create and grow happily

Category: Creativity (page 2 of 3)

My creative corner in this blog. Colors, drawings, and the occasional crafting. You know. When I’m very inspired to create and patient enough to work with scissors.

The One Question I Ask Myself when I’m Having Self-Doubt

So you come up with an idea.

And it is an Amazing Idea™. It’s so brilliant, the old masters will roll over their grave with envy if they learn about this. You have to do something about this awesome idea stat.

And so you did. You started working on it. Days and nights passed by your window. Your work desk is getting more and more cluttered. An upbeat and incredibly motivating music is playing in the background while you are in a montage of maximum motivation.

But then– the needle scratches.

The music stops and you realize… what you’ve been working on this whole time? It isn’t like anything you’ve had in mind. It is not the Amazing Idea. It is, in fact, nowhere near amazing.

You plunge into that deep, dark hole of despair. Repeatedly beating yourself over and thinking, “Maybe I’m not good enough to do this.”

Does this sound familiar?

Self-doubt comes unexpectedly to the best of us. And if you're ever bombarded with all the heavy thoughts and doubting yourself, here's one question you can ask.

I like to think of perfectionism as a creative’s very own Kryptonite. See, we somehow follow this unsaid memo that whatever work we’re doing at the moment must be perfect.

That first draft of a novel? Must be perfectly outlined.

That sketch you’ll later post on Instagram? Must be perfectly messy.

That blog post you’re currently writing? Must have no typos.

(Seriously, I’d like to go back in time to find out just who the heck among our early ancestors passed that perfectionist tendencies into our DNA.)

And what happens when this unsaid memo doesn’t get accomplished? You frazzle. You start to panic. You become so caught up in making things 100% perfect that you have 0% energy left to actually finish the work.

You end up repeatedly editing that one line that does not make any sense. Or rereading your unfinished draft to look for typos. Or desperately using water to wash out that part of your drawing that you painted with the wrong color.

At the end of the day, you’re completely exhausted and you realize two things:

1) You’re not perfect.

2) You did not finish anything.

Have you ever felt that way? That you don’t feel happy or satisfied with what creative work you’re making? And you either do a complete overhaul of it or want to throw it to Davy Jones’s locker where you can never ever see it again ever?

Yo I’ve been there too.

Perfectionism was as constant in my adolescent life as acne is. And it was very prevalent in my relationship with my art.

I hated all my drawings. And in the off chance that I do love them, I’d see a mess in the colors or a tiny scratch a second later. And I’d immediately have this urge to do it all over again. Or burn it. For a long time, my perfectionist tendencies made me hate any creative work I made. Be it an essay or a school project collage or a blog post.

This you?

Well then, I want you to ask yourself one simple question. The one question I ask myself now whenever I’m bombarded with the need for absolute perfection:

“Will anyone, other than me, notice this flaw?”

Will anyone else take notice of this tiny flaw and think it ruined the entire piece the way you do?

No.

And I learned this is true most of the time. Most people probably won’t see anything. I know this because whenever I point out a small imperfection that has been bugging me for the entire creative process, you know what people usually say?

I don’t see it.

Or, Oh yeah, there is. But that’s so tiny!

Or, It’s not relevant, Kate. What are you talking about?

And this goes both ways. A friend of mine showed me her work and said she wanted to burn it. And I was totally confused because her work was awesome! We sometimes overlook the fact that we spent the most time looking over our work. (That was a mouthful so yes, you can read that again.) It comes to a point where we’re basically seeing everything in a magnifying glass, focusing on the tiniest specks rather than seeing the bigger picture.

Look, of course I’m not saying it’s okay to half-ass around and overlook the little mistakes you make.

You can’t really fully ignore them. You can’t erase the existence of the form/from typo you’ve written, or that stray stroke of watercolor that doesn’t go anywhere. They’re all there. They exist.

But here’s the thing:

Flaws, perfectionism, fear, quotes

Try taking a step back. Hold your paper at arms’ length. Zoom out that Word document to 10%, until all you could see are the pages you’ve written so far. Look at what you’ve made, the work-in-progress in front of you. It’s a messy work-in-progress, sure. It’ll need a tweak or twelve. But sometimes you need to remind yourself that you created something out of an idea.

Bask yourself in that. Because YOU made that.

And all those tiny flaws you see when you’re hunched down, laser-focused on one certain area? They are just that: tiny. Single specks in the huge amazing canvas you’ve created.

Own that amazingness.

That’s all you.

How do you move past the tiny flaws you find in the creative process? Let us know in the comments below so we’ll learn from your wisdom! 🙂

xx Kate

Photos from Aaron Burden and Ivory Mix

6 Reasons Why You Should Try Free Writing

In case it hasn’t been obvious, I love writing.

Whether it’s writing about my angst-filled days as an early teen or this one scene I came up where a twelve-year-old girl and an ancient dragon bickered if that huge grey thing is a boulder or Big Bird, writing was, and still is, a great way for me to channel my creativity into something.

But free writing.

Oh boy. That is a deeper and more intimate way in which writing has changed my life.

Good ol’ Wikipedia calls it a prewriting technique in which you disregard spelling, grammar, or topic.

I’ve always thought of it as like freestyle rap, except you’re just writing. (Freakin-genius in English, aren’t I?)

But anyway.

I have relied on it a lot in different aspects of my life this year. Which is why I’ve set myself up into convincing anyone who doesn’t free write to do it. Because I think it might just change yours too 😉

6 REASONS WHY FREE WRITING IS GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR LIFE

1. You Get to Organize Your Thoughts

I’m the kind of person who has 1,498,257 thoughts running on my mind every second. It can be pretty overwhelming. Like I just can NOT concentrate on doing anything else.

Does that sound like you too?

Does it feel like your mind is this browser with dozens of tabs opened simultaneously and it’s like you, the entire computer, is lagging constantly because how the heck are you going to process all of these???

Is that you?

Alright. Try free writing.

Free writing might just help you organize, even just a little bit, all those thoughts you are on the verge of drowning into. It totally helped me.

When I free write, I have this feeling of gradually letting thought after thought out of my brain. Putting one word after another is like closing those tabs one by one until you have just enough that you can focus on at the moment.

It is incredibly freeing and isn’t that nice? Because it’s called free writing! See what I did there? 😀 (I am so not funny)

2. It Makes You a Better Writer

Free writing helps you put thoughts into words well, right? So it also helps you become a better writer.

I mean, for one thing, it is not called a prewriting technique for show. But like any skill, writing something engaging and compelling takes lots of practice and actually doing some writing. Kristina wrote that it helped her write as many as 1,000 words in 15 minutes.

Let that sink in for a sec. 1,000 words in fifteen. freaking. minutes.

Totally amazing, right??

But free writing doesn’t just help you in the practice aspect of becoming a better writer. Free writing also helps you get into The Flow™. Or The Zone™. Or The Groove™. Whatever floats your boat.

This is when you feel fully immersed and focused on whatever activity you’re doing.

