girl drinking coffee

Self-care: The Art of Creating in Challenging Times

The challenges of dealing with self-quarantine, self-isolation, seclusion and social distancing can take a toll on your mental, physical and emotional health.
However, this experience reminds me of when I was laid off from my job in 2007. I took the time to refocus my energy into developing a passion for acrylic painting. It was the most blissful summer of peace that I’ve ever experienced. 
I shifted my focus from stress to creativity. I received an overflow of ideas and was inspired to experiment with different colors and textures as well as new techniques.
Since I had no control over my work situation, I released my doubts and fears to stepping into a fresh, creative space and never looked back.

Going to Michael’s, JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby was like going to a candy store! I looked forward to picking out new paintbrushes and canvas. It was like a breath of fresh air to escape the daily stress and frustration of being unemployed. Painting took my mind off of my worries.

I also enjoyed going to Barnes and Nobles to flip through art magazines to gain inspiration and to learn more about the art field. My imagination expanded which prompted me to explore watercolor and even designing jewelry.

Times have drastically changed since then and although you are quarantined, you have the option to connect with other art communities online where you can communicate with other artists on social media. You also have the ability to take online courses or webinars. Those options were not available in 2007.

Although you don’t have the opportunity to browse around the stores, you can still shop online to purchase the supplies that you need to get you started.

In difficult times, you need to shift your focus and change your perspective. You have to get out of your comfort zone. You have to be able to let go of the past and embrace the present situation. You have to learn to be content. Everything is a process.

Art is therapy and a form of mediation used to heal emotionally, mentally and physically. Often, music is also used to heal the sick. It also calms the soul. You can also incorporated this method. It’s relaxing to listen to your favorite music while painting. 
Self care is not only related to facials, body massages and pedicures, there is several benefits to learning a new skill or hobby to gain a peace of mind or to develop your personal or professional goals.
Whatever art form you prefer to develop, whether you are a baker, musician, artist, writer, designer, or other creative, it is a season of self-reflection and self-expression. 
Step into a new season with hope and inspiration. Be kind to yourself and don’t be discouraged. Change your perspective and watch your mood shift.
Sending you positive vibes! 🙂
Painted Face

Three Things Creatives Should Not Do When Honing Their Craft

Do Not Expect Support from Family or Friends

Do not look for support and encouragement from your family or friends. The biggest mistake is expecting the people closest to you to understand, encourage and support your art. Depending on how you grew up, family only perceive you in a certain way and often downplay your gifts or talents.

They will normally praise others of their work but will not see the same talent in you. They are often judgmental, critical or jealous. If that is not the case, often they want you to pursue a field or interest that is socially accepted.

The average person who is not creative “Just does not get it” so don’t waste your time trying to explain or prove yourself to them. It will only frustrate and discourage you.

Your friends may also not understand your ideas or thoughts. They may not even have an interest in the same things that interest you. If you are too passionate, some friends may try to block you from trying to pursue or attain your goals especially if they don’t have their own goals and aspirations in life so be mindful of who you accept into your space. 

It’s so important to surround yourself with like-minded people and build a support system of creatives so you can share your failures and victories, as well as express yourself freely and openly. When there’s a free-flowing imagination, it releases more creative energy.

Do Not Compare Yourself to Other Artists
The worst thing you can do as an artist is to compare yourself to other artists. Each person is created with their own abilities, gifts, and talents. It is uniquely your own. Your art and creative ideas should be celebrated and expressed. 

Unfortunately, social media has made it even harder to block out the creative voices around you however, you can use the creativity around you to inspire you. Just make sure you take breaks from social media so you can connect and hear your own voice through your artwork.

Do Not Constantly Switch Your Craft

It is important to give your artwork time to develop. Some artist jumps from one form of art to another and never focus on developing the skill required to become great. You cannot become better at something if you don’t practice it. Allow yourself space to make mistakes. Sometimes mistakes make the best artwork. It’s from the repetition of performance that you gain experience and skills so just continue to have patience and endurance during the creative process. Take the time to sharpen your skills. Make sure you continue to learn new things and gain new insights. This will keep you motivated and inspired.

