Inspiration for creative spirits

Find your own answers & solve problems through journaling

Find your own answers & solve problems through journaling

The habit of turning to outside sources every time we need an answer trains us to lose trust in our own judgement. It’s great to have mentors and teachers, but at the same time we need to be able to trust ourselves. So what’s the alternative? How do we find our own answers and become empowered decision makers? Let me share my secret tool with you. Except it’s not a secret. Read more...

Doorways of inspiration

Doorways of inspiration

How is it that sometimes I can be so full of inspiration and drive to create, but other times I can’t even get myself off the couch? Why is it so difficult to remain in the state of forward momentum? How could I reinvigorate that creative spark after the fire has died out? I’ve tried to answer all of these questions, and more, in this essay. Read more...

Creativity in digital isolation

Creativity in digital isolation

“Common sense” marketing advice for creators is to publish something every single day. I know many folks who show up daily or almost daily, and it works for them. It’s an excellent marketing technique if you can pull it off. I’m not doing it, and I don’t think it’s the right way for everyone. I want to talk about the positive side of not having to put on a show every day (or every week, or even every month) if you’re not the kind of person who can or wants to do that. Read more...

Creatives have a responsibility towards social justice + Colorful portrait drawing process

Creatives have a responsibility towards social justice + Colorful portrait drawing process

In today’s episode of Nela’s Art Chat, I’ll show you my process of drawing the ink and watercolor painting “I See Color”, while talking about a somewhat timely subject: how creatives can support social change, and why we should. Our talent and skills have power. We can use those powers to uphold the status quo, or we can use them to inspire and enact change. If you already aren’t convinced why we all need to take a more active role in our society, I hope this video will make you at least consider joining me and thousands of creatives across the world in this effort. Read more...

Stop comparing your art to others + Winter fairy drawing process

Stop comparing your art to others + Winter fairy drawing process

There are positive and beneficial sides to comparing our work to that of other artists, and there are also plenty of drawbacks. In today’s episode of Nela’s Art Chat I’m drawing a magical winter fairy colored pencil portrait while talking about how to productively compare your art with others’ so you can learn from it, and how to change your mindset so you don’t fall into the black hole of hating your own work because it’s not “good enough”. Read more...

How to get over fear of technology & learn anything online

How to get over fear of technology & learn anything online

Mandatory shutdowns have removed the only income source from many small businesses. Everyone keeps saying the answer is “technology”, but what if you’re among the people who find technology extra challenging? Sadly I don't have a magic wand that can make technology easy overnight, but I hope that this article can help you start thinking about it differently and open up more possibilities for learning and growth. Read more...

My 6 favorite mixed media art journal & sketchbook techniques

My 6 favorite mixed media art journal & sketchbook techniques

If you’re interested in mixed media art journals, you’ve likely seen it all. YouTube is full of step-by-step techniques if you want to give it a try. But over the years I’ve learned what I like and what I don’t like about making art, and this has led me to develop my own methods which work with my style and personality. In this article, I share some techniques I use to bring more fun to my sketchbook/art journaling practice. Read more...

A dialogue about art, narcissism & Vincent van Gogh

A dialogue about art, narcissism & Vincent van Gogh

After watching the movie “Loving Vincent”, my partner asked me: are artists narcissists because they want others to appreciate their art? I thought others may wonder about that as well, so I'm sharing our dialogue and the explanation I gave him on this matter. Read more...

From art block to a new art series: Notes from navigating my creative process

From art block to a new art series: Notes from navigating my creative process

Writing about art for me is writing about my process—not only the physical process of painting or drawing, but the process that happens in my mind, because that’s where most of the struggle is. In that spirit, this article isn’t a how-to, and it isn’t focused on technique—I’m documenting my thoughts here like I would in a journal. Learn how I managed to get over my crippling self-doubt and started painting with joy again. Read more...

What’s in your Creative Wellness Toolbox?

What’s in your Creative Wellness Toolbox?

Artists are intimately familiar with our physical tools—but today, I’m talking about a different type of toolbox. The toolbox you need to keep yourself in optimal mental and emotional shape to be able to create not just any kind of work, but your best work. Read more...

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