April 25, 2019

POSTED BY

Daniel Hu

CATEGORY

Interview the Gram – @crispy.study

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This week I interviewed one of the smaller artist profiles I follow, @crispy.study With just under a thousand followers, Christine Ji who’s behind the profile, is a bullet journalist based in Boston, MA. Her work has always been a really nice addition to my feed. Her journals are aesthetically pleasing …

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This week I interviewed one of the smaller artist profiles I follow, @crispy.study With just under a thousand followers, Christine Ji who’s behind the profile, is a bullet journalist based in Boston, MA. Her work has always been a really nice addition to my feed. Her journals are aesthetically pleasing as well as her desk setups for photos. I chatted with Christine for this week’s Interview the Gram.

Alfalfa Studio: Why do you do what you do?

Christine Ji: Bullet journalling and aesthetic note-taking were things that creeped on me very gradually. I’ve always been a very organized person, but I also like to tap into my creative side.

Notetaking and bullet journalling grew out of my academic focuses. I had always taken good notes and write everything down in my agenda book, but around a year or two ago I decided to have some fun with it. Also, another reason was that I was trying to buy a planner for school but all of them either did not look suitable for my style or were pretty expensive, so one day I just decided to use an empty notebook and customize it, and that’s how I took my first steps into bullet journaling.

AS: What has been your favorite ways to customize your notes/agenda? Are there special pens, highlighters or markers you use?

CJ: I’m going to be honest, when I first started my Instagram account I was going in cold. I was armed only with a sharpie highlighter and gel pens. However, after looking around on Instagram and seeing what other people used, I began to get a sense of what types of supplies could be used for what. I first used Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens, which I really like. They have a thinner stroke and are good for smaller lettering. I also use Zig Brushables, which have a fatter tip and create bigger strokes in different colors.

For standard highlighting, I use Stabilo boss pastel highlighters, which are amazing! The colors are beautiful. For a lot of my paper stationery and regular pens, I go to Muji. As for my favorite ways to customize my notes/bullet journal, I’d say I usually go for a big header with brush lettering and smaller subheaders and notes.

For my bullet journal, I’ll usually write out the days of the week in cursive, and use a combination of washi tape, highlighting, and stickers to fill out the spread. The way I do my notes and bullet journaling varies though! I like to mix things up, either with different color schemes or fonts or styles of headers.

AS: Do you think your style has changed a lot since you started? How long does each page take to design?

CJ: Yea definitely! If I scroll through my past posts there’s a huge difference in handwriting and lettering style. I think part of that is due to me learning how to use the brush pens, but my style definitely has evolved as I see things that inspire me. The way I set up my photos has definitely changed too. My older ones have a lot of accessories and things in the background and I feel like the colors are more vibrant. I’m trying to go for a more minimalist photo set up now, but it’s a work in progress.

I don’t know exactly how long each spread takes. Usually, throughout the week I’ll start to get an idea of how I want next week’s spread to look like. If I’m feeling ambitious I might take half an hour to draw out the whole spread on Sunday night and slowly tweak it throughout the week, or I might spend five to ten minutes a day updating each day’s section individually. Also, some weeks I go for more minimalist spreads than others. It depends!

But I do spend at the very least a few minutes a day updating my bullet journal and crossing off assignments, writing down stuff, etc, to stay on top of things.

AS: What’re some examples of your favorite spreads?

CJ: Can I send pictures? I’d say these are my top.

This first one was from almost a year ago and the handwriting is questionable but I like the general layout:

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I think the second and third came out very nicely:

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The fourth one is a bit more involved with the lines and boxes and I haven’t done one like it in a while but maybe I’ll pick it up in the coming weeks.

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The fifth one was the first one I tried horizontally and I thought it was interesting:

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The last one’s color is nice– I was going for a more bubbly and rounded style of lettering.

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AS: How has the response been to your work on Instagram or in real life?

CJ: In real life my friends have always said I’m super organized and people are generally really enthusiastic about it. I kind of do feel self-conscious because when I’m taking down notes in class or updating my to-do list people sometimes look over and ask me about it, but I appreciate that people are into it! On Instagram, I’ve found people to be very nice. I didn’t realize how big the bullet journal community was until I started posting my work. There’s a lot of niches within the community, and it’s a great experience to interact with people who might approach bullet journaling and notetaking in different styles than I do. Overall, I’d say Instagram has been a super supportive platform.

AS: How do you see yourself continuing bullet journaling?

CJ: I’m definitely planning to continue doing it! I want to expand on the things in my bullet journal, like maybe adding more trackers for things like sleep and mood. I also want to branch out more and try different styles of spreads, like more crafty ones, or maybe a kind of scrapbook style.

AS: How has tracking things helped you? What do you think you’ll get out of tracking sleep and mood?

CJ: I tracked my habits for a bit but I’m not doing it currently. I’ve tracked things like phone time, drinking water, practicing instruments, and things like that. I think it’s helpful to look back and see what patterns of behavior I’ve had, and keeping myself accountable for having good habits. To be honest I don’t track habits frequently because it’s pretty involved to set up and track every day, and I just haven’t gotten around to it recently. I’m a little scared to track my sleep because I don’t want to see how little I sleep haha.

But I think overall it’ll be a good way to see how I’ve grown as a person by tracking these things, and I plan to pick it up soon!

AS: One last one, what does the name @crispy.study mean?

CJ: It’s not very deep. I made the account on a whim and “crispy” kind of sounds like Christine, so I decided to put that down. I feel like it’s just a nice adjective. The study part is pretty self explanatory… it represents the notes and bullet journaling. The crispy.study name just stuck so I decided to keep it. In a way it’s pretty symbolic of this account; I’m just doing what I love and sharing it, there’s really no deep hidden meaning.

Thank you Christine for the interview! You can check out her work on her Instagram page @crispy.study.

All images © Christine Ji @crispy.study via Instagram.