5 Questions To Finding A New Art Medium To Work With

By Nicole Tinkham

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Are you a brand new artist and have no idea where to start? There are so many different mediums you can take up from colored pencil to acrylic painting. How in the world are you supposed to choose? Or maybe you’re an experienced artist who wants to experiment with something new. You’re so used to what you’ve been doing and don’t know where to go from there. No matter what type of artist you are, these 5 questions will help you figure out what art medium you should work with next. Read on to discover your path!

1.    What is your goal?

Before starting anything new in life (art related or otherwise) you must think about your goals. What do you plan to accomplish by getting started in a new art medium? Are you a brand new artist looking to explore different avenues of the art world? Or are you an experienced artist looking to try something new and improve your skills? Will you be selling your artwork, keeping it for yourself, or using it to expand your art portfolio? Think of all these things before making your decision.

2.    How much are you willing to invest?

When we talk about “investing” we’re referring to time, money, and space. Space may seem like an odd thing to consider but one of the most common struggles among artists is not having enough room for their supplies. Although, this doesn’t seem to stop artists from gathering more and more supplies 🙂 Before you jump into anything, look around your art studio and house. How much extra space do you actually have? Some projects will take up more space than others so you’ll either want to make room or choose your art medium carefully.

There’s also a huge difference in time spent between Zentangle doodles and an oil painting. How much time do you have dedicated to work on your art? The main reason why people get started in something new only to quit shortly down the road is simply because life just gets in the way. Maybe you have a goal to spend more time on your art and that’s fantastic! Just make sure it’s a realistic goal so you don’t become overwhelmed or frustrated when it doesn’t work out.

You also need to think about the money you plan to invest in your artwork. Many mediums require several supplies and if you’re serious about your artwork, investing in quality supplies is key. If you’re just playing around for fun on the side and don’t feel the need to invest in quality supplies, that’s fine too. You’ll just want to choose your medium wisely and budget for it. Trust us, there’s nothing worse than starting a project and not having the supplies you need to finish it!

3.    What pieces of artwork inspire you?

Whether you’re looking to get started on your art journey or just exploring a new medium, there’s most likely something that inspired you to do so. Think to the most recent piece that you thought was absolutely brilliant. Now do a little research on the artwork as well as the artist. Find out what medium and tools were used and any special techniques the artist did. If it inspired you to jump into something new, take that passion and do something similar yourself!

4.    Where do your skills lie?

If you are just starting out and are a total beginner, think about the areas in which you are strongest. Do you have an eye for color? Are you detail oriented? Figuring this out will help you choose a medium that you’ll be great at right from the beginning. This is important because as a beginner, it can be very frustrating if you just can’t seem to get it right no matter how many times you try. When you first start out, you want it to propel you on this journey, not hold you back.

We feel the opposite is true for experienced artists. You’ve already gone through the struggles of getting started and now want to learn something new. This is where you can really challenge yourself. Think about areas that you are weak in. This will give you an opportunity to grow. Remember, if you’re the best one in the class you’re in the wrong class. Keep learning new things to improve your skills.

5.    How do you learn best?

We always encourage artists to learn from others whether that be through various art books, DVDs, artist friends or an art workshop. When it comes to a totally new medium, please don’t just wing it! Start off on the right foot by learning from others. This will prevent a lot of frustration. Now the real question here is how do you learn best? Some people are more hands on and others rather read from a book. It doesn’t matter what type of learning you choose as long as it works for you. Think back to the last time you were trying to figure something out and sought outside help with. What did you do and how did it work out? Once you have this figured out, you can find which resources are available to you. This could influence which medium you decide to go with.

If after you ask yourself these 5 questions and still don’t know if you made the right decision on what art medium to work with next, there is one final question to ask yourself. Is this something you’re passionate about? Does this medium light your fire and excite you to get started? If not, you need to do some research. You may even have to play around with a few choices to get a feel for them before making a commitment. This is where having artsy friends becomes handy. Borrow some of their supplies to play with or take a quick art workshop. This should also be fun so don’t overwhelm yourself with the many options. Sit down and ask yourself these 5 questions to determine which medium you should get into next and leave a comment below letting us know which one you’ll be choosing!

