Wednesday 31 July 2013

My *MASSIVE* Fancy Paper Beads Tutorial

Okay so I think I may be a little *too* happy today 
(if there is such a thing!)
My bum won’t stay still, my hands keeping jiving to non-existent music
and generally I’m just a little giddy. 

Because it’s days like today, when I’ve previously spent ages making something, and the time has finally come to send it out into the world, that I really love doing what I do on my little parts of the interweb. 

So who’s ready for a super *MASSIVE* tutorial?? YAY!

This is my number ONE, most requested video, EVER! 
I haven’t done it before now as I didn't want to do something similar to things that are already out there. But finally, I think I have managed to do what I wanted. It is 45 minutes long but this video has a bunch of separate tutorials smushed into one. Tutorials on different ways to make different shapes and different sized beads. Different techniques for decorating your beads. Tips for what kinds of paper produce what kinds of beads. Information on tools for beading-making. Tips for glazing. Tips on this. Tips on that. It is basically RAMMED with information.

So I know you would rather see it rather than read me ramble, so here it is I hope you enjoy:

Much love

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Vanessa Laven

Hi guys, it's the last TAT of July. 
Man this year is disappearing so quick!
This week we have the pleasure of a lovely artist named Vanessa, enjoy =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
My name is Vanessa, I’m 28 years old and I live in Minneapolis, MN. I am a knitter and I sell crochet patterns of organs. I’ve also started to dabble in acrylic paints, watercolor portraits, and art journaling. I blog over at Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts where I talk about my art, self-improvement and all the hard lessons I’ve learned as a twenty something cancer survivor.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
My two biggest challenges are trusting my gut and broadening my horizons. I’m doing my best to listen to that little voice in the back of my mind that tells me when my stitch count is wrong or when to go left versus right. The other hard part is *not* listen to the voice that tells me that I shouldn't try something. It often asks, “What if you look silly?” or “what if you fail?” That inner critic can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s just difficult to sift through Critic’s bad advice to get to the good.

What other issues to you overcome to accomplish your art?
The biggest issue I’ve had is some physical limitations to overcome. In 2010, I was diagnosed with lymphoma (you can read more about it on my About Me page) and I had to undergo six treatments of very intensive chemotherapy. One of the drugs I was given, vincristine, causes neuropathy which is a painful numbness or tingling in the extremities. My fingertips felt like they had fallen asleep all the time. Needless to say, holding a pencil, a paintbrush or my knitting needles was difficult. I learned that I had to push through the pain to do that which I love and which nourishes my soul. It’s become a wonderful lesson that I've been able to carry through to all parts of my life. Thankfully though, the numbness went away on its own when I finished treatments. And I’ve been in remission since 2011!

What messages do you try to portray in your work and do you feel you achieve it?
I like to think that with my art and my blogging (it *is* an art form!) I try to send out the message that it’s okay to fail. It’s ok to not be good at something the first few times you try. And it’s more than okay to try new things. As adults, I think we lose that joyful zest at trying new things that we had as very young children. Nothing is too hard for a three year-old to attempt! I love watching very small children stubbornly try to do basic things like use a fork to eat. They don’t stop until they've mastered it and the joy on their faces is inspiring. I try to infuse my work with that same sense of joy and wonder.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art? 
I’m on Ravelry as NessaMcTastic, Flickr as NessaMcTastic and Twitter as @mmaac. Come say hi!

Thank you so much Vanessa! I must say it I found your answer 'My two biggest challenges are trusting my gut and broadening my horizons' so refreshing and insightful. I think it's true advice for art and for life. And YES! Blogging is an art-form, I think anyone that does it will agree with that one...and a bit of a science too 'what is HTML coding <*--</span>**&^&^$</div>)!"> mean?...anybody??' lol. Congratulations on your good health now (and pushing through in-spite of it during the bad too!). 

On final, non-related note, be sure to check out my blog tomorrow
- I've a big post coming that I'm sure you won't want to miss, oooooooh!!

Do you want to be a featured TAT artist??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)

Saturday 27 July 2013

Just Playin'

Hi guys, so I've been a bit awol this week online-wise, which has unfortunately been reflected in my arting too.

Some days, weeks, months it's hard to get a grip on it, and I've had one of those months this July. Just when I think I may have a day or two to get on with something arty I've been hit in the face with something that has stopped it in it's tracks. 

