Hello beautiful friend!
be simultaneously released on
October 1st 2015
I haven’t finalised my lesson yet, but I’m thinking of working BIG and I want to do something around the concept of ‘Phoenix Rising’ :)
Hello beautiful friend!
be simultaneously released on
October 1st 2015
I haven’t finalised my lesson yet, but I’m thinking of working BIG and I want to do something around the concept of ‘Phoenix Rising’ :)
Hey there fabulous friends! :) I was just checking up on my ‘favourite art supplies post’ from a while back and realised it’s dreadfully out of the date (read with dramatic voice!). So I felt called to do an updated ‘My Favourite Art Supplies’ post just for you, because I love you and you smell of daisies and starshine. Hope you find some info here that is useful! <3
I prefer hot-pressed over cold pressed, the difference is that hot-pressed is much smoother than cold pressed. There is more of a grain in cold pressed which I don’t really like. I found a little image on google showing the difference:
Also, if you do heavy mixed media layering with wet work, paints and collage you want to go for a minimum weight of 14olb (300gsm2). Thinner paper will not be able to withstand heavy mixed media work unless you gesso it thoroughly. :) Other good brands I use for paper too: Saunders & Waterford/ Fabriano (again I like: hot-pressed).
2. My favourite journal to work in. First up: I still haven’t found *the perfect* journal yet. It’s all about the paper for me, but one is coming very close to being perfect and it’s the Watercolour Sketchbook (HP) by Roberson (with Saunders & Waterford paper). Quite difficult to order online I’m afraid. A second fav is the Saunders Waterford (HP) journals, they’re a little easier to find online, just google! :)
3. My favourite pencil is the Graphgear 1000 by Pentel. This is quite a pricey mechanical pencil but it’s worth it. What I like about this pencil is that it’s weighted, so it feels heavier in your hand than some of the cheaper ones (though they are cool too). I like my leads in the ‘b’ range and the size: 0.9. The size refers to how thin or thick the lead is. The smaller you go, the thinner your lead, the more detailed/ finer work you can do.
Regarding the weight of the lead: ‘b’s’ are softer and smudgier, ‘h’s’ are ‘harder’ and less smudgy, here is a swatch of lead scribbles (found through google image search) that shows you the difference:
Btw: totally didn’t know there was an ‘F’ option!
4. Though graphite is still my favourite sketching tool, I’ve started using Charcoal Pencils (Derwent and other brands), Stabilo All pencils (or China markers) a lot more too nowadays. This specifically when I want to achieve a dark shading without the reflection of the graphite. Charcoal is great as it’s pitch black and you can smudge it, the Stabilo All pencil is great because it writes over anything and everything and is watersoluble (but isn’t super great for smudging). I recommend both! :)
5. I use a variety of paints, from watercolour paints in tubes, gouache, acrylics to watercolor pencils but my go-to and favourite paint supplies are my beloved watersoluble crayons (Caran D’ache Neocolor II). I love them. They are basically really vibrant watercolour paints in a stick. They are really versatile and the colours just pop. You can use them as a crayon (dry) or you can scribble/ add colour to your page and then ‘activate’ the paint with some water and a paintbrush. You can also lift paint straight off the crayon with a wet brush. Super versatile these babies. Regarding brands, I haven’t actually used any other brands than Caran D’ache but from what I hear, other brands’ crayons don’t seem to compare. PS. careful when buying these, the box that holds the non-watersoluble wax crayons looks almost identical to the watersoluble crayons (Neocolor I’s).
6. My favourite brushes are by Pro Arte – England. I like the “acrylix brushes“, they have a nice balance between being firm and soft. They are not too coarse, the hairs are fine and hold up quite well for all the mixed media stuff I do. Shape wise I usually choose the square shaped ones, but I have some round tipped and pointy tipped ones too.
7. White Gesso. So, I’ll admit, for a long time I didn’t really get gesso. I was all like: why would I need to prime any of my surfaces, they’re already prepared so I can paint on them, sooooo? Now, I love love love my white gesso. I use it for a variety of things: sometimes when a painting is just going nowhere and I feel like I need to start over, I gesso over a painting and tadaa; I can start again. I also use white gesso as part of my layering process; I love brayering gesso over a mixed media background if I need to ‘mute it down’ a little. I use gesso as a white paint. In the past I would use white acrylics, but I now use white gesso for highlights or anywhere I need to add white colour paint. Lastly, I do sometimes use white gesso as a primer, if I work on a surface that is thin-ish and I need it to be sturdier, I’ll add a layer of gesso (for instance, some of the moleskines have thin pages, gesso helps firming them up). Brand wise, I’ve only ever used winsor & newton galeria and very happy with that one. There are a lot of different gessos out there though, some are coarser, some less coarse, gesso also comes in black and transparent too.
8. Speaking of gesso, another one of my favs is clear/ transparent gesso. Clear gesso is brilliant if you do a lot of collage with different types of paper and you want to work on top of your layer but you’re worried about how your former layer will react to all your different mediums. Apply one layer of clear gesso over your entire painting and you’ve basically created a new unified surface that is transparent with a nice tooth and new possibilities. You can also apply a layer of clear gesso over a graphite sketch if you are worried about it smudging when adding paints. :) Brand wise I’ve only ever used the Liquitex one which I love. (Cheaper than Golden).
