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Two Weeks of Fun: Join The November Creative Challenge

Join my free 2 week art challenge starting November 1st. Click through for more details!

Everyone had so much fun with the last challenge, I’m back with another one! This one is inspired by daily prompts, so all you have to do is check in each day, read the prompt and let the inspiration flow.

I’ll be posting the prompts in my Facebook group so if you’re not a member yet, come over and join!

Once you’re in the group, you’ll be able to see everyone else’s work each day, which I always find to be pretty inspiring.

You can also use the hashtag on social media so everyone can see what you’re working on (and you can see their work!): #createyourartandlife

This challenge is free for everyone and you just post in the group whenever you can. There’s no pressure to make something everyday–it will just be cool to see how creative you can get with the prompts. This is about having fun and getting our artistic mojo on 🙂

The challenge starts November 1st and goes until November 14th. Just head over to the Facebook group each day and the prompt will be posted. I can’t wait to see what you make!

Love, Steph

P.S. Make sure you post your work in the Facebook group and use the hashtag #createyourartandlife on social media so we can see your stuff 🙂

October 30, 2017|Art Stuff|

Acrylic Painting Demonstration #1

I made my first acrylic painting demonstration and it was so much fun! Short and sweet, click through to check it out.

I LOVE watching painting demos online.  Just ordinary everyday artists in the groove, making it happen–it’s fun to watch because  I love seeing new techniques, hearing their commentary and listening to how they end up making the choices they make.  Kind of like life, the journey is the best part.  I feel like no matter how long I’ve painted or what I’ve learned, there’s always more to know and painting demos help me get there!

Anyway, so after watching a looooot of demos, I decided to try to make one myself.  And you know what?  It was so much fun.  You know what else? I only painted for 10 minutes, took one take of the video and called it a day. So the best part of all of this is that it didn’t take forever to do.  YOU GUYS IT WAS FAST AND EASY!  And you can do it too!

Ok, so you can take a peek at the video below.  I’m posting it in my FB group too, so if you want to give me some feedback, hop on over there and join us in the conversation.  Do you want to see more of these?  Tell me.

Love, Steph

PS: Come join my Facebook Group for Creatives HERE.  We can’t wait to meet you!

July 16, 2017|Art in Progress, Art Stuff, How To|

20 Minutes Of Creating Challenge

Join the fun challenge of creating for the sake of fun! No pressure, just supportive creatives cheering you on to keep practicing your craft. Click through for more details.

Painting and collaging and playing with my supplies have been my favorite thing to do for a looong time now.  In my down time, it’s always been such a great way to unwind and get lost in my thoughts, just playing around and seeing what shows up.

Then I had a baby.  Whoa nelly!  My down time totally disappeared + it’s been quite hard to get back to that relaxed state of creating.   I kind of lost myself in the time when I was adjusting to motherhood and trying to figure out the new version of who I was.  I know a lot of new mothers feel this way, and frankly it probably applies to a lot of life adjustments–divorce, new job, etc–so I know I am not alone in trying to get a grip on the new reality.

I wanted to figure out a way to start creating art everyday, even if it was just for a small period of time.  Because I was putting too much pressure on myself to make something substantial each time I sat down and that scared me into not trying at all.  I had lost the fun part of creating just to create.  Can you relate?

Then I thought of the challenge:  How you + I could get creative together and not worry about what the end product is. Let’s have fun with our supplies for 20 minutes a day and see what we can come up with.  Screw the feeling of making it sellable or perfect for viewers on every platform, let’s get back to the feeling of reckless abandon for the pure act of creating.

And you can share what you create in my private Facebook group made up of other creatives.  (Join here!)  You can also use the hashtag on Instagram so everyone can see what you’re working on: #20minutesofcreating

Yes!  Let’s do this!  We can inspire each other to get back in the saddle of creating consistently.  The best part is: it’s for fun.  Can’t make it everyday?  No problem! Post when you can so we can cheer you on.  No pressure, just fun.

