With all that we hear about algorithms, whether it's with social media, email, investing, or any other sector of the market place, timing seems to be everything. There always seems to be something that needs to be kept a close eye on in order for us to gain traction, make progress or make us feel like we're getting somewhere, otherwise, we can just feel like a hamster on a wheel, going around in circles.
This often occurs because we're not centered, grounded or aligned with Who We Are, but instead, we're focused on everything else around us, which can be confusing, disorienting and downright frustrating, especially when we feel like we've missed the mark somewhere and haven't cracked the proverbial nut.
It's time to get out of the "rat race" of expectation, obligation and frustration and come back to ourselves. Paying attention to our own creative rhythms, to our intuitive nudges, to those signals and signs that tell us to slow down or even STOP when necessary.
That's why it's so important to get QUIET so we can hear what our inner wisdom is telling us instead of just listening to the Noise that never stops.
When we choose to Deliberately Tune In to that Inner Guidance, our GPS of the soul, we will see and feel a very different picture, one that is calm, orderly, creative, fun, restful, relaxing, healing and just Right.
Journaling is one of my favorite ways to Tune In and really find clarity on what needs to be let go of so I can Make Space for more of what brings me JOY and what Energizes me. That's how I create my own Personal Algorithm rather than allowing outside influences to dictate how I spend my time and energy. As I do this, I begin to see more clearly what direction to take so that I don't become overwhelmed and depleted.
(Click on either image below to get The ART of Journaling Toolbox and The ART of Journaling Prompt PLAY Book and find out more of what you'll receive. Take your journaling practice to the next level and never be bored again!)
Recently I did some investigating in my journal (in connection with a card pull I did for clarity on abundance--see this link to find out more about my card decks) and followed up with two specific lists I wrote, one for what brings me JOY and one for what Energizes me. I have shared this list below to give you an idea of what really matters to me. Perhaps you'll want to journal your own lists. (One of my power tools in my Toolbox!)
My List of What Brings Me JOY
Connecting with another who focuses on JOY
Connecting with another who also keeps a journal
Hearing affirming words from my spouse
Delicious food I cook for myself
Jewelry that enhances my attire
An Empowering and/or amusing message I relate to
Design ideas that light me up
Having Creative Conversation when we get to the Heart of it
Positive feedback on my offerings
Song Writing and playing my tambourine
In the above video I share my JOY with wearing white and some thoughts about intuitively dressing.
Wardrobe JOY is another to add to my list!
My List of What Energizes Me
Resonating Engagement with folks on Social Media
Watching Bird Flight
doodling which is also relaxing
Laughing with my spouse
When someone shares my content
Listening to inspiring music that empowers
When I gain traction from action
Looking at art that inspires me
So, there you have it. These lists Inform where my energy should go and in what form they should take. I must take this list deeply to heart and really listen to what it tells me. I must be honest with myself about what needs to be changed in order to make Space for what is on these lists.
That means letting go of my own expectations and perhaps, the expectations of others. Sometimes when we say no to something, someone ends up disappointed. But self-care is of primary importance and should not be relegated below what could appear to be an obligation.
Instead, I take action to create the proper shift in my energy, my mindset, my emotions, and in my soul and spirit, to align more fully with Who I Am in all of my life dimensions. And that includes asking myself what I have been neglecting so I can tend to what matters most.
Make your own list today and see what it is telling you. Listen carefully. And then take action to make whatever change is necessary to align with your own personal algorithm. And let go of the one that is no longer serving you, even if you created it for yourself. I give you permission to make these changes without guilt. I know how hard it can be to say no when you've been saying less for too long. Release yourself and be personally empowered.
And May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.
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, 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! It's great to be back to share more of my life behind the scenes as Artist, Illustrator and avid Journal Keeper.
If you have read my previous posts, My Visual View and Going Back and Going Deeper, you will already know that I've been doing a series of dress illustrations, drawing and creating renderings of ones that inspire me, sharing on Instagram, and here on my blog.
After doing six illustrations in a row, including two that took 3 sessions to complete due to their complexity, I decided to Pause and take a rest for a time. Yes. Sometimes it's Perfectly Appropriate to Pause when you've put out and you need to replenish as a Creative and Artist. (You are the Artist of Your Life--just a JOY-filled reminder!)
Of course, I also have another project I've been working on, the first of my Lyric Line Design Series, based on Lyrics I've written in Connection with Spirit, and creating Art to inspire.
