After a talk I presented back in October a young woman asked, "tell us how we can support you." It was so kind and sincere, and totally unexpected that it made me stumble through my response. That question has stuck with me since. Now whenever I can I try to remember to ask that question to my friends in my creative tribe. Whether it's re-posting someone's work you like, telling a writer their work is dope, or hanging posters promoting a friend's exhibit supporting your creative community helps it thrive. And it's a great way to boost your creative karma.
Remembering why you like doing something is a great motivator for doing more of that thing. Knowing "why" will also help you determine the true intentions behind what you do with your creative endeavors. When there's a genuine interest we're filled with joy. When we do something just to get more attention or to get by then it can generate anxiety and less joy. This list should help you figure this out.
Surround yourself in beauty. Hanging up art work, images from a favorite magazine or an old book is a great way to be inspired. You're not necessarily creating a vision board or mood board, these are just images you find to be beautiful, which then become subtle reminders that you can create beauty, too.
Sometimes when we're stuck or need some inspiration it's great to look to people who are doing the things we want to do. If it's someone that is well-known or someone who has a following it's more likely that you can find articles, books, or even video about that person. Read, watch, and learn from other people's experiences and mistakes. Use that information and take notes. (Make note taking a practice when engaging in enlightening conversations or learning about something.) With this creative challenge tip you're building a library of notes, ideas, and thoughts that you can revisit and use as needed.
If it's someone who isn't well known, then maybe you can just email them or invite them out for coffee if they're local (read my tips here on how to approach someone online).
Be careful with today's tip, though. Understand that every path is different and what works for some may not work for you. Examine what you've learned from your "virtual mentor" and really think about how it applies to you, think about what inspired you about their words or statement, and figure out if it's something you can incorporate into your own creative practice.
Is there someone you admire you're interested in knowing more about? I'm curious to learn more about other illustrators doing fun projects and collaborations.
Most of January was a month of rest and rejuvenation. I spent the entire month in Stockholm, with a brief stop-over in London, and literally slept for the first two weeks. I was beat.
But it's February (my birthday month — cheers to another rotation around the sun) and I'm back in Baltimore ready to get things popping. What does that mean? New projects, including book number 2!!!, and committing to my creative practice even more. And I'd like for you to join me.
With love day upon us I thought it would be fun to work together on nurturing something we love doing creatively. Sometimes we neglect the very thing that inspires us and brings us so much joy. So here's an opportunity to give your creativity some love.
Whether you're a full-time designer, a dancer, or just want to get motivated to create something this 14 day challenge is for you. Here on Fly and on Instagram (starting today) I'll be sharing exercises and info I've learned over the years as a designer/illustrator and design educator. These are all tips and tricks (and some reminders) that I use when I feel stuck or need a new perspective, and some that I use when working with my design students.
What do you need in order to participate? Just visit here or follow me on IG at @andreapippins daily to see the prompt for the day, and set aside a few minutes a day to flex that creative muscle. I will be posting more in-depth posts here to supplement some of the info.
We'll be using the #iamcreative hashtag to document the progression of the days. If you feel comfortable enough to share your experience please use the hashtag if you post images. I'd love to see what you're thinking.
Here is day 1:
What is that one thing you love to do and wish you could do every day, even for a few moments? Drawing, singing, cooking, painting, sewing? Sometimes we think we can't do it and then make excuses that keep us from our creative passions. For example, not having time or "I'm not creative enough." Honey, that's fear talking. Five minutes less on social media or 30 minutes less watching TV is plenty of time. And not creative enough? How do you really know unless you nurture it and let it grow? When you write down the 3 things that you think are stopping you let those inspire the things you can do to make time every day for a little creative expression. And then do them.
Feeling like you want to test out your coloring before purchasing or diving into your fresh copy of I Love My Hair? Or want to try a different coloring technique than what you used in your already broken in copy of the book? Well I have a little treat for you. You can download two pages from the book here?
Happy New Year! Wow can you believe January 2016 is already here?
This last year was super busy for me. I had been going non-stop for 12 months straight. Then autumn hit. And it was a whirlwind with the launch of I Love My Hair. Between working on other projects and teaching, I was juggling a plethora of press features and traveling to book signing events up and down the east coast. It was a busy time but a lot of fun.
By the end of December I was too tired and still too busy to sit and reflect as I usually do during the end of the year, so I'm now using January to relax, process, and take in all that I have done and learned during 2015.
Despite feeling tired, at my core I am energized and inspired, and incredibly grateful. With that I'm ready to dive into the new year.
This year kicks off with an I Love My Hair book signing event in London! Join The NuBLK and myself on Saturday, January 23 | 2-4pm for an afternoon of colouring (yes with a "u"!) and mingling. Get your tickets here.
I'm thrilled to continue promoting the book while starting new projects and making time for self-care. What about you? What are you excited about for 2016?
The I Love My Hair book signing tour continues with stops at the following locations:
Book signing at Potter's House in DC on Saturday, Dec. 12 | 6:30-8:30PM
Book signing at Corridor Gallery in Brooklyn on Wednesday, Dec. 16 | 6-8PM
Hope to meet you at any of these events!