6 Ways To Live A Creative Life Outside The Art Studio

By Nicole Tinkham


If your artwork is something you enjoy on the side of a completely different full time job or if you just have a lot of other things on your plate, it may be difficult to blend your creative side with everyday life. I know it’s difficult for me to think about my personal life while at the office and also the other way around (thinking about office work while at home). Sometimes this is a good thing! You certainly don’t want to bring the stresses of your full time work into the art studio. But what if you could bring your creative passion into what you do full time? Wouldn’t that make your day so much more enjoyable? Well I have good news because you CAN bring your creativity into every area of your life and I’ll show you how.

1.    Have a sketchbook with you at all times

You probably won’t realize this until you start really paying attention but you have so many windows of time scattered throughout the day that you most likely are wasting. It’s those 15 minute breaks at the office, the extra 5 minutes left over after you eat your lunch, the 2 minutes you arrive to work early, the 15 minutes while dinner is cooking, the 20 minute commute to and from work, and the extra 10 minutes of laying in bed in the morning that really add up. I’ve just rambled off over an hour of time throughout your day that could be spent on creative activities and I’m sure there’s even more you’ll discover.

Take these windows of time and either create art, think about art, or gain new creative inspiration. Take a walk on your 15 minute breaks and discover something inspiring. Jot down some creative ideas that you’ve been thinking of or practice quick sketches. You can even listen to art podcasts in the car for fresh new ideas.

You say you don’t have time for art but in reality, the time is there. We all have the same 24 hours a day, it just all depends on how you use it.

2.    Share your passions

Start talking about your passions to your co-workers and other people around you. You could end up being the go-to person for creative advice. Of course you don’t only want to talk about your artwork if it doesn’t seem like anyone is interested but give people helpful tips and tricks that they’ll really appreciate. You may make some new artsy friends along the way too. Never be ashamed of who you are and what you like to do. You have no idea who you could possibly help if you never open your mouth and share.

3.    Look for creative tasks

Whether it’s planning a theme for the office party or helping a friend decorate their home, you can bring your creative skills and talents into the mix. The trick is to just speak up! If you overhear someone mention needing help in an area you’re skilled in, jump on the opportunity. Even small things that you can give your opinion on will go a long way and help you enjoy the not so artsy tasks that come up.

4.    Keep learning

So maybe you can’t bust out the art tutorial YouTube videos you’ve been dying to watch in the middle of your day job. But you can strive to learn new things that do relate to your job. Any type of learning can trigger new creative ideas because your mind is working differently and taking new things in. This is where having your sketchbook on you becomes helpful. When a new idea strikes, write it down.

5.    Allow the not so fun tasks help you grow as an artist

If you don’t enjoy your day job, you could wind up feeling really down about the position you’re in and not fully enjoy what you do every day. But here’s a little secret: there are many things you can learn and apply from that full time job (or any other task you don’t like doing) to other areas of your life, like your art. For example, working with customers is a great way to learn how to deal with people in your own art business. Figure out ways you can apply your day to day work and tasks to the things you are passionate about.
Remember, you are where you’re at in life right now for a reason. There’s something to be learned in this season of your life so make the most of it and let that move you forward.

6.    Spend time with the right people

Once you start being open about your creative side, sharing what you’re doing and offering help to others you’ll probably start forming a tribe or a group of like-minded thinkers. Chat and get together with these artsy people often to get the creative ideas flowing. Be open to meeting new people and going to different art events. Spending time with others who just “get” you is so empowering.

Who says creativity has to stay in the art studio? Art is all around you in nature, buildings, packaging, clothing and more. Art makes people happy. I’ve seen it with my own eyes so I encourage you to spread the joy. Be yourself and always stay creative in every area of your life.

Tell us, how do you stay creative all day long?

You Don’t Have To Quit Your Day Job To Live The Dream Life

By Nicole Tinkham


SO MANY of us do this and I’m totally guilty of it myself. We put our dreams on hold and wait for the “right time” to go after them. It sounds logical but that perfect timing may not ever happen which means you just wasted a whole lot of time doing absolutely nothing. We come up with all sorts of excuses like “when I retire, I’ll do the things that make me happy” or “when I have some more money I’ll start working on my goals”. That’s great that you want to make some big things happen in your life but while you’re daydreaming about them, time is passing you by. Maybe you can’t just leave your full time job tomorrow to focus on your art but you can start focusing on your dreams right now. Here’s how!

