April was a fun month for portraits as I spent a week travelling aka getting new ideas, inspiration and backgrounds!

Cups of tea

On a morning, during the day, at night. The ritual calms me (I’m British afterall), gives me breaks or starts me back up. My life is fuelled by green, black, earl, camomile, peppermint tea.




My roots, where I grew up, always the place I’ll be from. I spent so much of my life wishing to be somewhere else that when I now return, I get a bittersweet longing for it. But it’s not really the place I miss, it’s my childhood and adolescent memories; Days playing in fields and climbing on hay bails, summer nights that felt like they’d never end, long drives down country roads, sunsets that melted into the grass… Norfolk will always have a very special place in my heart, because it's my home



Overactive imagination

I have always been very imaginative and I love this part of myself as I think it fuels my creativity. Though it seems to come with an exception; troubled sleep. Specifically night terrors. I experienced them as a child; that hot fear, racing heart, springing up in bed convinced there were people in my room... But they stopped as I grew up. That is, until I was 20 years old and woke up one night in my student house to see people in the room staring at me. Needless to say, I was completely freaked out, but I had a strange recollection of the experience; that vague memory of this happening before. I now have night terrors more often than I would like and I can’t seem to figure out what causes them. Travel definitely does and I’ve seen countless weird visions in hotels and air b’n’bs over the years. Migraines too, as just the other week I went to bed with a migraine and woke up an hour later screaming but I can’t remember who or what I saw. Just as often though, they seem to occur as random as the faces I see. My most noted visions to date are: a crowd of tourists in a Chicago hotel room, a version of my husband 8ft tall in an airbnb in Montenegro, a victorian woman in our previous house, a hand creeping around my bedroom door in that same house, and a badger in my first rented flat.   




I have a very specific fear of missing out that only happens when I'm travelling. I often get overwhelmed with all of the options a new place brings; I want to see, do, eat everything! This means my holidays are adventurous, full on and sometimes pretty knackering. Laying on a beach doing nothing bores me after about an hour so I know I need and crave the constant visual stimulation you get from visiting cities or multiple destinations, I just want to train myself to chill out a bit. It's ok if I don't see every single cool thing, explore every nook and cranny. Holidays are for relaxation as well as exploration… A reminder to myself!




Coupled with my previous portrait, I find not doing things difficult. I can procrastinate exceptionally well, spend a whole day watching trash TV but 90% of the time, I like to be doing something and if I'm not doing something, I like to know there are things I could be doing (this is the key to not feeling bored!) My constant need for working on projects is best shown through my creative habits. I love to have small projects going on that are solely my responsibility and for my enjoyment. Colouring in was always my favourite pastime and I've just extended that into making art almost constantly in my spare time!


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."

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