Archive for the 'Inspiration' Category

Book review: The creative entrepreneur

A couple of weeks ago, I ordered The Creative Entrepreneur book by Lisa Sonora Beam. I never had heard of her, but from all the good reviews she had from her book, I decided to give it a go and try it. I’m a book-lover, so money spent on book is never a bad thing for me. ūüėČ

From the start, I really liked the visual of the book. I was afraid that, perhaps, there would be too much text, but no, there’s plenty of pictures and the guidelines are easy to understand. The images in the book are mostly made of other creative journals pages, of course. Which I found to be very inspiring. I love to read, but I like my craft books to lean on the visual side. ūüėČ

An interesting page with two self-portraits

The author takes you step-by-step in the making of your creative entrepreneur journal. From the materials you will need, the reasons why you should make a creative journal for your business and she even explains each step of the process very clearly.

I’ve been very interested in art journals lately and their creative ventures. As I’ve been thinking about starting my own business for years now (Yes, years! *sigh*), I thought that this approach on the creative side would certainly help me get some things done and understand some of the “reasons” that stopped me from doing so.

A beautiful positive & negative page. I ‚ô• the butterfuly idea!

This book is defenetely for you if, like me, you’re trying to start a creative business but may be “stuck” somewhere. You may have other reasons as well as you are not sure if “busines and art” can go together. (A sensitive subject for many artists, from my experience.)
You also need to want to start a creative journal with a business goal, in mind. You need to be open-minded and patient as I don’t think such a journal can be filled in an afternoon. The author asks you deep and thought-provoking questions, which are not always easy to answer, but all of your answers may be very rich.


To help you getting started, here’s my own creative entrepreur journal that I recently started:

I went to my local arts & craft store, and bought a 8″X10″ small drawing journal with medium to thick paper as I want to paint in it. Oh, and it’s got 30% of recycled fibers, as well. So it’s all good with mother-nature. ūüėČ

One thing I wish to do in the next year, is to finally focus on the things I really wish to do. So I did an entire page on this subject!
It says: “Focus on the things that’s important to your hearth.” Do you think my subconscious mind will finally get the message? ūüėČ I sure hope so!

That’s the interesting thing with The creative entrepreneur book, it’s that it opens doors to many thoughts that I’m keeping shut. While doing an exercice, I will often drift away and think about some other important issues I’ve been having. If I feel this is something that needs to be cared of, I will make a page about it to help me out.

Here are some links that you may find interesting to get more information about this book or to start your own creative journal:

Have you ever started a journal with this entrepreneur theme as a goal?
Is this something that interests or repulse you?
Let me know as I’d like to know if this is something that interests you or not.

Mural making

During Easter’s weekend, while everybody was enjoying the nice temperature we had in Quebec, I was inside a room, making a mural for a client. This is what happens when you’re juggling a bread and butter job with your creative ventures. :p

It was a 10 ft.¬†x 8 ft. and took me around 14 hours to make it. Which is not that bad considering I didn’t even made sketches before. It was inspired from an image my client already had.

It’s not the first time I do murals, here’s a children’s room with a jungle theme I did a couple of years ago. But it’s two totally different styles.

It made me seriously consider taking more murals orders when I will jump-start my creative career. I don’t know if there is that much of a demand for this, but any creative venture that can help me do the switch is always interesting in my book.

In case you’re interested in making your own mural, I found this page which has a ton of “how to” links about making murals. There is a lot of different techniques and way to make them.

And if you’re in the Montreal area and would like to get a nice mural done by me, feel free to contact me.

Inspiration: Think less and feel more!

Oh, spark of creativity… where art thou?

… or how to listen to my¬†right brain.

Since the beggining of 2010, I’ve been ongoing into a creative process. I didn’t notice this until recently. I don’t know about you but, for me, I¬† realized that I do a lot of thinking and have a tendancy to ratialize everything.
For examples: the life-changing decisions I make, the work I choose, the projects that get done…¬†all of theses have been controlled by my left side brain. My rational and logical mind.

For some people, this seems to work out fine without questionning themselves too much. (At least, in the moment.) But, the problem is that my values don’t necesseraly work with theses statements.

Since I wishes to make a living¬†in a creative field, I need to be much more closer to¬†the right brain: intuitivity, imagination, feelings…

I wish to experience more with art and judge it less.  

