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5 Organization Ideas That Boost My Creativity

5 Organization Ideas That Boost My Creativity

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I have a few organization ideas up my sleeve that I use in order to get my creativity flowing.  Because although I like to think I can just sit down at any  moment and churn out some awesome creative pieces, there’s usually a few steps I have to take to get to that point; I’m guessing you’re the same way. #amiright?

And I don’t know about you, but life often has a tendency to interrupt me juuuuust when I’m getting into a flow of creativity.  It can be really hard to pick up where I left off, so I use a few jedi mind tricks to keep my productivity + creativity flowing.

Make space to create:

I try to consistently set aside time when I know I can create (9am/3 days a week for at least 30 minutes).  It seems so simple, right?  Since I have a baby under 1, those times are often interrupted or eliminated, but it helps to know that I am at least trying and that I have the time set aside just for my creative whims.  He won’t be a baby forever and I want to try to stick to the habit of consistently showing up for the work–I know if I can get my body there, my mind will follow.  And if I’m organized about it, I get even better results.

Get prepared:

I keep supplies easily accessible so that I can take advantage of a free 20 minute block.  I recently bought mini versions of a few of my most used supplies and store them in a totebag, so I can take it anywhere.

The supplies include:

  • A multi-media sketch pad
  • small box of favorite markers, pens and a few paint brushes
  • a small water palette
  • wax crayons (I can use them for heavy vibrant marks or create a watercolor effect from them)
  • gel medium
  • scraps of paper for collage

5 Organization Ideas That Help Me Be More Creative

This way I can create very easily without setting up a lot of stuff.  It has taken the pressure off of needing to only create in my studio because in the past, that’s where all of the supplies were.

Capture images as I go:

I try to take a lot of pictures and document what I do so I can use the images as backgrounds for social media graphics or add to posts later (especially when it’s an art in progress post!)

I try to take photos of everyday life that I know would make a nice background for my blog posts or social media graphics, too.   And the simpler the better–it doesn’t have to be a fancy picture, just something easy on the eyes and in focus always works great.  And don’t worry about needing some fancy equipment.  I take the pictures with my phone!  Most phones have a pretty amazing camera these days so I just use a lot of natural light and get snapping.

Simplify with batching (best organization idea hack):

I try to batch create when at all possible.  If I’m creating a graphic for a social media post or a blog post, I try to create a few at a time, even if it means I’m not going to use them right away.  I have a file folder in my dropbox (more on that below) that is literally labeled “not used yet” and it’s where I keep some images and graphics for future use.  It’s a total time saver!

“I love wasting time,” said no one, ever.

I create paintings in batches as well.  When I’m working on a piece, I usually have a few in rotation that I can go to when one is drying, that way I’m always working on something.  It not only helps keep the creative flow going, but I’m getting a lot done rather than sitting and watching paint dry (literally.)

Store images in a cloud:

Dropbox is my best friend.  There is a free version, but I pay for the monthly version because it gives me a lot more space.  I can access that sweet drive from anywhere!  Not only do I have it on my laptop, but I have it on my phone and I can immediately upload the pictures I take.  It makes creating social media graphics sooooo easy and fast.  Organizing everything into folders also helps keep everything in order and makes the images simple to use.

I don’t assume I’ll remember:

Here’s a simple but powerful organization idea: I try to write any good ideas down when they come up.  Not only do I have an app that will capture inspiration when it strikes (Hello my love, Google Keep) but I also carry around a small moleskine in my purse to make notes or sketches when they pop into my head.  It’s nothing fancy, it’s just to jot things down because sometimes the perfect idea comes to me when I’m in the shower.  You too? 🙂

Hope these ideas are helpful to you–here’s to being more creative!

Love, Steph

 

5 Organization Ideas That Boost My Creativity2018-03-29T20:23:06-04:00

On Creativity: The Ebb + Flow

The Ebb + Flow of creativity can be frustrating. Click through to see the ways I'm finding my way back to the flow!

It’s been a while since I’ve created in my usual way (painting, collaging + writing) and it feels kind of strange to have been away from it for so long.  I miss my quiet time in front of the canvas but these days of diapers and trying to catch up on sleep, I can’t seem to figure out how to get back there.  I used to take a painting class once a week, I painted in my studio at least one day a week and I wrote regular blog posts to spark ideas, too.  I miss it terribly!

