How to discover and follow your inner compass as artists

As artists, we often find ourselves seeking direction and inspiration, longing to create authentic and meaningful work. Our inner compass is the guide that helps us navigate this vast artistic landscape, leading us toward our true artistic voice. So, let’s explore some ways to discover and follow that creative North Star within us!

  1. Embrace Solitude: In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s crucial to set aside dedicated time for yourself. Find a peaceful spot where you can disconnect from the outside world and allow your thoughts and ideas to flow freely. Whether it’s through meditation, journaling, or simply taking long walks in nature, solitude provides the space for your inner compass to reveal itself.
  2. Explore Various Art Forms: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with different art forms. Trying new mediums, styles, or techniques can unlock hidden passions and unveil unique aspects of your creativity. Take a pottery class, try your hand at photography, or dabble in poetry—explore the endless possibilities that lie outside your usual artistic realm. Don’t be afraid to learn new things. I started a master’s arts program this year because I’ve always wanted to learn how to use Oil Paints. I was terrified but I’m so glad I did it because I’m so in love with oil paints now.
  3. Engage in Active Observation: Become a keen observer of the world around you. Take the time to notice the small details, the play of light and shadow, and the interactions between people. Engaging your senses and observing your surroundings will help you tap into your intuition and discover what resonates with you on a deeper level.
  4. Cultivate a Creative Ritual: Establishing a consistent creative ritual can work wonders for connecting with your inner compass. Create a dedicated space in your home or studio that inspires you. Light a candle, play soft music, or sip a cup of your favorite tea while you immerse yourself in your artistic practice. These rituals will signal to your mind that it’s time to enter a creative mindset.
  5. Travel and Immerse Yourself: Exploring new places and immersing yourself in different cultures can provide a wealth of inspiration. Traveling opens up your senses to unfamiliar sights, sounds, and experiences, allowing you to see the world through a fresh artistic lens. Whether it’s a grand adventure or a local excursion, venture beyond your comfort zone and let your inner compass guide you to new artistic horizons.

Now, let’s dive into a list of fun activities that can ignite your creative fire:

a) Create an Artistic Vision Board: Collect images, quotes, and objects that resonate with your artistic aspirations. Arrange them on a board or in a journal, creating a visual representation of your creative dreams.

b) Collaborate with Other Artists: Join forces with fellow artists in your community or online. Collaborative projects can spark unexpected ideas, foster artistic growth, and offer a fresh perspective.

c) Take a Digital Detox Day: Disconnect from the digital world for a day and engage in analog activities. Sketch, paint, write, or engage in any creative pursuit without the distractions of screens and notifications.

d) Visit Art Exhibitions and Galleries: Immerse yourself in the works of other artists. Observe different styles, techniques, and subject matters. Allow their creativity to inspire and influence your own artistic journey.

e) Create Art Inspired by Music: Select a favorite piece of music and let it guide your artistic process. Allow the melodies, rhythms, and emotions to flow through your chosen medium, creating a visual representation of the music.

Remember, the quest to uncover and embrace your inner compass as an artist is a deeply personal and ever-evolving journey. Embrace the beauty of the process, be patient with yourself, and trust that your creativity will faithfully guide you to new realms of self-expression and artistic fulfillment. So, fellow artists, set sail on this adventure, for within you lies a unique artistic voice waiting to be discovered and shared with the world. Happy creating!

Prep Vintage Book with Gesso for Art Journaling

If you’re looking to add a unique touch to your next art journaling project, you may want to consider prepping a vintage book with gesso. Gesso is a type of primer used to prepare canvas or other surfaces for painting. It can also be used on a vintage book to create a smooth and even surface for your art journaling and paint. Here are some simple steps to help you get started:

  • Gather your supplies. You’ll need a vintage book, gesso, a paintbrush, palette knife and a surface to work on.
  • Begin by prepping the surface of the book. If your vintage book has any dust or debris on the pages, you can brush them off or even gently wipe them down with a damp cloth. Let your page dry before moving on to the next step.
  • Apply gesso to the surface of the book using a paintbrush. Start from the center and work your way out to the edges. Make sure to apply an even coat to the entire surface. If you want to protect the pages beneath, just slip a sheet of paper between the pages.
  • Allow the gesso to dry completely before adding any art journaling elements.

Using gesso to prep a vintage book is an easy way to make your art journaling projects more unique and interesting. With a bit of patience and the right supplies, you’ll be able to create beautiful art journaling projects that you’ll be proud of.

Unboxing Creativity: Sketchbox May 2023 Review

Today, I’m thrilled to share my thoughts on Sketchbox’s premium art material subscription box for May 2023. This month’s collection is an absolute treasure trove, packed with an impressive assortment of artistic wonders. So, let’s embark on this creative journey together and explore each item that makes this box truly exceptional!

