My first year visual journaling

Today I am excited to share with you guys a project that I’m really proud of. A couple of years ago I saw an amazing series of drawing that an artist did illustrating everyday life. It inspired me so for a year I did a drawing every day of my life, my friends, my family, my boyfriend, my job, and so on. I’ve been into sketching and drawing for years, but I took this as an opportunity to dispense with technique and detail and perfectionism and just focus on the emotions. It turned out to be an absolutely amazing form of journaling for me (and I bet that it would be great for a lot of today’s kids, who are more likely to be visual learners than previous generations).

I found it fun, therapeutic, and relaxing when I was making the drawings, and I absolutely love looking back over the sketches now. I’m planning to do another year in drawings soon, starting a week before my wedding (once I finally get my date decided on, not that I’m stressed about that or anything).

Even if you’re not much into drawing, or art in general, I totally encourage you to give this a try yourself. Don’t pressure yourself to create masterpieces, just jot down memories! I tried it for a year the first time, but if that seems like a long time, try it for a month. Worst case scenario you have 30ish drawings to remember your college years by, and best case, you might discover a lifelong journaling technique and creative scenario.

Below are some of my favorites from my year of daily drawings. Check them out! As you can see, it’s all about the memory and not the fanciness or technical skill of the sketch.


This is my first drawing, and I’ve always been really fond of it for that reason and because it shows my boyfriend Vincent and me chatting on the phone during my senior year, when he went away to college.


I love this sketch because it really feels exactly like the moment it was intended to capture, a serene moment with my cat, a cup of tea, and a magazine before a slam busy Saturday at the waitressing job I did in high school.



Not to be that girl that always talks about her boyfriend, but this is one of the first Valentine’s Day gifts I got, a giant stuffed animal named Oliver (not to scale but close, hehe.)



I’m sure all y’all in school can relate to this one:



Good thing I got Oliver, because he acted as a stand-in pretty often!



I like this one because this is an example of how a simple drawing can be pretty expressive. Plus, it only took me 2 minutes to jot this down, and every time I look at it I’m instantly back at that time in my life.



Ah, for summer times and hanging out at the park with my little sister (gosh, she’s fast!)



I was once asked at a Dick’s Sporting Goods if I wanted to try on every shoe in the store. I replied that I was only interested in women’s shoes but I’d like to see all of those.



Does working full-time get tiring compared to high school? Yes. Do I miss getting up at the crack of down instead of 7:45? Nope!



Just one piece of art a day isn’t enough, so I did a drawing of myself painting. Voila!



This one pretty much sums up a really, really unfun day.



I did try boxing one time. I was not fantastic at it, but I made awesome sound effects!



Here I was trying to get in shape for my boxing career, to no avail.



How long distance feels, sometimes.



A perfect day.



Decorating the Christmas tree at Vincent’s mom’s house.



Backyard camping!



A few times, I just wanted to unwind and get my mind off my day, so I did some more abstract doodles, like this.



I also did a few more minimalistic sketches. This one is me pondering over a design school assignment involving a ring stand component.



I also did some collages from time to time to mix things up. This one is stuff from the trash can in my dorm (the hot dog photo is also design school related, that’s how we roll).



There’s a million other drawings (well, about 335) that I could end on, but this one perfectly encapsulates how I’m feeling, so I’ll leave you with this 1-minute marvel.





7 thoughts on “My first year visual journaling

  1. I actually did this in high school! I didn’t realize it at the time, but I kept a journal and I would draw things that were happening, dreams I had, projects I was working on etc. So cool! Thanks for sharing!

    1. That’s awesome! I did a traditional journal as a kid but as I got older I really liked something super quick and versatile. Bullet journaling is next on my list to try!

  2. This is such a cool concept! I’ve always journaled, but I’ve never thought to draw out my experiences. I’ll have to try it some time. Thanks for sharing! I found you through the Graced College Girl Blogger group 🙂

  3. I’ve never heard of journaling like this, but I love it! I think it’s so cool that you can look back over your year through your drawings. I loved seeing all of your sketches; you’re so talented! 🙂

    1. Thanks! It’s great doing it but the looking back is definitely the best part. It does take a but of time, but the way I see it if I don’t get on Facebook and do this instead I come out ahead.

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