Inspired by emotion is the title for the art journal video interview I had with artist Mel Bunny Sparkles. It was so much fun and she is full of inspiration and suggestions for new artists and veterans alike.
You will want to check out this video!
Bunny is the guest artist for June in my free 2017 Art Journaling Journey. If you haven’t signed up for the free prompts, you can do so HERE. You will receive all the prompts for this year via email. You can also join my Facebook group that is brimming with inspiration. CLICK HERE.
If you sign up for my regular art newsletter (top right corner of this page,) you will receive an art journal primer and a project to make. Great for beginners! You have to start somewhere.
I also have many helpful art journal videos on YouTube under my own name. YOUTUBE CHANNEL. There are videos for beginners and for those who are looking for tips and tricks to jazz up their art journals.
Empty well today? Maybe it’s a chronic condition and you say I’m suffering from artist’s block. Writers get away with that quite easily, but artists? We see life in color so the well is easily filled again. Here are some things I do to fill my artistic well:
I’m grateful that I enjoy making stuff with my hands. As a kid I learned to sew, knit, and crochet, but these days I mostly create polymer clay embellished boxes and inspirational frames.
I love the meditative quality of crafts. I don’t have to think too much, just make the tiles and paint them. They usually come together easily once I design the box lid or frame.
I also make handmade art journals, which are SO MUCH FUN! I can get real sloppy with inks and paints.
I sell the crafts on etsy in my EARTH AND FAERY shop and they are quite popular. That is a side bonus that also inspires me to make more.
To get back to art making as in painting and art journaling, I come back with a fresh eye after a few days of craft making. My other major inspiration is:
If you live in the boonies you are surrounded by nature, but if you live in an urban area like I do, it’s hard to get outside and be surrounded by trees. I live by a park, and that was a choice I made. Pretty much every day I go to the park, and the energy fills me up.
There is something so healing about nature, and it also balances you. Just as you make a commitment to join a gym, you can make a commitment to spend time in nature every week. Look at it as self-care.
There are so many tutorials on YouTube you could spend a lifetime getting inspired by other people’s art. Half an hour here and there works wonders. I also love to look at art by the old masters. A trip to an art museum or gallery can be inspiring.
Many dread that word, but exercise is essential for well-being on all levels. I find it to be the fastest way to clear out the cobwebs and get the ball rolling. Once it’s rolling, it keeps going. Exercising and park visits go hand in hand…
Every month I get together with a couple of artsy friends and we have an art party. We take turns to host it. We make art, talk, and eat a great lunch. It’s truly refreshing and inspiring. I usually end up working in my art journal. Doodling is one way of expressing art while deep into a discussion.
TAKE A NAP
When all fails, take a short nap! You wake up with fresh eyes. 🙂
If none of these things appeal to you, well, come up with your own regimen for creative self-care. Then the well will always be filled.
Creating art is not always easy, but don’t blame it on “artist’s block.”
Have a creative weekend. (Those are the best kind.)
Fire is a fickle thing. It shows up for no reason. It can be a struggling flame in damp wood, a red smoldering under ashes, a good warming fire or a blaze out of control. I find that inspiration works the same way.
Some days there is nothing but a damp flicker and some days I don’t have enough hours in a day to fulfill the creative urge raging within.
You would think it would be a more controllable scenario, but to control fire you have to kill it or at least bank it to a level that is manageable, but that’s equal to holding yourself back from creativity.
If you don’t allow the fire to burn, you kill the creativity that is longing to be expressed.
It’s better to ride the wild blaze of inspiration when it comes and be grateful for it!
The Universe is a filled with chaotic blazing infernos. That is the enormous power of creation, constantly in flux, constantly evolving.
As with fires that happen by accident, we get struck by random ideas that can grow into great fires of inspired action. All they need is one small flame and something that catches it.
When that flame appears, it’s your task to respond to it and grow it into a blazing inspired roar.
If we don’t ride the wild blaze it will die and smolder under the dampness of our fear and indecision.
When you get a great idea go with it immediately. Don’t question the quality of it; don’t hesitate to take action. Follow the flame and it will lead you to something greater than your everyday mind.
Creativity, when allowed its full expression (even if it happens randomly) makes YOU larger than who you think you are. It reveals a glimpse of genius, of the greatest part of you, life itself.
How to manifest the idea is not for you to worry about. You take the first action, and then the next, and the next. By instinct the idea knows its end result and all you have to do is follow the cues, one at a time. Trust is something we have to learn along the way.
Most people ignore those inner flames when they come and they sit for years smoldering under the damp of everyday life, showing up like longing. Pay attention the next time you experience a deep sigh. What were you thinking about?
The other day I was struck by inspiration and I took immediate action. I created this video called Life’s Song Unfurling, a mixed media art journal spread.
Then I was inspired to work out an online course with the title Life’s Song. It is about incorporating memories into your art, and also create all the ephemera from scratch. The e-course will be available shortly and I will keep you posted.
You can sign up to my newsletter HERE to stay informed.
Julia Ostara is our guest artist for March in the free year-long art journaling journey 2017. It’s going strong and March has sneaked up faster than I could imagine. It’s not too late to join in the fun. You can sign up HERE for the email prompts. All the months’ prompts will be available all year.
I’ve followed Julia’s progress as an artist over the years and it has been interesting to see her art expression deepening over time. I think she has lived many lifetimes in this one life. 🙂
This from her website: Artist, Author, Brave Heart, Explorer, Farm Girl, Grateful Guide, Mystic, Mountain Momma, Playful Painter, Reverent, Sweet Sunshine, Thrivivalist, Wild Wonder-full Weaver… Exploring and falling in love with life through art and wonder in memory of my mom to carry on her legacy of love for self, others, nature, and life. Opening my hands, head, and heart… my being, to the wonder of creation, the art of living and loving. Offering creative courses, unique gifts, and art from my heart to yours.
