I have been "arting" (purposely) since 2012 and, surprisingly, Art has been a great teacher for me. I have already shared how Art has taught me the importance and joy of persistence and how to deal with the times that suck, and about how happiness is both a choice and a practice.
Another lesson that Art has helped me to see that control is incredibly overrated!
And I was really jazzed about creating these adorable flowers.
But, after posting this picture on my Facebook page...
I dug my heels in. I planned to do daisies. I wanted to do daisies. I was going to do daisies - DAMNIT!
I continued on with my plans. I cut petals and glued together flowers. I arranged the flowers in multiple different ways. I added flowers, I took away flowers. I added a bee... But, with every change, something just wasn't right and I didn't feel good about the piece. I couldn't seem to "make it work".
All the while, the water-theme idea was floating around in my head, and the idea kept resurfacing. But I kept pushing it away, trying to drown it, because, this artwork was going to be daisies. (all puns, intended)
I was trying so hard to control the process of creating art, that I wasn't allowing the creative process to happen.
Finally, I relented to the voice in my head (and the facebook comments) and explored creating an under the sea themed piece.
And, do you know what?!!? Everything fell together seamlessly. Once I let go of control and allowed the artwork to "create itself" the process was easy and so much fun!
It was such an amazing life lesson, beyond art! How many times has my desire to control an outcome, gotten in the way of progress? It made me wonder, "how important is control?" And, "how much control do I really have, anyway?"
And that is how art taught me that often it is a good idea to let go of control!
What do you think? Is the need to control overrated?
Let me know in the comments below!
Make it a HAPPY day!
This is my newest piece entitled: We're All in This Together
It was such a fun piece to create. I do hope that she and her family love it as much as I do!
Thank You Corey for asking me to create this piece for you and your awesome family!
Make it a HAPPY Day!
ps - I do a limited amount of commission artwork each year. I still have availability for 2019. If you are interested in finding out more about a commission piece of artwork, email me.
I believe being HAPPY takes practice. Here are 25 awesome ways to practice happiness.
While I love to create art with paints, paper, scissors, and glue, I also do love finding higher tech ways to spur my creativity. I use these apps and programs in a variety of ways... Sometimes I take my "hand-created" art, scan it into the computer and then play with it digitally. Other times, I create art or graphics completely digitally and still other times I use techy tools to inspire my non-techy art.
Here are my 5 favorite creativity digital apps and programs.
1) Adobe Creative Suite: Adobe is the workhorse for creatives - with good reasons!
My first introduction to an Adobe product was in the late '90's when, as an advisor to a college newspaper, I helped students layout the paper in Adobe PageMaker. Once I got past the initial learning curve, I LOVED the program and transitioned seamlessly into Adobe InDesign. Currently, I use InDesign a tons! Through InDesign, I create images for my website and social media, do the layout and design work for prints, cards, and other products and create logos, business cards, plus so much more.
Adobe Photoshop is another program in the Creative Suite that I use all the time. Specifically, I use Photoshop to edit color and manipulate images.
Lastly, I have dabbled with Adobe Illustrator and have found it to be a powerful tool - and a bit overwhelming. Becoming proficient in Illustrator is on my bucket list and I look forward to learning it.
3) Canva: I was recently introduced to Canva (thank you Ali!) and now I use it all the time! Through Canva, I create professionally looking designs for facebook and instagram posts, email headers, and more! They have tons of drop and drag images and photos that are fun and unique. Plus, there are a plethora of fonts to choose from! Canva makes it is easy to create a graphic that fits my style and get the look that I want.
5) Animoto: This is my go-to place to create video and slideshows. It is so easy to use - I have created professional looking videos by simply drop and dragging images and video clips. Animoto has music library and a variety of templates allowing me to get a the exact look and feel that I want.
What are your favorite creative app or program that you use?
Make it a HAPPY day!
I freaking LOVE to doodle! I have filled up sketch books with randoms doodles and I sincerely think that doodling makes me a better person.
The doodle is a powerful tool!
It taps into creativity,
reduces stress and,
is a great way to practice happiness.
Here are a few of my favorite doodles...
Grab your favorite writing utensil and take a moment to doodle! You won't regret it!
Make it a HAPPY day!
Throughout 2018, I create a piece of optimistic, happy artwork every week for my One a Week Art Challenge. I challenged myself to meet this goal and I was committed to it and succeeded.
But to be honest, 2018 was a hard year for me and I learned that choosing happiness is not always as simple as it sounds.
In our country's current political climate, when truth and facts are blurred and integrity and ethical behaviors are not the norm – it is SO easy to feel the negativity. It is SO easy to be consumed by seeing the bad in others and SO easy to forget to find the good. On top of that, personally, during 2018 I experienced a series of circumstances in which I was disappointed and let down by people that I trusted and respected. Candidly, there were times throughout the year that I felt like I had lost my faith in humanity.
Had I not had this One a Week Art Challenge in 2018, I know that I would not have remained as optimistic as I did. That's how ART taught me that Happiness is BOTH a practice and a choice.
How do you practice HAPPINESS?
Make it a HAPPY day!
