Top Artists Reveal 10 Best Ways to Beat Artist Block

February 24th, 2014

The dreaded artist’s block. It happens to all of us – no matter what level – but there are some great ways to defeat it! Please welcome some of the most well-known artists in the industry as they share their secrets on how to overcome a creative block and stay inspired.

#1) Think about good things

Good Things

It helps to focus on the good things that have happened and keep track of them so you can look back and be inspired.

Discover this “Journaling the Good Things” tutorial by Roben-Marie Smith

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#2) Discover a ritual for your soul

I Am Loved Madelyn Mulvaney

Every morning I awaken at around 5 a.m. I make myself a French press of coffee while the early light glimmers through my windows. This time alone is vital for my soul’s well-being ~ my daily rituals give me space for my creative spirit to lean into awakenings. The house is cathedral quiet and uncommonly beautiful ~ a lovely way to begin the day.  The gift of space and solitude.  Then…I gather up my three crazy dogs and hike up the mountain, return back home and make myself a massive bowl of Irish oatmeal. (The breakfast of poets!)

~ Madelyn Mulvaney, contributing writer for Somerset Life

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#3) Focus on just the essentials

Jo Packham Sizzix

For me the tip is to “focus” on one part of the project that can be completed in two or three small steps in just a minute. For example, when I was designing a new line of dies for Sizzix, I got completely overwhelmed with the possibilities. So, I collected myself, picked one design idea, created a few drawings, added my favorite sentiment, chose the colors, and then I was done. The completion of this one design concept then led me to the second, then third, and so on until pretty soon I had enough designs for two or three lines.

I believe that artist block comes from too much inspiration, too many ideas and endless possibilities. I don’t believe that very many of us ever have a moment when we cannot think of one more thing to create!

~ Jo Packham, Where Women Cook

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 #4) Venture outside

Lylah Ledner WWCB

When I have an artist block, I make myself a cup of French Press coffee, add nice heavy cream and head outside to either walk around my farm and soak up/breathe deep the garden places or I’ll venture to the baby goat yard and sit and watch them play.

~ Lylah Ledner, Where Women Create Business

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#5) Spring clean and browse books

Mary Beth Type Drawer Organization 

There are several ways I beat artist block. The first (and easiest) is to clean my studio. Inevitably, during the cleaning process I will come across something that inspires me to make art. If that fails, I browse through art books and I am back to creating before I know it.

~ Mary Beth Shaw, author of “Flavor for Mixed Media

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#6) Show up and paint anyways

Mindy Lacefield

My approach to defeating my block is a good balance of showing up in my studio and painting anyways as well as taking time away to spend time walking my two poodles. They continue to remind me to stay in the present moment. Once I am able to still my mind, magic finds its way to me.

~ Mindy Lacefield, published in Art Journaling

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#7) Be gentle with yourself

Mary Wangerin Grid 

The block likes to come and go at will, which can be so frustrating! It’s nice to have some tips and tricks in your bag to help beat it. I am gentle with myself when the block comes. Instead of forcing something out that doesn’t want to be seen just yet, I try and enjoy a little time outside of the studio. It’s amazing what a day of nurturing your creative spirit can do for creativity… Often, it’s just enough to rekindle that spark again. I love long walks in the fresh air to clear my mind. Another favorite is breaking out my camera to help focus in on the goodness that surrounds.

~ Mary Wangerin, published in Artful Blogging Winter 2014

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#8) Re-organize your workspace

Pam Carriker Studio

I like to re-organize my workspace. I find that I’m often inspired as I sort through my projects and products and unearth things that have been buried. When my space is clean it’s also inviting to begin something new!

~ Pam Carriker, columnist for Art Journaling, and contributing artist for Somerset Studio

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#9) Doodle for fun

Vanessa Valencia doodle

The way to beat artist block is to jump in and do something creative – other than what you are working on – and for me that is often doodling.  Make something because it’s fun. Draw or splat paint for the fun of it.

~ Vanessa Valencia, published in Somerset Life

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#10) Rest and refresh

 Claudine Hellmuth tapes

I encounter artist block when I am burnt out and tired, so that means it’s time to rest, rest, rest! I take lots of naps, watch movies, curl up with a good book or listen to some inspiring music. The hardest part is knowing the creativity will come back, it just needs time. I always panic and worry “what if this time I never create again!”, but I always do.

Claudine Hellmuth

 

Thank you to all of the artists who shared their secrets for conquering the dreaded artist’s block!

How do you beat your artist’s block? Comment below to share your creative cure.





Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,,,,,

The dreaded artist’s block. It happens to all of us – no matter what level – but there are some great ways to defeat it! Please welcome some of the most well-known artists in the industry as they share their secrets on how to overcome a creative block and stay inspired. #1) Think about good […]

Free Ephemera Download: Ladies in Lavish Living Quarters

February 21st, 2014

Free Ephemera Download February

Join these lovely ladies as they spend the day beautifying their tresses, sharing intimate conversations and lounging in lavish living quarters.

02-2014-dl-2

Circa 1920, this set of cream and gray images can be used together or solo to add wonderful vintage elements to your projects.

02-2014-dl-3

Click here to view these images at full size and to download yours today. To incorporate more vintage ephemera and digitally altered pieces into your artwork, visit e-Crafting.com!

Did you know that we also give away free ephemera downloads in our e-newsletters? If you’d like to receive more downloadable inspiration, be sure to sign-up today!



Sarah Free Downloads ,,,

Join these lovely ladies as they spend the day beautifying their tresses, sharing intimate conversations and lounging in lavish living quarters. Circa 1920, this set of cream and gray images can be used together or solo to add wonderful vintage elements to your projects. Click here to view these images at full size and to download […]

Art Doodle Love: Book Review with Author Dawn DeVries Sokol

February 18th, 2014

Art Doodle Love

 

Since working for Stampington, my interest in art journaling has peaked. I’m quite the novice, so when I saw this new book, I couldn’t wait to crack it open and interact with each page. Its unique writing prompts, gorgeous colored and textured pages, and innovative ideas are just a few of the many reasons why this book caught my eye. Whether you are just starting out like me, or you’ve got years of experience underneath your belt, this brilliant art doodle book is something you can’t help but fall in love with.  Today I’d like to welcome the author of the book, Dawn Devries Sokol, to our blog, as we have an intimate discussion about her challenges, achievements and other elements that went into the creation of this fun read.

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1) So Dawn, what were you doing before writing this book and what prompted/inspired you to start writing it?

I had authored three books before “Art Doodle Love” and really wanted to create a doodle book for women my age. I LOVED the book, “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. That, to me, was all about self-discovery so it helped spark the idea of a book to help women find their creative side through doodling and journaling.

Art Doodle Love inside

2) Have you encountered obstacles when writing this book? What were those obstacles and/or what was the most challenging part of writing this book?

The main challenge was convincing publishers that doodling for women would sell. Once I got an agent, it was much easier!

Wanderlust Art Doodle Love

3) If you had to narrow it down, what would be your favorite chapter in “Art Doodle Love,” and why?

Probably the Wanderlust chapter because it’s about the journeys we take, whether they are in our minds, in reality, or in the everyday.

 

4) Do you have any regrets or feelings of “I wish I would have done _______” after the book was published?

Actually, no! I was so pleased with the outcome, and my publisher and editor were incredible in their support of the book. I wouldn’t change a thing. A great relationship with them has blossomed out of “Art Doodle Love.”

 

5) What did you learn about yourself during the creation and completion of this book?

I learned that I REALLY wanted to do this book for quite some time, so to see this one as a REAL book was even more rewarding than any of the other books I’ve published.

Art Doodle Love - Doodle Page

6) Who would you say has shaped your artistic style and ideas most – or was it completely a process of self discovery?

I’ve taken SO many workshops from so many WONDERFUL artists. I’d like to think that my artistic style is partly borne out of what I’ve learned from them and also my process. Doodling was the thing that got me started in art journaling. I was pretty overwhelmed at the beginning and realized I could concentrate on what I wanted to journal if I just sat down with a pen and doodled on a blank page. I had to start somewhere but all the techniques and the approaches of other artists made it too complicated. Art journaling is what YOU make of it. It’s really about YOU, what you want for yourself and what you want to get out of your journal. By just doodling I was able to get moving and not worry about how to “put it all together”. After doodling for a while, I realized I wanted to work on painted pages, so I painted a bunch of pages and then doodled on them. I added in collage after a while and figured out how to make my process work for me. It’s been constantly evolving and still changes all the time!

Intention Page Art Doodle Love

7) Now that you’ve published “Art Doodle Love,” do you have any desire to start on another book? What else is on the horizon for you?

I’m not stopping with “Art Doodle Love!” I’ve already published my fifth book, “The Doodle Circle: A Fill-In Journal for BFFs to Share”, and am currently working on my sixth book, which is a follow-up to my first book, “1000 Artist Journal Pages.” I just received word from my publisher that I will be publishing two more titles with them and a couple of stationery products, which I’m really excited about! I want to get more into licensing my designs and have been painting quite a bit on canvas and board.

 

Inside BookCLICK HERE to learn more about Dawn’s new book “Art Journal Love” before taking home your very own copy.

