As I look back on the previous week, I began to see a thread that connected much of my activity and experience with my reading, watching, conversing, connecting and launching. It was a week full of excitement, preparation, anticipation, and sharing good news with family and the world!
On my book shelf, I've been diving deeply into research on autism, looking to understand more comprehensively the mind of my grandson. As I determined what to start with, I managed to find several titles, one from a husband's point of view, one from a child's point of view and one from a mother's point of view. The first title is The Journal of Best Practices written by David Finch, husband and father looking to improve his relationships despite the challenges he faces with autism after being diagnosed after he got married. As I read through his transformation, I could see how life and relationships are worth celebrating especially when there were struggles initially. I appreciated his humor and point of view especially when being very specific about the way he thinks. Quite the detailed picture.
The next title was The Reason I Jump by Naomi Higashida, a 13 year old boy with autism. This young man does a Q&A so he can share what it's like to have an autistic mind and how it effects his communication, his body, and his emotions. This was quite the revealing read, especially coming from a child's point of view, which I appreciated.
The third title, called, The Spark, is written by a Mother, Kristine Barnett, who's first born son has autism and what she does to enable her son to function on a higher level so he can communicate and thrive in his gifts. This mother's heart is so BIG, not just for her own kids but for many others, both with autism and without. Her story is courageous and heroic, incredibly moving (got the handkerchief handy!), inspiring and enlightening.
I celebrate the efforts of each person to express the struggles and the triumphs of either living with someone with autism or having it themselves. It also have given me a deeper look into the mind of my grandson and what his struggles must be like, whether in communicating or behaving. The "Why" behind it all is enlightening, and eye opening.
Here is the episode, The ART of JOY with Dawn Herring, where Andrea Lewis Interviews me.
Another thread of Celebration came when I conversed with my parents recently, and when Mom answered the phone, the first thing she wanted to express was the fact that I was a guest on a live radio show, being interviewed by Andrea Lewis, host of Heal Past Wounds and Bring JOY Back. Mom was so excited to hear my interview and Dad commented on my becoming a Celebrity! This made me laugh, feeling affirmed and loved by my parents and celebrating with me with this new experience I had. I did have such a great time talking to Andrea and knowing Mom listened and enJOYed it made me feel deep JOY.
Along with Finding Your Creative Voice in your journal, Just click on the images for The ART of Journaling Toolbox and Prompt PLAY Book, perfect places to find inspiration for your next journal entry, especially if you're just starting out. (You can also read, Your Journaling "Why".)
This week has given me many reasons to celebrate.
So, what is worth celebrating in Your Life? YOU. Your personality. Your gifts. Your Creativity. Your Voice.
As I choose to express, learn and share what I have to offer to the world, I hope you will do the same.
Learn more about Who You Are and why you love the things you do. Dive deep. Express yourself. And enJOY connecting with those who celebrate you too.
And May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart!
Detail something that you want to Celebrate in your journal, something unsung or what might be perceived as insignificant, but you deem marvelous.
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a Spread of Celebration tying in several experiences that you want to focus on, whether just personally or with others who were a part of what you want to detail.
Using "Celebration" or "Celebrate" as you word prompt, really have fun embellishing this doodle like you're having a party!!
Copyright 2019 Dawn Herring
Hello friends, creatives, journal keepers, small business owners and those looking to Find Their Creative Voice. Today I would like to share some tips on Journaling, especially for those who are just starting or want to start a journaling practice. What I share here is intended to help you build a strong, empowering foundation from the very beginning so that you'll want to come back to your journal again and again because you enJOY it so much!
This post, Your Journaling "Why" is the first in a series I plan to share here at Refresh Daily, with the aim and goal of giving you a step by step guide toward personal empowerment with journal keeping.
Today I would like to ask the question: Why do you want to keep a journal?
There can be a myriad of reasons:
1. You have heard that journaling can be beneficial for well being, for personal and emotional expression on the page.
2. You have seen others keep journals, whether through text, image or a mix of both, and you are curious about starting one of your own.
3. You enJOY writing and thought journaling would give you a similar benefit.
4. You've had other friends encourage you to try journal writing even though you have no idea where to start.
5. You think it might be fun.
Now all of these reasons can be completely legitimate and true. It can be truly inspiring to see others using their journals, to hear about the benefits of journaling and to use writing as a way to express yourself.
My goal and aim is to encourage you to reflect on the deeper "why" of this desire to record your thoughts in a book for safe keeping. When we determine what we hope to derive from such a practice, it can help us determine how to go about it so we can experience more longevity.
To help you get started and inspired, you are more than welcome to click on either image below and receive my 2 resources, The Art of Journaling Toolbox that contains 7 Power Tools for journal writing and The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book, which contains 31 prompts, questions and image suggestions to bring more PLAY into your day!