And yes, free writing can help you go to that state of mind while writing. Simply because practicing it helps you to take away compulsive self-analyzing. You might or might not get anything substantial from what you’ve free written. But you cannot forego the fact that it is a great way to flex your writing muscles and, you know, do writing warm-ups.

3. It is Actually Fun!

Sure, maybe that compulsive editor inside of you doesn’t like being in the process of free writing. BUT! Finishing that first draft of a blog post and reading through all of the grammatical errors and typos afterwards?

PROOFREADING HEAVEN.

Which, in my compulsive editor’s view, equals F-U-N.

How else is free writing fun? I’m so glad you asked.

<3 Reading old stuff you free wrote. Do you laugh at how awkward and overdramatic you are in your old diary entries or is that just me?

<3 Knowing you can write better now compared to X years ago. Boost your self-confidence yo!

<3 You don’t have to restrain yourself and overthink every-freakin-thing (which, let’s all agree, dampens the fun out of writing)

4. It is Good for Your Sanity

There has been plenty of research in the fields of psychology and neuroscience on the importance of free writing. And it is also used in counseling and therapy.

I mean. Hello, journalling?

If you’ve read plenty of self-care posts like I have, you’d know journalling is in there at the top of the how to self-care lists. And that is basically one of the best ways to incorporate free writing into your life.

Here are some other ways free writing can be good for your sanity:

+ It’s kind of an art therapy (which we’ll discuss further later)

+ It helps you put jumbled thoughts and emotions into words (as mentioned above) which is great for self-reflection and your mental health.

+ It tires you and that’s kinda like exercise for your arm (and I dunno, for some reason I like good exhaustions. Don’t you?)

+ It’s better than breaking plates and punching a hole on your wall. I mean, you could always write about punching a hole or maybe even turning into a dragon and burning down the next village over and look! No one in real life got physically hurt! Win-win. (Except for those poor villagers. May they rest in peace.)

5. You Become More Productive (writing-wise)

One thing I’ve heard and read a lot on conquering that Horrible First Draft™ is to write now, edit later. Which, I just learned, is an excellent advice for any type of writing; from novels to poetry to technical…and even blog writing.

Practicing free writing can help you from experiencing what Ignited Moth’s post inspired me to call, The Backspace Syndrome. You know, like that backspace key is so tempting to use and you edit and delete as you go? You ever had that?

Hey me too!

So when I feel like the backspace urge is too strong as I’m writing a blog post, I either resort to writing by hand or typing it on my tablet where the urge is usually not that strong and free writing comes more naturally.

End result? I have a finished first draft of blog post! Needs a lot of editing. For sure. But it’s more than a rough outline and I’ve got thoughts and ideas down that only need a bit of refining.

6. Free Writing is Therapeutic

Free writing helps me sort out things that have been on my mind. It’s rather comforting, you know.

Gosh, there were times when free writing became incredibly emotional for me. But, in a way, it was also (well here it is again) freeing. It was just me introspecting and untangling some of my thoughts. Even for just a bit. Like I don’t have to untangle everything, and I usually don’t. But what relatively little that I get untangled and sorted out, is big enough so as to make my life just a bit more bearable.

And that’s honestly what I love the most about free writing.

Do you free write? If so, how has it helped you? Do you have the Backspace Syndrome too? Do you binge-watch TED talk videos like yours truly? Tell me all!!!

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PS: If you enjoyed this post, you might like to learn 13 ways to be inspired and pump up your creativity. Just putting it out there 😉

(Photos used from Kaboompics and Pixabay respectively)

How to Conquer Creative Block (and smash it to bits!)

Something that has been bothering me lately is how I never seem to finish anything. And I mean anything creative.

Like I would have this awesome idea for an illustration or a blog post bubbling in my head and I just know it would be so fun to create or write and gahhh it’s so good where’s my pen gimme paper and then—

Whoosh. It’s gone. And it’s messing. Me. UP.

Do you ever have that happen? Like one minute you have this cool idea of a blog post or a novel or a drawing or something and it’s extremely exciting. But before you can even act on it, it just dissipated into thin air?

It is completely frustrating. And I’ve been struggling with it for some time. So I thought I’d do a bit of reflection on how I got through my previous creative blocks (because this is obviously not the first time I experienced a creative block.)

I listed them down below for all of the precious creative corn cobs who is or has suffered from creative block like yours truly 😉

Let’s battle these horrible blocks together, yeah?

What to Do When Creative Block Happens

Remember “Finished, Not Perfect”

See, perfectionism can be that grumpy old troll blocking your path. As a creative, I easily get sucked into this whirlpool mentality that what I do, I should be doing perfectly. What happens is that I focus on perfection more and end up with these perfect yet unfinished works. And let’s be real here, those don’t really give that same amount of satisfaction as finished works do.

The creator of the famous Inktober Challenge, Jake Parker has this short video where he gave this really good point about how a year from now, you’d think you could’ve done better.

So why fuss about it so much now, when you know you’re gonna be better at it in the future?

Now, whenever I’m writing a blog post or creating an illustration, I make it a point to just focus on finishing it. Sometimes it comes easy, like being at the moment of drawing something. And sometimes overthinking starts to nudge me on the side and I’ll have to force myself to get back to doing what I’m doing.

During those times, I remember that my goal at that moment is “finished, not perfect.” You can watch Jake Parker’s video below:

Create a Mental Accountability Exercise

Whenever I read articles on how to be productive when you’re unmotivated or something similar, one tip they always throw out is to keep distractions away from you.

This doesn’t work for me.

I grew up having to think of things to keep myself occupied without any help from the adults. And while that’s a good thing for my creativity, it does have some negative side: I am always distracted.

Like I would try to keep my phone away from me when I work but then ooh! There’s that book my sister bought last week, let’s read the blurb! Or I would study somewhere in our campus with few people hanging around but gosh, look at those rooftops outside, what color are those?

See what I mean?

So instead of keeping them away, I have to build on my inner focus more. Which is why I’m trying to create this habit of having a regular mental accountability exercise. Like every hour or so I’d think, “Okay, Kate. How are you? And how have you been doing this-and-that so far? What’s your progress? What are you finding difficulty on?”

It’s like I’m being the supervisor of my own self, weirdly funny as that sounds. I haven’t built this habit firmly yet but the times when I do completely immerse myself in the exercise I finish more work and I feel I enjoyed doing them more.

Change Things Up

I don’t know why. But when you’re doing routine work in a different way, it’s refreshing. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

I’ve been struggling with finishing blog posts lately, which is why I’ve been having these short impromptu blogging breaks the past few months. I just can’t seem to write well in my laptop for some reason.

So I decided I’d write the first draft of this post on my tablet and then edit on my laptop. And ohmybuttertoast, it worked! It freaking worked you guys! My train of thought went more smoothly than when I’m typing on my laptop. And it felt weird. Weirdly good. It felt like it’s been a long time since I wrote something and finished it.

Of course, I had to add in some stuff while I edited the draft on my laptop. But the point here is: by changing just one small detail in my routine, I actually worked better.

Take a Break from What You’re Doing

I honestly can’t stress this point enough. I even made a separate post before on the importance of taking a break. Breaks are important and we’re usually in this hustle mindset that we forget to sit back and catch a breather. Heck even I do.

Last month, I made the decision of stepping away from my Wednesday-and-Saturday blogging schedule because it’s just not doing any good for me recently. I needed a fresh perspective and a new routine.

October gave me that opportunity with Inktober. There were times when I had to do a bit of catch up but I enjoyed Inktober! And it has opened new creative, artsy doors that were totally refreshing.

(Also PS, if you haven’t read it yet, I’ve written a whole post on my first Inktober and what I’ve taken away from that experience)

And I know this contradicts that first part about finishing your work. But you know what? Why not try both?

I’ve been in a time when I thought, “Crap crap crap this looks awful, this really looks awful” but continued doing it anyway and finished it and freakin’ loved how it looked. And I’ve also been in a time when I simply turned the page of my sketchbook and told myself, “I’ll go back to that later. Maybe it won’t look as awful by then.” On both times, things worked out alright.

A few more ideas

I love reading blog posts or listening to podcasts on creativity and ideas. So here are some other bloggers’ take on creative blocks and, in general, capturing the ever fleeting and slippery ghouls called ideas.

May of Forever and Everly shared a simple yet very crucial tip we sometimes forget when blogging: when you have great blog post ideas, freaking write. Them. Down. (Also, her post is all about blogging pet peeves which is totally hilarious so go check it out after you’ve written that idea down, okay?)

In this post on organizing your blogging life, Ilsa of A Whisper of Ink gave me the most amazing idea for saving ideas (so meta I know) BOOKMARKS! Why haven’t I thought of that before???

The lovely blogger from Thoughts from ’94 wrote this post on writer’s block. I especially loved how she said blogging is not always about the writing but also experiencing things because YAS GURL I TOTALLY AGREE.

Y’all also check out where Lauren of Loulabellerose find blogging inspiration. I love how she added “Myself” there and it reminded me of an episode from The Magic Lessons podcast where Liz Gilbert and her guest of the episode talked about how wonderful it is to find inspiration from yourself.

Check out these girls’ lovely blogs, yo! They’re really amazing 😉

See, there are so many ways that you can go about conquering creative block. That’s the great thing about dealing with problems on creativity.

There is no perfect solution. There are hundreds of ways that you can navigate to. And you can try one or three or all hundreds of them and learn which one works for you and which doesn’t 🙂

YOUR TURN: Have you experienced creative block? How did you deal with it? Share your wisdom in the comments!

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My First Inktober + 2 Things I Learned about Monthly Challenges

Sometime early this year, I’ve made my decision. This is the year.

I was gonna participate in Inktober.

Now for those who don’t know, Inktober is basically a month-long challenge to draw something with ink for the entire month of October. A lot of the people in the art community participate in this but basically anyone who likes to draw and wants to improve their inking skills are open to participate.

A part of me was excited and determined and all sorts of giddy. But a huge part of me was also skeptical. The moment I made that decision, I’m pretty sure that huge part of me turned around to look at that tiny, energetic, always-quits-halfway part of me thinking, “…Can she even do it?”

Folks, I admit, even I had doubts I could do it. I’m not proud to say that I’ve had a preeetty long track record of endeavors that I started but never finished. *cough*like Friday Fangirling*cough*

But guess what?

I DID IT. I-freakin-did it! I finished Inktober!

It was quite the exhausting month for sure. But more than that, I enjoyed it so so much! And like any experience that I have, I’ve got some great takeaways from participating.

What I Learned from my First Inktober

No one’s Putting Any Pressure on You

That is, no one… except you.

Classic case, isn’t it?

No one was pressuring me to do Inktober every day (although that’s ideal) or to follow the official prompt or to just use ink or whatever. But going through it, I felt like I should do all these things. I felt like I should follow the official prompt or some other prompts, which I did. I actually used four prompts for my Inktober. Four. (I know, I know. Why am I so extra?)

The thing is, this self-inflicted pressure has brought me more stress than Inktober should have brought. And that’s not what the challenge was all about! Sometimes I could get so caught up in the little details and I go down the Everything Has to Be Perfect Rabbit Hole™ and it is so hard to get out. But sometime in the middle of the month, I just decided:

“Screw it. I’ll finish this. But I’m finishing it on my own terms. I want to enjoy this and that’s what I’m gonna do.”

And you know what? That was all the permission I needed. There were days when I don’t have any inspiration to draw or I’m not motivated. I would have to push myself a little bit to catch up on the days I missed but that’s okay! Because I’m having fun. Which brings me to the other takeaway…

Remember to Have Fun!

Inktober was a wonderful platform for me to improve on and get to know my art. There were quick doodles, there were drawings I didn’t like and there were those that I absolutely loved.

And those times I was by my desk, concentrating on every curves and strokes and line? When I was completely present in what I was doing? They were the best part of this whole experience.

These are my top five favorites because I did something new in each of them and that was fun! 😀
PS: I also updated my Portfolio page to add two of these.

I learned so much on where I want my art to go. But also, taking some time in my day to just sit down and draw was… kinda therapeutic.

What I’m trying to say here is: monthly challenges usually have two objectives.

  • To push you into doing something now
  • To have fun while doing it

And we often forget that second one because we’re too caught up trying to achieve the first. So please remember to have fun, okay? <3

There are several more monthly challenges in the next two months before we say goodbye to 2017. There’s the famous NaNoWriMo, the not-so-famous NaBloPoMo… I think there was another art-related Na-Mo for November as well but I forgot what it was hehe

There’s also Blogmas for December! And if you’re participating on any of these, allow me to impart on you some friendly reminders:

<3 No one’s pressuring you to do anything in any particular way. You do you and you do that challenge on your own terms 🙂

<3 Find a challenge buddy! It makes the whole challenge experience easier to endure 🙂 Oh, by the way! Shan from Going with Happy has made an accountability group chat on Twitter for those who’s doing NaNoWriMo.

https://twitter.com/GoingWithHappy/status/925124546444779520

<3 Don’t be afraid to reach out to people if or when you feel burnt out. My inbox is always open, okay? ALWAYS. And I will shower you with encouragements and happy gifs and battery-recharging words (Because you TOTALLY deserve it.)

<3 Have fun! Because it’s going to be stressful, no doubt, but there are always something fun to experience in monthly challenges! 🙂

I wish anyone participating on a November monthly challenge the best of luck!

Remember:

You got this. I believe in you <3

Are you participating on any monthly challenge this month? How about in December? Is anyone even planning their Blogmas posts already? Whatever you’ve got planned, I’m cheering on for you!! Whoop whoop!

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17 Awesome Holiday Gift Ideas for Creative Ladies from UncommonGoods

This post was sponsored by UncommonGoods. I only promote products I think are awesome + all opinions are 100% my own. 🙂

We’re more than halfway through October, can you believe that?

It seems like only yesterday that I unwrapped my Christmas gifts and now I’m making my Christmas wishlist already! (Too early? Nah.)

Awesome Holiday Gifts for Creatives

Now I can’t speak for us all but there are a few things most crafty and creative ladies like: we love quirky things that makes a statement but are also functional, we’re obsessed with #aesthetics, and most of all, we appreciate handmade goods very much.

I was recently introduced to UncommonGoods, a Brooklyn-based online marketplace for handmade and recycled products, and I was excited to work with them! They focus on creating a sustainable business, from paying entry-level workers considerably more than the minimum wage to taking a stand on why paid family leave for all workers is important. (Because it-freakin-does and someone needs to say it dammit)

Best of all, the site is teeming with handmade goods perfect to give to the lovely creative women of your life these coming holidays. And, if you’re one yourself, get ready to get lost in all the interesting handmade products they have. I know I did.

Check out 17 of my best finds in UncommonGoods that I’m sure every creative girl will like to have this holiday season below.

(Also PS, I would love to have these as gifts too. *wink wink*)

Gift for Her Kitchen

Elwood the Rainbow Unicorn mug from UncommonGoods

Elwood the Rainbow Unicorn Mug for drinking morning tea or coffee. Or maybe even to put brushes in because we all know the versatility of mugs, yeah?

Buddha Bowl because it looks so cool and curvy ok?? And would definitely be a beautiful addition to your kitchenware.

State Slate Cheese Boards, particularly for our fellow crafty ladies in US, because there are faaar better and more creative ways to show state pride with friends than wearing a baseball hat, amirite??? Check out more Christmas gifts that will fit in with your budget or your interest.

Agate Coasters because we all need something enchanting to place our cups and glasses.

Gift to Keep Her Room Organized

suspension bridge shelf

Suspension Bridge Shelf to put all your crafty tools and supplies, or books, or cute succulents.

Birth Month Mini Dish for keeping the keys and those tiny bobby pins and changes in one place and offer a pop of color to any room.

Gilded Branches Jewelry Tree to hang the jewelries on and, let’s face it, that has the additional elegance needed for a great Instagram photo of your dresser or desk.

Owl Eyeglasses Holder because it’s a perfect place to put your eyeglasses—away from the danger of being broken in half. (I’ve broken too many of my glasses this way, I kid you not.)

Moon Phase Waxed Canvas Pouch to store your creative kit and bring with you wherever you go. Check out more Christmas gift ideas for teens here.

Gift for Her Wardrobe

Mother Nestling Birds Necklace because it’s a perfect to gift to any mother, be it your friend, your wife, your grandma or your own mom.

Birth Month Flower Necklace to always have a little nature wherever you go.

Unicorn and Rainbow Mismatched Earrings to show your quirkiness. Also: they’re unicorn and rainbow. Come on.

Literary Scarves because you can be bookish and stylish at the same time, end of story. Head over here for more Christmas gift ideas for your creative best friends. (Like me hekhek.)

Gift for De-Stressing

Green Herbal Tea Kit that you can drink every morning, noon, or night. Or all the time, really.

Cats and Unicorn & Rainbow Stamps for something extra when writing on your journal.

Literary Candles that you can light whether you’re reading a book or not.

Chakras Bath Salts for when you need a long relaxing bath. Or! Maybe you just want to arrange those vivid-colored bath salts in rainbow order. That’s also a whole other kind of relaxing in my opinion 😉

Here are the rest of the items on the list above:

There are sooo much more where these came from and I’m still absolutely blown away by the amount of ingenious and creative ideas that made these goods. Some of these were made by materials that would have been thrown away!

Like that jewelry tree and cheese board; those branches are collected from the desert in California and the soapstone they made the cheese boards with is what quarries deemed waste material. Can you imagine that? Head over to UncommonGoods for more gift ideas not just for crafty ladies but for anyone you know.

Have you made your holiday wishlist? What do you absolutely want to get for Christmas? Are you even already planning for Christmas like I am?? Share them in the comments!

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8 Gorgeous Color Combinations I’m Loving Right Now

I don’t have any favorite colors. I like all colors equally. I believe that all colors are beautiful in their own little ways.

So once in a while, I’m gonna share with you guys the awesome color combinations I discovered and make a neat little list of them with pretty collages of pictures using these colors. This isn’t gonna be a regular feature, by the way. Just whenever I find a handful of gorgeous color combos. Okay? Okay! Let’s go!

But first, a disclaimer: None of the images I used in the collages below are mine and I will never claim them as mine. I found all of these via Pinterest and have made a board exclusively for this post. Please check out my Pinterest board if you want to know where I got them.
If any of the images below are yours and would like for me to take them down, please contact me through this page and I will do it as soon as possible. 🙂

Lagoon + Baby Pink

This is the more pastel-y version of my blog’s color scheme. (Also, notice how I used it in my headings and subheadings like with this post? 😉 ) I’ve been in love with this color pair ever since my blog revamp last year. Together, they create this light and fluffy feminine atmosphere and that’s exactly how I want my blog to feel. Also they kinda look like candies, right???

Cerulean + Mandarin

I wasn’t usually into dark and bold color combinations. And this color combination is super bold. I mean, look at those shades of blue and orange. They’re vivid and they contrast each other. But that somehow works because the orange pops against the blue. And I really really (really) like it when one of the color pair pops out and the other simply helps. It’s like a dance, don’t you think? 😀

Maroon + Gold

This is also a bold color combo but where the cerulean and mandarin has this heavy atmosphere, maroon and gold is more elegant. I mean, doesn’t that color combo remind you of royalty? It reminds me of that. Also GRYFFINDOR COLORS! (I mean, I’m a Ravenclaw. #AndProud. But still.)

Navy Blue + Rose

UGH I LOVE THIS COLOR COMBO SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN asdkjefghsnml

This is a color combo I would wear in a heartbeat. Because I really like how the feminine feel of the rose color balances out with the masculine-ish feel of navy blue. Also light and dark shades. They contrast.

Purple + Dandelion

If you’ve noticed, all of my collages above have some kind of food included in them. And, I’ve checked, the rest below have too. Only this collage doesn’t and I regret not looking for a purple ice cream or cake *sheds a tear*

Anyway. Purple and yellow are the secondary colors of my blog color scheme (as you probably notice their “secondary presence” in my design). I added them several months after choosing my main colors. I love this color pair because they’re bright. And their brightness keeps the airy feel of my teal + pink main color pair grounded.

Baby Blue + Lemon Yellow

I don’t know why but when I see this color combo, it reminds me of a super cute doll house. DOESN’T IT OR IS THAT JUST ME? Like lagoon and baby pink, it’s a light color combo but it looks a teeeeny tiny bit less feminine and more youthful. For me at least. This is definitely the kind of color combination I like to use for a youthful and happy illustration.

Tumbleweed + Mustard

Don’t you just love earthy tones for fall??? I do. I do a HECK lot.

Honestly, mustard was one of those colors that I find hard to like. It reminded me of… well, mustard. And I don’t like mustard. (I’m a ketchup kind of girl ok??) But I remember seeing someone mix mustard with a earthy colors like meadow green and tumbleweed and that’s when I realized it’s actually a pretty color!

Not to mention, one of my favorite artists, Taryn (aka @taryndraws) absolutely makes mustard and other earthy tones loveable every chance she gets.

Dusky Cedar + Olive

AHHHHH ever since I discovered dusky cedar last year, I have been in love with it! It’s one of those colors perfect for autumn and with olive green, it’s much much better! I really like pairing different shades of red with different shades of green. They’re just pretty to look at <3

I had so much fun making the collages for this and I loved looking at the variety of color combinations I have here.

Your turn: Do you have a favorite color? What color combinations are YOU loving right now? I’m on a personal hunt for pretty color combinations so share your faves below!

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5 Self-Limiting Beliefs Holding You Back (+ how to banish them like a Boggart)

Remember in the last post when I said fear is kinda like a Boggart? And you know how I said that to defeat a Boggart the first step is to acknowledge it? It’s much like you should acknowledge your fears. It’s that wicked little Boggart living inside your head telling you you’re worthless. That you’re no good. Morphing into whatever form it is that you’re afraid of.

And I should know: that nasty creature has settled cozily in my mind for as long as I could remember.

So today, I’m gonna list down all the awful self-limiting thoughts and beliefs you have that’s holding you back. And help you come up with a Riddikulus, a charm spell, you could conjure to banish those nasty Boggarts living inside your head.

Take out your wand, folks. It’s time for those Boggarts to pack up and go somewhere else, yeah?

 

“I still have other things to do”

Isn’t it incredible how we could come up with these seemingly rational excuses to avoid doing what we’re afraid of doing? That we could justify why we aren’t taking action? I mean, take me for example. I’m really good at making rational and practical excuses to avoid sticking my neck out and taking a risk. (see: using school’s busy-ness to quit a monthly creative thing)

I keep convincing myself that I didn’t do this risky new thing or that scary challenge because I “had to prioritize and focus on what matters.” Wow, Kate, this rationalizing is beyond.

How to banish this Boggart:

Look, the challenging part of this particular Boggart is its enforcing the concept of making priorities. Which is actually good. I’ve shared to you how much prioritizing helps me at times when I feel like I’m on the verge of work overwhelm.

But you have to see the fine line between prioritizing to get things done and prioritizing to nurture your fear.

This is where self-reflection, what I talked about on the previous post, comes into the picture again. Think it through and ask yourself, “Am I using making priorities as an excuse to avoid facing my fears?”

If that’s a yes, here’s what you can do:

Think of all the mindless activities you’re constantly wasting your time on (like being on social media or playing EverWing) and think instead of what productive activity you can do during those times. Even simply giving yourself an hour every day to make progress at your little project goes a long way.

The important thing here is that you’re MOVING. Maybe at a turtle’s pace, but you’re gradually increasing the distance between you and the fear that’s holding you back from doing what you want to do.

“What I want is hard to achieve”

Most likely whatever it is that you wanted to do? It’s grand. It’s ambitious. It’s potentially life-changing. Sure, on the surface, it’s probably simple like, say, you want to hand-sew a gorgeous floral dress.

But you know deep inside that the moment you learn how to sew, the moment you master it, a whole new set of doors will open before you.

It’s not the act itself that’s grand. What’s grand and life-altering is its effect on your life.

And because you see it this way, you know it’ll be a big hurdle to go through. Usually, once you see how huge the obstacle you have to pass through is, your determination wavers. And you start creating another excuse: it’s unattainable.

Related: Check out how I learned to deal with big hurdles from a chicken

How to banish this Boggart:

Take that big ambitious goal of yours and divide it into small chunks. This is one lesson I learned from… well, everywhere, actually. Productivity gurus, lifestyle bloggers, everywhere. And there’s a reason everyone on the block is recommending it. Because it freakin works.

The point of dividing them into small chunks is to, in a way, build this mindset in your brain that your goal is achievable. Sure, your big ambitious goal is huge and unattainable. But the small goals can be done easily and it won’t take long.

I actually used this last year to achieve a blog goal (300 followers in 3 months. Can anyone believe I’m double that now? And by the way, thank you sooo much you lovely people! I promise I’ll give you cakes and goodies soon <3). But you know what? After reaching that blog goal, I stopped. I didn’t keep that momentum going. Which was a huge mistake on my part. I felt seemingly content with achieving my one goal. Which leads us to the next Boggart…

“I’m content in where I am now”

This one’s tricky because I do believe that the key to true happiness is to be able to live in the present and be thankful for what you have now. And like prioritizing, this is good. But also like prioritizing, this becomes bad if you use it to nurture your fears.

Remember: contentment does not equal settling for less.

How to banish this Boggart:

Look this is simple: if the life you have right now isn’t fulfilling, then be determined to make it better.

The tricky part is being able to step out of seeing your world through that filter of false contentment. Get out of the routine you’ve created for yourself. I often find that once you expose yourself to new things and ideas, you have a better grasp of knowing what fulfills you.

“I’m not good enough for this”

By jove, this is probably one of the nastiest Boggarts there is. It attacks from the inside viciously in a way that no other Boggarts on this list do. And the most vulnerable are those with low self-esteem and lack of self-worth.

It’s not anyone’s fault if they don’t have the confidence in their selves. This lack of confidence is a toxic culmination of all the negative thoughts we’ve conjured on our minds and all the negative words thrown at us at an early age. These negativity are like a virus. Once they’re inside you, they spread until it has left you weak and helpless.

How to banish this Boggart:

Ultimately, to banish this Boggart, you have to build your self-esteem. And I know from firsthand experience this is easier said than done. Loving yourself is a not an easy process, especially if like me, you grew up thinking lowly of yourself. That you really are not good enough.

Some things that have worked on me, albeit slowly but I don’t mind:

Write down all your negative thoughts and counter them with a positive trait you do have. Let’s take the example above of wanting to hand-sew a floral dress. Let’s say one reason you’re hesitating on doing your little sewing project is because you suck at using needles. In fact, you think you’re awful at sewing anything beyond buttons.

But you can counter this negative thought by thinking of a positive trait you have that can help you. Maybe you’re a visual learner so you can make use of YouTube to watch hand-sewing tutorials.

Instead of worrying about traits or skills you don’t have (yet), make use of what you do have at present.

 “I’m not ready to do this”

We often like to believe that The Perfect Time exists. That time when you are finally ready and the world is ready and you have everything you need to get started. And we wait until it’s right around the corner. What usually happen is we end up feeling like we still have something lacking. And we think we’re still not ready for it. Which is why we end up not taking the first step at all.

How to banish this Boggart:

Here’s the thing. No one’s ever completely ready. Coming up with an idea or an inspiration needs at least an ounce of spontaneity. Sure, you can let that idea cook a bit in your mind but unless you take action, nothing’s really going to happen. For this Boggart, you only have to do one thing: act. Tell yourself that you are ready, even when you feel like you’re not. Fake it ’til you make it.

Your turn: I’m sure there are other Boggarts or self-limiting beliefs out there that’s holding others back. Do you have one (or three) in mind? What’s your Riddikulus spell to banish them? Share it in the comments below! 🙂

kate

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The gorgeous photo of the winter mountains above is by Natalie Toombs.

8 Artists that Inspire Me to Be Better in Drawing (+ Whose Artworks I Fangirl Over Sooo Hard)

Role models. Y’all would agree that we all have at least three of those in our lives right? I mean, you know what I’m talking about.

Role models are:

+ People you look up to
+ People you hope you’ll become someday
+ People you hold high respect for
+ People whose works and achievements you fangirl over
+ And you fangirl over them so hard, these people basically turn you into this gal,

Image result for saikawa gif

Don’t tell me you don’t have that in your life. Like seriously. It’s totally okay! We can all be a little geeky here, I won’t judge 😉 I mean, how can I?? I practically declared myself a Universal Fangirl™. In fact, I welcome geekery of all forms here with wide open arms!

Having role models will help you to keep on striving for your goals. They give you the motivation to pump your fists and tell yourself, “You can do this! You can reach that level! Just keep on working hard!” Especially at times when you’re about to drown in self-doubt.

In my case, I have my own list of artists that I look up to and inspire me to keep drawing and practice and improve my art. While art isn’t really a top priority for me right now, it will always be an important aspect of my life.

I always try to make time to do a little doodle when I’m free. I especially like it when they share old drawings and you can see how much improvement they’ve had between the two artworks.

So here they are, 8 of my favorite artists and how they inspired me to keep on drawing! 🙂

Jacquelin de Leon

Mermaids. Witches. Beautiful people in all shapes and colors. Tattoos. Badass females. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

I just posted a few new prints and stickers in my shop!! Im really excited to finally have my Kintsugi and Greenhouse pieces from my solo show available as prints! I’m also including a limited edition large hand embellished run of Kintsugi✨ (don’t worry I will be putting the originals up for sale soon) I also added some new glossy vinyl stickers including a mermaid, witch hand, Symmetra, and some new witches! Head over to jacquelindeleon.storenvy.com or click on the link in my bio to check it out! Thank you guys for sticking around and for all of your sweet comments! I’ll have some new art to post real soon☺️💕 . #illustration #jacquelindeleon #artistsoninstagram #artcollective #instaart #artoftheday #witch #stickers #symmetra #overwatch #kintsugi #watercolor #plants #plantstagram

A post shared by Jacquelin de Leon (@jacquelindeleon) on Jun 27, 2017 at 5:33pm PDT

There are times when I doubt myself when I use black ink as linings on my portraits. Often because there are so many artists out there who have non-black linearts or no lineart at all. But Jacquelin is such an inspiration to me and motivates me to just draw whatever the heck I want.

Alisa Vysochina

Pretty people. Cats. Dogs. Other cutie animals. Amazing attention to details. Super cute witches. And most importantly: CACTI AND SUCCULENTS!!!

🍂🍃🌿Greenhouse🌿🍃🍂 Check out my new video about creating and planning big illustrations, link in the profile as always 🍁 #watercolor #artistsoninstagram #illustration #greenhouse #patheticpowers #doggoboyfriend

A post shared by Alisa Vysochina (@alisavysochina) on May 8, 2017 at 9:57am PDT

See, ever since I could remember, I’m no good at drawing plants. My flowers are below mediocre and my trees are still like the kind you draw in first grade. It’s that awful. So seeing the greenery in her works motivates me to practice drawing more flowers and trees <3 <3 <3

*I have a thing with accents, okay??? Also, it’s soothing to hear her talk about artist woes and motivating fellow artists. They fill mah heart everytime.

Maruti Bitamin (aka Koyamori)

Beautiful and bold color combinations. Illustrations that make you feel like you’ve entered into a surreal dream world. SUPER CUTIE CREATURES <3 <3

Bioluminescence ✨

A post shared by @maruti_bitamin on Jun 30, 2017 at 7:30am PDT

Her drawings are always PACKED with details. And she always motivates me in taking more time into my illustrations and putting more details into them. I mean, who could make fishbones look so awesome??? <3 <3 <3

Charlie Bowater

Aghhh! The prints are here! This is my life for the next few days: signing and packaging this fat stack. I also never thought I would say the phrase ‘fat stack’ and yet, here we are. 👌🏻 #acowar #charliebowater #sjmaas

A post shared by charlie bowater (@charliebowater) on Jun 6, 2017 at 5:02am PDT

If you’re familiar with Sarah J. Maas, then I’m willing to bet you know who Charlie Bowater is. She is a bookworm and she creates these AH-MAZING fan arts of characters from novels. I came across her because… well, my Twitter feed is basically 75% bookish community.* And she created the Most Gorgeous fan art for the ACOTAR series and I’m seriously in love with them!!!

*Most likely because of joining in on too many bookish giveaway on Twitter. Hahaha! …haha…ha…I haven’t won anything.

Rebecca Ninig (aka ni_nig)

Beautiful girls and boys. Voluminous hair. That shading tho <3

And here’s another graphite commission. This character belongs to lymerikk (on deviantart)

A post shared by Rebecca Ninig (@ni_nig) on Jul 9, 2017 at 5:37am PDT

Ah,Rebecca Ninig and her super-awesome-I-can’t-handle-this-beauty-ashfjhdkl Instagram account. Have I ever told you how much I obsess over pencil sketches?? Like I’m sure you know how much of an art geek I am at this point but we can go further and let me tell ya: I LOVE PENCIL SKETCHES SOOO MUCH. And the way Rebecca shades her drawings…

 Image result for perfect gif

Meyoco

Another artist whose choice of color combinations I love so much. I notice Meyoco likes to use bright and pastel colors and together with her thin lineart, it creates this fluffy and airy feeling to her illustrations.

Also: I WOULD DEFINITELY BUY THE CLOTHES HER OCs WEAR!!! <3 <3 <3

🍹🍹🍹 (art tools info: @pearlescentpink)

A post shared by meyoコ (@meyoco) on Jul 9, 2017 at 8:30am PDT

Griselda (aka lord_gris)

Pretty girls. Beautiful coloring. Her fan arts are gorgeous especially her version of Beth and Plum from Bravest Warriors.

What I loved most about her though, is that she is so supportive of aspiring artists. I mean, I’m sure other big artists are supportive of newbies as well but man, you should see the captions on some of her photos (you can have a taste of her inspiring goodie-caption below).

I was talking to someone the other day and they asked me if I ever felt pity for people, like if I looked at their art and thought “you’re never going to be any good”. I mean this was a non-artistic person so I think they thought some people blasted out of the womb with a magic paintbrush that they can whack on a canvas and the Mona Lisa pops out. So I said to them “heck no! Hold the phone! Let me get you my sketchbook from when I was 11”. They were shocked as they fllipped through it and said “wow I drew better than you when I was a kid.” Honestly most people drew better than me when they were kids. I just enjoyed drawing, so I kept doing it, and improved as a byproduct. When I say I believe in you guys I think it’s really easy to sort of shake it off and say “well she’s talking to everyone else, not me” but I am talking to you. If you’re making your art no matter what then I absolutely believe in you, because I’ve been through the same journey. I’ve never looked at any persons art and said to myself “well they’re going nowhere fast”. The only thing I look at is people’s attitudes. If they’re always talking about quitting then they’re probably going to quit, and that’s what’s going to keep them from growing. But anyone who is tenacious and perseveres is going to be so amazing at art. And I earnestly think that. And I want people to be kind and patient with themselves during the process because it takes a long time. But don’t ever think to yourself that just because your art isn’t where you want it to be then it’s hopeless. Keep going, never stop :3 #sketch #redraw #drawitagain #drawthisagain #moleskine #copicart #oldart #draweveryday #artsanity #dibujo #practice #autodesksketchbook #pencil #mechanical #doodle #scribble #improvement #fashion

A post shared by Griselda (@lord_gris) on Jul 8, 2017 at 1:09pm PDT

See??? How can you not be inspired by that?? *clutches heart* Her captions really inspire me to be better and keep on drawing <3 <3 and she’s never ashamed to share the struggles she has gone through and are currently going through as an artist.

Sara Tepes (aka sarucatepes)

Gorgeous hair. Victorian/gothic-ish vibe to her drawings; kinda reminds me of Brett Helquist’s style, the artist who made the illustrations for Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

6 of the princess drawings are up in my shop along with limited edition prints of all 12 of them, link in my bio! Use the code PRINCESS30 for 30% off if you wish to purchase all 12 of them. I will snap some better products pics of the prints tomorrow, it’s super late here ahh * * * #disney #disneyprincess #fanart #shop

A post shared by Sara Tepes | 18 (@sarucatepes) on Mar 24, 2017 at 8:29pm PDT

Sara and her works constantly remind me that your age is never a criterion on excelling at what you do. By the way, she’s around my age so she makes me pumped up to draw more <3


And just so y’all know, these are just like 5% of the artists I follow in Instagram and YouTube. But they are some of the artists that never fail to inspire me with their works. My People Who Inspire Me list is really long. I still haven’t mentioned the webcomic artists, and authors, and bloggers, and just about anyone else who inspire me. Maybe next time 😉

The point here is that: it’s good to have people you look up to, I like to think. You find the motivation and inspiration to do your best and keep working hard on what you do. Also: instead of letting yourself wallow in The Green Monster of Envy™, you could spread the love all around and not hurt your self-esteem, right???

FANGIRL WITH ME: Who are your role models? How do they inspire or motivate you?  Are you a Universal Fangirl™ like me? DO YOU LIKE SUCCULENTS??? (Seriously. I need someone to fangirl over succulents with stat.)

Have an awesome fangirling day, awesome peeps! <3

13 Ways to Be Inspired and Pump Up Your Creativity

It is a problem any and every creative experiences at least like ten times* in their life:

Error 404: Inspiration and Creativity Not Found

(Did you mean pizza?)

Frustrating, right???

And so, I share to you 13 ways to be inspired and pump up creativity. These are things I found through the ever-wise Google, most of which has worked for me. Enjoy!

*this didn’t come from any real statistics, just personal experience haha

Are you recently uninspired and are totally frustrated about it? I know no one likes being an uninspired potato so I list 13 ways to be inspired and pump up your creativity. | Inspiration, Creativity

1 | Take a walk

Or if you’re up for it, do regular exercise. Did you know that taking a walk—or, essentially, letting your body move—helps in the improvement of your creative inspiration? Apparently, a casual walk can help you see things in a new perspective and voila! Inspiration!

So fellow non-outdoorsy peeps, y’all have no excuse not to walk, ‘kay? It could just be a walk around your house or pacing in your room or taking the stairs. So long as you give your brain that stimulating effect after a brief exercise, you’re good to go! 😉

2 | Listen to music

And I don’t just mean any music. I mean, listening to music that strikes you and your mind in a positive way.

Image result for metal music monsters university gif

Like has that ever happen to you? You hear a certain song and you’re just struck with this feeling? Like a crack appeared and light went in. The song triggered a gear inside your mind and made it whir into action. Have you ever had that?

Depending on the kind of music that you want when you’re in a particular mood at a particular time, your brain will be able to go into “mind-wandering mode” where most of our creativity happens. It’s like the Pillar of Creation is where stars are born, ya know?*

Here are three musicians that gives me that “struck” feeling:

Owl City – synthpop, experimental pop, beautiful lyrics

AURORA – ethereal music, enchanting voice, amazing lyrics telling stories

In Love with a Ghost – lo-fi indie music, no words but is incredibly soothing

3 | Take a picture of beautiful things

Because of the convenience that comes with owning smartphones, taking pictures of pretty things is something that we all do. But to be inspired, I do something else: I look at ordinary things and try to see the beauty in them. I think it’s a good exercise to have, not only creative-wise but also in my own personal positive mindset practice.

It’s a way to see things in a different, more imaginative perspective. Sharing those pictures to the world and having people appreciate it are all bonuses, to be honest.

4 | Immerse yourself in nature

Related image

It’s something I learned last year: nature can be the most relaxing and best companion you could have. It’s like you could throw anything awful to it, and Mother Nature simply absorbs it and gives you something more positive and beautiful instead.*

If you have a garden or live near a park or mountains or the beach, take a step out of your desk or your room and just bask in the beauty of nature. Take it from me, it’s therapeutic. 😉

*when you think about it, that’s what trees do, isn’t it? Suck all the carbon dioxide and glet out oxygen for us to breathe.

5 | Bring your pet outdoors

And stare at them lovingly until you feel relaxed. No kidding. A relaxed state can help your brain go into that “mind-wandering mode” I mentioned above. And yo, there are reasons why some facilities make use of dogs to help veteran soldiers and patients experiencing post-traumatic stress.

6 | Watch an educational video on YouTube

And yes, I don’t mean vlogs or comedy sketch videos or late night shows. I mean sure, maybe a video of these kinds here and there could spark an idea. But ultimately, these types of videos are usually meant to entertain rather than to educate. And they won’t be able to help you see things in different light and spark an idea and inspire you.

There are plenty of channels out there that aim to educate and share different perspectives. Here are four of my go-tos:

+ TED Talks / TEDx Talks – incredible ideas on almost every topic you can possibly think of.
+ TED-Ed – three- to five-minute videos that aim to educate people in a certain topic with crazy-good animation.
+ School of Life – They’re kinda like TED-Ed and I personally love their videos on psychology and society.
+ Button Poetry – My go-to channel for awesome spoken word poetry.

7 | Listen to interesting podcasts

I’ve had a good amount of blog posts published here that were inspired from a podcast episode. Thing is, whether you’re into business, writing or even the fashion or beauty industry, if you just take the time to search the topics you’re interested in, you’ll be able to find a podcast for it 🙂

Here are some podcasts that I love:

<3 Invisibilia – a podcast about the invisible forces that control human behavior. Narrative storytelling + scientific research = a must-listen podcast.
<3 TED Radio Hour – Because I obviously can’t get enough of TED, each episode is about a certain topic with guests who had a TED Talk related to said topic.
<3 Ctrl Alt Delete – a podcast by Emma Gannon about how the internet and social media has changed our lives.
<3 Radiolab – a show where the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.

8 | Take a break

As Eliza sang to Alexander, it doesn’t do you any good if you’re too hard on yourself. You might end up getting burned out or too overwhelmed which is unhealthy. Getting too focused on a task is mentally exhausting so give your brain the break it rightfully needs.

9 | Read blogs

Because, ya gotta admit, reading blogs written by other people can spark an inspiration, don’t you find? Brain Pickings, particularly, is a favorite inspiration hub of mine. And yes, I love all of you awesome peeps’ blogs <3 I’ve discovered so many awesome blog posts and new blogs and I can’t wait to share ’em to y’all in this July’s Fourth Friday Fangirling! 😀

10 | Be mindful of your thoughts

Remember that “mind-wandering mode” I mentioned above? The birthplace of almost all of our creativity? That involves daydreaming and flitting from one thought to another.

Image result for daydreaming gif

So try to take notice of these moments and when a flitting thought inspires you, take note of it immediately. Remember thoughts can be like butterflies; they’re there one moment and gone the next. Daydreaming usually happens to me when I’m commuting or bored. Speaking of boredom…

11 | Try “Eat that Frog”

Remember the productivity technique where you have to start the boring stuff first? You could apply it to creative inspiration too. Yep, boredom can boost your creativity and I talked about how the heck that works. You can check out that post here.

12 | Take a step out of your routine

I’ve talked about how new perspectives can help you be inspired and unleash your creative awesomeness plenty of times above, right? Now, what easier way to see things in a new angle than to step out of your everyday routine. Maybe you can listen to an unfamiliar song or use a different route than your usual or learn something new.

13 | Be deliberate

Now if you really want to be inspired and pump up your creativity, you have to be deliberate about it. And when I say deliberate, I mean: don’t do things half-assed and flush away your glumness in the toilet. Instead of thinking “I can’t do this…” or “But this is how it’s supposed to be,” ask yourself these questions: “What if…” or “What other way is there?” or “How would *insert different person* see this?”

In other words, keep an open mind. Because an open mind would attract inspiration and creativity more than a closed one.

And remember, awesome peeps: inspiration and creativity are not infinite.

At one point, you’ll use up and exhaust them. So when that happens, frustrating as it may be, know that it’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean that you’ll never see them again. The world is large enough to offer us many platforms for inspiration and creativity; you just have to find them. 🙂


Other awesome articles on finding inspiration you can check out:

50 Ways to Find Inspiration – Tiny Buddha
How to Unleash Your Creativity and Find Inspiration Today – Psychology Today
6 Places I Go Online to Be Inspired – yours truly

Your turn: How do you get inspired? Where do you find inspiration? I’m sure there are still more ways out there, so are there any that works on you that I haven’t mentioned? Do share them all! I’d love to hear about them!

Have an inspired day, awesome peeps! <3

Knowing the Creativity-Boosting Importance of Boredom This Summer

Are you the kind of person who’s super excited for summer because you’ve planned on doing absolutely nothing at all? Because, pssh, summertime = recharging time, amirite???

Hey! High five! That’s me too! 😀

Well let me guess: halfway into the break and you’re already letting out undignified wails and gradually melting into a pathetic puddle who has declared yourself Extremely Bored™.

Hey high five me too.

Knowing the Creativity-Boosting Importance of Boredom This Summer | I share what I learn about boredom. Apparently, it boosts creativity. *cue theatrical gasps*

I mean let’s face it, summer boredom is the work of a jealous evil workaholic sorcerer. Some lucky ones avoid it altogether by signing up to summer camps or applying for summer jobs. While the rest of us poor unfortunate souls are left to deal with it in the most ungracious ways possible. You know, like rolling around the bed moaning like a llama.

But you gotta admit, we all avoid it. We avoid summer boredom like the contemporary plague that it is. We keep ourselves busy and we run to the other direction whenever we see it coming our way.

Actually, when you think about it, we avoid boredom, period. Whatever the kind.

But have you ever tried being like the ever-philosophical Hammond* and stopped for a minute and thought: why do we hate boredom?

“Oh pssh, that’s easy, Kate. It’s awful, it makes you feel anxious, you feel like a bum, and you feel awful for being an unproductive puddle of uselessness. Did I mention IT’S AWFUL??”

*Mistborn Series, anyone?

But what if I tell you that boredom is actually important?

And no, I’m not just being a Sunnyside Sunshine Sarah here. I’m not trying to see the good thing in even something as glum as boredom, okay? It’s true! Boredom apparently boosts your creativity. You want proof?

Okay, let me enumerate them in pretty purple diamond bullet-points:

University of Louisville researcher Andreas Elpidorou pointed out that boredom is a “regulatory state that keeps one in line with one’s projects.” Basically, boredom is your brain’s way of warning you that you are not doing anything productive and you have to come up with something more stimulating to do.

In two separate studies, researchers have found the connection between feeling bored and getting creative. Each study had a group of participants do uber-boring tasks such as reading phone books and watching an incredibly boring video clip. And these bored groups outperformed groups who were relaxed or elated on creativity tests.

Oh, and in case you’d think this is some modern finding we’ve only realized recently, you’re dead wrong. Philosophers from way back to a century ago had already mused about the importance of boredom in our everyday lives.

British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips pointed out the adults’ way of making children grow out of boredom by providing them young ‘uns with interesting things. And this is hindering that child’s opportunity to find, on his own, what interests him.

What these pretty purple bullet-points tell us is that boredom exists for a reason. It is that push that motivates us to engage in more creative and fun activities.

Seeing as we’re gradually turning into a creativity-seeking world, it’s no question really that we are also looking for more interesting and highly creative things to do.

Of course, you need to know the difference of a good type of boredom from a bad one

Because much like how there’s a good type of stress and a bad type of stress, according to British philosopher Bertrand Russell, there are two kinds of boredom: a fructifying one (the motivating kind of boredom) and a stultifying one (the boredom that turns you into an undignified wailing llama).

Being able to differentiate between the two can be useful in dealing with boredom in your everyday life.

So here’s what you can do with the good kind of boredom.

Instead of running for the hills or containing it in a glass jar, treat it like… well, treat it like Sadness*. Allow yourself to go along with it. Let your brain experience boredom. Doodle random weird-looking creatures, make an improvised origami, spin a pen. Make something out of being bored.

*I swear, the moral of Inside Out is super applicable to life

And how exactly do we make use of being bored, Kate?

Great question.

You know that famous productivity technique, “Eat The Frog”? Where you do your worst and most tedious task first thing? Same concept.

When you think you need creativity to finish a certain project, try to start your day accomplishing the boring tasks first. In a way, it’s like your brain saving up your creative energy so you could use them at the right time 🙂

Your turn: Do you get bored often? Have you taken the Boredom Proneness Scale Test? What do you do when you’re bored? Share your thoughts!

♦♦ Have a creative day, awesome peeps! ♦♦