Guest Post: Resident Artist Courtney Knight

on keepings & memory 




I’m Courtney Knight an illustrator living in Portland OR

I graduated with my BFA in illustration in Boston, MA

currently working on illustrating books, freelance, commissions, and personal projects while

exploring my fleeting memory through mind maps and visual journaling

I made semi-transparent memory packets with papers and a zine on this workshop to make your own- available to purchase in my shop at

In trying to be mindful & present & aware I would start seeing small connections/ stories in everyday- grocery shopping, riding public transit, being with friends.surreal/ dreamlike they all had a message leading to self reflection and following the thread we are all connected- what am i supposed to take from this? in effort to keep these important moments & fight my fleeting memory i make lists, mind maps, memory maps and visual journal.

to explore my memory, visual metaphors, being semi-transparent, to not overshare & value privacy but still share an important moment, an aha, the red thread- a connection- or a feeling finding comfort in short poetic vagueness.


explore different forms of mind mapping: lists, word mind map, visual mind map, memory map and visual journaling

make your own

form a habit of mindfulness and always keep a journal


trying to collect stories & memories to hold onto them 

i’m riddled with guilt knowing i lost a moment but not knowing the what. pulling what was it tip of my tongue its blacked out

why do some people get to remember every detail?

why do we journal & why do people love to read the intimate pages of other’s journals

i keep these to feel in control to make sure the important isn't lost forever 

it's a reminder


a recollection

it is between happenings

it is forgotten foggy manipulated clear

recent research suggests memories are not stored in a static state in clarity but each time they are accessed memories are transformed. Neurons first encode memories in the cortex and hippocampus each time memory is recalled it is re-encoded by a similar but not identical set of neurons. Subtle details may be strengthened/weakened/lost

red thread theory

We are all connected

An ancient Chinese proverb says every person is connected to everyone they will ever meet, anyone of meaning to them by invisible red threads they may stretch or tangle but will never break. The people connected by this thread will have an important story regardless of the time, place or circumstances.



organize my thoughts limiting my anxiety knowing i can just do the one thing at a time its all there don’t overwhelm

it’s so it cannot be lost/ forgotten 

a release from turning my to do’s in my head over & over - this subdues the running

word mind map

When I am stuck visually & needing to find every connection to a word or idea to find the thread or commonality this then sets visual images in motion.


visual mind map

It's a mock map with elements of a regular map but tailored to what is taking up your headspace. One is visual paired with writing or labels of the topics in mind. There is some wit or humor or metaphors here with this pairing. This kind of mapping is self reflective, helping organize where thoughts/worries are placed. (Mindful / mind full)

memory map

A location filled with moments based off of reality

visual journaling

Writing down a moment something notable (make poetic / vague) adding a visual element

mindful/mind full

 mindfulness is moment by moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, body & surroundings

a conscious direction of our attention


stream of consciousness:

journal as a memory when mine is short/ fleeting why won’t it hold on- the calm in making lists

mindful/mind full

being present self reflection breathing (on being alone)

memory as a map/road map/mind map (word map) words linking together

everything connected red string (thread) theory

obsessing obsessions and what to do with them

obsessing on home word map and turning into drawing people’s homes collecting


always journal

on keeping a visual journal

visual learners

comfort in poetic vagueness


self reflection

recharge whats that mean for you

visual metaphors

why map why list

red thread theory

keeping a way for me to be semi-transparent to not overshare to value privacy but to share an important moment, an aha, the red thread a connection or a feeling

phrase/poems/ stack of words fragments\obsession why do we fixate

self reflection

being aware of surroundings of messages or metaphors

every happening is trying to tell something

subconscious manifest


connectedness is poetic



reading others journals

intimate through pages