Today I began the Daily Devotions: A 40 Day Journey with Art Journaling program (#DailyArtDevotions) led by Elizabeth Foley who also led The Art of Spiritual Living Retreat. For today’s #artjournal practice, we spent time creating the container that would hold all of our art journal pages. For the container, we had the option to repurpose an old book. I was at first hesitant, since I am the kind of person who has only just recently started to write in my books (with pencil so I can erase it). But, I found an old book that has been collecting dust in my garage for many, many years, and decided it would be the perfect container for this 40-day journey. I had a great time gluing pages together and adding in watercolor paper. As I was putting it together, I had an idea that I could leave some of the pages as is and create found poetry as a unique addition to the art journal. I am looking forward to getting back the momentum I had built up with Karen Abend’s Sketchbook Revival and Find Your Flow program. I have decided to follow my heart and refocus on my artistic development and set my writing aside again…for a while.
My intention for this next 40 days is to grow as an artist who is committed to discovering and developing her craft and unique style on a daily basis.
Below: A few pages from my new repurposed art journal (drawings are from the original book and are not mine) and a visit from a hummingbird while I was working on it.
For today’s sketchbook practice, I am working on making two handmade idea journals. The bright colored journal will be for immediate ideas and things that need to get done right away, while the more muted colored journal will be for long-term and/or not immediately actionable ideas such as art supply recommendations that I’d really like try some day.
During the #FindYourFlow program, Karen Abend discussed idea journals as a way to help us stay motivated when completing a daily practice. It’s often difficult to come to a blank page so flipping through an idea journal can help to kickstart creativity. I have realized since beginning this journey that I desperately need a way to stay organized with all the ideas and suggestions I’ve been receiving.
I’m part of several courses right now, and I’ve got several different projects going, too. Ideas, recommendations, and suggestions are flowing to me at a high rate of speed, and I’m having a difficult time managing them all. These idea journals will help me to keep everything organized in a color-coded way. It will be beneficial to my daily practice to have my ideas in a centralized place rather than being scattered on scraps of paper, photos I’ve taken with my phone, e-mails, and web and social media posts I’ve saved. These journals will also help me to get these ideas out of my head to free up more space for creativity since I won’t have to use that mental space trying to make sure I don’t forget something.
I am feeling quite fatigued today, so I thought it would be best to return to something familiar and not too taxing. So, for today’s sketchbook entry, I returned to Nina Rycroft‘s #EmojiMe Skillshare class where I picked up where I left off with anger. I also wanted to practice sketching with graphite again rather than my beloved blue pencil. Sketching with graphite was a challenge as was trying to draw an angry face. This took a lot more work than I expected. Happy faces seem to come somewhat naturally to me, but angry faces do not. I had to keep erasing and redoing the eyes and mouths in an attempt to make my characters actually look angry. The characters that did finally emerge are intriguing to me. They have a story to tell which is something that I don’t usually feel with the happy characters that I’ve drawn.
I am very happy that, even with my fatigue, I figured out something to do, and I sat down and did it. Once I got started, my attention was diverted from the intense fatigue I was feeling, and was fully focused on the process of sketching. I have been doing at least one sketch a day for the last 45 days which is quite an accomplishment for someone who hadn’t drawn for years and never even had a sketchbook. I owe my renewed commitment to developing my artistic skills to Karen Abend and the support she offered in her two amazing programs #SketchbookRevival and #FindYourFlow. I am looking forward to seeing where my commitment to this journey leads me.
I thought a lot about what I wanted to do after #FindYourFlow ended. I decided to take Tamara Laporte’s Ever After 2018. It’s a four-month course that covers creating different fairytale characters from new and empowering perspectives. I’m SO excited to take the plunge and commit to a four month program. With the program, I will also be working on developing my own personal style which is equally exciting.
For today’s art, I completed Tamara Laporte’s free #WomanUnleashed session #MermaidVoice. I love what I created today, and it lets me know I’ve made the right decision joining the #EverAfter2018 course.
Today is the last day of the #FindYourFlow challenge, and it is bittersweet. I am proud that I completed all thirty days even under some very difficult and unusual circumstances. I proved to myself that I can do art no matter what and that art does not mean perfection. Another accomplishment is that I have filled my first sketchbook ever!
Sketchbook Revival and then Find Your Flow have set me on the path I’ve always wanted to be on and didn’t know how to get to. Thank you Karen Abend for shining a bright light and showing me the way with ease, compassion, love, and support.
Another unexpected result of the challenge is that I’ve made a blog post every day for thirty days! Another first in my life!
I’m not sure what’s next. Today has been a difficult day physically so I have not been able to do the reflections and make a new plan yet. No matter what I decide, I will keep making art a daily requirement. In the meantime, I have started watching the #womanunleashed videos which have given me much needed inspiration to keep going with this daily practice. I’m looking forward to sharing with you whatever comes next.
Today I decided to create a watercolor celebrating all of us. Another member had shared her piece of heart art to celebrate the completion, and I thought I would do the same. I hold so much gratitude for all the members, Karen Abend, and also Nina Rycroft for her amazing Skillshare videos which were a reliable companion to me throughout these thirty days.
Below is the heart watercolor. I love how, even though they were random, the lines from the watercolor drips found a way to connect the hearts, just like how we all are now connected.
Below is also the paper towel I used as it created its own really cool art.
Much love to you all ❤️
For today’s sketch, I decided to continue with Nina Rycroft’s Emoji Me class and created a character with a surprised expression. Over this nearly thirty days, I’ve gotten quicker with the character sketches and have also been figuring out what artist’s tools work best for me.
I’m still not sure what I’m going to do after the #FindYourFlow program ends tomorrow. I may just start working through the many books I purchased from Sketchbook Revival artists or take advantage of some courses I’ve got waiting for me. My creative mind is on fire and wants to do everything all at once, but I know that leads to overwhelm and then giving up. In the next day or two, I’m going to do what Karen Abend has taught us, make a plan and set an intention for whatever I decide to do next.
What I think I will miss most is the accountability of being part of the group and the thirty-day challenge. Well…really more than those…I will miss the input of group members that have made me feel that what I’m doing is not futile and a waste of time. Sometimes it feels like that when you’re all alone. So I say with the deepest gratitude, thank you to all of you. This has been an incredible experience.
And to Karen Abend, you are a rockstar! I have no idea how you managed to respond to every single post from every single member with thoughtful comments, but you did. You are truly amazing and have jumpstarted the latent creativity of so many of us through your programs. To you I say: thank you, thank you, thank you ❤️❤️❤️
Two projects I’ve been working on are coming to a close – the #FindYourFlow thirty-day challenge and the #StorytellingFlow six-week course. As the end of the month gets closer, I can feel my anxiety rising. What’s next???
There are so many options, and nothing is really calling to me like Sketchbook Revival and then Find Your Flow and Storytelling Flow did. I don’t know what to choose, and I’m running out of time. I don’t want to lose the momentum that’s been created over the last several months. I know I need some kind of accountability in order to stick with my creative practice on a daily basis, but most of what is available to me does not include that essential component. Oh…What to do? What to do?
For today’s daily practice I continued with Nina Rycroft’s Emoji Me Skillshare course. This is a representation of sadness which is right in line with how I feel when I think about the ending of #FindYourFlow. I used Derwent Inktense pencils for the color.
Two more days…sigh…and it will be over. BUT, I will have my first full sketchbook! What an accomplishment!