Diaries and illustrated journals of Johanna Medvey, Brussels based illustrator

Illustrated journal

I’ve been keeping a diary since I was twelve years old. I mainly write in about what happens to me or how I feel about certain experiences, but a couple of years ago I came across the concept of an ‘illustrated journal’ where you draw (as opposed to writing) what happened to you. I began experimenting and started to really love it.

Writing (or drawing) allows me to process things better and to record them for later. Getting thoughts on paper can also be helpful in preventing obsessive mental chatter- something Im quite prone to if I want to be honest. Additionally, what I like about the concept of the illustrated journal is the feeling of freedom it provides- there is no pressure, I only do it for myself so it doesn’t have to be perfect. (And I find it very very interesting to look at other people’s similar journals, you almost have the impression of digging into someone’s cabinet of curiosities…)

I usually draw with a pencil first to makes sure I have a good layout, then I draw the outlines with waterproof ink, and colour with aquarelle pencils or paint. (You can read more about my journey to illustrated journals here.)

These images below are some examples of illustrated journal pages and drawings done on location, sort of “urban sketching” style.