Let me share with you my "Whys" for Journaling.
Journaling, for me, gives a place to express my Creative Voice, to record my intuitive hits (for a written track record when my intuition hits the bulls eye!), to hash out what is working for me creatively, to express my angst when boundaries are necessary for my well being, and to have a written record of my life insights and happenings, which are extremely important to me. Other reasons are for Clarity, Fun, Connection with Spirit, and a place to practice my doodling/hand lettering fun each evening. (Purchase the current journal/sketchbook that I'm using right now.)
So, what do You have in mind for the reason you would like to start one? How about recognizing patterns, especially ones that are no longer serving you, so you can create new ones that will enhance your well being and self-care? This ultimately initiates positive change that leads to personal empowerment.
Are you looking for something specific? Do you just want to have fun and see how it goes? Do you want to dive deeper into Who You Are and take a listen to The Higher Voice inside you that can tell you what you want to know?
I encourage you to give journaling a try. Use the resources, The ART of Journaling Tool Box and Prompt PLAY Book, that I have for you so you can get a jumpstart and not lose momentum. The 7 Power Tools keep things fresh so you don't have to do the same thing on repeat (unless you want to). Sometimes, folks get bored just writing down the same thoughts every day. These power tools will help you keep it fresh, fun and fabulous. Just click on either image above.
My aim and desire for you is to find your perfect sweet spot when it comes to journaling, and determining Why is a great first step toward getting a strong start that can make all the difference between journaling regularly with JOY and getting stuck and bored and forgetting about it altogether.
Start this entry by writing down three reasons you want to keep a journal. Be completely honest even if you think your reason is silly or outside the box. Determine which reason most resonates with you and go deeper with it in your journal, beyond Scratching the Surface.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the word WHY in your spread, cut out letters or words to express your biggest reason to keep a visual journal.
"Why" can be a starting point word plus using Question Marks to highlight your reason.
Read these blog posts for more inspiration:
Scratching the Surface with Sketchbooks
Book Review on Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee
Copyright Text 2019 Dawn Herring
Copyright Header 2019 Dawn Herring
Hello friends, artists, creatives, journal keepers and small business owners. This post I'm sharing is focused on art supplies and specifically on sketchbooks. But before I get into the specifics with my recent experience, I wanted to share with you my sketchbook story.
I've been hearing for years that every artist should have a sketchbook. And I have often seen sketches as examples from those given where I have run into this subject matter. I have never done much sketching, the type of drawing that is rough, with no erasing, etc. That approach, to me, has always felt awkward and pointless, like, what am I going to do with this now that I've sketched it?
Of course, as I have grown as an Artist and have seen work over the years, I understand that sketching is like studying for the Artist. It helps the artist become familiar with the subject matter they are working with. Going from finding the subject, to experimenting with different compositions, and then planning the colors, medium and approach for a final work of art.
This has not been my experience until recently. Up to that point, I always replicated from images with my pencil, colored pencil and other mediums I've learned and worked with. Then, once I discovered watercolor, my approach has always been intuitive, rather than planning the composition ahead of time. This intuitive process requires a lot of trust in my own instincts and being willing to take risks when feeling uncertain.
In my recent Artistic work, I have had several focal points and mediums I've tapped into: fashion illustration, hand lettering and illustration, and creating designs based on subject matter important to me.
So, I have come to appreciate the essence and purpose of a sketchbook as I tap into different possibilities with fashion sketching, determining the subject matter in a new design that I'm now sketching to see where the different parts will fit together, as well as making decisions about what type of lettering to use when crafting a header for my blog or creating a new design for a new series in my art store.
Sketching has become a more primary focal point for me as an Artist and Designer to help me work out the essence of what I want to create as well as the specifics of how I want my design to look aesthetically.
In my recent Artistic journey, I completed a previous sketchbook that I've used for a couple of years, filled with headers and hand lettered artwork that I have used and continue to use on my website/blog, in my marketing on social media representing my products and services plus the JOY Design Series that are now available in my Art Store. (I now offer that same service to small business owners with Dawn's Dynamic Designs: Hand Lettering and Illustration.)
Since I completed the sketchbook recently (see image on the right below), I decided to pull out the next sketchbook that I had stocked in my studio. I sketched out my 2nd design in my Lyric Line Series and began to fill it with color. But unfortunately, the quality of the paper in this other sketchbook was thinner and did not produce the smooth look once the color was applied. Of course, since this design would be scanned, I tested it out and I wasn't pleased with the result. So, what to do?
