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
I am introducing a new element of audio here at Refresh Daily! I have recorded the blog post below so you have to option of listening in addition to or instead of reading. You are welcome to leave a comment below if you listen and share your feedback.
Dawn's Ten Life Directives
I ran into an interesting series of videos on YouTube called The Ten Rules for Success hosted by Evan Carmichael. He takes clips of folks being interviewed and creates a list of rules for success based on what the person shares.
I found this to be insightful and thought provoking, and so much so, out of creative curiosity, I decided to come up with a list of my own. I wrote them down late 2016 and I've decided to share them with you here, so you can see what Directives I follow for a more Creative, Joy-Filled Aligned path in this present life.
You are welcome to consider these directives for your personal application and maybe even come up with a few of your own (which you're welcome to share in the comments below, if you'd like).
It's important to know how we live and why we live the way we do and to be very deliberate about our decisions, choices and actions since we know they will not only impact ourselves as individuals but also those around us, be it family, friends, neighbors, communities and the world wide, especially if we share it in this digital world of the Internet.
Hope my list of Directives will give you food for thought and some creative inspiration.
1. Stay Aligned with Who You Are
2. Appreciate Yourself for Who You Are
3. Validate Your Emotions and Feelings
4. Nurture Your Soul
5. Stay Connected To Spirit
6. Express Yourself Creatively Every Day
7. Follow Your Curiosity
8. Honor Your Preferences, Your Personality and Your Purpose
9. Give Yourself Permission to do something daily that lifts your spirit and leaves you feeling fabulous.
10. Say No to anything that does not honor your Well Being.
And here's a bonus Directive:
11. Find Your Truth that keeps you centered and grounded so you will recognize illusion when you see it.
And there you have it.
These directives came immediately to mind as I wrote them. They are part of the basic tenants I share here at Refresh with Dawn Herring, and here on this blog, Refresh Daily.
Make a list of your life principles or directives that you already follow or that you would like to implement in your own life. You may want to detail what each one means to you and why you want to initiate this positive change in your life.
Art Journaling/Doodle Prompt:
Using a 2 page spread in your art journal, create a visual honoring of the principals you live by. Use pens and markers to doodle the lettering or use alpha stamps. Use the colors that inspire positive change you want to make, perhaps a color that is new to you that you're really drawn to right now.
EnJOY your life today, and may JOY find you in the most unexpected places.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Header Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Hello dear Refresh Daily friends! This is my first post of 2017 after the relaunch of my new website.
Today I did my first Facebook Live video (after working with Periscope late 2015 and early 2016.) What is Creatively Inspiring You and Me? was our topic and we had a wonderful time sharing on both sides! I talk several times about our new Private Facebook Group, Your Path to Joy, plus other specific things that I've been excited about in my creative life.
The original video in it's entirety can be viewed on my Facebook profile as well.
I hope you get inspired to initiate more JOY in your life as a result of tuning in.
What is creatively inspiring you right now? Has this been repeated or is it something new? Write an entry to whatever it is, telling it what you love about it and why you want to do it again.
Art Journaling/Doodling prompt:
Use Creative Inspiration as your word prompt for an art journal spread or doodle the name of what is creatively inspiring you right now using the colors that bring you the most joy!
May JOY Find You in the Most Unexpected Places!
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
We have arrived at the end of yet another year. It's amazing to me how quickly 2016 has flown by. And the dimensions of my life are just as interesting and fascinating and challenging as they ever were. And it's that time of year to share with you some of what I have experienced so I can share my gratitude, my perspective and my refreshment, of course!
So, where shall I begin?
With Journaling, of course. Journaling continues to be a mainstay in my life, with am and pm entries and visual doodling, some of which I have shared with you here at Refresh Daily. My favorite techniques have been doing mind maps, dialogue (which I talk about here), list making and some stream of consciousness (where you just write whatever comes to mind without much concern if it makes sense.)
Most of my journaling has taken place in my personal journal, and some of it has been in a separate sketchbook which you can read about the beginnings of here. In this separate sketchbook, I've mainly focused on mind maps, list making, creating doodle headers for this blog, Refresh Daily, and making creative future plans.
I also discovered a book this year, The Creative License, by Danny Gregory, which actually gave me the nudge I needed to actually draw like I had planned to do in my initial sketchbook in a way that was more for drawing/studying objects and places with pen and watercolor. I share a book review with several sketches here. I'm so pleased to have found just the right resource to get me headed in this direction.
