Blog

/Blog/

Take It Slow

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Click through to get this free inspirational printable PDF!

Here’s a free printable PDF for you!

Do you want an 8×10 hi resolution copy of this inspirational piece that you can print out and frame for yourself (or a friend)?  Just click here and you’ll get access to my resource library that includes this freebie and a bunch of other juicy stuff I know you’ll like.

Take it slow, friend.

Love, Steph

June 24, 2016|Art Stuff, Quick Inspiration|

5 Social Media Graphic Elements That Will Attract Your Creative Tribe

Click through to learn the 5 Social Media Graphic Elements

Click through to learn the 5 Social Media Graphic Elements

I love creating graphics but doing this might feel like learning a new language for you. I totally get it!

I want to help you out with a few design hacks that can make creating these little artsy graphics easier.  So whether you make the designs for fun for your social media profiles or for promoting your blog/artwork, you’ll feel good about what you’re putting out there.  It’s not as hard as it might seem, so let’s get to it!

Simplify the text you use.

Remember the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words”?

Well friend, let that be your mantra when you’re deciding what to say in your visual.  There’s nothing worse than a cluttered graphic that you can’t read!  And besides, you don’t need to tell your viewer everything in the graphic, it’s just to whet their appetite.

Best practice is to use text that contrasts with the background (and not a lot of it): use light text on dark backgrounds or dark text on light backgrounds.  If you stick to the title, it will make your reader curious for more and hopefully they will click through.

 

Click through to get access to my free library of helpful tools, including this worksheet on how to create a good graphic!

Use pictures to tell your story.

How to add an isolation coat to your mixed media painting. Use this technique to protect your artwork!There are so many ways to say something, especially with graphic images.  Use your imagination and create different ways to send your message!

Experiment with quote visuals (overlaying a quote on a background of your own art or a picture you took) or flatlay pictures of items that link to your message.

Do whatever feels fun and right to you–if you put your heart into the message others will feel that and will want to share it. That’s how you create fans. 🙂

 

Keep the message clear.

We're all tender, be kind. Click through for 3 easy ways to get into the kindness mindset.

Don’t you hate when you get overwhelmed on a blog post from too much information and just click off? Yeah, me too.

Don’t bombard your audience with a lot of thoughts or actions–stick to one simple principle and it will be much more memorable.   And if you’re not sure what you want to say, here are 3 easy options to use that will get people thinking about you without scaring them away:

-Offer a solution to a problem

-Show them how to do something

-Tell a relateable story

 

Show them who you are.

My defunct studio

A picture of my defunct studio that I shared on my blog.

Don’t be afraid to get personal!  Everyone loves a peek behind the scenes to get to know the ‘real’ you.  Show them your funny/silly/weird side and they will love you even more.  Let that freak flag fly, girl!

Are you an artist?  Show a picture of a work in progress or of your messy studio.  Are you a designer?  Show them how you come up with your ideas before they look perfectly staged.

Everyone is a secret hot mess inside!  If you show your audience a little of that messy side, they will relate to you even more.

Be Consistent.

If you want to attract people to your home online, create a style that they can recognize.  The best way to go about this is to pick 4 or 5 colors and 2 or 3 fonts, and use them consistently in your graphics.  If you scroll through pinterest, you will recognize people just based on the images they post– they usually have a similar style with variations in color and information.  Their consistent branding method is a great way to get recognized!

Click through to get access to my free library of helpful tools, including this worksheet on how to create a good graphic!Love, Steph

 

 

May 18, 2016|Art Stuff, Canva|

Do All Things With Kindness

Click through to get this free inspirational printable PDF!

Here’s a free printable PDF for you!

Do you want an 8×10 hi resolution copy of this inspirational piece that you can print out and frame for yourself (or a friend)?  Just click here and you’ll get access to my resource library that includes this freebie and a bunch of other juicy stuff I know you’ll like.

Love, Steph

P.S. Are you struggling to create easy, beautiful graphics for your home on the web?  I SO have you covered, my friend!

Get notified when Canva For Creatives is available!

May 17, 2016|Art Stuff, Canva, Printables, Quick Inspiration|

My Top 5 Favorite Art Tools

Click through to see my 5 favorite art tools right now. They're more simple than you think!

