My name is Nina Pap de Pesteny – also known as Karisma. I am a painter and artist based now in Austria, though originally I come from the Republic of Georgia. Throughout my life I have lived in Moscow, Budapest, Brazil and many other places around the world.

Working with themes about womanhood and the divine feminine, I create stories and revive ancient myths. It is a storytelling of a kind and it begins with my Paperblanks journals.  Paperblanks is the witness to my first spark of creativity, an idea, a sketch, a dream, a mystical experience…

“…an inseparable companion to my inner life”

I bought my first Paperblanks about 5 years ago at the railway station in Salzburg. A bright, shiny notebook caught my eye and it was so alluring I could not put it down.  For someone like me, who journals and sketches daily, finding it was a real treasure.

Now, I think of Paperblanks as an inseparable companion to my inner life.  Insights, moments of illumination and inspiration are all recorded on the pages of my notebooks.  Also my sketches and the rough drawings to remember an artistic idea – these too are committed to my journals.

What I love about Paperblanks is the beautiful integrity of each design, combined with the quality.  The books are very durable; they withstand my extensive travels and one has even survived a rain shower!  As well, I find the paper to be so smooth, it allows me to both sketch & to draw.

As a female artist, I really appreciate the Frida Kahlo Embellished Manuscripts as well as the many designs in the Laurel Burch Collection.  I scribble my inner journeys into “Mystical Horses” and I sketch in “Sun & Moonlight,” a journal based on the sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci.  Drawing in this journal becomes a constant reminder of Da Vinci’s genius.  When using it, I somehow feel as if he is there watching me.

I find Paperblanks to be a kind of a club, especially among women. We can each relate a story to the Paperblanks design we choose, and through this create connections that can blossom.  Recently, for example, I discovered that a new friend of mine owns the exact same collection of Paperblanks designs as me, which is amazing to consider how over the years we’ve each chosen the same journals, without yet knowing each other!

“…beauty is something that nourishes our souls…”

I think people have really wandered away from the art of writing and journaling. Everything is so utilitarian and functional these days and people take little care to spend a little more time or money on beauty.  But beauty is something that nourishes our souls and elevates us above the ordinary. Our thoughts, drawings, journals and correspondence deserve to be framed in something beautiful and precious.

Our Artist Series features snapshots of the creative people who use our journals. From all parts of the world, and all walks of life, we celebrate the infinite number of ways in which creativity can be expressed. If you would like to have your story featured, email


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