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 🙂

5 Hidden Benefits You Didn’t Know About Journaling

By Nicole Tinkham

In your younger years you may have kept a diary or journal of the things going on in your life but as we get older we tend to drift away from doing this. If you’re still doing it, that’s excellent! But if you haven’t thought about keeping a journal in ages, we have some surprising benefits of journaling that you probably didn’t know. Read on for why you should start journaling again and how it can change your life.

1.    It helps you think creatively

Studies show that while sleeping your subconscious mind wanders and makes connections with different parts of the brain as it does during creative activity which promotes creative thinking right after sleep. With that being said, you can purposefully direct your unconscious mind by thinking about specific things before bed. To do this, jot down the things you want to accomplish in your journal right before falling asleep. Write down any thoughts or questions you want to figure out and be very specific about it.

Right after waking up, grab your journal again and have a thought dump where you unleash any creative ideas or answers you’re thinking about. Just write down whatever comes to mind, be loose with it and let the ideas flow. Don’t be worried if they’re good ideas or not. Just get them in your journal. It may take some time but eventually this could help you come up with new creative ideas for future projects.

2.    It reduces stress

Having too much on your mind or scattered thoughts can lead to stress. You may have a difficult time concentrating on one thing at a time and that can be overwhelming. Use your journal to unload all the ideas you’re storing in your head. Once you have them down on paper they aren’t going anywhere and you can get back to them later. You’ll notice that doing this makes life a lot less hectic and you can finally relax.

In addition to your ideas, journaling also releases the emotions you’re holding on to. When you get your feelings written out, you can begin to let go of the things that are holding you back. You’re more likely able to let go and move on with your life by doing this. View your journal as a way of therapy.

3.    It helps with your memory

It doesn’t matter how great you think you are at remembering information, writing things down is proven to help retain that info. When learning something new, it actually helps to write it down versus type it out. By writing things down, a different part of your brain is engaged which helps things stick. Try it out next time you go grocery shopping if you don’t normally write out a list. You’ll be amazed by what you remember to pick up without even looking at the list! Writing things down also helps you work out problems and helps with your learning process, just an added bonus. So next time you’re in a rut, grab your journal and do a little brainstorming to find a solution.

4.    It makes you a happier person

If you use your journal to jot down what you’re grateful for each day, you’ll draw more positive things to your life and just be all around happier. You can start by listing the big things but eventually you’ll realize just how many small things in your life that you appreciate and may not have noticed on a daily basis prior to doing this. The little things sometimes matter more than the big things.

If you have a relationship that’s going downhill and you’d like to revive it, jot down one thing a day that you love about that person. This will get you thinking about them and all of their good qualities. Soon you won’t even notice the things that once bugged you and instead you’ll notice how much love you have for them. This can drastically change your relationship.

5.    It improves your communication skills

Believe it or not, as you write in a journal you’re speaking to someone. Maybe it’s just to you but that doesn’t matter. You still have to make sense of what you have written down. With time, journaling will improve your writing which also improves your communication skills. Start jotting down little stories and scenarios to keep your creative mind sharp and discover your voice!

Before you go on thinking journaling is a lot of work, remember that a little bit goes a long way. Also, you won’t see a drastic change overnight but with time it could boost your creativity, increase your learning and memory, help with your communication skills, strengthen your relationships, and reduce your stress. Journaling is not just something for teenage girls! Invest in a nice journal, let the ideas flow, and allow it to change your life.

Tell us, do you write in a journal? What types of things do you write in it? Let us know in the comments!

The secret to coming up with big ideas

By Nicole Tinkham
the secret
If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated when those brilliant ideas of yours fall through the crack and get unnoticed or just don’t seem as brilliant later on down the road, you’re not alone. We understand that there’s nothing worse than having that excitement or creative “high” be crushed within the blink of an eye. You may feel like a failure and you might be tempted to give up altogether. We’re here to tell you that despite what you may think, it isn’t you. It’s not your fault. This happens to everyone! Good new is anyone can get better at coming up with those BIG ideas that actually stick and we can show you how. Here are 6 tips to coming up with big ideas and the SECRET to turning that idea into a winner.

