#MyJournalStory: Mariana of @maribu.jo

#MyJournalStory: Mariana of @maribu.jo

Mariana is a Portuguese Disney enthusiast and bullet journal creator, who has combined her two passions to create a Disney-themed bullet journal, filled with adorable hand-drawn characters and a variety of stunning spreads.

We wanted to learn about Mariana's passion for all things Disney and about how she incorporates this into her journal. 

Here's our conversation:

We're so excited to chat to you about your passion for all things related to Disney. Can you tell us how your love for Disney started?

First of all, I am so honored and grateful for this interview, it is a pleasure to answer your questions. If you don’t know me, I’m Mariana, I’m 24 years old and I am Portuguese. I don’t know if this information is relevant, but I feel the need to introduce myself.   

Now, about your first question, I don't remember when my passion for the whole Disney world started because I was so young… my parents used to give me the VHS of all Disney movies and I still have them all.

I think it was love at first sight, and just kept growing along all these years.
I think we all feel a lot of magic with Disney…  I love the movies, I love to sing the songs and play them on my piano, I love the characters, the animation, the parks… the cartoon voiceovers… especially from my country Portugal…

I also love the original a lot, but I'm literally addicted to watching interviews with actors who made the voices of Disney movies in portuguese… Basically I’m passionate about everything related to Disney.

And I think I learned a lot with Disney and I keep learning, and somehow Disney moves a lot with my emotions because it was always present in every moment of my life.

I think Walt Disney inspires a lot of people to continue fighting for what they want and follow their dreams, it's a cliché but actually he was only a dreamer man with a lot of good ideas and has become what we know he is today, because he always believed in himself and that gave him the motivation to work and work until he got it.

You’re also a Disney collector. Can you share some of the Disney-themed items you have collected?

Yes, of course. This Mickey and Minnie were bought the first time (and only) I went to a Disney Park, I went to Disneyland Paris in Europe, so they mean a lot to me.

I love them because they are black and white and represent the beginning of Disney, the first drawings, the oldest ones, makes sense to me because my passion for Disney is also old (not too old, but it's practically my age… haha).

I also love these two funko pop figures, I love the Steamboat Willie and Fantasia short films, they are history of Disney.

I love the collection of Beauty and the Beast because this is my favorite movie from Disney. 

I also love this Ariel because it is my only Jim Shore item collection and I am so passionate about my golden book collection back on the shelf.

I love to use my collection to decorate my bullet journal photos. As you can see, I have a lot of passions, and another one is product photography, photography in general and I am so passionate about decoration, I love to decorate my bedroom, and everything I can decorate…

So, I love doing what I do, and create this Instagram makes all the sense to me, it is bringing together many of my passions: draw, bullet journal, photography, edition, decoration, organization, Disney, cartoons and sometimes I bring my musical passion to it, I am passionate for singing and playing piano (but I don’t like my voice, so I don’t bring it too much haha).

When did you begin journaling? Why did you decide to start keeping a journal? 

I started journaling in January of 2021, I already knew the method and I was interested in beginning journaling, but I didn't have much time to do it. With the end of my degree and with the pandemic, I ended up having more free time and I decided to start.

I keep doing it because besides being the best method of organization, it's my biggest motivation to keep doing what I like, drawing, painting... It is very therapeutic for me, it helps me with my anxiety and with the organization of my thoughts. I have been much more productive since I started journaling.


I think it's amazing that we have the habit of journaling, because our brain doesn't memorize almost anything in our life... It is funny to read what we wrote, what we did, felt and thought... later. It is an amazing way to keep memories. 

What inspired you to incorporate Disney-themed elements into your journal?

I have a huge passion for cartoons in general, I would love to work someday in something related to that. And Disney has always present in my life since I was a child, I used to make several drawings of disney ever since, at school, in notebooks mixed with school notes etc, haha! 

When I started doing my bullet journal... it just came naturally, I immediately started drawing Elsa from Frozen, because it was very cold in January in my city and she's the Ice Queen, isn't she? haha

Tell us about the process of creating a Disney-themed journal spread. We’d love it if you could tell us about the main steps involved in making a journal spread. 

Normally I choose one movie for each month from my bullet journal. I choose a movie that reminds me of that month, for example... January, I chose Frozen, February which has Valentine's Day, I chose Beauty and the Beast (it is my favorite movie of all time)... in the summer months I chose, The Little Mermaid and Lilo and Stitch, in October The Nightmare before Christmas, and in December I did Christmas special with all the movies I've made throughout the year, it is kind of a retrospective of 2021.

After choosing the theme, I review the movie, it's another excuse for me to watch the same movie over and over again haha. And then I'm ready to start doing the pages of that month in my bullet journal. 

For the layout sometimes I also get inspired by other girls who do bullet journals and I follow on Instagram, or I search on Pinterest, but I always try to be creative and I do my best for my bullet journal to be my jam, like myself, like it has my face on it.

How do you decide which Disney characters and elements to include in your spreads? They’re all so adorable! 

Thank you so much. Like I said before, I usually choose one disney movie for each month, and I always try to include all the characters of this movie in my bullet journal, because I love them all, even the villains, I love them!

And I think my ideas come out of nowhere, I am constantly having ideas, sometimes this is a bad thing because I don’t have time to put them into practice and my brain doesn’t stop for a minute.

Well, it is a weird thing about me, it become annoying sometimes, but I am already used to my brain haha I think I pay a lot of attention to every detail in a movie, actually I look a lot at the details of everything in life, even because i studied computer engineering and I'm a programmer so I kind of have to look at every little detail...and I think maybe it helps with the creativity and unfortunately with my anxiety too haha.

Besides your stunning Disney journal, you’re also a very talented portrait artist. I’ve seen some of the beautiful artwork you create – can you tell us about how journaling impacts your work as an artist? (For example: Does it help you stay organized, keep you inspired, etc.)

Thank you, I appreciate that a lot. The bullet journal helps me to organize a lot of things related to my portraits and as a portrait artist, because that way I can organize orders, write all my ideas, create designs for my project, point out statistics, I really need my bullet journal, I can’t live without it now. 

Furthermore, sharing my bullet journal made people find my work, so some of my clients are my followers and I love that, and I am so grateful for them. 

Finally, we love to ask creators about their favorite stationery item! If you had to choose one favorite stationery item, what would it be? 

This last question is so difficult, I'm also in love with stationery, so it is very complicated to choose one favorite stationery item. Can I choose two items?
I think… maybe, watercolors and washi tapes.

I love painting with watercolors, so I couldn't put this item aside. I love washi tapes because they are very useful for a lot of things and I didn't understand that before.

They are great for decorating pages, or even for covering a small mistake, it's so useful, and I like journaling without the pressure of making mistakes, the washi tapes give me this safety and confidence. 

Thanks to Mariana for answering these questions. Be sure to follow @maribu.jo on Instagram.

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  • Wow! I’m so jealous of your talent!!

    Michelle on
  • I love her bullet journal! I wish I could draw. She did is an amazing artist. I’m a huge Disney fan myself and love using characters in my junk journals.

    Dana on

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