Guest Artist Vanessa Valencia: 6 Handy Ways to Rediscover Your Creativity

January 27th, 2014

Please join me in welcoming creative artist, doodler, doll maker, and painter, Vanessa Valencia, to Somerset Place. Vanessa has been published in Stampington’s Somerset Life, Somerset Studio, and Artful Blogging to just name a few. Today she unveils 6 easy steps to recover your creative power before it has a chance to slip away:

Vanessa Valencia

Creativity and inspiration are two elements that not only go hand in hand but are crucial to each other.  I am not sure if one can even exist without the other. There is a fine balance to keeping the fire of both stoked, and it’s much easier than we think.

When I think of the word creativity and how one works to keep it alive, I do not think of one specific creative activity, but more of an array of activities that keep the whole of inspiration flowing.  Almost like a recipe for rediscovering your creativity every day.

As we know, creativity can not be found in just one facet of life.  It’s important to incorporate varied bits and pieces of creative elements into one’s life in order to create a balance, but how?

As human beings we need a certain amount of food from different food groups a day, to have good nutrition, to feel well and to thrive.Yet as creatives, we do not often afford ourselves the same concept of taking bits and pieces of creative elements to nourish the soul, and in turn, keep the flow of overall creativity healthy.

In order to be inspired to paint or sculpt, I often do other creative things that balance my desire to create and also fuel my inspiration: digging in dirt and gardening, going for walks and playing with my dogs, cooking and baking, cleaning my house, decorating, reading books, hunting for treasures in antique shops, watching good movies, crocheting, doodling, sewing and more. The point is, doing all those things that I “enjoy” are in fact part of my creative vibe, and they infuse my soul in a way that then inspires me to create art.  They are the elements I enjoy and incorporate into living a creative life.

It’s a balance of all those things that are nutritious for my own creative well being, and that allow it to thrive.  They are all creative elements, arts and crafts, in their own right. But what if, by chance, you have misplaced your creativity?  And you find yourself confused and frustrated, not knowing how to re-find the creative magic you long for?

Vanessa Valencia hands

6 Handy Ways to Rediscover Your Creativity:

 

1) Don’t Force, Just Be

One of the most important things is to stop forcing the issue, and do something else.  If you are standing in front of a blank canvas and you don’t know how to begin, step away.  It is your soul’s way of saying, please take me out to play.  Take me on a walk, or to the bookstore.  Take me out for ice cream.  Let’s do something fun.  You see, it all begins with a good frame of mind.  And we all know that, creativity does not respond to demand.  It responds to feeling good, being well rested and content, so go do something that feels good.  Creativity will smell the good stuff baking, and turn up for the party.

 

2) Set the Mood

Create a mood board, tacking up all sorts of things you love and have collected onto it.  From photos to notes, to jewelry, to a pretty piece of textile you love.  First of all, creating a mood board is utterly inspiring and fun, and second of all setting the mood for your creative vibe with a space that houses all that you love is an instant way to get the creativity flowing.

 

3) Enjoy the Outdoors

Spend some time outside.  The most important way that I refuel is by digging in the dirt.  I also keep house plants, which really inspire me (and are wonderful if you don’t have a garden).  Being outside or digging in pots is one of the most invaluable parts of my creative spirit’s health.  Whenever I need a mental health day, or hour even, you will find me planting or seeding or rooting something.  You may find that your garden is just like a blank canvas, waiting to be painted.

 

4) Jam Out

Dance, throw a party, dress up, be silly!  Whenever I feel down or stuck in a rut, I crank up the music, get out my good tea cups, and throw a tea party, even if it is just for one.  Changing up the scenery is fun and necessary.  Adding a light happy spark always infuses creativity.

 

5) Stage Your Creativity

One of my go-to tricks is to create vignettes for inspiration.  I might set up an old sewing machine with pretty things, and take photos.  Or, decorate a corner of my coffee table with flowers and books, crystals and little statues.  I find inspiration in doing little décor projects as such.  I love it as much as painting and sculpting, and it inspires me greatly.

 

6) Let it All Go

Let yourself create “just because” items.  Doodle like mad or take a big canvas or board and go crazy painting it.  Just splattering paint for no good reason other than because it is fun.  Not worrying if it will be good or bad.  Literally painting emotions onto canvas.  Let it out, and go crazy.  If that doesn’t work – don’t worry, it will!

 

Vanessa Valencia Self PortraitA special thank you to Vanessa Valencia for walking us through the ways to uncover creativity that existed all along.

If you’re interested in more of her work, check out her blog A Fanciful Twist.