9. Some of you who know me and if you’ve been on my courses you will know that I WORSHIP brayers. I know, strange tool to worship, but truly: they can create super yummy and stunning texture. They create a beautiful grungy pull-me – push-me effect. It’s awesome. I love it. Buy a brayer, you won’t regret it. ;) Brand wise I use speedball, I like the rubber ones, not the soft spongey ones.
10. Golden Fluid Acrylics. Ok look, the Golden brand is stupid, stupid expensive. Silly, stupid expensive. Truly. But. But. But. They DO create the most amazingly beautiful paints. They are beautifully vibrant, the pigments are stunning and so, if once in a while you find yourself with some spare moneys, invest in a pot or two of colours that you love the look of. That said, other acrylics brands work beautifully too. It’s not necessary to use Golden brands to make wonderful art. The Golden products are a luxury kind of option in my humble opinion, but I do love them and use them a lot. (FYI: apparently Cobalt Teal is out of production, if you find one, scoop it up and SELL IT TO ME ;), it’s gorgeous).
11. A favourite adhesive I use is Liquitex Matte Medium. I use different gel mediums for different things and some are more expensive than others. I have soft gel medium and heavy gel medium by Golden which are much ‘stickier’ than the Liquitex Matte Medium, but they are not necessary to simply glue down collage papers. Additionally Matte Medium can also be used to ‘thin down’ some of your acrylics paints, it’s like an extender of your paints should you want to do that. For thicker collage papers (like some of the scrapbooking papers) I do like using a heavier gel at times as it tends to ‘grab hold’ of it more strongly.
12. Impasto Gel Daler-Rowney – This is also an extender for your paints. The word ‘impasto’ is referring to a paint style. The impasto style is when a painter lays their paint down really thickly in certain areas of a canvas, this medium can extend your paint for this kind of work. However, I use it also mostly for gluing down my collage papers.
14. Tombow Markers – similar to Aquamarkers, but these have a great brush like tip that I love and the inks are vibrant and juicy. They are pretty pricey though!
18. Vintage Book Pages & Music Scores – these collage pages almost always make it into my paintings. I love including old book pages and music scores. They add great texture, symbolism and mystery for me! :)
19. Washi Tape – I have a million rolls of washi tape and love using these versatile, brightly coloured pieces of tape! They work great as part of a collage and can add pop, texture and interest to a layered background. Though they are sticky themselves, I tend to put a layer of gel medium under them so that they def stick. I love finding new and different patterns, there are so many different ones out there! :)
So, these are some of my current favs! Hope it was useful! Though these are my favourites not all of these products might be or become your favs! I recommend trying out different materials and get to know which ones really work for you.
Let me know what your favourite supplies are in the comment section, I’d love to know! :)
Hi Everyone! Below is the second interview in a new series we are running on the blog called: Tea & Cake with Gracie! Yay! :) My awesome friend and colleague Gracie Howle is interviewing inspiring artists and posting the interviews (including some free offers not published elsewhere before) here on the blog every 2 months or so. I love to create art and bring amazing artists & people together in my classes, in person and on social media. As part of this drive, I really wanted to help bring more exposure to some of the amazing artists out there too! Today Gracie’s interviewing the lovely Angela Kennedy, who is also known as Pennystamper. I hope you enjoy this ‘Tea & Cake with Gracie’ interview, be sure to check out the free video tutorial and free downloadable print as part of this interview! xox Tam
If you love Artist Interviews make sure you read the previous ones here:
Hello! Gracie here from Willowing Arts! :) I’m so excited to share with you my second ‘Tea and Cake’ interview! Slippers, cosy blanket and cuppa tea at the ready! ;) This is ‘Tea and Cake with Gracie’, where I ask an inspiring artist about what makes them tick, and probe them about their art, life and loves. Today, I am sharing with you an interview with the lovely Angela Kennedy, also known as Pennystamper. Be sure to check out her free offerings below! :)
1. Hi Angela, welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I live in Southern Oregon with my Husband and two sons. I work at home as a designer for Penny Black Rubber Stamps which gives me a lot of time to do art!
Angela’s free offers today are this wonderful free print and the free video tutorial below! Please print out the print for personal use only (cannot be used commercially), to hang around the house. Please also keep the website url in place when printing out the print and, if reposting on other social media site, we’d appreciate a reference link to Angela’s site: www.pennystamper.blogspot.com. Thanks for understanding!
(to download the high res version pls right-click on image and choose save target or link as)
Angela has also created a free video tutorial (not previously published before) for the lovely Willowing readers to watch (that’s you! :D ). She shows you how she creates her ‘gesso wings’.
(Click the ‘play button’ to watch this video)
Learn more about Angela by reading the following interview:
2. Where do you art?
I have a small bedroom/crap room as my sons like to call it. I spend probably half of my day in there!
