#InktoberNatureJournal (Final Week!)

You have made it to the final stretch of inktobernaturejournal! This month-long challenge is almost over! Right now, I will go over the last week of prompts for #inktobernaturejournal.

Day 23: Animal Eyes

nature journal page showing studies of toad eyes using ink and watercolorEyes are the window into the soul. Are you afraid to draw them? If so, then this is a perfect opportunity to practice. There is a lot that we can learn from looking at different animal eyes.

 

Day 24: Abiotic Nature
a nature journal page depicting abiotic nature which means non-biological, non-living aspects of nature in this case waves and a beach interacting
Here is a page where I used gray ink and watercolor to nature journal an abiotic phenomena at the beach.

If you scan the Nature Journal Club Facebook Page you will see that most of the subject matter on people’s pages is plant or animals. However, many aspects of nature are not living creatures. In fact most of nature is “abiotic” meaning it is not life-based. Atoms, physics, most rocks, water, erosion, weather, the movement of the sun, the formation of crystals etc are all examples of abiotic nature. We need to practice including these more often. The way steam swirls off your coffee is abiotic nature you could be nature journaling!

Day 25: Metamorphosis

This prompt gives you room for some creative exploration. How do you want to interpret this prompt?

Day 26: Birds in Flight

Did you learn how to draw a flying bird when you were a kid? Usually birds

on this nature journal page you can see ink sketches of birds in flight next to a landscape drawing
Here you can see some quick captures of birds in flight I did while drawing a landscape. I always try to draw birds I see in flight, especially the ones in weird positions that seem hard to draw.

don’t make it that easy. However, it is still worth practicing trying to draw them. Especially when they are in unusual angles causing foreshortening. It is often fun to have a side column of these quick bird sketches on your page while you are working on something more stationary like a landscapito or plant.

Day 27: Nature Journal a Pet

Have you ever nature journaled a pet? Similar to abiotic nature, “domesticated” nature rarely gets nature journaled. I wonder why? There are many benefits to nature journaling your pets. So many that I have made several videos about it with top tips.

Here is another video that could inspire you to nature journal your pet (reptile) or you could just nature journal one of the ones in the video!

 Day 28: Flock, School, Herd

Drawing groups of animals is

nature journal page showing a school of fish drawn with ink and watercolor from life at the aquarium of the california academy of sciences
Despite intentionally trying to draw the overlapping fish and the foreshortened fish that my brain wanted to filter out I still ended up with a lot of spaced out fish…

hard. Our brain tends to separate out the individuals and we often “over-pattern” the distribution of the animals skipping the overlapping parts. Have you ever noticed yourself doing this? My schools of fish and herds of wildebeest often end up spaced out evenly! Good time to practice your metacognition and intentionally try to capture what you actually see. The more you practice the better you will get.

Day 29: Creative Lettering

Lettering is an important part of nature journaling. Every once in a while it is good to experiment with some lettering techniques that could add some interest and visual hierarchy to your pages. Ink is great for lettering. However, it is often worth spacing out your letters and planning the fit before going to the ink tool! Otherwise you might end up with squished letters.

Day 30: Something you are Scared to Draw!
photos and nature journal page showing a leopard shark drawin with ink
I was afraid to nature journal this shark while fishing with my friend. Mostly because I have not nature journaled much while fishing and everything happens fast while fishing. It was a challenging subject but I’m glad I pushed through it.

What is something you are scared to draw? Not necessarily something you are fearful of in itself but something you are hesitant about drawing or nature journaling. Maybe you are comfortable with plants and landscapes but still afraid of animals. Perhaps you are fine with birds but mammals are hard. Maybe it is moving animals of any kind. Perhaps you are scared to draw people into your pages. Today, you will try to incorporate those onto a page. I did a whole video about fearless nature journaling you can check out here.