In continuing the #JournalChat tradition, I decided to create an ongoing #JournalChat OPEN HOUSE with the evergreen topic, Your Journaling: The Greatest Relevance. Here is my final 2016 contribution, Making Conversation. I also wrote one earlier this year titled, Creative Clarity. If you desire to make your Journaling Voice Heard, here are the refreshing guidelines. Also, if you'd like to join our #JournalChat Live Facebook Group, here's the link.
In other New News, I added an Instagram account to my social media and have enjoyed sharing images and video clips to share with you. I'm RefreshwithDawnHerring on IG if you'd like to follow me there.
I also added a new Your Life Refreshed! Private Facebook Group for folks to share, ask questions and give encouragement to others seeking to increase JOY and REFRESHMENT in their daily lives.
For the Art Side of things with my Creative Practice, I made two custom rubber stamps, one with my first name signature and one with my Dawn Herring Collection initials. I found creating rubber stamps a lot of hard work even with the right tools, so I haven't continued making more. I also made several of my own stencils, but again, I found it to be too much work. It's all about experimenting and seeing what you enjoy.
I also expanded the size of my intuitive watercolor paintings. I've done as small as 5x8 inch and actually went up to 24 x 30 inch, but my favorite size seems to be 18 x 24, which for me is not too big or too small. I tried a new brand of watercolor paper that was recommended to me, Fabriano, but I think I still prefer Strathmore for its durability with lifting and scrubbing off paint.
I also tried my hand at combining watercolor and gouache. The painting titled, Transition, is the result, in a 5 x 8 size. I also added another mixed media canvas with hand lettering titled, Glimpses. (You can view these below from the links provided.)
I also tried using gesso on both canvas and watercolor paper which I have found keeps the colors more vibrant. I still enjoy creating layers of paint with my intuitive watercolor paintings. You can view a sampling at the Dawn Herring Collection Art Gallery.
I've also added a new page to my website that focuses on my Doodle Designs and Hand Lettering which you can view here.
Earlier this year, I dove into a Fashion Illustration and Design Course with my teacher and good friend, Laura Volpintesta. I have enjoyed learning how to build the body through form and create my own designs.
As an artist, doodler and hand letterer, I have enjoyed listening to and reading many podcasts/interviews from Jamie Ridler to Meighan O'Toole to Lisa Congdon and Danny Gregory; they have all inspired me and given me encouragment in my artistic pursuits.
A special thanks to Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios, for featuring my Creative Living Tip in one of her podcasts this year!
I also want to thank YOU, Dear Reader/Subscriber, for taking the time to read Refresh Daily blog posts and leave comments and feedback on topics I have covered and insights I have shared along the way in 2016. You continue to inspire me as I engage in my Creative Practice elements of journaling, mixed media, watercolor painting, doodling, drawing and hand lettering. I also continue to enjoy staying connected to Spirit through prayer, study and meditation.
I trust that 2016 has been a year of inspiration and refreshment for you in Your Creative Practice. I'd love to hear how what I have shared here at Refresh Daily has inspired you in your creative journey. You can contact me direct at email@example.com.
I wish you the very best 2017 where you find JOY and REFRESHMENT every day!
Journaling Prompt: Record three things you enjoyed most in 2016, especially ones that have had the most impact concerning creating positive change in your life.
Art Journaling Prompt: Using the word, REVIEW, or 2016, use an image that has had the most profound influence on how you see yourself now versus at the beginnig of the year. Doodle how you appreciate who you have become. You can also use this prompt as a starter for a mind map, recording any association you have with 2016. This can be a great way to review your year. You may be surprised as to what you remember. Have fun!
A Golden Buzzer Moment.
A Moment in Time when all seems to stand still as golden confetti cascades down over you after one of the judges on American's Got Talent determines that after your fabulous performance, you're ready to go to the live shows. Now.
That's pretty amazing...especially when you have no idea of how good you really are.
I've had the wonderful opportunity to be the hearing recipient of a very talented young girl's performance on AGT; her name is Grace VanderWaal. The thing that really struck me about Grace is her authenticity. She offered a self-penned song that has gotten a replay in my head on repeat for several days. Quite catchy and I must say, quite empowering. She's got my attention! See her performance below. (I've seen her follow up performances which are just as delightful and heart warming.)
After thinking about Grace's Golden Buzzer Moment, I realized what this can mean for us on a daily basis.