  1. Water Soluble Graphite Bottle: The Water Soluble Graphite Bottle is a unique and versatile addition to this month’s box. This innovative product allows you to transform graphite into a fluid medium, opening up a world of possibilities. Use it with brushes to create stunning washes and expressive strokes, or apply it directly onto your artwork to achieve fascinating textures and gradients. Whether you’re sketching, painting, or experimenting with mixed media, this water-soluble graphite will add depth and richness to your creations.
  2. Hero Arts Glimmer Gold Ink: Get ready to add a touch of enchantment to your artwork with the Hero Arts Glimmer Gold Ink. This mesmerizing ink dazzles with its shimmering metallic finish, providing a luxurious and eye-catching element to your pieces. Use it to accentuate details, create dazzling highlights, or even add an ethereal touch to calligraphy or lettering. The Hero Arts Glimmer Gold Ink adds an element of sophistication and elegance to your artistic endeavors.
  3. Faber-Castell Matte Graphite Pencil Set: The Faber-Castell Matte Graphite Pencil Set is a treasure trove of versatility. These high-quality pencils offer a range of hardness levels, allowing you to achieve varied tones and textures in your artwork. Experiment with different grades to create delicate shading, bold lines, or intricate details. These matte pencils are perfect for sketching, drawing, and illustrating, giving your artwork a classic and timeless feel.
  4. Royal Majestic Short Handle Shader Brush: The Royal Majestic Short Handle Shader Brush is a dream to work with. Its soft, synthetic bristles provide excellent control and even distribution of paint, making it ideal for blending colors, applying washes, or creating smooth gradients. Whether you’re working with acrylics, watercolors, or the water-soluble graphite in this box, this versatile brush will become your go-to tool for achieving seamless and captivating effects.
  5. Faber-Castell Eraser Pencil: Say goodbye to smudges and mistakes with the Faber-Castell Eraser Pencil. This ingenious tool allows for precise erasing and correction, ensuring that your artwork remains clean and flawless. The eraser pencil’s fine tip allows you to remove small details or refine areas with precision. It’s a must-have for any artist seeking perfection and attention to detail in their work.
  6. Pacific Art Pencil Sharpener: The Pacific Art Pencil Sharpener is a trusty companion for maintaining the sharpness of your pencils. With its high-quality blades, this sharpener ensures a clean and precise sharpening experience every time. It’s designed to accommodate various pencil sizes, including those in this month’s box, allowing you to keep your graphite and colored pencils at their optimal performance.
  7. Create Toned Paper: Last but not least, the Create Toned Paper in this box adds an exciting twist to your artistic endeavors. The toned paper provides a unique background for your creations, enhancing contrast and adding depth to your artwork. Experiment with the water-soluble graphite, colored pencils, or even the glimmer gold ink on this versatile paper to create captivating illustrations, portraits, or mixed media pieces.

Sketchbox’s May 2023 premium art material subscription box has truly outdone itself by curating an exceptional collection of drawing materials.

Mastering the Art of Words: How Copywriting Skills Can Transform Your Art Business

As an artist, you may often find yourself primarily focused on expressing your creativity through visual mediums such as painting, sculpture, or photography. While the visual aspect of your work is undeniably essential, there is another skill that can greatly enhance your art business and help you connect with your audience on a deeper level: copywriting.

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on

Art has the ability to communicate emotions, stories, and ideas. However, without the right words to accompany your artwork, its full potential may go unnoticed. Copywriting allows you to articulate the essence of your art, capture the attention of your audience, and convey the meaning behind your creations. By mastering this skill, you can craft compelling descriptions, engaging artist statements, and persuasive marketing materials that entice potential buyers and art enthusiasts.

Photo by Antoni Shkraba on

Enhancing Your Art Business:

  1. Captivating Descriptions: Copywriting enables you to create vivid and enticing descriptions for your artwork. These descriptions can be used in gallery exhibitions, online portfolios, and promotional materials. By effectively describing your art, you can evoke emotions, provoke thoughts, and generate interest among viewers.
  2. Engaging Artist Statements: An artist statement is an opportunity to share your artistic journey, inspirations, and the conceptual framework behind your work. By developing strong copywriting skills, you can write artist statements that captivate readers, allowing them to connect with your art on a deeper level. A compelling artist statement can also differentiate you from other artists and help build your personal brand.
  3. Effective Marketing Materials: Copywriting plays a crucial role in creating persuasive marketing materials such as brochures, catalogs, social media posts, and website content. With the right words, you can effectively communicate the value and uniqueness of your art, attract potential buyers, and ultimately drive sales.
  4. Building Relationships: Copywriting allows you to build meaningful relationships with your audience. By engaging with your followers through newsletters, blog posts, or social media captions, you can establish a connection beyond your artwork. An authentic and well-crafted copy can create a sense of community and loyalty, leading to increased support and engagement.
Photo by Julia M Cameron on

