Top 5 Podcasts for Creatives

I’m so thankful for podcasts. I have a pretty long commute to and from work that I used to DREAD, but since podcasts have really become a thing, I’m excited to drive now! I found a few that I find so valuable as a creative person (and as a creative person who wants to make a living doing their creative endeavor), that I want to share them with you too. I think you’ll find some benefit, no matter what creative field you’re in.

Top Five Podcasts for Creatives

Here are my top favorites, in no particular order:

Don’t Keep Your Day Job - Really fantastic podcast. I love how warm, positive, and kind Cathy is. I love that she believes that “purpose is the opposite of depression” and she strives to help people find the purpose in their lives.

Some of my favorite episodes are:

How to Avoid the Perfection Trap - James Victore

How to Choose Wonder Over Worry - Amber Rae

How to Make Creativity Your Career - Andy J. Pizza


Creative Pep Talk - The pep talks are really insightful and motivational. There are lots of practical and actionable items to pep up your creative and creative business game. And the energy of the host is contagious!

Some of my favorite episode are:

You’ll Never Make Your Best Work While Believing this Lie

The Things that’s Always Held you Back and the Scientific Way to Defeat it

You’ve Been Lied to and it’s Holding You Back


That’s What She Said - Another podcast I think is helpful for creatives and for all people, really. There’s a lot of tough love in this one. Kristen doesn’t mince words and tells it like it is. And bonus if you dig Harry Potter!

Some of my favorite episodes are:

Don’t Drink the Unicorn Blood (and put down that Horcrux) (and really, all her M-school podcasts are fantastic.)

Vulnerability 101: How to stop hiding your work and be seen by all the people who matter

Intuition Basics: Sensing the Sparkle


Do it for the Process - This is a fantastic podcast if you’re an artist. I love the practical tips and positive vibes that Emily puts out into the world.

Some of my favorite episodes are:

Can Artists Make it on Their Own? The Mindset Shifts Needed to be a Creative Entrepreneur

Do it For the Process: 14 Tried & True Ways to Remain Inspired and ALIVE in Your Creativity

Mother + Artist: Can Creativity Coexist with Parenting?


Artists Helping Artists - I find this podcast to be super valuable because the hosts discuss topics like how to sell more art on-line, social media and marketing tips, and they speak with guest artists, gallerists, and others sharing their knowledge of the business side of art.

Some of my favorite episodes are:

15 Ways to Get Inspired about Your Art

Why Every Artist Needs to Take Risks for Growth

Twenty Things to do to Change Your Art in 2019

I hope you give these a listen and let me know what you think! Do you have a favorite podcast you think I should listen to? Let me know in the comments section below!

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WIP - Succulent Garden Painting - COMPLETE!

Hi! After many many months, i finally finished my most ambitious painting to date! I LOVE how it turned out! This painting was a labor of love, one tiny section at a time.

Succulent Garden - 25"x25" Oil Painting on Canvas
succulentgarden-complete03jpg

This bad boy is a whopping 25 inches wide by 25 inches tall and 2 inches deep. What a difference from all the tiny 3”x3” paintings I created last year for the 100dayproject. Working on something this large was so refreshing! It’s ironic that I am still using the same tiny brushes that I used when i painted all those tiny paintings. I like to call it my mighty tiny brush…

It’s my favorite mighty tiny brush— a    Simply Simmons angle 1/8 angle brush    that I get from Michaels.

It’s my favorite mighty tiny brush— a Simply Simmons angle 1/8 angle brush that I get from Michaels.

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I can’t wait to hang this up! I’m thinking of hanging a few of my larger paintings on the wall behind where I stand to paint. Why, you ask, since the paintings will be behind me? I’m hoping to start something CRAZY and video some timelaspes of me painting, and that may be a nice background… We’ll see. I need to play around with camera angles and positioning. I’ll keep you posted!



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New Art Studio Update - Part 2

Hello! Been quite some time, eh? My little guy was born at the end of March, and the past 4 months have been an absolute dizzying whirlwind! I’m back at work (boo!) and we’re getting into good daily rhythm. I’m learning to make the most of my limited time in the evenings after he goes to sleep. It’s amazing how much I can cram into two hours in the evening! Where was this focus before?

