When was the last time you kept a journal?
Personally, I neither have the discipline to detail my everyday escapades, nor the patience to recall them one by one before penning them down. Sometimes I can’t even remember what I had for lunch.
But it seems that over the past couple of years, journaling has been picking up – we are not talking about regular write-in-my-diary kind of journaling.
Rather, we are talking about the kind of journaling that is peppered with cute illustrations and elaborate doodles. You write down quotes that capture your heart in fancy brush lettering, and this couples your thoughts and your artistic vein onto paper.
If you are a person born without artistic talent (like me), it may be a chore to perform any task that is remotely decorative. Take regular pen-to-paper sketching for example. I can’t, for the life of me, even draw a decent tree.
So naturally, the instinct to doodle my thoughts down into journals doesn’t come to me as readily as it does for those who carry an aptitude for illustration.
But this is not the case for Stephanie, a self-made journal and lettering artist. “I decorate with fancy lettering and doodles and I guess I really enjoy the process of creating a page full of hand-letterings and doodles”, she tells me.
Slow And Steady
Even when she was a pre-teen, Steph had a habit of using journals to schedule her tasks. But more than that, she also “included random things like song lyrics and book phrases that left an impression,” or short descriptions of her thoughts.
For her, loving her handwriting and doodles was a start to discovering this art of hers. However, it was never a one hit one kill.
“After graduating from university, it took awhile for me to pick up lettering and calligraphy from various teachers. ”
Like with most things, practice makes perfect. Steph honed her lettering and journaling skills every single day, enduring countless imperfect attempts. All this training yielded more than just flawless creative output that she could be proud of.
More importantly, it helped her discover and develop her personal style when it comes to being a journal artist.
More Than Just Personal Enjoyment
As I have been following Steph on Instagram for the past few years, I noticed her lettering and journaling passion gradually taking over her page. So it wasn’t surprising when her followers started requesting for private workshops from her.
As the months pass, it turned into something substantial, and this lead Steph into really making time to “create and improve my own workshop guide and to openly market my workshop services on my Instagram account.”
More than that, she was approached by a journal distributor to share and document her experiences using their journals – which she uses for her bullet journaling workshops.
For beginners, or anyone who has not done some sort of journal-keeping before, bullet journaling can come across as a little daunting.
So instead of a monotonous workshop, Steph “conveyed the whole experience into a sharing session to make it easy for anyone to start using a bullet journal.”
And it proved successful as more and more referrals poured in, requesting for her services. “I am really happy to see people benefitting from this habit. It gives a huge sense of satisfaction to me.”
On her website, you can find workshops on journalling and lettering that you can book for team bonding or parties.
On top of that, you can see her arsenal of projects – from hand drawn wedding invites and table place cards to on-site services for lettering, name calligraphy and even portrait illustration.
Not Just A Passion
“I didn’t get to major in arts during my school days” Steph laments. But that didn’t stop her from expressing herself and effectively communicating her experiences through lettering and journaling anyway.
Exploring this skill of hers allowed her to discover her own styles – something that help bring out messages in a beautiful way which leaves her clients happy.
“I also started to study and appreciate my surroundings, overseas experience, and my interaction with people a lot more after I started active journaling again.”
It serves to give perspective of the world, and to open our eyes to the beauty in the little things if we bother to look in detail.
“It helps me to lead a mindful and more meaningful lifestyle.”
Right now, Steph is taking things a step at a time, with no major thoughts on setting up permanent classes or expanding her horizons as of yet. However, she adds that as long as “my workshops and artworks continue to inspire and impact society meaningfully, I will continue to do it, for others.”
But what about herself?
“I will continue to do it for myself until the day I’m no longer able to do so.”
Whether you’re in need for some order in your life, or if you’d like to try your hand in journaling, click here.