I can't believe it's that time again: My year in review with 2017! Where did this year go?? I have no idea. Time stands still for no one, as my Mom used to say. Now I clearly see why she said that. And then some.
Of course when you have responsibilities and others to care for and connect with plus staying busy with creating and finding joy, time sure does fly by!
And this year has been eventful, and I have lots to share. So I Shall. Ready?
Where shall I begin? Usually, Journaling comes to mind first. So I'll start there.
I am an avid written journal keeper and have been for many a year (30? I'm not sure; I think I lost count, as well as with how many filled journals I have. *wink*)
This year I continued my daily written journal entries. Up until September, I was doing a.m. and p.m. entries. Once the new school year started up and I had an earlier wake up time, I found myself forgetting to write in my journal since my a.m. responsibilities side tracked me. I was shocked I had let it slip! So I took a closer look at my practice, and after engaging with a live journaling event hosted by another avid journal keeper, I determined to ONLY JOURNAL in the a.m. if I really want to, like if I have something I want to say.
One thing I learned in taking a closer look at my a.m. journaling practice was my redundancy (which I spoke about during our JournalChat Live in November). I found myself repeating things from the night before that weren't necessary. Why do this? I asked myself. So I gave myself permission to let go of the a.m. entry unless I felt drawn to write. And so far, I've only indulged once or twice in the a.m. and most times, it's been on the weekend, when I'm relaxed and not in a hurry. Lesson: let go of what is extraneous or what isn't working. No need to feel obligated! (This is HUGE for me as a journal keeper.)
I do continue to create evening doodles every day to honor my day's experience and still find it engaging, fun, and relaxing, giving myself space to play with design, color and texture with my watercolor markers and artist pens. You can view many of my doodles on my Instagram account and here.
Also, I created my own designed Planner Pages to change things up with my journaling practice, but I found that printing them out, hole punching them and using them became more of a chore rather than a JOY. OY. So, I continue to write in my blank journals as always and plan to get more. My goal is to always have a quality white blank paper to create my doodles on; that's one of my reasons for loyalty to the empty sketchbook as my primary journaling tool for entries.
As for JournalChat Live for all things journaling of which I host on Social Media, I decided to change things up and go LIVE ON VIDEO in our JournalChat Live Facebook Group which went from Public to Private this year! Yes! We had a delightful time in November as we talked about How to Keep Things Fresh with our Journaling Practice; I also provided special prompts for us to play with during our time together, which made it even more special and fun! I plan to host JournalChat Live in this group in the coming year of 2018! Do join us if you haven't already!
Speaking of going LIVE on social media, Next up I will share with you something New I started on Facebook called JOYFest, where we gather together to share our JOYS with one another, thus making the World a Better Place. We had our Christmas Edition on 12/7 and had a blast sharing our Greatest JOYS of 2017! You can catch the replay here.
Our next JOYFest will take place in our new Private JOYFest Facebook Group! I decided it would be fun and organized to hold and host LIVE VIDEO events in private Group Settings to create a comfortable and affirming place to share our JOYS together! I so look forward to having YOU join us to share Your Joys in 2018!
To backtrack just a bit, I wanted to share with you the new focus I created with my website and message here at Refresh with Dawn Herring. I realized that most of the engagement I experience that refreshes me brings me JOY as I get refreshed. So...in January, I went live with a completely new website with JOY as my focus, and I have had so much fun since! So now my brand reads, Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Finding JOY Takes Center Stage! I do hope you enjoy perusing all the JOY focused content and navigation as I share my JOY with you. And you can create your Own Path to JOY, which is my greatest aim for you!
Which leads me right into some new offerings here at Refresh with Dawn Herring...ready?
First up, Dawn's Life Directives and Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts! YAY!