Last Day: Nature Journal in Your Kitchen

Have you ever nature journaled in your kitchen before? Why not? There is a lot of nature in your kitchen and even more importantly it is nature that is accessible and very connected to you. Nature journaling a recipe or a process or a shopping list can be a great way to build your skills too! The holidays are coming and incorporating a little nature journaling into your kitchen is a great way to introduce some of the muggles in your family to the magic of nature journaling and maybe even convert them. Check out this video where I do a nature journal safari in my fridge!

If you nature journaled every day in October you deserve an ice cream! Use the hashtag # inktobernaturejournal to share your posts on social media.

Just getting started with nature journaling?

Need more tips? If so, check out this post. It will walk you through how to nature journal in 10 steps.

Need help choosing nature journaling supplies? Check out Nature Journaling Supplies: What You Need and What You Do Not

 

#InktoberNatureJournal (Week Three)

Can you believe it is already week three of #inktobernaturejournal? It’s true, I have gotten the weeks mixed up a little. However, the important thing is doing a little bit every day. The important thing is to build a habit that allows for you to cumulatively unlock your potential. Let’s jump into the prompts!

Day 16: Carnivorous Plant

Have you ever nature journaled a carnivorous plant before? If so, this will still be an opportunity for fun. If not, then you are in for an adventure. You might want to do some research to see if there are any near you. Remember, many botanical gardens, zoos, or garden stores could have them. However, if you are not able to find any in real life you will have to do some online research. I highly recommend California Carnivores for their content. You might decide to buy one…a carnivorous plant is a great option for nature journaling at home. California Carnivores also has an instagram with tons of images of carnivorous plants. Be sure to give them credit on your nature journal page if you use one of their images.

an example of a carnivorous plant nature journal page forinktober nature journal
I nature journaled carnivorous plants in situ on a recent trip to Vermont. They grow in bogs and fens on much of the east coast and southern US.
Day 17: Use an Ink Tool You Suck at…

If you have seen my mindset videos then you know that I am kidding about that phrase. What I mean is an ink tool you aren’t used to. What is the ink tool you are least comfortable with? Try drawing with that. Watch me struggle with the ones I suck at.

Day 18: Subterranean

Things that live underground go unnoticed. But nature journaling is about noticing things!!! If we never nature journal subterranean things then we are missing out on a lot. How can you use your nature journal to discover this world beneath your feet? What unique visual techniques can nature journaling deploy in this department?

Day 19: Nearby Nature Map
Here is an example of a simple map in my nature journal that I made showing where I was finding coyote tracks in a nearby park.

What is your nearby nature? This is a powerful concept that Heather Crellin introduced me to when I interviewed her about being a beginner nature journaler.   For today’s exercise we are going to use our ink tools to do some mapping of our local nature. It could be a 3 minute diagram with triangles for houses and stick figure trees. The important thing is to practice this powerful but underutilized drawing tool. Maybe we will get in the habit of using maps on our pages more often.

Day 20: Skyscapito

How will you draw the sky with black ink? That will be your challenge today. Remember to keep it small otherwise it is not a a skyscapito.

Day 21: Water Soluble Ink

Have you ever played with water soluble ink? It sucks when you don’t want it but it can be fun when you do. It can be great for drawing tracks or anything where you want to be able to create gradual tones. I used it as one of my ink tools for the drawing tracks prompt last week. I prefer the pilot precise pens and a Pentel Waterbrush Large. (these are affiliate links so I will get a small percentage if you buy using these links)

Here is an example of the effect you can get using water soluble Pilot pens and a waterbrush. In addition to bold line work and writing you can also get subtle gradations of value with the ink wash. This is a diagram I did while brainstorming a habitat restoration project in a wetland restoration project.
Day 22: Fall Leaves with Ink and Color

If you live in the northern hemisphere then the leaves on your trees should be changing color this time of year. Leaves are a perfect nature journaling subject for beginners or advanced nature journalers. And yes, it is possible to combine ink with color. I will probably use watercolor for this prompt but feel free to combine ink with the color media of your choice.

