Rafaela is a Greece-based journaling enthusiast who describes herself as "obsessed with stationery" -- something that many of us can relate to! Rafaela's spreads are filled with stunning details and picture-perfect brush lettering.
We interviewed Rafaela to learn more about the impact of journaling and her beautiful brush lettering:
What does your journal mean to you?
I always liked drawing and being creative in many ways from when I was a child and of course organization is my love language. I can't live without a good program in my life.
So bullet journaling spoke into my soul and my journal became my best friend ever since I started it. Doing my pages is my "me time", my hideout in my own little world. It’s my happy place and helps me recharging my batteries through creativity.
How would you say journaling impacts your daily life?
Bullet journaling has helped me hold myself accountable and keep track of assignments, appointments, and self-care in daily basis.
It helps me with my mental health as well, since it’s a good way for me to take a break from stressful situations and give myself a needed moment of peace. I'm also able to shamelessly indulge in my love for pens and all different kinds of stationery haha!
What is the inspiration behind your monthly bullet journal themes?
Sometimes finding ideas to try for your bullet journal can be the most challenging thing. Most of the times my ideas are very random to be honest.
When I have an idea I always note it down in my "theme ideas" spread or else I'll forgot about it. I tend to find inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram and I usually like to make themes that fit the season like flowers in spring or gingerbread cookies on Christmas.
I recently discovered Unsplash which is a website with copyright free images with amazing aesthetics, perfect for inspiration!
I’d like to focus more on your brush lettering, which is beautiful! For how long have you been interested hand lettering?
Firstly, thank you so much for your kind words I'm so glad you like my brush lettering style. So, ever since I started bullet journaling back in August 2019 I was very committed to learn brush lettering and calligraphy as well.
I was looking at all of the unique styles and fonts from talented people on Instagram and YouTube and I really wanted to be able to do it too! My style has been evolved so much and I can tell I have a signature in my calligraphy now.
How did you learn lettering, and what methods or techniques would you suggest to someone who wants to learn lettering skills?
Back then when I started to learn lettering I didn't know about the rules in it. I didn't know that you need the basic strokes and a lot of practice. I started watching some random YouTube videos and I was trying to immitate them.
One day I found Becca from "The Happy Ever Crafter" with her absolutely amazing calligraphy videos. I was obsessed with her! She's a great teacher! I joined her calligraphy course, printed my workbooks and bought my first ever brush pen.
What can I say? The workbooks and videos are so comprehensive! I definitely recommend checking her out :) As for a method I recommend: nice and slow!
Do you recommend any particular brand of brush pen or other stationery item that you’ve found especially good for lettering?
For smaller lettering and my personal favorites are Pentel Fude Touch brush pens. They are very easy to use and beginner friendly with cute colors. I also really love Tombow dual brush pens for bigger lettering and coloring in my bullet journal.
Finally, you’re clearly a very artistic and creative person. Does it ever become challenging to remain creative or to manage creative blocks? (Or do you think that your journal makes those challenging moments a bit easier?)
Thank you! I try to have my themes ready a month earlier or more so I don't get anxious on what to create next.
This helps me a lot because this way I have more time to think something and not to feel any pressure. I also tend to create a spread every day and not all of them at once because that way journaling is more fun to me and less stressful.
However, I've experienced a creative block and it was awful not to have any ideas. I really thought to take a break at that time but early planning saved the day again because I thought of a theme eventually and everything went just fine! My advice for all of the creators out there is to take it easy and try as earlier planning as possible.
Thank you to Rafaela for answering our questions. Follow her on Instagram here.