Creativity & Tips

What I’ve Learnt Being Creative Every Day For 6 Months

Last year, if you asked me if I could be creative every day, I’d laugh and tell you that I usually create something once weekly or sometimes fortnightly and that I couldn’t possibly find time to being creative every day.

Now I realise I would have been lying.

I can be creative every day. I’ve done it. I have a huge pile of paintings to prove and I look at it with amazement, I wonder why it is so often that I beat myself up for being a rubbish artist – I get up and paint for me every day, even if I have paid work to do on that day. I do realise now that I need to believe in myself and remind myself that constantly.

Why am I doing this? Discovering Crystal Moody and her inspiring lifetime project last year, I was always thinking how amazing it is to be able to paint every day and that I couldn’t possibly do that – I have a business to run…I have commissions to do…I have lots of things to do.

Toward the end of the year, I was beginning to realise that it is possible to be creative every day like Crystal, if I simply find time. Just an hour of my time. I could wake up an hour earlier. I could find an hour to paint instead of watching TV in the evenings. I could organise my day better or work smarter so I have an hour to spare.

That is it. It is already 6 months. And I am not finished. I am making this my lifetime project too. I am not finishing the year putting my paintbrush down. No way. It is a great habit to have.

Of course, it is not all perfect. I struggled. I bunked off a few days. I doubted myself. And this is okay. We are human beings. We need to cut ourselves some slack. The main thing is that I keep learning and grow as an artist.

These are what I’ve learnt in the last 6 months:

  • You get more comfortable with your own creative skills – the more you create, the better your work gets. If it doesn’t, keep going and reflecting.
  • Your mood and stress improves over time while you keep creating.
  • You understand yourself more, and what you love. You notice the recurring theme in your work and better appreciate whatever it is.
  • You connect with and inspire people when you share your daily creations, even if you are unhappy with what you made. Your work couldn’t be more natural and authentic.
  • You realise you are not perfect but it is okay. Embrace your imperfections!
  • You get braver with getting started and using new materials.
  • You get fewer and fewer burnouts. You really get into a creative habit – it is no longer a chore.
  • You feel guilty for skipping few days. You look back what you’ve done so far and stop punishing yourself. Then when you skip a day again, you smile and carry on.

My mental health isn’t the greatest this year, but without creating I could be worse off. Creativity is keeping me sane and I don’t think I’ve really realised how it is good for my mental and emotional health until recently.

I’ve had people telling me – “You are so talented, I wish I could paint like you and I can’t paint.” Thank you but you can. Just go and start. You don’t need to be talented to be an artist.

Learn more about me and my daily art here.

Shop Small This Christmas

Shop Small This Christmas Handlettering By Katrina SophiaChristmas is only a month away!

Obviously, I am a huge supporter of small businesses and I try to buy from them as much as I can for gifts or something for myself. Being a small business owner, I wholly understand how a purchase, even just a card, means so much to every single small business because basically, it helps us to live. But it is not all about small business owners. It is also the products you buy that are very special, one-of-a-kind and made with heaps of love. It is a win-win situation!

I have compiled a mini list of handy links on why you should buy from small businesses and how to support them:

It truly makes us happy when we receive a new order email – I’d spend a good amount of time carefully packing an order and make sure that it would make my customers smile. I bet you that I am not an only one that really enjoy packing orders, it is actually one of my best bits in running a business and I am eternally grateful for this, as well as the fact that your purchases, small or big, are helping my business to grow.

My Stall With The London Artisan

My stall with The London Artisan was a success! I was a bit anxious whether I would sell enough to cover the cost of my stall because I didn’t in my last two market events. Before my TLA stall, I decided to improve my stall presentation and range of products. Here are changes I made:

New art browser

I realised I needed an art browser to display my prints better especially that I now have A4 and A3 prints. I actually bought a professional art browser online at first but it was bigger and heavier than I expected so I had to go to B&Q to get some hardboard cut and built it at the last minute. It was quite wonky but it worked!

Quality over quantity

Like I mentioned in this post, I feel I have too many products and some of them actually never sell. Deciding which to bring, I asked myself honestly – do I really love it? Did it sell well before? Will it look lovely framed or on the wall? It was really worth it, my stall looked fantastic with a selection of my few best work rather than everything I have.

More framed originals

I included more framed originals. It created more homely feel to my stall and I hope this helped my visitors to be able to visualise what my artwork will look like framed at their homes. I also placed two of them on a box so my stall had a height too.