Stay tuned for next weeks #inktobernaturejournal prompts!

inktober nature journal

East Bay Nature Journal Club with Erica Stephens

Erica Stephens is a Naturalist, Nature Journaler, Educator and the founder of Naturalist Nest and the East Bay Nature Journal Club! In this LIVE show we discussed the East Bay Regional Parks where she works, other national parks where she has nature journaled, nature journaling the Jurassic, and how she got started with nature journaling. Erica was also one of the teachers at the Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference where she taught a class on nature journaling the Jurassic!

East Bay Nature Journal Club

The East Bay is the most populous area in the San Francisco Bay area. It also contains some fascinating nature and a lot of biodiversity. Sounds like a great combination for a thriving nature journal club. Do you live in Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Concord, Emeryville, Fremont, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon or Walnut Creek? If so, this nature journal club that Erica has started will have meetups in your area. The best place to stay informed about this group and join one of their outings is by visiting their facebook group.  If you are not on facebook you can contact Erica directly through her website and see her calendar of events https://www.naturalistnest.com/

Just getting started with nature journaling?

Need more tips? If so, check out this post. It will walk you through how to nature journal in 10 steps.

Need help choosing nature journaling supplies? Check out Nature Journaling Supplies: What You Need and What You Do Not

#InktoberNatureJournal (Week Two)

Here are the prompts for #inktobernaturejournal week two! Remember, the most important thing is to do a little bit every day. Even if you can only squeeze in a 3 minute entry before sleep. That counts!

Day 8: Five Blind Contour Drawings of Bones

Blind contour drawings and bones are a great match. What is a blind contour drawing? It is a great exercise that improves a number of drawing skills. You draw a subject without looking at your drawing and usually without lifting your pen from paper. First, set up your bones far enough away from your drawing where you can not see them. Next, put your pen down and start drawing. Finally, remember that a blind contour should be fast. There is not much use in adding details since you don’t know where you are.

A nature journal page for #inktobernaturejournal showing blind contour drawings of bones and notes and questions.
Look at how I use questions for my thought process and to add more to my page.

What are some aspects of your blind contour that you like? How can you apply these to your regular drawings? What can you learn here?

Day 9: Poisonous or Venomous?

Despite the way most people use these words there is indeed a difference. On the other end of the spectrum from how these words are commonly interchangeable there are people who are sticklers about these words always being used correctly. For #inktobernaturejournal we are less concerned about correctness. In fact, we are not even that concerned with pretty pictures. Instead we are focused on consistency and getting an entry for every day of this challenge! This prompt allows you to do some research, be creative in your interpretation. Maybe there is something in your garden or under your sink that matches the prompt? A “joint comparison” could be a good nature journal technique to employ here?

Day 10: Nocturnal Nature Journaling

Did you know that nature doesn’t stop at night? On the contrary, many things in nature only happen at night. If you are never nature journaling at night you are automatically missing half of nature. And between the equinoxes you are missing more than half! For some tips and inspiration check out this video below.

Day 11: Role Reversal in Nature:

I tried to include some prompts like this that allow for your interpretation and creativity. How will you interpret this one? What are some examples of role reversals in nature? What does that even mean to you? Does it say more about how we categorize the world than it does about the world itself? I look forward to seeing your pages when you post them on instagram with the hashtag #inktobernaturejournal. You can also follow me on instagram and tag me.

Day 12: Animal Tracks

Some of you already know that I am really interested in tracking. I got into tracking even before I knew about nature journaling and drawing tracks was one of the main ways that I rekindled my interest in drawing nature. This was the key revelation that resulted in me learning about nature journaling! Drawing tracks is all about seeing and drawing shadows and degrees of shadow. One great ink tool for this is water soluble pen because you can get discrete black spots and lines but you can also create a wash for graded values. I like the Pilot Precise V5 Black Ink: https://amzn.to/2YAuznU

On this nature journal page you can see an ink drawing of mountain lion tracks and writing describing the track. I used water soluble ink and a pentel brush pen. This is part of the #inktobernaturejournal month long challenge.
You can see where I used the water soluble ink to try to capture the mountain lion tracks in snow from a photo in my tracking book.