I started a blog back in 2009 and wanted a name for it. Since I work for Penny Black I just called it Pennystamper. I didn’t feel comfortable using my name. I never liked calling myself an artist and hated being called one. I always just liked art and it was a hobby. I have since grown to accept the title although I still think of myself as just a girl who likes making art.
4. On your blog, you mention that your Grandma owned a ceramic shop and that influenced your journey to arty things. Can you tell us some more about that?
My Grandma had a shop called Plant Pot Ceramics. I LOVED it! We painted everything there. Although I can’t remember how to do it all now, she taught me how to pour molds, clean and fire pieces. I even ran the shop a little when she was away. I spent a lot of summers there. I miss it so much!
5. Many of your pieces feature girls / females, why do you think that is? Is it just something you’re drawn to / have always been drawn to? Or is there a deeper meaning behind that for you?
I just have always loved drawing pretty faces! (Especially SAD ONES!!! Haha) I need more practice drawing other things so I tend to draw what I know I can!
My favorite thing to use is colored pencil over acrylics. It just has so much texture which I love! My second fave is watercolors.
7. What inspires you and what things / people / art has made you think ‘I want to paint / draw / create that’?
I have always loved renaissance art and the beautiful portraits from that time. My biggest inspiration was Jane Spakowski (Gritty Jane). I saw her paintings online and fell in love. I found she had a Ning site that I think was called Mixed Media Portraits. I joined and from then on I have been hooked!!!
8. What piece of advice would you give to new art journallers?
For newbies – It is just paper. There is always more paper. There is always gesso to cover it up if you hate it. I also think that someday you will look back on those things you thought were awful and be proud of where you started and how far you have come.
I started all of this because I LOVE it! I am not worried about what others think of my art. I have had rude comments made about it. So what. I am not doing it for them. I am doing it for me. It makes me happy. If it isn’t making you happy then why are you doing it
9. Is there anything about you / your art / your life that you think the readers would be fascinated to hear, or wouldn’t know about you?
Uuuuuum… I have an Olde English Bulldogge!! He is hilarious!
Thank you for chatting and sharing with us Angela!
If you’d like to find out more about Angela please follow the links below :)
See you for Tea and Cake next time! Love Gracie x
Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Pennystamper
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AngelaKennedyPennystamper/posts
Angela is teaching here: Bloknote Academy – Art Journal Summer School
Angela also has an e-course coming up called ‘Angels Among Us‘.
Anyhoo, she is an amazing photographer and she’s just about to launch her first ever online photography course (The Love Offensive) with a focus on photographing the people you love in your life and letting them see through your photography how much you love them. She’s giving me a free spot (holy moly I’m so excited) AND I can also GIVE-AWAY 1 spot on her course for free to you guys my lovely readers! :) Yay!! :D
Tara promises for this course to be low on the tech-side of things and high on the creative- LOVE side of things, so don’t be intimidated if you think: “eeeep, cameras and all their settings!!” You can do this! :) I’m really excited because I really want to brush up on my photography skills (sooo handy for photographing your art work also!) :)
The give – away is now closed and the winner is:
Kath Keeler Yurek!!! Congrats!
Here is the promo video:
I hope to see you there! :)
And remember to enter the give away! :) yay!
Oh hello beloved reader o’mine. Thanks for dropping by! I’m going through an interesting period in my life currently. Lots of changes (we need to move, again, sigh so unlucky…), lots of work changes and transitions too and lots and lots of INNER work. Important INNER work. Part of that inner work drove me on a last minute retreat last week in Wales, where I lived and learned in compassion with the likes of Robert Gonzales, Gayano Shaw, Jill & Richard Broadbent and another 35 or so amazing beings trying to learn how to be more compassionate with themselves and others. The week was incredible, rich, deep, moving, shifting things deeply inside of me. :)
A big part of the teaching that week was around becoming more aware of and meeting with compassion ‘our inner experiences’ or ‘inner aliveness’. One can translate a part of that to: we were encouraged to ‘feel our feelings & needs’ or ‘sit with our feelings & needs’ and meet them with compassion (it was a lot more than that, but for the sake of this blog post I’m honing in on that aspect of the week). It was awesome, and liberating and a great reminder and providing a lot of spiritual clarity for me. :)
As many of you know, I bang on and on about ‘feeling one’s feelings’ for a while now, partially because I can see the value of this for myself (but struggling to remember to stick with the process having been deeply conditioned to dismiss myself and my feelings from a young age) and partially because I think it can be *really* beneficial to the health and well-being of all of us. :) So yeah, I bang on and on about it! ;P
And so as I was contemplating all this, I decided to make my episode 4 of Self-Love TV all about the topic of ‘paying attention to one’s feelings’ and I am ‘throwing’ in a FREE art lesson from my course Radical Wellness (that ran a while ago) which covers how to use your journal/ creativity to process one’s feels. Yay. (Art techniques cover layering/ gelli-plating/ drawing a face/ photo altering).