So, with both of those going at the same time, I really needed to take a breather.
I get so inspired, that sometimes, it's hard to stop, especially once I get a rhythm and momentum going!
But if we don't take a rest when we need it, if we're not mindful enough to know when we need a rest, we end up burning out. Of course, I wouldn't expect to burn out in less than 3 weeks time, but I must listen to my intuition, my body and my heart when it's time for a Pause. And not feel guilty that I'm not producing as much as I'd like.
If we don't Pause when it's Perfectly Appropriate, we may also find our enthusiasm waning for those things we were once thoroughly enJOYing.
It's time to Fill Up the Well! Pause and Make Space for inspiration and re-invigoration. Yes, that aligns perfectly with my Word for 2019, SPACE. It keeps coming back again and again, and I'm glad it does, since it resonates so deeply and is speaking to me in such a Relevant way. I know I picked the right word, that's for sure!
Are you in need of a Rest from your Creative Output? Don't hesitate to Pause if that's what your body, mind, heart and intuition are telling you. You may find it's the perfect way to keep a balance, to keep the creative energy from being depleted so when you get back, you're ready to roll and experience the JOY of being the Artist of Your Life. (Of course, everything you do reflects your creativity in some way; don't discount or forget that! Count everything as a part of Who You Are.)
What would a Pause look like to you? When you take one, detail how you feel about it, whether you feel relief or guilt. Reflect on why Pausing is essential to your creativity.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Show visually what a Pause looks like, or simply create words that express how you feel about what you are creating and what it means to replenish when you feel depleted. Use colors that revive you.
Either Draw the word Pause with separation between the letters or draw a button that means Pause. You may want to write associative words that reflect a Pause or what you need to pause in your life.
Copyright 2019 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2019 Images by Dawn Herring
Hello friends, journal keepers, creatives, artists, and small business owners! I'm excited to share with you some important developments I've discovered and uncovered for myself, both in my journaling practice and as an Artist and Creative.
The month of January in this New Year of 2019 has been very introspective for me. I realize it can be that way for a lot of people as we determine what we want to accomplish with the setting of goals often being the focal point.
But for me, I think it's been more of a comprehensive looking inward as I focus on Who I Am as a Creative, Journal Keeper, Artist and family member, and friend to You, dear reader!
So, I've been taking a lot of time, going deep into the recesses of my journal and my thoughts, putting them on the page. And it's been quite a revealing time for me. (One of the elements of The ART of Journaling ToolBox is for your journaling to be Revealing; see below to subscribe and get the PDF resource for your practice and take it to the next level!)
Before I share more deeply what I discovered, I also wanted to share with you about two card decks that I use for such times like this.
The first one is my Spiritual Deck. The idea for this one came from Julia Cameron, author of The Vein of Gold, a tome not mentioned often with her as author, but it's my favorite, and I've read most of her published works, including The Artists's Way of which she is most known for. In her book, The Vein of Gold, she offers an activity to build for yourself a Spiritual Deck. It contains your favorite things and people, plus much more. When I use this card deck, after shuffling three times, I pull three cards off the top, one for the past, one for the present and one for the future.
This current card "reading" I did for myself opened up the energy for me to look back to the beginnings of myself as an Artist, which takes me all the way back to when I was 8. Yes. Remembering that far back is a bit of a challenge! So as I prayerfully discerned this possibility, I decided that after I recorded the details of this reading, which I always do in my personal journal as a record of what I've discovered, I determined that I would write a letter to my 8 year old self. Yes. After a full page, I was amazed what came out. And it shifted my energy in such a way that it was surprising. It was truly a way to honor myself at that age and give me a fresh voice to be heard. And I'm glad I listened!
Deep journaling, when you give it space and connect it with what is truly relevant to you, can make all the difference in helping to see yourself in a whole new light (sort of like an Inner Seeing), with fresh appreciation of where you've come from and where you want to go.
I'm so excited to offer you The ART of Journaling Tool Box filled with 7 Power Tools for your journaling practice to keep it Relevant, Revealing and Renewing! Whether you're just getting started or could use a jumpstart after being away for a while, or you just want to try something new, The ART of Journaling Toolbox is what you've been looking for! Just click on the image to subscribe!