I remind myself that I can still follow my artistic whims, I just need to figure out how and when.  I may not have a block of 2 hours to paint, but I can grab 10 minutes to draw something or connect online.  I have to remind myself that I’m creating a new normal now–I need to be more gentle with myself as I figure out exactly what that is.  I really just enjoy exploring the idea of creativity as a whole and can use that as my guide.  

But what happens when life changes and you no longer have the same amount of time to do what you always did to create?

It’s the ebb and flow that happens with any kind of major change (and little changes, too).  I’ve been here before and found my way back, I know I can do it again.  When I resurface, the starting over point is usually to check in with myself and explore just how things have changed.

I’m still an artist, but I’m different.

Even my space to create is different.  My studio is no longer mine and it’s a disaster, so that doesn’t make it quite so easy to bounce back to painting!  I had to pack everything up and shove it in the corner to make room for the bed we had to move out of the new nursery.  Needless to say, it’s not a very inspiring place at the moment:

Disaster studio

 

But I know it’s not forever.  See those shelves leaning against the table?  That’s my starting point to get back to creating.  Once I put them up, I’ll be able to move my supplies up on them and be able to make room for more organizing!  One step at a time…

Here are a few others ways I’m trying to get back on track:

  • Regularly check in with fellow artists, even if it’s just to see what they’re up to on Facebook.  Inspiration comes at the most surprising moments, doesn’t it?
  • Stand in my defunct studio to see where I can begin to reassemble it (see picture)
  • Make a simple sketch in my sketch book when I have 5 minutes of quiet.
  • Connect with you on my blog again (aha!)
  • Walk through the paint aisle at AC Moore and check out the new products.
  • Write down ideas for future paintings in my phone.  A lot of times this happens in the middle of the night while I’m nursing Marty.
  • Remember to take it one day at a time–the fever to create will come back.

If anything, this time has been amazingly affirmative.  It reminds me why I love to create (to have some type of expression + connect with others) and that it’s not going anywhere, no matter how long the break is.

Love, Steph

P.S. Want to share your own creative journey?  In honor of connecting again, I created a Facebook Group for creatives so that we may encourage each other when the ebb + flow happens.  It’s a very new group, I’d love if you joined conversation.  All you do is put in your details and then request to join the group on Facebook.  I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

On Creativity: The Ebb + Flow2018-03-29T20:23:06-04:00

How To Stay Positive When You Want To Bury Your Head In The Sand

Looking for a few hints on how to stay positive? Click through to read 5 easy tips to keep in mind to avoid burying your head in the sand!

There’s always something to be happy about in life, no matter what is going on.  But what happens during those times when you hit a mental roadblock and can only see the hurdles? We’ve all been there–that place where it seems like there’s nothing but grey skies and rain headed your way…but fear not, friend!  I have a few simple things to share with you that will get your mind back to thinking blue skies and sunshine daydreams.

Here are a few tricks I use, maybe they’ll help you, too:

1. It sounds simple, but stop looking at the down side. You can find a drawback to everything, even winning the lottery! But what you focus on will grow, so don’t accentuate what you want to change.  Put a kabash on those negative thoughts.

2. Practice loving the silver lining. Thinking positively is actually a habit you can develop.   I promise it’s not that hard!  The trick is this: when you find yourself going down the doom and gloom road, take a detour and mentally put on the brakes.  You can say things to yourself like, “that’s not what I want to focus on” or “that isn’t true to me” and head on over to a sunnier thought.  Stop (the thought), drop (the negativity) and roll (with a better viewpoint).

3. Remember that everything changes. If you DO find yourself stuck in a rut  you can’t get out of, have no fear–nothing lasts forever. One of my favorite things my mom always said to me is, ‘this too shall pass’.  It’s a great reminder that life is always changing, no matter what.  Knowing that simple fact makes it easier to pick up those helpful habits again later when the storm passes.

4. Give yourself an out. We all have crappy days, amiright?  And admitting that can sometimes make it easier to just feel the stink and then move on from it.  It can be as simple as saying to yourself “I feel like crap”.  That small confession can release the tension and start you on the path to a better mood.

5. Connect with someone else. There’s no better way to change your perspective than to ask for a little boost from a friend. Everyone knows what it feels like to be on the road to misery so it wouldn’t be hard for a buddy to relate to your situation + help you steer your thoughts in a different direction. That’s what friends are for!

