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!

The 100 Day Project - Art Challenge Tips

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The 100 Day Project (#the100dayproject) is the first daily practice project I have taken seriously in awhile.  Right now I'm on Day 10 (follow @fluximagery on Instagram) and while the project is fun, it is definitely challenging and that is one of the reasons why I signed up.

Here are some things that have helped me along the way with being consistent and enjoying the journey.

Be Prepared

Being as prepared as possible is a HUGE help.  I am making 4”x4” watercolor originals daily and they are for sale.  IE. Day 1 is $1, Day 2 is $2, etc.  When I first wanted to start this, I was going to make 5”x5” illustrations but then I quickly realized I would be burning through a lot of watercolor paper quickly.  So I went with Fluid hot press, 8”x8” watercolor blocks.  Instead of measuring out the 4 inch sections on each sheet from scratch, I cut a 4”x8” template out of sturdy UPS mailer packaging.  This is such a timesaving template and helps me get straight to the painting when I’m limited on time. 

Set a Time

During the week my lunch break is the best time to get my painting completed and it's been working for me.  Once you figure out what time works for you, stick with it.  Be realistic, set a time in your calendar if you must and commit to that time.  Last week was my first weekend of the challenge so I got it done in the first half of the day because once we leave the house as a family, you never know when you will get back home.  The natural light is gone and the day is pretty much a wash for the challenge.  Commit to a time that works, do it, check it off and you'll feel great!

Set Parameters

I am not the best example of this but set some parameters for your project.  Choose the same supplies to use over and over, the same size of art pieces, etc.  It's nice to not have too many variables to make individual decisions about daily and it will help with turning your work into a finished product later if you go that route.  Mine is turning into 100 days of watercolors so far.

Be Kind

Be nice to yourself, for me I committed to showing every painting on Instagram and other social media for 100 days.  This is not easy, I am not 100 percent happy with each painting but I need to keep the negative self-talk in check.  This is the same for you, you can be your worst critic.  There are times when I post something that I think is cringe-worthy and it gets the best response from others.  You never know, if you bring a smile to one person, be happy.  Also remember that this is a learning challenge and no matter what, you learned something.

Connect

Reach out to others who are working on the same challenge you are.  There is strength in numbers and they can encourage you when you see them sticking with it and vice versa.  It’s can be easier when you make the effort to connect to this community that is trying to do the same thing you are.

I hope these tips help you with your 100 Day Project or any other challenge you decide to take on.  What tips have you learned that help you with art challenges?  

Inquiring minds want to know.

P.S. If you need help creating more consistently, check out my FREE 5 day course where you will start making creating a daily practice.  Let's get creative together.  Sign up here!

P.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!

#THE100DAYPROJECT

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I'm in!  I'm so in!  I heard about this project, The 100 Day Project by Elle Luna, earlier this month and wasn't sure if I was going to participate.  100 days of anything is a long time and I don't have a ton of "free" time, etc, etc.  But I do want to grow, I do want to get more consistent, etc.  

So here we are, The 100 Day Project is a project where you do anything for 100 days.  Pick something and do it consistently for 100 days.  I am going to focus on daily small watercolor paintings, 4"x4" and they will be for sale.  In order to purchase one of the 100, you need to subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Instagram (@fluximagery).  The pricing will correlate with the day, IE. Day 1 is $1, Day 2 is $2 and so on.  I'll be selling them as "custom orders" via my Etsy shop.

Follow me on Instagram and type in the Instagram post comments "Day _" and whoever is the fastest is the winner. When a painting is sold (and newsletter subscription is confirmed), I'll update the Instagram post with "SOLD" in the description.  I will be shipping* out the paintings once a week (Saturdays or Mondays, or a mix).  The paintings will be sandwiched in between bristol board in a 5"x7" envelope.