Just before we went back to work, we finally got new desks for our studio/loft space and now I feel the studio renovation is mostly complete. I LOVE LOVE LOVE our desks and the whole set up! We didn’t create the total DIY desk that we originally planned. That was NOT feasible with a newborn!! I didn’t want a store bought desk though. They didn’t offer the space or look that I wanted. We went the semi DIY route with parts from IKEA. We used three bookshelves as the base, and solid beech wood tabletops as our desktops.

New Studio Desk - Step One.

We decided to use these shelves as a base because we wanted storage options, especially since my studio space is now a lot smaller than it used to be. I love the open shelves and if we wanted to get inserts or baskets, we can easily. We chose the solid wood because I didn’t want cheap looking particle board desktop. I wanted something larger too. We were about to give up on the DIY idea until we passed by this tabletop in the Kitchen section.

New Art Studio Desk - Step 2
New Studio Derk - Final

There it is! The perfect desk set up for us! Can you tell which side is mine? The Studio renovation is coming along nicely and I’m quite happy with the whole set up. It’s comfortable, cozy, and I have a great space to paint plus a desk space that’s large enough for my computer and work space for non-computer related projects.

Brand New Art Studio

Here are a few things we bought to create our studio space:

studio furniture.jpg
  1. OttLite Natural Daylight LED Flex Lamp.

  2. MOPPE mini storage chest

  3. Teal 3 tier storage cart

  4. KALLAX shelf unit

  5. GERTON tabletop

  6. Wooden H frame easel

  7. Indira Green Area Rug

  8. RÅSKOG utility cart

Next up on my studio to-do list is to move the rug over so that it’s under my chair, pick up/put up art, wall shelves, new curtains, and new chairs.

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Smallish Adventures - Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show

The Orchid show at the Chicago Botanic Garden opened at the perfect time. This winter has been rather harsh. We had a mini polar vortex and lots of snow. I mean, it’s Chicago, so, nothing terribly unusual, but…. I am so over winter. I couldn’t wait for the Orchid show this year! I took my mom a week or so ago to check it out and to help chase the winter blues away. And the orchids did NOT disappoint. This years show was outstanding! The theme was “In the Tropics” and it totally captured the spirit of islands, beaches, and rainforests in places like the South Pacific and the Amazon.

Chicago Botanic Garden 2019 Orchid Show - Moth Orchid
Chicago Botanic Garden 2019 Orchid Show - Pink Orchids
Lady Slipper Orchid
Beautiful Orchids from the Chicago Botanic Garden 2019 Orchid Show

These are just a few of my favorite photos from this years Orchid Show. I’ll add more to my Flickr account in the next few days!

Check out more orchid photos from past posts:


Are you a fan of Orchids? Which are your favorites? Let me know in the comment section below!


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WIP - Lady Slipper Orchid Painting

Right now, I have three paintings that are in progress. You saw the last one, my large overly ambitious succulent garden painting. I am a little stuck with that one right now and had to put it down. I started a smaller succulent painting that is much less daunting. I’ll give you an update on that one soon. And, as if that wasn’t enough on my plate, I am working on a Lady Slipper Orchid painting for my mom!

I’m super excited about this painting for my mom though. I took her to the Chicago Botanic Garden 2019 Orchid show a few weeks ago and was totally inspired to paint this particular orchid for her because these are her most favorite orchids. I don’t know, there’s something about these that she loves so much. I decided to try and paint it in similar colors to the Yellow Rose painting I made for her last year. I imagine she’d have these hanging side by side.

Lady Slipper Orchid- almost finished!

Lady Slipper Orchid- almost finished!

lady slipper orchid painting 01.jpg

Day 1: I drew the flower and just filled in the canvas with paint. I’m not worried about the color or the shape of the orchid yet. I’ll fix it as I go along.

lady slipper orchid painting 02.jpg

Day 2: I darkened the background color and painted the leaves. I like where this is going so far!

lady slipper orchid painting 03.jpg

Day 3: Totally changed my mind about the background color (it was a dark dark blue) and I decided to make it a dark green to coordinate with the Yellow Rose painting I did for my mom last year. I added highlights to my leaves and I started painting in the white petals on the orchid.

lady slipper orchid painting almost finished.jpg

Day 4: I tackled the yellow petals and the “slipper” portion of the orchid. It’s looking good!