I hope this is helpful and that you love it. And if you did find this helpful, I’d be EVAR so grateful if you could share this post on your social media sites so that others may be enriched by this thinking/ method also. I love you. You are loved. Thank you for being here. xoxo
Here are the free videos:
Part 1 = Introduction to ‘How to feel feelings as part of a self-care practice’
Some close up photos:
If you enjoyed this free lesson today, please do consider joining us on Life Book 2015 (which is themed around self-development and self-love/ self-care). I know we’re nearly half way the year already, but you can still join and download all the previous content. We’d love to have you!
Why hello there fellow creative friend! Thanks for dropping by. Over my 11/12 years of working in art journals & sketch books I’ve tried out a wide variety of them. I did an in depth video ‘all about art journals’ last year, and recently I’ve been wanting to discuss working in differently sized art journals, what that is like and how I feel about the different sizes. And yay, that video is here now! :)
Hope you get something out of it. Here is the video & below some detail shots of some of the work inside my large art journal.
Hi Everyone! :) Tam here announcing a new feature that will be running on the blog, yay! :) My awesome friend and colleague Gracie Howle will be interviewing inspiring artists and posting the interviews (including some free offers not published elsewhere before) here on the blog every 2 months or so. I love to create art and bring amazing artists & people together in my classes, in person and on social media. As part of this drive, I really wanted to help bring more exposure to some of the amazing artists out there too! But being the busy bee I am, I’ve not been able to find time so I asked Gracie to take on this wonderful task and she jumped at the chance! The first person she’s interviewed is the amazing Andrea Gomoll who is incidentally, also a Life Book 2015 teacher this year. I hope you enjoy this very first ‘Tea & Cake with Gracie”, be sure to check out the free video tutorial as part of this interview as well! <3 xox Tam
Hello! Welcome! It’s Gracie here from Willowing Arts! :) Put your feet up, have some tea and cake and get ready to be inspired! :) This is ‘Tea and Cake with Gracie’, where I ask an inspiring artist about what makes them tick, and probe them about their art, life and loves. Sit back, relax and enjoy! :) On this first feature, I had to pleasure to interview the lovely Andrea Gomoll. :)
1. Hi Andrea and welcome to Willowing Arts! :) Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
My Name is Andrea Gomoll, I live in Berlin / Germany together with my Fiancé Thomas and 3 crazy & always hungry cats. I’m a Photographer with my own Wedding Photography Business and a Mixed Media Artist and I’m loving every minute of it :)
2. You call yourself a planner addict and have a big passion for planners and journals. You even have a separate blog and Instagram account especially for planners called The Mintgreen Polkadot! Can you let us know why you love them so much and how you use them in your art process and your art business. Do you have a favourite?
I use Planners for organizing my Life as well as for creating Art in them. I’ve always been a “List-Person” and a “Journal Girl” … for as long as I can remember I kept a Diary and I planned my tasks on Lists and Note-Sheets (of course they where all over the place and the List- & Note-Chaos only made it worse instead of helping me to be organized *lol*) – so I decided that I needed something to get more organized.
When I picked up my first Filofax at the end of 2013 I was in love. I was surprised about the Online Community that already existed around Planners and creative planning (little did I know how much that Community and the “Hype” would grow over the next months / years). I knew I found a new Passion which would help me to keep it all together – which not only would help me to stay more organized with all my tasks, appointments etc. – in business & private – but I also saw all the amazing creative possibilities a Planner holds … journaling, memory keeping, smashbook, artjournal, sketchbook … there are so many fun purposes you can give to a Planner. That’s why it didn’t take long till I got my second Planner … and third … and … well – you get the idea ;)
My favourite Planner is probably the Midori Travelers Notebook type of Planner. I really love the ringbound Planners like the Filofax or the Webster’s Pages Color Crush Planners – but a Travelers Notebook style Planner gives me more the feeling of a Sketchbook / Artjournal – so the Midori is the Planner I’m using as my Artjournal & everyday Sketchbook. It’s a very simple System but absolutely genious. You can add different Booklets to it which will be held in Place with a rubber band – and I prefer not having those Rings disturbing me especially when writing/journaling a lot or when drawing / sketching.
The Travelers Notebook helped me to take my Artjournaling in a new direction. In 2014 we lost my Dad as well as my Father in Law and that makes you think about many things in your life and it also lead my process & purpose of my artjournaling into a new, slightly different direction. Till then I did artjournaling just for artjournaling sake – most of my Pages where pretty but for me they had very little meaning in them. The last Year has shown me the importance of preserving memories – all the little everyday-moments – so lately I’m making that a focus of most of my Artjournal Pages. I use my Midori Travelers Notebook to fill the Pages with more Journaling than I ever used to and I add Sketches / Drawings & Art to illustrate. Still creating art, playing and having fun – but at the same time preserving everyday memories. And in a couple of years from now those Journals will be not only “pretty to look at” when you flip through the Pages, but they will hold so much more – they will become a little treasure because they hold your memories – the good – the bad – and even the ugly ;) This way even the small, ordinary things become meaningful.
