Hi everyone! My name is Sharon, I’m 26 and I’m a freelance wedding photographer & calligrapher from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
I started journaling sometime around July of last year, mostly because I bought so many notebooks and I needed to find a reason to use them. Also because I have a bad habit of picking up hobbies and dropping them after a few months, I didn’t want to spend too much money on washi tapes, stickers and stamps, so I just bought a cheap set of student watercolours and proceeded to decorate my journal by painting. The more I painted, the more I reconnected with my creative side and I’ve never looked back!
- How are you using your journal at the moment?I’m using my journal as a mix of diary, art journal and sketchbook – although I have several inserts in my Midori. One of them is a monthly planner which I have really enjoyed using for the past few months. I’m looking to start using a weekly planner as I’ve been inspired by a lot of other fellow journal-ers!
I think stumbling upon artists and fellow journal-ers on Instagram is definitely my main inspiration. I use the explore tab a lot and especially when I’m feeling stuck in a rut (creatively), Instagram is my go to.
- When do you make time to journal, and how often?
I try to make time to journal at least 3 times a week, after work at night when I have some time to myself. Sometimes I journal on weekends too, usually after I’ve visited somewhere with interesting sights or pastries. I always get excited to sketch food or pastries!
I don’t have a set journaling technique/style, but 90% of the time every page of my journal has a watercolour illustration. I would start by sketching and painting the subject of that day’s journal entry, and then fill it with stamps, washi tape and writing.
Honestly I have not tried many journal systems, but I really enjoy using the Midori Traveler’s Notebook! I love how each Midori is unique to its owner; thanks to the unlimited customization options and also the knicks and scratches that the leather develops over time. I also love how there are so many different inserts to cater to different styles of journaling.
- Are there any favorite craft or stationery stores that you frequent?There are several stationery stores in Kuala Lumpur that are very well stocked for journaling supplies. A few of them are Stickerrific (which is also where I teach calligraphy workshops), Tabiyo Shop and Pipit Zakka Store. It’s hard for me to visit these stores/webstores without picking up one or two things!
My go-to tools would definitely be watercolour. I’m currently using a combination of Holbein and Winsor & Newton watercolours. Other than that I use a very wide variety of washi tapes (I’m drawn to whimsical patterns). Sometimes I also use the Pentel Touch Pen for lettering in my journal, as well as Lamy and TWSBI fountain pens for writing.
I think most people are surprised when I tell them I did Accounting in university and not something arts related. Also, I have terrible handwriting!! Even though I do calligraphy and practice cursive writing a lot, my day to day writing is horrible. Sometimes I can’t even read my own writing!
- What advice, tip, or suggestion would you offer for anyone looking to start their own creative journal?
My main advice would be – don’t overthink it and just create! Do whatever inspires you. A blank page may seem intimidating at times (it still is for me), but don’t be afraid or let it inhibit your creativity. There are no right or wrong answers in art, most importantly it is about how it makes you feel! The results might surprise you, and you’ll definitely look back on your pages with a sense of accomplishment.
- Other than journaling, what are some of your other hobbies and interests?I enjoy lettering and practicing calligraphy, and recently have started to pick up a bit of Gothic calligraphy. I also recently started sending out postcards for the first time and I’m so excited to send a little bit of love via snail mail out to the world! Other than that, I’m a huge bookworm and love to read.
Sharon, thank you so much for sharing your art journal with us!
And for all you wonderful readers looking to find more of Sharon's illustrations and journalings, or wanting to connect, you can find her here-
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