Journaling – Analog or digital?

Journaling – Analog or digital?

Just a few of my sketchbooks

One important question that I have encountered many times over the last few days is whether journaling should be done on paper or on a tablet. I think there is no right or wrong answer to this question. Myself, I have been journaling on sketchbooks for some years now. I’m a stationery crazy since I was a child and I own a cart of pens, coloured pencils, different brands of watercolours, gouache, arcyrlic paints, you name it! I’m also an affiliate of Stationery Pal. You can use code ELAINE10 for 10% off. And the code ELAINE for 10% off on Kawaii Pen shop.

However, this year 2021, I wanted to try something new. Since I use an iPad, an apple pen and Procreate for my work, I wanted to recreate a journal on my iPad with digital stickers and washi tapes. I found the process very enjoyable. It was also fun drawing the stickers I like and imitating how a washi tape would look like in a digital form. Digitally, I can move things around and it’s easy to correct mistakes. It’s also a faster process and I’m always happy with how the page turns out. Here is a post about it written at the beginning of the year. You can also download a simple template from this post.

In the end of each month, I print out the monthly journal. My plan is to have these pages printed as a book by the end of the year. There is my April spread.

Any thoughts on whether a journal should be analog or digital? Let me know!

Let’s make postcards

Let’s make postcards

Where have you been? Where do you want to go? What have you seen? What do you want to see and experience?

This morning, I was reminded of how exciting it was to plan for a trip. Whether it’s for work or holiday, there is something about the process of arranging a future travel that gives me energy. For many of us, the task of organising a trip seems to be a thing of the past. Yes, it has been exactly a year when I drew this picture.

At that time, I never imagined that the pandemic will take us this long. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel either. However, creating memories and dreams have been a wonderful part of the journey. Yesterday, I started creating postcards and made them available here. It was a fun and an energy giving process.

How are you maintaining your energy level after a year of the pandemic?

Pandemic creativity

Pandemic creativity

Creativity is not meant to dry up during the pandemic. In fact, I feel an overflowing daily dose of supply of creativity. It’s probably my way to distract myself and feel a sense of accomplishment, even more so during this strange time. No travels, no worries. We can always dream and anticipate the moment when we can. This pandemic too will pass!

Aside from work where I also get to illustrate, my official GIPHY channel has been approved on the 24th of February. As I write, my simple gifs have been viewed 54,8 M times. It feels amazing! I also created a TikTok account three days ago in preparation for a bullet journaling project. One of the things I’m really enjoying this moment is creating dream boarding passes. Yes, let’s dream! Here is your boarding pass to Helsinki.

I also created London, Japan, South Korea and New York boarding passes. I’m really enjoying this process. Which city would you like? Let me know! Have a great weekend to everyone.

Gift boxes, anyone?

Gift boxes, anyone?

It’s the weekend! And what’s more, it’s a Valentines weekend which in Finland we celebrate as Friendship Day. As a greeting to you all, I created a printable gift box featuring Mochi the Shiba. Please feel free to download, print, assemble and use it as a gift box or whichever way you like. Also, Kawaii Pen Shop is a great place to purchase your stationery needs. Use the code ELAINE for a 10% discount. Happy Valentines and Friendship Day!

Mochi the Shiba download
Pink Daruma download
EV Visuals turned 2!

EV Visuals turned 2!

Today is the day EV Visuals turned 2. I remember that application day and the days and months prior to it, wondering if it was the right move. Then over the next months of being established, I still questioned my decision. But now that EV Visuals is 2, I don’t anymore think about whether it was right or not because now I’m 100% certain that it was the perfect choice for 100 and 1 reasons. I’m very happy and thankful!

A selective colour photo in celebration.
A year on…

A year on…

Today, I’m celebrating a year of starting as a surface pattern designer. It was a wonderful journey as I learned the ins and outs of this growing business. No, I can’t live on it yet! But hopefully someday. When I look back, the best thing was being able to start it and it seems like I’m up for it to continue. Receiving an email from an online shop asking me to join them was also one of the highlights of this one year. They discovered one of my illustrations on Instagram. Also, someone from the US bought 60 pieces of coasters! Here are photos from a year ago. And again, thanks to all who supported my art!

