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?

Everything You Need To Know About Bullet Journaling And Keeping Your Life Organized

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By Nicole Tinkham

There’s a new cooler way to keep track of your happenings! Go ahead and ditch that non creative planner and jump on board with us as we discover the craze of the year, bullet journaling. Having a creative mind doesn’t mean you have an excuse to be unorganized. We’ll show you how you can be artsy and still have everything in order through a journaling/planning technique that can change your life. Read on for everything you need to know about bullet journaling and keeping your life organized.

What it is

Put simply, a bullet journal is a customizable to-do list, journal, planner, organizer, calendar and note taker all in one book. With this type of journal you can create your own pages which allow it to work with you and your schedule rather than you having to fit your priorities into a pre-made planner like we’re used to doing. Before you get all crazy with your notes and ideas, know that your bullet journal should be super structured and there’s a reason for that. It’s designed for you to be productive, keep up with reaching your goals, and weed out the unimportant tasks that can hold you back. Not everyone is a structured person and that’s fine. Your journal should have at least some structure but you can also make it your own.

Why you should try it

Not all planners will suit your needs. Have you ever bought a planner that doesn’t provide enough room to write the tasks and appointments you need to? Or maybe the planner is too big when you’d really like something smaller. Or maybe you’d like to track something (like a food journal) that a typical planner doesn’t allow for. This is why you need a bullet journal for total customization!

For the creative thinkers who don’t like structure but also need to get organized, this is for you. It’s perfectly acceptable to doodle in a bullet journal. In fact, it’s highly encouraged. You can make it your own and it’s a fun way to get used to organization in your life.

So many times we think having a different list for everything helps us stay organized when in reality, it just stresses us out even more. Think about it. You have your grocery list, your to-do list, your brainstorm of creative ideas list, and more. Having all these different types of lists everywhere can be distracting. With a bullet journal it’s all right there in one notebook making your life easier.

You can set goals for yourself and actually make them happen. Since you can customize this journal, you can include your big goals and areas that you need to work on and fill them in daily. Having your goals and tasks clearly written will keep them in the front your mind so you can achieve them.

You can be totally unique and artsy! Add some color, doodles, fancy handwriting, fun washi tape, and more. This seriously takes planners to the next level.

Every day can be organized differently and you can change things up as needed. You can’t do that with other planners. You won’t get bored and you’ll discover new and better ways to staying organized.

You can add in a habit tracker to help you stay on track with good habits. It’s simple too! Every day you do something right, you fill in a square for the day. This will show your consistency, where you need to improve, and will help you get better at doing that habit. This is especially helpful to visual people who like to actually see their progress on paper.

You can put in as much time as you want. You can set up your day in just 2 minutes or you could spend more time reflecting and jotting down each detail. You can make it super simple but most people like to spend some more time on it and make it look nice too.

You don’t need any fancy supplies, unless you want them! All you really need is a grid journal and a pen. Colorful pens, highlighters, stickers, and other embellishments are just an added bonus.

Different ways to do it

There are two ways to go about bullet journaling: Setting it up 100% yourself as we’ve talked about or purchasing one with premade pages.

It may sound like the premade books go against everything we’ve said about customizing your own journal but hear us out. If there’s a specific goal you have in mind, there may be a journal out there to help you reach that goal specifically. For example, we’ve seen nutrition bullet journals that are set up to plan for meals as well as other things. Even if you go with this option, it won’t be like a typical planner. These are creatively designed and provide you with what you should need to achieve your goals.

If you take the DIY route, all you’ll nead is a gridded journal (in any type and size) and a pen. You’ll be writing everything out yourself but you can use the guidelines below for marking tasks to help you stay organized.

Simple dot = Task
X = Task complete
> = Task Migrated
< = Task Scheduled
O = Events
= Notes
* = Gives task priority
! = Creative idea/inspiration
An eye drawing = Further research required

You’ll also want to leave a few pages in the beginning of your journal open for the index which is what brings everything together. You’ll have to number your journal pages which can be time consuming but it’s definitely worth it in the end. As you work through your book, simply add topics to your index and indicate which page number they are on.

Top tips

•    Create a weekly log where you brain dump all the things you want to get done for the week but not sure which days you’ll do them.

•    Break your days up into time periods. Several tasks don’t feel so daunting when they’re grouped by time and importance.