1.    Make the most of your free time

I often hear people say they would love to work on their art, go to different events, do some writing, travel and many other things. The one thing that’s holding them back (so they say) is time. I get that most of your days are spent working but there are several more hours in the day that you could be doing something that you absolutely love. Think about the activities you’re doing after work. Are you watching mindless TV or are you exploring your passion?

2.    Do something special for yourself

Do you ever feel selfish just thinking about spoiling yourself? Maybe you feel like you don’t have the extra money or you don’t think you deserve a massage or fancy dinner. To me, these extra little things sounded so luxurious and I always thought “when I’m successful, that’s how I’ll spend my days”. But who says I can’t pamper myself right now? Sure, it may cost a little extra money that you should be saving up for other things but it’s also important to live a little and enjoy yourself.

Note: Your “me” time doesn’t necessarily have to be extravagant and expensive. Quiet time to yourself in nature could be your little escape.

3.    Go on vacation

How many times do you use your vacation days for some work around the house, to visit family, or just stay home and do nothing at all? There is nothing wrong with doing these things but every once in awhile you need to take a real vacation. Get away to somewhere you’ve never been, go on an adventure, explore, and gain some new inspiration. You will return a changed person.

4.    Change up your day job

If you’ve been in your 9-5 job for awhile doing the same thing every single day, you probably feel like you’re in a never-ending cycle. No matter what the job is, it gets boring after awhile! But there are ways you can make it interesting again and get more enjoyment out of it. You can explore different departments within the company or look for new tasks to do in your current position. Even just moving things around in your office (we suggest sitting near a window and bringing in a plant) can go a long way. If you can, see if you’re able to work from home or cut back your hours to part time. All of these changes can improve how you view your full time job and make it more exciting.

5.    Make a difference

There’s no greater feeling than being able to help someone else out. I always said that if I had the time I would volunteer more and if I had the money I would donate more. I think many of us say these things and we don’t follow through as often as we’d like to. Remember that every little bit counts so do what you can! Even chatting with a friend when they’ve had a bad day is helping someone else and it feels so rewarding to be able to do that.

6.    Do things that scare you

When you think about the “dream life” it probably doesn’t include things that scare you but when you get stuck in the day to day grind, there’s nothing more exhilarating than doing something totally insane. Maybe you jump on a plane next weekend and visit New York City for the first time on a whim. Or maybe you sign up for a cooking class when you’ve been using your kitchen as your art studio and haven’t cooked a thing in ages. By doing these crazy things, you will gain so many experiences, meet incredible people and have amazing stories to share.

Don’t let life get boring before you dare to have fun. You only have one life to live so you better start doing all those things you ever hoped and dreamed of right now! You are never too old, too young, too broke, or too busy to enjoy life. You can live the dream life without quitting your day job and you can start right now!

12 Quick Tips For Creating An Art Portfolio

By Nicole Tinkham


If someone were to ask to see your art portfolio, what would your response be? Do you have one? Do you even know what the purpose of one is? If you’ve never heard of it, an art portfolio is basically a resume for artists used for a new job or when trying to get into an art gallery. And even if you don’t have plans for either, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the idea altogether. Aside from the professional use, art portfolios are also a nice reminder to yourself of how far you’ve come and a great way to show off your work to friends and family. Let’s face it; you rarely have your artwork readily available to show samples of. This can help! Whether you’re doing it just for you or you have something in particular you’ll need one for, read on for 12 quick tips for creating an art portfolio.

1.    Best work only. We know how difficult it is to eliminate some things from your art portfolio (although, it is really awesome that you love your own work so much!) but limit your portfolio to your best work only. This is your first impression so set your artwork standards high. Choose 10-20 of your best pieces to feature.

2.    Consider placement. Start off with one of your top pieces and end with a bang as well. All of the work you display will be your best put pick the best of the best to start and finish with.