And unfortunately sometimes nothing can be done but an attempt to pick up the glue stick in any scarce moments & just *do*; which means the best laid plans for projects usually get set aside for the 'A-R-G-H I H-A-V-E J-U-S-T G-O-T T-O C-R-E-A-T-E **S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G** N-O-W' moments - the outcome of which are usually just a big mess, but messes are important too.

Here is a vlog of me creating a said mess from my particular moment last night, just on a random piece of recycled cardboard stuck with a few scraps (which was from another gluestick moment earlier on it the week!):

Perhaps in the future I may do more 'Just Playin' type videos, may be even turn into a vloggy type series, as this was really freeing for me. It might even be useful for my creativity to actually have an excuse to just create whatever the hell I like at any given time and still provide videos for people who just enjoy watching unplanned creativity unfold (which I can't always do in my 'real' videos as often they, or at least the outline, is planned). Definitely loving the vloggin' for more creative freedom, it 100% helps just let loose on weeks such as this. Hooray for letting loose!!! =D

Wishing you a more creative week than mine here x
Much love

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Deb Terry

Hi guys, welcome to a *royal* edition of Tell All Tuesday ...what? I'm pretty sure it's mandatory to stick 'royal' in everything this week based on my inbox, which is FULL of all kinds of ridiculous baby-related spam:
'it's a boy, now buy a toy'... well actually I made that one up, but I'm sure it could have been used!

The only royals here though is the artists and this weeks interview is from another lady in California (I think you guys must just have some excellent art groups there, there's just so many of you arting it up over there) anyways enjoy this weeks share:

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
My name is Deb Terry. I've been married to the same wonderful man for 25 years. We have called many places home, including Germany for a few years and have recently settled in California. For the last couple years I have been fortunate enough to be able to stay at home and dive into the artistic lifestyle I have craved for so long. I consider myself a 'Jack of all Trades, Master of None'....There is not a craft or artistic technique I wouldn't like to try. But if there is one thing that feeds my soul it would be drawing. A pencil, eraser and paper and I’m entertained for hours, creating the images I see in my mind....sometimes they don't always translate well but then that's what the eraser is for.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
I am my biggest challenge. I am my own worst critic. It is a challenge everyday to silence the voices that say what I create is not good enough. I am a people pleaser. People's reaction to my art is very important to me...too important. I try my best to temper that aspect of my personality and realize the only person I have to please with my art is myself. I have the Vincent Van Gogh quote; “If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint' then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced" taped to my work table. The more often I fight through my insecurities and put paint on canvas the more confident I become and confidence is a beautiful thing.

What is your hearts greatest desire for your life as an artist?
To sell a piece of art. To know that someone liked a piece of my art enough to purchase it and place it in their home and that it brought them joy to see it every day.

What daunts you most as an artist?
Figuring out how to sell my art. There always seems to be so many roadblocks. Between business licenses and selling permits there's a lot of money that needs to be put out before you even know if your art will sell. It's quite an investment in oneself and I haven't reached the confidence level to do that yet.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?I make regular posts at my blog. My blog has a lot of art on it but also flower gardening and the travels I take. The stuff that makes up my life.

Thank you bunches for sharing Deb. I won't speak for everyone but I certainly feel like I'm 'Jack of all Trades, Master of None' sometimes and if I'm honest I think to some degree that is often the lot of an artsy craftsy type. We may focus on our one or two main loves but we want to know a lot, to try our hand at different things and the time spent doing that can make us feel like we're 'dabblers' rather than 'proper' artists. But my opinion is also that by doing all of the things we want to have a go at it makes our skills more complex, our imagination open to more possibilities and our end results more creative, so we should get beat down on ourselves too much for being dabblers. 
Variety is the spice of life.

Do you want to be a featured TAT artist??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)
(this week I've not caught up with TAT emails as planned, again don't worry I'll try and clear by inbox in the next week, once I've cleared all the royal stuff that is ;) )

Sunday 21 July 2013

Pom-Pom Garland Tutorial

Hey guys, so I've had one or two of you say 
'when are we going to see a tour of your new studio?'
well my answer is...when I've everything exactly how I want it, 
so you're just going to have to wait (so ner :p) lol but you are getting to see tid bits here and there (like this post) and one good thing to come out of me taking my time & making my space all pruuuutty is...a tutorial.

