| Written by Ronnie |
I find it incredible that it has now been a year since we first launched the idea of the #lifecapturedproject. Twelve months of journaling prompts! Twelve months of writing our hearts out together! To be completely honest with you all, the last two months of nausea and fatigue haven't really left me much energy for journaling. The one thing that I have managed to write up is my personal account of Cameron's eighth anniversary this year. This was something I failed to do last year, and I promised myself that I wouldn't let that happen again. Over the course of three to four weeks, I wrote whenever I had the energy to do so. And though I found myself despairing that I would never get it done, I did. I wrote about his anniversary, and I wrote about his birthday the next day. It came to a a total of 3894 words, and I know that I will treasure those 3894 words forever...
This month's interview is with Ria De Lara, whose journaling pages for the #lifecapturedproject have rather captured my imagination. (If only I could have handwriting like that!) Anyway, a big thank you to Ria for giving us a glimpse into her everyday life and her process for journaling.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your family?
I'm from Manila, Philippines. Three years ago, I got into calligraphy as a way to de-stress. Somehow, this has led me to pursue other creative interests: handlettering, rubber stamp carving, scrapbooking, painting, doodling and most recently, journaling. I am married to my best friend and we have 2 sons, aged 17 and 3. As a family, we like traveling to different places and trying new restaurants. I love documenting our simple adventures through scrapbooking, drawing, and journaling.
Why is journaling important to you?
I have always been a fan of documenting life. The stories of our lives can easily be captured through the use of photos and videos, but I find that journaling is another way of getting the stories told. When I write my heart out, the stories that I tell are even more authentic because my thoughts and feelings are laid out on paper.
When do you find the time to do it?
As a stay-at-home mom, I don't really get a lot of free time for myself. My 'me time' usually happens when everyone in the family has gone to sleep. That is, from midnight to about 2am in the early morning! There are no interruptions whatsoever and I find that I can be totally 'in the zone.'
What sort of journals do you keep?
I have many themed journals because I like working on different things so that I won't get bored. I have journals devoted to favorite quotes and song lyrics. I have a travel art journal where I record drawings of landmarks I have seen during my travels, along with the bits and pieces that happened on those trips. I paint the memorable meals I have eaten in my life in a journal called Plate and Palette. Recently, I've also started an illustrated recipe journal where I've drawn recipes I hope to cook someday.
What is your approach to using the #lifecapturedproject prompts?
Because of my hectic schedule, I cannot commit to journaling everyday. When I am able to find time, I just pick a prompt that 'speaks' to me from the list. I like sharing my finished pages on my Instagram, as I hope to inspire others to write their heart out as well. I have to admit that, at first, this made me feel that I was putting too much of myself out there in public. I only post the journal pages that I feel comfortable sharing online, and I keep the more private ones to myself.
Your journaling pages are beautiful. Can you share with us your process for writing and creating a page?
I start by writing my chosen prompt in the middle of the page in faux calligraphy style. Then I look through my catalog of clear stamps to see what I can use to decorate my page. Then I draw some doodles related to the prompt. Sometimes I use alphabet stamps to include relevant quotes. After all that, I start writing my heart out. I write directly into my journal without making a draft so I'm always prone to make spelling or grammatical mistakes. I have decided not to cross out these mistakes nor rewrite them. These errors are part of my journaling process; the mistakes make the pages more real and authentic. When I'm done, I stamp the word "Captured" and write the date of completion in one of the page corners.
What are your favourite tools?
I use a Labrador Factory M Stitch Journal for my journaling. The hand stitches make it very sturdy. When I see its creamy blank pages, I always feel inspired to write. I enjoy writing with a Marvy Uchida Drawing pen (0.3) because it glides easily on paper and is waterproof. I love decorating my journal pages with my collection of clear stamps that come in different themes: travel, occasions, and nature. Having a variety of alphabet stamps in different fonts and sizes is also a must for me. I find them especially useful during the times when I hate my own handwriting. Good quality inkpads are also important so that the stamps can leave a good impression on the paper.
Do you have any tips to give people who are interested in learning calligraphy?
I learned how to do pointed pen and brush calligraphy by joining workshops. It's a very good place to start because teachers can model the right strokes and tell you where to find the best materials and resources to use. I don't really consider myself an expert on calligraphy but I find that my writing improves with constant practice. It also helps to focus more on making progress than trying to achieve perfection.
To see more of Ria's images and words, you can follow her on Instagram.
You can download the prompts for November here.