Creative Challenges into Creative Habits

I blogged about my daily doodle challenge for this year and I’m still going strong posting (almost) daily on instagram. There have been busy days when I forget or get to busy, but I can quickly pick up the habit again or sometimes I’m just not able to post but I still create my doodle.

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It’s really not a revolutionary practice since my doodles are pretty simple and it might seem repetitive even if I try to shake it up. I can’t help but draw cute girls and I thought it would make it easy on me to have this constraint of drawing a girl and a word.

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It’s interesting how constraints make it easier. You would think we want ultimate freedom, but that usually just means we get frozen in the possibility of too many options! So if you even get stuck wanting to do something, try putting down some rules – oddly enough it makes it all easier!

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Of course, I do allow myself the freedom to join in on other creative challenges and prompts offered out there in the instagram world. It’s fun to riff off the prompts of other creative challenges, but I don’t commit to joining them indefinitely… I just go with whatever inspires me that day.

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I’ve realized how easy it is to create more using these creative challenges. Again, you would think with total freedom, an artist should be able to create an amazing portfolio. But we need something to springboard off of… at least I do. It’s so much easier for me and I’m thinking… how can I make everything I do this approachable?  Right now I’m creating quick doodles and they don’t really become any type of completed artwork… but what if they can become more?

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I’m thinking that creative challenges can easily become creative habits and if that translates to final artwork, it would be a hop skip and a jump… an amazingly fun process instead of more trudgery. Usually, I find it very difficult to finalize things – that is my week point. I have a million ideas, but need to finalize them if they will do any good out in the real world. Otherwise, it’s just a million sketches after all!

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Do you have creative habits just for the sake of “exercising” or do they often become something more “final” for you? Obviously there is something to be said about warm ups, exercise and just practice… but at some point you do have to deliver!

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I would love to hear what or how others approach this type of situation and what creative practices and habits you have in place. Please do share!

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In the meantime, I’ll be continuing my daily doodles for sure and will be thinking about how to apply the simplicity of it to all that I do… because it doesn’t seem so hard to be prolific, afterall.

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Happy Print Club – Sending Love Printables

This week I designed a collection inspired by the Pantone color of the year, Rose Quartz – a set of printables called Sending Love.

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It’s also in preparation for Valentine’s day with a pretty color palette of traditional pinks and reds. However, I think the pop of blue makes it less girly and more versatile, even if it’s lovey dovey themed.

These days, I’ve been hearing a lot of sad news from friends who have lost loved ones or going through a difficult time. It made me realize that it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s day or any occasion at all to send a little bit of love to those you care about. It’s amazing how a simple note in the mail can turn a bad day into a pretty okay one, at the least.

I encourage you to take the time to send a bit of snail mail love… I know you will feel so much better in doing so and your recipient will definitely appreciate it. That’s really the heart of why I created Happy Print Club.

Look forward to weekly releases every Friday and head on over to Happy Print Club today for more details on Sending Love!

Happy Print Club – Lets Eat Cake Printables

This week I designed a birthday or generally celebration set of printables called Let’s Eat Cake.

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I was thinking of a light, airy, happy party theme, so with confetti flying around and a cake for celebrating. Who doesn’t like cake, right? The design is textured to give it somewhat of a whimsical vintage feel. I was trying to make it less girly, but still ending up with a pretty palette of colors… oh well! I can’t help myself.

Remember that this year Happy Print Club releases include more – a greeting card design, coordinating journaling cards and a full 12×12 patterned paper. It’s like a mini paper crafting kit to play with and I’m excited to see what you will create.

Look forward to weekly releases every Friday. Now head on over to Happy Print Club to check out the details on Let’s Eat Cake!

Happy Print Club – So Foxy Printables

It’s never too early to prepare for Valentine’s Day, so this week I created a lovey dovey set of printables called So Foxy.

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I created the cute little fox character as a mascot for x’s and o’s. It’s a great card to send to your significant other, but also for family and friends. Everyone could use a little bit of love, right?

Remember that this year Happy Print Club releases include more – a greeting card design, coordinating journaling cards and a full 12×12 patterned paper. It’s like a mini paper crafting kit to play with and I’m excited to see what you will create.

Look forward to weekly releases every Friday – yippee! Now head on over to Happy Print Club to check out the details on So Foxy!

Happy Print Club – English Woods Printables

With warm and cozy thoughts on mind, this week we have a new set of printables on Happy Print ClubEnglish Woods.

