I'm answering a few more questions from the survey again today! If you missed part 1, you can find it HERE.
Again: these are quick, basic responses; and many of them do require more in depth discussions - which I hope to get to on the blog over the next few months!
Let's get to it...
I have no idea where to begin. How do I begin? And how do I know which is the right path?
I believe there is no “right” or “wrong” path – especially in creativity. If you start something and find that it doesn’t bring you joy, try something else. At least you'll gain experience from it and you'll have one more thing to cross off the list of paths. But you will never know what will bring you joy if you stay stuck in trying to decide what to try. Choose something that excites you, and then start simply with the most basic supplies.
I want to try "ALL" the different techniques. How do I get past that desire to try all and just focus on one thing at a time and finish it?
I get confused on all the different products out there. I see one person using this and another one using something else so I feel like I need all the stuff in order to create something and then I don't know what to use.
With mixed media being so popular, manufacturers are taking advantage of it, creating thousands of different products. Which is cool for those who love to explore with new products. But not so cool for beginners trying to find their way. With all of these available products, it creates an unlimited number of possibilities for techniques and supply combinations. Quite different from say, if you wanted to learn pottery or oil painting. So, to enter this world of mixed media and not lose your head (or your wallet!), you need discipline and a narrow focus. If you already bought a ton of supplies and e-courses, put them aside for now and just choose one approach with a couple supplies. Put your blinders on, and begin. Promise yourself that you will get to try out all the others in time. But you won’t get anywhere if you try to go everywhere at once!
Is it just me or ... how do you make creativity a priority when faced with all the other things that need doing? I have a hard time putting on blinders and everywhere I look, there are things to do!
OH totally not just you! I have heard sooo many talk about this block! And you’ve got it right – it’s all about making creativity a priority in your life. But how? Well, sacrifice and discipline. You can only fit so much in your day. If you want to fit creativity in, you have to move something else off your to-do list. For me, I often kick cleaning off my to-do list for the week, then we as a family have a “cleaning party” on Saturday morning. Try logging what you do every hour or half hour for a day or so. See exactly where your time is spent. Do you spend hours on Facebook? Watching TV? Is there something you do daily that can be done in batches? Tackle this from the other side as well: how is creativity important to you? Think about what benefits you can get from spending your time creating instead of elsewhere. Another idea is to schedule it in – in PEN. Make it a non-negotiable appointment.
As much as I love to create, I still feel unmotivated to start. Do you feel that? If so, how do you overcome it? How do you get motivated?
YES, I feel that! And there could be a number of reasons why we feel unmotivated, and even more ways to overcome it. Most times we just need to schedule it in, show up, and see what comes of it. Inspiration comes and goes, and if we sit back to wait for it, it may be a long time before we return to creating!
I don't seem to get out of the stage of copying work from other artists. How can I let go?
How do I find my own artistic style?
I myself had given up to the fact that I will never have a “style” because I love so much to bounce around from different approaches and mediums. And yet, one of the questions I received was “How did you discover your personal style?” which sounds to me like they believe I have a style. Which got me thinking – maybe if you pour yourself into your work, people can see that. It’s just hard for you to see it. On the other hand, some artists like Flora Bowley and Roxanne Coble absolutely have a definitive style. And perhaps it’s because they are the type of person that wants to really dive into one approach and stick to it. Which is totally not my thing. Anywho, all this to say I'm probably not the best person to ask! So I went ahead and asked other artists what their thoughts are... Check out my Find Your Style book.
How do I heal my inner self through art journaling?
That’s a big question. But the simple answer is to separate yourself from all the imagery you find on the internet, and understand that what you are doing is completely different. Your focus will be solely on the process, not on what it looks like in the end. To get started, perhaps look up a few art therapy exercises. Or just start with scribbling, then take it one decision at a time to follow your intuition.
What is the real difference between journals, art journals and sketchbooks?
Simple answer: intention. Here, watch THIS!
How can you tell whether you just need more practice and experience with a creative endeavor or you will never improve so should move on to something else.
Oh honey, you can ALWAYS improve. But, does it give you joy?
How can I journal personal stuff when I'm afraid of hurting people?
Your journal is for your eyes only. You don’t need to share it. If you’re scared that people will snoop, then perhaps using some hidden journaling techniques would help ease your fears.
I gather that there isn't a person without issues. I wonder how one figures how to start clearing those issues and which should go first. And why there are so many people making fun of psychologists and the Co. who are supposed to help people?
