Lessons Learned in my Creative Life ~ 2014

Happy New Year Illustration and Greeting

Sitting here surrounded by paper.Step by step instructions on how to improve Me. Things I have accomplished.Things I want to accomplish, Things I need to change. Things I need to do..

I love this process of delving deep into my life and assessing what needs to change in order to move forward. I am very good at assessing, not so good at doing. I cannot lie..change is exhausting.

When I look back at 2014 in all its glory..and failures, I can’t help but notice that a lot of my behaviour is still the same. I still need to change my daily habits in order to move forward.

Daily Creative Life - Julie Hamilton Designs {artistically afflicted blog}

In a nutshell – I think I need to get out of my comfort zone.

Oh, how I love my comfort zone…Nothing that a few glasses of wine can’t tell you.

It will take more than one sitting to figure out my plan of action. I have been jotting things down over the past months, but a plan needs to be formulated in order to execute.

Daily sketch - flower vase

Today, instead of sharing my deepest, darkest fears, I will share some lessons learned in 2014.

Lessons learned..

1. Learning – I love learning, I love new things and I love starting. Unfortunately, while these are all positive, they sometimes lead me astray. I need to focus on one thing at a time. I have too many ideas and I want to get them all down at once. I end up doing a lot of everything. I am good at lots of things, I am not great at one thing. I need to be great at one thing.

2. Focus – explore a theme in its entirety. Make a game plan and follow it through. In art and In life.No more willy nilly half efforts trying to learn handlettering or skate skiing. A commitment is in order.

3. Art – Motifs need to be clean and concise. They need to be read well. All of your art needs to come across loud and clear. Your style, your colours and your brand. In the world of art licensing this art also needs to be commercial. So while I have my style and some quirkiness mixed in, I still need it to be sellable.

4. Opportunity – Sitting here and waiting for people to knock on my door will not have people knocking down my door. I need to be proactive, show my work and actually do some of my own door knocking.

5. Show up everyday – show up, start, create. It may not be great, but all work leads to something. No art is ever wasted. Practice makes better. recognize when rest is needed, but otherwise forge onwards.

6. Time – there is enough time in the day to do it all, it just takes some planning. Map out your day and divide your work into do-able time slots. Concentrate on one task. Prioritize what is most important – do it. Then move onto the next task with a feeling of accomplishment.

7. Uninterrupted workflow – My best work comes with no distractions. Blocks of time creating with no pings, tweets or wandering thoughts. I have tried the Pomodoro technique, tweaking it to be my own. I find these small segments of time useful for starting projects that I am feeling a bit stuck in.

8.  Personal projects – A fun, personal project, be it a daily sketch or a painting a day, with the right hash tag, can get you lots of leverage.Share your work!

9. Agent – I think this was the best decision for me this year. I love the challenge of working to a brief. I love the feedback and  love  the variety of creating from home decor down to digital greetings. They also introduced my work to a whole cast of others that I wouldn’t have had the time to search out. Art licensing is a slow process, but I have faith that it works for those who persevere.

10. Website/blog – keep it updated. I cringe when I look up and know that mine is so out of date. It is YOU! It is your story. Keep it current. (sorry…promise to prioritize this one..)

So, here I sit mapping out my game plan. I have my fingers crossed that I am working in the right direction and doing the right thing. Feeling a wee bit nervous, but knowing in my heart that it is time to move up and onwards.

I have included a few online resources which I pop in to help me on my way. I take what works for me from both and combine them to make it my own.

Christine Kane   Word Of The Year

Do What You Love  New Years Revolution

Write everything down. Share it with your friends and creative partners. Shout it out loud!

Nothing like the world holding you accountable for it all.

Be honest. Have fun.

The Large Print Project on Kickstarter

A little shout out and ask for support for my friend and colleague Deborah Velasquez. Deborah has recently launched her Kickstarter project The Large Print Project 

Deborah Velasquez - The Large Print Project on Kickstarter

For those not familiar with Kickstarter, it is a crowdsourcing, fundraising platform for all creatives. Individuals dream up a project and ask for support to help back their project. It is a successful platform, with 44% of projects reaching their targeted goal to date.

unnamed-5

Deborah is a maker. Her passion is art and design, whether it be hand carving her stamps or  silkscreening her scarves.The goal of her Large Print Project  is to raise funds to purchase the silkscreen equipment necessary to produce larger, multi-color works of art. The equipment will help create and make in larger quantities and help move her creative business to the next level.

Deborah Velasquez - The Large Print Project on Kickstarter

Deborah is passionate about her work. She is a supportive friend and colleague in our design community, always offering up advice or encouragement.

I have enjoyed watching her growth over the past few years.I admire her tenacity. She is always learning and always available with an open mind to discuss new ideas and projects. She enjoys the challenge that art provides and is always ready to tackle a project. This is her biggest one to date!

Deborah Velasquez - The Large Print Project on Kickstarter
Help bring Deborah’s project to life. She is half way there ~ her deadline is December 10th. Backers can donate anywhere from $1 up. The beauty about being a backer is you even receive a little  present in return! Really!  A nice little thank you for your support. (You have to visit her page to find out more!)
Deborah Velasquez - The Large Print Project on Kickstarter
All details are over here on The Large Print Project. I love her video and watching her in action. Always in amazement that she never gets ink on those beautiful rings of hers too!
Thanks Everyone!

time and patience..

I am going to need to read this on a daily basis. My own personal mantra or pep talk. Time and patience are my friends.

I know that I am not the only one out there who continually wonders “what the heck am I doing all of this for?”. This now applies not only to my artwork, but also to my blogging!

I feel like I have been struggling with this question for most of 2011. I spend hours creating. When I am not creating I am planning what to create next. I go for a walk to clear my head and BAM..more images to paint.I see images in my sleep. Its exhausting.

I am feeling like a bit of a crazy woman. My studio is a disaster zone. I spill paint on the floor and I barely wipe it up. I leave my paintbrushes in water overnight.The cap stays off the glue. I dont even know THIS person!?  My poor children have suffered the wrath for less.

I know that I should feel content having discovered my happy place, but the questions continue. Is it really possible to do all of this “work” without a game plan? I am tiring of my daily, left brain nudge, questioning why?

I started blogging because I felt I needed to focus on a direction.It doesnt necessarily have to be the right direction.. A blog about art and inspiration could only add more happiness to my life. It would surround me, hopefully, with a collection of like minded souls. I am not committing to doing anything with my artwork, but lets say I am finally thinking to myself “self, lets make a go of this and see where it leads you.”

So the big beautiful mess continues. The blog will also continue to evolve. I am hoping that a theme will magically present itself… as always, any and all suggestions are welcome. I have a few ideas up my sleeve, but I need to consider them a bit more thoroughly before putting them out there. Until then I can only hope that I spark a wee bit of inspiration and hopefully encourage others out there to take a leap and try something new for themselves.

Find your happy place!