my favorite forms of self-care is creating vision boards for myself.  Vision boards are the perfect way to map out your future and manifest your hopes and dreams. If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious about what your future holds, I highly recommend creating a vision board to alleviate your stresses and to create tangible goals for your future. Vision boards are like the epitome of self-care, in my opinion.

When I came back to college for winter quarter and my roommate introduced me to an even better version of a vision board, I immediately became obsessed.  Ladies and gents, allow me to introduce you to the concept of an illustrated discovery journal.  

What is an illustrated discovery journal, you may ask? An illustrated discovery journal is a combination of a vision board and a scrapbook. What you do is you peruse through a bunch of magazines and you cut out the images, words, and phrases that speak to you.  After you cut out some images and phrases from the magazines, you begin to paste them into your journal as you illustrate your hopes, dreams, and visions for the future.  It’s seriously so much fun. 

The most important part about illustrated discoveries is to not think too hard about the placement of the magazine scraps.  When you see an image or word that speaks out to you, cut it out and paste it in the book. Don’t collect your images and create multiple blueprints of ways you could design the page; just let the images and the phrases that speak to you guide you.

In case I haven’t yet convinced you why you absolutely need an illustrated discovery journal, here are 4 reasons why you need to get your hands on one of these.

1. They’re therapeutic.

The act of engaging in illustrated discovery journals is extremely therapeutic.  Once you begin, you become so entranced with the unique images and phrases you find in each magazine that you’ll lose track of time.


2. They allow you to express your creativity

If you’re like me and struggle with art forms such as drawing, sketching, painting, etc., illustrated discovery journals are the perfect alternative for you! Illustrated discoveries are composed of images and typography from magazines, so you won’t even have to pick up a pencil. Just let the images and text from the magazines speak to you, and your creative juices will be overflowing. 


3. You get inspiration about your future.

As you browse through a variety of magazines, you’ll get inspiration about where you would like to see yourself in 10,15,20 years from now. You’ll uncover your passions, your goals, and your aspirations. You’ll discover your dream home, your dream city, your dream everything. 

4. It’s something you can keep forever.

Many years from now, you’ll be able to look back on your illustrated discovery journal and see how far you’ve come since the creation of it. You’ll be able to show your children and grandchildren your dreams and aspirations at their age, and show them that anything is possible if you manifest it. 

Written by: Jordan Peterkofsky


  • Lili N

    Thanks for this amazing idea! I too am a perfectionist that struggles with traditional art forms & this looks like something I can definitely get into!

  • Mess

    Beautiful. Thanks for the idea!

  • Fran Todd

    This incredible practice has been a part of my life for many years. I learned of it from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s wonderful book Simple Abundance published in 1995.

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