Like many artists (and people in general), I do love a new start. Opening that book for the first time. Writing your name on the inside cover of a notebook. Brings memories of September school days and all the possibilities therein. Since I’ve started art journaling in the bog Moleskine sketchbooks, I always make an introduction collage page with the number of the journal and my name.
These pages are also an overview of my favorite artists or themes of the moment. Here, this amazing quote, which is my recent fave. It’s from a sticker booklet of inspiring quotes by Kikki.K.

This right page has many symbolic elements for me. The skull is by David Choé. I love skulls because I am a bio-archaeologist by trade : I specialise in human remains. So I really love anything and everything that has to do with the human skeleton. On the right, a painting my Mucha, my favorite artist of all time. A ‘Rose Red’ sugar skull postcard by Illustrated Ink on Etsy showcases my love of tattoo flash imagery and skulls and roses too. Underneath, a bunny from a thank you card that came with an order from Kirsty Baynham. I also found her on Etsy and I am completely smitten by what she does. Finally, a vintage photo of a family next to a car. Old photographs are so amazing in how they show what people wanted to remember. It’s really easy now to overdo it, to make the mistake or assumption that every single moment has to be recorded (and I’m the first to admit that I am guilty of this!) so I like to look at these old photos to remember what was considered an ‘essential’ moment. Most of the times it’s family, vacations, death, life.

On the left page, some vintage wallpaper. Vanessa is the name of a butterfly family, some of them actually have a spot on their wings that looks like a skull, how amazing! Here is the Vanessa Io or Peacock Butterfly:

I try to incorporate butterflies in my journaling as personal symbols. The black ones on the page are from Dearest Someday’s woodland kit, as are the deer silhouette and the fabric feather. The central figure is ‘Snow White’ from Illustrated Ink. These two ladies also show my love for all things fairy tale and magical. I am reading ‘Grimm tales’, a re-writing of the Grimm brothers’ famous fairy tales by Philip Pullman. On the bottom, a thank you image from Tim’s Sally with a True Free Spirit girl on it. I really love and admire Mindy Lacefield’s work. She made me realise that it’s ok if your art looks cartoonish or like a child’s drawing. I’m really hoping to eventually take on of her classes. On the bottom, one of my hand punched labels featuring the Hong Kong skyline; this city is a big part of me these days. Two birds, one by Kirsty Baynham and another from a Project Life card by Dearest Someday. I love swallows both for the tattoo imagery and for their meaning. I have two of them tattooed on my left wrist, as symbols of my children and what I wish for them. The Rifle Paper co typewriter completes the page.

I know that when I look back on the start of these journals, I’ll be able to remember all these influences and things that made my heart skip a beat (the most recent of which is that striped neon pink washi tape – love it!).