Journal Bliss – Blog Tour

Recently during my surfing around blogs I cam across Violette’s blog, she has just released her first book Journal Bliss which is available on Amazon, here is my interview with her as part of her blog tour.


Thank you for the opportunity to interview you on your Journal Bliss – blog tour. Can you tell us a bit about the book?

Well my book Journal Bliss is for everyone who wants to bring out more of their creativity.  There’s lots of eye candy to help inspire and motivate you – to tell your own stories via Visual Journaling.  Also the book is full of step by step how-to’s – Backgrounds, borders, doodling, lettering and more!  Over the years much of the feedback I’ve received is how daunted people are to get started.  They sometimes look at my Journal Pages and think “I’ll never be able to do that!”  So I asked myself “How can I make it easy for people to Visual Journal and not get overwhelmed?”  When I dissected what I do down into manageable chunks this is how I came up with a loose formula.  I’m all about “templates” to make things easier – in fact I created a template or mind map for myself when I embarked on the book writing/illustrating journey.  It helped me deal with feelings of overwhelm.

Do you have any tips for how to get out of that creative rut we all seem to get stuck in sometimes?

The way I get out of a rut is by checking out art online, reading “art books” and magazines (paper arts) such as Somerset Studios and Cloth Paper Scissors.  I read articles on creativity such as one’s you’d find at http://www.Creativity-Portal.com – doing these things helps fuel my creativity.  Oh …..another important thing is to go for a walk or simply spend time in nature.  If you feel stumped when you’re working on a project then go for a walk – clear the cobwebs from your mind.  You will hopefully come back rejuvenated. One other thing is I like to take part in mindless doodling.  Often art ideas emerge from these mindless doodles – do this when you’re having a long phone conversation or watching TV.  You might be happily surprised at what emerges.

I read a post on your blog about the importance of creativity. You suggest that as parents we need to encourage our children to follow their passions – why do you think this is so important?

All I can do is speak from my own personal experience.  My folks were immigrants and were not versed in psychology or personal development.  My Mother  comes from a poor background so survival mode was her method of navigating the world.  She never could see how important it was to nurture her child’s creativity – her mindset was to make sure that we would go off, get married, have a family and live happily ever after – or maybe go get a secretarial job, make a decent income until someone would scoop us up, marry us and ultimately take care of us.  I always had a longing for more, an inner need to be encouraged for the little artist that I was.  So when I had my own children I made a point of nurturing their creativity.  That manifested in all kinds of things – science experiments ( from my son) – Volcanoes that erupted with a baking soda mixture, inventions, baking, arts and crafts galore, constant craft projects on the go and creative messes all over the place.  Maybe I went to the other extreme?  The thing is though both of my kids (who are in the early 30’s now) are in super creative jobs – Jessica is an art director (of her own company) and a graphic designer, Ryan is a computer game creator.  Jessica used her creativity recently to envision and execute her own artsy wedding.  It’s very fulfilling to witness all of this.  I can see how happy my kids are following their passion.  Their lives have meaning.  All you have to do is watch the lights in children’s eyes when they are doing what they love.  What a gift it is to nurture this in a child – whether that child is your child or someone else’s. A child who is encouraged to embrace their passion becomes a happy adult which makes the world a better place don’t you think?

ryanshannon1Ryan when he was 4 (in the picture with  a little friend) – he was baking -one of his creative pursuits

Art and writing have been very important to me through my journey through grief and depression (My husband and I lost 4 of our sons during pregnancy to Stillbirth and Neonatal death). I am a firm believer in the healing value of the arts,can you tell us about your experience of journaling as a healing tool?

I’m so sorry to hear about your tremendous loss – I can only imagine your pain.  It’s so wonderful though that you have found solace through art and writing – a saving grace for so many people. 

I wish I had discovered Visual Journaling years ago – like 21 years ago when my father committed suicide (in a very violent fashion) or when I was mired so deeply in debilitating depression that I never thought I would see the light again.  When I discovered the power of combining words and visuals for healing I was hooked!  My life changed and shifted after that discovery (about 8 years ago).  I had been simply journaling – you know – with words.  When I looked over my writing I could see that it was full of complaints, depression, sadness etc.  I was stuck and mired in those dark places for so long.  One day I drew (or doodled) a picture of my face and painted it blue and added some words about how I was feeling.  It was as if someone had unleashed the genie!!  More and more pages followed of drawings, words and collages.  I found the magical elixir of moving through my “stuff” much more quickly than before.  Like a broken record I had been stuck in one groove but when I used art and words together they took me to places of profound healing.  It is because of my personal experience that I have become such a fanatic about Visual Journaling wanting to share it with everyone I come across!

Violette has written about her experience of creating through grief on the blog Craft for Health.


To check out some excerpts from Violette’s book Journal Bliss go to Creativity Portalsymbolic stories and doodling. For more information or to check out other stops on the blog tour visit Violette’s website or blog.




9 thoughts on “Journal Bliss – Blog Tour

  1. I purchased her book when I was in Arizona. It is a wonderful art journal book with many techniques and fun goodies. I have followed her blog for awhile now. Great interview.

  2. My hero, Megan, who followed a dream I’ve had and interviewed an author. Very well done. Your questions were wonderful and asked in ways that elicited thoughtful, honest respponses. I sincerely thank you for a quality read. Heart and Eye Hugs, Sally

  3. Thank you so very Megan for participating in this Virtual Book tour. I sure appreciate it. I especially LOVED your question about encouraging children….so very dear to my heart.

    Happy Creating.

    Love, Violette

  4. thank you for this, Megan, I love Violette’s work and I am a regular visitor to her blog. This interview was a pleasure to read.

  5. This is a great interview…the book has been on my have to buy list for weeks now…guess now is the time to get it..thank you …

  6. Megan,
    I’m so glad I found your blog via Kathryn’s True North Arts Yahoo Group!
    ..and glad to see Violette’s new book…I’ll have to check it out. and.. a wonderful interview with Violette.

    Thanks for being such a creative inspiration.

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