It's cute right? Something girls usually do. A diary. A place to write about boys and what clothes you bought that day. Right?
With the right frame of mind, a journal or a sketchbook journal could be the most powerful tool you possess.
Ever since I was a kid, I've felt this need to create things. Drawings, letters, books, crafts. My best friend and I would fill countless hours doing anything and everything creative.
And then I grew up.
Suddenly things weren't cool anymore. Fantasy was dumb. My silly drawings weren't good enough to be acceptable. Fear crept in, and I stopped doing art. I would draw something and because it didn't look the way I visualized in my head, I told myself I just wasn't an artist.
So I went in to musical theatre. Now don't get me wrong, theatre is a huge expression of creativity! Performing even became my outlet. But it wasn't what I wanted to be doing. I didn't care about it enough to give 110 percent. However, it was what I had done all my life, so that must be my calling. I would just teach it instead of worrying about auditioning for shows, because that was too hard.
Part way through second year of my three year musical theatre program, my best friend Melissa and I went to walmart. We grabbed some paints for a fun day of silly painting, and something magical happened.
I loved it.
I painted a bit, then I went online and looked up how to draw Disney characters. The funny thing was- I couldn't stop. I had discovered something that made my heart sing.
Haha, I know, cheesy right? But how else do you describe that feeling where nothing else matters except you and the page? Instead of feeling anxiety, I felt completely at peace.
Well that was it. We bought little sketchbooks and began working on them. It didn't matter if a page looked perfect or not. I was creating, and having a blast doing it!
I filled up a couple of these books and eventually Melissa suggested that maybe I should do animation. But drawing was just a little thing I did for fun, not a career! How could I even make money from that? I said no at first, but pretty soon my mind was changed, and I decided to enroll in the animation program at Capilano University once my Theatre program was complete.
Animation school was definitely more my calling. I loved it! And so drawing became my school and then my job. I was lucky enough to be asked by one of my teachers to storyboard on the tv show Puss in Boots at Bardel.
During Theatre school I worked on my sketchbook journals. These were books filled with writing and drawing. I didn't care how beautiful they looked, or what I put in them, then main thing was that I was creating! Looking back now, those are still my favourite journals.
However, as my interest in drawing and animation grew, I became self conscious of my drawings. A fear took over, obsessing over perfection and covering me in self consciousness. I'm sad to say my journaling stopped at that point. From then on it was sketchbooks until I began drawing on the computer.
But then, In second year at Animation school my journals started up again. This time there was no drawing. Plenty of images pasted, lots of writing and beautiful tape, but no drawings. But I loved it! Finally a place to let out my thoughts and document my life.
THE EVERYTHING JOURNAL
That was the time I decided to make my journal my everything journal. My planner, my scrapbook, my diary, everything. It took years but finally my journals have now become a place where I draw, write and paste. Its so unbelievably freeing!
If I don't journal for a week or so, I can start to feel it. My thoughts become bitter, I become agitated, cranky, and sad. But with the right dosage, I free up my mind of those thoughts, and give space for the new ideas.
A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO DISCOVER YOURSELF
The thing I've found with these journals is, not only do they document your life, but they help you discover your future. What better place to try things out? To explore and have fun. Once you let go of that fear, your journal becomes a playground, you'll find things you never would have found had you not tried.
Take these two images for example. The first one was what I started out drawing, and the second, what that turned in to.
So that's it folks. It changed my life, I cannot imagine what my life would look like now without the love of these books.