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The Journal Diaries- Alanna's Wreck This Journal and Zendalas

The Journal Diaries is a blog segment where we get a sneak peek into the journals, notebooks, organizers, and diaries from people all over the world. (Click here for past posts.) My special guest today is Alanna Young.

Hey, everybody!

I've been drawing and doing other various crafts for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until a little over a year ago that I finally started taking it more seriously and making it a really large part of my life. I'd always drawn before, randomly, but never consistently because creativity is something that can be hard to find sometimes. One day in early 2014 I came across some pictures on Tumblr of these art journals that had prompts in them. I did some research and discovered that the book was called Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. I asked for one for my birthday and got one, and as silly as it may sound, it sort of changed my life! The prompts really sparked my creativity and having an online community of other people that had the same journal challenged me to come up with new and unique ideas. I began sharing my journalings on Instagram, and then Tumblr, which was a really great way to "meet" other people that were embarking on the same tasks/pages that I was. People had really positive reactions to my artwork, which acted as motivation for me to continue. I used my Wreck This Journal as an outlet to try a bunch of new techniques and styles. It made me feel so free to do whatever I want and through that, I began to find my own style and what I liked to draw the most. I filled up most of the journal (I still have some pages left that lack ideas) and started posting more of my own artwork outside of the book online.

During this time, I discovered the art of zentangling, which is a form of artwork that is very therapeutic and involves drawing abstract designs, or doodling. I've always struggled with anxiety and find that tedious artwork with small details really relaxes me. People always say, "how do you have the patience for all those little details?!", but the truth is that if I didn't do it I wouldn't have any patience! I love having copious amounts of detail in my work and I'm always challenging myself to add more to every piece that I make!

I'm not sure when or how my "zendala" obsession started, but it's by far my favorite thing to draw. I found the word somehow online, described as a combination of "zentangle" and "mandala" and the idea of it intrigued me. I ran with it and I've tried different variations and styles and I'm still constantly trying to improve them.

If I had to describe my work in 3 words, they would be: contrast, detail, and color. Anything with these 3 aspects is a feast for my eyes!

Besides my zendalas, I love to paint galaxies (among other things). I tried using foam makeup sponges to make a galaxy with acrylic paint one day and I loved the result. Now it seems that I find any excuse to paint every surface I can like that! It's gotten to the point that whenever my friends or family see something galaxy print, they think of me!

I'm babbling, so I'll get to the point. I owe the internet community a lot because if I hadn't started posting my work online, who knows where I would be with it now? I certainly wouldn't be writing this post! I guess what I'm saying is that no matter what you think of your art, share it with the world! People are generally so positive about it and getting that feedback can really help you improve! Also, never stop trying to improve. Try different styles- even it it doesn't work out for you, you'll probably learn something from it!

Thank you, Michelle, for giving me the opportunity to go on and on about my artwork! I hope someone found at least part of this interesting or helpful.


Thank you so much, Alanna, for sharing your art journalings with us! And for all you wonderful readers looking to connect, you can find more of Alanna's creations here:
Instagram: @artbylanna


  1. AnonymousMay 01, 2015

    wow! This is amazing ad beautiful!
    I always wanted a Wreck this Journal. Hope to buy it someday!
    Jade x

  2. Love the floral cover you made for your journal, Alanna!

  3. Oh my god this is incredible!!


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