3.    Artwork must be complete. It may be tempting to throw a work in progress in there that you’re really proud of but when it comes to your art portfolio, make sure all pieces are complete. Incomplete pieces are unprofessional and show that you don’t finish what you start.

4.    Work on it often. Chances are, you need to put together an art portfolio for a new job or to get into an art gallery. Once those things are accomplished, don’t just forget about your portfolio. Keep working on it and making changes. You never know when you may need it again.

5.    Don’t try too hard. You want your art portfolio to be an accurate overview of you and your artwork. Loosen up and be yourself! Trying too hard to give them what you think they want is just lying to them and yourself.

6.    Remember the details. Every single piece in your art portfolio needs to be labeled with the title, medium, and date.

7.    Make everything flow. You’ll want to show your best work and a variety of different pieces but you also need to make sure all artwork makes sense together.

8.    Get a little help. Ask fellow artists which pieces they think should go in your art portfolio. Make sure you choose people who will give you their honest opinion and remember to not become discouraged with criticism.

9.    Read the requirements. If you’re putting together your art portfolio for a specific purpose, make sure to read over any guidelines and requirements.

10.    Be organized. We know the struggle of organization and we typically say everyone is different when it comes to this and that’s ok. But when it comes to your art portfolio, organization is a must. Make sure your artwork is matted, straight, and looks presentable.

11.    Focus on the work. Your art portfolio can be unique and a little different but don’t go too overboard and take away from the most important part, the artwork. Highlight art rather than take away from it. Remember that!

12.    Take photos. Any large pieces that cannot fit in your art portfolio should be included in a photo. Must be taken at a professional-like level with proper lighting.

The first time you put your art portfolio together, it does not have to be perfect. This is so important to remember because striving for perfection could keep you from starting it altogether. Art portfolios are meant to be adjusted as you go. You’ll be adding new work as you improve and taking old work out. Really, the more you’re changing up your art portfolio, the better. This means you’re growing as an artist. So take a good look at all of your artwork and just start piecing it together. Have fun with it and review these 12 quick tips for creating an artist portfolio so you know you’re on the right track.

Tell us, do you have an art portfolio that’s up to date??

25 Art Careers You Need To Consider

By Nicole Tinkham

If the reason you haven’t turned your passion for art into a career yet is because you don’t think you could make it as an artist, think again! You don’t have to do the scary task of quitting your day job to become your own boss as an artist. You can take a different route and still use your creative skills in a job that leaves you feeling fulfilled and happy. The following list of 25 art careers take a different spin on the typical painter or other art profession you have in mind. Some of these are out of the box but you may be surprised how well they align with your interests and skills. For example, you may have never thought twice about interior design but if you have an eye for color and placement it could be just the career for you. If you want to make art a full time part of your life, read on for 25 brilliant ideas that you need to consider.

1.    Writer – Gets creative with words in stories, poems, screenplays, and more
2.    Interior Designer – Beautifies indoor spaces
3.    Art Teacher – Teaches skills in universities or art workshops
4.    Art Appraiser – Determines the value of artwork
5.    Art Gallery Manager – Ensures that those who come into the gallery are looked after and oversee installations and exhibits
6.    Caricature Artist – Cartooning for parties and events
7.    Fashion Designer – Designs beautiful clothing
8.    Cake Decorator – Creates edible works of art
9.    Actor/singer – Let your talents shine!
10.    Set Designer – Prepares the stage for theater productions
11.    Museum Curator – Organizes exhibits at museums
12.    Tattoo Artist – Applies artwork in the form of a tattoo
13.    Lighting Designer – Creates lighting effects for production
14.    Restoration Artist – Brings back the original look of an old piece of artwork
15.    Landscape Artist – Designs the layout of plants in outdoor spaces
16.    Architect – The art and science behind designing buildings
17.    Product Designer – Designs the look of different products
18.    Medical Illustrator – Illustrations for medical journals and textbooks
19.    Muralist – Creates large scale paintings on buildings
20.    Screen Printing – Creates designs on clothing using a screen and ink or paint
21.    Textile Design – Designs the look of different fabrics
22.    Florist – Arranges flowers and plants
23.    Musician – Creates art for the ears
24.    Glass Blower – Shapes blobs of molten glass into vessels and shapes
25.    Woodworking – Creates artwork and functional pieces out of wood