These are my preferred water soluble ink pens with black ink. They are what I used in the above drawings. Did you know that I made a book about tracking? You can get a digital version for less than$5. Check it out here. https://www.blurb.com/b/8746087

Day 13: Nature Comic

How do you nature journal an exciting event that you witness? How do you capture that hawk catching a rabbit that you witnessed? There are many tools from the world of comics and graphic story telling that we can adapt to nature journaling. Having some tools and experience will allow you to capture these fascinating and fun moments. I will be interviewing Mark Simmons about this specific topic on October 13th on the Nature Journal Show. Don’t miss it! Subscribe and click the bell under the video in the link to get notifications so you always know when I am going live.

Day 14: Dissection or Cross Section

This is a great way to nature journal at home. It is also a great exercise in visual thinking and communication. The easiest thing to do is take a fruit or vegetable (or mushroom) and sketch it while you cut it up. What are the implications of how you cut it to understanding it? What is the best way to show it? I like using button mushrooms, citrus, tomatoes, cabbage etc. Are you feeling more Leonardo DaVinci? If so, you can apply this type of nature journaling to animals. Level one: nature journal a whole chicken or fish you get from the store as you cut it up. Level two: nature journal a fish you catch, a roadkill animal or a dead bird your cat brings in. Level three: take an anatomy class at your local community college and nature journal during the dissections. nature journal style leonardo davinci

Day 15: Extinct

This one word prompt gives you creative liberty for interpretation. You will probably not be nature journaling from life for this one unless you are looking at fossils or something that is on the verge of extinction. Have fun with this one!

 

Just getting started with nature journaling?

Need more tips? If so, check out this post. It will walk you through how to nature journal in 10 steps.

Need help choosing nature journaling supplies? Check out Nature Journaling Supplies: What You Need and What You Do Not

Inktober for Nature Journals! (Week One)

It is about time for an Inktober for Nature Journals! This is your opportunity to commit to nature journaling everyday for 31 days! Each day has a prompt that you can see below. Feel free to share. On this page I will post more details about each prompt as the month progresses. Use the hashtag #inktobernaturejournal when you post your pages. Follow my instagram to see my posts because I am doing the challenge too!

inktober nature journal

Inktober for Nature Journal Prompts

Day 1: Gnarly Old Tree.

Charismatic old trees are ideal subjects for ink drawing. Firstly, find one near you or use a photo. There are often good trees to draw even in urban areas, street trees, and parks. This is a good time to test out some new ink tools that you are planning on using this month. Check out this post for a video about inking old trees.

inktober for nature journaling
In this ink sketch I used the Fude De Manen fountain pen by Sailor to draw the light and dark areas of this tree and several birds.
Day 2: Local landscapito with dark darks.

It is easy to have your nature journal pages come out pale. Especially if you use watercolor for landscape paintings. Today, we are going to practice landscapitos (small landscapes) using ink. You can make several thumbnails if you want. Focus on seeing the dark darks. Can you simplify what you see to a few value gradations? This practice will help you later with your landscape paintings. Look how Bill Waterson used dark ink areas to depict this landscape.

A Bill Waterson ink drawing for Calvin and Hobbes showing a landscape with dark darks
There is a lot to learn here about how to use dark areas for the depiction of a landscape

Still struggling putting dark ink on your landscapito? Check out how print maker Tom Killion uses black ink in these landscapes below.

Inktober prompts for nature journalers. Example from a Tom Killion print showing how to use dark darks in a landscape image.
Tom Killion Woodblock Print. Study how he uses dark darks in this landscape and how it makes the piece so much bolder.
Another Tom Killion Print with bright colors and dark darks
Another Tom Killion print showing Point Reyes. Notice where he uses black ink.
Day 3: Messy Sketch Moving Animal.

Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. Especially with moving animals. Most animals we see in nature are going to be moving. However, it is really good practice to try drawing them. Have you ever seen Leonardo Da Vinci’s horse drawings? He has scribbles all over the page. That is what we will try to do today. There is no going back when you use ink 🙂

inktober for nature journal quick sketches of moving animals in ink
The more finished looking drawings are from the still animals. The corndog looking drawings in the middle with the arrows are the messy sketches trying to capture the moving animal. We can learn more from these sketches than polished portraits of frozen animals.
Day 4: The Blackest Flower?

This one gives you some opportunity to do a little research or look in a garden near you. What is the darkest flower that you can find? Are there any truly black flowers? Maybe do some research online or at the library. It is possible to apply nature journaling techniques to these secondary sources. How will you draw a black flower with ink?

A nature journal page for inktober nature journal showing several sketches of black flowers and a bunch of questions and notes about black flowers, whether they exist, what makes the color black etc.
My #inktobernaturejournal page for blackest flower. Notice how much I used writing, question asking etc.
Day 5: Quick Sketch an Invertebrate.

Invertebrates are animals too. However, we often don’t give them as much credit as birds and mammals. Now is your chance to find one and do some quick sketches of it with ink in your nature journal. Invertebrates include anything without a backbone. That means lobsters, butterflies, spiders, earthworms, and coral all count.

Day 6: Draw a Skull With a Story.

Everything in nature has a story. Moreover, the story is the most interesting part for humans. How can you be more intentional about capturing and telling the story on your nature journal pages? Getting better at this can make your pages more fascinating to other people or your future self when you look pack on them. For today’s prompt apply this idea to a skull. If you do not have access to any or can’t find any look for one in a book or do a search online. Make sure you can get some info about it.

Day 7: Something Living in a Corner.

Can you find something living in a corner? What nature journaling techniques can you apply to it? How many questions can you ask about it? And finally, what ink tools will you use?

A nature journal page for inktober prompt something living in a corner. I found some spiders, i think they are daddy long legs. I tried drawing several of them and there is a drawing showing there location as well as notes and questions about them
Including yourself in your drawings can be helpful for showing context and scale.
The second week of inktober is coming soon in another post…
Just getting started with nature journaling?

Need more tips? If so, check out this post. It will walk you through how to nature journal in 10 steps.

Need help choosing nature journaling supplies? Check out Nature Journaling Supplies: What You Need and What You Do Not

 

How to Draw Old Trees

Right now, I’m going to show you how to draw old trees. Do you remember seeing this tree in my last nature journal in the rain video? Drawing old trees is fun. Especially if you use the crazy ink technique I am about to show you…

How to Draw Old Trees

  • First, find a charismatic old tree that you like.
  • Second, make sure there is a spot the is comfortable to sit. Ideally, find a spot in the shade so your eyes don’t get blasted.
  • Third, choose a drawing approach. I used the stick drawing dip pen technique.
  • Next, give yourself a reasonable goal and stick to it.
  • Take a snack break and walk around to stretch your legs.
  • Push through any self doubt that comes up and stick to your plan.
  • Review your work objectively at the end and remember that quantity is more important than quality.

The stick technique for drawing old trees

Want to try a fun new way of drawing? I did this because I wanted to draw the tree using a stick from the very same tree! This is also probably one of the cheapest art supplies you will ever get. All you need is a container of black ink. I used this sumi ink.

  • First find and carve a stick. I like them if they are not fully dead and about as thick as a pencil. Then I carve a point that is somewhere between a spatula tip and a pencil tip.
  • Second, make sure you have a rag to wipe off the excess ink. This can be a messy process.
  • Lastly, start dipping your pen in the ink and drawing!
  • Try experimenting with different amounts of ink on the stick and using different edges of the piece to make different marks.
Feeling too nervous about this method of drawing trees?

If you are feeling too nervous about this imprecise method in your nature journal then that is probably a good sign that this technique is good for you. Many of us have perfectionist tendencies and hesitancy around mark making that inhibit our art. This manifests itself in drawing less, it also manifests itself in tentative brushstrokes and lines. By practicing with a tool that gives you less control you can train yourself against these negative tendencies. For more work on your mindset check out this post.