 

 

 

Dawn icon'For daily inspiration and motivation, check out Dawn’s blog >>> http://www.dblogala.com/

 

 

 

Dear readers,

What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to your art journal and how do you plan on tackling it?

With Somerset Place Love,

Blog Writer




Sarah Uncategorized ,,,,,,

  Since working for Stampington, my interest in art journaling has peaked. I’m quite the novice, so when I saw this new book, I couldn’t wait to crack it open and interact with each page. Its unique writing prompts, gorgeous colored and textured pages, and innovative ideas are just a few of the many reasons […]

3 Insanely Easy DIY Projects with Instagram Photos

February 13th, 2014


Instagram Project 1

Project by Vanessa Spencer

#1 Instagram Photo Cards

Our square greeting cards (with matching square envelopes!) are the perfect canvas to display your Instagram pictures. Don’t let them metaphorically “collect dust” by sitting on your phone or computer – print them out and share them with friends and family! You can use these adorable cards for thank you notes, birthday cards or for any special occasion.

DIY Instructions:

  • You can either print directly onto the cards (you will need to resize and adjust the printer settings accordingly) or print out the pictures separately.
  • Crop the images to your liking and attach them to the front of the cards. Vanessa adhered hers with strips of patterned washi tape, but you can also use a thin layer of glue for extra stability.
  • Stamp some simple quotes and words onto each card using the Dear Lizzy Neapolitan stamp and black ink.

 

Materials Used:

Square-Shaped Cards and Envelopes Set — 4 x 4$(3.95)
Square-Shaped Cards and Envelopes Set — 6 x 6 ($4.95)
Tsukineko StazOn Solvent Inkpad Jet Black ($8.99)
American Crafts Roller Date Stamp Dear Lizzy Neapolitan ($5.49)
Washi Tape – Jute Pattern Polka Dot White on Gray ($3.49)
Washi Tape – Cross White on Turquoise Green ($3.49)
Washi Tape – Geometric Triangles White and Pale Yellow ($3.49)
*Please note – before mailing (if using the 6 x 6 cards) you may want to check with your postal carrier if there are additional postage fees due to the larger size.

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Instagram Project 2

Project by Vanessa Spencer

#2 Instagram Wood Photo Blocks Transfer

Capture memories and spotlight them with these stackable wooden photo blocks. Use three different sizes and tie with twine for the perfect sentimental gift.

DIY Instructions:

  • Using small, medium, and large sizes of the ready-to-alter wood blocks from our Handmade by Somerset collection, Vanessa paints each one with a quick coat of white gesso and allows the paint to dry thoroughly.
  • Print out your square instagram photos using a laser printer. If you don’t have access to a laser printer, go to an office supply store and use a photocopy service to copy your pictures. Size your pictures accordingly, so they will fit each block.
  • Give the gesso painted surfaces a very light sanding. A little “tooth” will help the images transfer better. Use a generous amount of gel medium onto the surfaces of the blocks and place the cut out images face down, and burnish lightly with a bone folder. Allow these to dry overnight.
  • Doing one side carefully at a time, dab the surface with water and rub gently with your finger to remove the paper pulp. This can take a little getting used to, and knowing when “enough is enough” because sometimes the photos will dry and be left looking a little fuzzy which means you didn’t remove enough. However you need to be careful not to rub too hard as then you could remove too much and parts of the images will come off. Try some samples first on scrap wood.
  • After Vanessa removes the excess paper pulp, she gently scratches the edges with her fingernail to give them a distressed look.
  • Once the pictures have dried from being wet, paint the blocks with a sealer like Collage Pauge. After the Collage Pauge sealing coat has dried, bundle the blocks up with some red scrapper’s floss for an elegant packaged gift.

 

Materials Used:

Traci Bautista Collage Pauge Medium Matte 16 oz ($10.95)
Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi-Medium Matte (4 oz) ($6.95)
Claudine Hellmuth Studio Gesso (4 oz) ($6.95)
Karen Foster Scrapper’s Spools Floss Cardinal ($2.50)
Handmade by Somerset Wood Blocks Medium – Set of 3 ($4.95)
Handmade by Somerset Wood Blocks Extra Large – Set of 3 ($14.95)
Handmade by Somerset Wood Blocks Mixed – Set of 3 ($9.99)
Bone Folder ($6.49)

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Instagram Project 3

Project by Vanessa Spencer

#3 Family Photo Crate Display Project

The Market Milk Bottles and metal chalkboard crate makes an interesting faux vintage display for your Instagram photos.