Of course, doing your own thing as an artist and working for yourself is the perfect alternative to working for someone else. We love the idea and if it’s in your heart, we say go for it! But this list of 25 art careers may be the ideal stepping stone if you aren’t quite ready to be your own boss. Or it may help you discover exactly what you want to do. Whatever the case may be, the important thing is that you’re happy. Look over this list, consider some different options, then do your research and see if these would be a good fit for you.

Tell us, which of these 25 art careers stands out to you? Have something to add to the list? Just let us know in the comments!

6 Things To Do When You Feel Burned Out

By Nicole Tinkham


Burn out doesn’t just happen when you’re overworked in the office. Listen up artists; it can happen to you too! And it could be even worse. You know those creative blocks you get when you just cannot think of any brilliant ideas or you’re at a loss when trying to complete a project? You’re most likely burned out and it happens so frequently among artists because when those creative ideas do strike, you’re in constant work mode jumping from project to project. We know many artists who work straight through the night on big projects. That’s tough on the mind and the body! It doesn’t matter what you do, whether it’s a job you’re not fond of or one that you love. Burn out happens to us all and we’ve discovered 6 tricks you can do next time you feel this way. Read on for ways to clear your mind and get back in the game.

1.    Get out and stay active

Your first instinct when you need a break may be to sit yourself on the couch in front of the TV. While this may turn off your brain, there are better ways to disengage from work and really escape reality. Stay active and go out for a hike or a walk. Get out there and do something new and different. Go on an adventure and find a new park. Whatever you do, just get out of the house. Even if you’re at home doing nothing on the couch, your mind can wonder back to work related things. But if you’re staying active, you’re keeping your mind busy so you won’t worry so much about your stresses.

2.    Disconnect

Drama lives online and can easily find its way to your Facebook news feed. If you really want to clear your mind and get out of burn out, you need to disconnect. Turn the phone, tablet, computer, and TV off. Get connected with yourself. Read a self development book, write in a journal or get out and meet with friends (it’s different in person than online!). The length of time you choose to disconnect is totally up to you but even just a few hours can make a huge difference.

3.    Change your surroundings

Your surroundings can trigger your thoughts. That’s why they say not to have your home office in the bedroom. When you’re trying to sleep, your work in the corner of the room will remind you of all the things you need to and should be doing. Spending too much time in the art studio when you’re already burned out can become stressful. You’re putting all this pressure and stress on yourself. The best thing you can do is completely leave your work area even if you still have work to do. Head to a coffee shop or library to get some work done. Or meet up with a friend to swap creative ideas. Changing your surroundings tricks your mind. You’re in a new place and will hopefully have new ideas. If you don’t physically leave your space, just change it up. Clean it up, rearrange things, or get new furniture. Just make it fun and different! Even small changes can make you feel like you’re in a totally different place.

4.    Get more sleep

Getting more sleep will help you feel refreshed every morning, ready to get back at it. But that’s easier said than done, right? Here are a few of our tricks to getting better sleep:

•    Turn off your phone, tablet and any other devices ahead of time (they say the light from these will keep you awake longer)

•    No caffeine after 2PM – even if you don’t think it affects your sleep, it can!

•    Make sure the room is dark, cool, and quiet

•    Read something positive before bed. This will help you de-stress and wake up feeling better.

5.    Help someone else

The best way to help you is to help someone else. Plus switching gears and focusing on different problems other than your own will get your brain thinking in a different way. Then when you come back to your project, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go. On top of all that, helping others just feels really good 🙂

6.    Schedule downtime

It’s easy to say you’ll take a break, go on vacation, turn your mind off, and escape but we rarely actually do it. The problem is we have this long list of to-dos marked on the calendar. We make sure to get the busy work done but we don’t schedule in any downtime to just relax. We believe the key to enjoying time away from work is to act as if this downtime is an important business meeting. Put it on your calendar and follow through with it. This could be taking breaks throughout the day, planning for vacations, planning for relaxing weekend time, day trips, or visits with friends and family. Schedule these times in advance and actually do them! When you say you’re going to give yourself a break, follow through on your commitment. Getting the proper rest will actually allow you to accomplish more when you get back to your list.

