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Document a day with me

Hello, friends! Sasha here today, and I am extremely excited to be back on Get Messy membership site with yet another small inspirational tutorial for you.

Get yourself a drink, a snack and a journal and join me as I tell you a bit how I document my everyday life and stay creative doing it.

First of all, I must say that I rarely do any real journaling or documenting in my art journals. It just happens so that I prefer to leave those books purely for my creative expression and mostly avoid words. Instead, I have a separate group of journals that I use for everything. And I mean, everything!

I call them my memory keeping journals. I bind them myself using the simplest pamphlet stitch. These days, I prefer the B6 size, but I used to make them in standard traveler’s notebook size. These books are my favorite place to go when I feel creative. I’ll tell you why – they are my dear diary, my quote book, my sketchbook, my art journal (somehow, doing art journaling in these books works just fine for me), my smashbook, my junk journal, my recipe book, my photo album, a scrapbook and many more. Yes, really.

There is nothing I wouldn’t use this journal for. So, when I am travelling, typically, this is the only journal I will bring, since it is so multifunctional. You can clearly see my memory keeping style evolving and developing as you go from Volume 1 to Volume 23 (I am starting Volume 24 as we speak), and I absolutely love seeing that growth, and what I was into at a particular moment.

If you have never kept a journal like this, I would highly encourage you to try. However, if you are not into starting a whole new journal, some people successfully do memory keeping in their planners, art journals, Project Life albums and so on.
What I would encourage you to do is to consider enlarging your memory keeping “vocabulary”. What I mean by that is besides thinking only photos, journaling cards and words, think the following:

  • Patterned papers
  • Food packaging
  • Tea bags/tags
  • Paper coffee cups
  • Coffee/tea splatters
  • Stickers
  • Stamps
  • Paint
  • Paint splatters
  • Modeling paste
  • Sketches
  • Fabric
  • Pressed flowers/ leaves
  • Feathers
  • Sand
  • Fingerprints
  • Staples
  • Art journaling spreads to preserve a specific feeling or memory
  • Receipts
  • Tickets
  • Photographs
  • Drawing exercises
  • Lettering practice
  • Quotes
  • Book reviews
  • And many many more!

I have filmed a quite long and rambly video walking you through some of my journals. If you are still not sure how all these things I’ve listed above could be used in a journal, this video might be a good place to get some inspiration.

Hope you feel more confident now and full of ideas. Now, I invite you to join me as I document a cold snowy January day here in Poland. Many people falsely believe that a day has to be eventful or “memory/documenting worthy” for you to journal about it. I strongly disagree with this idea.

Life is not 5 big events, a few holidays and birthdays and one big summer vacation that happen to an average person every year. Life consists of routines, mundane tasks, chores, inside jokes, Netflix marathons, work, cooking, junk food and attempts to do sport regularly. Those are the things that fill 80% of your life and they are worth being documented!

Take a photo of your first cup of tea or coffee in the morning. Take a bathroom selfie before and after you do your makeup for the day. Write about the shows you are watching, and how you struggle to force yourself into a routine after holidays. However, to make your artist soul happy, make even the most mundane memories pretty. Throw in some glitter, that paper you have been hoarding for a year, some pretty stickers, whatever makes your heart glow. Draw your feet, your TV, your pet. Print out photos of your work desk, yourself after an intense workout, or trash that you have been promising yourself to take out since last week. Splatter some paint. Be real, and enjoy it.

Action Steps

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Start a dedicated memory keeping journal. Alternatively, designate a spread in your planner/art journal/notebook/diary that you would use to preserve the memories of the day in a creative way.

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Notice the smallest things you could document about today. Take photos of everything that seems interesting or inspiring at the moment.

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Collect ephemera throughout the day (a piece of the morning newspaper, tea tag, bus ticket, menu from a restaurant, your child’s drawing, etc.).

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If you have an opportunity to print photos at home, do it. Otherwise, find your favorite photo and try to draw what you see. If you don’t feel confident in your drawing skills, do a blind contour drawing. It produces interesting, unexpected and artsy results.

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Take out your good stuff (I mean it, stop hoarding that beautiful piece of paper! Use it to create something even more beautiful!) and start arranging pieces of your day on your journal pages.

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Go with the flow!

Sasha Zinevych

Sasha is a Ukrainian girl living in Poland. She grew up in a very artistic family of photographers and actors, so she cannot imagine her life without that creative sparkle lightening up her days. She is into creative memory keeping, art journaling and sketching.

12 Comments

  1. Alyssa Rothwell

    This is so inspiring. Your journals are absolutely beautiful!

    • Sasha Zinevych

      Thank you so much for watching, Alyssa! Hope you create today! 😉

  2. Gilly Welch

    I love the simplicity of your memory books Sasha; all the extra details such as your beautiful sketches and the little touches of co-ordinating colours are just perfect! I really feel inspired to make a page right now.

    • Sasha Zinevych

      Oh, Gilly! It makes me so happy that you felt inspired to create after reading through my blog post! <3 🙂 Thank you so much for all your nice comments!

  3. Susan Gallitto

    I love how you combined a daily journal with art techniques:) Your journals are beautiful and you should keep on sketching those fabulous sketches! Your videos and tutorial were great!Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with all of us!

    • Sasha Zinevych

      Thank you so much for your kind response, Susan! I really enjoy doing most of my art in one journal. Then, when I travel, at least, I don’t have to choose what journal I bring with me. 😉 lol I hope you were inspired to create something today!

  4. Charlotte Erichsen

    So lovely to see your books in more detail, after we had this discussion about having one or several journals, a while ago. I hope it helps me to reduce my journals once all the current journals are finished.

    • Sasha Zinevych

      Thanks so much, Charlotte! I really think the idea of keeping one journal for everything is great! Although, I can’t seem to fully integrate my art journal in my daily journal because I like to use more paint and gesso and the paper needs to be thicker. 🙂 Hope it works out for you!

  5. Melody Willoughby

    I also have had more artistic freedom creating in an all inclusive, handmade journal. Thanks for the great ideas. xoxo

    • Sasha Zinevych

      Right? 🙂 You are so welcome, Melody! I hope you are inspired to create today!

  6. Jennifer Box

    Your journals are beautiful and so inspirational!

    • Sasha

      Ah, thank you so much, Jennifer! 🙂