Since I am an avid doodler and have so much fun creating doodles and coloring them in, I thought it would be fun to Create Doodles for YOU to color in! Using the tenants that I hold to and look to live by, such as Appreciate Your Self for Who You Are, Recognize Your Value and other self care initiating directives, I created Coloring Pages, with a word from me about each tenant and prompts for your journaling, art journaling and doodle practices...and if you don't already practice, this is a perfect place to start! :)
And if you're looking for even more prompts with a self care focus, plus some video and audio from me along the way, then my new course, 7 Steps to Creative Clarity, is perfect for you! If you ever feel blocked, bored or uninspired or maybe you don't know where to start in building a thriving, fun Creative Practice, this is why I created this course, so you can find the JOY of creating!
So this year of 2017 has been an important year for me as Creative Visionary and Guide for those who need some encouragement and feel they could use a little bit of permission to create!
And for those who like to LISTEN and be inspired, I launched my Refresh Daily with Dawn Herring Podcast! Yay! So far I've created one episode that you can listen to or watch, whatever your preference, both here on my website and on YouTube. I plan to create more episodes next year (including some interviews with others who share about their creative practice!) My purpose in creating a podcast is for those who are looking for tips and inspiration toward building an authentic Creative Practice that brings them great JOY.
Also, this year, I launched my new newsletter called The JOY Finder! I share tips and inspiring stories about how I am Finding More JOY so you can too, plus I keep you up to date on what's happening here at Refresh with Dawn Herring, including when I'll be hosting Live Events you don't want to miss. You can subscribe here and receive a gift from me, 10 Steps into JOY!
To conclude this 2017 Year in Review, I thought I would share a bit of what I've been doing in my art studio. I did take some time off this past summer, breaking the creative mold I had been in with painting with watercolor every day for three years. Once I got back into studio space, I decided to try some new things (with more new stuff planned for 2018...). I did my first fashion gouache and pen rendering of a gorgeous faux fur jacket which you can view here. Plus I did some drawings in a sketchbook of some of my jewelry. (There is one post on my Instagram in the early part of 2017 you can view.) I plan to indulge a bit more in this type of art since I enJOY it so much. I continue to paint with watercolor, working on watercolor paper at this time. Plus playing with designers gouache as well.
So there you have it! It's been a busy and exciting year for me at Refresh with Dawn Herring, and of course, it would not have been the same without YOU, my dear readers and friends. Thanks so much for joining me during my Live events and sharing your journaling and creative lives with me. It brings me true JOY in sharing with you.
I wish you the greatest and most JOY-Filled New Year of 2018; and I look forward to having Fun and Engaging with YOU in all of our creative energy together in community, thus making the World a Better Place!
May Joy Find YOU in the Most Unexpected Places!
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring for Art Header
As an artist and creative, I’m always looking to stretch myself and try new things, sort of change things up to keep me on my creative toes but not so much that I feel strained or burdened.
JOY is what drives me to pursue different paths. My curiosity gets initiated and then I eventually just MUST make space to try out what’s been in my heart and desire to do.
One of the issues I face as a artist is putting myself in a creative box, one I invent for myself, sometimes, without even realizing it. Then I begin to feel the confinement of that box, like something doesn’t feel quite right. Like my creative freedom is being minimized somehow.
We all put ourselves in boxes of one sort or another, don’t we? And often, we have no idea that we have done so.
We just start to feel restless, like something has to change, or we might just get a little annoyed!
As a painter, for the past several years, I’m delved into intuitive transparent watercolor, both on canvas and on watercolor paper.
I built myself a portfolio, both for public viewing as well as some personal paintings I have tucked away.
But, alas, I have still felt other artistic urgings begging for attention, and I think they were starting to feel forlorn that I hadn’t done something about it already!
Well, it was just a matter of time before I broke out of my transparent watercolor box and decided to try some mixed media, often a combination of transparent watercolor and gouache paint (which is more opaque in nature), as well as adding pen work with india ink.
Plus the subject matter that has been pining after me has been fashion focused whether garments, jewelry, or handbags and shoes, etc.
In the past year, I did do several pen renderings of my own jewelry and then I added a bit of watercolor marker for a colorful flair.
But recently, I decided to make space for a fashion rendering of a colorful fur jacket that I’ve had pinned to my inspiration wall for some time now.