The second card deck is what I refer to as my JOY Deck, which I've used during Live Facebook Events. I decided to pull it out and do a reading from that as well using the same approach. And it showed me again, the importance of that inner child and who I was as that young artist and what I can learn from her now moving forward. It revealed more of what I already knew and clarified my direction and my focus concerning where I want to expend my energy when I create. (Currently I am illustrating dresses and working on my first Lyric Lines Design Series which I talk about in my post, My Visual View. )
As I have gone deeper into my journaling practice, writing up to 2 or 3 times per day instead of just one evening entry, it has given me SPACE to listen, to dream, to love, to understand myself on a deeper level. And it has given me a fresh appreciation for Who I Am as an Artist and Creative as well as going deeper in Connection with Spirit. That's really where it all begins, and journaling is my Power Tool to peel away the layers to get to my Deeper Truths that I aim to live by every day.
If you want to go deeper in your journaling practice, or you simply are looking for inspiration, do click on The ART of Journaling Tool Box image above and subscribe today! Then enJOY some inspiration for tapping into Your Creative Voice and Honor Who You Are as Artist of Your Life.
What does Going Deeper mean to you? What immediately comes to mind? What one activity in your life would initiate going deeper most naturally? Record this in detail in your journal, then determine how you can make this happen right now.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Choose an image that means Deep to you, then choose your favorite way to create text (hand letter, stamp, cut out letters, stickers) and describe what going deep means to you.
Draw the word DEEP as if it were deep! Or draw an image of something that feels deep to you. How does that make you feel? You can answer this question in your journal.
Copyright 2019 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2019 Images by Dawn Herring
Hello dear friends, subscribers, journal keepers, creatives, artists, small business owners! It's great to be with you again here in this New Year of 2019!! Happy New Year to you all!
With this new year having begun and moving at a quick pace (always, right?), I have managed to determine a focal word, which I have done for 6 or 7 years now, most of the time it having a positive impact on my focus for the year.
For this year of 2019, My Word is SPACE. I shared briefly about this word choice with my subscribers to The ART of JOY. Click the image to sign up if you're not already! (Then you'll also get The ART of Journaling Tool box, filled with 7 Power Tools for your journaling practice to help keep it relevant, revealing and renewing!)
I wanted to go more in depth into what the word Space means for me and why I chose it.
Space can connote making space for something--such as creative time in my studio, or time to write and sing with my tambourine, or watching a movie if I want to.
Space can also suggest room for Quiet: the space where I sit in stillness, meditate and relax. To me, this is imperative. I began this practice more regularly last year in connection with my spiritual practice of prayer/meditation/singing/study and songwriting. This time is stillness has been profound, so SPACE is a huge initiator for that time of Quiet. In this fast paced world, Quiet seems so foreign, doesn't it? That's why we have to choose to make space for it. And when in meditation, that space can infiltrate into our thought process, leaving room for peace and JOY.
Space can also suggest to me the area around me literally; whether in my office, my studio, or in my private space in my bedroom. It can mean honoring my preferences with what I see, hear and feel around me. Color, texture, books I love, and even my small clock that sits on my desk so I can see what time it is at a glance.
When I think of my bedroom, the word Comfort comes to mind. Soft blankets, fluffy pillows, comfortable bed linens, and a place for all my essentials, such as my journal, my markers and pens, my lap desk, and my PJs. What feels good to me is important; I have found myself asking myself, what brings you comfort? And I really pay attention to that. My throw that I use in my bed looks like a leopard print and it feels as soft as a cat's fur! (I don't currently have a cat so it's a nice side effect.) So I really enJOY using it.
Did you know that writing in my journal actually comforts me? Especially when I want to express angst, disappointment, or struggle that I'm dealing with currently. I feel better afterwards, because I feel heard, even though it's just me speaking in my personal journal; or it may just seem that way since, for me, it's also my sharing with my Higher Self as well, which is important to me.
Perhaps you would derive more comfort through a journaling practice, if you don't already have one.
Just click on the image for The ART of Journaling Tool box to help you get started or to get a boost when you need it most! Those 7 Power Tools are my go-to to keep things fresh, fabulous and fun!
Choosing the word SPACE can also suggest making room for Curiosity--giving myself "permission" to follow something that interests me, whether watching a video, searching for a book title I'd like to check out, or looking at art that inspires me. There are so many ways I can honor Who I Am as an Artist, and making Space for my Curiosity is important to me. Especially when it comes to stuff others around me have no interest in. What really matters is that I have interest.
I love viewing other's journal page spreads and how they create their own planners, or sketch with pen and fill with watercolor. What inspires me as an Artist, Designer and Creative is important enough to me in which to Make Space.
