Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Journal Keeping: Inspiration, Hannah Hinchman

In last week's interview with yours truly, I mentioned that one of my inspirations and crafting heros was journal keeper Hannah Hinchman. I decided today that I should share some of her books so I can spread the goodness around.

I have two of her books, A Trail Through Leaves, The Journal as a Path to Place and also A Life in Hand, Creating the Illuminated Journal (out of print, but I found a used copy). These books are inspiring enough just for the pictures, but are also good reads for the journal keeping ideas.

While I don't think my skills come close to hers in her nature illustrations and gorgeous watercolors, I try not to let that stop me. I use a lot of the tips and ideas I've picked up from her books. Here are five of my faves:

1. Pay attention to your handwriting. While it's great to have fast writing in your regular handwriting, sometimes paying attention to your lettering can give your journals a slower and more concentrated pace. (Her hand lettering is truly gorgeous!)

2. Paint the skies, and how they change. Stay in one place and do quick little paintings of how the sky changes.

3. Make little maps of your own personal spaces, and your plans for them or how they change over time. Perfect if you have a garden journal.

4. "The Power of the Ordinary." By simply describing a seemingly ordinary event, you can give life to it in a new way. This is perfect to do in the winter to help a bad case of cabin fever.

5. "Start with a smell." What we see, or activities going on are often jumping off points for a journal entry, but how about starting with a smell. What do you smell, where is that smell originating from, what does that smell conjure for you?

I highly recommend picking up one of her books, or checking them out of your local library. They're stunning and as the weather gets warmer, it'll give you lots of ideas for getting outside and keeping a journal.


CinderLisa said...

Oh this is just beautiful. I love the idea of sketching out the sky at a few different points in the day - actually I love all of these ideas! It does definitely make me wish I were more handy as an artist.

I had a professor in college who was completely enthralled whenever anyone detailed the hows and whats of a completely ordinary experience - I guess it's not a surprise that he's the professor I took a Diaries class with!

Anonymous said...

that's wonderful, thank you for sharing that. Reminds me that I should use my journals more often.
I like her handwriting too ;)

Nancy said...

As a writer, I particularly like your tip #4 about describing the ordinary. Sometimes I do this, going through all the senses--what I see, hear, smell, feel, and even taste when I can. Also my daughter keeps travel journals. She writes and then her fiance illustrates her entry.