Should I look for another sketchbook that would match the quality of the previous one or try something totally different? I decided to look for the UPC code on the sketchbook I had filled and found it on Amazon. Yay! I ordered another one right away. But I also ventured out to an art supply store and picked up a set of marker paper from Strathmore (my favorite brand for creating watercolor paintings), since it was markers I've been working with to create my Hand Lettering and Illustration.
This past week, after getting the marker paper and ordering a new sketchbook identical to the one I just filled, I decided to start with the marker paper for my next Lyric Line design (a series of art I'm creating based on lyrics I've written over the past few months).
I'm excited to try this new product of marker paper to see what the difference is with the medium I use to create Hand Lettering and Illustration, whether the color is more vibrant, how smooth the application is, and if I'm pleased with the final result, as much if not more so, than previously. (I also decided that the other sketchbook will work great for writing and pencil work.)
It sometimes takes experimentation to determine what works for us as Artists of our Lives. When something doesn't work, we can appreciate even more what does work and relish the qualities of what we love as we determine our next steps, our steps toward creativity and JOY.
Have you experienced using one product, switching to something else and then deciding to get the original product again since you liked it so much? Detail this experience, comparing the two, and relish your appreciation for what does work for you.
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a spread showcasing the aesthetic of something you really love that you use all the time. Try to get below the surface and tap into how it makes you feel.
Using your favorite writing implement, doodle the words that describe why you love this item so much and why you keep using it.
If you would like to read previous blog posts:
Catch the replay of Andrea Lewis interviewing me for Heal Past Wounds and Get JOY Back
Book Review on JOYFul by Ingrid Fetell Lee
Copyright 2019 text and header by Dawn Herring
Hello friends, creatives, journal keepers, artists and small business owners!
I'm excited to share with you a book review for Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee. I originally found this title visually on Pinterest (follow me at Refresh with Dawn Herring); and I'm sure if you've known me for any length of time, that you would know that anything with JOY in the title is sure to get my attention!
So I knew I had to get my hands on a copy, and I'm so glad I did. Ingrid is detailed, comprehensive and fun in her study on JOY as she dives deep into what initiates JOY from our Surroundings and WHY that happens.
Through many interviews with architects, artists, designers and others who incorporate deliberate JOY into what they do, she showcases the initiators of JOY. Examples are color, shape, dynamic, energy, inspiration and a myriad of approaches to what can bring us JOY and Why.
I love how she categorizes her 10 topical chapters (energy, abundance, freedom, harmony, play, surprise, transcendence, magic, celebration, renewal) and her comprehensive approach to sharing what each one represents, both seamlessly and with great detail.
I enjoyed my reading of Joyful; it gave me new appreciation for my surroundings and even some ideas that I can incorporate into my space. I really loved her focus on abundance, giving examples of confetti, a ton of balloons, bubbles, and repeating wall paper as examples of what can bring us JOY visually and why it has such an impact on us. Yes, there is a science to it all!
Somehow, this title, Joyful, really affirmed what I have already discovered and experienced as a JOY focused creative, and it just made me smile knowing that I've got this whole JOY thing right! We can have more JOY in our lives by deliberately choosing what is in our surroundings, how we decorate, how we dress, and how we connect with others in community.
Love this quote from the book: "At the Heart of Celebration is a kind of mathematical paradox: the more we share joy, the more it grows."
Ingrid does such a splendid job on this title, Joyful, that I wholly recommend it. Plus she offers several resources to help you figure how best to approach your choices in creating more JOY in your life every day.
Thank you so much, Ingrid, for writing this book; it was a true blessing to read it and I'm delighted to share it with my readers.
P.S. I've included Ingrid's TED Talk below, Where JOY Hides and How to Find it.
As an avid journal keeper, I know it can be helpful to have more than one approach to journaling to keep it relevant, revealing and renewing, as well as a prompt or question to keep things fun, fresh and fabulous. You can now receive all this journal keeping support with The ART of Journaling Tool Box, filled with 7 Power Tools for your journaling as well as The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book, filled with 31 prompts, questions and image suggestions to PLAY with in your journaling practice. Whether you're just getting started or looking for some fresh starting points, the resources are simply Perfect for Powerful Playing that leads to personal empowerment. Just click on either image and get started! And let me know which ones are working for YOU right now.
Look at your surroundings and do an analysis in your journal about what you like the most about areas in your home and what you would like to change to make it more JOYful and aligned with Who You Are as Artist of Your Life.
Art Journal Prompt:
Have fun with some JOYful images that encapsulate how you want to feel with more JOY in your life.
Using JOY or JOYful as a starting point, draw circles, confetti and/or bubbles to highlight and accentuate JOY visually.