1.    Write every single idea down

Don’t wait for the winning idea to write it down. Brainstorming should be exactly what it sounds like. A storm is brewing in your mind and you just have to get it all out onto paper. Sometimes if you don’t write down an idea (even one you don’t like) it could hang over your head and prevent you from moving forward. There are more ideas in there that are just waiting to come out. Make room for them!

2.    Look to others for inspiration

If you read the same book over and over again, your mind will be consumed with the information in that book. You’re not expanding your mind or gaining new knowledge. You’re just going over the same thing multiple times. The same concept can be applied to your creative ideas. If you’re brainstorming alone, there’s only so much you can come up with before you hit a wall. Ask others for their opinions and ideas to open up a whole new book of ideas.

3.    Make the time

Ever try to think of a winning idea on the spot? It’s pretty difficult to do! Schedule brainstorming sessions when you have plenty of time to focus without interruptions. This is not something that should be done while waiting in the doctor’s office or traveling to work. However, when ideas strike unexpectedly, write is down ASAP and revisit it when you have more time.

4.    Think BIG

Instead of thinking from project to project, think about the bigger picture. Where do you see yourself in the future? Where are these ideas going? Focusing on your vision will produce great ideas along the way. These ideas will only propel you forward.

5.    Shift your focus

Focus on your ideas intensely but know when to call it quits. No matter how on fire you are, there will come a time when you fall into a creative rut. Instead of going at it and getting nowhere, shift your focus to something else. You can start thinking about a different project, go out of town for a few days, take a long walk, or do absolutely nothing at all. Just step away and completely clear your mind. When you finally get back to it, you’ll be amazed at the fresh ideas that pop up out of nowhere.

6.    Don’t count on luck

Mostly likely, a killer idea won’t just fall in your lap. Don’t wait around and hope to get lucky. All great achievements are backed by lots of hard work. It’s frustrating when something doesn’t work out but don’t give up. Edit the idea, rework it, start over, gain new perspective, clear your mind, get some help, and just keep on trying!

And the SECRET to coming up with big ideas that stick is…


We have the tendency to overthink things especially when we’re so focused on coming up with that one winning idea. For some reason we think an idea has to be extremely involved to be a good one when in all reality, some of the best ideas are the simplest. Sometimes that winning idea is the first one you think of! But you may shrug it off thinking you didn’t spend enough time coming up with it. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend on it or when you think of it. A great idea is a great idea! A way to tell if an idea is too complicated is to explain it to someone else. If you have trouble explaining it or if they just don’t understand it, it’s time to edit the idea.

Big ideas are in there. The trick is revealing them. Everyone has the ability to think creatively. Everyone has BIG ideas. If you’re struggling with yours, try some of these tips and remember that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple ideas are sometimes the best ideas.

How to get fresh new ideas for your next painting

By Nicole Tinkham

Artists go through so many struggles that non artists will never understand. Have you ever stood in the paint supply section for an hour contemplating the best paint for your project? Or those times when you just can’t get a technique right and you’re wondering if you’ll ever understand it? Don’t even get us started on limited art room space and organization! But one thing that’s the most frustrating is lack of creative inspiration. It comes in waves and at moments, you’re on fire. Then all of a sudden you’re staring at a blank canvas with no clue what to paint. Sound familiar? We might be able to help! Here are some fresh ideas for your next painting.

Palette Knife
One way to mix up your painting style is to try working with a palette knife (for use with acrylics and oil paint) if you don’t normally use one. It’s totally different and we think you’ll have a lot of fun with it. Trying something foreign often sparks new creativity. Chances are you’ll end up painting a different subject matter than you’re used to entirely. For more tips on palette knife painting, check out Painting with a Palette Knife

Work in a different environment
If you’re used to working in the art studio do something different and step outside. Changing your surroundings will help you gain new inspiration. You can even bring some of the outdoors inside, such as flowers, if venturing out with all your supplies is a little too much for you. You can find so many new subjects to paint out in nature so explore a little. Also take notice of changing seasons. These are exciting and beautiful times to paint something different.