So whether, I'm looking for Quiet, Comfort or want to follow my Curiosity, Making Space, being Mindful of my Choices with how and where I spend my time and its impact on my well being, is a way to give me clarity about Who I am and my Purpose which is a peaceful and JOYFul place to be.
And when I experience the positive effects of these essences of Space, I can then share them with YOU, dear friend!
Have you chosen your word for the year? If so, why did you choose it and what do you hope this word focus will help you accomplish? Always remember that the word choice purpose is to create awareness so you can be mindful of what's important to you. Let this be a nourishing time to help get your New Year Started right.
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using the word, Space, or your own Word Choice, as a prompt, use colors and textures that speak to that word choice, stamping out its meaning with alpha stamps or cut out letters from magazines. You're welcome to use an image of yourself to focus on what this word means to you.
I love doodling a word or phrase at the end of my day to encapsulate its meaning for me. You can use your Word for 2019 and really give it some pizzazz with your favorite markers, pens, pencils, paints...whatever suits your fancy. Really have fun with this one.
Copyright 2019 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2019 Images by Dawn Herring
Our Creative Energy can be a power house for expression and leaving our meaningful mark in the world, but sometimes we may find ourselves using that energy in too many places at once. We may want to go after this project and that activity and end up feeling pulled into too many directions. When that happens, we can lack direction which is a good time to get back to center.
I find that when I look at all the different things I'm doing, it's helpful to ask the question: What is Bringing Me the Most JOY? Once I determine what that is, that's where I choose to put my energy. Yes! (Of course I continue to fulfill needed responsibilities.)
When we spread ourselves too thin, it can actually be a deterrent to our creative growth and to expanding on the very thing that brings us the most JOY.
When we engage with too many things in our creative space, it can sometimes be disorienting, leaving us feeling misaligned, not in our creative flow. When we feel that way, we can take a closer look at where we might be putting our energy that may be making us feel like we're just spinning our wheels and not really getting anywhere.
I want to give you Permission today for releasing your Self from working on something that just isn't working right now, especially if you feel like your energy is being wasted. It's okay to let it go for a time or for all time, if that's what it takes to get you back to center.
When we align and center ourselves with what brings us the most JOY, we create a shift in our energy, getting back to Who We Are creatively.
Looking at the contrast of feeling not as happy, too heavy, overwhelmed and disheartened and feeling like maybe we shouldn't even bother, it pays to give ourselves space so we can regroup and figure out what exactly we want to accomplish, where we want to go from here, how we want to grow as a creative being.
It can help to dissect how we are feeling and where we are putting our energies as we detail our current place in our journal, helping us determine where the JOY resides in our creative path.
Trust yourself as you look a little closer and make some choices that will lead you into a better place. Pay attention to your intuitive voice, especially if it's telling you to let go of something, if it's leading you in a different direction or showing you to expand on something you're already tapping into and it just needs a fresh approach to get where you want to go. It may just leads you to a place that lights you up, lifts your spirit and leaves you feeling fabulous!
Find that place that feels expansive, fun and vibrant and aligns you with Who You Are Creatively.**
Make a list of all the activities you are currently engaged with. Note each one singly and see how your body responds as you read it out loud. Record your discoveries and nudges in those JOYful Directions. Then pick your favorite and go do it!
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using JOY as your starting place, use visuals and your favorite colors to showcase how you feel right now in your creative space, giving honor to what is bringing you the most JOY right now.
Create the word SHIFT in doodle form and see how your lettering can look shifty as you use your favorite pens, markers and colors to honor your creative experience. Note any associations that come to mind in your journal.
Copyright 2018 Dawn Herring
For those of you who prefer to listen to my Joy Filled Content, I have created Refresh Daily Podcast. This is audio with visuals for those who like to watch as well. For this Episode Two, the topic is Present JOY, both for the holiday season and every day. I originally recorded to main audio from a video greeting I included in my Christmas Edition of The JOY Finder, my newsletter, but I wanted to make it available to all for your creative and joy-filled benefit. EnJOY!
You're welcome to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for future Episodes of Refresh Daily Podcast.
You're welcome to subscribe to The JOY Finder.
You're welcome to view 7 Steps to Creative Clarity to see if it might be the perfect Holiday Gift for YOU or someone you love.
You're welcome to view Dawn's Life Directives and Affirmations Coloring Pages with Prompts and see if it might be the perfect Holiday Gift for YOU or someone you love.
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!
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.