Are you starting Inktober today? Watch this first!

Hi friends! Today is October first and if you are active in art groups on the internet you are probably hearing about Inktober. Inktober is a month long drawing challenge created by Jake Parker to encourage people to draw more. It’s a great way to level up your skills because small things done daily can really add up. There are also downsides to these challenges and in today’s video I will give you my advise before starting this or any other art challenge so you can be set up for success!

My tips!

  1. Pick a theme or use challenge prompts! It takes away one obstacle, the “what should I draw?” problem:)
  2. Be realistic. If you have an hour to draw each day great but if you only have 15 minutes use that! Keep in mind that certain techniques take time and you can’t do as much in 15 minutes as you can in an hour but those 15 minutes a day sessions add up and 15 (or even 5 minutes) is a whole lot better than nothing!
  3. You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to. The Inktober community is awesome and it is fun to see what others make and get feedback on your work too but it is optional. I know all to well that one negative comment can outweigh 10 positive ones so take feedback with a grain of salt if you decide to share and don’t let any bad comments keep you from drawing. If you feel shy you don’t need to share. Learning art can be like building a house of cards and learning in the public eye can be like building a house of cards in a hurricane. Share if it motivates you but don’t feel obligated to.
  4. It’s OK to fail, we all do! Every artist you admire makes some really crappy drawings now and again. If you made an ugly drawing you are part of this club:)
  5. Be kind to yourself. Nobody is perfect. We are not robots and life can throw us curve-balls. You might miss a day (or a few) but get right back on that horse and start again. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good:)
  6. Enjoy the results! At the end of the month, you will get to look back at the sketches and progress you made. If you only had a chance to do daily 10 minute sketches you will find your speed has improved vastly over the month. If you chose a single subject to draw all month you will notice your knowledge of the subject has increased. It’s all good!

YOU GOT THIS!

The Funny Thing About YouTube…

Hi friends, I debated whether or not to post this video on my blog because it has more to do with my youtube channel than anything (and how social media manipulates you to stay on their platform longer.) I decided to go ahead and post it because even though you guys probably follow my blog (if you don’t there is a handy subscribe button in the upper left-hand sidebar, it’s free) so you likely get notifications in your WordPress reader or an email when I post a new project. I am SOOOOOOOO grateful to all of my blog subscribers because you trust me enough to invite me into your email inbox:) With my blog, I can reach the people who opt-in to get emails. If you subscribe on YouTube or Facebook (I love those subscribers too!) you may or may not see my posts. I have no control over it. Social media platforms are going to push certain posts to you based on how they want you to behave. I’ll explain why in today’s video. If you have noticed that you are not seeing some of your favorite crafty people on YouTube or other Social Media platforms lately this is probably why.

***This is not a tutorial***

I feel like the art and craft community has been hit lately due to YouTubes shenanigans. I found I was missing videos from some of my favorite creators as well. Most of these creators don’t have a blog audience to reach out to but I am sure we share some subscribers audience so be sure and check up on your faves, you might have missed some good stuff!

You Could Sell That, but do You Want to?

Hi friends, do you ever feel like you need a reason to make something? I had been feeling like it was a wasted effort to create something just for me. I thought I was alone in feeling this until I read this article and I realized that I was not the only one feeling this way and with the popularity of social media the need for approval of our creations has gotten in the way of us creating just for fun. Have a listen to the video and let me know what you think in the comments below.

It seems like in this age of the side hustle “having a hobby” is not good enough. We need to pressure ourselves into making a living from it. I know I have encouraged thousands of people to turn their passion into profit and while there is nothing wrong with that you should have something that is just for you that you don’t have to feel obligated to share if you don’t want to.

It’s like the food blogger who creates beautiful meals but they never get to eat a hot meal because it’s cold by the time they have photographed it. You deserve to enjoy your hobby, that’s why we have them. If you find yourself feeling that your art isn’t good enough unless it sells or gets 100 likes on Instagram it might be time to step back.

True honesty here, I totally need to practice what I preach! It’s hard to grow when everything you do is being watched and judged, that’s why it’s important to have that private creative time. It’s also important not to equate sales and likes with your self-worth. You can forget what you even like anymore when the approval of others guide your creativity. Take a bit of quiet time to doodle in a sketchbook or work on a painting that you want to make, art doesn’t need a practical reason. The personal fulfillment and enjoyment are enough.

I hope this little rant was helpful to you:) Happy crafting!

Got Cabin Fever? No Creative Mojo? Try Frictionless Crafting!

Hi friends! As I write this it’s snowing and already we have about 6 new inches of snow atop what we already had. It’s pretty, I’ll give it that but come March I am pretty stick of cold weather and being stuck inside. Short day and cold temps can have you feeling tired and unmotivated. In today’s video I’ll try to help you overcome it!