It’s natural to hit that proverbial wall from time to time, so it’s more helpful to have a plan in place when you do. Don’t let those doomsday thoughts rule your moment–get in tune with what’s happening and change your view in an instant with these simple steps.  And remember: every storm eventually passes.

Love, Steph

 

 

P.S. Stay positive + dig in to your best self

Get inspired, friend! Click through to sign up for the free 5 day ecourse that will get you back on track to loving who you are.

How To Stay Positive When You Want To Bury Your Head In The Sand2018-03-29T20:23:07-04:00

You Need This In Your Life! Digging In: A Free Ecourse To Bring You Back To Yourself


Get inspired, friend! Click through to sign up for the free 5 day ecourse that will get you back on track to loving who you are.

 

You guys, I’m excited to finally tell you what I’ve been working on over here behind the scenes .  I’m really excited to tell you about it because I have been wanting to create something like this for a while!

This blog is all about exploring who we are becoming + beingopen to where that may lead, but I know that this journey can get tricky at times.

I have found that sometimes growth experiences can bring us to a feeling of overwhelm + feeling lost.  Can you relate?

Becoming more ourselves is a lifelong path that never ends.  And although each of our paths are unique + always changing, there are some similar experiences we all share.

So, I’ve been trying to think of ways I could be more helpful to you–to share some tricks + ideas that I’ve learned through my own self-exploring journey that can make your journey easier (other than writing about these experiences on the blog.)

And here it is:

Digging In: The Free 5 day ecourse that willl bring you back to yourself in gentle + motivating ways.I have created a FREE 5 day course that is delivered by emails right to your inbox that will bring you back to yourself in gentle + creative ways.  

Think of it as a little virtual hug/boost/high five to keep going (because that always feels good when you need a little encouragement.)

This course is all about Digging In to who you are, and loving what you find.

What’s in this course, you say?  Let me tell you! Each day’s email includes:

  • Encouraging words
  • Inspiring graphics
  • A PDF worksheet to help you get focused + take action on the given prompt.

The prompts for each day are to help you feel inspired + excited about getting moving in the direction you want to go.  #winning

The good news?  It’s self-paced and there is no one right way to do it.

The better news?  It’s free.  

I think you’re really going to love it!

So are you ready for your boost?  Click on the picture below to sign up!Looking for a simple way to feel more yourself? This simple mini course will help you dig in to who you are + help you refocus.

 

Love, Steph

 

 

 

P.S. Please share this with someone you think needs a little pick me up!

You Need This In Your Life! Digging In: A Free Ecourse To Bring You Back To Yourself2018-03-29T20:23:07-04:00

5 Easy Ways To Get Inspired {I use all of these!}

get inspired organization techniques

When I started painting, I realized that inspiration doesn’t have to be such an elusive thing.  A lot of times I would ‘wait’ for inspiration; I felt like there had to be the moment that inspiration strikes in order to create; but now I know that’s not true.

Inspiration doesn’t have to be something I chase down.  There are so many ways to create an environment where I can pull that creativity from the deep part of me that is looking to be expressed.  I just have to remember to actually use these handy tricks!

Here are some ways I get inspired, and maybe you can use these tips, too:

1. Make a gratitude list.

The best way I get my wheels turning in the right direction is to look at what is working.  I try to think about what I’m totally psyched about, what is really getting me excited these days + I write those things down feverishly in a simple list.  And these things can change from day to day so I put the list in a place I see a lot (usually on my to-do for the day) to remind me that I have a lot to be happy about.  So simple, right?  It really works.

2. Create a vision board or an inspiration board on Pinterest.

I find that the visual aspect of things has such a big impact on my mood, especially when I want to create new art.  Vision boards are something I’ve always used–collaging pictures and words onto poster board, beckoning those things into my reality (law of attraction anyone?)  They’re easy to make and a great reminder to display in any creative space.  Recently, I have found Pinterest to be such a cool alternative–it’s like an electronic vision board that I can pin things to from around the web.  Here’s my inspiration board if you want to follow along with me on my pinning journey.