How To Go With Your Gut When Making Big Decisions

By Nicole Tinkham

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Do you ever have a gut feeling that’s telling you to go after something big and exciting and then have your mind fight against it and tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it? Later on down the road you may discover that you really should have listened to your gut and went for it. You regret it after the fact when it’s too late. If you have ever in your life experienced this, read on because we’ll be talking about how you can use your intuition to make the best decisions that will change your life.

How do you know you can trust your gut instinct?

While your gut instinct may seem like a random decision making process to do something without considering the pros and cons, it’s actually not just a thoughtless act. According to psychologist Gary Klein, Ph.D, “It’s the way we translate our experience into judgment and actions.” We pick up on clues and patterns in our past experiences which help us make these decisions without having to do any sort of analysis. So really, it’s not all that thoughtless and random after all.

Most of your decisions are made based on your gut instinct

Think about all the little things you do on a daily basis without giving second thought. It’s probably more than you think. What you eat for breakfast in the morning, what you decide to wear, and what you watch on TV are all quick decisions you make daily. You don’t contemplate whether or not you’re making the right choice. You’re just going with your gut. So why is it so simple to do this yet so much more complicated when it comes to the larger decisions we’re faced with? Well, when it comes to the bigger life decisions, we tend to overthink things too much. But there are many benefits to listening to your instincts and taking action on them!

Why you should go with your gut

If you sit back and overanalyze every decision, you won’t get very far in life. Those things you would love to see happen most likely won’t happen because it means stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a risk. We like to override that gut feeling with the fear of failure. We think about it so much that we talk ourselves out of doing it completely because it’s scary. It suddenly becomes a terrible idea and we move on with our ordinary lives. But the best things in life happen when you take a chance and make a change even if it is a scary one. This is when listening to your gut comes into play. Sometimes you just have to go with what feels right even if you don’t fully understand how it’ll work out.

How to listen to your gut instinct

1.    To follow your intuition, you actually have to listen to it. Take some time alone to think things through. It’s important to do this totally alone so you’re not influenced by anyone else. Consider what you really want. Think about what your gut is actually telling you before you jump in and make any decision. Take time but not too much time on this because you can easily get into overanalyzing the decision. Give yourself a set amount of time (like a half hour) to think things over and make a decision.

2.    Can’t quite seem to follow your gut instinct in your current situation? Make a list of all the times you have listened to your gut and have been happy with the outcome. Did you feel good about the decision you made? With time, you’ll get better at going with your gut and you’ll see more and more positive outcomes. But until then, keep reminding yourself of what has happened in the past as a result of it.

3.    Continue to practice and work on yourself. You can get in touch with your inner senses by meditating and having a vision for what your ideal life looks like. Figure out what you really want and allow your inner intuitive voice come out.

Be careful!

Making quick decisions can backfire if you aren’t careful. As mentioned above, you do need to think things through before making a big decision. There is more to it than what you initially see. Think about your options without overthinking them so you don’t go into it blindly. Just be aware of what you’re getting yourself into.

Following your instincts can change your entire life. It can get you out of your comfort zone, help you discover your true passion, and live a happier life doing what you want to do. When we overthink big decision we could miss out on incredible opportunities. But it’s also important that you do reflect on what your gut is telling you so you don’t jump into anything blindly. Start listening to your gut instinct today even if it’s just on small decisions. Get used to it and strengthen that inner sense so you’ll be better at it when a big decision comes up.

You Can Be A World Famous Artist (or whatever else you want to be)

By Nicole Tinkham

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I don’t think I’m alone when I confess that it took me a really long time to figure out what it was I wanted to do with my life. In fact, I’m still trying to figure it out. When we’re young, we’re always asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and any answer you give is perfectly acceptable. You’re encouraged to dream big. But when reality sets in and you actually have to make this decision for real, you don’t get the same reaction when you respond with “To be a world famous artist traveling the world”. It’s not the norm and something that’s different scares most people. Maybe it’s the people around you trying to talk you out of doing something huge like that or maybe it’s you, not even allowing yourself to dream big simply because it sounds too crazy.