I have a little Video for you, sharing with you the Process of some artjournaling in my Midori Travelers Notebook and I hope you’ll enjoy it and maybe it will inspire you to go more personal with your Artjournaling as well …
Click the ‘play button’ to watch this video:
3. I follow you on your Instagram and can see your love for art journalling, you seem to journal very regularly. Tell us about the first time you started art journaling and why you started art journalling. What makes you continue to art journal?
It’s hard to say when exactly I started artjournaling because it kind of was a process – I was already doing some sort of artjournaling long before I knew that it WAS artjournaling I guess. Already back in school (and yeah – that’s already more than15 years ago … where did the time go?!?) I was keeping a Journal and I added collages to it of Magazine Cutouts, Tickets etc. – I doodled and added little drawings … guess it was a mix of an Artjournal & Smashbook … but I started my first “real” Artjournal after I learned about Artjournaling in an Issue of Somerset Studio, which I stumbled upon on our Vacation in the US in 2003. There was an article showing different Artjournal Pages and all the fun things people did with Paint, Ink, Markers etc. – I just LOVED the combination of Words and Art, Photography and everything in between – it was a perfect combination of everything I enjoyed (writing / jounaling, stamping, scrapbooking, drawing etc.). It seemed like a perfect solution to bring it all together, to be able to do it all and to bring together the best of all those different “art-worlds”
From that time on it was kind of an “on-off”-relationship with artjournaling …. I used to have periods where I enjoy artjournaling a lot and do it almost every day – then there are periods when I enjoy other artsy things (like papercrafting) more and neglect my artjournals for a while – but I’m always getting back to it because after a little while I start to miss that creative “no rules” outlet …
4. You also run a photography business, can you tell us a bit about that. How do you fit your creating and art journalling in with the photography business?
Yes – I started my own Photography Business back in 2008 when I quit my Job as a Media Designer in a small Advertising Agency in Berlin and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Till last year I did Wedding Photography but also Maternity-, Newborn- & Family-Photography in a Studio – but the Wedding Photography Part grew so much over the last Years that I decided to cut back and to focus on doing Wedding Photography only starting this year – ’cause the Wedding Photography is the part that I enjoy the most. It’s just so wonderful to be able to capture memories – all the big moments and all the small details – of a couple’s big Day in a creative, modern Way and to take pictures and create a Book telling their story which they will treasure for a lifetime.
Sometimes it’s a little bit of a “juggle-game” to “be there” 100% in both parts of my Business – the Photography-Part AND the Art-Part – but I’ve learned to organize it so it’s working perfectly to be able to fully commit to both branches of my. What helps is that wedding photography basically is a seasonal business in Germany – most of the weddings are March-October – so during those months I of course have to put my focus on the photography part a little more – November-February I can fully & completely commit to my art. But also during the wedding season there’s enough time for art … usually I spend fridays & saturdays at weddings (most of the time I’m there with my camera for 8-12 hours on a couple’s wedding day) – then for the rest of the week I’m in Studio editing hundreds of Photos, designing photo books for my couples etc. – and doing Paperwork *lol* – but I always make sure I have time for some art on a daily base – even if it’s only a little sketch – I just need that and I already start to feel “uncreative” if I don’t do anything artsy for 2 or 3 days :) It’s all a question of organization in the end, of focusing what’s most important right now and of finding the right balance between what needs to be done and what you want to do ;)
5. What are your favourite art materials to create with and why?
Even though it’s a very simple Question that’s really a hard Question for me – because there are so many different supplies & medias I just LOVE to use & work with and it usually changes every other week / month … I am really eclectic and enjoy working with many different supplies & combining them. One month I might totally dig Alcohol Markers, the next month I might enjoy working with Pan Pastels the most and then again that might change and my favourite media might be Watercolor …! That’s one thing I love about Mixed Media Art – you can use whatever you fancy – try out & learn about new media – combine different materials and techniques in any way you like …
But if I would have to decide for some favourites it definitely would be Pen/Sketchmarker and Watercolors. A Pen / Marker because along with some Paper you can get creative anywhere – anytime – doodle, sketch, write, draw … And I just really really enjoy the looks you can achieve with Watercolors – you can lay down fun, bright and funky colors but you can also work very light, pastelly … I also enjoy quick Sketches in my Sketcbooks and adding some Watercolor to them doesn’t take long yet it makes the sketches come to live. Another thing I love about watercolor is that you only have influence to a certain amount. Results with Watercolor always have a certain percentage of “random” – they tend to do “their own thing” and I just love that.
Another favourite Material are fleamarket finds :) I just LOVE to spend Sundays on Fleamarkets / Antique Fairs to hunt for some vintage treasures (well – treasures to ME *lol*). I’m always on the lookout for old ephemera, old books with beautiful writing or beautiful illustrations, old sheet music or old Letters / Postcards / Stamps etc. I just love the idea that something that old, that otherwhise maybe would have been thrown away get’s a “second chance” and a new purpose by incorporating it into my Art – makes it so much more meaningful if there’s a Letter in the Background that actually has been written with love and has been send back in the 30s – maybe it travelled half the world – it was dear to somebody – maybe somebody has read it over & over again (and it must have been of some meaning – otherwhise it wouldn’t have survived for so many centuries) … much more powerful than just a printed “fake” piece of paper. I just love that idea to have those authentique pieces incorporated into my Journal Pages or Mixed Media Pieces.
