Does Your Art Tell A Story?

When I have the time, I love to wander around local art galleries. They are a great place to find inspiration and often send me running for my brushes!

Of course there are always lots of paintings to see but some stand out for me more than others; sometimes I might be delighted by a quirky title or maybe a painting finds me asking questions… Better still, both!

But sometimes paintings, however skillfully done can seem a little, well… ‘blah’? Let’s say for example, a painting of three shiny apples in a row… and the artist has stopped at such a dull title as ‘Still Life with Apples’. I mean… what’s so interesting about that?

Why Not Tell a Story with Your Art?

So, what if one of the apples was not green and shiny… what if instead, one of them had a little hole in the skin where an insect had been tucking in? Or what if one of the apples has a bite taken out of it? Perhaps one of them is rolling away…  And what if the title were something a little more fun, like, ‘Not so Still Life’...

There are so many ways to make your art more interesting and most importantly more fun for the viewer. So the next time you run for your brushes, why not slow down just a bit and take some time to think a little outside of the box?

It’ll be fun!

Ep 12 How to Generate Ideas for Your Creative Projects

Ep12 idea-Generation for your creative projects

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Today’s episode is all about idea generation, a topic we love. I have to try and keep Sandra under control otherwise she comes up with bizarre ideas like inflatable knickers (don’t ask!).

If you have ever sat with a blank sheet of paper not knowing what to create, then this episode is for you. You really don’t need to wait for that Eureka moment to have an idea. There are lots of different creative techniques you can try.

Some of the creativity techniques we cover:

  • Mind mapping – but we put our own twist on this
  • How to get ideas out of your everyday life
  • How to use a random word to get ideas – we also try this live to show you how it works – yikes (we don’t even cheat by picking the random words first! )
  • Freewriting – Sandra shares a scary app for this too
  • Sandra talks about how you should carry a notebook at all times, but hasn’t got one when we need one on the podcast 🙂
  • Idea mash-up – Its a bit like making a cheese and potato pie, but completely different
  • Moodboards and White-Boards
  • Poetry and Character Tear-Ups
  • Oh my god I am still writing, and there are more creative techniques we shared that I haven’t even mentioned…get your coffee ready.

We also read out some of the answers to last week’s podcast question asking people what their favourite piece of art is, which reminds me of a bag of broccoli I once bought. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to answer.

This week’s question

What is the best art exhibition or creative event you have ever attended and why?

What's the best art or creative event yo u have ever attended

The best answers will be read out on the next 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.

What’s It Like to Attend Your First Art Workshop?

.Art group

If you’ve been thinking about attending an art workshop, but have never been to one before, no doubt you have a few concerns. I recently attended my second ever art workshop (the first one was more of a very basic watercolour class). I thought I would share some of my concerns before the workshop and hopefully put your mind at rest to give it a go.

Some of the things that were worrying me

  • What should I wear?
  • Would the other people be friendly?
  • How good would the other people be?
  • What materials should I take?
  • How would the workshop be structured?
  • Would I enjoy it?

What should I wear?

As ridiculous as it might seem, I was slightly worried about what I was going to wear. I made a joke Facebook page post about it, asking what I could wear without looking like I’d raided lost and found. Now if I was going to do something at home I would just throw on a pair of old tracky bottoms and an old sweatshirt I hadn’t bothered ironing. But, as I had never met these people before, this definitely wasn’t going to make a great first impression. Comments came in on my Facebook posts suggesting old shirts and aprons. I didn’t have either, so in the end opted for an old pair of combat trousers, an old t-shirt and some walking trainers. Basically, nothing that I would care if I spilt acrylic paint on, but nothing that made me look like a vagrant either. When I got there a lot of people wore similar things with the addition of some aprons.

art workshop clothes

Would the other people be friendly?