Next time you cannot think of that brilliant idea for a project or the thought of going into the office to put in long hours makes you want to pull your hair out, simply take a break. You’ll be amazed by how much more productive you are when you get the rest and relaxation you need. Be active and try something new, put down your phone for the day, change up your environment, get more sleep, help someone else for a change, and schedule that downtime for yourself. You deserve it! These 6 things will definitely rejuvenate you and help get out of burn out. Give them a try and let us know how it works for you.

Is Full-Time Artist The Right Path For You?

Nicole Tinkham

Is Full-Time Artist The Right Path For You_

Quitting your full-time job to focus on your art sounds like the dream life, doesn’t it? You can start your own business, be your own boss, work from home and set your own hours. We talk to many artists who are either already doing this or have a big dream to make it happen. It’s not a simple decision though. There are many things to consider when starting a business for example, your vision for the future, setting business hours for yourself, investing in coaching and training, giving up a steady income, letting go of some things in your life to make more time for your business, and much more. With that being said, becoming a full-time artist isn’t the right path for everyone. To find out if it’s right for you, ask yourself the following 10 questions.

1.    Are you willing to learn new things?

Taking your art to the next level and starting your own business means learning a totally new skill set. We’re talking about business skills as in networking, pricing your art to sell, managing your finances, and promoting yourself. This is totally different than learning a new art medium which you may also find yourself doing.

2.    Can you control your feelings?

As an artist, you probably already know that people can sometimes be mean!  Art is all about opinion and since everyone’s so different, they won’t all like your work. Don’t let this get to you though. Remember that you ARE talented, you WILL make this business work for you, and there are people that will appreciate your artwork.

3.    Are you ready to be a business owner?

Once you become a full-time artist, it’s not just about having fun anymore. We’re not saying that you’ll no longer have fun creating art but we do know that you must take your business seriously like an actual business owner would. This means getting focused and having real business hours in place!

4.    Are you willing to quit your job?

When starting a business, the most common thing that holds people back is fear of leaving their current full-time job. We can totally understand that! It’s scary going from a comfy reliable income to your own business where you don’t know what will happen. You hear about all the failed businesses and you realize that it won’t come easy. Most likely you won’t be making the big bucks right away but as with anything, you’ll learn as you go and improve as you make those mistakes. One thing to keep in mind is that there are many different options to make money as an artist and you don’t necessarily have to leave your full-time job to do so. You can be a part-time artist who uses another job to pay bills or you can be an artist who makes the occasional sale. If quitting your full-time job is just too scary right now, start with one of these other options.

5.    Do you have long term goals and a vision set for yourself?

Starting your own art business isn’t something that you just wake up one day and decide to begin. This takes a lot of thought and consideration. Can you picture your future life as a full-time artist? What does that look like? What do you hope to accomplish in the future? What does your day to day life look like? Don’t just think about the next year. What does the future look like for you?

6.    Are you ready to work on your art every day?

Would you only show up to your current full-time job when you felt like it? Of course not! You must treat your business the same way. You can’t just work on the days you feel creative. You must be consistently working every single day!

7.    Are you ready to invest in growing your business?

There are some additional things that go into starting your own business that you need to be aware of. It goes way beyond just creating your artwork. Consider investing in a business coach, trade shows, business courses, your personal time, and more.

8.    Do you have time in your schedule to work on your business?

Until you grow your business, getting started will take up a large portion of your time. It’s important to get your priorities in line to see if this is something you can handle on top of everything else. What are you willing to eliminate from your day (TV watching and Facebook?) to allow more time to grow your business? What are you NOT willing to give up (time with family)? Sit down and start to plan out what each day would look like if you were to take your art full-time. Would you have enough time to do the things most important to you?

