4 Unique Ways To Get Children Interested In Art

By Nicole Tinkham


Artists tell us all the time how important it is to pass art skills, techniques, or even opportunities down to younger generations. Many schools nowadays don’t have art programs anymore and money is being spent elsewhere, but we believe art is essential for growth, learning and creativity. For those of you fighting the good fight to keep creativity alive in kid’s lives, we just want to say thank you for what you’re doing! It’s inspiring! And if you’re looking for some ideas on how you can keep the curiosity flowing, read on for 4 unique ways to get younger people interested in art. And no, you don’t have to be an artist yourself to do these things!

1.    Visit an art museum

You don’t have to know the fancy art terms or anything like that to take a child to an art museum. Let them explore, examine art and make up their own opinions about the work. Ask them questions that get them thinking about the artwork and their thoughts on it. Just looking at creative pieces promotes them to actually want to create art themselves. You’ll find that some museums even have programs for children where they can learn a little more in areas that you may not know much about yourself.

Here’s a great little trick to have even more fun at an art museum.

2.    Stop and admire street art

Help children notice art in their every day lives. It’s all over the place! Many cities have beautiful installation pieces as well as graffiti art. When you see an opportunity, stop and take a look at it with the kids. Other things to keep an eye out for are architecture and nature. Pull over and take a picture. Make sure to look for special events in your area too like chalk art festivals where professional artists come in and create incredible images on the sidewalks and streets.

Everything around us was created by some sort of artist. Point out the designs on cereal boxes and let them pick out bright clothing choices. Anything you can think of to really get them noticing art in their surroundings so they can use that as inspiration when creating their own art.

3.    Learn & create together

When children see you doing something, they’ll want to join in whether you’re an incredible artist or just starting out with them. Let them make mistakes and try new things. Remember, there is no wrong way to create art. You can also learn a lot from them. You’ll notice that they aren’t afraid to dive right in and get started. We should all be a little more like them in various areas of life.

One idea we love is to not let them use an eraser. When they can easily change their creations, they could second guess themselves and not get anywhere on their project. Try using something more permanent like markers and paint when creating with children.
And let them get messy! This encourages them to let loose and have fun rather than worry about the clean up that comes along with it. It helps if they have their own creative space with plenty of supplies. When they notice the designated space with art tools, it will trigger them to want to get creative more often. If they aren’t showing interest on their own, make special art time that they can look forward to.

Also encourage them to use their imagination and gain creative ideas from that. Children are already very imaginative and as we get older, we tend to lose that. Keep it going and have them use their imagination more often. Ask about what they’re creating and come up with fun stories about their creations together.

You can even make a party out of it! Have some of their friends over for a creative day or a birthday party with an artsy theme. They can learn from each other and work as a team which brings in a whole new level of engagement to their artwork.

4.    Showcase their creations

When you make a big deal out of anyone’s artwork (kids and adults alike), it encourages them to continue creating. Point out what you love about the piece (lines, texture, color, etc.). Ask them questions and get them talking about the meaning behind it.
Be sure to hang up their artwork and you can even have it framed which will really make them feel special. You can talk to our custom framer, Mark for some ideas (941-747-2995 and ask for Mark).

When getting children interested in art, it really comes down to 3 main things. Expose them to art, get them creating, and praise them for it. Whether you’re a professional artist or not, anyone can walk through these steps with their children or grandchildren and teach them in importance of art. Plus we bet you’ll learn a thing or two from them! Take the time to connect with them and build a relationship around creative activities. That quality time together is most important for you both.

Tell us, how have you introduced art to a child in your life? Please let us know in the comments below.

7 Benefits Of Painty Clothes That Only Artists Will Understand

By Nicole Tinkham


There may be a handful of artists who stay nice and tidy while working on a project but the majority of artists we talk to mention getting paint, glitter, and ink everywhere. It doesn’t matter what kind of art it is, getting messy while creating seems to be the common theme. Another thing we’ve heard through the artists on our Facebook page is a new fashion statement known as “painty clothes”. These are a combination of clothes you paint in, clothes that you paint on, and clothes that accidentally have paint on them (even nice dressy clothes.. whoops! 😉 ). We think the painty clothes trend can really catch on. Read on for 7 benefits of painty clothes that only artists will understand.

