Well Inked Box: Science & Stripes

Well Inked Box: Science & Stripes

I’m super excited to talk about the new Well Inked Box! On first glance, I thought the supplies might be better suited to a bullet journaler or someone with better penmanship (especially with that fancy looking fountain pen!) but then I thought, “When have I ever been limited by the type of pen or notebook when making art?!”

After that realization, I couldn’t wait to explore and experiment with each item:

The Zebra mildliners definitely called out to me first. I’m a sucker for muted colors and I knew I wanted to create a spread with the gorgeous muted blue and yellow as a focal point. The colors reminded me of a Sktchy app portrait I’d been saving, so I decided to draw it to test everything out!

I sketched out the portrait with the Zebra fountain pen in the Cognitive Surplus Experiment Notebook and then used the Zebra Mildliner Highlighters and Zebra Metallic Brush Pen to color the portrait and create a messy background. The fountain pen is just as good for drawing as it is for writing – maybe one day I’ll have the patience to take up calligraphy and use it to its full potential!

I absolutely adore the blue and yellow colors together, and I used the metallic pen to add some “shadows” to the portrait. The only thing I wish I’d realized earlier is that the black fountain pen doesn’t write over the metallic ink, but luckily I was just experimenting and didn’t have a solid plan for how I wanted the page to look.

The notebook did pretty well with my heavy use of the pens. The fountain pen did bleed through a little bit but that’s because I’m over the top with my outlines and inking. As you can probably tell, the t-shirt and headphones were the parts that bled through the most! I’m sure if you were using the pen in a reasonable manner, there would be no problem.

Overall, I’m really happy with these additions to my art arsenal! The metallic pen and muted colors are right up my alley, and I can never say no to a black ink pen. I’m excited to keep filling up the notebook and continue my exploration of the Well Inked Box supplies.

If you’re new to Well Inked Box, use the code LTJ2018 at checkout for 15% off your first box!

Throwback: Well Inked Box – Kurt (Feb 2018)


In March 2018 I became an ambassador for Well Inked Box, a quarterly subscription box which features creative supplies delivered to your door. I was so excited to receive my first box and I shared the unboxing on my Instagram stories (see highlights).

At the time I was on a portrait drawing kick, so I was super excited to test out all of the goodies – particularly those Tombow pens! The pens are still working a year later and they are now my go-to black pens.

I used the Alex Foster Space notebook for the portraits below:

The notebook had an interesting glossy texture which I’d never come across before and the pages were a little thin for my usual heavy mixed media pages, so I ended up doubling up the pages and reinforcing with a pamphlet stitch so it wouldn’t fall apart. I really liked how it turned out and the cover is by far one of my favorites!

I completed the Space journal in November 2018: view the entire Space journal.

If you’re new to Well Inked Box, use the code LTJ2018 at checkout for 15% off your first box!

Looking Back On 2017 & My 2018 Goals

2017 Journals
My 2017 in journals & zines

In February 2017 I laid out my goals for the year on the Get Messy forum. I was concerned it was too ambitious with working a 40 hour a week job, but I think I did pretty well! Here’s how my year went:

Goal 1: Participate in Get Messy ✓
My goal was to create at least one page a week and get better at working from the prompts. I ended up completing 5 seasons of Get Messy during the year (Gifts, Art 101, Contrast, Color, and Fairytales) and I definitely created at least one page a week! I tried (to varying degrees) to get better at working from the prompts, but I think it confirmed to me that I don’t enjoy working from prompts and they’re not helpful to how I work in my journals. Even though I enjoyed aspects of the group (mainly the community) I decided that I would not be continuing with Get Messy into 2018.

Goal 2: Complete Year of Creative Habits ✓

I am still stunned that I managed to complete this goal! Sure, the end result wasn’t how I envisioned, but I think I prefer how it turned out. My original plan was to make art on a post-it note every day and stick them in mini journals. After 100 days of this (which I think is an accomplishment in itself!) I started counting everything creative I did towards YOCH. I have never followed through on an art challenge before this, so I am proud of myself for persevering! See my 2017 Year of Creative Habits project.