It occurred to me that many times when I was lazing on the couch watching TV that I would much rather be creating. Instead I might scroll through my phone hoping to be inspired or start the next episode of a show I am watching. Why am I spending my doing these passive activities when I really want to go make something. The reason is simple. These actions are frictionless.

To start a new project I need to leave the room, think of an idea of what to make, gather supplies, clear a space to work, make the thing and then clean up afterward. It can seem much more appealing to stay put and keep scrolling but you can engineer your crafty time to be more frictionless. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and yes, even YouTube have engineered their platforms to be easy to use and consume more and more. The good news is that you can apply this trick to your crafting!

Overcoming our own blahs…

Complaint: I’m too tired to get off the couch and start a project.

Solution: Keep a portable project kit next to the couch. It can be a knit/crochet project, stamped images and coloring tools, a small set of watercolors or watercolor pencils and a waterbrush and sketchbook or even a subscription box if you have any. That what you can create and not miss an episode of Friends!

Complaint: I don’t know what to make!

Solution: The next time you are scrolling Instagram and a project looks fun stop and go to your supply closet and see if you have the stuff to make it, pull those supplies and save the inspiration photo for reference. Then your workspace will be set up when you have the time to create.
Tip: A great time to pull materials is when you have a 15 minute gap of time like you are preheating an oven or waiting to put laundry in the dryer. Use those “too small to do anything” scraps of time.

Complaint: I hate looking at the white canvas, I don’t know where to start.

Solution: Find a photo of something you want to paint and draw (or trace) it on your canvas. It will be more fun when you return to it if the drawing is done and your materials are laid out.

Basically you are removing as much friction between you and starting that project. You can do it! Think about how easy it is to go on amazon and order craft supplies. It’s frictionless. *Tip, I remove my payment info from my account so if I want to order I have to go find my credit card, see it works both ways LOL! I hope this video inspires you to create today and til next time happy crafting!

Look what I found when doing my taxes!

Hi friends! I was preparing all of my paperwork to send to my accountant the other day and came across a rather long receipt from a craft store! I couldn’t believe the amount of items on that slip and then I looked at the date. It was a month before I started my big declutter based on the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up two years ago. After recovering from the shock I had a good laugh and thought I’d share the mindset change I have experienced over the past 2 years.

Hey, we all change, make mistakes, learn and grow. I still get the twitch to buy new things and sometimes they are great and sometimes they are a bummer but I make sure I am going to actually use or try out the products I allow into my life. I also think I am better at predicting the amount of supplies I can use up in a reasonable time now than I usd to be. That said I have certain “price points” in my head that if I see a staple supple (like Arches watercolor paper for instance) drop below the cheapest price I have ever paid ($2.50 a 22×30 #140 sheet) I will stock up knowing that I will eventually use it if I have room in my long-term storage file. I do have that limit because it is not a good deal if it is more than I can maintain and it ends up getting damaged.

It is a struggle for me because on one hand I love having a variety of supplies on hand but on the other hand I like a clean space and I get overwhelmed by too many choices. I also think everyone’s “overwhelm vs inspire” point if different, I used to thrive in the mess  but now it paralyzes me. Some people are better at keeping more plates (or supplies) spinning at once and that’s OK too. Don’t feel like you need to get rid of your things if you enjoy them but also don’t feel like you must keep them if they were a mistake to buy. You already paid for that mistake once, don’t keep paying for it. I am not a minimalist. I think that’s why I like Mari Kondo’s book so much, there was no recommend amount of things. If you like it, if it “sparks joy” you keep it. For me focusing on what to keep helped. I know some of you are really sick about hearing about the Konmari method, with the new Netfilx show and everyone either jumping on the bandwagon or rebelling against it so it can be a drag. You do you. I only want you to be creative and enjoy your art & craft time.

Don’t feel bad that you have supplies, use them and find the joy in creativity! Happy crafting!

My #1 Art Tip!

Hi friends!  Want to improve your art? The way is simple, I’ll explain in today’s video!

So the next time you feel like you are afraid that you will ruin a painting go for it anyway. You succeed or you learn! Don’t get stuck in a rut. Art is here to bring you joy and growth is the way to happiness and the way to avoid burnout in your hobby.

Just a reminder, if you feel like you want some help along the way with feedback on your current art projects check out Critique Club. I give personalized feedback on your paintings and you get two real-time tutorials per month in the group. Click here to learn more or sign up!

Happy crafting!

Thoughts on Keeping Cards…

 

Hi friends! I like making cards. I see it as a positive hobby where the fruits of your labor can be enjoyed twice: You get enjoyment making it and then you get joy sending it and another person get’s joy receiving it. I guess that’s 3 times! Many of us have expectations for our cards beyond those 3 joys and that’s what I am talking about today. BTW if you ever get a card from me you have my blessing to discard it whenever you like;)

Don’t let your {or others) expectations dim your light or tarnish your hobby. Make and send cards because that’s why you bought the supplies to begin with and til next time happy crafting!

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