With Somerset Place Love,

Blog Writer

 





Sarah Uncategorized ,,,,,,,

Please join me in welcoming creative artist, doodler, doll maker, and painter, Vanessa Valencia, to Somerset Place. Vanessa has been published in Stampington’s Somerset Life, Somerset Studio, and Artful Blogging to just name a few. Today she unveils 6 easy steps to recover your creative power before it has a chance to slip away: Creativity and […]

Teacup Twine Organization Idea

January 23rd, 2014

Cup Tier

We already know that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but how do porcelain cups “stack up”? In this charming teacup craft project, Shoppe Manager Vanessa Spencer uses her creativity to transform thrifted chinaware into an organizational unit for her favorite art supplies.

 

How did this organizational idea come about?

“It’s funny, really. I bought the cups with the intent to use them for tea. I quickly realized they were not microwave safe, which prompted me to think of other ways to use them.”

 

How do you keep the plates and cups in place?

“It’s very simple to do. I used Gorilla Glue to adhere them together, but any strong adhesive will work. Just apply (according to the label’s directions) and let dry.”

 

What art materials do you suggest to organize using the stacked cups?

“Based on the size of the cup and saucer, it’s best to organize small items. I chose to display different colors of twine on spools, patterned washi tapes, and little mini jars of sparkles.”

 

Thank you Vanessa for sharing this easy (and adorable!) DIY. Looking for more artful storage solutions? Click here to find more free organizational projects at The Studio.

With Somerset Place Love,

Blog Writer



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,,

We already know that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but how do porcelain cups “stack up”? In this charming teacup craft project, Shoppe Manager Vanessa Spencer uses her creativity to transform thrifted chinaware into an organizational unit for her favorite art supplies.   How did this organizational idea come about? “It’s […]

Insta-Grammys: Our 9 Most Engaging Instagram Images

January 23rd, 2014

Instagram Images Stampington

We’ve gathered our newest, most-loved insta-images for your eyes to feast upon. Follow along as we unveil them one-by-one, here [On the Blog], and be sure to join the fun on Instagram.

 

Vintage TruckDon’t miss this gorgeous Bohemian-themed wedding in the new Mingle.

Photography credit – Celeste Shaw

 

 

 

 

Do Good Work“Creating a life that reflects my dreams…living a life that defines my purpose.”

– Stephanie Ackerman

Photography credit – Stephanie Ackerman Artful Blogging, Summer 2013

 

 

 

Instagram images

“My heart is with art journaling because of the healing and joy-producing power of the process,” Bebe says.

Artist credit – Bebe Butler Art Journaling Winter 2014

 

 

 

Star Ornament Kelly Rae RobertsIf you’re interested in adding mixed-media artist Kelly Rae Roberts’ distinctive designs, brilliant color palettes, unique textures, and vibrant style into your own artwork – then look no further!

Check out the Kelly Rae Roberts Collection

 

 

 

Flora Bowley Photography“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep” – Scott Adams

Photography credit – Flora Bowley,  Somerset Life Winter 2014

 

 

Advent CalendarWe’re done counting the days til Christmas, but we’re still thinking up new, artistic ways to create seasonal calendars.

Click here to explore crafty ways to keep track of your days with calendar projects and products.

 

 

 

Gift WrapNeed a little gift-wrapping inspiration? Check out The Studio for free projects like this Graffiti Book Box DIY.

 

 

 

Ophelia ArtMeet this Victorian beauty, Ophelia, fresh from the pages of Somerset Studio.

Artist credit – Auralea Krieger

 

 

 

Tricia Lee WhitmerThe lovely and talented Tricia Lee Whitmer is a brilliant photographer, frozen yogurt fanatic, and guest artist published in Artful Blogging Autumn 2013.

Click here to read her tips on how to leverage Instagram for your photography.

 

 

Comment below: What’s your favorite image and why? What kind of photography would you most like to see on our Instagram page? Any other suggestions, feel free to share!

 

Stampington Instagram

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Sarah Uncategorized ,,,,,,,,,,,

We’ve gathered our newest, most-loved insta-images for your eyes to feast upon. Follow along as we unveil them one-by-one, here [On the Blog], and be sure to join the fun on Instagram.   Don’t miss this gorgeous Bohemian-themed wedding in the new Mingle. Photography credit – Celeste Shaw         “Creating a life […]

3 Valentine’s Day DIYS You’ll Love

January 20th, 2014

Prepare for the sweetest day of the year with these free love-inspired DIY projects. We’ve narrowed down our viewers’  three favorites to inspire your creativity this Valentine’s Day.

 

#1 Kristen Robinson: Beloved Valentine’s Day Boxes

This lovely packaging idea by Kristen Robinson is perfect for holding sweet treats or even valentine décor!

Click here to learn how to create your own.

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#2 My Love For You Is Beyond Measure by Vanessa Spencer

 

Roses are red, violets are blue, this journal is sweet and can be created by you!