9.    Are you willing to create what people want?

Once you start creating artwork to make a profit, you’ll have to consider what your buyers want. You can still add in your own personality and signature techniques. You can also still create whatever ideas pop into your head. But you’ll have to learn to put your client’s needs and wants first which can be a difficult mindset switch.

10.    Do you have a positive mindset?

As we always say if you think you will fail, you will fail. If you believe in yourself, you’ll make it. It’s all about your mindset! Starting your own business in the art field is a huge task to take on. With any business, you’ll have your ups and your downs. To prevent yourself from completely giving up when things get difficult, keep a positive mindset. We’ve found that the best way to do this is to work on you daily. Take at least 10 minutes every day to read a personal development book. This is a great way to get you pumped up for the day.

We recommend printing this blog out and taking a moment to sit down and really go over these questions. By answering them honestly, you should be able to determine if being a full-time artist is the right path for you. Of course the journey will be a difficult one. Nothing worth fighting for comes easy. But making the choice to change what’s not working in your life is easier than being stuck and unhappy. Remember that you are in charge here. Your happiness is 100% up to you to create. If you feel that starting your own art business is the way to go, we believe in you all the way!

Tell us, are you a full-time artist? Would you ever consider it?

7 Tips to help you have a better day

By Nicole Tinkham

7 Tips to help you have a better day

We wouldn’t wish bad days on our worst enemy but we all know that they happen anyway. Sometimes we think there’s nothing we can do about days like these. And sometimes, you’re right. But, a majority of the time, we actually do have input on how our day goes. For example: how you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Hiccups will happen. You’ll wake up late, stub your toe, burn your breakfast, etc. In those cases, it’s all about how you react to the situation. Do you let it upset you or do you move on with your day like it never happened? There are also things you can do first thing in the morning to help you have a better day. They’re simple and really don’t take up much of your time at all. Read on to find out what they are.

1.    Wake up earlier.
There’s nothing more stressful than running late for work. Many of us leave just enough time to roll out of bed and make ourselves look decent before heading off to work. This leaves us little to no time when things don’t go according to plan. And by now you should know that things happen in life that keeps us from our plan quite often. You just never know what will come up next so you must prepare for it! Give yourself plenty of time to get ready without rushing. Leave the house a little earlier to beat the traffic. This will release a ton of stress from your day and we bet you won’t even miss those extra 10-15 minutes of sleep.

2.    Start your day with a healthy breakfast.
A good and healthy breakfast is what fuels your morning. It keeps you going without having that third cup of coffee when you get to the office. It helps keep you alert and productive. Not everyone is a breakfast person but if you are, make sure to enjoy this meal before starting your day. If you can’t do early morning, bring a healthy snack to the office to help you power through.

3.    Enjoy your morning coffee.
Have your coffee and ENJOY it! Don’t just gulp it down. Use this time to reflect. Think about life and all the things you’re grateful for. Savor every single sip.

4.    Prioritize your day.
Take a look at your to-do list. If it’s long, crazy and overwhelming, choose 1-3 things on your list that must get done today and put a star next to them. Anything else on the list can wait until tomorrow. This makes your list way less intimidating.

5.    Get your blood pumping.
Exercise releases endorphins that are proven to boost your mood. You don’t have to do much to get a little sweat sesh in. You can go for a walk, jog, hit the gym, or just dance around the living room. Do whatever you need to in order to get a little glisten.

6.    Sniff a lemon.
According to Scientists at Tel Aviv University, sniffing a lemon can boost levels of serotonin which boosts your mood. We suggest having a lemon scented candle burning while you’re getting ready for work or have one in the office if you can.

7.    Listen to classical music.
Slower rhythms are found to reduce stress. If you’re able, listen to some classical music at work or on the drive into work.

You may not be able to prevent bad things from happening in your day but you can do just a few simple things to promote a better day. Taking just 15 minutes in the morning to do things a little differently can go a long way. The power of doing these 7 things every morning goes way beyond you. When you’re in a better mood, those around you will also be in a better mood which really benefits everyone. Give this list a chance. Try it out for at least 21 days and see how you feel. And let us know how your days have improved by leaving a comment below!