Ways to Learn Copywriting Skills:

  1. Online Courses: Numerous online platforms offer courses specifically designed for copywriting. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare provide comprehensive courses taught by experienced professionals. These courses cover various aspects of copywriting, from basic principles to advanced techniques.
  2. Books and Resources: There are several books dedicated to the art of copywriting. Some recommended titles include “Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This” by Luke Sullivan, “The Copywriter’s Handbook” by Robert Bly, and “Ogilvy on Advertising” by David Ogilvy. Additionally, blogs, websites, and podcasts such as Copyblogger and The Copywriter Club offer valuable insights and tips.
  3. Copywriting Workshops and Conferences: Look for workshops or conferences that focus on copywriting and marketing. These events often feature industry experts who share their knowledge and provide practical exercises to improve your skills. Networking opportunities at these events can also be valuable for growing your art business.
  4. Practice and Feedback: As with any skill, practice is crucial for mastering copywriting. Start by writing copy for your own artwork and gradually expand to different formats. Seek feedback from fellow artists, friends, or mentors who can provide constructive criticism and help you refine your writing style.

So, fellow artists, embrace the art of words and unleash its transformative power in your creative journey. Let your passion shine through compelling copy, and watch your art business soar to new heights!

Ways to be creative when you don’t feel inspired

It can be difficult to be creative when you don’t feel inspired, but there are some helpful tips and tricks you can use to jumpstart your creativity. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Photo by Deeana Arts on
  • Take a break. When you’re feeling stuck, it can help to step away from the project and come back to it with a fresh perspective. Take a walk, read a book, or listen to some music.
  • Try something new. Experiment with a new medium or technique. Learning something new can spark your creative juices.
  • Look for inspiration. Look around you for things that inspire you. Listen to a podcast, explore an art gallery, or take a walk in nature.
  • Take a different path. If one approach isn’t working, try something different. Maybe take a break from the project and come back to it later when you’re in a better headspace.
  • Collaborate. Working with someone else can bring new ideas to the table. Connect with someone who has a different perspective and brainstorm ideas together.
  • Adjust your environment. Change your workspace or the time of day you work. It’s amazing what a difference a change of scenery can make.

Using these tips can help you get your creative juices flowing again, so don’t hesitate to try them out. Good luck!

Being around plants can help you concentrate more

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Plants are an incredibly powerful and natural tool to help us concentrate and focus. Studies have shown that having plants in our work and home environments can have a calming and soothing effect on our minds, reducing stress and helping us remain focused on the task at hand. Not only can plants help us remain productive and alert, but they can also provide aesthetic beauty, boosting our overall well being.

Having plants in the home or office can provide us with a sense of calm and peace, allowing us to concentrate and focus more effectively. The physical presence of the plants can help us to become more organized and productive, as the plants can act as a visual reminder to stay on task. Additionally, plants can help to reduce noise and distractions, allowing us to concentrate more effectively.

One of the most beneficial aspects of having plants is that they can help to clean the air. Plants naturally filter out toxins, acting as a natural air purifier. This can help to reduce fatigue and improve cognitive performance, making it even easier to concentrate and focus.

  1. Improved Air Quality: Plants release oxygen into the air, which can help to improve air quality. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, improved air quality can help to enhance cognitive function and concentration, especially in indoor environments with poor air quality.
  2. Reduced Stress: Having plants around can help to reduce stress levels. According to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, interacting with indoor plants can reduce psychological and physiological stress responses.
  3. Increased Creativity: Exposure to natural elements, such as plants, can help to stimulate creativity. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, exposure to nature can increase cognitive performance and creativity.
  4. Enhanced Mood: Plants can help to enhance mood and well-being. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, plants can help to increase positive feelings and reduce negative feelings.
  5. Improved Productivity: Having plants around can help to improve productivity. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, people who worked in an environment with plants were more productive and made fewer errors than those who worked in an environment without plants.

If you’re looking to improve your focus and concentration, having plants in your environment is a great place to start.

Books Every Artist Should Read

If you’re an artist looking for inspiration, there are plenty of books out there that can help. Here are some of the best books every artist should read to help spark creativity and fresh ideas:

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  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield: This book is a must-read for any artist who is looking to stay motivated and break through creative blocks.
  • Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon: This book provides advice on how to get inspired and take your art to the next level.
  • The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander: This book provides insight into how to use the creative process to bring about dramatic change in your life.
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: This book is an exploration of the creative process and how to embrace it with courage and joy.
  • The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron: This book guides readers through a program to help unlock their creativity.
  • The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp: This book helps artists to develop and maintain a creative habit.
  • Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards: This book teaches how to look at things in a new way, unlocking creativity and problem solving.
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White: This book provides advice on how to write clearly and effectively, which can be applied to any artistic discipline.