IMG_9903
Generally the amount of projects I was working on at one time!

Goal 3: Collaborate ✓

Technically I kept this goal! I have been working on a collaboration with Beatriz Helton since January 2016, which I continued until April 2017. I think we both got a little burnt out on it and wanted to pursue other projects – but it still counts! I also wanted to try collaborating with Messians. A number of the collabs fell through, but I did finish a Women Rising Collab with Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd. Basically, I did collaborate but not as much as I had planned. Honestly, I learned that I find collaborating very difficult – but maybe that’s a post for another time.

Goal 4: Work in my “main” journals ✓

I’m not even sure what “main” journal even means anymore, since I started about 20 different art journals/sketchbooks this year! But I did other projects besides Get Messy and the post-it notes, so I’m taking this as a win.

Some zines I had art featured in

Goal 5: Submit work to zines ✓

I submitted my work to 7 zines in total, and I had my art featured in 4 of them! I had 1 rejection, 1 zine fell through, and the other is still in the works (hopefully). I’m really happy with how that turned out! One of the zines also involved being involved in an art show, which was an amazing (albeit terrifying) experience.

Goal 6: Project Life/Awesome Ladies Project

Well, technically I didn’t complete this goal – but something else came of it, which I see as a bigger win. My plan was to try and do a version of Project Life for my Awesome Ladies Project throughout the year, but even at the time I wasn’t convinced I’d have time for it. I put it down as a “loose” goal and proceeded to do nothing towards Project Life haha. HOWEVER, in July 2017 I was chosen to be a Creative Team member at the Awesome Ladies Project, created four projects, took part in 100 Days of All About Me, and contributed two blog posts using the ALP Story Journal. I think that outweighs not starting Project Life haha.

Other Highlights from 2017

  • I sold some art! I painted three commissions and sold postcards on Etsy

Honestly, I am stunned at everything that happened this year! I think I’m going to slow it down a bit in 2018 and keep my goals simple (mainly because I am now working a job I love and I want to dedicate more time to my “real” career). Here are a few things I want to accomplish this year:

  • Sell more of my art
  • Begin my recycled journal project
  • Keep working with the Awesome Ladies Project and Book of Me
  • Set up a YouTube account
  • Contribute to more zines/be involved in the zine community (I will be involved in a Zinefest as part of my new job)
  • Generally make art I love

Here’s to an arty and productive year! How did your 2017 go? What are your goals for 2018? I’d love to hear about them!

Pushing Through the Fear (Revisited)

In January I published a blog post called Pushing Through the Fear, which was all about how in 2016 I would be pushing myself out of my comfort zone and start believing in myself and what I create:

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a problem with “putting myself out there”. Not only am I an introvert, I am a fairly shy introvert. I’m nowhere near as shy as I used to be, but still; I don’t enjoy being the center of attention, I don’t know how to take a compliment, and I often worry that, when I do try to put myself out there, I’m coming across as pushy or thinking too much of myself. This isn’t exactly helpful when you want to share creative projects and get involved in a community.

I have many conversations with my husband about what makes someone an artist, since he calls me one and I completely avoid using that word to describe myself. He thinks that you don’t need formal training or an exhibit at a prestigious gallery; anyone who creates things is an artist. I obviously have a different opinion, although only when it comes to myself it seems.

Recently I’ve been thinking more about this avoidance and how rationalizing “not being an artist” holds me back. I use it to talk myself out of sharing or submitting work, making things for people, or getting involved with other artists. I fear putting myself out there and that my work isn’t good enough, so it’s easier to tell myself that I’m not a “real artist” rather than risk whatever it is I think is going to happen if I try.

Continue reading “Pushing Through the Fear (Revisited)”