I can’t promise that the people at your art workshop will be friendly, but most of them were at mine. One good thing about an event like this is that you already know you have a common interest, ‘art’.  This means you can easily start a conversation. It’s always those first words that are the hardest and after that it’s fine. When I got there one of the organisers showed me where I could sit, where I could help myself to tea and coffee and get water for paint etc. There were about thirty artists in total who attended the workshop. Quite a few were of retirement age, but also some who were anywhere between 30 and 60.

How good would the other people be?

While I am reasonable at drawing, I don’t paint much. I wondered what the level of the other artists would. I needn’t have worried as there was a wide range of abilities. One woman I spoke to said she only ever painted when she came to a workshop. But then there were others, like the lady who sat behind me who had recently exhibited at a local gallery with a friend. The other artists were also very open to sharing advice if you asked. The artist who taught the workshop was very friendly, he must have been about thirty, and reminded me of a surf dude.

What materials should I take?

The workshop I went to was about using acrylics to paint strong lighting. I had some really big tubs of acrylic paint that I had taken out of the loft, but decided I didn’t fancy lugging them around. So I took a very basic set of really cheap Acrylic paints that I had bought from “The Works”. It cost the grand total of £4 for 6 good size tubes of paint in red, yellow, blue, green, white and black. I would never really use green or black straight from the tube, but because of my limited palette I did use the black mixed with other colours.

I was slightly dubious what the cheap paints would be like, but they were perfectly fine for practising. I also bought a few cheap small/medium canvas boards from the same shop. I already had some cheap brushes, paper palette, pencils and eraser, water pot and I took some paper towels too.

A lot of people had table easels, I haven’t got one, although I wished I had. I daren’t sit on a chair as they were cloth covered ones. Me + acrylic paint + cloth covered chair is not a good combination, so I stood and looked down at my painting which hurt my back after a while. So I would suggest taking either an easel or something to cover your chair.

The one thing I did forget, or rather didn’t even consider was taking a table cover.  When I got there everyone was busy covering theirs with cloths. The organiser said I could share her table, but instead, I raided my car for plastic carrier bags, tore them up and covered my table with those.

How would the workshop be structured?

The website had mentioned I little about the structure of the workshop so I had some idea what to expect. It started with a demo at one side of the hall. The artist at an easel with us in chairs surrounding him. He showed us how to create a black and white study with strong lighting.  and then gave us 20 minutes to do something similar. He had a box of reference photos we could use or we could choose something of our own.

After the black and white study, we had another demo by the artist but this time using colour. It’s amazing how quickly someone who knows what they’re doing (and have probably painted the same photo before) can paint. We then had the rest of the day to paint a colour picture, breaking whenever we wanted for lunch. I used the same reference picture of Bob Marley that I had used for the black and white study. The tutor walked around offering advice to everyone as they painted individually.

Would I enjoy it?

The answer was yes. I get a little impatient with paint and so got a little bored with the painting in the afternoon. But it was great to have arty company and meet some local artists.

Have you ever been to an art workshop?

PS: Don’t forget to join our Facebook Group and sign up for our newsletter to get notified of upcoming challenges

Ep11 Creative Chat with Youngman Brown from Your Creative Push

Youngman Brown Your Creative Push

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This week we are delighted to have Mike Young, better known as Youngman Brown on the show. Youngman is the creator of the popular podcast Your Creative Push.

Now Youngman has a lot to answer for, in fact, he is the reason that this podcast even exists. He’s the one to blame when Sandra and I are warbling on in your ear, as we met via Youngman’s Your Creative Push Facebook Group.

Why Mike started the Your Creative Push Podcast

Youngman originally started his podcast because he tried to find a podcast about pushing yourself to be more creative, but couldn’t find one. Mike is a great writer but he found he wasn’t motivating himself to write as much as he wanted to. Originally Youngman was putting out one episode of the show a day, which is quite an achievement. Finding guests, interviewing and editing a podcast takes a huge amount of time and Youngman was doing all that alongside his job of being a poker dealer.