Most of all, enjoy the journey!

Finding Your Creative Identity

In this world of social media, it’s easy to begin to lose your creative edge because you’re constantly consuming artistic inspiration from others.

Within the sea of creative expression, you may begin to struggle with your own creativity by comparing your work to others or even worse begin to adopt certain techniques, styles or designs as your own.

How do you separate yourself from the endless stream of creative images? How do you stand out of the crowded space of the internet? How do you find your authentic voice when everybody is screaming at the same volume to be seen?

I find it helpful to step back and tune out of the chaos. Turn off your phone, laptop or tablet. Step into nature. Visit a park or museum. Socialize with friends. Spend time alone. Listen to music. Read a good book. 

These simple pleasures will balance your life as well as enhance your creative identity. You will be inspired to create or invent new things. You will discover or explore new strategies and methods of doing things as well as scheduling time to do the things you enjoy.

Some of my best creations were formed incidentally but it’s also great to create with intention and vision. When you see something in your imagination and follow through to manifest what you envision, it stimulates excitement and a sense of accomplishment.

When you can take a blank canvas and transform it into a tangible painting or drawing, it is awe-inspiring. It somehow feels magical.

However, the most exceptional or innovative minds are often misunderstood, devalued, rejected or even abused by others due to their lack of understanding of the creator’s concept, idea or vision. If it has never been done before, the masses will most likely reject it.

It’s also a process to develop a new-found idea. You may spend weeks, months or years tweaking and perfecting a passion project, product or design. You must not overthink the process. Get out of your own head but be willing to critique your work fairly and not judgmentally. There are enough critical thinkers that will definitely do that for you when you release your creative contribution to the world.

Deep down inside, in your creative soul, there is beauty. Once you dig deep inside to connect with it instead of looking outside of yourself and embracing the world around you, you will find your true creative identity. You were born with it.

If society has striped you from your authentic self, try to remember what you enjoyed doing at 5 years old. Your identity is not tied to being a carbon copy of someone else. 

Your creative soul should not fear opportunities of stepping out of your comfort zones and expressing who you truly are. You should enjoy the process and the journey.

Once you connect with your creative identity, you will soar to higher altitudes to produce and lead with authority, confidence and self-acceptance.

Be bold. Be courageous. Get creative. Be you.
colored sunglasses

Color Therapy: How to Choose Colors for Impact, Influence & Identity

Just like music, color impacts our lives and influences our moods. This is definitely not a new concept. Businesses and hospitals often use color in their workspaces to enhance productivity and for healing purposes.

We often use color subconsciously in our everyday lives. When we get dressed in the morning, we may not realize how much color influences our choices. We may select certain colors and outfits according to how we feel. 

If we do not want to attract attention or be noticed, we may choose to wear neutral of darker clothing. If the weather is gloomy, cold or rainy, we may choose black, gray or browns. On those blah days, you may tend to wear comfy clothing or colors that speak to your mood. 

However, we also use color when we want to be taken seriously such as attending a job interview, first date or special event. In those cases, we may tone down our colors with formal attire in neutrals like navy blue, black, gray or beige and accessorize with red, green or purple which is known for power, prosperity, and royalty.

Brighter colors provide vitality and energy while warmer colors such as reds, oranges, and yellows are great to boost positive vibes. Cool colors like blue, purple or green provide a calming, serene and relaxing effect.

Pastels are great to soften and soothe your mood too. Lavender, baby blues or cotton candy pinks presents a gentle, peaceful atmosphere.

When you decide to brand your small business by creating a website, landing page, logo or banner, you should consider the color selection very carefully.

Colors represent your brand just as much as the images and content on the page. It weaves your brand identity altogether. 

The colors you choose to represent your brand reflects your personality and attributes to the overall identity of your products or services. To learn more about how color influences your branding message, just click here.

For a quick cheat sheet on color therapy, click here

Not only does color reflect your identity, each color also has its own definition and meaning. When selecting a color or combination of colors, you should be aware of what each color speaks to your audience. You can find a dictionary of color meanings, just click here.

For more art inspiration, follow my “Color Therapy” Pinterest board here.