This Woman Is Bringing Back the Art of Journaling

woman journaling

Photo Credit: Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock

Keeping a journal is a great way to reduce stress, increase self-awareness, and organize your thoughts. NYU student Monica Janvier has taken her journaling practice to the next level, incorporating her love of writing with her savvy sense of business. When Janvier isn’t studying, the Brooklyn-based Haitian-American is building her first business venture, Harmonic Artsy.

“I’ve been journaling for about eight years now,” Janvier tells CircleAround. “I wanted to become more thoughtful and intentional, so I started using actual journals.” Today, Janvier carries her journal almost everywhere she goes. “As a college student who is striving for financial freedom and independence, I was motivated to start a business,” she says. “I was especially excited to combine my passion for journaling, creative writing, and art.” 

Besides human faces, our hands are one of the most expressive parts of our body.

Janvier officially launched Harmonic Artsy in August 2020, after experimenting with visual art and creative mediums a few months prior. The Harmonic Artsy Instagram account features her illustrations, journaling and writing tips, prompts, and inspiration for her followers to incorporate into their practice. She emphasizes that it can be difficult to keep up a journal, but forming a community is a great way to get inspiration, motivation, and support for mental health and wellness.

When brainstorming design ideas, she says, “Hands kept coming to mind. Mostly because I was intrigued by how expressive and powerful hands can be. Besides human faces, our hands are one of the most expressive parts of our body. Like many people, I catch myself speaking with my hands almost all the time. Our hands tell truths that we may not be self-aware of. Our hands say what we are too afraid to say, or what we can't find the words for. Our Hands Collection features hands in movement, gestures, and expressions. Each drawing speaks its own story.”

Janvier, and those involved in her growing brand, also believe it's important to acknowledge the privilege that comes with being able-bodied. “We’re always searching for new ways to support nonprofit organizations that provide hand surgery, hand therapy, and services treating hand disorders,” she tells CircleAround. She cites the work done through the Guatemala Healing Hands Foundation, specializing in the treatment of upper extremity congenital conditions, burns, and injuries.

“I often get questions such as, ‘Would journaling help me?’ ‘How can I be better at journaling?’ ‘Am I journaling the right way?’ I believe that journaling can help anyone,” Janvier explains. “There’s not one way to journal. You also don’t need to be a writer. I love helping people build the confidence to journal freely without self-criticism. The ability to let your guard down, and to just write, and feel what you’re feeling how you want to feel it at that very moment is incredibly amazing and truly liberating.” 

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