Youngman’s creative projects and challenges

Youngman shares some of the creative projects he is working on including Words plus music http://wordsplusmusic.com/ and Creative Push. He also speaks about some of the challenges he’s taken part in. One was NaNoWriMo – a writing challenge, but Youngman put his own twist on the Challenge. Cramuary was another challenge that Youngman invented himself. The idea was that he would “cram”/do as much work on a creative project (his book) during January as he could. However, it didn’t work out quite as planned which Youngman explains more about in the podcast. Youngman offers his tips for anyone else who is considering taking part in a creative challenge.

Find out more about Youngman Brown

You can find out more about Youngman and listen to his podcast at www.yourcreativepush.com
His writing can be found at www.youngmanbrown.com and WordsPlusMusic at www.wordsplusmusic.com/
The Creative Push facebook Group www.facebook.com/groups/yourcreativepush

Taking Part in a Small Challenge can Lead to Big Things…

Why Take Part in an Online Creative Challenge?

The thing about taking part in an online challenge is that it makes you feel accountable. You’ve told the world that you’re going to do something and so it would be pretty embarrassing if you failed, right?

Think about it… You decide one day that you want to write a book. You decide you will start on Monday (of course) and you are determined that you will write every day until you are done. Monday comes and you are full of enthusiasm! You begin typing and the words are practically falling out of your head and on to the page.

The rest of the week goes well, but then on Saturday, something else comes up. You’ve been invited to a barbeque and you have a ton of other things to catch up with. Oh well, one day off won’t hurt. But it’s a rather ‘lively’ barbeque and you don’t get to bed until late. On Sunday you’re feeling a little fragile and you decide you’ll get back to the book on Monday (of course).

Monday comes and you get back to work, but you’ve lost your flow. Today is a struggle. You carry on regardless but by Thursday, you’re just not feeling it. You decide you need a break and you’ll come back to it when you’re in ‘the right frame of mind.’

A month later, you still haven’t picked up your book.

Okay… Let’s Re-Write this Scenario…

You have always wanted to write a book. Then one day you come across an online challenge where you have to write 1,000 words every single day for a whole month. You get excited… This is just what you need to get started!

On the lead up to the challenge you figure out a rough plot. You work out where it starts and where it ends. You think about your characters and an idea of where your story takes place. The challenge is starting tomorrow and you can’t wait to get started! You ‘sign up’ to the challenge online and you write a post on social media, telling everyone what you’re going to do.

The following day you are raring to go! You write your first 1,000 words and actually quite a bit more as you really feel ‘in the zone.’ The rest of the week goes really well and by Friday you’ve written over 5,000 words. But on Saturday something else comes up. You’ve been invited to a barbeque. Not only that, but you also have a ton of other things to catch up with.

But you know that you have to fit in your 1,000 words somehow because if you don’t do it, everyone will know… You will have failed after the first week! So instead of falling at the first hurdle, you decide to set your alarm for one hour earlier on Saturday. You don’t like mornings, but it’s nothing a coffee can’t help you with. You make the most of this peaceful, undisturbed hour and you get your 1,000 words down. You go to the barbeque feeling accomplished!

The following day you’re feeling fragile. Your head hurts and you feel really tired… But you have to write your 1,000 words. You have no choice! Everyone is waiting for you to post up your word count! Eventually, you pick up your laptop and write your words in bed. You’re a little fuzzy but hopefully there’s some gold in there somewhere.

The following week is much the same. You go through periods of flow and periods of frustration… but one way or the other, you make sure that whatever happens, you write down your 1,000 words every single day. There is no way you are going to fail so publicly.

The 31st of the month arrives and you can hardly believe that you have now written even more than 31,000 words of your first draft. 33,402 to be precise! How on earth did you do it??

You made yourself accountable!

And Here’s Proof That it Works…

You may remember that in February we hosted our own challenge, ‘February Fables’. The idea was to write the first draft of a children’s book in one month.