Out came my gouache paints and my sketchbook, and I finally went to town with a paintbrush. I didn’t do any sketching ahead of time for structure or for figure work. I just started applying paint and ran with it.
After the initial gouache groundwork, the next day I used my Winsor Newton watercolor markers and Faber Castell Artist Pitt Pens for added depth and texture.
So this is basically my first attempt at rendering a fashion piece with paint and pen after many years of sketching/drawing fashions with pencil in my youth.
I was quite delighted with the result.
No, it isn’t perfect and I see my flaws. But it was a complicated piece and I’m satisfied with how it came together.
I’m sharing this with you, dear reader and friend, to show you the importance of making space for what is calling to you. Whatever it may be.
I know we all have busy lives. And we all fall into our ruts of sorts that we just naturally follow, until we feel that pining inside and finally decide to do something about it.
I’m glad I did. Yes, it took me a while from the time I pinned that image. But timing is everything.
And I did this rendering on the heels of another painting I just completed, that is a combination of transparent watercolor, gouache, and collage with card stock, which is another creative goal I have met.
Yes, in a sense, I feel like I'm on a roll with breaking out of the boxes I was in for a long time and really making space for the new.
It doesn’t mean I’m going to donate all of my time to those new ventures. I like dabbling. And I still have my go-to stippled watercolor painting I so love to do and have from the beginning of my watercolor journey that started almost 7 years ago.
My aim is to follow my intuitive heart wherever it may lead and indulge in what brings me the most creative JOY for my path.
What will your Creative Path pine for next?
Make a list of 10 ideas you want to follow. Which one is pining most for your attention right now? Start making plans to open up space for one or two ideas that you feel the most drawn to. Remember to keep it simple so it’s do-able and brings the most JOY.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Break out of your art journaling “box” and try a new approach to a spread that you’ve been wanting to try but simply haven’t made time for. See what this new approach opens up for you!
Draw a box and items in the box that that have been your go-tos, things you’ve been doing for a long time or using that you want to put aside for now.
Draw another box with the items that you are pining for or that are pining for your attention!
Subscribe to The JOY Finder here!
Get Creative with Dawn's Directives and Life Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts here!
Copyright 2017 Art Rendering by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Blog Text by Dawn Herring
Note: The image to the left is from Elle magazine and is copyright to them. Thanks for the inspiration, Elle!
I so enjoyed a Facebook Live today as we shared what is creatively inspiring us! I share about my creative practice, my painting, my music, plus news! I trust you will be inspired, and you're welcome to leave a comment on what is creatively inspiring you right now!
May JOY Find You in the Most Unexpected Places.
I always love it when I find a resource that just hits the spot for me as an artist and creative. And Danny Gregory's book, The Creative License, is just such an example. I discovered Danny Gregory through a Creative Living with Jamie Podcast on Jamie Ridler's website. I was so inspired and impressed with the interview, I decided to check out Danny's website and books.
I saw that he had several, one of which I wanted to read right away, a memoir called, Every Day Matters, but I decided to check out his book, The Creative License too. I'm so glad I did.
There are several reasons why I enjoyed and found myself inspired by this book. Danny has a way of presenting the act of drawing from a totally refreshed and relaxed approach, a way of observing your life and the many things and people around you, but in an almost Zen-like quality, totally focused, totally in the flow.
This approach really opened me up to the possibilities of where I could go with my Creative Practice, adding to it in a way I hadn't done before. I did contour and detail drawing in my youth, and did faces for a long time, but all basically from images. Danny's approach to drawing what you see from objects right in front of you intrigued me. I love his step by step narrative for those who have never drawn before or think they can't.
Another thing I loved about this book was Danny's voice: his attitude, his personality, his authenticity and his laugh-out-loud sense of humor. Even if you have never drawn anything before, just the read is worth it because Danny makes the whole explanation of why drawing can benefit you so much fun, entertaining and insightful.
