Artists Trading Cards Project – Your Input Please

Post by Deb Saine (the artist currently known as im2insaine)

Fellow creative and KITC Facebook Group member Kim Hine, had an idea that was sparked by a project I did two years ago that I called ‘The Postcard Project’. Kim’s idea was for interested members of ‘Kick In The Creative’s’ to participate in a similar project. A sign-up for Kim’s project was created soon after.

Debs postcard project

Some of Deb Saine’s postcards

Unfortunately sometimes life simply gets in the way and a few weeks later Kim explained that she wouldn’t have time to see the project through to fruition. That’s when I volunteered to help. Me and my bright ideas, right?

I suggested creating an exchange of what are known as Artists Trading Cards (for more information, simply do a Google search or visit my ATC pinterest board.

After making my suggestion, a number of folks said they were unfamiliar with the exchange and wanted to know how it would work. So Tara invited me to create a blog post to explain it.

But before the details can be ironed out, I need your input:

  • How can we physically share our work with one another?
  • How long should participants spend on each piece of art?
  • What size would work best?
  • Would exchanging a piece of art each month with someone different be doable?

I would love to trade art and would truly love trading art with someone outside of the good ol’ US of A!

So what do you think? If you are interested in taking part and you have any ideas of how we could make it work, would you kindly let Tara know by commenting below, using the contact form or via the Facebook Group?

Thanks for reading! – Deb Saine

Art Kick Sunday – How to Draw a Stylized Circle Face

In this video we try out a fun method to draw a stylized face by starting with a circle and breaking it up into simple black and white shapes. This is something simple that anyone can do. You can also use other shapes as your starting point.

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Ep 28 Creative Chat with Children’s Illustrator Will Terry

Ep 28 Will Terry Childrens Ilustrator

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This week’s guest is Will Terry. Will has been a freelance illustrator for 23 years. After finishing his BFA project at BYU he began working for magazines and newspapers not far from where he grew up in Washington D.C. His early clients include publications such as Time, Money,  Wall Street Journal and Mastercard. He has illustrated around 30 children’s books for many of the top publishers including Random House Scholastic and Penguin. He has created several indie ebooks that have sold tens of thousands of copies. He also co-owns – online illustration classes for children’s book illustrators selling in over 80 countries.

A few of the topics covered in the podcast

  • How Will was first on probation for college in his first year as his work wasn’t up to standard, and how he turned that around and improved.
  • How Will switched from doing his illustration with acrylic paints to digital work and what that transition involved.
  • How and why Will switched from editorial design to children’s illustration
  • Where Will gets his inspiration
  • Will’s top tips for someone who wants to get into illustration
  • Whether an illustrator needs an agent or not
  • Will also shares a funny story about one of his past illustration mistakes

You can find out more about Will on his website . Also at SVS Learn which he co-owns with Lee White and Jake Parker (Inktober) and at his podcast 3 Point Perspective.

Don’t Let Anyone Tell You That You Can’t Draw

not to draw

Recently we heard that the daughter of one of our Facebook Group members had her art put down by her art teacher. But not in a constructive way, in a way that made her want to stop drawing. When she posted what had happened, many of the group said that similar things had happened to them. Ironically some of them now sell their art and one even became an art teacher. Sandra and I have both had similar experiences with people putting our work down and we shared those experiences in one of our podcast episodes ‘Dealing with Negative Feedback.’

Here are a couple of things we’ve dealt with:

My own experience happened when I had nearly finished my graphic design course at college. I went to a company that a tutor suggested I visit. They told me “I don’t think you’ll make it as a graphic designer, if you’re lucky you might be able to get a job in a printers”. What use was that to me? None, whatsoever. It was demoralising and pointless. Why not say, ”I would suggest you work on X. Here’s a couple of exercises I suggest you try. This is a good book that will help you (the internet wasn’t around back then). Anyway, I got a job in graphic design quickly after that. Way quicker than many of the other students.

When Sandra was learning how to paint she received an email from another artist. It pulled apart her painting, listing everything that was wrong with it… in bullet points! She hadn’t asked for criticism and this was not constructive. Fortunately, she got over it. And if you’ve seen her paintings now, you’ll know that she’s silently blowing a raspberry at that insensitive artist. In contrast, she also received constructive criticism from another artist. He offered encouragement, but made a suggestion on how to improve her composition.

What do they know?