Creativity comes in many forms for me these days, but my preferred way of making art is to use acrylic paints to create mixed media art on canvas.  I generally start with painting abstract backgrounds because it’s a fun way to slap some paint down and let my creative tendencies flow without the fear of making a mistake.  It’s so freeing!

After I get the background to a point that I like, I start to think of the next layer–it’s usually a character, animal or a sentiment.  I can’t say that I usually have something specific in mind to layer on top when I start, it just comes to me after that first layer of paint.  The color + vibe of the whole thing inspires me for the general message that’s coming through.  It’s a lot of fun to flow like this:-)  And for the times I do get stuck, I just start working on another canvas to keep the flow going (and let the other one dry).

So in this process, there are a lot of different tools that I use; some are traditional, some are everyday objects (paper towels, anyone?)  I try to keep circulating tools so that I get new marks + visuals on my paintings and don’t fall into the rut of the same old look.  There are some old stand bys that are the foundation of my art making, here they are:

Spray bottle: So simple, right?  It’s an amazing way to create drips, soften colors and even remove something entirely.  It’s an easy tool that can change things in an instant.  Who doesn’t love spraying with abandon?

Paper towels: Again, a really simple tool, but man does it do some great things!  I use them to blot, blend and absorb color.  Sometimes I use them to apply paint back on the canvas, too.  The patterns of the paper towel end up in the final pieces a lot, and it offers simple variation to the background.  #winning

 


Foam brush:
I got this tip from painter Flora Bowley when I saw that it’s generally the one brush she used to paint most of her paintings!  I figured there must be something to it, and sure enough it’s a pretty cool tool.  The foam brush is great particularly to use on bigger pieces because you can cover a lot of ground with a few swipes.  They’re great for blending and making patterns + marks, too.

 

Stamps + stencils:  I absolutely LOVE stamps + stencils.  They can give such great dimension to any painting, and can also create an overall interesting feel for the piece.  I use a lot of pattern stamps so I can use them in a row to create a line or use them a few times around the piece at different angles.  I also love using letter stamps to create the sentiments on my pieces.  Combining the different style letters gives a little bit of an ‘off-center’, whimsical feel.  And to clean the stamps?  I use baby wipes.  Yes, baby wipes!  They are my total secret weapon in making my art.

Palette Knife: Not only can you blend paint colors together with this nifty tool, but you can also paint with it.  On bigger canvases, it’s a great way to smear, smudge + scratch paint into the canvas.  Different sizes and shapes will give different appearances–it’s fun to experiment with them all!

 

 

SO where is the best place to get all of these items?  You can pick up the general things at your local store like Target or Walmart but for the art specific tools, you get the best deals from the online shops:

Amazon>>>>AC Moore>>>>Michael’s>>>>Dick Blick>>>>Jerry’s Artarama

Happy creating!

Love, Steph

P.S. My favorite bonus tool? Canva.  I know it’s not a traditional art tool, but man is it an amazing way for me to display my art!  I use this cloud based program to create graphics for my online world (blog + social media) and I even incorporate my own backgrounds into the design.  Are you looking to learn how to create your own graphics, too?   I have you covered–my course, Create In Canva, is especially for you so come take a peek.

Get notified when Create In Canva is available!

May 3, 2016|Art Stuff|

You Are Amazing

Click through to get this free inspirational printable PDF!

Here’s a free printable PDF for you!

Do you want an 8×10 hi resolution copy of this inspirational piece that you can print out and frame for yourself (or a friend)?  Just click here and you’ll get access to my resource library that includes this freebie and a bunch of other juicy stuff I know you’ll like.   Always remember–you are amazing!

Love, Steph

P.S. Are you struggling to create easy, beautiful graphics for your home on the web?  I SO have you covered, my friend!

Get notified when Canva For Creatives is available!

 

April 25, 2016|Printables, Quick Inspiration|

How Color Influences Your Audience

These are a series of helpful hints on how to do something art + growth related. Come over and take a peek!

This is a series of helpful hints I want to share with you that I’ve learned along the way in my art journey.  For more How To’s click here.

Want to know how you can influence your audience with a simple color choice? Click through to learn about complimentary colors and get a free PDF color chart!

When was the last time you were really drawn to a piece of artwork or a graphic?

