The fruits of a daily drawing practice
Living a creative life when the demands are many
Hey, fellow creative friends!
First up, I’ve had a small flurry of new subscribers here, so I would love to connect and know a little more about you, so feel free to leave a comment. What brought you here?
Perhaps, like me, you have many titles (I’m not really that fond of labels, but they are useful for connecting with others who face similar challenges I guess). I work pretty much full-time as a community manager for a start-up, but I’m also a Mum as well as an artist.
One of my biggest challenges is balancing the demands of a job and family, alongside an incredible and very loud call to create. A call that leaves me very frustrated at times. And tired - it often wakes me at 3 am!
I can’t say I’ve worked out the answers yet. My artistic pursuits can’t sustain my family through the ever-increasing costs of simply being alive. And I refuse to call my creative practice a side hustle. That feels disingenuous to something that’s at the core of who I am. As I’ve said many times here and on social media, I owe my sanity, perhaps even my life, to creativity. Limiting it to the sidelines or hustle, just cheapens the importance of living a creative life.
Perhaps it’s my destiny to feel the frustration that needing to create, brings continually. All I know is time to work on my drawing projects is as important to me as exercise, healthy food and sleep.
If you share this frustration, please tell me I’m not alone! Please tell me that life isn’t one or the other. It’s either work or art, and never the twain shall meet. I just don’t think I can accept that.
For those that follow me on Instagram, you’ll often see snippets of my daily work-in-progress in my stories. Every evening, seven days a week, after the demands of the day, I draw, draw and draw some more. The hours slip by far too quickly.
If I could, I would literally draw all night!
Alas, I have to stop, to go to sleep, so I can get back on the life/work treadmill again the next day. It always pains me to put my pen down.
However, this week that drawing dedication seems to be paying off as I completed perhaps one of my favourite drawings to date. It made me ‘zing’ (this Hotel Transylvania reference will be familiar to some of you out there who have watched this with your kids)! It just has that ‘thing’ that makes my stomach and heart leap a little.
Here’s the materials I’ve used for her:
A4 Canson Bristol Board
Tom’s Studio Lumos Pen with a 0.1 and 0.5 nib (I reviewed this pen in last weeks newsletter if you want learn more about it)using Black Kiwa-Guro ink
Sakura micron pen; a 0.03 and brush nib
Faber Castell Polychromos Artist Pencils
It’s nice to feel happy with a piece and enjoy the floral fruits of a daily drawing practice.
In case you are in need of more inspo, keep reading for some creative recommendations and prompts for your week ahead.
For now, much love and stay creative,
Inspiration to Draw On
Explore your creative dreams: The Big Picture Workshop
This week, I’m really excited to be facilitating ‘The Big Picture’ Workshop for FLOWN the deep work platform, I’m the community manager for).
We’ll be exploring your professional and personal goals and looking into creating some solid scaffolding to turn dreams into reality! So if you have a creative project or ambition, you want to get off the ground, join my fellow fabulous facilitator Rich and me. It’s on Wednesday 18th January, 7 to 9pm (GMT).
It’s free for members, but if you’re not a member, you can get a 30-day free trial (no credit card required) and join us.
Music to Move Your Pencil To
Rather than music to mediate to, I’m calling this weeks meditation ‘music to move your pencil to’ because I really want to encourage some free flow drawing.
A creative warm-up exercise I love doing as a way to loosen up, is to put on a track that creates a feeling of flowing movement. Then I’ll just scribble in response to the music. This exercise is purely process led and a wonderful creative meditation.
Anyone who knows me well, knows I adore Nitin Sawhney; I think he is a musical genius. So this week I’m bringing you one of his more classical fusions from his most recent album ‘Immigrants’. If, like me you’re a fan of Aregntinian tango, you’ll like the vibe of this, but as always, Nitin brings something fresh and delightful.
Book Recommendation -
Do Design - Why beauty is key to everything by Alan Moore
This short and punchy book is more a philosophy that design theory. I loved it.
An inspiration for makers, designers and creatives of all sorts, it’s a call to create better things for better reasons.
Here’s a summary of blurb from the Do Website:
So much passes us by, unnoticed. We multi-task, switch between screens, work faster. When was the last time you paused to consider a beautifully-made object or stunning natural landscape? Yet this is when our spirits lift and our soul is restored.
Do Design will inspire you to:
Improve your creative process
Raise the quality and craft of your work
Consider the experience as much as the product
Adopt simplicity, utility and honesty as guiding principles
And Finally…A Quote to Live By
“We were all born inherently creative. We all have the capacity to bring beautiful things into this world and should be unapologetic about wanting to create them, whatever they are.”
~ Alan Moore, from the book ‘Do Design’
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