My instagram account (@goodlookingjournal) turned 2 years old this week so I thought it would be fun to take some time to reflect on how my journaling style has changed and developed over that time, what I’ve learned from being part of the Instagram community, and how social media has supported me and pushed me to turn my lovely hobby into a part time business.
This was the first picture I ever posted on my Instagram account back on April 16th 2018. I remember being very shy about the fact I had set up an account to track my reading and my journaling because it felt like ‘showing off’. I kept the account secret from my friends and family for a very long time, but over the years I have learned that there is no shame in sharing your creative endeavours and that it can have a hugely positive effect on my wellbeing to post content that I am proud to have made. Back in October 2019 I told my parents about my account and my ideas for my business and they could not have been more supportive. My friends have also been really kind in supporting my work. I’m so glad that I persevered with my account and have really enjoyed watching it grow over the years.
Starting an Instagram account can be really overwhelming because there is so much pressure to get a lot of followers or a lot of likes. I’m really grateful to have expanded my following a lot over the past year, but I am still far away from being a large account. I think it’s important to focus on creating lovely content to inspire my future work (and hopefully others) rather than worry too much about gaining a huge social media following.
One of the amazing things I’ve found through being part of the bullet journal online community is that everyone is so overwhelmingly supportive of each other’s work. This past year alone I have taken part in three successful collaborations and interviewed for a podcast, with talks of appearing on another in the pipeline. I’ve swapped stickers with other Instagrammers and I’ve found and followed so many amazing artists. Social media often gets a bad rep for being a toxic place that feeds unhealthy ideals but I have found by limiting my social media feed to artistic content that it is a source of inspiration and positivity.
Not only this but by posting regularly I have found that I have been motivated to maintain healthy habits. I have always loved reading but some times it is difficult to find time to fit it into my day . By creating an account with a focus on literature I have found a way to motivate myself to read so much more. It’s also lovely to hear other people’s opinions on books I’ve enjoyed and I’ve chosen many of my books off the back of other people’s recommendations on Instagram.
Similarly I have found that I have been more motivated to actively journal every week. This in turn has led to better skills in calligraphy, illustration and design. It is also valuable time that helps to calm my headspace and reflect.
It’s also fun to look back over my whole account (especially the archives) to see how much my journaling style has changed. I used to use very limited colours – just one black pen and a few highlighters. Then I discovered the wonders of brush pens and stickers, and started using a scrapbook style, sticking everything and anything in my journal! Now I am experimenting a lot more with including my own illustrations but I think my style is continuously changing and I have no idea what it will look like this time next year! See below for a series of photos from journals past and follow my progression.
Without a doubt the biggest change my Instagram account has seen since its last birthday is the development of my business. With the support of the Instagram community I have grown confident in my abilities to create intricate and detailed drawings, and I thought it would be a fun project to turn them into stationery products. Last summer I invested in the Ipad and the Apple Pencil to begin playing around with digital artwork. This has opened up a whole new world for me – now I can create art with very limited supplies (and mess!). I bought my Cricut sticker cutter in November and since then have created a range of sticker sheets which are available in my Etsy shop. From there I’ve designed wall art, bookmarks and washi tape, and of course, established my website and blog. The highlight for me has definitely been customers from the USA purchasing my products. It’s a humbling experience to know that people like my work and are willing to pay for it, and I am hugely grateful for all of the support received in my business venture.
So there you have it! My last two years have seen a huge amount of growth in my style, my design abilities, my confidence, my social media presence and my business. I am so excited for the future of my business and can’t wait to see how far it’s come this time next year. Until then, thank you for your wonderful support, it is so appreciated!
I’ll see ya next week,