Let’s face it, what exactly does the critical person know anyway? There are so many different art styles out there that it may not be that your art is bad. It might simply not appeal to their taste. And did you even ask for a critique? I can almost guarantee that there are artists’ work that you just don’t get at all, but regardless they are making a fortune. Likewise, there might be artwork you love that doesn’t make much money at all. And if you’re drawing just for fun, then whether they think your art is any good or not is completely irrelevant. All that matters is how creating art makes you feel.

What Criticism is worth listening to?

If the “so-called“ expert does feel that your art is not up to scratch. For example, if your drawing skills are not that strong, there are more constructive things they could say. They could encourage you to practice certain things. They could point you to tutorials and books to strengthen your weaknesses. They could suggest ways of practising or offer you drawing exercises. They could point out where you are going right as well as wrong. Encouragement makes you want to draw more. Unconstructive criticism makes you want to give up.

So if someone criticises your art, think: have they offered me anything in the way of advice that will help me improve? if not disregard what they say, and carry on doing what you love.

Even a Hollywood actress once got negative criticism from a teacher

And remember, even a famous Hollywood actress once got negative criticism from a teacher. They told her that she “might do ok if she was prepared to settle for the fat girl parts.”

Ep 27 Are You Ever Too Old to Start Making Art?

Art Podcast Too Old to Make Art?

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In today’s podcast episode, we talk about whether you’re ever too old to start making art

And the answer to that question is NO.

So that’s it for today, we’ll see you next time!!

No, but seriously It’s a question you hear from older people, wondering if they’ve left it too late to learn. And Sandra remembers wondering the same thing when she started because she didn’t start taking art seriously until she was in her early 30’s… and even then she wondered if she had missed out on too much learning time.

So get your reading glasses on (mine are on already), grab a cocoa, turn up the volume, and we will begin. How do young people today hear with all those background distractions? It’s like being in a disco!

Some of the things we discuss

  • The different reasons you might start creating art
  • The social aspect of art
  • How art can help your mental and physical well being
  • How art can be something you can leave behind for future generations
  • How art doesn’t have to cost much and so can be a great hobby.
  • How being older can make you a more confident artist

Plus we share some of the ideas you all suggested (thank you so much!)

This week’s creative question

This is a question suggested by Deb Saine who is an artist in our Facebook Group
Q. If you could create with two famous creatives- one living; the other, dead, who would they be and why?

This week’s creative podcast question

The best answers will be read out on the next joint podcast.

You can Tweet us your answers @KickCreatives or let us know in the Facebook Group, which by the way if you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend that you do! We will put the question up there and also on the facebook page… and of course, on our Instagram page @kickinthecreatives.

join the Kick in the Creatives Facebook Group

If you have any suggestions for the podcast or our challenges please feel free to get in touch.

Who are You to Call Yourself an Artist?

If you were to look up the word ‘Artist’ in a dictionary, this is what you will find…




noun: artist; plural noun: artists

A person who creates paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.

…So, why is it that so many artists struggle to describe themselves as one… Instead, they might say “I’m a painter” or “I Draw”.

It’s almost as though saying ‘I’m an Artist’ is somehow presumptuous… or even pretentious. But ask a plumber what he does and he will confidently say ‘I’m a plumber.’ It’s unlikely he will say ‘I fix pipes.’

Is it because you’re not making a living from your art? Well, even an unemployed plumber will still call himself a plumber! Is it because you don’t have an arts degree? Well neither do many, highly successful, highly regarded and even famous Artists. Remember, going to art school does not make you a good artist. And not going to art school does not make you a bad one!

Or Is it because you don’t simply don’t feel good enough?

An artist is someone who actively creates… ‘Actively’ being the most important word here. It’s not about the level you are at, because art is so subjective, how can it possibly be measured? And it’s not about whether you make a living from your art, because Van Gogh certainly didn’t… and what would you call him?

So if you are someone who actively creates on a regular basis, then the next time someone asks what you are… just say those words out loud… ‘I’m an Artist.’ Or even ‘I’m an Artist with a day job’…

But if you are the Artist as described in the dictionary, then don’t be afraid to own it!


Ep 26 Get Creative in 2019

Ep 26 Get Creative in 2019 Art and creative Podcast

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Happy New Year (that sounds so weird when I’m writing this in December)

Today’s episode is a round-up of the arty things we’ve loved and what we learned in 2018, plus a look at what we’ve got coming up for 2019.

We want to start by saying that having great art materials does not make you a great artist. Any pencil or pen will do, but they are blooming lovely and collecting them is a hobby in itself.