The challenge starts June 5th and goes until July 5th.  I can’t wait to see what you make!

Love, Steph

June 1, 2017|Art Stuff, My Instagram Life|

The Creative Process: What Works For Me

Want a peek into the creative process I use? Click through to read more--It may help you discover your own.

Does the creative process elude you?  I remember when I started taking my painting class, my teacher spoke about his creative process and how it was an integral part of producing actual work.  Because let’s face it, even when you have the time to sit and get to work, the inspiration isn’t always there.  This is where the creative process can jump start things!  Most days I have to refer to a few tricks to make the most of my time when I’m trying to get in the zone.

It wasn’t so obvious to me what my process was in the beginning, though. I had to almost step back and watch what I did as I did it, to figure out how I created my own inspiring environment.

So if you’re not sure of your own creative ways, don’t worry!  I have a few tips to help you figure it out.  The main idea is to focus on the 5 senses: it will help you be really present in the moment and ready to embrace whatever comes up.

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Here is a peek into my creative process and how I use each of the senses:

Sight: I like to be in an environment with visual stimulation to keep the juices flowing.  This can be sketchbooks I keep open to look at now and again for ideas, previous paintings on the wall or some other artist’s work in Instagram that gives me some ideas to adapt into my own. I usually paint in my studio (which is also a spare bedroom right now) so I like to have a lot of color around me to keep me loose and brave.

Hearing: Music playing helps me get out of my own way. I heard once that when you play music while you are creating, it turns off that left brain so that the ideas flow easier.  That makes so much sense, right? The inner critic is silenced a little easier.

Taste: A drink and a little snack nearby helps me keep going so I’m not interrupted!  I love my snacks 🙂  And no one likes to stop the flow in the middle of a good idea.

Touch: I love to keep my supplies within arm’s reach so I can experiment with different markings and materials.  If I don’t have to dig through clutter or an overwhelming amount of supplies. I create more easily.  (That’s probably true for most of us.)  I have standby favorite supplies. but I also like to keep unlikely tools around to mix things up. (spray bottle, bubble wrap, baby wipes etc)

Smell: I once saw a video of  Flora Bowley where she prepped her canvas with a smudging stick.  She said the smell of the smoke and the energetic clearing of the space helped her get focused.  I love this!  I tend to use a candle, but it has the same effect. Smells can bring up a lot of memories, so I make sure the scent is one I love and has a good association.

Another part of my process includes wearing clothes that are comfortable and messy–ones that I don’t worry about getting paint on.  I also allow a little time before I create something to think about the inspiration behind my session.  Whether it was a song or a poem or a color in nature that I saw that day, I try to hone in on what brought me to my table to create.  Knowing the ‘why’ makes it easier to break through when I hit a block.

I hope this inspires you if you need help figuring out the creative process; using the senses is a great way to start and you can expand on it from there.  Just keep in mind, it’s a fluid practice and it’s always changing!  Go with what moves you forward at the moment and enjoy whatever shows up.

Love, Steph

 

April 20, 2017|Art Stuff, Habits, How To|

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: Let Joy Be Your Guide

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

When I first started working on this one, I only had a few minutes to put some paint on paper, so I was pretty hasty in my technique.  I threw some colors down and moved it around and needless to say, my lack of focus (and time) showed up in what I created. I ended up kind of hating it and because of that, this page stayed quiet for at least a month, maybe more. *Ugh*  I just couldn’t figure out how to attack it again because it was so choppy looking to me and I didn’t love the color scheme.  But in the end, this piece was a good lesson in not giving up–especially when I’m just at the beginning of something.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

So during the next session, I went allllll in and added a different color palette. I left some of the original colors in the background, but I wanted to move this piece in a different direction than what I started with, so I added some markings and a little piece of collage.  I’m not sure why I picked that piece in the bottom corner, but I saw it, liked it and then just slapped it on. I try not to think too hard when I’m creating and just go with the flow of inspiration. Eventually those little whispers make sense.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Next I wanted to create a spot for my girl.  At this point of creating, I usually don’t know what the sentiment will be or what she will look like, I just put the bare bones down to create space for the next layer of creativity.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

So I added the features, collaged in her dress and added some accents to her hair.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

Then all of a sudden the collage piece in the corner made sense when I saw a little bird in my collection of collage papers.  I love little birds.  I even have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to bird art!  So yes, the bird made sense to nest there in the corner.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

And then the sentiment came to me.  It had a lot to do with the bird bringing me joy 🙂

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

And then here’s the finished piece.