If ¬†you’d like to, join me in this promess you make to yourself.¬†

Here are some good books, that I recently read, to start or continue your creative journey:

  • Women who run with the wolves
    By Clarissa Pinkola Estés
    (From Publishers weekly) Folklore, fairy tales and dream symbols are called on to help restore women’s neglected intuitive and instinctive abilities in this earthy first book by a Jungian analyst. According to Estes, wolves and women share a psychic bond in their fierceness, grace and devotion to mate and community. This comparison defines the archetype of the Wild Woman, a female in touch with her primitive side and able to rely on gut feelings to make choices.
  • Succulent Wild Women
    By SARK
    (From Library Journal) SARK, an author, artist, and incest survivor with many years of therapy and self-healing behind her, wishes to shine her “beacon of hope to the world” as she encourages and inspires women of all ages to become “succulent.” She defines this as transcending past pains and feeling the freedom of full self-expression.

Even thought theses two books are very differents from each others, they both share similar messages about freedom and creativity for women.

I know they have been around for awhile, but I guess I wasn’t ready to listen to their message until recently. ūüėČ

Please, let me know if you enjoyed them or feel free to share  more creative ressources for people, like me, who are starting a creative journey!

Fireworks video @ Nuit Blanche

A quick post to let you know¬†that¬†I’ve just been very busy¬†in the last days¬†with the bread & butter job and life in general. Which is¬†the reason why¬†I haven’t been posting very often, last week.

While waiting for my next blog post, I thought you might enjoy this quick video of fireworks in the old port I took during last Saturday’s Nuit Blanche event in Montreal, during the High Lights festival. After the huge work week I had, I needed some time off with friends to decompress a little.

I hope your week is starting well! Mine is, so far! Phew! ūüôā

Inspiration: Postcard art swap

I’ve been very inspired Ihanna‘s postcard swap she did recently with bloggers from the art & craft community. She first mentionned this on #craftsocial via Twitter (correct me if I’m wrong, Hanna!) and she had a huge success witth this.

Here are some of my favorites that I found on the DIY Postcard Swap Flickr group:

By Prismtrail
Ah, the birds. Gotta love birds! I really enjoy the soft colors and wonder how the artist did the background effect. It really is neat.

From CarliniFed
This is one great and different idea. Not to mention it makes one comfy postcard!

From Heather Kirtland.
Lots of lovely stamps here and I adore the use of crayons/colors over the images and text. It changes the mood a lot.

From Lillamanda
Once again, you know how much I have a thing for mixed-medias, this one being fabric, embroidery & paper. How come I never do this? :-p

From Beebers31
You can’t go wring with a Peter Pan quote! ūüėČ I love the mix of thoses vintage images.

From Olive Nabya
This one’s picture isn’t great, but I really wanted to share it as I love the idea of taking old 35 mm film to create with. This is such a great idea!

From sacredgympsy
My “zen” side really likes this one. The message is very clear, here. I’d put this one right next to my computer desk. ūüėČ

Congratulations¬†to all who participated in the swap. I know theses takes a lot of time (Which is one of the reason why I couldn’t participate), but they are so inspiring and it’s fun to interact “for real” with the other bloggers.

If you’d like to participate in a postcard swap, Hanna suggests the postcard swaps in the Swapbot community. I never tried it, but may very well do so this year. (As soon as I manage my time better. Mmph! Shouldn’t we all? :p)

5 simple tips for artists & crafters to get in shape.

Awesome picture from Dennymont via Flickr.

… and why it’s good for us!

Since the new year started, I’ve been looking forward to get back in shape as I had some difficulty to manage my time with online school and my full-time job in 2009.

Spending more than 8 hours a day on a computer or a drawing table¬†is everything¬†BUT a healthy habit. :-/ Being an artist/crafter doesn’t excuse this. We all need to balance our life a little better.

I don’t know if you’ll find this useful or if this is related to this blog’s purpose, but I thought that I’d post it, anyway. It’s something that me and my¬†creative friends often struggles with, so I thought¬†that some of you might have¬†the same problem, as well.


Here are some major benefits for us to get moving:

  • It gets your creative mind flowing and out of “clutter”.
  • You will have more energy, so you’ll produce more and better art/craft.
  • Your mood will get better so it will enhance your relationships with other creatives.

