Name: Virginia Simpson-Magruder
City/Town: Novato, CA
Places Travelled & Places lived: Born and raised in Louisville, KY. Lived in: Atlanta, GA; Washington, DC; Boston, MA; Novato, CA. Travelled: France, UK, Russia, Kenya; New Orleans, Buffalo, Pittsburg, Philadelphia, Captiva and Sanibel Island…endless!
Loves: Self-expression and creative expression; a connection with something higher than oneself; nature – animals great and small; love of self and others; the people and animals who I have shared my life with; the journey – what else is there?
Teachers/Education: B.S. Counseling and Guidance, University of Louisville
Occupation: Handmade jewelry designer; teacher of altered books, collage, and altered art.
What would one find in the pages of your Paperblanks journal?
My journal pages contain mostly collages of images and text. I use personal photos, magazine or book images, paper ephemera, and usually leave space somewhere in the composition in case I do make a journal entry. Sometimes I create multi-page spreads for a single daily entry or page constructions as if I was working in an altered book. Sometimes I will cover the whole spread in a complete collage, using every inch of space. Each one speaks to where I am in the moment.
Do you have any personal philosophies you’ve come to develop about writing, art, creation or culture?
The travels I’ve taken in my life so far could not have occurred without an acknowledgment or a belief in something greater than myself and a desire to discover my own part within this. It started first as a question and it has been something that has evolved over my lifetime. It is very much a part of my life and my art. That – and the necessity of a good sense of humor!
Do you have any specific themes that you continually refer back to in your work?
Women, relationships, childhood, spirituality, animals, and nature – I guess you’d find the spectrum of life in my art, along with a healthy dose of beauty and humor.
No matter what type of creative art you make, what or who first inspired you to make it an essential part of your life?
The collage and assemblage artist Joseph Cornell. The Inner Journey, by Margaret Keyes.
How did you find Paperblanks?
I’d seen and admired the line of Paperblanks journals in bookstores, stationary and gift stores, both here and in Europe for many years. I always admired the cover variety and themes, along with their superior construction, and would think to myself: If I was keeping a journal, this is the line that I would choose my journals from. When I started my Daily Journal Page Challenge, and went looking for a journal to create my collages in, I remembered the Paperblanks line. I chose the small Pocket Companion journals for my challenge journals.
What sets Paperblanks apart from other journals you’ve used?
Their quality of construction, beauty, great shape and size.
Do you have a favorite Paperblanks design?
The Pocket Companions! I also love using the Slim formats for own “To Do” journals.
Do you have any advice for other creative people?
Keep pursuing your path to find the very best of yourself through creative expression. To be a creative person is to live this life to the fullest, to be creative in everything you do. This is your birthright as a human being: to discover your own unique, creative, evolving self, and by living this you will inspire others to do the same for themselves.
Our Artist Series features snapshots of the creative people who use our journals. From all parts of the world, and all walks of life, we celebrate the infinite number of ways in which creativity can be expressed. If you would like to have your story featured, email firstname.lastname@example.org.