And no this is the tutorial I gave sneak peeks of in my last post that I've been working on, this is just a freebie (not that the others not a freebie, but this is an extra freebie, see?!). This is why I think I'm gonna love my vlogging/vlog channel, just to show you these little bits and pieces that I otherwise might not have bothered sharing because they weren't worth the whole hoop-la of making a 'proper' tutorial.

So here is it a little chillaxed video (even in my scruffy 'paint top' - forgive me =D lol) with tips for making your own Pom-Pom garland.

Happy Sunday

Friday 19 July 2013

The Ease of Creating

Hi guys so in COMPLETE contrast to my last few posts I realised there is a complete flip side I can share to the story. 

recent carefree page from my Outdoor Studio/Warm Up Journal

Just like life, being an artsy craftsy type can have it's ups and it's downs...and while I am a 'creative-positive' person let's say, where I do believe anybody can develop the skills they want, I never deny that the road might be rocky. This in effect is why I share my own ups and downs, not just the ups, because no-one is excluded. It includes those you, and I, might even look up to and admire for their creative prowess. 

Being a creative person means we are not just allowing others to dictate the things that are in our, and sometimes others, world - because we ourselves are bringing forth new things into the world. Things that would not exist if we did not. I think it is the path least trodden, so sometimes we will get tripped up by exposed tree roots or smacked in the face by a branch while we find our way.

The beauty is though at other times our path is a glorious rocky cliff, overlooking beautiful blue sea with a golden sand beach to our left and luscious green tree-filled mountains to our right, while the sun beams down on us happily from above. Sometimes our course can be super easy, super harmonious and super joyful. This is the flip side.

So here are a couple of my recent projects that have turned my treacherous path into a super joyful one:

Since my last post where I ditched a couple of projects I have been creating a video...and loving it. Feeling completely back in my 'zone' creating a fun tutorial with lots of bits and pieces I know will be beneficial to a lot of people. It's not easy to make but it is coming together with ease...if that makes sense.

Sneaky Peeks:

Another example is for months I have been slogging away at a zine I was making (I won't share the title or theme - it's good, so will keep it to private for now just in cases I do want to do it one day). Anyway like the London journal it had been on my mind for fact it was to be a series of zines full of art & information and I spent months planning what was going on in each, I  never thought I would have a problem actually creating it. But in hindsight I think I flogged the donkey a bit too much, all that planning meant the content was *excellent* but the creating was completely *joyless*. 

Sneaky Peek at the Joyless-one:

Anyway I was nearing the end of the first zine and I hated it - it was not at all the wonderful fun zine in my head. Then one morning in the week I was going to finish the damn zine (I was, I was, I was! I was determined...I wanted it done & gone!) I woke up and had a completely new zine in my head: 

This new zine was not only written and drawn within a creative whirlwind of just a few days, but I was proud of it to boot, and sent it off to the printers to be a new publication for my shop:

The contrast between the ease of creating this zine, and the agony of slogging out the old one left me with only one outstanding action to do on the first one: to ditch it. I realised I wanted to walk along the sunny cliffside path, and given that a new zine had been born instantly and so effortlessly too, I also realised that that is what creativity is reaaaally about.


Tuesday 16 July 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Elvina Dulac

Hello, it's TAT day =) it's crazy hot here in the UK and while I don't like Narnia-long winters I don't do well with 'too-hot hot' either. So I'm currently laying here on my bed with window next to me wide open, huge tower fan spinning between me and Sweepiebum in turn and trousers rolled up my legs despite it being nearly 11pm. Come join me in grabbing a popsicle and dousing yourself in this weeks interview =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.

Hello, I’m Elvina. A married mum of two who works with young children. I’m also studying an BA Hons Open Degree with the Open University (distance learning) focusing on early years education and the arts. I’m a mixed media artist who came to art journaling 18 months ago after stumbling around in the dark for too long! I love pencil work and am now branching out into watercolour pieces and acrylic on canvas. I also love to design artwork for children as well as make my own journals as gifts for others.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?

The biggest challenge right now is finding time for my art in among my studies and this was especially true lately as I revised for an exam leaving zero time for creativity. I also have no art studio and have to adapt my bedroom and garage as art spaces.

Do you think you have achieved a uniquely recognisable style as an artist, or do you find it a struggle to find your own style?

