Journey – My Unexpected Venture into a Creative Life

Journey by Studio Vicki Robinson

Photoshop-painted Coneflower Click for a closer view


What unexpected journey? Well, for all my business life, I used the left side of my brain. Problem-solving and managing people and projects in the high tech industry requires a very organized and analytical mind and – that’s me. Type A all the way. But once I retired, that side of my brain didn’t require such a rigorous workout and I began to explore other ways to keep myself occupied.

I spent lots of time honing my golf game and got my Index down into the teens – that’s a good thing! I served on all sorts of local boards. I volunteered to develop and maintain websites and blogs for various community groups. I was the go-to person for any computer-related questions (it got to the point I was jokingly answering our phone “Vicki’s Computer Support … press 1 for English …!)  I was just as busy in retirement as I had been while I was “working”. But something was missing. And something odd was happening to me. I started to recognize  the stirrings of a desire to do something creative.  Me. She who couldn’t draw a recognizable stick figure.

We live in the Gold Country foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California where we are very frequently visited by coyote, bobcats, mountain lions and all sorts of other wildlife! So I got a decent DSLR and started taking pictures. And more pictures. And even more pictures. Then I had to find something to do with all those pictures.

In 2007, while “surfing” (remember when we called it that?) the internet, I stumbled upon a reference to “digital scrapbooking” and instantly fell in love with it. It let me combine my geeky-techie software-loving side with a creative way to preserve the thousands of photos I’ve been taking since we moved out to the boonies! You can find some of these photos on my old iVicki Photoblog.

Finally, I’d found a hobby that let me use the right side of my brain! Plus, it gave me the perfect excuse to buy lots of stuff! Digital scrapbooking led me to designing/selling digital scrapbooking kits and that, in turn, opened the door to digital art/life journaling.  And that led me to explore the world of hands-on mixed media art  journaling projects – which I am learning to turn into digital products for other digitally-minded artists! Oh. And I get to buy more stuff.

If you had told me twenty years ago, or ten or even five years ago that I would have a room in my house filled with paints and canvasses; and stamps; and stencils and gel matte medium; and gesso I would have thought you’d lost your mind – and then I would have asked you what “gesso” was!

So, you see, this is a completely unexpected journey. But it is one that has given me – and continues to give me – much joy.

The Journey

This was my first “artsy” style kit and is still among my favorites. Even if art journaling isn’t your thing, the kit works for any kind of vacation or travel  – any journey at all. It’s on a special 50% off sale for the next week.

Journey by Studio Vicki Robinson


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12 thoughts on “Journey – My Unexpected Venture into a Creative Life

  1. I never would have guessed that you weren’t always artsy. I love your kits and really want to delve into art journaling, but I guess I’m afraid, afraid of falling short – even though I know that there are no rules

    • Robin – I’m so sorry I didn’t respond to you sooner. I just realized that I’m not getting notifications from WordPress of comments to my posts.

      I know exactly what you mean about “falling short”. I worried about that for a very, very long time an in fact I STILL don’t publicly share most of my art journal work. But I have decided that I do art for me, not for public approval – so that frees me up to play. In my business life, I was a perfectionist and probably the definition of an “A” type personality – so I know that part of me exists. However, my priorities have shifted as I’ve gotten older, and while I struggle with “doing it right” I’ve learning that just doing it is healthier for me than the trap I fall into worrying that it’s “not right”. Please keep in touch and I’d love you encourage you any way I can!

    • Robyn – you are so very sweet. Thanks so much for being my friend and for being so very supportive!! Hugs!

  2. Oh there is hope for me yet I’m one up from you coz i can draw stickmmen but i can also do a mean square and triangle house complete with “m” birds and squiggly smoke

  3. Love this! Love your story! I love it when someone finds another little bit of themselves that has lain dormant for years and develops it!
    Too many loves but I am a fan and btw you don’t look old enough to be retired!

    • Aww….. thank you so much Norah! I think I’m proof you’re never too old – I’m 61 Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment – I truly appreciate it!

  4. I loved watching you take this journey too Vicki! Your work just gets better and better! And WOW… this kit is just beautiful!

  5. Beautiful layouts! I don’t know the first thing about digital scrapbooking. I have 10 scrapbooks of my kids when they were little. Wish you taught a class or tutorial on the digital side of scrapbooking. I loved reading about your journey.

    • Hey Shawna! How are you? Thanks so much for the nice words!! You know, I’ve thought about teaching digital scrapbook classes, but there are some good ones already out there. If you have Photoshop Elements (the full Photoshop would work too), Tiffany Tillman as a good Beginners class on her Scrapaneers site. It comes with a full digital scrapbooking kit and templates – and it’s all FREE! You can check it here:

      If you decide to do the class I’d love to know what you think! Thanks for stopping by – it was great to hear from you!

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