3. Watch a Ted Talk on a favorite topic.  

Ted talks are a total mini pick me up.  They’re all 20 minutes or less, so it’s just enough to get the message across without getting boring. #winning  Here are a few good ones that I like:

4. Read a snippet of a great book

I love books I can just pick up and read a little of without diving into the entire thing.  Some good ones I use are:

5. Listen to some great tunes.  

I firmly believe in having a few theme songs–one that gets me going in the morning, one that pumps me up when we need a boost + one that calms me down when I need a hug.  I have too many to list, but here are a few:

Such simple ideas, right?  But using these tools each time I need a little inspiration has made all of the difference.  I hope they help you, too–happy creating!

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*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from the links but I only recommend products that I use + love myself.

5 Easy Ways To Get Inspired {I use all of these!}2018-03-29T20:23:07-04:00

How I Organize My Day Off To Get Things Done. (Free Printable PDF!)

How I Organize My Day Off

I don’t know about you, but when I have a free day/day off/unscheduled time, I more often than not, totally waste it.  I’m much better when I have a structure, even if that means scheduling in time to relax!  Sounds ridiculous I know, but knowing this about myself has saved me many hours of frustration over lost opportunities to get stuff done.

The first step was figuring out my style.  I had a hard time admitting I couldn’t be that fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-kind-of-girl planner.  Are you better with structure, too?  Do you need to write out a detailed schedule or do you just need a basic blueprint?  I find the more detailed I get, the easier it is stay on schedule.

Which is kind of funny because being a bit on the artistic side, it seems like I would naturally hate that structure.  But I LOVE IT!  I’m a total list person–I love making them, I love checking off the items and then coming up with more–so I’ve come up with an easy way to become a free-day-ninja-task master of sorts.

Here’s how I structure a day off so that I can get the most out of it:

1) I make a master list of all the dreamy things I’d like to do.  I don’t limit this to ‘practical’ things that best suit my time, but more all of the things that are running around in my brain that need to get done.  It’s basically a brain dump so I can get a big view picture of what’s happening in my life.  It doesn’t mean I’m going to get to them that day, it’s just a way to get organized.

2) I then figure out my must-do’s for the day.  I workout most days, so I want to schedule time for that.  I also like to catch up with a buddy sometimes, so I put aside a little meeting time for that (lunch, anyone?)   I don’t ignore my everyday must-dos just because it’s a free day in front of me.

3) Then I cull out what I think I can actually get done that day by identifying the top 3 non-negotiables from the brain dump.  This to me is great, because I know no matter what, I’m going to get those three things done, so I make them the ones I really want to cross off the list.

4) Next, I set up a time schedule and literally block out my time.  The first items I put in are the top three non-negotiables, then I put in the must dos and last, I figure out what else I have time for.  I sprinkle those extras in throughout the day trying to gauge the realistic amount of time I actually have.  I find that when I put tasks in the time slots, they surprisingly get done!  This is where I know I need a schedule, because I’m pretty good at sticking to it when I have one.

5) Lastly, I always leave a little time in between tasks so that I have some room for flexibility.  I want to have a sense of ease on my free day, not like I’m being held to every. little. thing!  So that extra time gives me a little looseness in my schedule.

Here’s what I use for my list: (Want a free copy?  Click on the image to get access to my free resource library.)

Free Printable PDF on how to better organize your day! Click through to get yours.

 

The running list goes on the right, and I plug as much as I can handle into the slots on the left, depending on time.  It works because I see what I need to do, what I’m actually doing + what might need to get done another day all in one view.

(If this style appeals to you, click on the picture above and it will bring you to a page of it that you can print!  You need to print it in landscape mode, it will be on one half of the page.)

This may seem pretty simple, but man!  It gets me to organize my day.  As a result I feel relaxed and accomplished.  Total score!  And I don’t have an overwhelming schedule book to lug around–it’s just one simple sheet to keep me on track.

At the end of the day, I take a look at my list and see what I crossed off.  I transfer the running list for the next free day (or spare time) and I add the leftovers from the brain dump to my running Google Keep lists.  I use Keep for lists of not-everyday-sorts of things like: work that needs to get done around the house, tasks to move my art biz forward, big item shopping lists etc.

So there it is!  It’s the organization method I’m using that’s working now, but it’s always changing.  Want to try it out?  Sign up and get access to it in my free resource library!

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How I Organize My Day Off To Get Things Done. (Free Printable PDF!)2018-10-08T21:27:40-04:00
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