I love her colorful art and also her view on life and how everything hangs together.
She hopes to inspire and encourage others to beat to their own drums, live their dreams, choose joy, respect others and nature, love more than fear, put our brave boots on, celebrate the variety and sweet in life, dance with the wild mystery, and thrive in harmony.
I share her views on life and being an artist. As an artist I’m visible, and with that I can hope to inspire others to step into their creativity whatever it is and become “more” of who they are. It can feel scary and uncertain for sure, but when you keep exploring the depths of who you are, it gets easier to face the unknown and to embrace the mystery. Revelations can be so inspiring and exhilarating!
More from her website: Art has been such a graceful and wonderful, healing, playful, spiritual joy for me. I consider myself a ‘born again artist’ because I lost touch with the artist within for too long. Now, I’m delighted to be guiding others to experience the magic possible when playfully creating by hosting online creative gatherings, courses, art playdates, and retreats to explore the wonder and nurture a playful creative community. Many of them are available as Pay What You Can/Pay What It’s Worth options! So, YES, you can afford to participate!
Approaching creativity from a place of play has really helped me open up, enjoy the process and get in the flow.
Julia has all sorts of offerings on her website, so check them out.
The artist is in the ether–waiting, just like we were a twinkle in our mother’s eye once. It takes inspiration and action to be born. If you want to be an artist, you feel it in the ether.
I looked up the word “ether,” and the literary meaning is: the clear sky; the upper regions of air beyond the clouds.
I really liked that description. As souls we dwell there and then feelings, thoughts, actions take place and we appear in this 3D world wondering what the hell we’re doing here.
How many people go through life wondering that? I bet it’s around 100%.
At one point, I’m not sure exactly when, something tugged at me. It wasn’t a hard tug, or a determined push, or a revelation. It was more of a longing to explore SOMETHING, maybe myself.
I started reading fiction as soon as I could read and became immersed in the world of books, the great imagination of the authors’ made up scenarios. My mom used to say I had a wild imagination, and she would look at me strangely as if I was not like “others.” But that was not true. I always made sure I fit in with the crowd, for the most part.
I always liked to draw and color and that has grown into an immense “calling” if you will. It’s how I record the energy of my life. I say energy because it’s more than depiction of 3D events and things.
I write about my life, but not with great trepidation. Writing flows easily without fanfare. When I paint, I’m always (every single time) faced with the immensity of starting.
It’s hard to explain, but after years of facing that feelings, I always boldly step forward with some paint and slap it on the canvas, and go from there. To start becomes easier with experience.
After that, it’s anyone’s guess if the painting is going to be something that speaks to me, or not… It happens more often than not that I paint over old paintings.
That is how an artist comes into being. Each day is new. I reach into the ether to create myself every day on canvas or other art methods. When it flows it flows, and when it doesn’t I curse the universe for being such a stingy muse.
An artist is not born per se, an artist is born and born again through manipulating the ether. That is how I feel when I stand in front of a canvas. Each day something will be born, either a glorious rendition of energy, or something that is beyond ugly.
But it’s all glorious!
This above painting had so many layers and started out with a super ugly face underneath it all, and when all was said and done it turned out to an imagined Jane Austen. Go figure!
That is art. Pulling the rabbit out of a hat, or a piece of art from the ether is magic. A grand adventure indeed. What is the ether calling you to do?
P.S. I have a free 2017 art journaling journey going with monthly prompts from various artists. If you want to be involved you can sign up for the prompts HERE.
Who is in charge? You or your ego / resistance? I know I have written about that before, but through my experience over time, I have realized that inspiration is not some kind of random thing that only comes to a lucky few.
Inspiration is a good habit to grow in your art practice. Inspiration is not a fickle muse or a random occurrence. It is yours to command if you show up consistently.
I wasn’t going to write a blog post today, but I had promised myself to write one this week. Kinda late in the game since it’s Saturday. My excuses were:
I’m not inspired
I have nothing to say
I’m too tired to write now
I’d rather be painting (when would that ever be an excuse??)
When I show up to paint, I get the same bullsh*t excuses. Life would just go by without me accomplishing anything I have set out to do.
I have “make art” written on every day of my calendar. I do miss some days, but for the most part I show up even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes at the current painting or art journal page.
I count my crafts as art too since I’m using my creativity. Here is what I made today.
I woke up and really wanted to get going on this mermaid. Part of me said, go for it, the other said, sleep in.
There will always be some bullsh*t excuse for not doing what we know will make us happy.
Same crap as with exercising regularly…
Saying “no” to the resistance is a muscle that can be toned and strong. At one point the resistance gets the message and moves over a bit so that you can get to the action you want quickly.
The point is to stick with the action you have set for yourself. If that is “do more art” it’s something that is “holy.” There is no argument allowed and as “do more art” becomes a habit, you have won.
Remember though, resistance will always be there lurking in the background, but if you have set a “no compromise” status for yourself things have to move forward or YOU will feel like crap while resistance smirks in the background. Been there too many times.
If you expect inspiration to be there, IT WILL BE.
Excuses are not allowed.
NOW, go do it! 🙂
P.S. My free 2017 art journaling challenge is going strong. If you’d like to have the prompt emails. sign up HERE. Guest teacher for March will be Julia Ostara. The mermaids are available in my etsy shop Earth and Faery.