It’s simple to have the mindset of just surviving day by day, looking forward to the weekends when you get a short break and then getting right back into this routine of yours. By doing this you aren’t seeing the big picture though. You’re not really thinking about what this life has to offer or how you could make a huge difference in the world. You’re just putting your head down and trying to get by. Is that any way to live though? If you think about all the things you could possibly be doing right now, is doing this what you would choose if you didn’t have to worry about anything else? Listen, we all know life is way too short to not enjoy what we do but why aren’t most of us making any changes?

The big thing that comes into play here is fear. It’s the fear of failure, the fear of what others might say, the fear that you might actually succeed, and many more. But what if when you were born you were meant to do something very specific? Something that no one else could do quite like you. Something that you were destined to do and succeed in? It’s something you feel deep down in your gut but never considered (or are too afraid to) act on. You are robbing the world of your special skills by not stepping out to do it! You have the power to help so many people and actually enjoy and be happy in your life and you’re most likely doing nothing about it. You’re choosing to do things you don’t fully enjoy. Doesn’t that sound kind of silly?

If you never make the leap, you will never know what could have been in store for you. Even when all odds are against you, if you were meant to do a particular thing in your life it will somehow work out. You must have faith and believe in yourself. Think about it this way; if you were to wrap up life right now, would you be happy with what you left the world with? Would you be happy with your accomplishments? If not, you need to make a change. You need to feel proud of the life you have lived. And if you want people to remember you when you’re gone, you must make an impact in some way on someone. The best way to do that is to follow that gut feeling and just go after what feels right in your heart.

If you do one thing today, make this be it. This one way of thinking will open your eyes to the possibilities. It will have you believing in yourself like you never have before. Whatever it is you want to do in your life whether it be to become a famous artist, an actress, a business owner, a singer, or whatever is in your heart, ask yourself if anyone else is or has already done this thing. Doesn’t have to be someone you know personally. Just think about whether it has been done before. Chances are it has and you know what that means? It means that you can do it too. It is not impossible. If someone else can do it, then why not you? Those people out there doing the things you want to do are no different than you. They don’t have anything special that you don’t have. They just went after what they wanted and they got there. Just like you can and will do.

You are never too old, the timing is never too late, and you are never too inexperienced to make things happen in your life.  What you need to do is consider the possibilities, set a goal for yourself, take action, become focused, and never give up. If it’s in your heart, keep going even through the difficult times. You will get there regardless of age or where you’re at in life right now. You CAN be that world famous artist or whatever else it is you want to be.

4 Important Things To Consider When Choosing An Art Workshop

By Nicole Tinkham
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If you’ve ever looked into taking an art workshop, you know how many different options are out there. So many in fact that if you’re not careful, your head may start spinning.  There are all sorts of types, experience levels, length of time, price, instructors, and more. And choosing the wrong workshop for you and your needs is just a waste of time. Read on for four important things to consider when choosing an art workshop. We’ll talk about your goals, where you’re skills are lacking, your level of commitment, and your level of experience to help you choose the perfect workshop.

1.    Your interests and goals

The first thing you must consider when choosing an art workshop is what you get excited over. What are you interested in learning more about? Does watercolor light your fire or are you more into mixed media? It may sound like a no brainer but many times we take up whatever workshops are available or what our friends are taking. Trust us when we say it’s worth waiting for your ideal workshop to open up if nothing is available at the moment. It’s always fun to attend workshops with your friends but just not worth it if it’s not something you’re interested in. It should also align with your art goals. Where do you want to be in the next 90 days or the next year? Always be moving forward!

2.    Where you need to improve

While it’s important to choose an art workshop in an area you enjoy, you shouldn’t get too comfortable in your comfort zone. Incredible things start to happen in life when you do things a little bit different. With that being said, think about areas in your art that you wish you were better in and find a workshop that will help you with it. This will be a challenge but it’ll help you improve as an artist and expand your skills.

