Arty Clarty

Whenever I have some downtime in my writing, I sometimes like to get out my own art supplies and mess around with paints and pencils. It’s quite a nice way to be creative, still achieve an ‘output’ of some kind, and do something fun to boot. With the world the way it is at the minute, there’s a great deal of emphasis on being kind to yourself and art journaling is something which has just recently been brought to my attention.

I signed up for a 30 Day Art Journaling course on the recommendation of a friend, and as it transpired we were the guinea pigs  – or should I say ‘founding members’ – in Jen’s lovely Art Happy 123 Art Journaling ‘Tribe’. We did the course, gave her feedback and now she’s running it more regularly. Check the Facebook group out here if you fancy a go. It’s all about fun and despite the name you don’t have to commit to draw something every day for 30 days – you get weekends to consolidate what you’ve done and just catch up with what you missed when you can. It’s a good way of getting back to just enjoying art and creativity if, like me, it’s something you only pick up occasionally.

Instead of a holiday this year (thanks World), I got an iPad and worked on learning to create digital art, which is something I’ve always wanted to do; and with the help of the ProCreate app, a few tutorial books and a Logitech pencil, it’s a fab no mess, no fuss way to complete the challenge (I did all of my pictures digitally, part of the fun was to work out how to replicate the techniques.) I’m particularly proud of Rapunzel here, who was a tutorial in a Grimm’s fairy tale drawing book.

I did find myself drifting back to watercolours, pencils and ink after the challenge was over though, as sometimes you just have to clart  – and who can fault the smell of a new paintbox as you open it up? Marvellous stuff.

It’s nice to chill out with a bit of drawing, and Jen’s course, plus the Johanna Basford Inky Art School tutorials have actually given me a bit of liberation  -as in my writing, I can sometimes be my own worst critic and I really shouldn’t be.

Doing a little bit of art has actually fed in quite nicely to my new Christmas book as well – Holly, in Holly’s Christmas Secret, is an illustrator – or at least she will be, once she’s finished art college she  attends with Elsie Pencradoc! The premise of the book is all about fairy tales, and I painted this picture to sort of epitomise Holly, and modern-day Sorcha’s, view on life. I saw the quote, and just wanted to do something with it!

I’m quite proud of it, and although someone once said ‘you draw like a ten year old’ to me, I’ve now got the mindset that it can be quite fun, and our art doesn’t have to be perfect. So long as it’s enjoyable and a way of giving your mind ten or fifteen minutes a day in ‘timeout’, I think that’s the best way to view it – don’t you?

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