Finding my own style is a current ambition and it’s coming - slowly! I’m currently taking Millande’s CAPI course, which is a free online course aimed at helping you discover your own style. It’s slow paced which is just perfect for my busy lifestyle and it’s really helped me along. I would recommend it for new and seasoned artists alike. I do get rather envious of artists who have their signature style but they were just like me once and it’s all part of the journey.
What messages do you try to portray in your work and do you feel you achieve it?

I find that when my art expresses my own spirituality I get excited as well as when it captures the beauty of the feminine and the natural world. This is the essence of my art and when it’s focused on these themes it tends to be my best art.

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art? 

Thanks so much Elvina, I have to say I really enjoyed your art...I know you say you haven't discovered your own style completely yet but I have to say from what I've seen to me it looks very expressive, flowing and joyful. Good for you for the studying too, especially during a busy period of your life with your work and kids. I think the old (paraphrased) saying of 'if you really want something/or something is really important to you then you will find time for it', regardless of what else is on your plate, is so true. If fact I kinda noticed through different periods of my life the more you have going on, the more you attract to keep going on lol make sure you find some decent art time for yourself after your exam, think of it as your most deserved reward ;)

Do you want to be a featured TAT artist??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)
(I'm a little behind with TAT emails, don't worry I'll try and clear by inbox in the next week =) )

Saturday 13 July 2013

London...and the Merit of Ditching

Today I have learnt the merits of ditching.

Card Horse Heads in Liberty''ll make more sense as the post goes on...hopefully

I also learned something about myself too. In creative terms I always thought I was rather flexible, given that I get so many ideas I have to allow many of them (and good ones too) to be cast aside so that others can see the sunshine. But what I have found out is that in actuality I am rather stubborn, and once an idea takes root in my head to become more than just an idea then it's immovable.

ya know, that Abbey Place

Much like that recent video I spent aggggges working on....before I went and ditched it. I had to finish my vision, and only once it was done did I then decide I didn't like it anymore. I guess I would have saved myself a lot of time and energy if I had decided this beforehand. If I had removed the root before it became a weed may be a rose could have blossomed instead. 

(this is a CAKE! ... yup I know, from Choccywoccydoodah in London)

However that is what I am doing now, and with an idea that has been rooted a lot longer than that discarded video. It has been so long rooted in fact that it could be an oak tree by now.The idea itself was to make a London themed/travel journal.

that place the Queen lives

The place just always meant so much to me, I felt it was right, that it was necessary even. I have waited a loooong while to create such a journal. I have even just come back from London and thought this should be the time to do it. The problem is, I'm not sure 'should' is really the right motivation for such a thing as creativity to bloom. So I'm releasing myself from this and a couple of other projects to focus on my roses. Besides I have waited years to create a London journal so I can wait a little, or a lot, longer until the journal itself becomes the rose. And if it doesn't, and the other projects too remain nothing but air...well that's fine, my garden will likely be blooming anyways.

me on Millennium Bridge,
from this point I can point out over 10 buildings I've worked in on the River Thames

So all in all I learned this about myself this week:
I have a great weakness for having to finish (practically) everything I set my mind to.

I also learned:
I have a great strength for having to finish (practically) everything I set my mind to.
...for it must be a great strength too must-ant it? 
If it wasn't there you'd never even know who I was let alone be reading my blog because nearly every creative project has a problem phase (or several) where it seems reasonable to want to ditch it, even the roses

So I guess stubbornness has it's merits too, 
as it is important to finish,
but I cannot deny that sometimes it is also important to ditch.

(10 mins of the Vlog is showing a flip of (or lack of) my London Journal, only one min is actually London bits and pieces)
Much love

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Overwhelm, My Outdoor Studio/Warm Up Journal & a Vlog

Hi guys, I've quite a lot to share in one post today
however it all mainly sparks from what I mentioned in the TAT post yesterday about how I'm feeling creatively right now. While I was in London I was completely switched off, not thinking of anything back home, including all my creative projects I currently have on the go for my videos, for a friend, for the blog, for a relative, for the shop, for a surprise, for this and for that (...well, I might have thought about Sweepiebum once or twice, but he was very well looked after). Then I came back and the first day was really nice; I was just chilling, my mind was still carefree, I was having some fun and then BOOM! That night I was plagued by a dozen or more new ideas that were screaming 'GET ME STARTED', 'WORK ON ME IMMEDIATELY', 'I AM MOST IMPORTANT' blah, blah, blah.

