That’s what I call the paintings I make that end up in the trash. I go through phases where I make these layered messy paintings that I always hate at the end, and rip to tiny shreds, and pretend that they never happened. It usually happens when something emotionally triggers me, which normally leads me to “artists block”.
I share them with you now before I set them on fire.
Everyday we wake up, we have to make the choice whether it’s going to be a good day or a bad day. Lots of things can influence this choice: checking our phones immediately when we wake up to only see the perception of everyone’s more-than-perfect lives, lack of sleep, having a long awaited event you’ve been looking for, sleeping past your alarm, or making that decision to hot that 6am hot yoga class.
Regardless of what happens that may stifle your mood, you will still ALWAYS have the choice to be positive. How to stay positive? Actively chase after & do things that make you feel pure BLISS. Apart from being an artist, I’m a yoga teacher, a musician, a nature-lover, a horror movie aficionado, etc.
Get up and DO those things that make you happy. Ask yourself; “What can I do in this moment that will bring me joy?”
The power of thought is the most underestimated life-force and survival skill.
These are the paintings that I did this morning. I woke up to some wonderful news to see that one of my favorite jewelry lines, Dannijo featured one of my illustrations on their Instagram page. I was filled with emotions, mostly happiness and gratitude, and for some reason today I felt like I had to really focus on big emotional eyes. These are the paintings that I created with this feeling that I had inside of myself. These are the pieces that show that feeling, the feeling of gratitude, happiness, and just overall excitement.
In lieu of my excitement however, it seems as though the more my work is recognized by bigger influencers, the more I get put on blast for not being authentic enough, or for blatantly copying other illustrators. I understand the all illustrators have similar styles, but I also cannot help the way I translate what I see on paper. My style is my style, and it may be similar to other artists, but I know in my heart that different styles and techniques are used to translate what I see onto canvas is MY truth. The features that we see as what to find beauty, for example, I, hair, lips, rosy cheeks, eyelashes etc., all artists use these features and translate them all differently onto paper based on how they look at it. These are all features that people associate beauty with, and you better believe the artists are going to exaggerate those features or translate them in their own style based on how those features speak to them. There’s going to be a chance of overlap, it’s impossible not to. The key to this is to see the beauty in diversity of all of this gorgeous artwork, even if styles overlap each other.
Painting big eyes is my therapeutic way of processing the emotions that I feel, or the negativity that people throw my way. I love painting my big eyes, but I also simply love free styling with ink and my no.4 round paintbrush. Either way, I feel like I can never win when it comes to trying to stay as original as possible and staying true to myself at the same time. It’s not what is said about me that defines me, it’s how I react to the negativity that is the most important. At the end of the day, doesn’t matter what people say about me and it shouldn’t matter to you either, whoever is reading this is going to do something similar. This is my truth and my authenticity and intentions come straight from my heart. Everything else around me is just noise.
Take those negative energies that are ignorantly thrown your way, and let it sit inside of you for a while. Let it simmer. Let it boil your blood and season you to the point where your creativity is florishing from the mean things that people have said to you. Allow this to fuel your creativity. Use this energy to make something absolutely jaw-dropping.
Long story short? My best work comes from mean people on the Internet. Period.
Almost daily, I find myself tearing apart all of my art supplies and reorganizing them in a practical fashion that makes them easy to grab at an arms reach when I’m in the middle of a project. There’s a particular art form to organizing supplies in my world. It has to be inviting, like I’m almost doing visual merchandising with my own products. So when I walk into my creative space, I’m immediately inspired to make something.
I first organize my items by artistic medium (pastels, pencils, markers, paints, etc) and then I will organize them by colors. I’m borderline obsessed with finding new and innovative ways of reorganizing my workspace so that it’s not only extremely easy to access at an arm’s reach, but also visually pleasing to the eye. I’m a firm believer in surrounding myself with beautiful things to stay inspired, and if my work space is messy (lets be real — all art studios are messy), or I should say, disorganized, I find that my creative blocks happen a lot more often, than when I have an organized and visually pleasing work space. I often find myself collecting mason jars, old mugs from thrift shops, and other quirky containers to organize my stuff. And when all else fails, I go on Amazon or Pinterest to get new ideas.
Organizing your chalk pastels by color is a huge chore to do at first, but it’s the BEST way to keep them clean. Are your chalk pastels dirty from sitting with other colors? Here’s a cool tip to clean them:
Organize your pastels by color.
Put color groups of pastels in a bag of rice (one group at a time), and shake the bag for a minute or so.
Your pastels will come out nice and clean on the outside! Do this for all of your color groups to clean everything up before you organize them into a container. It’s time consuming, but very satisfying at the end.
Pictured here are NuPastel by Prismacolor chalk pastels — my FAVORITE medium to work with! I get mine from this amazing little family owned art supply store near my house, but you can also find them on Amazon, and select art supply stores. My go-to favorite colors I always stock up on is titaniumbuff, white, black, and rose. (Around $4 each)
Also pictured is Artist Tape — this is great tape for preliminary work that won’t rip up your paper that you’re painting on, giving it a nice clean line. I use this tape primarily to tape up my finished work on my walls before I treat them with a smelly chemical fixture. You can find it on Amazon. ($5.00-$8.00 range)
My favorite go-to paintbrush is my sable no.4 round brush ($15.00 range)! It carries ink beautifully and it holds quite a lot of product.I normally like to keep all of my paintbrushes either laid out in front of me (as pictured above) on a towel, or in a mason jar.
Liquitex BASICSacrylic paint – $3.99
My STAND-BY squad!
Gelly Roll black no.6 ball point pen in black ($2).
Liquitex BASICS in titaniumwhite — you can never have enough white acrylic paint in my opinion! ($4.99)
Golden Artist Colors acrylic paint in carbonblack (my favorite brand of acrylic paints). The one color of paint that should be splurged on is most definitely black acrylic paint. Everything else doesn’t need to be that expensive. ($24.00)
Golden High Flow Acrylics ink in carbon black — this is the most used medium that I have, I’m always stocking up on this product. I love using this for painting dramatic eyelashes, and I love freestyling with this medium with a no.4 round paintbrush! ($5.00-$7.00 range)
Academy by GRUMBACHER acrylic paint in pale pink! ($8.99)
DecoArt Dazzling Metallicsmetallic acrylic paint in ChampagneGold. ($1.89)
The best place to purchase all of these supplies is usually from Amazon, as they sell most of these products for a price that’s much lower than the retail price you would see in an art supply store, or a craft store like Ben Franklin or Michaels.
Unfortunately, no art studio is going to be gorgeously clean and organized at all times. Every time I clean & vacuum my space, I make a bigger mess that needs more cleaning and more vacuuming. It’s a tedious process that I still find satisfying every time I make time out of my day to organize the fresh messes that I create. It’s all part of the process.
How do you organize your art supplies? Comment below your favorite tips and tricks or products!