Tag Archives: my year of creative habits

What I’ve Learnt Being Creative Every Day For A Year

In 2016 I created more art than ever in a year – so much that it is taking over my storage space, and my shop is overflowing with originals! I found that developing a habit of creating daily is extremely beneficial in many ways and I want to keep producing art as much as I can.

I wrote a post on what I’ve learnt being creative every day for 6 months, but now it is the new year, I want to impart the most important lessons I’ve learnt after a whole year of creating daily.

The more you create, the better your work gets

With every single piece you create, you learn and improve and better understand your skills and what you are capable of. You become braver and more confident in experimenting, and less afraid of failures. Thus your work gets better and better as you create more and push your own boundaries a little bit more with each piece.

It gets easier to get started

For many, including myself, getting started is the hardest part of creative process.

I would love to be able to wake up and feel super motivated every single day forever but it is not always like that – I have some good spells, and some bad spells. But when you are committed, you have to go and make – even if you don’t feel like it. Staying in the habit and being disciplined gets easier over time.

As Mark Twain put it –

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” 

But remember to take a break!

There will be times when you feel stagnant and run out of inspiration, and you risk burning out if you push yourself too hard. Taking a day off, working on something different, or going out for a long walk gives you a chance to reflect, feel inspired again, and give your work a fresh pair of eyes.

At other times, you might be overwhelmed by inspiration and impatient to get all your ideas down on paper! I often want to just sprint to the finish line. I sometimes found myself working days and nights in 2016, so much that I wore myself out physically – affecting my creativity in the long run, because it takes time to recover. Learn when to stop and be patient with yourself. Keep all of your ideas written down and prioritise them.


To those who followed my daily art journey last year, I think it is clear that being creative daily had a big impact on my creativity, skills, and mental health. I am lucky to be a full time artist with some of time in between commissions to focus on my own projects but I know this isn’t the case for everyone. Ultimately, what makes you a better artist is not necessarily being creative every single day, but finding the courage to explore, overcome fears, and make art when you can.

My Daily Art In December

My creativity in December has been fantastic, apart from when I felt too ill to draw for few days at the end of the month. There was a spike in my confidence for some reasons, I guess I was inspired from all the festivity, and my weekend trip to Lincoln. Sometimes a change of scenery is what you need to get yourself out of a creative rut.

You would notice that I did a lot of line drawings – I replaced my fine liners with lovely new Sakura Pigma Micron drawing pens and I love them! They feel a lot smoother to draw with and the result is crisper. I don’t have the heart to chuck my old ones in the bin yet though, I’ve had them for years – no wonder they are really worn out. I really like my little drawing of thistle but I realise that it needs to be more spiky!

I also took on another challenge handlettering every day from #winterletteringchallenge prompt provided by Mhelaine, Joy and Lynne. It is really nice to go back to handlettering daily since my 100 day project – I’ve found it tricky to come up with what to write and having a prompt to follow along always help me continue developing my handlettering skills.

This will be my last monthly round up, but I will still be painting every day this year. Because I am making my daily art a lifelong project, in the spirit of exploration I will focus on just doing that and sharing what I do every day on Instagram. Of course I will still share my best work here from time to time. Thank you so much for following along and I hope you enjoyed following my art journey in 2016!

My Daily Art In November

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In November I was all about mushrooms! I started a watercolour painting series of British woodland fungi. I researched the most common ones found in UK and then painted several of them. I will be turning them into a print like my British Butterflies and Culinary Herbs, if they go together well, that is!

I also did an oil painting and experimented with looser style. I am not very good at painting flowers (in my painting style especially) and this frustrates me ever so slightly because I love flowers so much that I want to be able to paint them! I like how it looked in the end but it doesn’t feel ‘me’ due to its departure from my usual style. But it is all about the process, right?

Again, like in September and October, I didn’t paint as much as I wanted – I was busy prepping for Handmade Nottingham winter market event where I was on a reserved list and got called to join with very very short notice. (It was worth the effort as my stall was a triumph!)

I try not to beat myself up for not committing to painting and sharing every single day as per my 2016 goal. My commission work and other business related committments do get in the way and sometimes I just had to pritorise them over my personal goal. I want to keep looking forward, and try to do better and better.

Follow my daily art over at my Instagram.

My Daily Art In October

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If you were following along, you will know that I tried to be a ‘wild sketch-er‘ (e.g. 4th picture above) using pro markers I very rarely use and fine liners, without overthinking and using pencil as a guide. Naturally I went for abstract and doodle style. I had so much fun! I am still uncomfortable doing this kind of thing but I know that it is important to grow as an artist by challenging myself constantly. That’s funny, doing something I feel uncomfortable with always turned out to be a fun thing to do.

I did another countryside painting but I wish I did more. My creativity is not particularly great in October, I was away a lot and was quite poorly most of the time. Really, I should have just found time to sketch something quick! That is something I need to work on at the moment.

I also did my InkTober project during October, drawing mini portraits of inspiring women every day. In case you didn’t know, I have blogged about them in details – Day 1 – 10 | Day 11 -20 | Day 21 – 31.

My Daily Art In September

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September wasn’t my good month in terms of painting every single day. I had to miss 5 days because of my road trip to Idar Oberstein, Germany with my sister – she needed to collect her stuff from where she used to live as she now lives in Bristol working as an Assistant Producer for BBC See Hear (read her awesome article on BBC Blog). As it was just me driving 10 hours each way, I didn’t find time to draw – I was too focussed on resting my eyes and stretching my legs when I wasn’t driving.

However I do really love what I’ve painted throughout September. I continued painting countrysides from my Peak District photos, and challenged myself to paint portraits in watercolour (I usually paint portraits with oil so for me painting portraits with watercolour is SO hard!) Like many, I am obsessed with the new TV series, Stranger Things and thought it’d be fun to paint the characters. Portraits above are two of the main characters, Eleven and Joyce Byers. I’ve got Barb, Chief Hopper, Dustin and few others on my list waiting to be painted! I am also making it my ongoing project – to paint my favourite TV characters with watercolour.

I’ve been sketching mushrooms too. I am warming up to start painting a series of british wild mushrooms, and I might turn them into a print if they go well. Keep your eyes out at my Instagram for work in progress snaps!