Journaling, 2014.

 Journaling, 2015

Journaling, 2015

There were no journals that spoke to me as a Black woman,
with words of substance, power, and truth inscribed on their covers.  
Journals at paperies were illustrated with white women,
botanicals, or inscribed with exhaustingly silly words--  
not books I felt safe placing my words into while
processing issues like senior year of college, divorce,
purpose+destiny, (un)employment, homelessness, etc.

Vagabroad Journals was just going to be
a personal art project of 100 journals.
Yet, it emerged as a brand from the throes of a difficult season,
the urgency to narrate myself while the words were still fresh,
and needing a sacred, trustworthy surface to scratch my thoughts upon.  
Along the way Yah gave me a name for this art project, took me on a
journey to teach me the meaning of "Journeying Soulfully," showed me
the power of writing our lives down into blank books, taught me
how to paint, and gave me the words to write on each of the journal covers. 

It's since evolved into making journals for teastained women: 
those of us whose histories and narratives have been stolen
and are persistently interrupted by a system set up
to distract and demilitarize us;
those of us who arein war with being either
tired and entertained; 
drained and stressed;
 projected upon and lied to by the media, etc.

This work is meant to serve as a reminder
to take time and give language to yourself
and the times in which you're living.
The words on these journals are strong so that
you're constantly shocked upon with the power of
claiming and inscribing your soul's narration.
You are your own scribe.

Historically, our stories have been erased and
we've had to navigate time with third party accounts
and pathetic excuses for "history" books.  It is more than vital for
us to reject distraction disguised as information, fantasies, 
and statistics' false prophecies so we can
tap into our quiet, listen to ourselves,
and document our histories in real time—
I call all of this Journeying Soulfully. 

 Journaling, 2018

Journaling, 2018

 I don't make journals with anodyne
illustrations and accompanying
feel-good messages. 
I don't make journals for weak women.
I make journals that are designed to convict
each time their author picks it up.

There's a bigger picture that surrounds journaling beyond “self care”:
journaling is a way of being present, leaving a legacy,
archiving all the women you become, reclaiming your narrative,
not repeating irrelevant mistakes, etc.

For almost 5 years now the Vagabroad's conviction has remained unchanged:
teastained women, pursue truth and write yourselves. 
preserve your multigenerationality.
Decide and discern yourself into tomorrow,
writing your story along the way.

Only you can pluck the fruit that’s been feeding you.
Only you can codify and archive your soul's languages.

You are the only one qualified to tell time you've been here.

 

Vagabroad Journals are small-batch handmade journals named after seasons of life we
go through along our journeys. Each mini-collection speaks to a larger theme
and experience meant to inspire the journal's author to Journey Soulfully.  The brand as a whole is
for teastained women writing their intuitive autobiographies as they Journey Soulfully.