Reading these books can provide you with the tools you need to take your art to the next level.

Which books have inspired you as an artist? Did I miss any major ones?

How to Title Artwork

Writing the perfect title for your artwork can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect title for your artwork:

  • Think of a phrase or sentence that expresses the essence of your artwork. Take some time to reflect on the themes, colors, and composition of your artwork and think of words that capture the emotion and feeling you are trying to convey.
  • Consider the medium you used to create the artwork. This could be a great way to make your title more specific and unique.
  • Try to make your title as descriptive as possible. This will help viewers understand and appreciate the artwork without having to see it in person.
  • Consider using alliteration or rhymes in your title. This can make it more memorable for viewers.
  • Don’t be afraid to be creative and think outside the box. Your artwork and title are an expression of you, so don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine!

Hopefully, these tips help you find the perfect title for your artwork.

Vintage Book Binding and Stitching Ephemera Kit

Are you a mixed-media artist looking to add a touch of nostalgia to your artwork? The Vintage Book Binding and Stitching Ephemera Kit is the ultimate treasure trove for mixed media and collage enthusiasts! This kit is made up of a variety of antique book hardback covers, spines, binding materials and stitching, carefully curated to offer a one-of-a-kind collection of unique bits of texture and nostalgic appeal.

With this kit, you can elevate your artwork to the next level, adding depth and character that only vintage materials can provide. Whether you’re an experienced mixed media artist or just starting out, this ephemera kit offers endless possibilities for creative expression.

Here are some of the benefits of using vintage bookbinding and stitching ephemera:

  • Adds a Touch of Nostalgia: Vintage materials have a certain charm that modern materials simply can’t match. With this kit, you can infuse your artwork with a sense of history and nostalgia that is sure to captivate viewers.
  • Offers Unique Textures: The variety of materials included in this kit – from weathered paper to aged covers and spines – offers a range of textures that can be layered and combined to create stunning effects. These textures can add depth and dimension to your artwork, making it truly stand out.
  • Enhances Mixed Media and Collage Art: The unique nature of vintage bookbinding and stitching ephemera makes it the perfect addition to mixed media and collage art. It can be used to create stunning backgrounds, unique embellishments, and even entire focal points in your artwork.

Research has even shown that incorporating vintage materials into artwork can have a positive impact on our emotional well-being. In a study conducted by the University of Southampton, researchers found that “nostalgia has the capacity to maintain psychological comfort and social connectedness”(Wildschut et al., 2014). By using vintage materials in your artwork, you can tap into this sense of comfort and connectedness, creating art that not only looks beautiful but also evokes positive emotions.

These kits are the ultimate treasure trove for anyone looking to infuse their artwork with a sense of history and unique textures.

Vintage Book Cover and Binding Kit

Tutorial: Collage Tags

I love finding ways to use all the bits of ephemera I have lying around and in that process, I started cutting out the watercolor florals and finding ways to use them in other creative projects. Then I started making the cutouts specifically to be used in my art journaling and art projects.

In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to use watercolor paints to create marks and add sketchy ink lines on top, then how to cut them out and use them in a collage-style tag.

Supply List:

  • Watercolor or Mixed Media Paper
  • Watercolors
  • Brush
  • Micron Pen (I’m using size 03 and 08)
  • Jar of Water

For Tag:

  • Tag
  • Glue Stick, Matte Medium and Tape Runner
  • Pretty Paper Scraps
  • Stickers, Words, etc. 
  • Watercolor Paper Cutout

Video Tutorial

Making Watercolor Cutouts:

Step 1: Paint watercolor marks. These can be detailed or just messy marks, whichever feels right to you. I know the basic shapes of the flowers I want to make, so I give some shape to my marks, but nothing detailed. LET DRY

Step 2: With a Micron pen I add sketchy lines to define the flower shapes. I usually draw two sets of lines because I like the sketchy feel, but you can draw just one or add a couple more.

Step 3: Cut out your flowers. 

Making Collage Tag:

Step 1: Cut out your tag shape. I used brown craft paper and cut it to 2″ w x 4″ h

Step 2: I gathered two different color stories of items from my ephemera stash. So find a group of ephemera you want to use. 

Step 3: Play with the layout by moving and layering your ephemera pieces.

Step 4: Attach your layers to the tag and add your watercolor cutout.

Step 5: Hole punch the top and add a pretty ribbon.

If you are interested in purchasing one of my watercolor cut-out kits, I sell a variety of kits in my shop.