3.    Your commitment level

Art workshops range in price, supplies needed, and time required. This means you must consider your commitment level to whatever area of art you’re looking into taking up. For example, if you only want to dabble in oil painting, taking a long three day workshop with several supplies required may not be the best option (unless of course you’re serious about taking it up). Same thing goes if you’re committed to calligraphy. You probably wouldn’t get as much out of a short intro workshop. Really think about your commitment level before signing up for a new art workshop so you get the most out of your time and money.

4.    Your experience

You’re most likely taking an art workshop to improve your skills and that’s excellent. Just keep in mind the workshops do vary on skill level. Certain classes are for beginners and others are designed for more experienced artists. Know where you’re at and look for this before signing up!

There are so many incredible art workshops available to you and it’s so important to understand what you personally need in your life at that moment. Consider your passions and those big goals you set for yourself, which skills you need to improve on, how much time and money you want to put into it and your experience level. Asking yourself these questions is sure to help you determine the best workshop for you.

Tell us, what type of art workshop will you be taking next?

Why Dreaming Big Is Getting You Nowhere And What You Need To Start Doing For Success

By Nicole Tinkham

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You’ll hear us say it all the time and it’s definitely something we believe in and stick by. It’s important to love this life of yours, to do the things that make you happy, and to dream big. You may have already started dreaming big by writing some goals down, creating a vision board, and visualizing your future. That’s great if you have and something we still encourage you to do. But what happens when you’re doing all this dreaming and nothing ever happens? If you’re feeling a little defeated and frustrated, this blog is for you. We’ll explain why dreaming big is getting you nowhere and what you need to start doing for success.

Dreaming big is the first piece of the puzzle. It’s figuring out what you really want in life and it’s certainly a crucial step. But if you stop at your dreams without taking action, you will never move forward. How do you expect these dreams to actually happen? Think they’re just going to fall into your lap? We can tell you from experience that’s not how this works. What you can start doing though is thinking big.

For example, it’s so easy to get lost in the excitement of a new career opportunity. You’re creating this new life for yourself and you have a list of things you’re dreaming of accomplishing. But the question is, are you taking those dreams and strategically planning what exactly will happen in your future? When you don’t have a plan one of two things typically happens. Either you get burnt out on this big dream or you fall behind trying to adapt to these new changes in your life.

What you need to do is get out of your head and get “all in” on the things you want to accomplish. You must give it your all. You must have a plan and take action. You must get focused. You may even have to make sacrifices like TV time, sleep, and extra vacations at least until you get things rolling. If you’re not 100% in it, it’s still all just a dream. You need to switch from dreaming big to thinking (and doing) big!

There’s no way of predicting the future but it doesn’t hurt to have a game plan either way. Know exactly what your next step is if you succeed and what your next step is if you fail. Sure, there will always be little surprises that come up along the way but you can handle them confidently when you have a strong plan. Don’t just wait around to see what happens. Be prepared.

So while dreaming big paints the picture of how your life could look, it’s also important to think big. Take action on those dreams, follow through with them, and plan for anything the future may bring (good or bad). It may be impossible to predict exactly what could happen in the future but think through every possible situation you can imagine and plan for it. If you’re a dreamer but feel stuck, start doing these things to finally see success in your life.

5 Planner Hacks That Will Change Your Life

By Nicole Tinkham

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It’s the beginning of a new year and if you’re gearing up to make the most of it, you probably purchased a brand new planner and you’re ready to go. Maybe planning and staying organized last year didn’t work out so well or maybe you’re just totally new to this. In either case, we understand the struggle of organization. It can be completely overwhelming looking at a book full of tasks that need to be done. Or maybe you forget to open up your planner altogether which makes having one pretty pointless. Don’t worry; we have 5 planner hacks that will change your life and help keep you organized throughout the whole year.

1.    Don’t include everything

There’s two types of people in the world; those who don’t (or rarely) write important things down and those who write every single little thing down. They key is to find that sweet spot. You have to write some things down but jotting down too much just becomes overwhelming. If there’s something you do on a daily basis without much thought, it doesn’t need to go in your planner. For example, you’ll want to have your dentist appointments marked down in your planner but it’s not necessary to schedule time to brush your teeth every day. You should hopefully be in the habit of doing that daily already.

