Hello everyone! I’m happy to present to you the next EVERYDAY CREATOR, Michelle from SEAWEEDKISSES the blog, Youtube channel and Instagram account! Michelle is a friend of mine who I met on Instagram almost a year ago, however, my history with Michelle runs even further. I stumbled upon Michelle’s YouTube channel, and I vividly remember watching her videos while I was debating whether I should purchase a Midori Traveler’s notebook. If you want to peak into Michelle’s travel journal, or learn more about her love for crafting, planners and Korean instant coffee, continue reading! Without further ado, I present to you Michelle, our fifth EVERYDAY CREATOR.
- Hi Michelle! Could you please introduce yourself to the readers?
Hello! My name is Michelle Marie. I’m from the United States, based in the sunny state of Arizona. When I’m not working the 9-5 corporate sales job, I’m at home journaling, crafting and traveling to my heart’s content. I have a weakness for nice notebooks, Korean/Japanese stationery and sweet instant coffee.
- How long have you been crafting, journaling and planning?
Looking back, I’ve been crafting ever since Kindergarten. I was always involved in some type of fun project at school, from finger painting, paper mache, ceramics, you name it. Thankfully, my passion for art started at a very young age. In time, that passion only grew stronger. As for journaling, I started jotting down thoughts and daily events when I was in the 4th grade. Although my writing was never consistent back then, I always made sure to document the important moments in my life. Daily planning didn’t start until my middle school years.
- How did get you started in crafting, journaling and planning?
In the beginning, I remember looking forward to my school’s art classes. Slowly, as the years passed, I realized that my interest in art and fun creative projects was my “thing.” Throughout time I just slowly dabbled into other art projects such as painting, collaging, jewelry making, scrapbooking, art journaling, and the list goes on. Journaling, I feel, has always been a part of me. It just took time for me to get the thoughts out of my head and down onto paper. As I got older and took on more responsibilities with school and everyday life, I needed a way to stay organized. It was when I started the 6th grade, to be exact, that I started using a daily planner for the very first time.
- Where do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration is all around us. We just have to be open to receive it in any way that it comes. For me, inspiration hits at the most random times when I’m doing the most mundane thing such as walking to the mailbox, flipping through a magazine, eating breakfast, looking out the car window, painting my nails, taking a shower, doing the dishes, etc. One thing I’ve realized is that the harder I try to “find” inspiration, the harder it is to be seen or found. It’s always during those random times when I least expect it that inspiration finds me, and boom! That’s when all these ideas and answers come flooding in…
- What do you do to get out of a creative slump?
Ahh, yes. The creative slump. Before, I used to try to force myself out of it by any and all means. I loathed the feeling of being unmotivated and stuck creatively. But now, I just take it in. I let myself stay in that slump for as long as I need to. Then, out of nowhere, as I’m taking a shower or on my morning walk, that rush of inspiration and motivation I was searching for comes searching for me. It always finds me at the right time, too. It’s taken me a while to realize how my creative cycle works, but I recognize the pattern and have learned to avoid the resistance and just go with it.
- Do you think you have your own artistic style or aesthetic? If so, could you explain?
Yes, I would say my style is pretty simple and carefree. That applies to just about everything in my life right now from my wardrobe, my work space, the way I journal, down to my daily planning.
- I’ve been a longtime viewer of your YouTube channel and actually watched one of your videos when I was deciding if I should purchase a Midori Traveler’s notebook. When and how did get you started in YouTube? Do you have any favourite channels to watch?
Believe it or not, I wanted to start my own YouTube channel years ago, but I was too scared. You know, it’s natural for us to fear the unknown. “What if this, what if that?” plays into our mind. But as I got deeper into my journaling and stationery hobby, more and more people would ask to see my stationery collection, details on my Midori planner setup, inserts I used, and so on. I resisted the idea of starting my channel for months, but the idea just would not leave my mind. The motivation was there and my inner creative self was screaming for me to start making videos. But it was my mind (aka the ego) that was holding me back saying, “No one’s going to care about your silly notebooks. People are into other and better things. Who would want to watch a channel about stationery? You’re “too old” to have this hobby.” Then one day as I was watching someone else’s YouTube video, I thought to myself, “If I enjoy watching this person’s video, there may be someone out there waiting to come across mine and gain inspiration from it like I did from theirs.” So I bit the bullet, pushed aside my fears, and recorded my very first video, which was my Midori Traveler’s Notebook Passport Size- My Current Setup and How I Use It. The rest is history. J .