One last thing, if you are a lucky winner, I would love it if you would post it in your Instagram feed and tag me (@fluximagery).  That would be amazing.  My custom hashtag is #100daysoffluximagery and the project hashtag is #the100dayproject

A couple of my watercolor friends are joining in the fun too!  - Christie Drahnak and Randi from Moon and Skye.

*shipping of paintings in U.S. only, can't afford international shipping coins right now. :)

Check out my Conquer Creative Challenges course!

5 Watercolor Brushes I Love

I tend to paint small, 4"x6" was my largest size for awhile.  For the past few months I've been breaking out of my shell and I'm now at a full 8"x10" painting.  As a result I am painting with bigger brushes along with my ittybittys and I'm obsessed.  

Here are my top 5 and a bonus:

  1. 00 Winsor & Newton Cotman - teeny tiny for little details

  2. 2 Round Princeton - rounds are very versatile and you can use them for just about anything

  3. 2 Da Vinci Maestro - another round that is a great one for washes on smaller paintings or details on larger ones

  4. 2 Grumbacher - Flat edge brush for any sharp edges, a beak on my birds or squares, etc.

  5. 8 Princeton Elite - a larger round brush for bigger washes

  6. Bonus* - 3/4 Grumbacher 680 Mop (can’t link to exact one, this one goes to a nylon bristle version) - versatile because of the rounded shape and the size holds so much water, can get a lot out of it without re-wetting the brush

Little tip, the bigger the brush, the more water and then more time for color play in the washes.

Do you paint big or small?  I posted a YouTube video showing these brushes as well as some of the swatches/marks they make as well.  

Here's a list of my favorite supplies.  Whatever your preference, I encourage you to try something new and see what happens.

If this was helpful and you are interested in learning more about watercolor, take my online instant access watercolor course right here. Can’t wait to paint with you!

P.S.

I would love it if you joined my list, the Creative Conversation, to hear more about the supplies I use, exclusive studio sneak peeks and more.

P.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!

Watercolor Experiment Video

I hope your 2015 ended with a bang and your 2016 is looking like a promising and fun filled year.  I've been working on getting looser and out of my head (so many critical thoughts while painting), so I have been painting these watercolor swatches and drawing over top with a thin micron pen (.03).  It has also helped me work on things I want to, like drawing hair.  Pretty fun and I encourage you to do the same!  I have about 10 other drawings like these on my Instagram account which is @fluximagery.  I even snap on SnapChat from time to time at @fluximagery.

Hmm, what else......I also updated my Society 6 shop with one little print of a pony that you can check out here:  http://bit.ly/ponypack.  If you know of someone you think who would be interested in my art, I'd love it if you shared or tagged them on my Instagram.

I think that is it for now, checking in and I am making strides to check in more often!  This is my sandbox that is begging for me to play in it and I want to share more.  Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Bye bye for now!

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New watercolor illustrations, inking and more.

jcrew bunnies in coats, inktober
jcrew bunnies in coats, inktober
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I've been playing with ink for Inktober (you use ink for the whole month of October), painting with watercolors, putting prints together and just learning always.  If you are interested in learning about inking, I think you should take Jake Parker's class at Society of Visual Storytelling.  This is a site where you can learn from all the classes you want, yearly or even month to month.  It has been a big help for me.

Another help is my littlest babycakes is 8 months old, a bit more independent (little sitter and crawler) so my hands are more free for staying active and in touch here.  My poor poor neglected blog.

But if you follow me on Instagram and/or Periscope, I am much more active there.  @fluximagery is my name everywhere so I would love it if you would add me.  I wanted to pop in and let you know that I have a newsletter now and if you sign up you will be the first to know about blog posts, coupons and the latest news I have to share.

P.S. I launched new prints this week  in my shop and I'm offering 15% off until Saturday, November 7.  Just use code FALL2015!

My Watercolor Supplies.

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This isn't everything, I obviously forgot my paper!  Probably because the day I sketched this I really did forget my paper (whole pad was in my scanner), but my friend Christie met up with me and spotted me a sheet of soft press.

