16 August 2014

How to overcome the fear of the 'blank white page' in 3 easy steps



We have all experienced the paralyzing fear of the blank page. Its white vastness staring up at us, challenging us to make a move. But we can’t, because we have this preconceived idea that the marks we put down on this paper have to be perfect, they have to be beautiful, they have to be worth sacrificing this untouched blank white page.


All of which is not true.

I am often asked about creating backgrounds and building up layers “whats the secret?”

Well, its no big secret really. For me its just about letting go of the need to control the outcome, jumping right in and wiping out that intimidating white expanse.

The process is quick and intuitive, I don’t think about it too much. I know I will be working back into this layer later on, it helps me to not become precious about it. It frees me up to experiment and go with the flow.

I also use unconventional ways of applying colour to the page, again to take away from the fear of ‘painting perfect’ that often comes with a brush in hand.

These three simple steps are the typical of the way I begin any artwork.

Step 1: Add some texture with paint. Use some card to scrape it over the surface of the paper.

Step 2: Use a teabag dipped in warm water to squeeze over the surface, rub it in, hold the paper up and let it run. Experiment.

3: Introduce inks or washes of water colour. Add some pools of water to your page and then drop a splash of ink into the centre of the pool…watch as it bleeds out.


And there you have it – a new and exciting background to start working into and the fear removed!  Maybe this will inspire your drawing/painting/collage to take a new direction too.

Top tip: create several backgrounds at the same time…have a few pages lined up and ready to splash paint on.


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15 August 2014

Five Simple Ways To Ease Self-care Into Your Day


  1. Take some time to think about what self care means to you. If you found yourself with an extra half an hour in the day to do with as you please, how would you fill it? Make a note of these things.
  2. Find that extra half an hour. Make time. Get up half an hour earlier, spend less time checking emails/facebook/twitter (all those minutes add up!) delegate some household chores if you can, organisation is the key. Plan your day with those things you need to get done and write in the time for your self-care activities.
  3. Make a commitment. Stick to it. Even if it means having to say ‘no’ at times. This is the time of day where you make you your priority.
  4. Overcome the thought that it is selfish. Taking time out for yourself should not be a guilty pleasure.  Once you get over this hurdle you will relax into a routine where practicing self-care daily is a natural and rewarding habit. Look forward to it. Embrace it.
  5. Nurture the habit. Be aware of your needs, maybe they will change, maybe you would benefit from introducing a new self-care activity. Be bold, be brave and do what you need to do for you, don’t be afraid to keep your routine fresh, new and most importantly rewarding to you. This really is a habit that will flourish if nurtured.

How do you ease self-care into your days?

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13 August 2014

My Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Start Nurturing Your Wellbeing With Creativity



I know that writing and creativity are catalysts to healing and today I am going to share with you three reasons why I believe this to be true.


1 – To gain clarity (in the present and for the future, while acknowledging the past)


I have always kept an ‘art journal’ in one form or another, sometimes just pages of scribbles and doodles bundled together with string, other times a bursting at the seams diary full of words, drawings, photographs, findings and keepsakes.

In the beginning I didn’t know why, it just felt natural and like something I needed to do. They weren’t for anyone else, just me. I now know that telling my story in this creative way mattered. It still matters now.

Telling your story matters. It matters to you. Or it will matter to you one day, even if you don’t know it yet.

You don’t have to ‘literally’ share your story with anyone else, but you must still tell it. Parts of it, even. Creativity has a gentle and honest way of introducing you to yourself in its process.

There is so much to be gained from looking back and realising how far we’ve come, what we have learnt. The process is not only helpful to us in the present moment of creating and telling the story but it can also be a strong and honest teacher to us in the future.

2 – To push your boundaries and grow (step outside of your comfort zone)


For me, the creative process is almost magical. It forces us to show up to start with, then sneakily it pushes us to explore, to take risks, to make mistakes, to start over, to embrace the happy accidents, to work with the flow and not against it. All the while encouraging us in that safe place to do those wild things.

Creativity empowers us and most of the time we aren’t even aware of it happening.  

When we start to look back at our creative works and practice we see our journey, we see our growth. It instils a sense of trust and knowing, while reinforcing beliefs for the future that ‘I have come this far with my brave life…anything is possible’.

Art journaling can also guide us in understanding our needs, setting our goals for the future, it’s a safe place and a safe practice that allows us to be honest with ourselves.

3 – To look at yourself with kind eyes (you do not need to judge)


Being creative encourages you to spill yourself open. To put yourself ‘out there’. It holds you accountable for your truths. It helps you see yourself from a new perspective. Most importantly, will not judge you.

The creative process will stretch you and introduce you to yourself but it will not judge, only encourage you to look at yourself with kind eyes.

Being creative does not have to mean producing a finished and beautiful page. Measure the success of your creative practice by how it feels to you.

When the truth comes out and you recognise those truths as part of your being, you will see yourself. Truly see yourself. 


What unexpected benefits have you experienced through creativity? I'd love you to share your story in the comments below.

PSSST! ...If you're ready to start nurturing your wellbeing with creativity why not sign up to receive my Un-tethered Living Guide or register for my FREE online 'Unearth Your Creativity Workshop: A brave beginners guide to creating visual diaries'.
 
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07 August 2014

The Interlinked Parts


Yes, my journey may seem sporadic 
and wayward to some
But
in its diversity 
and 
tangled parts
there is a cohesiveness
the invisible ties that hide under
they are part of each other
they work together
they feed each other
the interlinked parts




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03 August 2014

6 Brave Rules for Un-tethered Living



1. Letting go is not quitting. It is recognizing when holding on is holding you back. It is finding comfort in accepting those things you cannot change.

2. Look for beauty in the ordinary moments of life. It is everywhere. Seek it out. Breathe it in
Embrace it with gratitude.

3. Listen to the whispers of your heart. Act on them. Be true to you.
 

 4. Take care. Of your mind, your body, your creative soul. Make space, make time for self-care. Daily. 

  
5. As often as possible. In small doses. Connect to yourself in this way. Explore. Share your story. Get messy. Make mistakes. Revel in the process.

6. Don’t be afraid of change. Don’t stay stuck. Accept it, learn from it, grow with it. 




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The Creativity Consciousness Shift

 

 I believe we are all born creative beings and remain creative beings, but somewhere along the way we lose this knowledge of ourselves. 

 

At times and very recently I have experienced a disconnect from my creative self. Sometimes life just gets in the way. Or I have let it get in the way and lost sight of why I create. Forgotten the feeling that creative wild abandon brings. The losing of hours on a Sunday afternoon as I become absorbed in pages and paint.

But I have learned to listen to the whispers of my soul, reminding me of my creative calling and I choose to connect or re-connect with my creative self.

And here’s the secret…. Its really very simple to do.

You just have to believe it, know it in your bones that you are creative. That you have your story to share and that there is a place in the world for it.

You need to know it, feel it and then do it.

Our state of mind can control our creativity or more importantly our creative blocks, but we can control our state of mind. I know that when operating from the right mind set we can open up our creative channels and find familiarity and courage in our creative abilities.

All it takes is a simple shift in our consciousness. To know it, feel it and then do it.

Have faith, have courage brave beings and re-connect to your creative self. 

Have you experienced a creative disconnect? Are you re-connecting to your creative self? Please share your story in the comments below, I'd love to read about your creative journey.

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