As for as my favorite YouTubers go, while I enjoy watching other planner setups, I really enjoy food and travel channels, too. I’ve been a loyal follower of Simon and Martina’s channel, Eat Your Kimchi, for over 7 years now. Mark Wiens’ channel is another top favorite of mine. When I’m in need of a good laugh, I can always turn to Natalie’s CommunityChannel.
- Besides crafting, journaling/planning and YouTube, do you have any other hobbies and interests? How do these other activities tie in with you art?
My other hobbies consist of blogging, traveling…lots-n-lots of traveling, meeting new people, and creating zines (self-published, handmade booklet). Being that I live in a state where it’s sunny and warm 90% of the year, hiking is also another pleasure of mine.
- What has your journaling and planning journey been like? Which journals and planners have you used, and what are you currently using as your journal and planner?
My planner journey has been an interesting and ever changing one, that’s for sure. Most of my journals in the past where purchased from local bookstores, and they all had to have cute little cover designs on them. Nowadays, I don’t care so much for cover designs as much as I do for paper quality. My ideal journal is one that lays flat when the pages are open, has a sturdy cover, and comes in a portable size, similar to a Leuchtturm1917 notebook design. For my daily planner, I’ve used many types and brands throughout the years. To name a few, I’ve used Filofax, Mead, Moleskine, Korean Planners from cute stationery stores, Hobonichi Techo, 3-ring binders, disc-bound planner, and the Midori Traveler’s Notebook in both sizes. For work, I’m currently using a Day Designer by Blue Sky (from Target). For personal planning, I use a pocket size notebook (either my Leuchtturm1917 notebook or the passport size Midori Traveler’s Notebook) for grocery lists, errands and random notes. For more goal-setting tasks, to-do lists, and day-to-day planning, I’m using my Midori Traveler’s Notebook in the regular size.
- What inspired you to create your own zine? Do you have any advice to anyone who wants to start one?
Being that I enjoy art journaling, I’m happy that I found a way to share it with others. A penpal had suggested and asked if I could compile all of my journalings into a little handmade booklet for her to look back onto for her own journaling inspiration. I made one for her, and enjoyed the process. Making and putting together a zine is the perfect combination for all things I enjoy doing creatively: art journaling, writing, drawing, reading, designing and sending snail mail. My advice for anyone looking to create their own zine is to make sure your printer is cost-efficient when it comes to the ink cartridges. I learned that the hard way.
- Your Instagram feed is beautiful. Could you explain the process behind getting the perfect photo. Would you say you have your own photography style?
I’m far from a professional photographer, but a few tips I always keep in mind when taking my Instagram pictures are: good lighting (or boost up that brightening tool within the Instagram app), different angles, and using a variety of subjects.
- What are a few of your favourite art supplies/stationery? What is one piece of stationery or art supply you have on your wishlist?
Oh gosh. I have so many favorites. Most of my favorite supplies are planner stationeries, such as my gel highlighters, page flags, retractable ballpoint/rollerball pens, and post-it notes/note pads…in all shapes, colors and designs. Someday soon I’m hoping to add a nice fountain pen to my collection.
- Lastly, do you have any tips or words of advice to anybody who wants to start a creative hobby?
Do it for you. Do it because you enjoy doing it. Don’t do it for fame, money or status because in the end it’ll start feeling like a job instead of your own creative flow and authentic self. I know with social media being so big right now, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and mimic other people’ creative process. But you must be true to yourself. Do and create what makes you happy, not what other people think will make them happy.
Also, listen to your heart, feel with your gut and tune out the mind. If you know in your heart that there is something you want to do, your gut will help build that courage you need to pursue your passions. Never doubt yourself or your artistic abilities.
I hope you enjoyed the fifth interview of the EVERYDAY CREATORS series. It was a pleasure peeking into Michelle’s creative process and journey. You can find Michelle on various social medias platforms through the username SEAWEEDKISSES (Click here to go to her: blog, Youtube channel and Instagram account)! Go show her some love. Stay tuned for the next EVERYDAY CREATORS interview coming soon.