Want more nature journaling ideas for old trees?

Above you can see the other video I did on how to nature journal old trees. It was a different tree, a much colder day and I showed you several approaches. In this video I use more of a traditional nature journaling approach including watercolor, zoom in zoom out and more.

Just getting started with nature journaling?

Need more tips? If so, check out this post. It will walk you through how to nature journal in 10 steps.

Need help choosing nature journaling supplies? Check out Nature Journaling Supplies: What You Need and What You Do Not

Bird Illustration with Liz Clayton Fuller

Liz does bird illustration. She paints birds for field guides. She paints birds in front of a live audience twice a week. And to top it off, she has a popular course on bird illustration and nature journaling through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Oh yeah, she was also a teacher at the Wild Wonder Nature Journaling conference where she taught how to paint birds using gouache.

Bird Nature Journaling Vs Bird Illustration

I asked Liz what is the difference between nature journaling birds and illustrating birds. For science illustration work she has to communicate certain information clearly and accurately. In addition this work requires lots of back and forth with the client to make sure the illustration is accurate. Nature journaling on the other hand feels more relaxing and more freeing for Liz.

“I think of (nature journaling) as more like a love letter to the birds that I am drawing rather than having to be super accurate…”

As you can see, Liz enjoys both approaches and each one feeds a different part of her. The nature journaling of birds is more of a joy-based experience about connection. The bird illustration brings out her artistic side and her attention to detail.

Why Liz Clayton Fuller Loves Gouache and You Should Too
  1. First of all, gouache pops. Especially on toned paper.
  2. Secondly, it can be a forgiving medium compared to watercolor.
  3. Gouache is good for painting bird eyeballs which is one of her favorite parts.
  4. With toned paper it helps you get the mid range values accurately.
  5. Last but not least, gouache is somewhat mysterious. Either you know or you don’t know. To see what gouache supplies she recommends see below.
Supplies she uses for Bird Illustration

The Stillman and Birn sketchbook with three different colors of toned paper! She uses the softcover one and the spiral bound one. Click on the image to see on Amazon.
Click on the image below to learn about the Holbein Gouache that Liz recommends.

Don’t make the mistake that I did! Get an airtight palette for your gouache so it doesn’t dry up and crumble and go to waste.

This airtight palette is only for storing the paints so you will want another palette for mixing. Liz uses ceramic palettes like this one.

Liz uses acrylic brushes for her bird illustration work in gouache.

Sharing Work on The Nature Journal Club Facebook Page

Liz and I talked about how social media can give people the wrong idea of what nature journaling looks like. She peruses the nature journal club facebook page but intentionally doesn’t post her polished bird illustrations there. Her concern is that people will think that meticulous, detailed portraits are the goal. When in fact, messy quick sketches are the norm. This is especially problematic for nature journaling beginners who see all these beautiful paintings on facebook and instagram. These nature journal newbies then go on to compare such artwork to their own experiences of drawing birds in the field. This comparison usually doesn’t lead to positivity or motivation. Her advice:

“At the end of the day, its not about the art that you create. It’s about solidifying that experience in your mind.”

Want to see more of Liz?

You can see more of her work including stuff for sale on her website: https://www.lizclaytonfuller.com/

Check out her Instagram for regular updates.

You can also watch her painting birds live on Twitch

Are you completely new to nature journaling?

If so, then this post has the basics : How to Nature Journal in 10 Steps

Do you need help choosing nature journaling supplies? In that case check out Nature Journaling Supplies: What You Need and What You Do Not

How to Nature Journal From Your Car

I’m going to show you how to nature journal from your car. A car is an amazing thing. Not only can it move you (and your art supplies) from one place to another but it can also protect you from the elements and keep you safe and maybe inconspicuous. And guess what? There are seats you can sit on built right into your car! Many cars are even equipped with pencil holders, windows that you can see through, sun-protecting roof, and many more comfort features than you can fit in your nature journal bag. It is often possible to park your car in locations with good views of natural areas. This is a good option to practice if you live in an area with harsh weather, if you have mobility limitations, don’t have access, don’t feel safe, or otherwise cannot go out into more “wildernessy” areas.