Play with mediums
Adding texture and shine can take your acrylic paintings to the next level. Achieve this by adding various mediums to the mix. Play with clear gels for a shine effect, molding paste for a raised surface, or pumice gel for a rough texture.

Adjust the size
Every artist has their comfort zone. Typically, they choose to either work on a large scale or a small scale. Whichever size you feel more comfortable with, do the opposite! This will force you to look at your subject differently.

Practice in your sketchbook
We suggest carrying a sketchbook everywhere with you. Start sketching different things that catch your eye in everyday life whether you’re waiting in the doctor’s office or sitting at a coffee shop. If you do this consistently, you’ll train your eyes to focus on unique points of interest that you can use as inspiration for later paintings. If you still have trouble coming up with new ideas, take on a fun drawing challenge with a different task each day. You can find these all over Pinterest and the web.

The bottom line is just to try new things. If the blank canvas is intimidating and you don’t know where to begin, do something completely out of your element. Head outside, pick up some different tools, play with textures, and go out in the world for new inspiration. Isn’t that what art is all about anyway? Experiment and have FUN!

4 Fun Fourth of July Office Games

By Nicole Tinkham

The Fourth of July is just days away and if you’re not planning an office party, you need to do so soon!  Trust us, we use any excuse we can to have a little fun in the office. It’s important! It brings everyone together and allows co-workers to loosen up and get to know one another on a more personal level.  Everything changes when you can discuss topics outside the workplace and just be yourself. As always, we have some killer ideas to help plan your office party. While we could easily list a bunch of fun 4th of July snacks to bring to a potluck or DIY decorating ideas, we decided to focus on GAMES this time around. We’ll go ahead and skip the lame party games that no one really enjoys and go straight to where it’s at with relay races, scavenger hunts, trivia, and a special office game. Keep reading for great ideas on these Fourth of July activities you need to be playing in the office this year.

1.    Relay Race
When we think of relay races, we think of good ole’ tug-o-war, sack races, balloon pops, etc. But really, a relay race can be ANYTHING you can come up with. Create a fun theme that’s out of the ordinary. Think about making it industry related. For example, one of our games could be hooking paperclips together or folding a piece of paper 8 times. There are so many different options! Just look around the office and see how you can use the items you have available to you.

You can take the relay games to the next level by creating a name and logo for the relay, custom t-shirts, and a trophy for the winning team. Keep in mind that this event can be as simple or complex as you’d like. You don’t necessarily have to go all out although we think it would be a lot of fun 🙂

2.    Scavenger Hunt
We don’t think we’ve ever met a person that didn’t have fun on a clever scavenger hunt. Like the relay race idea, a scavenger hunt can either be very detailed and planned out or fairly basic. We love incredibly clever riddles so feel free to get a little creative here.

Here’s an example clue:

It isn’t a coat hanger
But is made of wire that’s bent
For attaching emergencies
This item’s heaven sent
(paper clip)


It goes before “food”
For things we routinely eat
In an office it has two bent legs
But never any feet

Have everyone split up into teams and hand them the first riddle. Once they locate the object give them the next riddle and so on until one team finishes first. The example clues above are simple but you can make them as difficult as you want. Just keep in mind how much time you plan on spending because tough riddles could take all day! Again, you can get creative and have prizes for the winning team.

3.    Trivia
Trivia games are always a party favorite and we love them because they can be so diverse. You can bring in a game like Trivial Pursuit or make up your own. You can also have themes like how well you know your co-workers, music & movies, Fourth of July facts, or something to do with the industry you’re in.

