Hi there! I’m Sandy, and I’d like to welcome you to this website – and a journey with the Lord in Bible journaling! I’ll be posting weekly (I hope) on this blog, and I look forward to chatting with you in comments. For a first post, I asked a friend to send me some Q&A type questions; I’ll be addressing lots more over time, especially on topics of concern to new Bible journalers.

How long have you been making art?

Since I was a little girl, I’ve been drawing – I used to sit on my bed with my “homework” open, but with paper on top of it so I could draw! (shhhh don’t tell my mom!) I worked as a graphic designer most of my adult life, and in 2013 became a full-time artist.

How do you make time for creating?

I’m blessed that I make art most every day as a living (I blog HERE and teach HERE to make a living). But running a business is still a 60 hour a week effort, so I do struggle to create “just because,” and not always for an official project. However I try to carve out 10 minutes a day for some unplanned art time – a little sketching, painting, whatever comes to mind at the time. If all my work is for a “task,” I stop growing—and I dry up.

What is one way to bring “you” into your art?

I strive to be authentic in my work; if I’m feeling sad, I create a piece to help my heart process that feeling. For instance, when mourning, I’ll often paint a portrait of the deceased, or when frustrated I’ll make a card with a screaming Charlie Brown! My personality is rather silly, so I let humor show itself whenever I can; it makes me laugh so I know it makes others chuckle, too. I also always have my “signature” color in mind to add to much of my work – a golden yellow!

Sandy Allnock, Author of Bible Journaling Made Simple, (2018 FWMedia/North Light Books)

Sandy Allnock, Author of Bible Journaling Made Simple, (2018 FWMedia/North Light Books)

How do you overcome self-doubt when creating?

I don’t know that any artist ever completely overcomes self-doubt. I try to assess myself with “sober judgment” (Romans 12:3) by trying to look at my work from another’s perspective, not my own. Sometimes that means my work is better than I think it is, other times – I’m on my own high horse! The best thing to do in either case is to ask yourself what you learned from the effort, and rejoice in that — then set the work aside for a time and come back to it weeks later. Assess with a little distance and sober judgment often returns.

What do you do to motivate yourself?

It’s not difficult, usually; if I have time to create “just because,” I’m often chomping at the bit after too much time on websites and projects! I go back to the aforementioned sketchbook, which often contains ideas for things I wanted to expand on sometime, and getting to look at that initial doodle is often enough to get me started with enthusiasm.

Do you have tips for developing confidence in your art?

Understand that God made you unique. You’re different from anyone else. That means your art is also going to be unique! Set aside comparisons, or you’re doomed; imagine your art was presented to you by a friend asking for feedback: what would you tell them about the piece?

How do you maintain an author/business/personal life balance?

My dogs keep me sane! I have two young (big) dogs who love to take long walks in the park, and they help me take good long breaks.

What are your favorite shopping sites?

I get art supplies at Blick Art Materials, craft supplies at Ellen Hutson, Bibles and books at Christianbook, but the bigger part of my budget is for dog food and treats at Chewy!

How long have you been Bible journaling?

I think it was back in 2012 or so…though I started by creating Bible themed journals and pages rather than drawing in my Bible right away.

What kind of Bible do you journal in?

I have an NIV translation that is my “main” Bible – it has a fancy leather cover and is no longer available, but the contents are the same as the Journal the Word Bible with columns on each page for journaling. I also own another dozen + Bibles, which I’ve bought to test and show — which also offers me the chance to re-journal some favorite passages again and again in different ways.

Thanks to Sheryl for the questions…add your own and eventually I’ll do another post with more answers!