Now all I need to do is refine the petals, and add the finishing details. Stay turned!


Happy creating!


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NEW Art Studio Update

I feel like I haven’t painted/done anything creative in forever! We decided to get wood floors installed upstairs and to move my studio out of the second bedroom in order to create space for our upcoming adventure. So ALLLLLLLL my cherished art and painting supplies were packed up and stored in the spare bathroom while we waited for the flooring people to work their magic. 

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We waited for what seemed like months for the flooring to be delivered and installed. (Actually, it was only a few weeks, but still. When the house was in totally disarray, it certainly felt a lot longer. ) They finished installing everything about two weeks and then the daunting task of unpacking and putting everything away began. We spent DAYS unpacking, sorting through things, and moving everything back.

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new-floors-bedroom2.jpg

Once I emptied all my art supplies from the second bathroom and moved things into my new smaller studio space, I still couldn’t paint because I didn’t have any floor protection (one of the reasons we decided to finally get the flooring is because the rug in the former studio was in really poor shape thanks to me. Paint is super messy!) I ordered an area rug for our bedroom (yay! no cold feet in the morning), the new nursery, and for my new studio space and waited (im)patiently for them to be delivered. 

My studio rug arrived last week and I moved my easel and paints out to their new home on the loft. 

new studio.jpg

I’m still not 100% finished with re-arranging my new studio space. I don’t think I have my easel in just the right spot yet and I need to figure out my lighting situation. And, I’m in dire need of better storage solutions. Not pictured is the chaos on and under my work desk (you can see a tiny portion of it on the left side of the photo) and the piles and piles of canvas and paintings stacked in the corner behind my easel. I was also going to purchase the create your own desk combo from Ikea for our computer/work space (not pictured yet) but G found a great tutorial and is really excited to try and build one instead. Hopefully, in the spring we can make that happen. In the meantime, do you know where I can get file cabinets for cheap?

Next big project: Finishing the nursery!

 

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WIP - Succulent Garden Painting Update

Hello! How’s 2019 treating you so far? I have a small update to my latest ambitious succulent painting.

WIP - Succulent Garden Painting Update
WIP - Succulent Garden Painting Progress Shot

I added a little more color and painted in a few more leaves. That’s it. Sadly (but for good reason!) my studio is completely torn apart and empty. All my art supplies are either in our second bathroom packed away in boxes or scattered in boxes on the loft. G surprised me and painted the studio and now we’re waiting for our new hardwood floor to be installed throughout our upstairs, including our bedroom, former studio (now nursery!) hall and loft space. Needless to say, I haven’t had a chance to paint at all for the past two weeks. But that’s okay. Good things are happening!

I hope you’re having a great start to your new year. What projects are you working on? I’d love to hear about them!


Happy creating!

-a



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Happy 2019!

Happy 2019! 

Happy 2019


I don’t usually make resolutions (mostly because by the end of January, I’ve all but forgotten about them.) But I am going to make one this year. I resolve to say yes to my ideas and plans and bring them into fruition.  

Do you know how many ideas i have that i think are so awesome and fun that I start to do, or begin planning, but then i end up talking myself out of doing? I begin to think that my ideas are dumb, or that no one would care, etc. I have a long list of blog post topics and tutorials that I have never written, a ton of ideas for new listings in my shops that I have never added, ideas for paintings and sketchbooks that I think would be super fun to do that I have never started, a ton of garden projects that I haven’t done yet. All because I start to talk myself out of them. I begin tell myself that these ideas are dumb, they are a waste of time, no one will care about them, or see them, so why bother. How many people I cheated out of seeing or reading something that delighted them, or helped them in some way? How many opportunities have i missed out on because i talked myself out of putting myself and my ideas out into the world? How much joy and satisfaction have I missed out on because I didn’t do the thing? 

This year I will write the blog post, even though no one may read it. I will add new listings to my shop even though no one may buy it. I will paint and play in sketchbooks even though it may be silly and frivolous and I cant sell it. I will start my garden projects even though no one but me and mom mom will see it. I will do the things, all the things, because I will enjoy it. Because I love doing those things. Because it will make me happy. Because I will express myself.

What are your New Years Resolutions?

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