1. Choose something that you like.

It may seem like a “duh” thing here, but it’s very important to¬†find an activity¬†that appeals to you.

Don’t choose something just because you want to please your friend or because “it looks cool”. Be sincere at what you like and you’re much more likely to keep going.

2. Organize a group.

This shouldn’t sound as a surprise,¬†but most of us¬†love being with people¬†and have fun interractions.

If you’re thinking about getting into a sport, tell the world.
Your friends, at your job, on social medias sites… you will certainly find at least one person who is interested in joining. Even more if you do¬†this in january. (Eheh.)

The main advantage of organizing a group is that it will keep you going. You won’t want to let your group down and vice-versa. Overcome the couch potato!

3. Go with the season!

If you’re living in Canada where it’s -30 degree celcius (Hello, me!), you may not want to go for a run on the sidewalk.
For example, this year, me and some friends decided to go skating together after work. Not only has this proven to be a very effective way to keep¬†us moving, but since it’s a¬†seasonal, we¬†know it won’t last forever. So we tend to go skating more often. ūüôā

4. Hire a gym coach.

“But I don’t have money for this!” A common excuse. But I’m sure we all had the money to buy the latest craft supply or a new techie tool. Busted!
A coach can be a great source of motiviation if you’re planning your 6th membership to a gym you yet have to try. They will call you to make sure you’re going to your next meeting, will give you tips and answer all your newbie questions.

5. Still no money? Be creative!

Do what you’re best at; Look for an alternative way to keep you in shape.
There’s never been so many options availables. :

  • DVD’s. (Even Youtube have some demos & classes.)
    I found some interesting and different ones via World Dance New York. (Belly & tribal dances, hoop, etc.) Never tried them but I’m tempted!
  • Local YMCA &¬† clubs.
    They are often less expensives than specialized classes or at local gyms.
  • Start taking walks, go running, make an easy home-gym or use a Wii-fit!

Is there anything else you can think of? I’m sure there is. ūüôā Happy moving!

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Waterhouse @ Montreal museum of fine arts

Yesterday evening, I went to see the John William Waterhouse exhibition at the Montreal Museum of fine arts. (It’s half-price on wednesday.;) )

For thoses who don’t live in Montreal, it’s the most well-known and very probably biggest art museum in the city. (I’m not sure which one, either the Fine art or contemporary museum is bigger, does anyone know?) In the last years, they had some “popular” exhibitions such as Disney (Yes, disney!) and Yoko Ono.

It reminded me how much I miss going¬†to the museum¬†and how it is important for an illustrator to learn from theses masters. It is really amazing to being able to see one’s lifetime work in one single place at the same time. You can see the differences between years and how it influenced it’s technique.

Waterhouse had some very strong drawing skills. It was fun to see his famous masterpieces and I loved his sketches as much, if not more. There is so much you can learn from them just by looking.

I really love mermaids, so it’s just normal that I love this painting from Waterhouse. Surprisely, it isn’t one of his biggest sized work (It could fit nicely in a small living room.) but it took him years to finish. And, now, it’s one of his most well-known piece.

Sure, you can take a look on the web or books to see his work, but seing it “live” cannot be compared. You realize how much work have been done how much time it must have took him.

One of my friend, who was at the museum with me, told me: “When you think about it, they had NO electricity during this time.” So that meant he probably couldn’t paint during the evening.
He really had to take the most of his day time and be well-organised. I certainly could have learn a few tricks from him.

Sadly, JWW didn’t leave too much letters behind him when he died. Which explains why we hardly know anything about his private life. Because of this, historians cannot explain in¬†certaity why he chose to paint mostly womens. Sure, it had to do with the upcoming feminist in Great Britain during that time, but there certainly was more to it… but we’ll never know.

Perhaps he was aware of his private life in¬†a time people didn’t mind about it. Certainly a precursor, Mr. Waterhouse!

+ Here are some links of interest about JWW+

JW Waterhouse website
JWW: Comprehensive galleries of John William Waterhouse paintings website
JWW on Wikipedia

Art vs is the blog where arts & crafts are no longer fighting!
It's about illustration, crafts & related events.

My name is Fanie and I’m a Montreal based illustrator & graphic designer. You may know me from drawing The Crafty Life comic in CLM. I ♥ comics, vegan food & ghost stories.

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