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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|

On Creativity: The Ebb + Flow

The Ebb + Flow of creativity can be frustrating. Click through to see the ways I'm finding my way back to the flow!

It’s been a while since I’ve created in my usual way (painting, collaging + writing) and it feels kind of strange to have been away from it for so long.  I miss my quiet time in front of the canvas but these days of diapers and trying to catch up on sleep, I can’t seem to figure out how to get back there.  I used to take a painting class once a week, I painted in my studio at least one day a week and I wrote regular blog posts to spark ideas, too.  I miss it terribly!

I remind myself that I can still follow my artistic whims, I just need to figure out how and when.  I may not have a block of 2 hours to paint, but I can grab 10 minutes to draw something or connect online.  I have to remind myself that I’m creating a new normal now–I need to be more gentle with myself as I figure out exactly what that is.  I really just enjoy exploring the idea of creativity as a whole and can use that as my guide.  

But what happens when life changes and you no longer have the same amount of time to do what you always did to create?

It’s the ebb and flow that happens with any kind of major change (and little changes, too).  I’ve been here before and found my way back, I know I can do it again.  When I resurface, the starting over point is usually to check in with myself and explore just how things have changed.

I’m still an artist, but I’m different.

Even my space to create is different.  My studio is no longer mine and it’s a disaster, so that doesn’t make it quite so easy to bounce back to painting!  I had to pack everything up and shove it in the corner to make room for the bed we had to move out of the new nursery.  Needless to say, it’s not a very inspiring place at the moment:

Disaster studio

 

But I know it’s not forever.  See those shelves leaning against the table?  That’s my starting point to get back to creating.  Once I put them up, I’ll be able to move my supplies up on them and be able to make room for more organizing!  One step at a time…

Here are a few others ways I’m trying to get back on track:

  • Regularly check in with fellow artists, even if it’s just to see what they’re up to on Facebook.  Inspiration comes at the most surprising moments, doesn’t it?
  • Stand in my defunct studio to see where I can begin to reassemble it (see picture)
  • Make a simple sketch in my sketch book when I have 5 minutes of quiet.
  • Connect with you on my blog again (aha!)
  • Walk through the paint aisle at AC Moore and check out the new products.
  • Write down ideas for future paintings in my phone.  A lot of times this happens in the middle of the night while I’m nursing Marty.
  • Remember to take it one day at a time–the fever to create will come back.

If anything, this time has been amazingly affirmative.  It reminds me why I love to create (to have some type of expression + connect with others) and that it’s not going anywhere, no matter how long the break is.

Love, Steph

P.S. Want to share your own creative journey?  In honor of connecting again, I created a Facebook Group for creatives so that we may encourage each other when the ebb + flow happens.  It’s a very new group, I’d love if you joined conversation.  All you do is put in your details and then request to join the group on Facebook.  I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

April 7, 2016|Life Purpose, Personal Development|

Good Things Are Going To Happen Today

Click through for a free printable PDF of this image!

This is the first in a series of free printable PDFs I’m making for you!

Do you want an 8×10 hi resolution copy of this inspirational piece that you can print out and frame for yourself?  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.   Good things are happening today!

Love, Steph

P.S. Are you struggling to create basic graphics for your home on the web?  I SO have you covered, my friend! Click the image below for more information.

Get notified when Create In Canva is available!

March 25, 2016|Printables, Quick Inspiration|