1.    They’re colorful

Look at the average person’s closet and you’ll most likely see many black and gray pants, even tops. And when there is a bit of color it doesn’t really pop a whole lot. Artists are a bit different though. Sometimes you’ll see painted clothes on purpose with beautiful designs and other times you’ll see random paint splatters. No matter what, it’s sure to be colorful and fun.

2.    They put others in a better mood

How can you not look at an artist with fun paint all over their clothes and not smile? You’re being totally unique and it just puts people in a better mood!

3.    They’re comfy

Most artists work in nice comfy clothes, the way everyone should dress more often (in our opinion anyway).

4.    They’re always changing

The exact t-shirt you wore last week may not be the same this week. The more you wear painty clothes and the more you create in them, the more and more different they will become. Who else can say that about their wardrobe??

5.    You don’t have to be perfect

Keeping up with the fashion trends and all the rules (who says you can’t wear white during a certain time of the year??) is just too much work. However, when you have your painty clothes on, you don’t have to worry. They go with everything (in our opinion) and you can mix and match them.

6.    You’re free to be you!

Forget name brands and what’s currently popular. In your painty clothes, you are unlike every single person out there and that’s a good thing. Life would be boring if we all acted and dressed the same.

7.    They eliminate clean up

Have you ever tried to get paint out of your nice top? It’s not an easy task. Luckily if your goal is to create some new painty clothes, you can totally eliminate this step. This means less hassle and more time to get back to work on your project.

If you weren’t sure about wearing your painty clothes out in public before, we hope that this blog has changed your mind! Be fun, be creative, be funky, be yourself. No one else has style quite like an artist and it’s time to share your painty clothes with the world. Be proud of what you do and who you are. Stop hiding under plain clothing that anyone can buy at the store. Mix it up and add some color. We are always so inspired by our artist friends and we thank you for lifting us up and making us smile every day.

Spring Clean Your Mind – 4 Methods To Getting Creative Ideas On Paper

By Nicole Tinkham


We hear it just about every day and although we like to joke about it, it’s a serious struggle among many artists. Do you ever feel like you’re too creative? It may sound odd but there are simply not enough hours in the day to get all of those creative ideas out. Sometimes you’re in the middle of a project when new ideas strike or they pop up right when you’re trying to fall asleep. It’s really a blessing if you think about it, but we also know how frustrating this can be. We like to think of this overwhelming feeling as an art attack. So many ideas flood your mind at once and it becomes difficult to keep track of everything. However, we’ve found that getting it all out on paper helps to ease the mind a little and make room for even more brilliant ideas. If you’re familiar with spring cleaning, this is something much more fun. We’re going to show you how to spring clean your mind! We’ll walk you through 4 different methods to getting creative ideas on paper so you can start thinking clearly.

1.    Write it.

Have an hour or so long date with your sketchbook or journal. Start jotting down all the projects you’re currently thinking about and any details that go along with them. These are fresh ideas in your head right now. Now think back to some ideas you had awhile back (if you can remember them) and jot those down. From there, just open your mind up to creative inspiration and write down every single thing that pops into your head in the moment.

2.    Record it.

Are you a talker? Sometimes it’s just easier and quicker to talk aloud what your thought process is. If that’s the case, use a voice recorder. Use the same steps as above but instead of writing everything out, just record it. Later you can have it transcribed or transcribe it yourself. Sometimes it’s helpful having it physically on paper.

3.    Brainstorm it.

Get together with some artsy friends and have a brainstorm session. This will help produce new ideas you may not have thought of before, a new perspective on the ideas you have floating around in your head, a direction for where to start, and most likely brand new ideas to write down. Get everything written down or recorded during your brainstorm session. Remember, the whole idea of spring cleaning your mind is to get those idea OUT OF YOUR HEAD!