This book is full of full color and black and white illustrations and Danny's no-nonsense attitude about getting a daily sketchbook practice going, with no concern for what it looks like, if it's any "good" artistically speaking, and seeing the whole experience as learning more about yourself and your world.
Danny inspired me so much through The Creative License, I decided to start a drawing practice in addition to my daily journaling, watercolor painting and doodling. I've presented several of these drawings just to give you an idea of how I've approached it, with no concern for how "artistic" it looks.
He does recommend starting with just black pen (no pencil, no erasing or correcting--just draw and don't worry about it!) so these drawings are just that.
As an artist, I've always had admiration for folks who keep a sketchbook full of pen and watercolor drawings, and Danny is one of those people. Thanks, Danny, for being a source of inspiration for me as an artist and observer of life.
Write down a way that you are an observer of your own life. Also, write down a way you would like to be an observer that you haven't tried before and what you can do to get started.
Using the word, Observe, create a spread that pays homage to how you view your world. How does your point of view enhance to the way you see life?
I've been having some fun connecting with new people, with a special focus on artists and art related folks who have something engaging, inspiring and informative to offer artists who are looking for new opportunities. Periscope has been a great place to discover folks who are artistically focused and I have been following my creative curiosity!
In my perusing and watching scopes, I stumbled upon an art agent named Lilla Rogers. I watched a scope of hers recently, and she mentioned her book title while she asked questions and shared some encouraging words with artists.
Her book is titled, I Just Like to Make Things: Learn the Secret to Making Money While Staying Passionate About Your Art and Craft. It sounded like a fun and informative read so I decided to check it out.
I was delighted with the colorful page layouts full of artsy crafty focus along with a generous dose of artwork featured by many of Lilla's artists who she represents and what successes they have acquired.
One of the great features of I Just Like to Make Things is the purpose of helping artists discover what commercial markets they might want to investigate for possible career connections and work with commercial companies looking for new artists and art work. Lilla offers interviews throughout that reveal the ins and outs of what some art directors are looking for in their field of expertise and markets. Some markets she covers include bolt fabric, greeting cards, and home decor.
Lilla offers some fun, colorful creative exercises to help you access yourself as a artist to help you determine what markets might work for you. She includes many journal prompts as well to help you reflect more deeply on the result of the exercises. She also explains licensing in the art market and shares some valuable words of advice.
Lilla comes from a place of experience both as an artist herself and as an agent of many years and shares her inspiring, personal artistic career story.
I'm glad I followed my creative curiosity on Periscope and found Lilla and her book, I Just Like to Make Things. If you are an artist looking for career opportunities, I would recommend Lilla's book. She has the voice of experience and she shares an encouraging vibe to all artists who want to stay true to themselves and be successful at the same time.
Copyright 2016 by Dawn Herring
It's time for some Doodle Dynamics! I have such fun creating doodles each evening as a way of Honoring My Day and recognizing the themes of what I experience. These visuals are a type of "encapsulating" with my viewpoint on my daily life.
With this one, Schedule Shift, it was a reflection of what my whole day looked like just as a result of doing something in the morning that I normally don't do, so that pushed off everything else, thus the Shift.
Sometimes when we have a shift in our schedule, it can leave us feeling all discombobulated since it's not what we're used to; but when we choose to go with the flow instead of viewing it as an interruption, we can really see good things happen. Thus I used bright colors to convey my day.
To create this doodle, I started with letters fully recognizable, but sort of compressed together, like there's no breathing room to speak of, with one thing right after the other. Yet there were good points to the day, so I wanted the visual to reflect the fun element of spontaneity that is often unexpected. So I added polka dot circles to enhance the gold tone. Then I decided to add balls, with that association of having too many balls to keep in the air to make sure everything happens when it's supposed to. I also added movement lines to create that bouncy look.
For the Shift word, the letters looked like they're all lined up and working together as they move ahead to get the job done. I added stripes to convey that forward movement plus using those stripes to added more color changes for visual interest. Then I added movement lines.