•    Separate your events in a creative way with doodles or washi tape.

•    Include your reading and movie wish list into a to-do list

•    Get a quality notebook that you absolutely love. We recommend Moleskine.

•    Use a ruler to help you create straight lines.

•    Use planner stencils to help you create fun shapes.

•    Use colorful page flags to help you easily find the page you need.

•    Create a “waiting on” list. This is great for when you place an order for something and are waiting for it to be delivered. Be sure to include the arrival date so you can track it!

•    Have a section to set monthly and weekly goals.

•    Create fun themes by doodling around your lists.

•    Log your memories. Jot down certain words that remind you of a particular event or doodle it.

•    Include a gratitude section.

•    Have fun with your headers on each page. Learn new creative lettering and just have fun with it.

•    Develop a planning routine. Sit down to plan each month, week, and day. Take the time to do this and in the end you’ll be more organized and will actually save yourself time.

Still don’t think bullet journaling is for you? We DARE YOU to give it a try just for a month or two. We totally believe in the power of keeping goals organized and how fun you can make this normally boring task if you do it right. We think bullet journaling will blow your mind! It’s totally different than anything you’ve ever seen before.  Give it a try and be sure to let us know how it goes!

The Secret To Reaching Your Goals On Time

By Nicole Tinkham

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It’s now October. Just let that sink in for a moment. That means there are only a few more months until 2016 is officially over! If you’re just now thinking about your New Year’s resolutions that you haven’t accomplished yet, you’re not alone. It’s incredibly easy to set goals for yourself in the beginning of the year and then put them off since you know you have a full year to accomplish them. But then when it gets to around this time, just a few months before the year is over, we tend to ditch the old goals and decide to start fresh in January again. But why give up on them now? You still have a few months to go!! In this blog, we’ll explain how to get in gear to reach those goals by January plus the secret to reaching your goals on time so you don’t run into this last minute situation again. Read on if you’re not ready to give up on your goals just yet.

We’ll admit, a couple of months is not a lot of time to reach some big goals you may have, but you can still make some headway before the New Year starts. For example, you may not be able to get your business up and running by January but you can save up the money for start up costs or create a business plan. Start thinking about smaller goals within the big vision you have that you can start doing right now. Breaking them down makes them seem more manageable and you’ll feel more accomplished when checking them off your list.  

Another thing you’ll have to do in these final months is get laser focused on those goals. You won’t be able to work on them just when it’s convenient for you. It’s time to get serious! This may mean making some sacrifices and working late into the night. But if you push through now, you’ll be in a much better place come the New Year. Plus, doing anything at this point is better than nothing at all! Just do the best you can and make the most of these next couple months.

Whether you’re setting goals to end the year out or looking to set new goals for next year, the KEY to actually achieving them on time has everything to do with the deadline. You absolutely must have a deadline for every single step in the process of achieving your goals. Realistically think about what it will take to reach that goal. What do you need to put into it? How much time will it take you? What type of obstacles will you possibly face and how long could they hold you back?

Once you figure out about how much time it should take you to reach your goal, move that deadline AHEAD! It could be moved up a week or a whole month. This will really help you push to get it done by the new date and if you don’t accomplish it by then, no worries because you’re still within your main deadline.

Shooting for an earlier end date really gets you focused. Sure, you may have to work harder but it also allows you the extra time to get started on the next goal. You mostly likely won’t procrastinate (as much), you’ll be more productive, and you’ll reduce stress.

However, we also understand that moving the deadline forward can easily scare some people out of getting started. That’s what your success partner is for. This person supports you along the way and holds you accountable in your journey so you actually reach those goals. You won’t want to let that other person down so you’ll be sure to follow through with what you say you’ll do! Here’s more on how a success partner can help you and how to find one.

Setting goals is so EASY! The difficult part, however, is following through with them and seeing them to the end. Don’t let the end of 2016 stop you from crossing some of those New Year’s resolutions off your list. There’s still time and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve when you really get focused. Side note: It doesn’t have to be a new year to set goals for you! As you reach your goals, start creating new ones regardless of what month it is. When you do go about setting your goals, get super determined and push the deadline up. This gives you a little wiggle room so you don’t freak out (and give up) as the deadline approaches.

We can’t wait to hear what you’re tackling for the end of 2016. COMMENT below and let us know some goals you’re going after in the next few months.