6. What inspires you and what things / people / art has made you think ‘I want to paint / draw / create that’?
There are many things that I draw inspiration from. I truly enjoy Magazines (for example the Flow Magazine and Daphne’s Diary) and flipping through them, looking at beautiful designs & images, reading inspiring articles – that always inspires me to create. Another thing that I LOVE to take for inspiration is – plain & simples – everyday life …! I just love to sketch everyday scenes, nature scenes, animals, plants, flowers, the changing seasons, the cup on my desk, the tulips I just bought … so much inspiration there right at your fingertips. And I love to combine those elements with my “Girls” or sketch them in a more whimsical way.
I guess once you realize that there’s so much inspiration in everyday life – once you really learn to SEE all the beauty that surrounds us everyday and once you learn to use that as inspiration for your art it’s an endless source of inspiration. In my Online Class “Sketch your Life” I’m talking a lot about that and showing many Ways on how to learn to sketch your life and it’s so relaxing and fulfilling at the same time to really take time to SEE (because in our fast paces world we usually look at something – maybe we snap a picture – but we almost forgot to really SEE something – to spend some time looking at a scene or object, studying the colors, the shape, the lighting …) I think that’s something we should really try to get used to more again – being mindful and really enjoying the small things and moments. Ever since I started to “sketch my life” there are moments everyday that make me think “I want to sketch that!” – it might be some colors that inspire me or interesting shapes – or just everyday moments that I want to remember because they had a meaning or an impact on me in one way or another … and they’ll go in my Sketchbook or in my Midori Artjournal :)
If you are interested in learning how to “sketch your life” – I have a special offer for you – you can sign up for my “Sketch your Life” Online Class for a special discount Price* … you can find more Info and sign up here: http://andrea-gomoll.de/class_special/ – (* this special offer is valid for 3 Weeks of the Blogpost being published)
An Advice I give over & over again to my Online Class Students and I can’t stress about this enough is: “Enjoy the Process and embrace imperfection!” – it’s been heard & said many times – but it’s so true and can’t be said often enough. Some people – especially those who are just starting out – tend to be overwhelmed, they want to make everything “perfect” right from the beginning – they compare their work to the work of others (who maybe are more experienced – so it’s like comparing pears to apples) – they stress so much about perfection and making everything “right” that they forget to enjoy the process of creating, of artjournaling …!
I think there is no such thing as “right” or “wrong” in art and there is no such thing as “perfection” in art. And that’s the best about it … as long as you enjoy what you do, as long as you spend some quality time having fun with paint, ink, pens & co. – it IS perfect – because in the end that’s what it’s all about. Accept that not everybody will like your work (does really EVERYBODY like the work of Warhol or Kandinsky?!?) – and that that’s not what’s important – it’s important that you like it and enjoy the process of creating it. And your style will change & develop over time – as stupid as it sounds and nobody want’s to hear it but: Practice makes Perfect! (even though I would rather say “Practice helps you improve and come closer to what you want your art to look like!”) If you look at somebody’s work – a person who’s art you really truly admire – you might think “I’ll never ever get there!” … but that person once has been EXACTLY where you are right now. Now go figure and imagine the possibilities – imagine where YOU could be in 3 or 5 years if you just keep on playing, practicing and enjoying what you do … :)
Another Advice – I guess that applies to everybody who is creating something – no matter if newbie or seasoned artist – would be: “don’t think – just do!” – don’t think what other people might think about your work, about what you do or say or write or share! It’s YOU – your life – your art – your path that you have chosen for you! There will be people who love you & your work – there will be people who don’t care and there might even be people who don’t like you & your work at all. And that’s okey! Don’t ever try to please everybody – because no matter how hard you try – it’s IMPOSSIBLE. Just do what feel right and good and you’re exactly on the path you are meant to be on!
8. Is there anything about you / your art / your life that you think the readers would be fascinated to hear, or wouldn’t know about you?
