Keeping a Visual Journal –Leyla’s Work Table

Do you remember what was on your creativity table twelve months ago, or even twelve days ago? I have kept a visual journal of my artwork for a couple of years now, by photographing my work table at different moments throughout the year.

Every image in this visual journal is linked to daily events that happened beyond the limits of my table. Each photograph is like a friend who brings a memory of love, joy, challenge, fear, frustration, gratitude or satisfaction.

This visual art diary -shown in the video below, allows me to revisit ideas that crossed my work table during the previous year. It helps me to remember the many people I met and exchanged ideas with. I can also relive achievements, and keep a playful spirit alive.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, except for one:

“New Year’s resolutions rarely work, because good intentions don’t often survive a collision with reality. But an inventory is a helpful tool, a way to keep track of what you’re building. Drip by drip.” ~Seth Godin

Full List of Visual Journals:


Do you keep a visual journal? How is journaling helpful to you?
Leave your thoughts in the comments.

10 thoughts on “Keeping a Visual Journal –Leyla’s Work Table”

  1. I really like this article a lot. Pretty drool worthy in terms of the creativity. Makes me wonder how does your origami bookshelf looks like? I have a mobile desk, which often is just me and a traveling box of paper. I end up taking photos of how my ATC space looks, and have blogged about it in the past… still it is good to take a photo memory.

  2. Hello Leyla,

    Thank you for posting your work table photo diary–that’s a great idea and it’s a neat way to look back on the year. I really enjoy following your blog and appreciate the beautiful work and fun ideas that you share here.

    Something I’ve been meaning to ask–I’m wondering what kinds/sizes of origami paper you keep on hand. I’m also curious about how you match up papers for cards, modulars, and other multi-piece projects. Your color and pattern combinations look great.

    Thanks, and Happy New Year!

    • Hi Danielle,

      The paper and size I buy the most is origami Japanese “kami” in many flat colors. 6×6 inches (15×15 cm)
      These flat papers are great for teaching and to use in combination with patterned papers.

      I also keep many sets of patterned origami paper, 6×6 inches. I like papers with small print.

      Also, whenever I travel, I bring a plastic tube with me and keep my eyes open to buy rolls of papers I like, and are not meant to be for origami. This includes gift wrap or craft papers.

      Regarding how I choose color combinations… it is 80% by feeling and a 20% by “color theory” My background is in illustration and painting… Depending on the project I choose three or four colors of the same family, such red/pink/orange. Some times I go for a set of two color tones that are opposites on the color wheel.

      Opposite families of color that I keep in mind are reds/greens; blues/oranges; yellows/purples.

      I appreciate your asking this good question… I hope my answer helps. ;-)

      Happy New Year to you too!

      • Hi Leyla,

        Thanks very much–that was indeed helpful!

        I hope to experiment more with print and color combinations. Color is fun!

  3. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea, as well as a peek into your 2012. I enjoy the video — and your cat, particularly! Keep the creativity coming!

  4. Leyla,

    Amei teu video mostrando teus diferentes trabalhos no decorrer de 2012.. Espero poder ver ainda muito origami no ano de 2013. Deus abençoe a ti e teu belo trabalho.



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