A Golden Buzzer is a validating and very surprising external action on someone else's part letting you know how good you really are.
Sometimes we get that kind of validation from someone who sees our potential or who appreciates us for Who We Are at the Heart of what we do every day.
But we can actually create our OWN Golden Buzzer Moments on the internal side.
How, you ask?
By paying close attention to our own Value, to what we are contributing every day to our immediate worlds: our selves, our families, our communities and our worlds.
An example of an Internal Golden Buzzer Moment:
when you're writing a journal entry and you experience clarity on something that's been puzzling you.
when you connect with someone on a deep level that is totally unexpected.
when you validate another person because you see their potential.
when you're working on a painting, drawing, collage, or sculpture and it works out exactly the way you want it to in that moment
when just the right word comes to you to complete a poem you've been working on
when you are aligned with Who You Are and you know you are exactly where you are supposed to be
when you hit that sweet spot in your creative practice and you wouldn't change it for the world right at that moment
You know your Golden Buzzer Moments when you feel them because they leave an impression. (And maybe even a life changing one.) But when you are LOOKING for them actively, you may find that they replicate, which only increases the Value of your every day experience.
So, go on. Validate Yourself. See Your Own Potential. Congratulate Yourself on a Job Well Done. Enjoy that Sweet Spot with Relish and Relive it in your journal!
The more you pay attention to those GB Moments, the more you will experience them. And it might just lead to some external ones too!
Record every Golden Buzzer Moment that comes to mind. Make a list. Don't be shy. What have you experienced that would qualify? Think Small too. It doesn't have to be huge. Look with expectation over the next several weeks for those moments when you simply hit your sweet spot.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the words, Golden Buzzer, create an art journal spread that speaks of your potential, of a time when you hit your creative sweet spot. Relish with colors that showcase you at your heights. Really Celebrate!
So, here we are at Back to School Time. Where the school supplies are in abundance (Stocked up on those trusty composition notebooks of course!) and the kids are getting ready to start classes to get them one step closer to graduation, to meeting goals, to establishing what their direction will be and to figure out their purpose.
This time of year can also be a source of inspiration toward life-long learning and activating self-discovery as we choose to go deeper into Who We Are. As we watch the kids gets their school supplies, clothes and gear gathered, we can also be inspired by what motivates us and where our curiosities are bringing us. This can enable us to learn something new about ourselves, which can lead to more self-appreciation as well as motivation to initiate positive change.
As an artist, I am constantly looking for inspiration by taking photographs, looking through magazines, and watching videos, reading inspiring blog posts, articles and reading books and also listening to podcasts.
And I often find it!
And when I do, I get excited and motivated to look more closely at my own motivation, direction and purpose as a creator.
One thing I've already learned in my life-long pursuit of educating myself about Who I Am and What My Purpose Is is to always be willing to make a change when it's needed, with no apology, no second guessing.
When I see what is working, I look to expand on that. When I see what isn't working, I start journaling, connecting with Spirit and determining what my next step is.
Life is constantly changing, just like our kids and grandkids do as we see their growth and feel proud of their accomplishments as they learn about Who They Are, what talents they possess, and how they can leave their meaningful mark in the world.
And because of that flux of change, we need to always be looking for new opportunities to grow, to create, to discover, to go deeper.
That's why I love my creative practice so much. Each activity I choose to engage in, as often as I choose to engage in it, is another way of learning about myself, giving myself space to think, dream, love, discover, follow "rabbit holes" of curiosity, and learning to be more flexible with myself with what I choose to do, what supplies I choose to work with, and with what I choose to express myself.
It's easy to fall into a creative rut, doing the same thing over and over. That's when it's good to change things up, be open to new possibilities and try new things, things that excite your heart and make you want to do a happy dance.
And a happy dance in just the beginning. Who knows where our creative practice can lead us, what new places we have yet to explore and what new inspiration will come across our path and lead us into a new love?
See yourself as a student of your Creativity; see what it has to teach you; listen carefully and relish each moment. No, not everything we do has to be "just so." Stay open to making mistakes (If you perceive them that way) and not being completely satisfied with the job you did. That's okay. It's all a learning process.
I think one of the key issues is being True To Yourself.
Honor Your Preferences. Pay Close Attention to Your Intuitive Nudges. Follow Those Curiosities.
What Life Message can you glean from each creative experience, each creative act, each creative project, each creative journey?
