December 28 2017

Holiday Coffee Chat: 2017 Review and Finding my Why

A few years ago (2014 to be exact), I watched a video by Carie Harling called What’s Your Why Not? That video got me thinking and I changed a few things after thinking… why not… Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about my WHY. I’ve been reading Vlog Like a Boss by Amy Schmittauer, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero, and The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs–each of these books has at least one part that talks about your WHY. Why. Why. Why is my WHY so important?

As 2017 comes to a close I’ve been reviewing how my year went, whether I achieved my goals, what goals I want/need to migrate into 2018, and what my new goals are. I’ve also been thinking a great deal about what worked and didn’t work, and why. There’s that word again. I really liked Carie’s view–Why not? Why not follow your dreams? Why not change things? Why not work towards improving yourself, your brand, your creative endeavors, your creative work space, your outlook? Why Not do the hard things? The hard things are sometimes more difficult because of the why. What? What do you mean Burgess? Of course the hard things are hard. They wouldn’t be hard things if they weren’t hard. Weeellll… sometimes the hard things are hard because we either don’t really understand something or maybe we don’t know how to do something, or maybe, just maybe, we’re letting our fears, our self doubts, our anxiety overcome us and we’re making it harder than it has to be. At least that’s my biggest problem.  Continue reading

July 8 2017

Journal Series: What’s In My Art Travel Bag?

When I first started adding art to my journals I wasn’t aware that I was actually adding art, so much as I was just adding bits and pieces of things like pictures, ticket stubs, receipts, stickers, and a doodle here or there–that was back in the late 70’s-early 80’s. A few years ago I came across the journal community on YouTube and got lost in all the different types of journals, and the different styles and ways that people journal–one in particular was the Hobonichi. I then found out about the Fauxbonichi. Since then I’ve tried out a number of different styles and types of journals, but the thing that hasn’t changed is my love of adding art and words to a blank page.

Over the past few years I’ve rediscovered my love of art and fallen in love with watercolor. In Cathy Johnson’s book “Artist’s Journal Workshop: creating your life in words and pictures,” she states that an artist’s journal is “a personal journal kept by the creative person…your fingers itch to capture the moment…your curiosity is piqued and you search for your own answers, make notes and sketches as you go. You celebrate a milestone or the everyday occurrence. Your journal can be a place to capture all of that, to capture the moments of your life.” And that is exactly what combining art and words is for me… capturing the bits and pieces of my life on the page, whether I am drawing, watercoloring, adding a picture, a piece of collage, a sticker, text… Whether it is about my trip to the grocery store or a day spent with family or friends or the new recipe I tried or my thoughts and/or feelings.

Lately, I’ve been expressing bits and pieces of my life with sketches or watercolor. and I’ve taken it even further by taking myself out on dates for urban sketching or plein-air sketching. In order to that I’ve had to minimize what I take on excursions. Instead of taking my “journal travel bag,” which includes a lot more. My family and friends, even Mr. Rockstar, looked at me funny when I walked in carrying a large pink satchel bag or my bookbag or leather messenger bag (depending on the mood and/or where I was going) and then broke out my journal “stuff,” which is quite a bit of stuff even in my journal travel bag. But to go urban sketching, or plein-air sketching no way was I going to be able to tote the large bag, the portable chair, and the camera bag. Nope, wasn’t going to happen, especially in the humidity we have here in the South. So I took out everything. Looked at what I had and broke it down into piles: 1. Need 2. Want 3. Unsure. I took away the “want” items and then went back over the “unsure” items. Minimized my “travel art bag” so that it all fit into one bag. And… here is that video (There is a list of the items I have in the bag in the description on YT. Some of the links are Amazon Affiliate links, which don’t affect the amount you pay, but do help me out a little with supplies and things. 😀

May 22 2017

Embrace your Creativity

Creativity is defined as:

  1.  the quality of being creative
  2.   the ability to create her artistic creativity(Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary). 
Hand Lettered Creativity Quote

Creativity is, according to Creativity at Work,  “characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing.”  But when I think of creativity I think of all kinds of things. Things like one moment you’re in the shower and out of nowhere an idea for your next book hits you like a ton of bricks. Or you’re sitting at your desk, dining room table, craft table, or the living room floor coloring with your grandson and you realize he has the right idea… he knows exactly what he’s doing… he’s not second guessing himself, the colors he’s using, whether or not he’s coloring inside or outside of the lines… he’s just doing it. And when he’s done, “Mimi it’s the best…” and I’m not sure if he’s asking me or telling me but he’s right… It’s the best. It’s the best moment. It’s the best picture. He used the best colors. It’s just the best, and so is he. We could all learn a thing or two from children and pets…. I’m embracing my inner five year old. That’s the way to creativity. That’s how I’ve learned to fully embrace my creativity–best lesson I could have learned and I learned it from my almost five year old grandson.

For the past seven months or more I’ve struggled with the idea, with accepting fully the idea and the fact that I am now working in a creative job… that what I do (the art, the journals, writing, Patreon, YT (in a way), blogging (that’s something I’m working at more and more each week)… that being a creative isn’t something I just am, it’s what I do, and that utilizing my creativity in different ways is my job, helping others to be creative is my job. sharing creativity is my job… (I’m sure you get the picture by now). Truth is, I’m doing something I love. I’m creating every single day. Maybe it’s a picture I took, or a picture I drew, maybe it’s a paragraph you wrote. Maybe it’s a video you created. Maybe it’s a piece of music you worked on, or a song you learned. Maybe it’s just that you sat down with your child or grandchild and colored a picture in a coloring book.

Later on, I’m going to do another blog post about creativity. I’ll continue to do them here and there. I’ve talked about comparing yourself to others, self-doubt, procrastination, and a few other things. And each time I do these kinds of posts, via blog or video, it’s usually because I’ve learned something new about myself.

I’d like to make this a bit of a series. Maybe one per month or so.

Here’s the video: (hope you enjoy).