Hello everyone! I’m happy to present to you the last EVERYDAY CREATORS interview for season one. Today I interviewed Lara of @laural1601 from Instagram! I crossed paths with Lara on Instagram in early 2016, through a giveaway of all things! Lara joined my 5K giveaway and won! I’m so glad she did because I was exposed to such a talented journalist through that serendipitous moment. If you want to learn more about Lara and her amazing colour theory studies and breathtaking journal spreads, keep reading! Without further ado, I present to you Lara, our ninth and final EVERYDAY CREATOR.
- Hey Lara, could you introduce yourself to the readers?
My name is Lara (@laural1601), I am based in England, on the very South East coast, and live just a few minutes walk from the sea. I trained as a dentist in London and worked for a while in both Hospital and General Practice before giving it all up to become a step mum to four little children. A little bit of a culture shock initially, but I am slowly starting to find my feet.
The noise in the house can get to me at times, and I find my desk a place to get away from everything, and to forget the hustle and bustle around me. I look forward to the hour or so I get to journal in the evenings after the children are settled. School holidays are especially hectic, and seem to come around all too quickly. The pay off is school time, when I so enjoy the days to myself. Luckily I seem not to suffer from a lack of inspiration as my time is so limited, I just look forward to and love every minute of my creative time.
- How long have you been crafting and journaling and how did you get started?
I have always enjoyed art and especially art supplies and stationery. I had a Japanese school friend at the age of four, who introduced me to origami, and I fondly remember collecting Sanrio and Hello Kitty from a very young age too. I still have a vintage ‘Sanrio stash’ in the attic- and must check it out soon, come to think of it… Hence a love for stationery and Asian supplies in particular was born.
- Where do you draw inspiration from?
Sadly I am not a natural when it comes to drawing, and have to seek inspiration around me. But I do love collage and colour, and the putting together and decorating pages is something I really enjoy. Rather than being able to draw journal entries (how I wish I could), I use colour swatches and collage as memories aides instead. This is reflected in my journaling style, where it is not so much the writing, but more the decorating that I look forwards to. I started journaling daily only about two years ago, when I had too many amigurumi (crochet) characters and sewn pouches and bags about the house.
- Do you think you have your own artistic style or aesthetic?
After having stopped work, I craved some sort of creative outlet, and journaling came naturally and fits perfectly into my life. As far as an artistic style? Gosh, in no way do I think of myself as an artist. I journal for fun, and cannot draw! I started posting on IG maybe a year ago, as I find it such a huge inspiration, I felt I should return something to the community. Living in England, where journaling is an unusual hobby, the Internet is my main source of inspiration. Being able to follow such talent from around the world is amazing, and has pretty much transformed my style. Had it not been for IG, I would never have heard of the TN or Hobonichi, my two main journaling staples, let alone have any real thoughts about decorating pages- I am not sure I had even come across washi tape prior to IG- one of my weaknesses.
- Besides art, crafting and journaling, do you have any other hobbies and interests?How do these other activities tie in with your art?
I have always loved nature and the outdoors, and I suppose to an extent this is reflected in my pages. But daily events, purchases and actually pretty much anything that spark interest are recorded.
- As a Traveler’s Notebook and Hobonichi user, what do you primarily use these two notebooks for?
I started journaling in a Hobonichi back in 2015, but soon found out that adding too much bulk to the pages makes it impossible to write in. I then switched to a TN, where the insert system worked much better, and have been using this ever since. I love the thrill of stating a new insert, and also the flexibility of the system. For 2017 I shall be using a combination of both as I missed the luxury of the Tomoe river paper in the TN. The A6 English version (because I love the daily quotes) for documenting in writing, and the TN more as an art journal. I have just given in and ordered a horizontal weekly diary for the TN, as I figured I would miss decorating the weekly diary pages too much. My concern now, being am I taking on too much for 2017? Something I often read about people thinking. But hey, what’s the worse that can can happen? A few pages are left blank- I am determined to not put pressure upon myself, as it would spoil the process.
- Your Instagram feed is beautiful. Could you explain the process behind getting the perfect photo. Would you say you have your own photography style?
My IG feed has evolved over recent times, and I cannot thank the community enough for taking time to look at and support my posts. They are all pretty modest and simple. My iPhone, desk as the background, IG to edit the photo and that is about it. I tend to favour soft gentle colour schemes which is reflected.
- Recently, you’ve been exploring the world of watercolour and colour theory. Can you please talk about the journey in this new hobby so far?
Recently, I have started using watercolour in my journaling, and colour and colour theory are becoming a real passion. Experimenting with mixing colour to exactly replicate items and memories is something I so enjoy doing. I am also slowly discovering different brands of both paint and paper, and how they so vary the final result. A real learning process, and to date, I am right at the beginning. You Tube is a great source of inspiration and thank you all for the wonderful videos out there- really, they are amazing.
- What are a few of your favourite art supplies/stationery? What is one piece of stationery or art supply you have on your wish list?
My favourite supplies have to be my TN, iroshizuku inks and my watercolours. The newest addition are my ShinHan paints, which I am really enjoying. I love the colours of the Asian brands- so much more interesting than the classic Winsor and Newton- although these certainly have their place too. And a few books on colour mixing and colour theory. This is where the classic Winsor and Newton pure pigment paints really come into their own- different brands name their paints differently, and I am slowly learning pigment colours as well as paper types, and how these all have such an impact on the end result.
On my wish list? Maybe the full ShinHan colour range, just for fun?
- Your passion for Asian stationery is evident in your Instagram feed. Is it difficult to find stationery from Asia in England? Do you know any stationery or art stores people should check out if they are looking for Asian supplies in England?
Asian stationery is exciting to me, from the wonderful papers to inks to pens (I have pretty small handwriting, and just cannot get along with European nibs) to colours. Maybe because I love the Asian culture, but to me this is the most exciting. The Internet and especially IG are dangerous as a ready supply is available through this source. Stationery shops in England are pretty limiting, and just not fun for me- they also do not readily stock Asian goods. So, the Internet it is, and I often wonder what we all did before it’s existence.
- Lastly, do you have any words of advice or tips for anyone who wants to start a creative hobby?
So that just about wraps it up, and thank you so much for reading- as I have already said, I am a little overwhelmed to even have been asked to write this post. I hope it may have been of interest to some. I can only encourage people to share their work on IG and other forms of social media, as for me it really has changed everything. Had it not been for the wonderfully inspirational posts I so enjoy, I would not have this hobby in this format today. And do remember that we all start with one ‘follower’, so don’t be shy.
I hope you enjoyed this last EVERYDAY CREATORS interview. It was a pleasure peeking into Lara’s creative process and journey, as well as all the other EVERYDAY CREATORS. You can find Lara on Instagram with the username @LAURAL1601. Go show her some love and stay tuned for some new content in the next few weeks. The EVERYDAY CREATORS series will be back for season two this spring. For now I hope you continue to support this blog and have a great day!