Some of the art materials we mention

Some of the apps we like

Free Photo Reference

Life drawing Reference

Books and Courses

Things we learned

We also talk about the things we learned last year including:

Sandra realised the beauty of a cheap sketchbook – Not scared to spoil the pages. Plus, how some of the exercises like draw with your left hand and 5 Minute March allow people to be less critical of their own work.

I learned you won’t know you are good at something (or you like it) until you try it and that your creativity can inspire creativity in others. We saw this in our Facebook group

Creative Podcasts we like

We also go through a few of the challenges coming up for next year and we have a brand new question.

This week’s creative question

Q. You are allowed to draw only one more thing in your lifetime… What would it be?

Art Podcast Question

The best answers will be read out on the next joint podcast.

You can Tweet us your answers @KickCreatives or let us know in the Facebook Group, which by the way if you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend that you do! We will put the question up there and also on the facebook page… and of course, on our Instagram page @kickinthecreatives.

join the Kick in the Creatives Facebook Group

If you have any suggestions for the podcast or our challenges please feel free to get in touch.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you use the link to make a purchase we will receive a very small commission, without any extra cost to you. This will help to support our website and podcast. Thank you so much.

Does Practice Really Make Perfect?

We hear it so often, don’t we? ‘Practice Makes Perfect’… But is that really true?

When it comes to learning to draw, practice is obviously a very important part of that, but practicing alone is not enough.

Think of it like this… You are brand new to drawing and you want to be able to draw a face. So, you have a go and it goes horribly wrong. So, you try again, this time it’s equally as bad. But you’ve heard that practice makes perfect, so you keep trying. Somewhere along the way you start finding better ways to tackle certain areas and there is a mild improvement, but it is one step forwards and three steps back. This is a very slow process and you’ve no idea what you are doing wrong.

So what does make perfect?

In order to improve quickly, along with practice must come ‘active learning’. You need to look at drawing books and watch tutorials along the way. By doing that, it will help you to understand the reasons behind what you are doing and you will improve far more quickly than by practicing alone.

Don’t try to run before you can walk.

If you are new to drawing, by starting with a face you are likely setting yourself up for failure. First you need to learn the simpler things, known as the fundamentals. Start with something as simple as a ball. Now watch a tutorial on how to make the ball appear as a 3D form. Then go off and practice that. Once you’ve mastered that, you can try more complex shapes.

Really it’s not about learning how to draw, but rather learning ‘how to learn’ to draw.

It’s easy to be impatient, but by learning those basic fundamentals first, you will be building your foundations. By doing it this way, you will become a much better Artist in the end.

Help! My Art is Getting Worse!

help art drawing getting worse

It’s weird isn’t it, you’ve been drawing and you feel like your work is getting better. Then all of a sudden it’s like your 3-year-old self has control of your drawing arm and made you create the monstrosity you see on the page.

Don’t panic, it’s completely normal, but there are a few reasons it might be happening:

Because you are experimenting

If you’ve been experimenting in your sketchbook, maybe this is why your work looks worse (at least to you). If for example you’ve gone from drawing in great detail to very loose or you’ve changed your style, your work may look worse because you haven’t yet mastered that look. It’s important to keep stretching yourself in this way otherwise in the long term your work will remain stagnant. Although you might find you are taking a step back at the time, experimenting can improve your work in the future.

Because you’ve switched medium

If you’ve switched medium, again you may not have yet got the knack of the different feel to the materials. Even something as simple as switching from a forgiving pencil to ink can make a huge difference to the way your work looks.

Because you switched subject matter

We all have subjects we prefer drawing, from people to landscapes to still life. If you switch to drawing something different, it can do one of two things. Sometimes it injects a freshness into your work, but other times it can take a bit of getting used to. If it’s the latter for you, you might not like what you create at first.

Because you are having a creative block

We’ve spoken about creative blocks in depth in a recent podcast. When you are experiencing a creative block, sometimes you might force yourself to draw. The results can seem laboured and not up to your usual standard.

Because you aren’t drawing consistently enough

How often are you drawing? Drawing and art really is a case of use it or lose it. If you are only drawing very occasionally, perhaps this could be the problem. You draw, but not consistently enough for your work to improve significantly.

Has it really got worse, or are you just lacking confidence?

This is something we find very hard to see in ourselves. Sometimes we create things we don’t like and yet ironically they are the pieces that other people seem to love. So it may not actually be that your work is getting worse, perhaps it’s just different.

Why do you think that your art or drawing sometimes gets worse?

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