For a LONG time - a really LONG time - I have been saying that I need to exercise. And, many times, I started, but after a week or two, I would lose motivation and quit.
As you may know, during my One a Week Art Challenge in 2018, I learned TONS about the power of persistence (read about that here). So, I decided to attack my lack of exercise with the same commitment...so on April 22, #100DaysofMOVE began.
Yep, from now until July 31, I will exercise everyday. Spring is blooming here and the weather has been nice, so thus far, my exercise has been walking around my town.
What does this have to do with ART?
Honestly, when I started this 10 days ago, I would have never imagined how much this would connect to my artwork. But, #100DaysofMOVE, has been filled with lots of inspiration in some of the most unexpected places. To keep me motivated, I am documenting my walks with photos.
Here are some of the inspiration that I have found on my walks.
This has proven to me - yet again - that inspiration is everywhere! I just need to remember to look for it! Thank goodness that #100DaysofMOVE reminded me.
I hope you enjoyed a peek into my daily walks!
Make it a HAPPY day!
This is my most recent piece and I am kind of digging it!
But these happy flowers are currently unnamed and I want your input!
What should I name these flowers?
A little bit about this piece of art...
Please let me know your idea for a title for this artwork in the comment section below.
Make it a HAPPY day!
Art has taught and continues to teach me SO many lessons! One of the biggest lessons is the importance of persistence.
I used to tell myself that I was a good started but a terrible finisher.
Let me explain.
I am a master at generating ideas - and I am pretty skilled at starting the implementation process. But, in the past, when things got hard - or when it was no longer "fun", I would get discouraged, put on the brakes and screech to a halt.
It’s hard to keep on keeping on. ...Especially when the task becomes challenging or is no longer fun.
But because of art, I realized that I do have the skills to be a good finisher. Art has taught me to persist.
When I am creating art, there is a time, with every single piece – EVERY SINGLE PIECE – that I hate what I am creating and I want to pitch it into the trash can.
But, guess what??!!... I found that if I persist and continue on - Sometimes after taking a break – other times after redoing parts – that almost always, I end up creating something amazing!
I learned that EVERY THING – even things that we love – SUCK at times. The "suck" is just part of the process. And, I found that if I dramatize the "suck" – then the "suck" becomes suckier.
So when the "suck" arrives I try to simply notice it and not to make it bigger than it needs to be. I tell myself “Ok…we are here, at the 'suck'. It’s temporary. And, all it really is, is just a problem to solve. I’ve got this.”
For me, learning to push past the "suck" is how I came to understand the value of persistence.
What are your thoughts about PERSISTENCE?
I would love to hear in the comments below.
Make it a HAPPY Day!
Whenever I am struggling to figure out what to create, or when something that I am creating is not working out, my go-to biggest inspiration is FLOWERS! I love flowers! It is impossible to see a flower and not smile! Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The earth laughs in flowers" (and I couldn't agree more!) So, often I find myself collaging fun, whimsical flowers!
Here are my top seven favorite flowers collages that I created (in no particular order).
This simple flower was one of my early collages. It is made entirely from magazine clippings. I love it because deciding which petal papers to use was a fun study of color, pattern and design.
Interestingly, this was also the first original piece of artwork that I sold.
No Rain, No Flowers
Inspired by the saying, "No Rain, No Flowers" I created this fun patch of flowers.
What I most like about this one is the quirkiness of the entire design. Putting the clouds, rain drops and puddles on both sides of the whimsical flowers, instead of merging them together, was an unusual choice for me - but I really love how it turned out. And, the bee felt like the perfect finishing touch.
The original of No Rain, No Flowers is available in my shop.
Again, like the "Daisy" this sunflower is made from magazine clipping with the addition of a black sharpie marker for the outline. I really appreciate the pops of the oranges and yellows against the contrasting blue.
Sunflowers have to be one of the happiest flowers! And, this sunflower always makes me smile!
These little pots and vases of plants and flowers are another favorite! I loved this creation so much that I made two other very similar pieces.
What I like most about this artwork is how I incorporated happy "secret" messages in my paper choices.
The original is Grow is available in my shop.
How could you not feel at least a wee bit happier when you see these playful posies?! ...At least that was my thought when I was creating this piece.
There are a few things that makes this art one of my favorites. I love the color combination and quirkiness of the flowers. Also, while the picture does not do it justice, the background on the original is made from a bunch of different layers and is awesome. Lastly, I love the word "happy" since it was the first time I hand cut cursive letters. The entire piece came together nicely.
We Create our Own Miracles
The simplicity of this artwork make this one another favorite.
This piece was commissioned art. While I really like the daisies, the background of this one is the best part. The layers of paint, the beauty of the old wood (that I create this on) and the turquoise-ee color is what I most love about this creation!
These little sprouts make me happy and this is my husband's all time favorite! Something notable about this artwork is that most of the paper that I used to create the pots is from the inside of envelopes.
I have collaged many, many flowers since I started creating art and know that I will be creating a bunch more - because as I often say to myself...
"When all else fails, CREATE FLOWERS!" and thus far, that has been a great mantra!
Which one is your favorite?
Make is a HAPPY day!
PS... Prints are available of all of these flowers in my shop. Check them out here.