Visual Journal, page 1

Ayla is 2 months old. Rayyan and Manahil are 4 and 5. My online art classes are picking up. My regular calligraphy painting orders are still flowing in. I’m discovering more and more about art in Jeddah and loving it. And most important of all, I am in the midst of MA fine art digital online through Camberwell College of Art. And even though I am relishing every minute of it and I feel soooo inspired by my colleagues and professors, not to mention the OODLES I end up learning every single time I speak with them, I’ve gotta say, life’s become quite a handful.

So in the midst of all this (happy) chaos, my visual journal serves multiple purposes. There’s no need to reiterate how hectic the life of a SAHM of three can be! And along with all the other stuff I’m trying to juggle, my mind ends up racing with thoughts every second of every day. Even sleep is filled with turbulent dreams of to-do lists 😐 . My visual journal is a great way to help me simmer down. Color pencils are therapeutic and freeing, and I let my mind wander without direction while I doodle in color. Also, it’s a great way to capture unhindered thoughts and feelings.

Sometimes, when I sit down to make art all I see before me is a wall of fear that I am too tired to scale. That fear is built up brick by brick by conscious thought. When I draw in my visual journal those bricks come tumbling down because there IS no conscious thought. There IS no right or wrong. There IS no end design in mind. So it’s a good way to help me overcome artists’ block (if that’s a thing lol).

Most of all, my visual journal helps me capture fleeting thoughts. They say (don’t they?) the best ideas come when you least expect them. When I sit before a blank canvas I’m likely to have fewer inspirational thoughts than when I’m surfing the internet, or just about to fall asleep, or driving along in the car. My visual journal is the place where these random thoughts find a home. It’s a way to capture not only inspiration, but my true inner narrative as and when it happens.

The hope is that the visual journal will be a work of art in itself when it is complete. But for now, I am not going to sully the freeing experience by expecting it to be one.

Anyway, on the 21st of January (my birthday) I posted page 2 of my visual journal on social media along with this caption:



Yesterday I turned 28 years old. Yesterday marked the end of a very eventful, chaotic, life-changing year So I let myself pick up those pencils and just draw how I felt. No reference, no direction, no conscious decisions. Just free-flowing imagination. And I thought about the most important lesson I learnt this year: Sometimes people are right, sometimes people are wrong. The only way to find the right path for you is to trust the voice inside and follow your heart.

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