One of our members, ‘Yardell Perkins’ took on the challenge and wrote a book from start to finish! And not only did he write his book, but he then went on to publish it! Of course the fact that we are even a small part of his success gives us a really warm, fuzzy feeling inside. We couldn’t be happier for Yardell.

We asked him what he found to be the most useful thing about the challenge. He said…

‘The community of help. Being surrounded by people of various experience levels and being able to get some feedback that would be critical but not on the “Gordon Ramsey” level of: “You’re not fit to draw you own mother’s backside!!!” I’ve heard that the mentorship can get pretty cutthroat and damning in certain art circles.’

We also asked him why he takes part in challenges. He said…

‘Three reasons:
1) They’re structured in the sense that you focus on a very specific, or small group, of mechanics
2) Despite being structured, they’re still open and flexible enough to let you run wild with your imagination
3) They’re fairly simple to start and finish, which negates the whole “I don’t have time” excuse.’

So it really is true that by taking part in a challenge you are far more likely to succeed than you are if you go it alone. One of the best parts about it, is that community of people who are all in it with you, everyone cheering each other on!

If you’d like to find out more about Yardell, including where you can connect with him and also read an excerpt of his book, you can do that by clicking this link.

Meanwhile, you can download his book by clicking the link below.

“Crowdsourcers” is here!!!

Ep 10 Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

creative podcast Ep10 dealing with imposter-syndrome

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As a follow up to our episode about dealing with negative feedback, today’s episode is about imposter syndrome.

If you haven’t heard the term before, it doesn’t mean you have to disguise yourself with a pair of googly eyes and fake moustache. Instead, it’s that feeling you get that you get when you feel you shouldn’t be in the position your in. That you aren’t knowledgeable enough to be where you are, even though you have all the expertise and experience that you need.

How to spot if you have imposter syndrome

  • Feeling inferior amongst others in your field
  • A fear of being ‘found out’… or people realising that you’re not really as knowledgeable on the subject as they’d thought
  • Lack of self-confidence and self-belief
  • Procrastination
  • Feelings of self-doubt

Our experiences of imposter syndrome

We share our experiences of imposter syndrome. Sandra talks about having Imposter Syndrome when her art was featured on the front cover of a magazine. Tara’s art hasn’t yet achieved such notoriety, but she did once win a hamster cage, (plus a teddy bear and Star Wars model kit that she forgot to mention in the show 😉 ). PS. she was only about 7. Tara has also experienced imposter syndrome on many occasions, including the time she worked at a design agency and the most amazing designer worked there too – yikes.

How to overcome imposter syndrome

Hold on to your hats, we got some ideas for you here, hint – that was one of them, but you can hear more in the show.

Have you ever had imposter syndrome?

Share your experience in the comments

June Challenges

We give a quick mention to the three challenges we’ve got happening in June:

Copyist June

Replicate a sketch, drawing or painting by a master or from an art book, every day throughout the month. One of the best ways to learn how to draw well is to copy from other artists who are masters of their craft. By replicating their style you will learn a lot.
To find out more about this challenge click here

Cartoon in June

This is a challenge to create a cartoon every single day throughout the month of June. Your cartoon could be a single character, or an entire comic strip! You can use any medium.
To find out more about this challenge click here

Quick Kick June

For ‘Quick Kick June’ – Create a COLOUR sketch in 10 minutes or less. This challenge is particularly suitable for those who have a tendency to overwork their sketches or those who have limited time.
To find out more about this challenge click here

This week’s podcast question

Q. What is your favourite famous painting and why?

What is your favourite painting

The best answers will be read out on the next 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.

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

How to Get More Creative Work Done…

I’ll never forget the day that we bought Sherlock home; that four-legged fury bundle of fun that my husband was so desperate for.  Maybe he was the one suffering from ‘almost’ empty nest syndrome, whereas this time-consuming and mischievous little bundle of fur didn’t necessarily come at the right time for me… or at least that’s what I thought. The kids had grown and it was time for me to make more time for my creativity… to pursue my creative passions more seriously now I had a lot more time on my hands… time that was now being eaten into all over again.