4.    Schedule it.

Getting the ideas out of your head and on paper is step #1. Now if you want to actually produce those creative projects, they need to go right in your schedule. Make time for your art or your ideas will never get done! Prioritize your projects and get started on them right away.

We know spring cleaning your home can be a hassle but there’s opportunity to have fun when spring cleaning your mind. Getting all those creative ideas out will free up you mind for even more ideas. Trust us this is so incredibly refreshing to do! No matter if you’re a “write it down” kind of person, a talker, a social butterfly or super organized, you can brain dump all of those ideas and actually begin to make them happen using the methods mentioned in this blog for getting ideas on paper. Now the issue of actually getting them done comes in. Don’t worry we have a blog for that too 🙂

6 Ways To Get Motivated And Finish Your Artwork


By Nicole Tinkham

“Art Attack: The overwhelming feeling of having so many creative ideas at once and not enough time to do them.”

Many of our artist friends experience these “art attacks” and feel totally overwhelmed. They stop what they’re doing to begin something new and have a difficult time getting back to previous artwork to finish them up. Or sometimes they go into a piece excited about it and get stuck halfway through. Maybe they aren’t sure how to do a particular technique and they lose their drive. Regardless of what’s causing them to stop a project, artists have SEVERAL unfinished pieces, according to our Facebook poll. There are some artists with 50+ projects that they can’t seem to get around to finishing! With that being the top issue we’ve been hearing about lately, read on for 6 ways to get motivated and finish your artwork.

1.    Remember your strengths

It’s a fact. When we’re really good at something, we are more motivated to do it. So if you’re stuck on a project, ask yourself how you can make your special talents shine to finish it off. If you just don’t know what to do next, look at some of your favorite artwork that you’ve done in the past. What do you like most about them? Can you incorporate that into your current piece?

If it’s a lack of skill that’s holding you back but you already have an idea of what you want to do, you need to study it! Look up YouTube videos, browse books, ask artist friends, or take a class. Fill your mind with knowledge and practice it every day until you get it. It may be a challenge but remember that the little stumbles along the way mean you’re growing and improving.

Take action: List out the skills and techniques you’re really good at. This will not only give you some ideas for the unfinished project but it will also boost your confidence. You may even be inspired to learn something new.

2.    Do it for fun

Sometimes what holds us back from completing artwork is the fear of messing up. You may notice that it’s more difficult to finish artwork that you’re making for someone else or trying to sell. But when it’s just for fun and you do it because you want to, you’re free to be loose and play a little more. Take the pressure off yourself and remember why you choose to do this every day, because you enjoy it and have fun with it.

Take action: Look back at some of your early artwork, the work that you did while learning, experimenting, and playing. You were creating these simply because you enjoyed doing it. You had no other agenda. Remember the feeling you get when you create just to create and apply that to the work you’re struggling to finish. Remember there are no mistakes in art, only happy accidents.

3.    Adjust your environment

The place in which you create has a huge impact on how you work. Have you ever noticed that a certain song, place, sound, scent, time of day, or emotion gets you in the mood to create? These are like triggers telling your body you need to be doing it. So if you’re feeling a little off one day, it could be your surroundings. Before getting out that painting from the past, set the mood and get in your creative place.

Take action: Take a look around you. Are you in a creative space? Is there anything distracting in the area? Do you have good lighting? Take everything into consideration. If this doesn’t work, try something different. Take your work outside if you’re used to working in the studio. This often times brings new inspiration.

4.    Set a deadline

We admit, the word “deadline” feels way too structured when it comes to having fun with your artwork but sometimes a set date is exactly what you need to get moving on a project. Set goals for yourself, get focused, and aim to meet those deadlines! Even if the artwork is just for you, still set deadlines that you’ll strive to meet. Having an accountability partner can help you with this. Check in with that person to keep on track with getting it done.

Take action: Take a look at the projects you want to finish up within in the next few months. Now open up your calendar and set a date that you will have them done by. Be sure to set progress deadlines as well for larger projects so you can see how far you’ve come and be sure you’re still on track with the big deadline.