Some people that are following my creative Journey for the past 2-3 years only know me as a “Mixed Media Girl” – and they always seem to be surprised to see me also do “normal” Papercrafts from time to time (like Scrapbooking, Cardmaking, Stamping etc.) – then they’re surprised when I tell them that I’ve been doing that for many many Years – I was WAY into Scrapbooking & Papercrafts starting 2001 – I even published a german Scrapbook Magazine (Scrap Art Zine) with over 20 Issues (published quarterly from 2007 till 2012) – so it’s not that “new” when I’m doing other Papercrafts – it’s just that I don’t do it on a regular base and if, then I don’t share my “normal Papercrafts” very often ;) So yeah … I’m not only Paints, Markers & Inks but also Photos, Scissors & Paper ;)
Thank you for chatting and sharing with me Andrea! If you’d like to find out more about Andrea please follow the links below :) See you next time! Love Gracie x
Instagram: http://instagram.com/cre8tivecre8tions & https://instagram.com/themintgreenpolkadot/
My Online Classes: http://andrea-gomoll.de/classes/
Happy Easter/ New Spring dear everyone. I’ve been pretty sick for the past 2 weeks, the last week had me pretty much out of action with a serious ear infection. I’m finally crawling out of that hole a little. I spent some time today scanning my latest artwork and these pages are what I show students how to make on Life Book 2015 this coming Monday. It’s an in depth lesson themed around ‘honouring the here and now’, looking at the effect of adding black and white to your work (drama), combining angular and rounded shapes for contrast, working intuitvely and drawing/ painting a 3 quarter portrait. Materials include: collage/ crayons/ inks/ acrylics/ stencils/ pencils. I really love how these pages came out. It’s a combination of some quite “directed” teaching (of the face) and intuitve painting. If you know me, you know that I’m ‘quite up in my head’ a lot. I’m very ‘thinkie’, lots of ‘thinkie thoughts’ dictate much of my life and I have to work quite hard on being more ‘in my body’/ ‘present’ and ‘work intuitively’. When I get into the flow of intuitive working, however, I do very much love it. It can be very therapeutic/ cathartic and very much an honouring of one’s heart (over mind). :) Anyhoo, I enjoy combining some more structured work with the more intuitive work.
Next time, I will talk about how I consider myself a painter/illustrator hybrid, and how recently, I’ve decided to embrace both sides to me, instead of always letting them argue over style and approach (nb: the illustrator loves clean lines/ perfection while the painter in me loves loose brush strokes and messiness). :) I like the idea of being a hybrid. Maybe I’m a paintestrator or an illustrer. ;) Either works for me. :) I’ve simply decided that ‘I can be both’ and I’m enjoying helping both sides of me ‘work together’. :)
Here are some more close ups of these works.
So you want to make art, express yourself, play with paint and make MASTER PIECES! :) Yay!
And you sit down, get all your paints & papers out and miracle of miracles: you begin! (Don’t underestimate this step it’s one of the most powerful steps!) You’ve overcome that fear, you’re happily starting, you’re trying out that face or figure or shape and your spirits are up and running and you’re happily splashing paint around and then … all of a sudden BAM there she is … the bane of your existence, the wrecking ball of your dreams, the crusher of your hopes:
your inner critic
She puts on her glasses, icily looks down at your work and with one arch of her eyebrow ruthlessly extinguishes your blissful creative joy. With one cold tut & a smirk she makes you feel utterly defeated and like a child again.
You hear her voice resounding inside your mind:
“who are you to think you can create anything beautiful?”
“who are you to think this is a good use of your time?”
“that face you just drew? it doesn’t look like a face, please stop this”
“the colours are mud, nothing goes together, this is awful”
“if you can’t paint any pretty pictures, you’re clearly an unworthy human being”
“you’re so useless, you can’t do anything”
“who are you kidding with this crap, just stop already, just stop”
and on and on and on and on she goes.
And you look at your art and you quietly agree with her and put your supplies away and vow to never to paint or draw again.
Or do you?
Believe me dear friend, I have wrestled (and still do occasionally) with my inner critic for years. I know the pain of listening to her bitching and letting her convince you that ‘this creating thing’ you do is a bad idea. I know how painful it is to make paintings you and your inner critic hate! I know how depressing it can be to have an idea in your head that is beautiful and for your painting to not even come close to that idea. For your painting to disappoint you so deeply that you really never want to EVER go through that emotional torment again. True story: I nearly completely gave up painting in my early 20ties as I could not deal with the weeks of depression I felt when a painting I made disappointed me. Dramatic, I know but I had a powerfully destructive inner critic.
So how do we deal with the inner judgement and the feelings of hopelessness, depression and disappointment that follow?
Here are some ideas.
1. Examine the inner critic’s motives for being so hard on you, get to know her drives and motivation. Granted, you might need a couple of therapists helping you with this one, but I can tell you that usually the heavy judgements are an attempt at stopping you from getting hurt further. Inner Critic Lady looks a bit domineering and threatening but is actually a little kitten in disguise worried about you getting hurt more. She’s just adopted pretty harsh & painful methods to try and get you to hurt less. Odd isn’t it? Your inner critic operates from a place of fear, not from abundance and joy which is what you want to try and operate from. It requires quite a bit of bravery and courage though. Through understanding how and why the inner critic operates you might be able to empathise with that part of yourself more and let go of her judgements and move beyond them.
2. Allow, accept & celebrate mistakes and messes! As with learning to walk, drive, playing the piano, learning a new language, doing maths equations, becoming a brain surgeon: you first have to learn the ropes and the basics. As part of this learning process, you have to make mistakes to understand what works and what doesn’t work (preferably if you’re going for ‘brain surgeon’ not on a live brain ;)). Let me explain again; you have to make mistakes to learn about what works and doesn’t work. Note: I’m not saying: accept mistakes or be okay with mistakes, nope I am saying: you HAVE to make them. If you don’t make the mistakes, if you never do anything ‘wrong’ you’ll actually learn a lot less. So give yourself the freedom to make glorious amazing beautiful mistakes and messes, and celebrate them! They are awesome teaching experiences and will help you become a better artist. PS. You can take this further to not even seeing mistakes as mistakes but just as ‘learning experiences’ and fantastic opportunities for growth (there are no mistakes). :) (Edison, inventor of the ‘light bulb’ used to say:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
It’s all about mindset & re-framing this one dear friend. You have this. You can do this.
