December 20, 2019

Antiquaria Journal Club | The Blank Page, Vol. 2

"Journaling is like whispering to oneself and listening at the same time"

Hey there Journal Club friends! As we float towards the close of another week, we're continuing our Interview Series and have been excitedly anticipating sharing the latest volume with you! In today's feature, we'll be taking a peek into the pages and perspective of Journal Club/Antiquaria Team member, Sarah.

Sarah Beals

Midori Travel Journal, watercolor and dot grid booklets currently 

Journaling Type

Collage, ink pens, pencil, paper, washi, stickers, found and designed media, acrylic paints by Golden

What is your primary goal in keeping a journal?
To have a sense of connection with not only myself, but also with a community. I love how Journal Club is a group with each person having their own unique take on things, way of seeing and translating the prompts. I want to experiment and form a habit that is fulfilling and fun. Right now my primary goal is to finish every page in my current journal! The ultimate goal is to have a whole stash of completed journals that I can look back on in a few years and feel warm n fuzzy about.

How do you approach the blank page?
Sometimes the blank page is more challenging than others. It’s almost like writer’s block, but manifesting visually. When I start a new spread, I will take a quick inventory of the materials I have available to me at the time and see if anything speaks to me. I’ll take one focal element and place it, or incorporate a type of framework to build around. Sometimes I’m inspired by the colors, patterns or another aspect of the materials. For example, maybe the appearance of that certain sticker or paper aligns with a concept I have for the prompt. This strategy is most apparent in my layers of gratitude spread! I see every week as another opportunity to try something different

Do you use a certain paper or page style? What do you like about it?
Favoring the mixed media style, I especially enjoy the versatility of the watercolor paper. It has a substantial weight and a nice texture. So far it’s worked well for collaging, and holds any material I’ve used! I also enjoy the dot grid paper, but primarily for use with brush or other ink pens. It’s a dreamy combo with the ultra smooth texture. I tried gluing painted papers to the dot grid and, while it worked, it didn’t feel very sturdy. 

What drew you to the type of journal you chose to keep? (art, bullet, reflective, etc) I’ve always been a super visual person, into art and design, so this was my first inclination. The look really appeals to me, the opportunity for personal interpretation and experimenting is really compelling. I like the idea of a bullet journal, but my favorite way to use dot grid is for sketching design ideas. I would like to incorporate more reflective journaling as well, but in it's own designated booklet more for personal use.

What is your favorite journaling tool and why?
I would have to say that I don’t have one specific favorite, but rather a few. I’m a graphic design student, so one thing I enjoy doing is incorporating things I’ve designed digitally into my collages. I love typography so I’m really into nods to that lately, with my typefaces of the week. I’m also a huge fan of fancy patterned papers, luxe unique stickers, and unusual washi tape. I love finding a unique and pretty element to add to my journal supplies stash. It helps working at Antiquaria, as we always have cute things! Etsy is also a goldmine for this kind of stuff.

Do you prefer to write at a particular time of day or place? Why?
I’m a night owl by nature & my quiet alone time is usually in the evenings. It may seem strange, but overall, that’s when I usually feel most creative. I have a designated table in my art room which is a nice space to spread out (when it’s not cluttered with art supplies!), but I often find myself gravitating towards the living room table. Probably because it’s comfortable and my pets are usually hanging out in that area, so I like sharing vibes with them. 

What do you love about journaling?
Journaling is both a challenge and a rewarding experience; freedom of expression and the endless possibilities. It’s such a personal thing and there’s (mostly, I’m human after all!) no outside pressure or influence to make your pages look a certain way. Of course you want them to look nice, but in your own style. There is inspiration, but at the end of the day I think a journal should be purely what you like, what you’re feeling, what appeals to you. It's a great outlet to experiment with styles and see what feels best.

In many other areas of my life I generally have defined quidelines within which to operate (don’t we all?), but that doesn’t really apply with art journaling. Exploring new ideas and trying out various styles. Autonomy.

Do you consider journaling therapeutic? If so, why?
This activity forces you to slow down and shift into a different mindset. The act of cutting paper, gluing things, pondering concepts throughout the day, searching for and curating new supplies - it’s a different mindset that encourages creativity and connects those beneficial synapses in the brain.

What is the most challenging aspect of journaling for you?
For me, two main challenges: Finding balance and managing perfectionism.

Finding Balance - With school projects, work, a husband, a house with ongoing renovations, pets, social life and all the other things commanding my attention, some weeks I struggle to stay on track - just to keep it real! But I do my best to place or write at least one thing each day, even if it’s in a different notebook to transfer later. Then the pendulum swings, and I’ll have a journaling session where I will spend more time than I normally would, so it all balances out. I’m really looking forward to holiday break to sort of regain a sense of balance with everything and put more time into personal projects, like journaling.

Perfectionism -  The urge to make everything just so, or fear of “messing up” lingers for me. Ugh, right? I’ve encountered mistakes and dealt with them by just incorporating more collage elements and trying a new technique next time. The key is to not succumb to feelings of total defeat or let it paralyze you from even getting started. Every lackluster execution is a learning experience. I’ve learned this at school, and it applies to journaling as well.

How has the way you’ve journaled changed over time? (If you’ve seen a progression so far)My first journal spread was more intricate and involved a lot of computer to print design and collage work. I’ve found it helps to be realistic with what’s going on in my life that week and to simplify things if it makes it more manageable. I’m a fan of maximalist aesthetic in some cases, but I'm beginning to appreciate minimalism more all the time. If I have more time and emotional energy one week, maybe my page will be a little more ornate than the next week, where time and energy are lacking. And both are totally ok! 

How has journaling benefitted you?
In a few ways so far - by being a part of an awesome little community. By serving as an outlet and a catalyst for embracing creative expression. I love being a part of sharing things with you all on instagram and the blog, and seeing your awesome spreads. Keep em comin’! I’m in awe of the talent and skill and it’s really satisfying to see people participating with us. I’m interested to see how my journaling style evolves and adapts to changes not only within myself, but in my life.

That wraps up our second volume of The Blank Page! This series has been SO much fun to feature. We're finding that sharing insights with one another is invaluable. It's so inspiring to see how everyone infuses their personality into their journal.  We can't wait for the next member profile!!

Happy Journaling!
The Antiquaria Team

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