But of course, how can you help but fall in love with them, with their little wet noses and soft sweet faces..? Impossible! And I couldn’t be without him now. Not least because I have found a way that Sherlock can actually assist me in my creative pursuits. There was a time when I religiously walked him twice a day, which I still do… Only back then I would be walking along worrying about all of the things I should be doing, like setting up a new still-life, writing a blog post, preparing a canvas, updating my website… all of the things that go with the life of a serious creative.

How To Make this Time Work For You…

But yay for technology, which now means that I can work as I walk! In fact, taking Sherlock for a walk down the woods twice a day with nothing other than the birds in the background, gives me the perfect opportunity to get things done.

Since co-founding ‘Kick in the Creatives’ my creative load has quadrupled. Tara and I work tirelessly on producing content, preparing podcast episodes, editing, participating in some of the challenges, and of course egging you on, because after all, you are largely why we are doing it! And to top it all, we are still writing our children’s book, which continues off the back of the ‘February Fables’ challenge!

‘Kick In the Creatives’ has become a huge part of my creative life, but somehow I needed to find a way to fit it all in on top of everything else. And as unlikely as it sounds, one of the ways I do this, is during my twice daily walk with Sherlock.

But How Can I Possibly Get my Work Done While I’m Walking the Dog?

Sherlock

Oh, the joy of dictation!

Now whenever I walk out of the door with Sherlock, I look at my ‘to-do’ list and think, ‘How can I make use of this time?’ Of course, sometimes it’s important to do nothing other than walk to clear my head, but mostly walking the dog has now become a very valuable pocket of time indeed.

This morning, I knew it was time to write a blog post. And instead of having to ‘carve’ out some time during a busy day to sit at the computer and do this, I wrote it while I was walking… Or rather I ‘spoke’ it while I was walking. Yes, everything you are reading right now was ‘spoken’ as I walked the dog. By the time I get back, it will be just about finished aside from a little editing, which will no doubt be essential as Siri often throws in some very random and often quite amusing typos!

I have to say that when I do it this way, it often sounds a little bit more like the ‘real me’ whereas when I write, sometimes it doesn’t flow quite so naturally because I have more time to think about what I’m going to say.

And by the way… In case you are wondering how I dictate, I simply use my iPhone. I open my ‘Notes’ app and instead of typing in the words I just speak as I walk. Then it’s a simple matter of ‘Copy and Paste’. Easy peasy. Job done!

And it works for lots of other things too. For example tomorrow I will start writing, or rather ‘speaking’ my podcast notes as Sherlock enjoys exploring… So thank goodness for Sherlock who has unwittingly given me the opportunity to embrace the silence and make some noise, twice a day, every day. They say where there is a will, there’s a way. Who would’ve thought that my way would come with four legs?

Ep. 9 Dealing with Negative Feedback

Ep9 dealing with negative feedback

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Today we are talking about dealing with negative feedback and we’ll be sharing some of our personal experiences. Now, I am sure if you have listened to the show before you’re thinking…’But Sandra and Tara are way too fabulous to have ever had any negative feedback.’

…That is was what you were thinking, wasn’t it?!

But it’s true, we have both had some gut-wrenching experiences – I don’t think I need to elaborate anymore other than to say the words “nose whistle” and “the teddy bear got its revenge”. It will all make sense when you listen.

Why are you receiving negative criticism?

Often it means you stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new or stretching yourself, which is actually a great thing. It’s just that people aren’t always that tactful about giving criticism.

Tips for dealing with negative feedback

We need to try and remember that feedback, whether good or bad is only someone’s opinion. Sometimes the criticism can help us learn something and improve what we do, but other times it’s best to ignore it and realise it’s more about the other person’s insecurities, jealousy or downright tactlessness. We share how our negative feedback affected us at the time and how we might deal with it if the same thing happened now.

Ideas for ways to boost your own confidence

Along with dealing with negative criticism, we also make some suggestions on how to boost your own confidence and make yourself feel better. This does not involve eating copious amounts of chocolate, although we are open to testing if it has beneficial effects.

Our supportive Facebook Group are busy creating

We also give a mention to some of the fantastic members of our Facebook Group who are creating and sharing regular art in the group. You are welcome to join us.

Kick in the Creatives Facebook Group

Thank you for all of your answers to our previous question. It was fun reading some of them out.

This week’s question

What would be your dream creative project?

dream creative project

Please put your answers in the comments below or get in touch on social media – via the Facebook Group, Instagram or Twitter

We’ll read out the best answers in the next episode.

Don’t forget you can subscribe to our podcast in lots of places including – iTunes, Stitcher and Podbean

If you enjoyed the podcast please consider leaving a review on iTunes which will help us get found by more listeners and we’ll love you forever (or something like that)

How to Get Over an Art Block and Get Back your Creative Mojo

creative art block

At some point in their lives, I am sure every artist has an art block. I know I had one for about 20 years, so I know a little about it. One of the first things to work out is why you’re having an art block. In my case it was because I was working as a graphic designer, and “had to” create for other people. So why are you having an art block?

Work out why you’re having a block

There are many reasons why you might be having an art block. Working this out can help you come up with solutions. Here are a few possibilities to consider:

  • You feel like you haven’t got enough time
  • You’ve lost your confidence
  • You’re too concerned about the outcome
  • You’re burnt out
  • You’re not doing it “for you” you’re too busy creating what other people want.
  • You’re scared of the blank page
  • You’re bored with what you’re creating
  • You don’t know what to draw or paint
  • You find it hard to motivate yourself
  • Your last piece of work wasn’t successful

Tips for beating your art block

You feel like you haven’t got enough time

Can you make small pockets of time for your art? For example, waiting. What about while you’re waiting to pick the kids up from school, your waiting in a dental surgery for your appointment, or during your lunch hour. You could skip watching TV or draw something on the TV while you’re watching it.

You’ve lost your confidence

Perhaps you’ve created a few drawings or paintings and weren’t keen on the outcome, or someone has criticised your work. In this case try doing something which allows you to be bad. You could start doing very quick timed sketches, maybe 5 minutes each day. You can’t expect yourself to create a work of art in this time so it removes the pressure. Plus, you’ll find that the more you do it the better your sketches will get. You could also try doodling. There’s something about calling a drawing a doodle that removes any preciousness from it. Of course, you don’t have to share your work publicly if you don’t want to. You might just share it with a friend or in a supportive group which also eliminates the fear of harsh criticism.

5 minute sketch timer

You’re too concerned with the outcome

Sometimes being so worried about the outcome stops you drawing and painting. How many times have you thought, I’ll paint once I have the right paper, or paint or the weather’s right. Really this is just an excuse, because you are worried the results won’t live up to your expectations. I know this only too well as I had been putting off painting a face in watercolour for a couple of weeks. This is another time when you have to try and enjoy the actual process of creating rather than being preoccupied with the result. You could try a timed sketch as mentioned before, or a continuous line drawing, to reduce expectations, or just realise that the only way to create good art is to practice and create a lot of it.

You’re burnt out

If you’ve been pushing yourself to create every day, for example in a long creative challenge, sometimes you just need to take a short break. Or failing that, switch to a different sort of art or creativity for a while. I remember taking part in the 100-day project and creating 100 cartoons digitally, the last thing I wanted to afterwards was to create more cartoons.

You’re not doing it “for you”

If you work in the creative industry, you have to be creative for other people every day. Sometimes, the last thing you want to do is create more. I think in this situation in order to enjoy what you’re doing you need to create in a very different way. For example, if your work is all done digitally try creating by hand, if your work is slick, try working loosely. The same sort of situation could also arise if your art is all commissioned work.

