My name is Travis Johnson.
Like any other young child, I enjoyed using crayons and colored pencils to create art. Art was my favorite subject in elementary school because it was the one class where I was able to be completely free and express myself. As I aged, I found myself becoming more critical of my abilities and it wasn't long before art was discarded so that I could focus on other classes, such as language arts, geography, and algebra. I thought that only people with talent could be artists. I thought that I couldn't be one because I couldn't even draw a straight line.
I didn't rediscover art until I was in the middle of a deep depression. I was fighting thoughts of suicide and self-harm on a daily basis, sleeping between 12 and 18 hours a day, and hating myself. I lost interest in all things and when I was awake, I was constantly thinking of how much of a failure I had become. After all, I was an adult man, and my life wasn't supposed to be in shambles. Men work hard and they lead productive lives, I thought.
During a therapy appointment, my counselor at the time encouraged me to find one activity that I could do. With my medication and therapy continuing to fail, I needed some kind of outlet that didn't involve self-harm. I settled on art journaling. It was the start of a personal creative revolution.