Tag Archives: my year of creative habits

My Daily Art In August

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In August, I was finishing my butterfly series and as many of you know, I turned them into a print and notebook. Read all about them here. Small tortoiseshell butterfly in particular (1st picture above) seemed to be the favourite. I had a few print requests when I shared the picture on my Instagram. I love that one of the customers actually bought it for her son’s bedroom because his first ever sign (as in sign language) is ‘butterfly’ and she sent me a photo of it framed, which looks really pretty.

In my last daily art post, I talked about setting myself a challenge, to step outside my comfort zone when painting, so I’ve been painting countryside views from photos I took in Peak District. They are not the greatest but when I finished it (3rd picture above), I was pretty chuffed with it! It was my first landscape painting after all. It was hard and time consuming I wasn’t confident while painting it and then with fresh eyes, I was like OH that is lovely! I want to continue this intention to challenge myself every now and then.

In related (AND exciting) news, one of my illustrations has ‘made it’ in the tattoo world! My line drawing, drawn from still life, of eucalyptus was chosen by a young lady that found me in Instagram and had the top part of said illustration inked on her back. I couldn’t be more touched to know that there’s someone that love my work enough to have it inked. Here’s a picture of my eucalyptus illustration for comparsion.

My Daily Art In July


I was slowly improving from feeling uninspired few weeks before. I think starting my butterfly series helped a lot, and it was a hit! I wanted to do more oil paintings but with less work coming in, I couldn’t afford more canvases and paints that was running very low. The weather was glorious, apart from some random rainy days (which was also pretty beautiful though), I was inspired by British countryside hence the bird I painted from my front garden (1st picture), this windowsill painting (I really don’t like it!) and those butterfly illustrations.

My thoughts while being creative every day in July:

  • My persistence was impressive – painting butterflies were surprisingly not easy so I ended up painting some of them twice for me to finally be happy with them. It was totally worth it now I have new products featuring them! Keep your eyes out for them as they are going to be listed on the shop super soon.
  • Painting this windowsill painting that I didn’t like, I wanted a challenge and to do something different. I wanted to try paint something bigger than a painting of object with white space around it, which is my usual style and that is fine – I just wanted to see what I am capable of! It freaked me out that painting a ‘scene’ was harder than I thought and I am trying not to let my fears take over. I have few ideas floating around and I hope I nail it next time!

My Daily Art In June

June was a good month but I noticed that my collection of work is lacking development. I’ve just realised that from reflecting on my work, which I do monthly. I don’t really love anything I painted and I feel my painting skills haven’t improved. It is like my art practice got stagnant – I was enjoying painting the natural world and everyday life but I wasn’t fully satsified with the finished pieces. Perhaps I need to change things up and get excited about my new work again.

As this project is about learning as an artist and getting into the habit being creative every day, I am trying not to feel bad about it and figure out how to banish the stagnancy.

Any thoughts, suggestions or ideas – please share with me! Thank you for sticking by me and rooting for me.

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.

My Daily Art In May

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I mentioned in My Daily Art In April post that I struggled to come up with subject ideas but things got easier in May as I found my rhythm again after adjusting my new life in Nottingham. I seemed to be more inspired to paint botanical related subjects and the sun that finally came out got a lot to do with it!

My thoughts on being creative every day in May:

  • I have started to paint with my black indian ink. These ink paintings might not be my best work but I really enjoyed using the medium and want to continue experimenting. In this quick fern painting, I diluted the ink with water to create light grey colour for the shadows.
  • I still haven’t painted with oil that much and I have no idea why.
  • Most of my best original art are listed on the shop.
  • I still haven’t got the hang of filming myself painting but I uploaded a new speed painting video on my new YouTube channel!
  • I love that just one painting could lead up into something bigger. I painted a sprig of basil and it was received well. I then painted more herbs afterwards and with the encouragement from my audience, I turned them into a ‘Culinary Herbs’ print, and you can buy one of yourself over at my shop!

In related news, Crystal Moody – a founder of year of creative habits – launched a brand new website and picked me to be interviewed! People has been very kind saying it is great to know more about me as an artist and my work. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it too – check it out here.

You can keep up to date with my daily art by following me on Instagram or using this IG hashtag – #ksdailyart. Thank you for your support!