Artist Spotlight: My Life Mits
This Artist Spotlight focuses on My Life Mits and her thriving online community. Mits has been sharing her planning & journaling content online for years, and you’ve likely run into her on Instagram and Youtube. She also sells a variety of special stationary products on her website, The Stationary Selection. Learn more about her life and journaling process here!
My Life Mits Artist Bio
Mits is a mother to two little kids that love to play along and draw in her journals. Originally from Canada, she moved to Tokyo, Japan, where she discovered the wonderful world of stationery. During the day, she runs a small online business, sharing some of her favorite stationery goods and co-ordinates a monthly stationery subscription box as well. In her spare time, she shares her journalling journey in videos on YouTube in hopes that the videos help and inspire people wanting to add some creativity into their lives.
FOLLOW MITS ONLINE:
Journaling & Creativity
Describe your journaling and planning history. How long have you been doing it?
I started planning in high school. We all received those coil-bound planners and I would collage the cover of it with my fave photos and music bands. (I used to love Collective Soul and Alternative music at that time haha).
I strayed away from planning a bit during my 20’s - only doing bits of scrapbooking here and there. I re-discovered planning in 2013 when I got hooked on the Filofax system. Moving to Japan, gave me access to quality stationery goods and I fell deeply down the stationery hole.
How does planning and journaling help you stay focused and productive?
In terms of planning: without putting pen to paper, my thoughts and ideas become a huge jumbled mess inside my brain. Writing out my goals or intentions really help me stay on track.
When it comes to journalling, I make it a note to journal at the end of the day to wind down. This journalling practice helps me ‘unload’ my thoughts and feelings so that I can go to bed with a ‘lighter’ head. Journalling in this way definitely puts me at ease and aids me in getting a better night’s rest.
As crazy as it sounds, one of the big factors in helping me journal is the cover that my notebook is housed in. If I enjoy my leather cover, my hands will gravitate towards it more, my hands will reach for it more than if the notebook were bare. So the first step for me, before I write any words into my notebook, I find a suitable cover for it to keep my notebook safe. I can’t be the only one that has ever journaled about their lovely notebook cover; how the scent of the leather and the sound of the pen gliding on the paper bring so much comfort and joy to journalling ;)
What are your favorite stationery products to use when journaling?
Washi tape: I know, it is a boring answer, but you can do so much with washi tape. Not only can you use it as a decorative border, you can also use it to section off parts on your planning page. You can use it to tip-in (ie attach) photos and ephemera. You can even use it to create a beautiful collage by fussy cutting out illustrations from the washi tape illustration. Another item that my journal pages are filled with are memorabilia from daily life and art work from artists. Printables are a great way to decorate a page with art and it also allows me to support artists and creators as well.
What inspires your creativity?
Others. You! Seeing others with their journals and putting their journals to use is what inspires me to use mine as well. I can confidently say, without the community we have here, I would not be having so much fun planning and journalling in my notebooks.
Community & Self Care
What is your favorite way to stay connected with the journaling community?
I obtain so much inspiration online, so my answer to this is: social media. Seeing others use stationery items in different ways that you never thought of is always refreshing. It is a delight to learn something new and see things from a different perspective. I also really value the viewers’ feedback on YouTube as well. Connecting with the viewers plays a very big and important role in my life. I have met some wonderful people this way and am so thankful that this online community has enriched my life in ways I never thought possible.
Social Wellness reminds us that a healthy relationship with ourselves and others is vital. What does social wellness mean to you?
Being an introvert, I am quite comfortable with myself and am more than happy not having to attend big social events, but being socially active doesn’t necessarily mean having to attend those events. Finding a community or group of people that you can relate to and connect with is what I value. For me, participating in an online journalling session helps me re-connect if I feel a bit lost, or watching a journalling video invigorates my ideas when I am going through bit of a creative block. Creating and sharing on YouTube definitely aids in maintaining my social wellness. I am able to share some ideas and give back to the community and in-turn receive so much from my viewers and supporters as well.
Other than journaling, what are some of your favorite self care practices?
I really enjoy getting out and enjoying some fresh air. I find joy in discovering new things and experiencing new things in life. If it weren’t for the travel restrictions, we would definitely be going out camping and spending time outdoors, surrounded by nature.
What is your favorite way to stay connected with friends?
Prior to the pandemic, my friends and I would meet up at cafes for journalling sessions. This is something that I truly miss doing. We do make a point to schedule some time to catch-up via video chat once in a while, but I hope to resume cafe journal dates soon! Another way I connect with friends that are not geographically close is via snail mail letters. There is something about writing to and reading your friend’s letter. The time you spend writing and the time you spend reading the letter is dedicated to this one person and I cherish this time very much.
Reflect & Look Ahead
How has your creative process evolved over the last year?
Last year was a special year for all of us; a very unique year full of new feelings and experiences. I have learned to look for the silver lining in daily life, which has helped me process any negativity that may linger on. I started using the weekly section in my Hobonichi to document my gratitude on a daily basis and it has helped me end the day on a good note; to look for the positive bits in daily life.
Looking ahead, where do you see yourself 1 year in the future? How will journaling help you achieve these goals?
I truly love what I do for my job, so I hope to be able to continue with my business. The hiccups that we are facing during this pandemic is making us re-assess things and is encouraging us to try out different processes. We are all learning along the way while we try and navigate through these difficult times <— See? It helps to look for the silver lining in things, eh? ;) I will keep my planners and journals by my side and document my learnings along the way. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.