Find me at https://www.redbubble.com/people/ev-visuals/shop, https://www.teepublic.com/user/ev-visuals and https://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/elaine_vitikainen. Thanks!

Illustrated planner

Illustrated planner

A monthly planner is always a good thing. It keeps us organised and helps us see what the month has in-stored for us. Moreover, a planner allows us to monitor where we are at. But most importantly, it gives us control and let us manage expectations better. I can clearly see when I’m trying to overwork myself and try to cut down on some tasks. This helps minimize frustrations.

I like to keep an illustrated planner. I created it digitally on my iPad but this can also be printed and pin on my board. I can then continue working on it by hand. With this planner is an actual calendar where I can be more specific when a task needs to be done. An additional explanation on what a task entails is also important. Personally, I find an illustrated planner more fun and engaging. It somehow makes my month lighter and more manageable.

Have you started your own illustrated planner yet? If you like more tips in creating one, don’t hesitate to reach out. Here is a template to help you get started. Just add the month and the calendar for that month. You can also include anything your heart desires to make it your very own. Have fun!

The year that was…

The year that was…

My December illustrated journal and thankful thoughts for 2020

2019 was one of the best years of my life. It was the year when I decided to be a full time visual practitioner, establishing my own business in the beginning of February. It was a year full of hope and many wonderful things happened that year. I upgraded my iPad and mastered it. In a couple of months, I created more than a hundred illustrations. I joined the European Visual Practitioners’ community and became a part of the core team. Two of the highlights for that year were facilitating a visualisation workshop in the Philippines and co-facilitating a leadership retreat in Sweden. And of course, there were exciting plans for the coming year. However, 2020 didn’t perform as expected. I realised during my review of the year that I was very much affected by the pandemic.

Well, 2020 ended. Thank God! Although, I can’t honestly say that I’m full of hope for 2021, that things will get back to normal, that we will take back our lives, there are things that I’m looking forward to. As we have been creating a new normal over the past months, I would like for this new normal to be simply the normal. It will be a new thing that springs up and becomes alive. There is hope and I’m actually looking forward to what 2021 will bring. But to be fair, whatever good things that will happen in 2021 are founded on the experiences of 2020. Having created illustrations that went viral and inspired many; being able to feel so satisfied and happy with a visual recording; and being able to sell designs online are just a few of the experiences that will solidify 2021.

How was your year 2020? What are your hopes for 2021? May 2021 be better that the year that was!

And so I draw more…

And so I draw more…

I always wanted to draw. I remember as a child, we had a big blackboard (the green one!) at home. My niece, who was three years younger than me, and I used to draw girls on the board. We enjoyed designing their clothes. I also enjoyed drawing clothes for my paper dolls. I looked for every inspiration from the television, drawing carefully and as much detail. I was around 6 years old.

But like every other wise Asian parents would say, drawing is not a proper profession. I should not stray away from the mainstream. By then I don’t remember drawing anything aside from a visual interpretation of a poem in high school where I drew a farmer plowing the field full of rice stalks. I had no idea! And then in dental school where we had to draw and learn by heart the dental anatomy. I was also told once when I drew a birthday card that why draw a card when there is hallmark!

And that was it – some sporadic moments when I had to draw. Other than that, I drew nothing until that day when I wanted to draw. This happened when Ari gave me an iPad mini 2 on my birthday in April 2014. I started drawing with a cheap stylus then later my niece in Canada gifted me a Pencil53. Then I just drew everyday. I have this idea that if I have learned to read and write, I can also learn to draw. Drawing became a way for me to relax. And it was fun to be featured by Paper53 on their web page. I was featured three times!

So while others say they have been drawing since the first time they held a pen (which I think we all did), I can honestly say I learned to draw later in life. Most of the time, I still think I don’t really know how to draw. I still believe I’m bad at it. And so I draw some more!

How is your drawing journey? I really want to know!