How to Nature Journal From the Front Seat of Your Car

First, let’s talk about how to nature journal from the driver’s seat. This position has several advantages:

  • Most importantly, you do not have to change positions between driving and drawing. This is very convenient. You can drive right up to a spot and start nature journaling without changing seats or rearranging much in your car.
  • Second, the steering wheel can be useful for balancing your sketchbook or drawing pad.
  • Lastly, the front windshield is probably your best view from your car.
For the full list of tips watch the videos!

How to Nature Journal From Your Car: Hatchback Option

If you have an SUV, Pickup or a Hatchback this could be a good strategy for you. While this strategy requires more setup it also has some cool benefits. First, let’s look at the positive side:

  • First and foremost you can have a larger area for your workspace. This could even include a dedicated setup that you leave installed in the back. For example a portable easel or a desk. This is really good if you are doing larger format paintings in watercolor or even oil paintings.
  • Depending on your model of car you may get a better view from the back than through the front windshield.
  • Third, the hatchback door can serve as a protective overhang and provide shade.
  • Lastly, you might be able to setup a really comfortable chair in the back!

 

Are you completely new to nature journaling?

If so, then this post has the basics : How to Nature Journal in 10 Steps

Do you need help choosing nature journaling supplies? In that case check out Nature Journaling Supplies: What You Need and What You Do Not

Wild Wonder and the Nature Journaling Magazine (Amaya’s Experience)

The following is a guest post from our amazing nature journaling teen amabassador Amaya Shreeve!  Amaya has been on the Nature Journal Show several times. In this article she describes her experience at the 2021 Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference.

What do you get when you put a bunch of nature journalers, scientists, writers, and artists all in one room? A very happy Amaya! I’m Amaya and as you can tell I must of really enjoyed Wild Wonder!

For those of you who don’t know what Wild Wonder is I’ll tell you.  It’s a nature journaling conference where people come together to learn more, share, and inspire each other. Wild Wonder this year (2021) was my favorite! I’ve been to all 3 so I know a thing or two about this conference. This year’s conference was amazing! I mean words cannot describe the excitement one has when you get to have a “goat break” with Mark Simmons!(is this too much of an inside joke? can you please explain more? I took the class and still didn’t understand the goat joke.)

What made this year truly amazing was not the classes (don’t get me wrong they were great)  but it was the people who came. The people who came are willing to talk for hours on end about nature. The people who came will encourage on any big task you want to accomplish. They will make you feel loved and more at home than ever. The cool thing is these people aren’t just at Wild Wonder. They are all over the nature journaling community and they are willing to help support you and encourage you to keep up those pencil miles.

At this year’s conference I got a direct experience of how kind this community is.  At John Muir Law’s keynote on day 2 he ended his talk on how amazing and supportive this community is, all the while giving the love back to everyone. He gave thanks to everyone who was helping create the conference. He also shared a big project of mine. I didn’t ask him to do this so. You can imagine how surprised I was when he shared my project. I was shocked. I ran into the other room, computer in hand, telling my mom to look. I was barely able to get the words out. I sat there watching my screen as tears of joy filled my eyes.

I can’t believe I am able to be apart so something so amazingly wonderful. So when you go to Wild Wonder don’t just look to the teachers, look to the fellow students. Seek their mentorship. After all, the best mentors tend to be your friends. Well at least mine are.  If you are curious about my project. Well I guess I can tell you. I mean why not! I have created a nature journaling magazine for kids. I hope his magazine will inspire a love for nature journaling in my generation and the next. (insert a link to her magazine here?)

