Sasha Zinevych

Sasha is a memory keeper and mixed media artist from Ukraine who currently lives in Poland. She is mesmerized by other people’s journals and finds magic and beauty in preserving everyday moments in her handmade books.

Hello, friends! Sasha here today and I am so happy to be back with another tutorial.

When Caylee and Vanessa contacted me with the offer to create a tutorial connected with documenting our lives, I knew exactly what I needed to talk about. Documenting ourselves.

How many times have you used magazine images of other people, models in your work? How many times have you documented your family vacations, your friends’ birthdays, big days, milestones, memorable trips? Many, right? Me too. But now, think about the number of times you have used your own portrait to create a piece of art, or just make a beautiful collage or an art work. Do you often write about your art practice? Do you document your hobbies and interests? Do you write about your feelings in any places besides your diary? I know for a fact that some of you do. But I also know that others don’t do enough of it.

by artist Sasha Zeen for Get Messy

by artist Sasha Zeen for Get Messy

I get it. In the grand scheme of things, all those everyday details and your mundane musings might seem insignificant, and the idea to document a big family trip might seem more exciting. But, listen to me – you matter! You and your thoughts deserve a place in your journal, whether it is an art journal or a memory keeping book. I know some of you use a written journal for this purpose, but I encourage you to step out of that comfort zone, at least sometimes, and bring that part of you into your other journals.

by artist Sasha Zeen for Get Messy

In today’s tutorial, I will show you a fun way you can incorporate your own portrait and create an interactive element in your journal. Moreover, I will try to give you a few more ideas on how to leave your own trace in your books.

by artist Sasha Zeen for Get Messy

by artist Sasha Zeen for Get Messy


  • Acetate sheet/a piece of plastic packaging. Alternatively, you could use vellum.
  • Alcohol based permanent marker.
  • Double sided tape/glue, scissors.
  • X-Acto knife, cutting mat.
  • Your favorite art supplies to decorate your page.

Tips for including yourself

Tip one

 First and biggest tip, which is directly connected to this tutorial – use photos of yourself in all your journals. You are beautiful and unique. Everything you create carries your imprint, a piece of your soul. You express yourself in every brush stroke and every word you write. Why are you resistant to leave more than just this invisible trace? Bring yourself into your journal loudly a proudly! Use full page portraits of yourself. The next time you create a mixed media art journal page, forget about magazine images, use your selfie!

If you want the effect to be more subtle, let me share a fun technique you can use for multiple projects and journals – a clear window page featuring your beautiful face. 

Tip two

If you keep a commonplace book, Project Life, or just a memory keeping journal, like me, remember to document your art projects in them too! Simply photograph your favorite art pages, print them out, paste the photo in your journal and write why, when and how you created this piece, what influenced you. Document your favorite art supplies at the moment – draw them, swatch them, photograph them, write why you love them. Make an art journal spread right in your memory keeping book.

by artist Sasha Zeen for Get Messy

Tip three

Write lists, document the things that excite you and make you happy – the shows you watch, the books you read, the weather that brings smile to your face, your daily rituals or your favorite corner in the house.

If the idea of using your own photograph scares you, the clear window from this lesson is a good place to start. Try it!

I would also be so happy and grateful if you took a moment to share your own ideas on how you could document yourself in the Forums. I believe everyone will be able to find an idea which they feel most comfortable with.

Start slow, but don’t stop.

Remember – you are unique and deserve to be documented in all your creative beautiful glory!

Action Steps


Next time you work in your art journal, use an image of yourself on the page


Celebrate yourself in your art journal, memory keeping journal, or commonplace book by creating a spread all about yourself


Make a clear window in your journal and journal about yourself behind it so your writing peeks through