Creative Inspiration: An Artist Q&A With Chris Ballasiotes

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A few motivating words can infuse fresh energy into ideas and aspirations in a unique way. Chris Ballasiotes’s striking typography brings even more inspiration to the words of our “Dream Big and Dare to Fail” Write Now Journal. His signature bold brushstrokes can be seen throughout his work and define his vibrant and abstract style. We asked Chris to share more about his process as an artist and his experience working on this best-selling journal.

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What was your favorite spread to work on?

I enjoyed working on the message of the inside cover, “Inspiration is everywhere.” When someone opens the journal, it’s the first thing they see and hopefully offers a playful introduction to the joy of writing, drawing, and journaling. Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” It’s a great reminder to always be willing to experiment and be curious.

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Where is your favorite place to work?

Having space to get messy, spread out, and be creative is my ideal work setup. I enjoy working in a thick sketchbook while traveling and on the go. I’ll come back to the office and build out my ideas into more fleshed out designs. Many of the little cut paper illustrations and rough food doodles from travels to Japan and Europe have helped inspire my work and collaborations.

What is your favorite medium to use?

Heavy paintbrushes with rich india ink are my favorite and are seen throughout the journal. The way paint absorbs into different stock papers is beautiful, as well as freeing. There is no pressure to be exact and stay “within the lines.” There was a time where I traveled through central Italy with only a little journal and an eight-set watercolor kit. It was the most simple and enjoyable way to document the vibrant meals we were experiencing and lush, green landscapes.

What are some of the inspirations behind your illustrations?

Greek cooking, music, traveling, gardening, children’s literature, nordic textiles, and soccer are all inspiration for the way I approach new work.

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You can find Chris’ bold, daring journal and the entire collection of Write Now Journals here.

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