You’re scared of the blank page

Podcast Ep1 Kick The Fear of Sketching

In one of our podcasts, Sandra mentioned how she had kept a sketchbook for ages before she drew in it because she was too scared of ruining the pages. There are several ways to get over this. You could buy a very cheap notebook or sketchbook so you don’t worry about using the paper. I buy cheap A5 sketchbooks with 72 sheets of paper for £1 and use these for messing about. You can also try pre-messing up the pages with washes of colour, or bits of collage. We have lots more suggestions in our Podcast Episode 8 How to make your sketchbook more interesting.

You’re bored with what you’re creating

If you’ve been painting similar things for a long time, maybe you’re just bored and need to mix things up a bit. You could try switching mediums, subject matter or experiment with styles. Think about taking an art class either in person or online. Websites like Skillshare have a large array of art and creative classes taught by artists all over the world.

You don’t know what to draw or paint

Perhaps indecision is stopping you from creating. Sometimes narrowing things down can really help. You could choose your own theme, for example, “animals” and stick with it for a month to see if you enjoy it. Alternatively, you could join in with an online group challenge. Many online art challenges provide optional prompts which you can use as a starting point for your work. You could also go to a random word generator and let the word be your starting point.

You find it hard to motivate yourself

Art group

Maybe your lack of mojo is about needing the motivation of others around you. Think about joining an art or creative group of encouraging people and making and sharing regular art with them. You might find one locally on Meetup, or by googling art groups in your area, or join an online group like our Facebook Group.

Kick in the Creatives Facebook Group

Your last piece of work wasn’t successful

This can be a real confidence crusher and can leave you making every excuse under the sun as to why you shouldn’t get to work. But for every unsuccessful piece of work comes a new lesson. We need to fail sometimes in order to help us improve. The quickest way to deal with this as hard as it might be, is to get back on the horse!

Whatever the reason for your art block, I hope one of the suggestions helps and you’re soon back to creating regular art.

Ep. 8 How To Make Your Sketchbook More Interesting

art podcast 8 make your sketchbook more interesting

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Today we share some tips on how to make your sketchbook more interesting. Plus, as usual, we go on a few tangents and talk about other things that pop into our heads, usually art related, but we can’t completely promise that!

We also mention our April Art Challenges which had just started as we recorded the episode – Abstract Art April, Imitation April and Quick Kick April. Quick Kicks are our monthly challenges that you can complete in 15 minutes or less, so most people can fit them into their day.

Making your sketchbook cover more interesting

Anyway, just like the podcast, I have already managed to divert my attention away from the main topic of sketchbooks. First, we discuss different suggestions for making your sketchbook cover more interesting. Sandra is a big advocate of this, but I prefer to concentrate on the insides. It reminds us both of having to cover exercise books when we were back at school in the dark ages. Does anyone else remember Fablon that sticky plastic stuff or is it a figment of my imagination? Do kids still cover exercise books? Do exercise books even exist anymore or have they been replaced by holograms?

Tips for your sketchbook pages

Next, we look at the inside of your sketchbook. There is something really satisfying about pre-messing up your sketchbook pages. Maybe this isn’t a very eloquent way to put it, but starting with a bit of collage or a wash on the paper can take away your fear of the blank page. We have plenty of suggestions for things you can try. Apparently rather too many as it took hours for Sandra to edit us down to a reasonable time. If that’s not your bag, we also have some ideas on how you can use different marks, borders and effects to add interest to your pages.

Ideas for what to draw

One of the problems some artist have, especially when they’re short of time is deciding what to draw. We have some suggestions here too, plus you can always join one of our challenges where we give you an optional prompt and reference each day.

Thank you for all of your answers to our previous question. It was fun reading out your answers.

This weeks question

How do you get over the fear of the blank page?

question getting over the fear blank page

Please put your answers in the comments below or get in touch on social media – via the Facebook Group, Instagram or Twitter

We’ll read out the best answers in the next episode.

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