Nicoz Balboa

Graphic Journaling lesson 1: Get Into The Groove

First of all thanks too all the amazing Artists who joined the  graphic journaling class. We had humans from France, from Italy, from Brazil, Turkish and Germans ones too.
We gathered all around  our Zoom screens  and we felt like we were in the same room.
It’s beautiful to see how humans beings react in those scary and uncertain times -when they can- they go tap in their creative space right away as an urge (dancing, coloring, writing, singing)

And this is the reason I’m organizing those classes, to use what I can do to make your ’self isolation life’ a little lighter. Having artistic and storytelling tools gives us the power to express our feelings.

before starting our class, we centered and came back to a place of presence thanks to this awesome short  Deepak Chopra méditation, I put it right here (the name is a link) so you can come back to it whenever you want.

in those series of lessons we are going to practice journaling on a graphic side, with images, and we’re going to use art supplies. However we aren’t looking for creating the “ultimate masterpiece”, what we’re looking for is presence and absence of judgment on what’s been created.

And how are we going to tell our “story”? with our hands! by writing, drawing, coloring, sticking pictures on our journal.
When we tell a story we transfer *something* from our inside to the outside. Doing this means “narrating” and “narration” (or “storytelling”) is a human instinct! We do this since we are kids and we project images and stories from our inside to the unanimated object who are outside of us, how? I’m gonna let amazing artist, recipient of MacArthur “Genius” Grant, legend of alternative comics and illuminated visual art teacher Lynda Barry explaining it to you in her amazing Ted Talk.

In those classes we (will) accept everything we move to the outside. You think you can’t draw? Ok, I’d like you to answer to this question: “what is a bad drawing?” And “How old do you need to be to make a bad drawing?”

if I give you the exercise to draw a “hairdresser” you will create TWO images: the one in your head  before starting (the drawing you wan to make) and the actual drawing on paper (the drawing you made). To simply see this is mindblowing  because now you can’t unseen it. Until you forget what you were « trying to do », you can’t relax into the actual act of creating .

liking (or not) the result can get us blind, but I want to ask you:  «what happens to the drawing  when we don’t like it? »

answer : absolutely nothing, the drawing exists whether you like it or not. (you may destroy the paper but then this would be « what happens to  the paper -or to you- when you don’t like the drawing ?»)

When we follow what feels good, when we’re enjoying our process, we get into the groove and there’s  a magic that happens: we forget if we like our drawing or not and we forget about ourselves.

we forget about ourselves (yes I‘m writing this twice) and yet our hand continue to move, and the drawing appears! this is the practice: trusting what feels good, keeping the hand moving  while staying in the moment.

and even! Sometimes even STARTING to draw can be scary, like if someone asks you to draw a car why does it have to be as scary as you where asked to jump off a cliff?

so, I’d like to finish with a question (answer  it in your graphic journal): « how would you experience the drawing if you knew you couldn’t never fail at it? »

See you next sunday




ps: here  the works from the first lesson, in no particular order. (Click on the names, they’re links to the artists’ s Instagrams or websites)

Geraldine Joséphine:

Vania Passini:

Gisela Silestre:

Debora Dos Santos:

Marie ”Runner Yogi Ocean”:

Virginie Rouvière:

Giovanna ‘Joni’ Bisoni:

Chiara Cavalletti:

Agathe and her daughter Stella:

Hillary Banks Self:

Daily Period:

Beckou des Bois:

Laura Delune:



Anne G. :


Marty Molinari:

Alessandra Tisato: