Questions I ask while Creating

I’m not sure about you but I sometimes struggle with “being in my head” too much. I do this with art, but really with just about anything in my life. When in comes to overthinking my creative process, I’ve learned to direct it more. Today, I’m sharing the common questions I ask myself when I’m creating. 

How can you push this farther?

This question is all about pushing the boundaries of my work. Sometimes I feel that I'm holding back. Asking myself this gives me broad possibilities for the next step. It also means I'm pushing myself out of my comfort zone which is usually heavily influenced by outside sources. 

What is working?

I use this question a lot! Anytime I'm unsure of the next step, I take a hard look at the piece and ask what is working. Sometimes I phrase it as "what am I liking here?"or "what isn't working?". It helps me to hone in on techniques and colors that I really like or don't like. 
Side note: I also ask this when looking at others people work. 

Is there a technique or supply I haven't used in while that could work here?

This is a great question for when I feel tired of my supplies or stuck in the process. Sometimes simply adding one thing differently can change an entire piece around. This is also the fun of mixed media- anything is truly fair game!
Side note: It's also helpful to keep a catalog of techniques to browse through for this question. 

What color would I like more of?

It's easy to get into a certain color story and use those colors repeatedly. It's not a bad thing. It actually makes for work that has a sense of personal style. However, sometimes you need something different. So just like when asking about different techniques, asking myself about different colors is extremely helpful. And sometimes I ask what color I want to see less. This gives me the opportunity to let go of something to invite something else in. 

Is this finished?

Of course the never ending debate about "finished art". When I find myself questioning this it usually means two things. One it is finished and I have to be courageous enough to stop. Or its really close to being finished and I need to consider some finishing touches. Sometimes deciding those finishing touches involves asking the questions above. 

As you can probably see, there is a lot of thought and intention behind my creative process. But I also make a point to find my flow and work mindlessly. Each piece is usually a combination of both very little thinking and a lot of thinking. 

Do you have questions that you ask when creating? 

My new favorite color of paint and some other loves

First of all, I'll start by saying pink has pretty much always been my least favorite color. However, I have fallen in love with neon pink! This little bottle of neon pink paint packs such a punch. (Say that three times fast ha!) I love how when it mixes with other colors it makes them vibrant too. I also love it on it's own. If you've been following my Daily Sketchbook project on Instagram, you have probably noticed how much I've been using it.


Next to color, I've always loved texture. A couple of months ago, I found these texture tools from Prima. You drag them through wet paint to create patterns. They are so much fun!


I recently discovered the Art for Your Ear podcast. It's hosted by Danielle Krysa from the Jealous Curator. If you like hearing about artists' lives and their inspiration, then I highly recommend this podcast. Danielle does a great job pulling quirky stories out of the artists. It's light hearted but interesting and I catch myself laughing throughout the episodes. You should check it out.

This isn't too art related, but I love my African Violet! It's blooming right now and has the prettiest purple flowers. It sits on my desk and adds so much life.


Last but not least, I love the feeling of finishing a bottle of paint. There is something so satisfying about knowing I've painted so much that I used a whole bottle. :) 

What are some things you're loving this week?

Tips for Setting Creative Goals

The start of the year always brings out the goal setting in people, me included. About this time each year, I spend some time reflecting on the past year and think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year. I usually set a word for the year to be an overarching theme, but I also set a few small goals. My goals typically span from creative to personal to financial. But today, I want to talk about creative goals. I want to share my tips for setting creative goals and my goals for the coming year (2017). 

Be realistic.
     I suggest by looking back on what you have accomplished in the past year creativity. Do you think you can do more, less, or about the same? I tend to have so many goals that it's impossible to accomplish any of them. This year, I'm being realistic with myself about the time and energy I will have to accomplish my goals. Therefore, I'm setting three goals. They are pretty broad. However it feels more realistic for me considering some of the goals I have for other areas of my life.

Be courageous.
     Last year my word for the year was “courageous”. And while I didn’t really approach my creative goals with a ton of courage, it taught me so much about being courageous and having grace for myself. In the past, I’ve been scared to set daily art goals. However this year, that is one of my main goals over all. Let yourself dream big and bold. Set a goal that may seem unattainable, but approach it with passion and curiosity. Then when things get tough, focus on progress and not perfection. Rest when you need to, but don’t quit. 

Be flexible. 
     Like a mentioned above, my goals this year are broad. Most goal setting experts would frown on this. However, I have found when I have the flexibility to let my goals morph and change over time, I am open to better things happening for me. 

Be creative.
     These are your goals and your chance to make plans for what you want to invite into your creative life. So be creative. You don’t have to make goals like other people or do the same goals year after year. You have the choice to structure your goals however it makes sense for you. Use the creative mind that you have in your goal setting as well.

My goals for this year:

1) Daily Sketchbook Project: create a sketchbook page each day using different mediums. Some days I may spend hours creating something. But other days may be quick sketches to keep my creativity flowing. This may be all a create some days. I'm going to keep track of this through Instagram and by dating my pages.

2) Complete a 100 Day Project: I have lots of ideas floating through my head of what this may be. I’ve tentatively set a date in mid-February to start. That’s about all I have figured out. :)

3) Share my work regularly: through this blog, on Instagram, and in person. I feel I do an okay job sharing my art online, but I know there is room for improvement. In addition, I want to learn to be more open about my work in a personal way. So technically, this is a personal/creative goal, but one that is going to take courage. This one may be a little harder to keep track of, but I basically know when I'm holding back on sharing and when I'm not. And some of this will be accomplished through the first goal. 

Have you set your creative goals for this year? I would love to hear about them!

Carefree Painting Music

Recently, I discovered Spotify. Now, I'm obsessed with creating playlists for my creative sessions. When I'm creating, I usually like to listen to music that makes me feel a certain way or has similar sounds or a certain beat. I've decided to start sharing some of these playlists with you all. I hope they can fuel some creative sessions for you like they do for me!

Today's playlist is called: Carefree Painting Tunes. These are breezy songs with a little beat to help you get into a carefree creative flow. January can be exciting, but also a bit daunting as we plan all the changes we want to make in our lives. For me, creativity helps me center my soul and focus on what is important. This playlist is all about finding a flow and creating with it. 

I hope you enjoy!
What are some of your go to songs to create to?

Daily Sketchbook Project 2017

Have you seen those posts on Instagram of people keeping a daily sketchbook? They seem to be all over mine, especially this time of year. I've admired them for a while wanting so badly to have one but afraid I wouldn't be able to keep it up. So in December, I ran a little test for myself. I created a page in my sketchbook everyday for about three weeks. It turns out that it wasn't difficult to keep up! I really loved experimenting a little every day and thought about how was going to complete my page throughout the day. When the new year came around, I knew I wanted to make this my year long project. 

I'm doing my pages in a Canson Drawing notebook. The pages are little thicker than a regular sketchbook. I need that because I like to use paint on my pages. Wet mediums like paint and matte medium do cause the pages to wrinkle a bit, but that doesn't really bother me. The notebook measures 8.5 inches by 5.5 inches. It really is the perfect size for me. I'll only be able to fit 2-3 months in one journal. When I run out of space, I can start a new notebook like this or maybe change things up a bit. I'll figure that out when I get there. I don't really have any guidelines or rules for this project. The main idea is to create something everyday. Even when I'm really busy, I can find 10-15 minutes to draw or paint something. 

I'm planning to share something from this project every Saturday. Sometimes it may be a roundup of all the pages and sometimes it may be something more. Today, I have a quick time lapse video from my most recent page. You can see the rest of the pages from this week on my Instagram account or using the hashtag #dailysketchbookbycasey2017. 

I hope you enjoy seeing this project this year! If you have a year long project, I would love to hear about it!