5.    Leave your comfort zone

Doing something totally out of the norm could cause new creative ideas to spring up. When you try something new and even a bit scary, you take yourself out of your element which could benefit your artwork as well as yourself. Your “something scary” doesn’t have to be art related though. Any different experience can cause a shift in your thinking. This shift could bring about new creative ideas for that project you’ve been putting off.

Take action: Make a commitment to something you’ve never done before that takes you out of your comfort zone. Sign up for a class, take a trip, or attend an event that you normally wouldn’t.

6.    Get focused

Sometimes what holds us back from getting things done are distractions. Have you ever experienced artist ADD where you stop halfway through a project to begin on another project that just popped into your head?  It’s difficult to stop that creative mind of yours (and we wouldn’t necessarily want you to) but we recommend getting super focused on the project at hand. Eliminate all distractions including your phone! If a creative idea pops into your head jot it down in your sketch book and continue with your project.

Take action: Get your unfinished piece out and everything you need to work on it. Make sure all other unfinished work is out of sight so you can focus on the one you’re planning to finish.

We think it’s great that you have so many creative ideas that you can’t keep up with them all. We don’t want you to stop being creative but we also know that having a ton of unfinished artwork can be overwhelming. Plus, it’s important to show completed pieces that you’ve been working on! Every artist has their own way of working and we completely understand that. Some artists work well on multiple projects at once. Try these helpful ways to get motivated to finish your artwork but choose to go with a method that works best for you. Sometimes no matter what you do, you just can’t get motivated at all. If a piece is doing nothing for you, paint over it! Do something different with it. Take it in a new direction. We are always changing and something we were once excited for may not give us that feeling anymore. There’s nothing wrong with going with the changes and evolving as an artist.

Whether you finish a piece of artwork or not, just remember to keep creating! Don’t allow yourself to get so caught up in a particular piece that you no longer want to create.

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect! – How To Overcome The Fear Of Getting Started

By Nicole Tinkham

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect! – How To Overcome The Fear Of Getting Started

We asked (on our Facebook page) what your biggest struggle was when starting a new art project or learning a new art technique and we were blown away by how similar your answers were! So many of our artist friends responded to the question with “the fear of not being perfect”. We totally get where you’re coming from because we’ve been there too, and are still learning how to navigate fear in our lives. It’s difficult to jump into something new when you’re not sure exactly what you’re doing or how to achieve it. Not to mention how daunting that blank canvas looks when first starting. But we’re here to tell you that just getting started is more important than worrying about it being perfect. Learning as you go is part of the process! Read on for our top tips on overcoming the fear of getting started.

Determine where your fear comes from

We believe that understanding why you feel a certain way can greatly help in overcoming your fears and becoming a stronger person. So what are you really afraid of? Before you say “getting started” take some time to seriously think about this question. Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid of what people may think of you? Are you afraid of rejection? Dig deep and figure out what is behind the fear you’re experiencing. Once you have a clear idea on what it is that’s holding you back from starting, you can work on overcoming that fear. For instance, if you’re afraid of rejection you may need to work on your confidence. If it’s failure, you need to remind yourself of the benefits of making a mistake. You will be learning along the way and mistakes mean you’re trying. That’s a good thing! In order to overcome the fear, you must start at the beginning and figure out what’s causing it.

Live in the moment

When it comes down to it, fear of getting started is really fear of the future. You must remember that the future is out of your control. You have no idea what will happen yet. You may make a mistake but then again you might nail it on the first try! You never know until you begin. It’s not only the future that you’re focusing on though. You’re probably looking at past mistakes as well. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t have the doubt that you have today. The point is, we need to stop comparing the present to the past because we can’t go back and change the past. We also can’t control what will happen in the future. So the best thing we can do is live in the moment. What does this mean for your new art project? It means you must begin today. You just have to get started. Follow your heart and have an open mind. Know that anything can happen and roll with the punches, learning as you go.

