How to Deal with a Creative Slump

I've been feeling a little down in the dumps.  Inspiration and creativity come and go, comes with the territory a bit.  I found an artist that completely inspired me but at the same time made me doubt what I was doing.  That's all my little protective positivity dam needed to spring a little leak and then a rushing river of negative thoughts came pouring through.  

I needed to make it stop and quickly so I thought about what I would do if this happened and I was still in college.  I would walk up to my professor and I'm pretty sure he or she would say, "What do you like the most about this other artist's work? Break it down and get back to basics."  So that's exactly what I did.  I took screen captures of this artist's work, put them all into a Word doc, printed it out in black and white.  

The thing that I felt the biggest slump about was composition and adding more elements to my pieces.  So I went back to basics, The Rule of Thirds, and I drew little grids over the artwork.  This was so helpful in showing me what I wasn't able to see on my own just by looking.  Bigger element here, smaller complimentary elements here and they are placed here because of where they fall in the grid.  The basics.  Once I worked on that for a bit, I started sketching again and ideas started to flow.  Not immediately but the point is that they did.

Always remember to push yourself, there is always something new to learn.  Even if it is the basics and you have "been there, done that", do it again.  And be kind to yourself.  I think artists have the worst negative self talk, we are brutal sometimes.

What do you do when you get into a negative funk spiral?  

P.S. I get in creative slumps often and I write about my process and how I get through it in my newsletter, The Creative Club. Join today, would love to see you there and you get 20% off your first order as well.

Angel Bird - Watercolor Process Timelapse Talkthrough Video

I love birds.  They are so cute, cuddly and innocent already and then when they are decked out in super cute outfits, I'm in heaven.  I posted a pic of this guy with my Evan Healy cleanser on Instagram, tagged Evan Healy and they reposted it.  That was one of my highlights last week!  

This is my latest watercolor process timelapse talkthrough video of my angel bird from that post.  I share info about how I layer, my thoughts on colors straight from the pan and I really would like to know what you are interested in hearing about next. I go into more depth about colors and color mixing in my Carefree Color Mixing Video Course.

Definitely comment below and let me know if you love talk through videos, art supplies videos, talks about art technique, talks about how to stay inspired, etc?  I can't wait to hear from you!

Have a great day!

Ink and Watercolor Wash Ideas - Mixed Media

I mainly work with pencil and watercolor, sometimes a bit of colored pencil is thrown into the mix as well.  I usually paint on the go because just sitting at my watercolor desk and working can be a bit of a daydream scenario when you have two little kids under 5 years old like I do.  

One of my goals for the last Inktober challenge (creating with ink for the whole month of October) was to combine ink and watercolor for my daily pieces.  That didn't work out because I had limited time for this kind of experimentation and I didn't want to have a ton of unfinished pieces for the challenge.  So, I broke it down here on what inks worked and didn't, but the ones that didn't could be happy accidents for you.  They were for me.

  1. Dr. Ph Martin’s Matte India Ink - an opaque matte ink that is my no. 1 favorite - no smudging
  2. Dr. Ph Martin’s Carbon Black India Ink  - another opaque ink but this is a little glossier than the matte version - no smudging
  3. Dr. Ph Martin’s Sepia India Ink  - a softer option if you don't want a harsh black - no smudging
  4. Dr. Ph Martin’s Pen Cleaner (mine turned black because of cleaning nibs in the bottle) - excellent nib cleaner
  5. Belle Calligraphy Starter Kit - found this at Anthropologie and I love the ink and nib w/holder even if the ink isn't completely smudge proof
  6. Daniel Smith Walnut Ink - this ink has a super soft look because it has various shades of brown when you use it.  This ink is smudge crazy but I let that slide because the brown is so gorgeous.  Could use this over dry watercolor washes as an option.

For a full list of what is in my kit, here is my watercolor set up

Do you know any inks that work well with watercolors?  No smudging, no budging?

Want to get more creative?  Take my FREE Creative Course where you will learn how to be more consistent with your creative practices in 5 days.  Sign up here!

Conquer Creative Challenges

Creative challenges are so necessary.  Nothing lets you explore your artistic growth like committing to a challenge; be it 30 days, 52 weeks, 365 days, etc. When I participated in The 100 Day Project this year, I hadn’t come anywhere near completing a project like that before.  This year was different and one of the things that helped me was finding more ideas by incorporating them from other challenges.  There was a point where I didn’t know what to draw next and I thought I might have to stop participating.  I love learning sites, I’m a member of Skillshare and CreativeBug, so I just knew I wanted to paint a bird but had no idea what to actually draw/paint.  My solution was to look at a prompt from another challenge and mix the two prompts together.  An example would be my bird and a prompt of “birthday” from another challenge.  I added them together with a little story behind it (another goal of mine was to improve my storytelling) and I was on my way.  

I wanted to help other creatives with finishing creative projects they signed up for, personal or community based, so I created a video course showing the tips and tricks that helped me complete my own creative challenge.  

The next community challenge I want to participate in is Inktober, creating art with ink every day in October and I cannot wait!  Happy creating!

P.S. If you are a busy illustrator who needs help with success in your practice and goals, this printable worksheet helps you prioritize your day. You can organize your day, list your goals, make notes, track your habits and sketch daily. An awesome recipe for success, baby steps count. Get yours here!