Thank you for reading this blog post . I don’t usually write blog posts  so this was fun! Here are some links to help support me and some for you to find out more about me. A special thanks to Marley for letting me write this blog post. Lots of the love –Amaya  

You can see Amaya’s fun nature journaling YouTube videos here.

Check out her Instagram.

Want to motivate more nature journaling teens? You can find out more about the nature journaling magazine on Amaya’s patreon page! 

Some pages from the nature journaling magazine that Amaya is making
Each issue has pages submitted by different kids and Amaya provides thoughtful feedback.
nature journaling magazine page
Here is an example of the amazing instructional pages that you can find in Amaya’s Nature Journaling Magazine for kids

You Make This Possible

Do you enjoy the Nature Journal Show? Do you believe that nature journaling can make the world a better place? Me too, and that’s why I need your help. Because people like you consistently contributing a small amount of money through the nature journal show Patreon makes this all possible.

Patrons get lots of cool benefits, exclusive videos, patron-only parties and the pride of knowing they are supporting the Nature Journal Show. You can contribute too with anywhere from $1 a month to $75 a month. I’m offering special perks and a discount on annual membership for anyone that signs up in August. You can learn more and see some examples of Patron only content here: Become a Patron!

My main goal is to continue to make educational content to help people see more in nature. I believe that nature journaling can make the world a better place. But I need your help.

Some background

The last year has been challenging financially for me and the Nature Journal Show. In fact, the Nature Journal Show has been in the red. Many of you probably know that I went full time with my nature journaling education business in October 2020. So far, I have been subsidizing all the free content that I make with my paid nature education work such as a few paid workshops, one-on-one teaching, speaking about nature journaling at other events etc. This income was drastically reduced because of Covid-19.

What about monetizing all the great content that you are making online?

Great question. I have been experimenting with monetizing my YouTube channel by allowing for some ads on the videos and I have also been using some affiliate links. However, the combined income for both of these is less than $20 a month so far. I would also prefer to use less commercial ways of making this work financially sustainable.

So how is this even possible for you financially?

To tell you the truth, support from my Patreon sponsors has made it possible for me to keep going. (In addition to putting as much of my other income and savings back into the show.) Mainly because of the community, mainly because of the moral support of all 57 people who contribute. Even if it is just $1 a month for some of those people. The community has grown a lot in the last year, so I know that this is possible. Imagine all the cool things we could do if we got to 100 or 500 patrons in the community?!

Let’s keep this show going!

Despite how amazingly supportive my Patreon community has been and how committed they are to the Nature Journal Show the approximately $360 a month in contributions is not enough for me to pay myself for all the hours that I put into making the show. My main goal is to continue to make the highest quality educational content to help people see more in nature. However, for me to continue this work in a sustainable way I need to be able to make a living. Despite all the different things I am trying there have been some months where I made less than $1000.

That’s why this month I am doing a push to get more people to sign up on Patreon. I am also starting to do some part time construction work for a friend. The first time that I have had to take on work other than nature education since I went full time in October 2021. It’s a scary move for me because I don’t want it to take away from the true work that I am meant to be doing on this planet. But I also know that work like that is consistent and can pay bills.

Gratitude

Right now, I want to acknowledge my current Patreon supporters and their belief in me. Thank you all so much! You are all awesome. Some of you have been with me for a long time!

Stephanie, Dianne, Miriam, Marilynn, Amy, Kristin, Eddie, Bethan, Dawn, Akshay, Zeffie, Terry, Jessie, Angela, Stacy, Leslie, Margarita, Hannah, Sandra, Dianne, Tina, Sandra, Julie, Aneta, Barbara, Deborah, Roberta, Sabrina, Stephanie, Loretta, Saphira, Amy, Sandy, Terri, Emma, Troy, Corina, Yvea, Jeanne, Suzanne, Alice, Helen, Mason, Tiffany, Petrina, Eli, Olga, Kate, Rebecca, Barbara, Kit, Laurie, Constance, Rose, Karen, Cate, Amy, Deb, and Jan.