2.    Plan to plan

We know you want to use your planner and stay organized but the problem normally lies in something as simple as forgetting to sit down and plan. You just need to get in the habit of doing so consistently. Schedule time to sit down and plan for the day, week, and month. It may only take you 15 minutes but it won’t get done unless you plan on getting it done. So how exactly do you plan to plan? We recommend setting an alarm to go off on your phone as a reminder. You should also schedule things into your planner at the same time every day. So for example, you can plan your day at 9:00AM daily, plan for your week every Sunday at 9:00AM and schedule for the month on the 1st of every month at 9:00AM. The more consistent your timing is, the easier it is to form the habit of getting it done.

3.    Use only one planner

If you think having one planner is difficult to keep up with, you’ll drive yourself bonkers with multiple books. Sometimes it may seem like a good idea to separate your home life from your career to-dos but we advise against that. You’ll find yourself flipping back and forth between the two planners which will only make the process more confusing. Plus this is exactly why colorful highlighters, pens and washi tape were invented. Instead of using a whole different book, color-code your tasks to keep them separate but all in the same spot.

4.    Personalize it

Your planner is a very personal thing and should be treated as so. It’s important to choose a planner that will suit your needs. For example, if you do a lot of traveling, a compact planner may be perfect so you can easily take it everywhere with you. But if you take a lot of notes, a larger planner may be ideal for you so you have enough room to write. Get a planner that’s your own personal style. Fall in love with it so you can love using it. Also consider a bullet journal for total customization.

5.    Physically check things off your list

Checking a task (any task, big or small) is so incredibly satisfying. It’s so satisfying that it actually pumps you up for the next task on your list. That being said, actually check off or cross out completed tasks. Oh and don’t stress over the tasks that don’t get completed. You can just move these over to a later date or make a separate list of these tasks to be completed whenever you have the extra time. Remember that you can only do your best so don’t beat yourself up over what doesn’t get done.

Make this year the year you don’t give up all hope on your planner! We know it’s not easy following a planner consistently. It takes some time to plan everything out and it’s so easy to forget to open it up and get planning. But once you’re on a roll with doing it, it’ll become much easier and planning ahead makes everything else easier too. You don’t have to be a super organized person to make a planner work for you. Just keep it simple, be consistent and don’t put too much in it.

Have you had success with your planner? Let us know your top tips in the comments below!

New Year Checklist – 10 Things Every Artist Needs To Do

By Nicole Tinkham

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Getting ready for the New Year doesn’t have to be crazy and overwhelming with serious goals and planning. It’s great to have some goals laid out, an idea of where you want to be by the end of the year, and to get organized too. But we also think it’s important to HAVE FUN!! On this list of 10 things every artist needs to do for the New Year, you’ll notice that something fun is included in more than half of the tasks on the list. And if you find a daunting task you don’t want to do, turn it into a game or reward yourself for completing it!

•    Have a new sketchbook ready to go (open it up every day!)

•    Get organized for peace of mind

•    Make a list of things you want to learn – Plan to attend an art workshop, save YouTube videos, buy a new art book, or subscribe to an art magazine

•    Plan something fun – we all need a break. Plan a vacation at some point next year or even a staycation if you have nowhere to go

•    Have your goal and action plan written down

•    Plan regular friend and family time! It’s easy to get so wrapped up in our own little world that we forget to spend time with the ones we love

•    Have an open mind – Do something wild, crazy, unexpected, out of the norm, and anything that takes you out of your comfort zone

•    Buy fun colored Post-it Notes to write yourself positive notes and reminders

•    Change up your art room for creative inspiration and more room for new supplies 🙂

•    Get your artist portfolio in line

We believe that having fun is the best way to start the New Year, wouldn’t you agree? Doing something you enjoy is easier to stick with than something you don’t. Start doing some of the things on this list, have fun with it, and don’t stress about starting a new year. Tell us, will you follow this checklist when heading into the New Year?