Here is what I bring everywhere so I can paint on the go....or even just downstairs instead of being stationary at my watercolor desk.  Doesn't happen that often right now with a 3 year old and a 5 month old.  Need to be mobile!

  1. My pencil pouch - got it from Urban Outfitters years ago.  Holds my pens, mechanical pencils (.03), long click eraser, brush pens, iPad/iPhone stylus, lead refills and cough drops.
  2. Herschel backpack - I. Love. This. Backpack.  It's so cute and functional.  I almost bought a Kanken one but it has no padding or real structure with my stuff in it.  There is a separate compartment for a laptop but I put my iPad in there, books and sketchpad.
  3. Assorted brushes - I love DaVinci and Sceptre Gold.  Prefer natural hair vs. synthetic.  My brushes range from 00 (super tiny) to 8.  I work teeny tiny so small brushes are my jam.
  4. I have a travel watercolor paint case with a mix of tube paints inside.  I love Winsor Newton professional, Holbein and when I run out of these I think I will try to get my hands on Schminke.  Can't justify buying a set right now...but it is very tempting.  Next month is my birthday month after all.  I am hopeless.
  5. A rubber portable cup for my water  - It folds up and it's amazing
  6. Paper towels - I don't take the whole roll, just about 5 or so sheets.  They are a life saver for mopping up mistakes, drying my brush and adding effects.
  7. Paper (not pictured) - I love pads and cold press (some texture) is what I use, soft press (light texture) and hot press (no texture) are turning into my favorites though.  Fabriano is my number 1 choice.

Seeing the supplies of others is a guilty pleasure of mine so I thought I would share some of mine.  Here's a list of more of my favorite supplies and resources.

Have a great weekend!

Deconstructed Mason Jar Salad Video.

Meal preppin' is working out smashingly!  This week we have had home-cooking every day and for two of these days Raul and I ate mason jar salads for lunch.  This time the salads consisted of Italian dressing, shredded carrots, thinly sliced and chopped cucumbers, sunflower seeds and spinach.  Good.  Stuff.  So of course I had to paint another jar salad painting.  This one is very yummy with strawberry, dried cranberries, poppy seed salad dressing, romaine and spinach.

Delish, let's see how long we can keep this going.

Let me know if you try any of these "recipes", would love that.

Flower Girl Watercolor Video

I had some technical difficulties with getting this up but better late than never right?  It's a little quieter than usual video but I hope you hang in there.  The raw footage has Zoe crying and Addison talking but it is all muted by movie magic.  You will see Addy's hand pop in for a few seconds.  She was pointing to all the colors saying, "are you going to use this one? this one? this one?"  My cuties, wouldn't have it any other way.

Flower Girl is now in my shop.

May MATS Bootcamp - Marine Mashup

The MATS (Make Art That Sells) assignment for this month was a marine mashup of marine life and pattern for a plate design. I focused on the following crustaceans: shrimp, crab and lobster. I researched online, looked in my marine life book, doodled and sketched them first. Part of the instructions in the mini was to illustrate the crustaceans in a dark color and then work on vibrant patterns as well. Even though it is the biggest sin ever to use black watercolor (ivory), I used it for this because I was using it by itself and not mixing with other colors to get a dark shade. I discovered I love working with it and it was fun to work with pure values, black and white.

So once I got that done I worked on my patterns. I used my compass to draw circles and then I painted the backgrounds using cool toned sea-glass colors. Lastly I painted the hand lettering as well. I scanned in all of my elements at 600 dpi and once I got the compositions the way I wanted them, I merged them together in Photoshop. I completed the finishing touches as a mock-up design using this tutorial. I love my final result and if any of my favorite stores like Anthropologie or Crate and Barrel are interested, it would be a dream come true to stock these in your shops. Just sayin'.

Hope you're having a great day!