Consider the worst that could happen

Whenever you’re worried about anything in life, think about the absolute worse thing that could possibly happen. Often times it’s not as bad as what you make it out to be in your head. Maybe you have the fear of being rejected. If you are rejected, what would you do? You’d learn from it and move on. You’d push yourself to improve and do better next time. Even if it is hard to deal with, you will live! Next time fear and worry creep in, do this little exercise. Jot down the worst case scenario and determine how bad it really is. You can do this with any area of your life too, not just when starting a new project.

Just do it

Take a deep breath and just go for it. Let go of your fears and worries. Pretend this is just for fun or just practice. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Have fun with it. We believe that it’s impossible to mess art up anyway. Let us explain: either you completely hate the piece in which case you paint over it and start new, or you fall in love with the imperfections or “happy little accidents” and keep it the way it is. Either way, you can’t lose so jump all in and give it what you got!

Plan to succeed

If you’re not a jump all in, wing it kind of person that’s totally fine! There’s nothing wrong with planning for success as long as you’re moving forward and aren’t just stuck in one place or allowing yourself to move backwards. When we say “plan for success”, we mean do some research before you begin, watch tutorials, take some classes, and really get an understanding of what you plan to do. Get yourself mentally ready to take on the challenge and once you get there, then it’s time to go for it!

Embrace the imperfections

Ok so you went for it and you made a mistake, now what? Whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up over it. Everyone makes mistakes so this just means you’re totally normal (or at least somewhat normal…we can’t speak for other areas of your life :)). Don’t let this be the point where you give up though. Embrace those mistakes, learn from them, and allow yourself to grow as an artist. We’ve found that there’s no better way to learn than through making mistakes. It’s also important to laugh it off, forgive yourself, and continue moving forward.

The fear of getting started in any area of your life is a challenge for sure. But at the same time, you can’t let this fear of perfection hold you back from doing amazing things. We know how talented you are (we’ve seen your work on Facebook!) and we know you can achieve whatever it is you’re setting out to do. We realize that you’re often your own biggest critic but loosen up a bit. Of course there’s always room to work on your art but don’t be so hard on yourself that the fear prevents you from doing your thing! Really understand where this fear is coming from, focus on this moment right here and right now, realize that the worse that can happen isn’t as bad as you probably make it out to be, jump right in and do it or plan to succeed, and embrace those mistakes when they happen. We believe in you and know you can do this. Even if you aren’t your biggest cheerleader at the moment, you do have a support system RIGHT HERE!!

Tell us, what are some other ways you are struggling with starting a new project or learning a new art technique? Let us know in the comments and it could be answered in our next blog post!

13 Quick Tips For Mixing Acrylic Paint That Will Make Your Life Easier

By Nicole Tinkham

13 Quick Tips For Mixing Acrylic Paint That Will Make Your Life Easier

When getting started with acrylic paint, the best way to learn how to mix colors is just by doing it. It does take some time with experimenting but getting hands on with it will really help you improve over time. Remember that you can always paint over any acrylic painting you create that you don’t like. This always takes the pressure off a little. Also, a canvas with paint on it is a step above a blank canvas. Just go for it! Don’t become discouraged if your first painting doesn’t come out as planned. Keep on practicing and you will get there. Don’t worry we won’t leave ya hanging though. Here are 13 quick tips for mixing acrylic paint that will make your life easier. Let’s get started!

1.    Paint from the tube can look flat. Mix in some white for dimension.
2.    Get a unique look by not mixing colors all the way on your palette.
3.    Try mixing paint directly on your canvas (wet on wet).
4.    Tone down black shadows by adding some raw umber.
5.    Darken colors with brown instead of black for a richer more vibrant color.
6.    To create skin tones, mix all primary colors together.
7.    Add red paint to blue for a deeper blue.
8.    Acrylic paint dries a little darker so mix paint accordingly (just a little lighter than you want it).
9.    Once you mix a color you like, create different tones of the same color to work with.
10.    Your mixed colors don’t have to go to waste if you don’t use it all! Store them in air tight containers so you can use them later.
11.    Equal amounts of two complementary colors = brown
12.    Apply glazes on top of a base color to create new colors without mixing them on your palette.
13.    You can mix MILLIONS of different colors with just 3 tubes of paint. Click here to learn how.

