Unfurl your Creative Juju!

 I took this picture of a fern frond delicately unfurling. Can you see my bike in the background perched on the Studio outside wall? I loved the juxtaposition of the natural and mechanical. A fern frond is a perfect metaphor for the creative life – gently unfurling the minute you give it permission to grow! There are so many opportunities to grow creatively today. What are some things you can do to boost your creative juju? Here are a few ideas:

  • Read art books and art magazines (either buy them or check them out for free at the library)
  • try a new technique out once a week
  • take a class either LIVE or online
  • read interviews with your favourite artists – this will inspire you to emulate them and carve out your own creative path
  • open a book at random and point your finger at something on the page – create a piece of art around the phrase and incorporate it into the art
  • look at a problem upside down for a new perspective – seriously I do this. Or by the same token you can go out in nature and look at it between your legs
  • take a different route to work or to the grocery store – you might see something that inspires you and will inform your art
  • take something from nature – a leaf, twig, shell or rock and paint or print with it
  • hang out with a child and make art – follow their lead
  • go to ezine articles and check out their articles on creativity and art
  • go to creativity portal and do the same
  • join an art group or form your own. Plan on having creative gatherings where you teach each other your art specialty
  • attend an art retreat. If you can’t afford it you can create your own with your creative buddies
  • take one of your favourite artists such as Van Gogh or Modigliani and make a piece of art “In the style of…..”
  • go for a walk in a busy place and eaves drop on conversations. Take a snippet of a conversation that intrigues you and write a story or fashion a piece of art around it.If you do some of the above you will surely Unfurl your Creative Juju! Can you add any more ideas to my list?  I’d love to hear them!  Have fun with it.


My friend Margot Potter has a great blogpost today on Embracing Rejection. It’s a given if you are out there in the art world you WILL be rejected. What do you do when that happens? Check out the post. Once when I was rejected by an editor I politely asked her what was wrong with my project and why it was rejected. She kindly told me it had to do with my colour choice (which i’m guessing  some folks think is a bit garish). Anyways I went away, licked my wounds and created something different which was eventually rejected. Never give up – keep plugging away at it. As Yoda would say “There is no try. There is do or not do”. So just do it!

I hope you’ll have a magical weekend full of Creative juju! Woo hoo!
Love, Violette xo


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The Gremlin and your Creative Dreams


Have you ever been haunted by that critical voice inside your head that tells you you can’t do something, that you are a horrible artist, such a klutz with no talent? Well I hear that voice and have to find ways to silence it. Sometimes if you give it a face and a name it takes the wind out of it – I like to call it the Gremlin. In the above sketch I was illustrating what gets in the way of my dreams…….and I came up with an illustration of me! I’m taking Sark’s Dream Boogie online class and this was one of the exercises she gave us – to illustrate the monster. The class by the way is excellent. It speaks so well to the creative person in me who enjoys whimsy, colour and fun plus there is so much interaction with the teleseminar and the ability to participate in polls on the phone. I think this is a new feature which is supposed to mimic attending a real live workshop where you break up in groups and share your dreams and ask for feedback. It’s sort of like a mini virtual mastermind group!

 Tracking your Gremlin Progress in your Art Journal

Anyways, as usual I’m digressing. Every year I create a Gremlin Journal Page and notice how over the years he has changed – he’s not quite as vicious as the previous year. Therapy and EFT (emotional freedom technique) has helped me in dealing with the gremlins and the demons that stop forward progress. It’s pretty cool if you can keep your journal pages and refer back to them at a later date. You’ll hopefully be able to notice a pattern – a pattern of growth where you are in fact moving closer and closer to your dreams and in fact are living them. That’s one of the things that excited me so much about art journaling – the journal pages which almost magically appeared before my very eyes had a message for me. They told me what was going on in my life, where I needed to change, what was important and what wasn’t. I was told to take a break, go on a retreat to recharge my batteries. I can’t say it often enough….art really has saved my life! I know that it can save your life too – it can help you deal with and overcome some pretty trying times. On the flip side art journaling is a great way to document the joys and simple pleasures in your life too!

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This and That


This is my friend Angela’s art – she painted a picture of a woman with a cute headband.  On the headband it says “I heart violette”.  Too sweet eh?  Angela mailed this whimsical painting to me – it cost her a pretty penny.  Thank you Angela.  Your painting will be going up in my Studio!