The arrow helps to convey that movement forward. I've been really loving arrows lately and have been adding them frequently to my doodles. I also filled the arrow with stippled dots for a fun visual effect.
All the letters are defined/accentuated with shadow lines to give them dimension and a unified look.
Have you experienced a day with unexpected shifts in what you had planned, thus moving things in a forward direction? What kind of a day did it turn out to be? Were you frustrated or did you simply run with the spontenaity and enjoy the ride, trusting the process? How did you best benefit from this schedule shift?
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a visual of your usual schedule that you follow, then cut them out and mix them all up! Note any changes you may want to make as a result from any insights you gained.
Welcome to my first Doodle Dynamics post at Refresh Daily!
I am a huge doodle fan; I've been creating nightly doodles from the summary word I reference to extract the deepest understanding of my daily experiences. I have been having so much FUN creating word doodles, which I started back in January of 2014 (in conjunction with a fun creative course by Jani Franck) and added COLOR with Winsor Newton Watercolor markers to make my doodles sing back in November of 2014. So it's been almost a year that I've been in the colorful side of my doodles. And I just can't get enough of it! :)
I've decided to share an occasion doodle with you directly from my personal journal, especially ones where the design and color scheme really please my eye.
I had such fun with this one, discerning. That day I felt my "discerning" vision was very telling and insightful, whether through direct observation or inner consideration, thus the "eyes" in the background, one being more visible, the other more hidden. I used pretty straightforward lettering, but had some delight with embellishing using small circles like little jewels. I filled the letters with Yellow Ochre and then used Sap Green and Cerulean Blue Hue for the jewel areas. I love the contrast between the letter shade and the "Jewel" colors.
Recall a day when you had "extra vision" initiating discernment that helped you understand yourself and your world better. Detail what you learned from that discernment and any decisions you made as a result. Did you find that discernment "eye opening?"
Art Journal Prompt:
Use images of eyes and/or use the word Discernment as a word prompt for your visual spread, choosing colors that initiate clearer "vision" for you.
My youngest daughter, Hannah, recently had her 21st Birthday; so it gave me pause as to how I would celebrate with her creating a visual like I've done for the past 11 years. But I found that my circumstances had changed a bit since I did the last one (no color printer and not as much time to prepare).
Over the years as I've created these birthday collages (you can read more about The Birthday Wall here) the approach has morphed and changed to reflect their age, their interests and my approach to my presentation.
What started with a glorified birthday banner (which you can read about in my e-book, The Birthday Wall: Create a Collage to Celebrate Your Child), moved into a full 3 foot by 3 foot space on their bedroom wall to showcase their interests and their personality in full color; then I got a bit more creative. Last year I used a manila file folder, covered in gesso primer, and then created a layered collage that looked similar to my art journaling process for my eldest daughter, Sarah's 23rd birthday.
Then I decided to use a binder notebook for Hannah's birthday last year when she turned 20, which I share about here. Many pages with layered colored construction paper and images later, she had her Birthday Binder.
But this year, I decided I didn't want to use any past approaches, since I am also dabbling with some super FUN art forms, including doodling, which is essentially playing around with black pen, Winsor Newton Watercolor Markers and creating illustrated designs with words, phrases and objects. So after thinking on it a bit, I decided to create what I eventually called an Illustrated Birthday Doodle.
I used one sheet of acid-free card stock paper in a neutral color and a waterproof black Uniball pen and Winsor Newton Watercolor Markers. I decided on a layout that would work with her name, Hannah Joy, her new age of 21, plus various favorites from song lyrics to foods to hobbies. I also included important memberships to organizations, her college related info and her website, byhannahjoy.com, which is The Stressed Out College Student's Destination.
I must say that I had a lot of fun creating this gift for Hannah; I love drawing and creating illustrations without too much planning ahead of time; the entire process was intuitive and I just went with the flow. Hannah considers it a grown-up version of The Birthday Wall, so that's makes it the perfect gift for her right now.
And that leaves me content and satisfied as we celebrate Hannah's 21st birthday and her year ahead.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Birthday 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.
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