After all of the TAT interviews I've done, as well as just general chit chat with artists, I've realised the collective number 1 challenge against creativity is fear. Mine, however, is not. I, in honesty, cannot remember the last time I felt fear in my creativity. I never question myself and think that I might not be able to do something, because I know I can, and I do truly believe anybody else can's just that sometimes you might have to figure out alternative way of doing what you want to do, in order to make it work how you want it to work. The nearest I come to fear is I might worry when I put something new out, that people may not like or appreciate it, but still it does not worry me enough to the point of not doing it. Overwhelm, however, it is completely and utterly my number 1 for giving me creative paralysis. 

BUT I'm going to take the advice from an artist in a video I shared a couple of TAT posts ago and just carry on regardless, which is obviously not as easy as it sounds, but what I did was carry on-to another project. So I made this journal page in my new outdoor warm-up journal:

In another environment,
My Outdoor Studio:

me in my outdoor retreat last night
...this pic makes my area look a lot nicer & more tropical than it actually is btw lol
but still it  is*my* space ;)

So today I have discovered (or perhaps re-discovered) that doing *something* is better than doing nothing and not to let that overwhelm completely paralyze you from creating. It might not be the projects you wish to work on, but until that overwhelm bunny stops bouncing around all over the place and making you stress about 50 projects at once, a creative retreat/task/environment/journal of your own is a good way to tackle it. 

Here is a quick flip of my Outdoor Warm Up Journal, a little bit of a peek at my outdoor studio and a little bit of a vlog on Overwhelm:


Separate vlogging to my main channel has been something I've thought about for years, but it was only this morning I woke up and was like 'that's what I want to do, it feels right'. So this is just a little tester really, we'll see if it sticks properly but please do tell me what do you think - do you want more personal chilled out vlogs on here where I can discuss/show what I've been up to that day/in that blogpost?
Would you guys like that or not?
Let me know
Much love

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Lara Taylor

Hello Beautiful, I am back from my trip =)
and while I would love to say I'm raring to go, I am currently struggling with a brick wall of overwhelm in my creative projects. I simply have *far* too many on the go, which unfortunately  is not something I can just change because too many projects will just ALWAYS be how I work; mainly because of the sheer volume of ideas I have that I want to enact...but also because my mind works that way (in lil bitty scattered pieces!). However to actually make any creative project real/physical/finished I do have to just sit and stick to one and ignore the overwhelm buggling (no that's not a real word, just a Jennibellie-one) bunny that is making me hop all over the place. So right now I am grateful I can chill out a little, still feel like I am contributing something in the way of this artist interview and hopefully get some good advice for myself along the way. Here we go...

Tell us a little bit about yourself & what kind of artist you are.
I am a single mom, a writer, an artist, a graphic designer, an efficiency expert and a creative problem-solver. I find it hard to categorize myself. ;)

Right now, at this time in my life, I am primarily doing graphic design, but really, my whole life, my creativity just sort of oozes out in all sorts of interesting ways. I love decorating my home, I designed my own blogs, I do artwork for family gifts, for work, for my kids. And while I do a lot of graphic designing using my laptop, I still love to draw, to use my die-cut machine and to write. I can’t just sit in front of a computer all day, you know? I still seek that hands-on component. I loved sculpting in high school and I have always been interested in collage and mixed media, which I plan on getting back to very soon.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Hands down my biggest challenge is that I LOVE comic book art and I suck at it. I mean, I can’t draw humans proportionately to save my life. It is a constant, re-occurring challenge that I want to draw human beings better. I am a very curious person, I’m a learner and a problem-solver so I did what seemed logical: I got some How-To DVD’s. lol I haven’t done them all yet, there are a ton of lessons, but I’m slowly but surely working to incorporate art in a multitude of forms back into my life. Time and energy management is probably my other issue and I can honestly say I haven’t figured out how to jam together full time work, freelancing graphic design, satisfying my craving to draw and do other types of creation and take care of my kids and chores. I’m a work in progress!

What is your heart’s greatest desire for your life as an artist?
To proudly proclaim to all and sunder that I *am* an artist. That I am a writer. That I am all those things that our culture frequently looks down on, because they are less than steady in the world of being a responsible adult. There is a stigma attached to it a lot of the time. I want to create every day and get paid to do what I love, all while being a fabulously well-adjusted mom and role-model for my kids. I could do that, right?

