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Every year I watch the sketchbook project roll back around and wish I had taken part, and this year, I finally did! 

I have decided to centre my project around colour studies. The aim to create a sketchbook that flows from one colour to the next, using a variety of mixed mediums. Collage, paint, ink, pencil, pastel.. etc

Today, in this blog post, I am sharing where my project is up to currently. I have until February 2019 to complete all the pages but seeing as I am also due to have a baby that month (!) I am aiming to have it finished by January.

It starts with rainbow swatches 

Then we move onto red


Green (1)

Green (2)



And we finish on rainbow



Welcome to the mark making zine! A truly one-of-a-kind edition, made especially for Divyam. This zine was also extra special as I got to hand deliver it to Divyam, during our Get Messy meet up in London last week (!)

Original Zine Squad: Katie, Vanessa & Myself
Guest Ziner: Molly

The front cover
I added the felt tip squiggles and the small titles of "the" and "zine"

My collage and felt tip page on the left, Vanessa (?) on the right

A double spread of free flowing mark making 

Two collaged pages near the end 



You can find all of our other zines here and to see sneak peeks and progress shots, follow @zinesquad on instagram!
To learn more about zine squad, how we started and how we co-ordinate the process, listen to our podcast episode on how she creates here


Last Friday was a fun and different day for me, I ventured down to London to meet some of my friends and co-members from Get Messy! I have been part of the art journalling group since it began back in 2014. It's been a big part of my life and I've loved watching it grow and flourish alongside my own individual art practice. Friday was so special - meeting people I have been friends with for years, for the first time in real life as well as new people whom you have this instant connection with! 
Selfishly, it was also great for me as I have struggled with being creative ever since I found out I was pregnant. It is still an interest and passion of mine, but I have found the pull to my art room to be less and less strong over the last 5x months. 

However, being surrounded by creative people and art supplies really helped push me back into creating again. 

It seemed like the perfect excuse to start my "messy artist" art journal!

We all brought supplies with us and laid them out in the centre of the room to share. We were being hosted by the lovely Divyam so had little restrictions on time and space... ideal!

This page was made for me by Lauren, and I made a page in her journal too. I wish we had longer as I would've loved to of collected art from everybody!

Finally meeting my 2x faves! Lauren & Caylee, the founders of Get Messy


Get Messy Art Journal is an art journaling program/community. We are a group of like minded art journalers who have come together under this art form to learn, share, practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. Our community values consistent creating, encouragement and support and trying new things. My blog contains affiliate links to Get Messy Art Journal. This means that when you purchase a yearly membership or class using links in my post, I receive a small percentage. We would love to have you join us as a member of Get Messy Art Journal so Join Get Messy now! " 


I can't believe I've basically finished this project!

It was such a great way to document and discover myself. Now that I have completed 50, I have decided that I'll be saving my final two portraits for the subjects of pregnancy and motherhood.

In this blog post, I have a belated round up of portraits  43-50



I am almost comically impatient. Always wishing people moved and thought faster (myself included!), forever trying to get things done quickly, making snap decisions and not ever wanting to wait. I have said more than once whilst in a queue or waiting for something, anything, that “I'm dying inside”. Dramatic, yes. But not far off! I felt this image captured that feeling of impatience so well, doing one thing but already moving onto the other...


The Rolling Stones

It may seem strange to dedicate a whole portrait to one band, but they are the band of my childhood, adolescence and family. My Dad is a huge Stones fan so I was raised on their music. He would play their records loudly on the weekends throughout the whole house and their songs now echo throughout my own home. Seeing them perform live was mesmerising and such a special moment to share with my Dad. Gimme shelter, wild horses, ruby tuesdays, and sympathy for the devil all day every day 



A few years ago I saw my first fox. It was in our garden and it looked into my soul - I know that sounds crazy but it’s true. Since then I have been convinced that I was a fox in a previous life, it is my spirit animal. I am part human, part vulpine. I love their colours, sneakiness, mystery, midnight howling and fluffy tails. However; they terrify me. I am convinced that Oscar will get eaten by one, their screams wake me up with a jolt during the summer months and it is probably this unease and intrigue that keeps me so interested in their lives



I am lucky to have a career that involves colour, pattern and creativity. I pretty much failed school so I am forever proud of how far I have come since those days. I fell in total love for textiles when I was in college and I think I will always be slightly in awe of myself when I get to answer the question of “what do you do?” with “I’m a designer!”



Personal Space

I have a wide personal space. I don't like to be touched or hugged or kissed (I'm looking at you, Europe) by anyone who isn't in my inner circle. I hate being trapped and that's how this level of intimacy makes me feel! 


Think before you speak

Not every thought I have needs to be voiced. There is a time and place for silence, consideration and pause. Lessons I'm still learning!



I have been surprised of my age every birthday since 1998. I remember the day that I turned the big one-oh and my Nan saying to me “you’ll never be a single digit age again” and ever since then I’ve been amazed at my increasing growing up. I was a bit of a wild-child, I never thought about what job I wanted or really anything to do with adult life. I never wanted to get married, go to uni or even buy a house. I just sort of took each day as it came. So the fact that I am actually now an adult and it’s 2018 and I turned thirty last month feels crazy!



Dear skin, it’s been a tough journey with you. From eczema to acne to tattoos and scars. 
I have often felt like my skin is something separate to me. Something that is trying to hurt or embarrass me. So blazen in it's unhappiness with being on my body that it turns red and painful and infected. Then once healed it scars, just to remind me of it's tempestuous ways. Perhaps this is the lure of tattoos for me; not only the permanence of art on my body but also the regain of control over my skin. I've been fortunate to of always had pretty good self confidence but my skin is an ongoing issue I'm yet to conquer...


You can follow my progress with this year long challenge on Instagram under the tag - #julias52portraits


"52 portraits is a photography course in self discovery by Vanessa and is hosted through Get Messy Art Journal whom I am an affiliate for. The course is a year long journey in using photography and words to turn your reflection inward and capture who you are at this phase in your life."

52 PORTRAITS | 43-50

Welcome to the crystal zine! This zine was created especially for Elly.

Original Zine Squad: Katie, Vanessa & Myself
Guest Ziner: Becka

I added the text onto the front cover

A double page spread I created. I had a really fun time colouring in with my neon sharpies!

My faceted, glittery crystal shapes on the left

Make sure to check out everyone's blog or Instagram today to see the whole zine!


You can find all of our other zines here and to see sneak peeks and progress shots, follow @zinesquad on instagram!

To learn more about zine squad, how we started and how we co-ordinate the process, listen to our podcast episode on how she creates here