Abstract Painting Art In Progress: See how I create Inspirational art for kids + the kid in you. To learn about art technique + my motivation for creating this piece, click through for a peek. See how paintings evolve from start to finish! Original artwork by Stephanie Martel.

This is in my sketchbook which I’m getting used to working in and slowly starting to LOVE. It’s a lot more portable and forgiving.  No worries about screwing up an entire canvas which is great because more experimenting = more learning.  And I’m totally into that!

I hope you enjoyed this view into my process + If you do nothing else today…just let joy be your guide 🙂

Some Supplies I used:

Love, Steph

 

April 12, 2017|Art in Progress, Art Stuff, New Art|

5 Common Mistakes You Are Making In Your Creative Business

Click here to learn 5 common mistakes creative business owners make and what to do about it.

When it comes to figuring out how to run your own creative business there are bound to be many mistakes along the way.  After all, that’s the best way to learn, right? But there are some common mistakes you can avoid, especially if you’re just starting out, that will save you time and frustration.  Here are some common mistakes that happen and what you can do about it:

1. You’re trying to be something you’re not.

Copying is the greatest form of flattery but you have to show others who YOU are in order for them to connect with you. If you’re copying someone else, your true personality won’t come through and you won’t make authentic connections. Don’t worry about being the funniest, smartest or coolest out there–just be yourself, that’s more than enough.

2. You’re not starting at the beginning.

A beginner’s mind is an open mind–there is a lot of fun to be had with a beginner’s mindset. Sure, it can be scary or frustrating or (insert feeling here) when you’re trying to learn something new but it can also be quite freeing to just say, “I don’t know and I want to learn”. It’s a lot easier to be receptive in a place of humility, than from a place of resistance.  And you’ll learn more information faster, from a beginner’s mind.

3. You take on too much too soon.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your business or creative venture. There are a lot of moving parts when you are trying to set up and run a website, profile, blog or online shop. And hell, it can be freaking OVERWHELMING. But you know what? It doesn’t have to happen all at once. Because you have time, even when you think you don’t.  So take it step-by-step and enjoy the process.

4. You’re not connecting.

There’s no escaping the internet + social media and if you don’t jump on the bandwagon, you will be left behind. The good news? There is a place for everyone, so just a little digging on your part will help you decide where you feel most comfortable. Do you love back and forth conversation? Facebook Groups could be your friend. Are you more into looking at pretty pictures?Instagram or Pinterest may be your jam. Whatever your fancy, there is a place for you. Find your spot and dive in.

5. You hesitate to put yourself out there.

I know when I painted my first abstract painting, I was so embarrassed of my beginner skills that I didn’t want to let anybody see it. I literally said to myself, “I’m never showing this to anyone”. It was that bad!

But I put that painting aside and tried again. I stuck with it–I practiced and painted and painted. I kept trying because I really wanted to get better at it. I didn’t give up and I also didn’t let others influence my process too much. I stuck with what my heart was telling me to paint and I eventually figured out my style (and it’s always evolving!)

Then I slowly started showing others. When I started sharing my work, either on social media or in person, I learned so much from what people commented on–and that would have never happened if I didn’t put myself out there.

So there you have it, my friend. Don’t worry too much about getting everything right, especially at the beginning.  Just keep moving towards your goal and make adjustments along the way.  You can do it!

Love, Steph

PS Are you looking to connect with other like-minded creatives? Join my private Facebook Group here.

March 16, 2017|Art Stuff, Personal Development, The Business of Art|