You can read previous book reviews:
Creative Revolution by Flora Bowley
The Creative License by Danny Gregory
I Just Like to Make Things by Lilla Rogers
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Watercolor from the Heart by Barbara Nechis
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Copyright 2019 Review by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2019 Art by Dawn Herring
Hello friends, creatives, journal keepers, artists and small business owners! I've got some fun insights to share with you from this past week. I so enJOY sharing what inspires me, what fills my creative well and what I'm thinking about and working on behind the scenes as Artist, Designer, Creative and journal keeper.
This past week, I watched a movie titled, A Brilliant Young Mind, which is a story about a young man in school who is Mathematically a genius, the mentors/teachers that helped him and his parental story, his pain and his connection with others in the process.
One of the things that fascinates me with these stories of autistic children is how they think, how they process their world, and how they use their gifts to excel and make a life for themselves.
In this particular story, the young man's way of thinking is in Patterns. Thus the mathematical interest and genius in his application and focus. This gave me food for thought concerning patterns and how they influence me as an Artist.
Whether it's a pattern in wall paper, in a rug, with tiles on the wall, and even from questions on a standardized test (remember those?), patterns are everywhere. In interior contexts, I have patterned preferences, ones that are loose and more abstract, rather than repeated, ongoing. You know, the kind that keeps your eye too busy when your'e trying to concentrate or have a conversation and it's distracting you...
I prefer focal points that inspire versus an ongoing continuum.
I once had a rug that had different sized squares with many of my favorite colors. That rug was really cool, and I loved looking at it. It was restful yet colorful. No repeating patterns. Yep.
This movie actually inspired me to think more deeply on what I prefer as designer, artist and resident of my abode.
Of course, I recorded all these observations and considerations in my journal because of its relevance, it being a great way to keep track of my Artistic Mind and where it might lead with future designs that I create.
Want to keep your journaling practice more relevant, revealing and renewing? Check out The ART of Journaling Tool Box filled with 7 Power Tools I use to keep journaling fresh, fun and fabulous. Just click on the image to sign up and get your free PDF!
Ready to P-L-A-Y with your next journal entry with prompts, questions and image suggestions for journaling, art journaling, doodling/drawing? Check out The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book, perfect companion to The ART of Journaling Tool Box. Just click on either image to sign up and get your complimentary download today!
In continuing with the movie's story (spoiler alert if you haven't seen it yet!), the young man has a horrifying experience in the car with his Dad driving, where someone runs a red light and there's a head-on collision, killing his Dad on impact. Traffic lights are featured frequently in the movie as a reminder of what he saw in patterns at the time of his Dad's death. He had a very close relationship with his dad, despite his autism, since his dad understood him deeply and often used humor to connect with him. This created many poignant memories throughout the movie at times in the young man's life that were deeply significant.
As a Grandmother of a grandson with autism, I deeply appreciated the father's connection with his son and his desire to enable his son to feel secure, loved and appreciated for who he was.
I pay close attention to my grandson's development (since his birth!) and when he struggles or when he's thrilled, I try to understand him on the deepest of levels, both in connection with how I felt as a child as well as wanting to feel what he is feeling, which can be challenging when he's in his own "world." Not only do I connect with him emotionally but also through humor, just by the way I say things to him. I have had the privilege of hearing him say to me, "Grandma, you crack me up!"
Sometimes I'll ask him what was so funny, and he will reiterate what I said. It's always nice when he understands my humor and appreciates my communication with him on that level. It brings me great JOY.
As I continued to reflect on A Brilliant Young Mind, I realized that life is full of repeating patterns, some of which we deeply enJOY and others we would prefer to change in order to grow.
Whatever patterns suit you, pay closer attention. They may give you deeper insight into why you like what you do. Whatever life patterns you realize in your own reflections, remember that you always have the power to change in order to grow, if necessary. And those patterns you've developed to make self care a priority, appreciate them afresh as you relish the poignant moments that you experience from the heart.
Recall a pattern you remember from childhood and detail what it looked like. Why did it leave such an impression, and was it positive or negative? Compare that pattern with ones you have in your current environment. Any similarities? What are the differences? Which do you prefer?
Art Journaling Prompt:
Find a pattern you really love in a magazine and use it to frame your next art journal spread, using colors and words to show your appreciation for such resonating visuals.
Create a Pattern in your sketch book using colors and motives that are your favorites.
If you are a small business owner, and you desire to feel empowered and confident with the visuals you use to market your products and services, and you would like a more customized approach to how you present yourself in the marketplace, check out my service, Dawn's Dynamic Designs: Hand Lettering and Illustration. My great desire is to create art for your business brand, products and services, so you can approach the market knowing you can attract the right client with the right visual. Plus with 10 years of experience in Social Media Marketing, I can take the overwhelm out of the navigation. I look forward to hearing from you!
Copyright 2019 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2019 Images by Dawn Herring
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.