#MyJournalStory: Kia Marie Hunt
Creative journaling is freedom. Or at least that’s what it means for me.
I’ve always been an artistic person, with plenty of happy childhood memories working on arts and crafts projects. But my love for art journaling first developed back in 2015, when I was 20 years old and studying abroad in Uruguay and Brazil.
As it turns out, I had completely underestimated what a whirlwind adventure it would be to move halfway across the globe all by myself! Overwhelmed by incredible experiences and so many details that I didn’t ever want to forget, I searched for an artistic way to capture and record what I was going through…
My first ever travel journal spreads, “Persigue tus suenos” (follow your dreams), Uruguay, 2015.
My early South America travel journals contained only simple sketches and notes at first. But, once I quickly realized how much fun it was to creatively capture memories in a free and expressive way with no ‘rules’ or structure, I began to incorporate other techniques like paint, collage, and scrapbooking with tickets, photos, maps, napkins and anything else I could get my hands on!
A spread created later on in 2015 when I visited Piriápolis (Uruguay) and began experimenting with collaging maps.
I continued to experiment with creative journaling throughout my time studying abroad, I loved the liberating feeling this kind of expression gave me – it was much less restrictive than trying to keep a daily diary or photo album. As I experimented, my style developed and so did my passion for journaling and the journal community. I had already set up an Instagram account and a travel blog (back then they both went by the name ‘Aspire to Amble’), where I used to post travel photos and articles, slowly but surely though, both were taken over by my love for travel journaling.
My Instagram feed dedicated to travel journaling, way back when @Kia.Creates was still called ‘Aspire to Amble’
Soon after I arrived back to the UK though, I realized that traveling wasn’t the only thing I could journal about. Constantly chasing the fun, free feeling that journaling gave me, I started to make spreads about anything at all: TV shows I was watching, thoughts and feelings I was having, random things that inspired me – you name it, I journaled about it!
Journal spreads from 2016/17 about ‘Planet Earth’ and ‘Scream Queens’ (TV shows), my graduation, and my fave strawberry mojito recipe – I really do make journal spreads for just about anything!
Fast forward to 2020, and I’m still here journaling about anything and everything that goes on in my life. Over the years, many things have changed:
- My journaling style has developed a LOT!
A selection of my most recent creative journal spreads
- My career has taken many interesting turns, eventually leading me all the way back to fulfilling my childhood dream of being a full-time author and illustrator.
The activity book series I wrote and illustrated: My Awesome Year, published with Collins.
- My addiction to washi tapes has grown exponentially…(thanks WashiTapeShop!)
- I now run my own Etsy store where I sell handmade journals, kits, sticker sheets, and other journaling supplies, Kia Makes.
- My journaling community has grown too – since founding @InspiringJournals back in 2017, the account has welcomed over 98,000 journal enthusiasts (and counting!)
- And most recently, I launched The Journal Club, a new podcast all about art journaling (and the name of my monthly journaling subscription membership too).
But one thing remains the same: I’m still just as in love with the feeling of freedom that creative journaling gives me as I was back then (and I hope I will be forever!)
Love, light, and happy journaling!
Listen to the Journal Club podcast: https://anchor.fm/journalclub
The plant corner at Kia's current house, where she sits to be inspired. The folders and boxes on the bookshelf are full of paper, stationery, and....washi!
Kia at Instagram HQ in Menlo Park, California, USA.
More beautiful pictures of Kia and her journal, enjoy!