I glittered the woodblock girls and will be posting them on my etsy site this morning after i do a mini photo shoot and create the write ups.  I seem to be having a bit of a problem with being regular about posting art on etsy.  My New Year’s resolution was to sell a certain amount of artful products per day on etsy by the end of June i think……anyways i only have a couple of months left and am no where near close to my projections.  I’m also having problems posting the appropriate shipping costs.  Shipping from Canada costs way more that to ship from the states.  For example I’ve been losing a ton of money because I haven’t been charging the appropriate amounts – to ship my notebooks i think i was charging 4 dollars to the states and it actually cost me 7 dollars plus an extra dollar for the hard mailer………so that’s 8 dollars.  Which means I’m out 4 dollars.  Good grief.  I’m better off selling prints which cost much less to mail.

I’d Rather be in the Studio

I’m reading a book right now called I’d Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self -Promotion by Alyson Stanfield. It’s great – I highly recommend it (I don’t get anything for saying that either!). This is a book I wish I had come across a number of years ago. You’ve most likely heard me whine that I would much rather be drawing and doodling than promoting myself, doing the social network thing, mailings etc. Well if Alyson knew me she’d probably give me a swift kick in the pants…..seriously – she does not endure whining and ultimately says “Ditch the excuses” and get with the program. “Your art studio is a place where magic happens – but not enough magic that you can afford to stay there all of the time.” She teaches you all kinds of practical things like how to create your own marketing materials, artist statement, how to introduce yourself as an artist, expand your mailing list and more. She also teaches you how to become a media magnet so that your buyers come to you. I just wanted to pass this little gem along to you if you are serious about making the most of your art business!

Here is a cool little video on how to build your business using social media.


Check out Linda’s Free paper doll template .  She was inspired by yesterday’s post on leveraging your art.  What a great idea Linda!

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Art Journal: Leveraging a drawing

A while ago I created this face (which suspiciously looks like Madonna). I had sketched it out and liked it so much that I transferred it to some watercolor paper and then collaged it onto a background painted onto watercolor (I blogged about it about a month ago I think). As you can see I collaged on a rose and some magazine flowers. The vines were painted on the page. First I added a layer of gesso so that I could paint the green on top. The heart and tulip were collaged onto the page (I think I painted them with twinkling H2O’s). I decided to leverage the face which I quite liked so this is what I did:

  • I used a background I had made by scrapping paint with a credit card. I added some interested by stamping rings on with a lid and india ink. The lines were stamped with the side of the credit card. Next I used a leaf stamp to add a bit of texture
  • With some graphite paper I transferred the face onto my page and then inked it in with micron pens. Highlights to the hair were added with white paintpen and a black brush pen.
  • The face was partially painted in with a combination of acrylic paints. The whites of the eyes were painted in with a paint pen. A pink paintpen was used on the lips.
  • I added microfine glitter to the hair.
  • The words were written with a whiteout pen and a Sharpie poster pen. Re-Evaluate was outlined with a thin micron pen.


Can you see how different the face looks when you apply it to a pre-made background? The next time you make a face, tree, mug or any object that you are pleased with why not save a copy of it and reuse it? You can also leverage your piece even further by shrinking it down and making it into a magnet or a print or a greeting card. I’ve done that with journal pages that I quite liked and had a universal appeal.

The Class


There were only 3 women in my workshop on saturday. The women were wonderful, super creative and talented! The class was well advertised at the store, on my blog, newsletter, twitter, facebook etc. So I think I need to re-evaluate whether or not I want to do classes of this type. Looks like I have to revisit what I am doing. Many of you know i’m menopausal and often don’t sleep well – last nite I was listening (for 3 ½ hours) to an audiobook on using your strengths and focusing on that. I’m now distilling what my actual strengths are which I had not originally thought were strengths. It’s a good idea every now and then to re-evaluate what you are doing – what works, what doesn’t work, what you love, what you don’t love. You can also grow out of love with something too which i’ve found. I am no longer energized by going to parties or being in large groups of people – and that’s okay! How about you? Is it time you re-evaluated what is working in your life and what is not?

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And the Winner is…….


This is me and Freya from the UK. She is a kindred spirit who was visiting B.C. – we connected on the internet and Voila! here we are meeting! Thanks for the visit Freya – it was so lovely to meet you!


Here are a couple of wood block mixed media collage pieces i’m creating for my etsy shop.  They are so sweet at only 2 1/2″ x 4 3/4″!  I’ll have them up on etsy tomorrow!

Here is Freya’s website  if you are interested in checking out all of her fairy creations and magical world!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered in my new website contest. I also appreciate your ideas for what you would like to see more of!  This is the most entries i’ve ever had and i’ve been having giveaways for over 5 years!  The Winner is ……Lisa Calvert!  Congratulations Lisa!!!  Please e-mail me your snail mail addy so i can send your offerings out to you ASAP!

Tomorrow i’ll post some ideas on how to leverage your drawings for your art journal!

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