You may be wondering why you should even bother mixing your own paint when you can just use the colors right from the tube. First off, mixing your own can create more vibrant eye catching colors that really make your painting stand out. Also, experimenting with mixing your own colors teaches you and helps you become a better artist. Don’t stress out over this. It should be fun and relaxing. Just play around with mixing colors before you start any big project so you have a better understanding before really getting into it.

Tell us, what are your best tips for mixing acrylic paint? Comment below and we’ll add it to this list.

7 Artsy Things To Do On Your Stay-cation

By Nicole Tinkham

7 Artsy Things To Do On Your Stay-cation(1)

Have you ever planned an exciting vacation to get away and relax only to find that you needed a vacation from your vacation? Traveling can get hectic and when it does, the relaxing part you were looking forward to may not happen the way you’d like. That’s where stay-cations come into play. You may be wondering what exactly a stay-cation is. It’s simply a vacation you take to stay home and get the rest and relaxation that you need. It’s about trying something different in your local area and doing the things you love but rarely have time for. If you’re planning a stay-cation this summer but have no clue what to do with your time, read on for 7 artsy things that will keep you from getting bored.

1.    Spruce up your home with DIY projects

We would say this is the perfect time to do some organizing and cleaning but what fun is that? Instead you can spruce up your home by doing DIY projects. Hang some of your artwork on the wall in fun frames, create custom shelving in your art room, re-paint an old table, or put together fun summery center pieces for your table. There are so many DIY projects out there that you can have a lot of fun with and it’s always nice to add something new and fresh to your home.

2.    Put together a creative playlist

Nothing puts us in a better mood than some uplifting music. If you’re one to listen to your favorite songs while working on your art, try out a new playlist. Mixing up your tunes is a great way to be inspired and with the extra time at home, you can really have some fun with it. You can even have a dance party in your living room (if you wanted to).

3.    Explore your local art scene

If you’re still new to your town, exploring your area is the perfect thing to do on a stay-cation. Even if you think you know your town inside and out, we bet there are places you have yet to discover. Do some research and check out the creative places and events like live music, small art stores, art fairs, and unique cafes and restaurants.  Who knows, you may find a new place to enjoy on the regular!

4.    Read a new book

When’s the last time you were able to sit down and enjoy a good book without any interruptions? Now’s your chance to take some time to yourself somewhere nice and quiet, get comfy, and dive into a new book. Picking a genre that you aren’t used to reading can even spark new creativity for future art projects.

5.    Meet up with new friends

For the social butterflies who rather meet new people than be cooped up inside all day, we suggest meeting up with new friends. Head over to Meetup.com and discover groups in your area that interest you. Then pick an event to attend and chat with some new people. Hopefully you click with some fun artsy people like yourself.

6.    Go for a long hike or walk

Getting out in nature is a great way to clear your mind of all the stress and worry of everyday life. Grab your sketchbook and head to a quiet and peaceful park. Take some time to soak in all the beauty around you and jot down or sketch any creative ideas that pop up. Take your phone with you for safety reasons but turn the volume down so it doesn’t disturb your quiet time!

7.    Start a garden

We aren’t experts in the gardening area but from what we hear, it’s a great way to de-stress. If you already have a garden, consider taking an afternoon to get focused on it or if you don’t already have one, start one. It’s said that gardening totally takes your mind off anything else going on in your life so if you have a lot of worries, this could be just the thing for you!

You may be doing some of the things on this list regularly so if that’s the case, think of some new ideas that you rarely do or have yet to try. When it comes to your stay-cation it’s important to do the things YOU enjoy. For example, many people love gardening but if you’re not one of those people, it could just feel like work and that goes against everything a stay-cation is supposed to be. Use this list of ideas for your inspiration but come up with your own list of activities to do this summer.

Tell us, what are your big summer plans? Will you be staying home or traveling? Drop a COMMENT below and let us know 🙂