Most likely the color combination they used made you feel a certain way.  It’s a nifty little trick you can use to attract your audience too!

I’ve always been fascinated with color and how it can affect even the simplest of things.  I’m a big fan of black clothes because it makes getting dressed so easy but when it comes to painting and social media?  The more color the better.

But what if you’re a newbie and don’t know how to blend one color with the other to create the mood you’re looking for?  It’s something easy to learn and it becomes second nature after a while; let’s start with the basics.

Red, blue and yellow are primary colors.  All of the other colors are a combination of these three.

When you mix red and yellow, you get orange (see in the wheel below how it’s in the middle of those two colors?)  Mix blue and yellow, you get green; mix red and blue, you get violet. All of these colors that are produced–Orange, green and violet–are called secondary colors because they’re made from the primary ones.
Complimentary color wheel colors

If you look at the wheel, the complimentary color is whatever is across from it.   Complimentary colors go well together because they don’t share any common colors but create contrast and interest.  Some people say that using complimentary colors seems to makes the image appear like it’s vibrating. #Whoa.

But something to keep in mind when you’re using complimentary colors is: don’t give them an equal 50/50 distribution because that can feel a little obnoxious to the viewer–pick one dominant color and then use the other for accent + contrast.  So the breakup tends to be more like 80/20 in an image, or even 90/10.  Just a touch of contrast can be very powerful.

Want to know how you can influence your audience with a simple color choice? Click through to learn about complimentary colors and get a free PDF color chart!

So why does all of this matter?

When you’re creating something to convey a message to others, whether it be through your art or a social media/blog graphic, you want to take color into consideration.  People inherently react emotionally to images, even if it’s just a simple color. And depending on the message you want to send, you can pick your colors accordingly to create the emotion you’re trying to convey.

Here are some common perceptions/meanings of different colors:

  • Red: affection, power + sometimes fear
  • Orange: comfort, warmth + motivation
  • Yellow: Joy, Happiness + Confidence
  • Green: Balance, Harmony + Health
  • Blue: Calm, soothing + sometimes cold
  • Purple: luxury, mystery + spirituality
  • Pink: compassion, caring + understanding
  • Brown: structure, security + protection
  • Black: control, independence + sometimes evil
  • White: purity, innocence + cleanliness

So say you want to make a graphic for your blog post, titled: “5 Ways To Love Your Life More”.  You want to attract people that are interested in enjoying themselves + are interested in growing from your tips; these people will probably will be a little more open minded, yes?  If you look at the right half of the color wheel–those are the warm colors.  These colors tend to exhibit energy, passion and joy.  They exude “warmth”.  The left half contains the cool colors which give off the feeling of calmness and professionalism.

From this insight, you’d probably want to lean more towards using the warm tones for your graphic–maybe a peachy/orangey background as the dominant color to set the overall tone.  You want to draw people in by making them feel warm + fuzzy and warm colors would do the trick.

Here is a simple visual:

Create simple graphics like this using Canva! Click through for access to Canva For Creatives an ecourse for beginners.
Create simple graphics like this using Canva! Click through for access to Canva For Creatives an ecourse for beginners.

I intentionally kept this graphic very plain to get the message across about the colors used; you can see how you might attract more people to your blog/site who are looking for some comfort if you use the orange toned graphic.  It’s warmer and more psychologically cozy, even with the touch of contrasting color.

And even though the blue toned one says the exact same thing it’s sending a different message, isnt it?  It’s cooler, it’s calm, but not as welcoming because we subconsciously associate blue toned colors with icy, separateness.  Not exactly the warm fuzzy we were looking for 🙂

Of course sometimes our personal preference will override everything, so it’s ok if you liked the blue graphic better!  This is just a basic guideline to show you the difference of emotions that you can create for your online presence.

It becomes a little bit of a fun game to pair up different colors together intentionally–you can experiment by creating 2 different graphics like I did and see which one gets more of a response on your blog or profile.

Just have fun with it!  It’s all a work in progress.

Love, Steph

P.S. Want to dive a little deeper into this topic and learn how to create your own graphics on Canva?  I’m creating an ecourse for beginners just like you!  Click the banner below for more information.

Get notified when Create In Canva is available!

 

April 20, 2016|Art Stuff, How To, Printables|