Enjoy each creative moment, whether you're going solo or sharing it with your kids or grandkids. Let Life Teach You and Relish the Learning.
What does your creative practice teach you? What have you learned about yourself, your creative work, your world? What is the most recent creative experience you've had and what did it show you about yourself? What positive change can you initiate based on what you now know? Celebrate in your journal what you've learned!
Art Journal Prompt:
Create a Back to Your Creative Practice spread, using images of creative projects you've completed and what they have taught you about yourself. Or dream on the page about what you want to learn and try that is new for you.
And if you're wanting to go a bit deeper into Activating Your Intuition, Honoring Your Preferences and Listening to Your Life Messages, you're welcome to check out my 21 Day Refresh Intensive Course.
Copyright 2016 Dawn Herring
Creativity is one of my favorite subjects. So when I heard a creative reflection, How has Creativity Changed Me?, offered by Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios, I decided to share this reflection with you, my dear readers.
I've always had a creative vibe since I was a child, drawing pictures of animals, people and faces over the years. Then I discovered watercolor (Yay!) about 6 years ago at the same time I started art journaling. I continue to enjoy daily doses of painting with watercolor as well as doodling in my personal journal each evening to summarize and honor my daily experiences.
My creative practice, which includes journaling, doodling, painting and writing as of right now, has given me a gift.
Do you know what that gift is? JOY.
Yes, JOY. Joy is a high vibration sensation and emotion that nothing else can trump. It comes from within. But I believe my creative practice elements give much greater space for JOY.
And JOY changes a person from the inside out. It lifts my spirit and makes me feel whole inside.
When I paint, the process of paintbrush to paper or canvas is an utter delight that exudes JOY. That's why I go back to it daily. Who wouldn't want to do that, some thing that enhances life so faithfully?
When I journal, I listen. I learn. I ask questions and get answers to how to create positive change where I need it most. And that positive change initiates JOY.
And sometimes just thinking about the JOY my creative practice brings gives me JOY!
You know what else gives me joy? Listening to the mocking bird sing. Listening to my grandson sing!
When I look at life through creative eyes, (which I find it difficult NOT to do), JOY is usually very close by ready to lift my spirit and leave me feeling fabulous.
Creativity is a GIFT that keeps on giving and bringing JOY that is full and lovely and oh-so-worth-it!
What brings you JOY? What thing can you do every day that will lift your spirit and make you feel whole? Make a list and then choose something to do right now that will enhance your day. YOU DESERVE IT.
Art Journal Prompt:
Use the word JOY as a prompt, choosing colors that bring you joy. You may want to doodle the definition of JOY and/or doodle what brings you JOY from your journal list. EnJOY!
Copyright 2016 Dawn Herring
I have some exciting news to share! But first, a little background. I have always loved dress forms. Whether I see them in magazines, in boutiques, in fashion in general locations, or in books where creativity is focused. And I've always wanted one of my own. (I think they inspire the designer in me.) They've always been on the pricey side so I've always put off the purchase, wondering if it would be worth it...and what would I do with it?
I recently started taking a fashion design and illustration course with Laura Volpintesta, founder of Fashion Illustration Tribe, and teacher at Parson's School of Design in NYC. Part of what we are learning is drawing fashion flats. So I decided to use some of my own wardrobe pieces to learn how the fashion I am wearing is constructed. That's where the dress form would be useful!
So I did some shopping around and Joann's was having a half price sale on dress forms! Woot! So I shimmied my way over and got me one, in leopard print, my favorite animal print. Soooo excited!
But, of course, once I did my flats for my fashion course, I decided I would use my dress form as my very own mannequin and dress it up with my daily wardrobe choices! I've even used it to see how well things would look layered, including the jewelry choices. I've been having a lot of fun dressing up my dress form! (I've called her Angela, just for the fun of it.)
So I decided, since I'm on Snapchat, to take some OOTD snaps and post them on IG and then I figured I'd share them here at Refresh Daily. Now these are not 8 days in a row choices, but close enough. There were a few days I didn't have time to dress up Angela to show them, so there are a few I left out. But I had fun doing these!
If you'd like to see my regular OOTDs on social media, you're welcome to follow me on Instagram at @RefreshwithDawnHerring and on Snapchat at @DawnHerring.
I'm so thrilled that I finally found my dress form after all these years. It makes me smile when I look at it since it's been something I've been drawn to creatively and now I've got it! Sometimes when you follow your creative curiosity, it takes time to fulfill a passion or dream you have. But persist and don't give up. You never know when an opportunity will come along to make it possible.
