One step at a time

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This blog has been silent for a while, so I thought it was time to catch up…

What happened in these months?

In a nutshell, I found a new job (yay!) and the hours were a bit hectic in the beginning, so I prioritized other things in my limited free time.

Time is the real currency

I am still pretty busy and it will probably take a while more to start posting regularly again, but I am proud of some choices I made and wanted to share a couple of positive reminders.

Unleash your creativity

I made a point to carve a bit of time every week to indulge in my creative urges. I let go of my perfectionism a bit and focused on the joy my little doodles bring me. I still spend a lot of time fussing over details (especially when I draw digitally, which I am trying to do less frequently), but here are some little hacks if you want to draw more:

  • start small
  • use cheap supplies
  • open an instagram account

I don’t know about you, but I love stationery and have some beautiful notebooks and textured paper at home…that I never used.

Stationery hoarders anyone?

The fear of ruining your brand new sketchbook can seriously hinder your creative expression. Not to mention, your space at home could be limited and it’s quite a waste to keep collecting supplies if you never use them.

Of course, the ideal way to deal with this is facing your fears and accepting the fact that you’ll make mistakes, and those are part of the learning process. However, if you find yourself wanting to draw, hesitating in front of your A4 album and eventually giving up, starting small and using inexpensive supplies can go a long way.

I had the best results with this block by Poundland: it’s small, it’s cute and the quality of the paper is not that bad (it even takes a bit of watercolours, even though the paper will inevitably warp). Sure, you could just draw on the first piece of paper you find on your desk, but I like that the sheets have all the same shape and look good together (I plan to make some kind of album/scrapbook at some point with all the drawings I like, I keep them in a clear file in a drawer).

It’s just a little square, but it opens endless possibilities

My third hack is a bit controversial, because opening a social media account can add unnecessary pressure if you focus too much on how many likes you get. However, instagram’s artist community is very welcoming (much more than DeviantArt IMHO) and there are a lot of challenges every month if you need a bit of inspiration. Moreover, making yourself accountable in some way may help you to post even those drawings you are not completely satisfied with and to be less harsh on yourself.

Strive for improvement

Depending on how demanding your job is, it can be hard to find the time and energy to keep studying. However, it’s important to block some time to work on your skills.

I am trying to make the most of my commuting time by bringing a book or my kindle. Sometimes it’s too crowded, or I am too tired to focus, but most mornings I manage to read a chapter or two before getting to my stop. Since the environment is not the best to study, once I finish a book I try to review everything from home to take notes and identify the main takeaways, but it still saves me a lot of time, compared to having to do everything after work or during the weekend.

Next stop is Learning Town

If you are not much into reading, or if you drive to work, podcasts are another interesting option, with the added benefit of leaving your hands free and your bag less heavy.

Even if you live close to work, I am sure you can find other idle times to squeeze in some studying. You don’t need any fancy prop when you can use your smartphone: what about using apps to learn a new language?

Stay tuned for more posts!

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