The first in our "Journaling Affection" series, is an interview with Julie Jarvis. I met Julie more than ten years ago in a yoga class, and I'm happy to call her my friend. I interviewed her about her art journaling routine, to offer you a deeper look into her artistic life.
Meet Julie Jarvis. You can follow her artistic journey on her Facebook page.
1) What are your earliest memories of writing and art making as a child? What's the first time you remember feeling inspired?
"We had a beach house that was a one bedroom, one bathroom cabin. We spent our summers there. I was the youngest of five children and there was a spread of five years between me and the youngest brother - so I kind of grew up as an only child. My world was living in the middle of a bunch of people, but I didn't have anyone playing with me. Except - my pencils! I didn't feel lonely, but I felt alone. Drawing became my playmate, always there and always fun. The beach always inspired me to be in the present moment. I could never decide what I liked most: the view, the smells, the touch or the sounds. I would think hard about all the senses in detail. Digging in the sand to make castles, swimming and jumping in the waves, the constant wind forced me to feel my long hair, the seagulls calling and the ships blowing their horns. Learning to observe my surroundings has been the single biggest help in expressing my deepest feelings."
2) What are your favorite ways to express yourself?
Not necessarily in this order: drawing, painting, encaustics, jewelry making, printmaking, writing, photography, graphic arts, cooking, mothering, being a friend, being a lover, being a dog and cat owner, solving a problem, listening to a friend and giving my opinion. Whatever problem, whether a blank page in my journal, or a sick child, I try to approach a remedy or at least a path to follow, with several options. With several solutions to choose from, I begin to work until my gut is satisfied. When I please my inner voice then I go on to the next creative challenge.
3) If you've ever gone through a period of feeling unmotivated or that you don't have "permission" to journal, how do you find the courage to journal again?
Journaling is now a habit with me. I've done it for so many years that it doesn't take effort to pick up my pen or pencil. However, some days flow way better than other days. Those are the days I simply have more to say. Some days it's writing more than drawing, but always a doodle comes out somewhere! If I feel the need to ramp up inspiration, I get it from other artists. Looking at art online or a gallery or a museum always triggers my brain. For jewelry inspiration, I go to Sundance Catalog!
4) How is journaling a form of self care for you? Does it help you express yourself, cope or understand the world a little better? Can you explain your process and how you use it?
Having two psychologists for parents I learned long ago to get in touch with my intuition, my inner self. Understanding my human side in tandem with my spiritual side, I learned to see the world with two perspectives. Journaling has been a voice or outlet for all those inner feelings that don't speak English! Daily practice is the key to letting your spirit speak. After several months or years of writing or drawing, you begin to see patterns. When you objectively look at your expressions the information is not only revealing, but it then becomes healing and you move into a more peaceful and rich life.
5) What inspires your art?
Sometimes I'm inspired to make art because someone needs a necklace for a party. Co-creating is one of my favorite inspirations: when someone gives me a project or materials to turn into something. The act of working with someone is very inspirational. Just like travel and dancing can be done alone, but is so much better when you share. If I create a painting or drawing that someone buys for their home, that is just as rewarding. It completes the cycle. A bunch of art in a closet is a dead end. Sometimes my inspiration comes from a nature walk, a sunrise, a glass of wine or a good meal or a friend's friendship. I can get excited by seeing a rock in my path. Learning that this physical experience on Earth is temporary - brings joy in every moment. When we become mindful of the Present, our inner self starts dancing with the pencil in our hand.
Thank you Julie!