What inhibits you most from being the artist you want to be?
Fear. Lol Fear of being poor and of not being able to provide for my children, would be it, in a nutshell. To that end, I am writing down every viable idea I have about what I can do with my art. One of my goals, as a mother and as someone who has worked a lot with children (my degree is actually in education), is to write and illustrate my own children’s books, thereby combining my loves: education, art and writing. But that kind of thing takes time, which is in scarce supply while my children are young. That and I have more ideas than any other human being I know and not nearly enough waking hours to get it all done! lol

Tell us where can we find out more about you & your art?
I do graphic design because I’m pretty good at it and it seemed most logical for earning a living, the highest potential to earn a regular paycheck, so that’s where I am is my business, Siostra Artistry & Marketing at and I do have, in my photos section, some of my drawings and paintings.

Thank you Lara for your insights, I can certainly see why you chose graphic design as a career, you certainly are good at it =) but I do hope you get to do all that you want in the future, because yes I believe you can do that! 

From my own perspective I want to thank you for saying 'I have more ideas than any other human being I know and not nearly enough waking hours to get it all done! lol' too, because I think that helped me gain some perspective. The 'I don't have enough time' is certainly an excuse I use a lot, I'm not saying it's not always true, but even when it is, it's still an excuse; because I think I probably have more free time than some with kiddios to look after etc to get my ideas done. Still that doesn't make it easy, but tomorrow I am going to try my best to put the overwhelm bunny back in it's cage with the help of the thought 'I will ALWAYS have too many ideas, the trick is just to focus on one...and be grateful the rest are waiting in the wings!'

Do you want to be a featured TAT artist??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Dawn Zichko

Hi guys, firstly I want to say thank you to everyone who gave such a warm response to my last post. I know tis only a newsletter, but your response has turned a not so great couple of days round and it truly warmed me to my little fluffy socks that so many of you jumped up and down at it =D anyhow this will be the last post from me for a while because I am off on a mini hol to London on Thursday. I've been that busy that I've only just set the day to Thursday about an hour ago, and though I did plan to schedule some posts while I was away, going on thurs means I might not be able to as I only have tomorrow to do *everything* (all possible prep - hotels, packing, travel etc) =( But rest assured I do have fun things planned to get cracking on with when I get back (next week!)

...till then though please have fun meeting Dawn
and reading her interview:

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what kind of artist you are.
I am Dawn Zichko a visionary artist of the Everyday. I try to infuse the mundane with divinity in daily living. I create journal pages in hand-bound books, altered books and sketchbooks. I paint on canvas, paper and wood panel in watercolor, acrylic, oils. Other favorite things to play with are pen and ink, pencil drawings and collage as well as hand spun fiber and found objects. I love making altars and Sacred Space, permanent and temporary.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Finding time to create in my studio ~ especially when managing other business throughout the day. Often times, I make up for a lost day by spending a half hour creating/writing in my journal. My studio isn't completely closed off from the house, so I feel I'm still able to be with my family as I create. If I am waiting somewhere, it's the perfect opportunity to sketch in my pocket-sized Moleskine. The Southpaw Sketch is a favorite activity as I possess a willing and available left hand to model anywhere, anytime.

What do you most wish your art to achieve?
Expression of Self, simple joys, inspiration, community.

Do you ever lose your mojo, and if so, how do you get it back?
When I've lost my mojo I just try to keep moving, so to speak. If I'm "stuck" on a painting (no painting is ever really stuck, merely gestating), I'll move on to spinning fiber for awhile or knitting another piece. If I'm not feeling fiber, I'll go back to some sketching. I'll collage SoulCollage cards or work extensively on a journal page. Whatever keeps my hand in something creative ~ even if it's making an awesome tuna sandwich. If I'm really stagnating, it means I've got NDD (Nature Deficiency Disorder) and I need to get outside, preferably barefoot, where I'll create an impromptu Medicine Wheel or mandala for Instagram sharing.

Tell us where we can find out more about you and your art?

Thank you so much Dawn, I've love some of the journal pages on your blog, just beautiful! What you said about moving onto something else when stuck really struck me because coming up with a go-to-creative-action-plan for those times has been something I've been thinking about doing for a while.  I watched this video below earlier this week which reinforces what Dawn has highlighted and I found quite helpful:

I think for me a trick for carrying on being creative when stuck may be drawing figures, as that is something I find relaxing and see as a *treat* - anyhow figuring out go-to-creative-action-plan that works for me is another thing on my creative to do list I dare not think about till I come back off of hol lol till then happy creating and see you guys soon =D

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