Click here for the step by step tutorial.

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#3 Romance Cards and Mini Banner Project by Vanessa Spencer

Creating romantic cards for your loved one is all too easy with washi tape, a stamp, and a bit of twine.

Hang your mini banner somewhere fun for Valentine’s Day or reuse at another event to dress up the décor.

Click here to learn how to piece together this easy project.

 ***

All these great gift ideas made me a bit nostalgic, thinking about a fun Valentine’s Day in particular that I celebrated years ago. A friend sent me an unexpected card in the mail (like this one) and surprised me with a heartfelt letter about all the reasons why they loved me. With today’s advancements in technology, it was refreshing to receive a handwritten note from a loved one – so simple, yet so thoughtful. Do you have a fond Valentine’s Day memory of your own? Comment below with your story for your chance to win an issue of Somerset in Love.

 

*We will pick 5 lucky winners at random and contact you via email by Friday, January 24th.

 

With Somerset Place Love,

Blog Writer



Sarah How-To Project Tutorials

Prepare for the sweetest day of the year with these free love-inspired DIY projects. We’ve narrowed down our viewers’  three favorites to inspire your creativity this Valentine’s Day.   #1 Kristen Robinson: Beloved Valentine’s Day Boxes This lovely packaging idea by Kristen Robinson is perfect for holding sweet treats or even valentine décor! Click here to learn how […]

Top Artists Reveal Their Art Journal Must-Haves

January 17th, 2014

Whether you’re new to the art journal scene or a seasoned veteran, we’re excited to reveal today’s must-have materials to work with, chosen by top artists in the industry. Follow along as they divulge their favorite art journal items to work with, insider tips, and tutorials:

Traci Bautista’s Must-Haves:

Traci Bautista collage

Click here to check out the tutorial for this gorgeous art journal page.

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Tim Holtz’s Must-Haves:

Tim Holtz project

Click here to learn how to recreate the Time Canvas piece that Tim Holtz creates using his favorite materials.

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Mindy Lacefield’s Must-Haves:

Mindy Lacefield Card

  • Foam stamps are great for adding layers of pattern, like I did in this art journal page.
  • Stickles serve as a finishing sparkle to my page.
  • Deli paper was introduced to me through artist MaryBeth Shaw. I love to do stream of consciousness writing on the deli paper and tear out words and/or phrase and paste them directly into my journal.

Click here to discover this free art journal DIY.

  ***

Roben-Marie Smith’s Must-Haves:

  • My huge scrap paper box –  I am not sure I could journal without paper from my stash.

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Jen Cushman’s Must-Haves:

Jen Cushman art

  • White sharpie oil based paint marker – It writes over everything. Paint, crayon, watercolor – everything!
  • Pan pastels are gorgeous and highly pigmented, perfect to use for full-bodied color or like watercolors with brush and water.
  • ICE Resin paper – I coat old book pages and paper scraps with ICE Resin that’s left after my bezel pours. These snips of paper are saved and then brought out during art journaling and collage work to add texture and a bit of the unexpected. Resin loves paper and there is something magical about using snippets of this translucent-yet-strong paper in your art.

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Junelle Jacobsen’s Must-Haves:

1SOM-WK1301-Somerset-Workshop-2013-Pre-Order

  • Homemade art journals – The kind where the old and loved book gets painted with new white gesso and wrinkled with paint and ink.  I love everything about homemade art journaling. It is a transformational wonderment of delights.
  •  Sketchbooks – The simpler the better.

  ***

 Claudine Hellmuth’s Must-Haves:

  • Gel medium – for gluing collage papers and items down. If I was stuck on a desert island I would want gel medium with me!
  • Scissors – I don’t know where I’d be without scissors. My favorite are the tried and true Fiskars with orange handles.
  • Word salad – I like to cut words and phrases out of dictionary pages, old books, ephemera, etc. The text gives me prompts and ideas on what to make a journal page about.
  • PITT pens – these are my most favorite pens for sketching and drawing, they even draw over acrylic paint. 10% off 1 week only!

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Seth Apter’s Must-Haves:

Seth Apter

We’d like to give a huge “thank you” to each artist for sharing their favorite art journaling materials and interesting mixed-media tips with our blog readers! These artists have been featured in a number of Stampington titles including Art Journaling and Somerset Studio.

Please comment below if you have any questions for the artists!

With Somerset Place Love,

Blog Writer



Sarah Uncategorized ,,,,,,

Whether you’re new to the art journal scene or a seasoned veteran, we’re excited to reveal today’s must-have materials to work with, chosen by top artists in the industry. Follow along as they divulge their favorite art journal items to work with, insider tips, and tutorials: Traci Bautista’s Must-Haves: Speedball soft rubber brayer Sakura waterbrush […]