Family Feud is a great game to play with a lot of co-workers. You can send out an email with various questions (Favorite Christmas song, What time do you get up for work in the morning?, How fast do you drive when the speed limit is 65?, etc.) and add up the results to see which answers were most popular. Proceed with the game as seen on Family Feud by breaking off into two teams and guess what the top answers are. A dry erase board is perfect for revealing the answers. Leave a comment at the end of this post if you have any additional questions on how to play this game.

4.    Desk Thief
If you’ve never played a round of desk thief in the office, you’re missing out. It’s a simple game but you learn so much about your co-workers based on what they have stashed away at their desks. If you’re the game host, grab one item from each person’s desk after hours. It could be a candy bar they have tucked away, a unique tape dispenser, or anything else fun or different you can find. Only search the top of the desk unless you have permission to go through the drawers. When it’s time to start the game, reveal each item one by one and have everyone write down who they think the item belongs to. We recommend giving prizes to the co-workers with the most correct responses.

These are 4 games that could actually be played at any time of the year but you can use your imagination and make them appropriate for the Fourth of July. For example, stolen items in Desk Thief could all be red, white, and blue or team colors in the relay race could be red and blue. Not only are these games a fun break from everyday office work but they’re also team building activities that help build strong relationships in the office. Do you have an office game you’d like to add to the list? Let us know what it is by leaving a comment below!

10 Office birthday ideas that don’t involve sheet cake

By Nicole Tinkham

10 Office Birthday Ideas that don't

What does a sheet cake and checking your name off the “sign card” list mean? You got it, another birthday in the office. While the gesture is nice and the cake is always yummy, it’s hard to show enthusiasm when the same exact thing is done for each and every employee. There’s nothing personal about gathering in the office break room while the whole company devours a cake with your name on it. Let’s think outside the box and do something different and FUN! Let’s make birthdays special as if we were kids again! Here are 10 ways to celebrate without a sheet cake (gasp!). Yes, it can be done and we’ll show you how.

1.    Decorate with more than just balloons


Cubicle decorating is a classic but when it’s a special birthday be sure to go ALL OUT!

2.    Make a piñata and make it creative


Most of us haven’t swung at a piñata since we were kids! Be creative with the piñata, having the birthday boy or girl’s interests in mind.

3.    Ice cream bar

Ice cream
Just because we’re dissing birthday cake in this post doesn’t mean all food is out of the question. Get a little creative and do an ice cream bar with all the toppings.

4.    Karaoke break


Rent a karaoke machine for the day and take breaks to have fun and sing. (Please don’t just sing the Happy Birthday song all day!)

5.    It’s not a party without games!


Here’s one we’ve done in the office before and it’s actually really fun. Place a paper plate or piece of paper on top of your head and draw what the instructor says without looking. The results are hysterical!

6.    Decade party

Decade party
Bring back the style of when the birthday boy/girl grew up by having a decade themed party.

7.    Photo booth

Photo booth
Photo booths are big right now at weddings and parties and are so much fun. Be sure to get a lot of random props!

8.    Get out of the office

large get together / fam'ly at picnic table / picnic in the park

If possible, try to get everyone out of the office for lunch even if it’s only a picnic in the parking lot. It’s amazing how much people loosen up when they’re not in the work environment.

9.    Act like a kid again

Bounce house

Rent a bounce house for the day and re-live those childhood birthday parties!

10.    A larger, better version of the birthday card

Message board

ANYTHING can go on the birthday message board (as long as it’s appropriate) except your typical “Happy Birthday”. Write something personal, show the birthday person how much you appreciate what they do around the office, share a story about that person, or draw a doodle.

Office parties will vary depending on the person. If someone in the office is obsessed with a certain TV series, a themed party would be a lot of fun. Always take into consideration the person the party is for. What would they like? If doing something special for each and every birthday in the office is too much, monthly group parties also work but make sure it’s unique and something each person would enjoy. If possible, make it a surprise! It’s so much more exciting that way 🙂

What’s the best office party you ever had? Tell us about it in the comments below!