Is there something that has inspired you creatively from a distance and now you have it in your possession? What was it like to finally have it in hand? What dream does it fulfill in your life? Do you have ideas for its use? What do you hope for the most with it creatively?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using an image of something you desire, create a spread showing why you love it so much and why it would have great meaning for you if you were to acquire it. If you have the item already, share what makes it so special. And have a special enjoyment for it right now as if you just purchased or acquired it!
The doodles I feature here at Refresh Daily are ones taken directly from my personal journal that I record in daily. I do a doodle every evening to honor my daily experience. I choose a word or phrase that encapsulates my day and then design a doodle to showcase it with fun, fabulous color and design, which I greatly enjoy doing.
For this doodle, Totally Unexpected, I determined the words themselves based on what came into my path that day. Most of what I experienced I didn't see coming, both negative and positive. I was challenged with some situations and yet pleasantly surprised with others at the same time. You know how life can be truly dichomatic, where on one hand, you're totally excited about one thing and on the other, you feel thrown off your feet due to circumstances not in your control.
That day was one of those days. And you know what's amazing? As I realized how tough and yet successful my day was, I was thankful to be sitting and doodling, having made my way through!
The word, Totally, was drawn with letters compressed together, with arrows aiming toward the center, to emphasize the contraction of experience. The word, unexpected, also has letters that overlap, as if to present one thing after the other, and the sense of responsibility that comes with taking care of business.
The emphasizing marks in yellow and red show the excitement of something good that I didn't see coming at all and was very glad for it.
I filled the letters in with watercolor markers, with base color and several colors for shading to give the letter space dimension.
I really like using arrows for emphasis and often fill them with stippled, colored dots for fun visual interest.
Have you ever had a day that seems totally overwhelming from unexpected responsibility and yet you had a totally surprising experience that you didn't see coming that made you elated at the same time? Describe this dichotomy in detail and perhaps, share anything you would have done differently and what you would do the same. Congratulate yourself for having successfully dealt with the challenges and for your wins too!
Art Journal Prompt:
Using Dichotomy or Totally Unexpected, as word prompts, create a spread that honors how you handle difficulty and showcase your successes at the same time.
I had so much fun with this art journal spread, Bloom. I started the process by putting on my finger cuffs and finger painting with blues (unusual for me), purples and reds. I love doing finger painting because it gives me a very visceral experience with body to art which is highly enjoyable, dare I say, even blissful!
Once I had the finger painting part down, I decided to use some flower stencils to highlight various parts. Some I did removing the paint leaving it white for contrast. Others I used blue and red, sometimes layered over each other in different sizes. It was fun to determine where to put the flowers and where to layer them.
Once I had those down, I added bits of watercolor to add more definition where I felt it would be appropriate. I also highlighted the flowers with white Uniball pen and with red pen as well. I highlighted some of the finger prints with the white pen to give them more pop. I painted in a wash of red for a background color and I drew a red pen line all around the circumference of the fingerprinted area.
I decided to call the spread, BLOOM, since flowers were featured. So I cut out letters from colored construction paper to spell, Bloom, very organically. I did not use a stencil for the letters. I adhered them with matte medium, then I highlighted them with white Uniball pen and some purple oil pastel, and then outlined the letters on the background with white pen.
For the final application, I decided to write my insight from this spread in white pen which reads: Life happens in layers. Sometimes it's hard to see them all. It takes some excavating to discover the beauty within but it's there if you take the time to discover what lies beneath, and when you do, you will see that you're always in bloom.
Sometimes it may be hard to imagine when you don't feel like you're blooming, but I think that's where faith and trust in the process comes in. We are all beautiful inside; we just have to find that beauty, and it may come in ways we least expect. But when it comes, we KNOW. And it's a beautiful thing.
Describe a recent time when you really felt like you were blooming. What was the situation or occasion that prompted you feeling that way? Now describe a time when you felt like you weren't blooming. What did that feel like for you? What was the trigger of not feeling it? Now determine if this trigger came from within and if it's based in truth or a misconception of some kind. See what TRUTH you can reveal about yourself through this new understanding.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using Flowers as an image or using Bloom as a word prompt, do an art journal spread to honor the beauty within you. What makes you feel beautiful? You can commemorate a most recent experience that made you feel fully flowered. Recognize the beauty, whether it's obvious or not.
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.