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It is a repeating pattern I created wanting to use the mustard yellow color with neutrals. It’s such a modern, fresh color palette that is calming, yet warm to me.

The end result is a very structured repeat that makes me think of English households, Downton Abbey kind of thing. However, the little cute squirrel is obviously my quirky little touch – hah!

Remember that this year Happy Print Club releases include more – a greeting card design, coordinating journaling cards and a full 12×12 patterned paper. It’s like a mini paper crafting kit to play with and I’m excited to see what you will create.

Look forward to weekly releases every Friday – yippee! Now head on over to Happy Print Club to check out the details on English Woods!

Doodle A Day Challenge for 2016

This year I’m taking on the challenge to create a doodle a day and post it online for accountability. At first, it might seem a bit silly because if you create for a living, you probably already create every day (or almost every day). You don’t really need to be challenged, right?

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But I’ve learned that I really like these kinds of challenges and group accountability. It gives me the opportunity to focus on a particular subject and create a body of work slowly, but surely. It’s not as daunting and it sort of guarantees a little bit of creative time, even when life gets busy.

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As you can see, I have chosen to doodle a little girl each day which is a comfortable space for me. I want to set myself up for success, after all! However, I added the difficulty of handlettering which I’m needing to practice. There is room to add more elements when the day permits. So far so good… although I feel like I need to get better or do more each day already. Sort of a weird type of personal, but entirely unnecessary pressure. I just need to relax!

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I’m posting on Instagram and the link goes to my Twitter and Facebook as well, so please follow along and let me know what you think. Is there something specific you want me to incorporate in a doodle? I’m open to any and all ideas, because I’ve got over 350 days to go :)

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Happy Print Club – Floral Fantasy Printables

Happy 2016! I’ve posted the first release of the year to Happy Print Club – my online printable stationery club. The new design is called Floral Fantasy with a combo of deep, rich colors accented by light and happy pastels.

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The repeating pattern came out of my experimentations in reading Jeanetta Gonzales‘ post about #patternplay on The Jungalow. I have some knowledge of technical repeats, but I really enjoyed the history and visual inspiration she shared regarding designer William Morris. It’s fun to learn about different pattern styles and not just learn the technical logistics of creating a surface pattern design.

My end result is not really in the style of that time period, not to mention I ran into a lot of issues with my computer crashing from all the little dots I was creating. I had to use Photoshop in the end which was a challenge for me, since I only use that program to edit photos. I’m much more comfortable designing in Illustrator! It was a good experience though and I’m really happy with the end result.

This year I’m adding more to Happy Print Club releases, so you might have noticed there is a greeting card design, coordinating journaling cards and the design as a full 12×12 patterned paper. It’s like a mini paper crafting kit to play with and I’m excited to see what you will create.

Look forward to weekly releases every Friday – yippee! Now head on over to Happy Print Club to check out the details on Floral Fantasy!

Good Bye 2015, Hello 2016

The days are long, but the years are short.
– Gretchen Rubin

There are many days throughout the year that seem to drag on endlessly, especially since I work from home and suffer from lack of connection with fellow peers. But then the year seems to pass by in a flash… way too quickly. How can it be nearly 2016 already? The quote above rings ever so true.

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When I’m feeling overwhelmed and restless, it’s usually because I’m swept away by the current of daily life and unable to stop and do what I really want to do. It’s like being a robot of life and not being satisfied in the end. Just going through the motions to survive. These past years of transitioning from single to married to mom of two little ones now – has really, truly, transformed my life entirely. Duh! Often I find myself thinking and planning but only in my head, not actually being able to have free hands to act upon all those notions.

It can be so damn frustrating.

This time last year I was going through these same kind of feelings and although I know life can never return to the way it was before, I’m still in the progress of finding my way and looking for balance. We must all navigate our own way!

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I started looking back on this blog, searching for something to hold onto and I have repeatedly tried to keep my spirits up and take steps forward even if they are baby steps. I have accomplished many things, even if I feel like it’s not enough… it is something afterall. And that’s better than nothing, right?

I have many responsibilities, so some tasks might take a bit longer than I would like… but possibility is definitely there. Hope is there. However, it all requires work. So my guiding word for 2016 will be “WORK.” Get to work, do the work, work it out and it will work. Yay! Wishing you an amazing, productive and happy new year! Do you have a one little word, guiding your way?