3. Time. Explain to your inner critic the concept of ‘time’ and how everyone needs it to develop a skill. Ask her kindly to give you some space and time to develop your skills. It takes a baby a whole year (or longer) to learn to walk, you wouldn’t tell it after a week of being alive to ‘walk perfectly already’, you would give the baby the gift of time. Very few people in this world were able to make a masterpiece the first time they picked up a paintbrush. Most people that can paint pictures you like the look of worked hard, slogged hard, faced their fears, allowed mistakes to happen and kept going. If you notice that you really really want to hurry up already being able to make masterpieces NOW YESTERDAY, you want to take some time examining where the urgency is coming from for you and sit with that, allow the feelings and needs to arise and get to know for yourself why it’s so important you want to hurry the process.
4. Compare your work to your own previous works to determine progress but try not to compare your work to other people’s work. We’ve all heard the expression: ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ and I agree if you compare your work to other people’s works. Allow yourself your own journey on the creative path. I know there is a difficult, sometimes confusing line between letting other artists/ people inspire you and you comparing yourself/ your own work to theirs, but try as much as you can to look at the development of your own work by looking at your previous works. You can gain great satisfaction from seeing how you are learning new things and how your paintings have developed so much. And you can show the inner critic your progress. Remember: don’t compare your beginning to someone’s else’s middle, that is like comparing apples to pears, is misleading and discouraging.
5. Examine what you’re doing it all for. If you notice you are creating for the approval of others (which is understandable, we all love to be loved and liked), try with your hardest might to redirect your focus to creating for the sake of creating and what it brings you. If we are creating for the sake of ‘other-approval’ the inner critic is usually a LOT LOUDER in her criticism than if your intention is to simply create because it lights up your heart and soul.
6. Do not equate your self-worth to your abilities/ skills. You are perfectly whole. You are an awesome expression of the universe. You are worthy and good enough just as you are right now. Your worth does not increase if you make amazing paintings and your worth does not decrease if your paintings don’t impress anyone. There is no relationship between your worthiness and your abilities to create a nice painting. None. Zero. Zilch relationshippo there. Be VERY clear on pointing this out to your critic (and your parents and teachers before your inner critic ;)). If you think that your worth is dependent on your skills and abilities, your inner critic will be terrified of making a ‘bad painting’ because ‘bad painting’ means ‘bad you’. Total nonsense. But sit with that one for a bit, many of us have ‘abilities = worthiness’ confusion. Took me years (and still working through it now) to not equate my skills/ abilities to my worthiness. :) By realising that no matter what you produce art-wise you are still loveable/ worthy and good enough, you can create much more freely. (An added note: deepening your personal relationship with your version of ‘the divine’ can help with seeing your innate worth).
7. Lower your expectations. Avoid starting with the expectation that you will make a master piece. This expectation can be paralysing to begin with, but even if you managed to start with an expectation like that, your inner critic will be watching over your shoulder every step of the way commenting/ criticising every move you make. This is stifling to your creativity/ freedom/ courage to explore. By lowering your expectations you give yourself space to breathe, explore and be free, with a higher likelihood of producing a nice painting. Which brings us to the next point:
8. Focus on the creative journey not the end-result. Don’t get me wrong here, I LOVE it when I end up with a painting that I adore! Of course! It’s a real buzz. BUT, I find that if I start off with the hope and intention to make an amazing painting, I don’t enjoy the journey there. I often want to rush through it and I miss the entire point of the creative process: the journey there. The journey, it’s all about the journey, and if you allow yourself to enjoy the journey and be free on that journey, you are more likely to end up with a pleasing painting (though that wasn’t your focus). I find that if I focus too hard on ‘making a pretty painting’, it usually is ‘less pretty’ than the ones where I made the journey my focus. When you focus on the journey, the inner critic, too, can be less critical of what you are doing as it’s all about ‘playing and exploring’.
9. Learn to let go of perfectionism.
Inner Critic Lady is Queen of Perfectionism. She holds impossible standards, sets insane expectations that you’ll never reach so you might as well not even start. Learn to let go of the perfectionist streak many of us possess. Here is a little video on it:
(Right-click on the image and choose: ‘save target or link as’ to download the high res version of this image, copyright Willowing Arts Ltd, please only use for personal use thank you for understanding and being kind).
PPS. If you would love more ideas on how to live a happy creative life and learn how to make beautiful art works, do be sure to join Life Book 2015 (almost 3600 people have already joined and they are having a BALL! :) Even though we started a while back, you can still join, all previous content remains available! It would make me so happy if you joined too! :) See you there! xoxo
To apply the discount simply use the discount word:
Coupon code expires on Monday 3rd March 2015
And here is your free printable:
I made this painting way back in 2007, but I still love it! :) You can print it out for personal use, enjoy!
The Stars Shine for You
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