I think therapy and coaching is becoming more and more accepted. We could all use some guidance. There are those who work through their issues on their own, but I know it’s a hell of a lot easier with professional help! As for where to start first, identify what is affecting you most in your every day life right now. Then get clear about every aspect of it. This is where having a coach or therapist helps immensely! For example, I was really struggling with overwhelm last year so I chose to focus on working with that. In getting clear about it, I discovered a lot of false beliefs and internal blocks that were keeping me in that state. Read more about that story HERE.
With today's busy lifestyle and I understand you have a family and children, how do you find/make time for your creativity?
It’s tough. Right now my children are young, the youngest being three so she’s with me constantly. I never get large chunks of alone time. Most of my creating is done with her by my side. Which can get messy and frustrating. But our creativity time together is the only thing keeping me sane until I'm able to find time to create on my own again. For now, it's just a phase in my journey, and I'm exploring all the possibilities of it. That, and as I mentioned above, creating trumps cleaning! lol
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
It varies. Sometimes I get inspired by what I see online, like right now everyone is creating mandalas, and I totally want to explore that myself as well! In my art journal, I usually use whatever my latest thoughts are as my inspiration. For example, I’m currently diving deep into learning about the creative process; so all my journal pages have been exploring that concept.
What's been your biggest lesson in the past year, as you've taken new courses?
Over and over again, I learn the lesson of accepting my natural process. Of accepting who I am and how I naturally work – in all areas of my life. You can’t look at how others do things and compare yourself to them. What works for others may not work for you.
When you start an art journal page, do you usually have something in mind, or just play and let ideas come after you've begun? or both?
My old creative process was to have something in mind first. But in my art journal, I aim more to exercise listening to my intuition and just play. It’s a whole new way of creating for me, and I’m still exploring it!
What's your favorite type of craft?
I’m a dabbler. I love to try out new things, and then move on to the next thing. I’ve tried candle making, soap making, basket weaving, sewing dolls and quilts, drawing, painting, art journaling, scrapbooking, and the list goes on. Check out my old flickr account HERE.
You seem very calm. With your little ones and a business to care for, how do you manage it all?
You seem to be always creating. How do you do it?
How do you get SO Much done in what seems like a short amount of time?
Let me tackle all three of these at once… there’s a bigger issue at play here. What you see online (by everyone) is curated. You see the highlights; you see what we want you to see. It’s not the whole picture. To quote Stephen Furtick: "The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else's highlight reel."
Yeah, I’m super calm in my videos – wanna know why? Because it’s my natural nature, and being in my happy place (with you, and creativity!) brings out my true self. But, most other times? I’m yelling and pulling my hair out like a maniac trying to get the kids to do what needs to be done. (truth!) And no, I am not always creating. Previous to my last spurt of journaling, I didn’t open up my art journal for weeks (or maybe it was months??). It’s funny that you think I get so much done in a short amount of time. Where did you ever get that idea? Guess what? The biggest, loudest thing that my inner critic says is: “Why does it take you so long to get anything done? You’re going nowhere fast! You should have waaay more done by now!”
Moral of the story? No matter how perfect or put together someone looks, there’s always a storm behind the scenes. And for the record, it’s not that I want to hide any of this from you, it’s just that going on and on about my bad days and struggles wouldn’t be very inspiring or helpful to you. Except for when it is.
Have more questions or would like to add to one of my responses? Comment below!
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Susie Schroeder says
“Oh honey, you can ALWAYS improve.” Carve that one in concrete!
“I gather that there isn’t a person without issues……help people?”
I think there may be a variety of reasons…maybe they thought about it, mentioned it to someone, and got made fun of. Maybe they had a bad experience.
Before you figure which one to work on, you really have to want it. You may be unsure, but if you’re not ready, you can hold yourself back. Finding help to determine where to start can help the rest fall into place. I think the right help is very important, also. Is the life coach/therapist you’re thinking of really experienced in certain areas, are you comfortable,…? And if you do seek out support, give it time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. You need to feed the hamster to give him enough energy to get him to turn the wheel.
If you try to wing it yourself, you may get discouraged and stop. It can be overwhelming when 1+1+1 doesn’t equal 3, and you don’t know why. Maybe you only half half of a 1 and don’t know it yet. You may be close to the full 1, but give up. Your support person can give you the nudge you need, so your half is now a full 1. And you now have your 3. :)
Don’t be afraid. You can move yourself forword while the others stay stuck behind with their close-minded comments. Good luck!
Kristal Norton says
Well said, and I totally agree. Thanks for the addition Tiffany! :)
Cynthia Coffey says
Wow, that last answer was a real insight for me… my inner critic pushes me so hard that I’m paralyzed most of the time… Thanks Kristal, that was really helpful :)