Happy January, friends! A time of year when our wheels are often spinning thinking about the year ahead, and all we want to explore, learn, do, change in the coming months.
For me, January is a month of stillness. A chance for me to strip away all the noise and busy-ness of the past holiday season and reconnect to the rituals and structure that my creativity most thrives in.
I'm restarting my daily art practice, a habit I returned to in 2015 in the midst of some big life changes. During that transition time in my life, I found the making of art to be a bright spot in my day. A chance for me to get quiet, connect with myself, play and experiment - with no expected outcome.
Later, as I started to dream more about full-time work as an artist, I began researching the amazing health and wellness benefits of having a consistent creative ritual. Increased immunity, boosted joy, reduced stress and anxiety - to name just a few.
Often, when I sit down to create - I am revisiting the same exercises and prompts again and again. I find having some well-loved cues to invite me to get into the MAKING of the art, vs the THINKING about the art help to get me making quickly.
My 3 favorite projects on repeat in my daily art journal:
1. Color Swatching. I love to play with color and color combinations. I love to experiment and discover unique pairings, and to see what emotion they might invoke when combined. This process literally drives everything I create from art to wall coverings to styling. I typically swatch all of my tools - from paints to colored pencils - in a grid format. You can turn anything into a color swatching exercise. I keep a Pinterest board of inspiration for color grids and love to experiment as often as I can with new materials, shapes and ideas.
2. Collage. I am a fan of collage, also for the same reason I adore color swatching. It's a chance to experiment and play with color + shape combinations, and can be done with ANY materials. I've collaged from magazine pages, discarded mail, cut up paintings that get re-imagined, washi tape, leaves, receipts, menus, tickets. You name it - I've probably tried it. I love to arrange my materials first, taking photos for composition along the way - and then adhering once I find the layout I like best.
3. Mood board. I have always been a fan of a mood board. A collection of images, words, materials to gather my thoughts. I keep large ones living in my studio, for work and life, home and projects. And I love to create smaller ones in my art journal to capture ideas that I want to explore in my work.
I've compiled images and other favorite prompts for you on my art journal Pinterest board.