DIY Instructions:

  • Browse through your Instagram images and find your 3 favorite family photos.
  • Print our your pictures in black and white.
  • Crop the images to fit the metal display area and attach them with glue.
  • Fill each bottle 1/4 of the way with water and add a fresh mum (or any other flower of your choice.)
  • You can also embellish the jars if desired by adding some simple strips of washi tape or twine.

 

Materials Used:

 

Stampington Instagram Follow us on Instagram

If you decide to recreate any of these projects, post your finished piece on Instagram and hashtag #StampingtonInstaDIY for a chance to be published in one of our titles!

 

With Somerset Place Love,
Blog Writer





Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,

Project by Vanessa Spencer #1 Instagram Photo Cards Our square greeting cards (with matching square envelopes!) are the perfect canvas to display your Instagram pictures. Don’t let them metaphorically “collect dust” by sitting on your phone or computer – print them out and share them with friends and family! You can use these adorable cards for thank […]

I Adore Wall Hanging Tutorial by Guest Artist Kristen Robinson

February 10th, 2014

Kristen Robinson wall hanging

It’s no secret that I adore Kristen Robinson’s eye-catching jewelry designs, so you can imagine how giddy I felt inviting her to share a new project with all of us. Please join me in welcoming Kristen Robinson to Somerset Place, and follow along as she shares a clever way to use bezels with this creative and functional wall hanging project (that you can use in any season!)

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I simply adore creating with jewelry findings in a very non-traditional manner. With a plethora of bezels and chains sitting before me from my Rue Romantique line, my imagination ran wild.

Reigning in my thoughts a bit, I became inspired to create a wall hanging that would not only be perfect for Valentine’s Day but year round. I like that this wall hanging is not only romantic but at the same time celebrates the love of family, friends and home. A perfect addition to the Valentine vignette nestled within our entryway, or any vignette no matter what time of year it might be.

Perhaps one of the best things about a project such as this is the ability to interject very personal styles and techniques. For me I am quite fond of embedding objects into flooded solder. From silver charms to rhinestones I cannot help but marvel at the magic that happens as the solder cocoons each bit and bauble. With a project such as this I find it the perfect opportunity to echo your creativity and style while celebrating all that you love.

~Kristen

Tools and Materials Kristen Robinson

Tools and Materials

 

I Adore Wall Hanging Tutorial

1. Apply a thin layer of flux to the interior of each bezel.

2. With butane torch heat solder and flood into bezel.

3. While solder is still warm place object to be nestled within solder.

4. With torch at least 4 inches away bring solder back up to heated stage until the object sinks into the solder. (This may not be needed depending on the state of the solder when placing object).

5. If stamping into solder, place stamp onto the molten solder and allow to cool prior to pulling stamp from metal.

6. Once the solder is cool, clean per the directions on the flux.

7. Into the metal stamping drill one hole on each side of the stamping as well as in the center. Repeat this on the ends of the stamping.

8. Determine the length that you wish the rosary chain to be for each small bezel. Open last link of chain with round nose pliers and attach to the bale of each bezel. Place adjacent link through the drilled hole on stamping and close. Repeat on remaining side.

9. To create the centerpiece cut a strip of velvet ribbon twice the length you desire and fold in half. Place the bale of the heart bezel onto the ribbon.

10. With needle and thread and or sewing machine stitch the center in a random manner, adding layers of ribbon if desired. Allow a loop to be left at the top of the ribbon.

11. Place one jump on the end of the velvet ribbon. If desired created a wrapped loop link here and attach to the center drilled hole. If choosing to not add a link place jump ring through drilled hole and close.

12. Adorn top of stamping with ribbon and rosary chain. Attaching both to the holes drilled on the end of the stamping.

 

Kristen Robinson wall hanging tutorial

Safety Precautions:

  • Be sure to use non-plastic materials when flooding, as they will melt.
  • An alternate method is to place the item you wish to cocoon in the flooded solder into the molten metal, just be very careful you do not burn yourself with the torch.
  • When soldering do so in a well ventilated area.

Kristen Robinson profileAbout Kristen Robinson:

Kristen is a Director’s Circle Artist for Somerset Studio as well as a Bonnes Vivantes for Somerset Life. In addition, she is the creator of Rue Romantique and is currently penning her third book “Explore Mixed Media Collage: Innovative Layering Techniques.” To learn more about Kristen, visit: kristenrobinson.net

 

Thank you so much for joining us today Kristen! I can’t wait to recreate and incorporate personal touches into my own beautiful wall hanging project.

With Somerset Place Love,

Blog Writer





Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,,

It’s no secret that I adore Kristen Robinson’s eye-catching jewelry designs, so you can imagine how giddy I felt inviting her to share a new project with all of us. Please join me in welcoming Kristen Robinson to Somerset Place, and follow along as she shares a clever way to use bezels with this creative […]