New signs

My product and price labels used to be just black paper with white writing – while I liked it, I was beginning to feel that they didn’t suit my style anymore and used brown gift tags instead. My boyfriend thought that my stall looked much friendlier this time and I agree! I also made a shop like sign of my business name and tied it to the frame above. It looked really nice!

New art prints

For the first time I brought new A4 and A3 prints. These new prints with the art browser made my stall more exciting and having various sized prints definitely reached a wider audience.

I can’t confirm that these above were the reasons my stall went well, it could be because of suitable venue, type of visitors or the fact that Renegade Craft Fair was held upstairs. I will never know why exactly but the main thing is that I am having fun and will continue to strive for improvement!

Ways To Improve Your Next Market Stall

Ways To Improve Your Next Market Stall

Since I started selling in art markets and had 4 more market events booked for this year, I have been thinking about what I’ve learnt from my previous events and how to improve my next market stall so I am sharing these thoughts below and I hope you find at least one of them useful for your future market events.


Present your products as clear as possible

I’ve got cards and prints both in A5 size and in some of my market events, without realising that it was a potential problem, I positioned them near to each other so some of the visitors got confused whether the cards were prints or prints were cards, having to check for themselves. Put the similar sized yet different products apart from each other or at least group them separately and make clear what they are. I have also made my latest card collection in A6 size rather than A5.

Get a card machine

I’ve had visitors that were let down because I didn’t have a machine for their cards. Personally, it is too pricey but I know they are very useful if you are able to use them in the market events and create more sales. I think this one needs a pros & cons list!

Make your business cards accessible

I don’t know why I was lacking common sense when I placed the business cards kind of inaccessible in my first stall. Well, they were accessible but it needed a lot of energy to reach over and pick them up as the pile was nearly right in the back. In my last two market events, I placed it in the front and it was so much better. But just be aware that some of them might be accidentally swept off the table by someone else’s bag etc. I might provide a box for them next time to prevent that happening again.

Get an interpreter

As my long time readers will know already, I am profoundly deaf and couldn’t speak well, even with these millions of speech therapy lessons I attended all my life. My main language is British Sign Language and obviously 99% of the visitors don’t know the sign language so when I wanted to tell something to or reply my visitors, I couldn’t ‘give it my all’ and not every conversation ended well. I’ve had some terribly rude ones who just made faces and ran off as soon as they realised I am deaf.

I’ve brought Aneurin (who is deaf too and can speak very well, almost like a hearing person) to my every market event so far, which was very helpful but he sometimes has a difficulty understanding people because he doesn’t know them personally. So having an interpreter (the one that doesn’t have a problem understanding me and signs like a pro) will be great but I worry that it will interfere a personal interaction – however difficult it is – between visitors and I. And of course, they are not free. Pros and cons list for that one too!

Do not overwhelm your stall with too many products

I have too many products (about 50 different ones apart from originals) and I have brought every single one to my every market event so far. I didn’t think so until recently in Old Spitalfields market when I looked at my stall very carefully, positioned myself as a visitor and realised – Too Much Products.

It can be a good thing, depending on what visitors are like. Maybe a super arty person will get really excited with plenty of choices. But a person with enough interest in cute illustrated cards could get overwhelmed and couldn’t be bothered to look through everything. I think I will streamline my next market stall (25th October with Fairy Tale Fair!) by bringing a selection of products that are most relevant, i.e. autumnal designs etc.

Be flexible with how you present your products

Throughout the day, you will get to learn what works or what doesn’t work. Move them around, making best products more accessible and visible. Check your stall from a visitor’s point of view quite regularly, making sure that nothing is out of the place or running out. In one of mines, even though I thought I checked my stall enough, one of my bestsellers actually ran out and I didn’t notice for god knows how long! I was so kicking myself for that.


What have you learnt from your previous market event/s and how would you improve in the future?

Drawing In Public

End Of The Road Festival Sketchbook 1

End Of The Road Festival Sketchbook 2

Drawing in the front of people, personally, is a very hard thing to do. I get self conscious and shy but in the festival I’ve just got back from was a great atmosphere to draw in public. People in general was laid back and cool that I didn’t feel judged. I drew these with Paper Mate Flair, which I have enjoyed drawing with recently. I drew my desk tidy and cactus with this pen too!

Despite being unable to sleep well in the freezing tent and developing a head cold, my time in End Of The Road festival was brilliant. I got to really relax and switch off. There were no mobile signal or access to internet so not worrying about updating my social media sites was liberating! I did feel a bit anxious at the start but I got used to it in no time. Listening to good music, eating good food and spending with good people for 5 days have done me a world of good.

Will be sharing festival snaps later this week after catching up with you all.