How do you come up with your ideas for Art and Illustrations?

Some of it is simply colors in my head that I enjoy, colors of things that I love, things in my environment, and things like that. Other inspirations come from things I see around pinterest. I have a huge collection of pins on my pinterest page. It’s really massive, actually.

pastel girls in nature and fog

I’ve got things on pinterest that I forget I have on there, all the time, simply because I’ve been pinning things to it for years now. I think I’ve used pinterest for over 3 years. And I used to pin things for hours at a time, back when I first discovered pinterest. It really adds up. There are many different category boards on my page, including everything from home decor and artwork to hair and make-up.

However, another huge inspiration for me, when it comes to techniques, process, and work ethic is the pool of other artists I follow online. I love watching youtube videos of them in their studios, working and painting. It makes me want to go into my studio and begin working as well. In fact, a lot of times I’ll be watching an artist on youtube or an illustrator, working on their art while I paint or draw in my studio, or on my couch.

skull sketch

Another biggie is the sketchbook. I have many unfinished sketchbooks, mostly because I have many different kinds that I sketch in for many different reasons. My favorite is my 9” x 12” watercolor sketchbook. It’s actually just a spiral book of watercolor paper. I also have a watercolor paper pad that has thicker watercolor paper. I don’t just use these for sketches only. I also use the sheets for finished watercolor work, so it’s nice to be able to tear out the sheets when I’m finished and ready to frame them.

A huge inspiration to me is music. It’s not an inspiration to my concept ideas necessarily, but instead helps me stay motivated to keep moving forward with my projects and with my art in general. My favorite songs are ones that evoke lots of emotion and creep factor is one of my favorite elements. I like to think that similar emotions are revealed in my work. I mainly draw and paint female faces and hair. I’m obsessed.

boots and legs

Sometimes, I get kind of burnt out when it comes to concept ideas. I think I still have ideas in my brain, but it’s like sometimes I look at others’ works so much that I have a fog around my own ideas in my mind. It’s crazy and hard to describe, but hopefully that came out right.

gallery wall in the art studio

I think it’s important to find balance: balance between “ingesting” new things and new art from other people, and actually “cooking” up our own art. It can be a real struggle. Sometimes I just want to cozy up on the couch with a blanket and a pillow, and just watch YouTube artists all day, look through pinterest, or obsess over Instagram stories. I did a lot of that latter category today.

I think one thing that can help with not putting enough out there of our own stuff is not having a plan. I’ve started working on my social media plan, and I think it is going to go okay. I know I’ll most likely have to make adjustments along the way to keep it fresh and realistically doable, but it will be worth the trouble.

So, cheers to you other artists or creative types out there! Keep on keeping on! <3

Wanna pin this blog post to your pinterest board? Here's a snazzy image to help you out:

coming up with art concepts pinable image

Happiness: A Journey of Overcoming Sadness

Hi my lovely starfishies!!

Today I just want to touch on a very broad topic, and that is happiness. I’m not going to solve all your sadness problems, I know that, but I want to just share a few tips that really help me get out of the rut I sometimes get into with sadness.

This topic hits close to home for me lately, as I’ve lost a grandmother to cancer about a month ago, another grandparent is ill, and there’s been other illnesses in the family lately as well as my own flu illness and other health issues as of late. Sometimes all you can do is cry. In between the crying, try these tips below. Sometimes these help me a lot!

Kawaii girl overcoming sadness blog post image main maceylou illustration art.jpg

# ONE:
Almost everything (if not everything) is temporary. If you’re having a tough time right now, just remember that it will pass. And if it’s a more permanent situation, try to think of ways to adapt. What are some things you can do to inject something happy into every single day, regardless of your current situation?

Can you go for a walk?
Can you relax and read a book or watch TV?
Can you at least listen to music or a podcast while you get chores or work done?

And if none of these seem possible right now, just go into your imagination. That’s right. Be a kid with me for a minute. Go in there and remember a funny or a super amazing moment you had. Most recent one if possible. Now, relive that moment in your mind and remember that you’re probably going to have an even BETTER moment SOON! It just hasn’t happened yet, and you can still look back on fond memories for now.

I know this may seem like a small little piece of happiness, but we’re building something here with all these little blocks of happy.

sad anxious girl kawaii maceylou skeleton makeup sleepy tired hiding rejection depressed.jpg

# TWO:
Write shit down. Write down what is hurting you emotionally right now. Sometimes writing about it will make you cry, mid-sentence, like as you’re writing it. However, once it’s all written out, and you can feel all those feels pour out of you, usually through crying, you will be able to see more clearly and think more rationally. Why? Because you got it out of you. You admitted to what was hurting, and now you can try to move on and to adjust. Or to start the healing process.

sad girl cry baby tears eyes bigeyes anime manga maceylou watercolor painting illustration.jpg

# THREE:
Art. This is a multiple choice option. If you are good at art, make some art. It will preoccupy your mind. It will help you decompress and take some of the stress out of your system. If you are NOT good at art, do you love to do it anyway? Then make some art. You aren’t good at it, and you don’t like to do it? Give it another shot. Maybe try a new medium….maybe try something unique. Remember, it’s for YOU to enjoy. You don’t have to show it to anyone, if you don’t want to.

None of that appeals to you? Maybe just look for art online or in galleries. View the art. Soak it in. Think about meanings within it. Or just buy some beautiful artwork for your home. Surround yourself in happy and visually appealing things on the walls. It will help you feel more comfy and at home. It will make your home feel more like a sanctuary.

# FOUR:
Tell someone your pain. Make sure it’s someone you really can trust and that you’re super close to. There’s nothing worse than to spill your guts to someone who will stomp on them later or talk about your problems to others behind your back. Choose someone you have either grown up with your whole life, a really close family member, or a significant other that you really really love and trust.

Talking about your problems can really help relieve some of the tension. Be careful with this one, though. If you dwell too much on the negatives, you’ll get more depressed, not less….so keep that in check. Keep your stress rants short and to the point. And take deep breaths after.

sad loss family tears crybaby cry baby crying girl kawaii cute pretty blue hair watercolor illustration painting.jpg

# FIVE:
Remind yourself that life is full of ups and downs. We all have hard battles to face, and it’s scary out there. No one is really ever immune to bad things happening to them. It happens eventually. We all need to remember that we all go through crap. We all have sadness to cope with. Let’s do it together. Let’s lean on each other, remembering that we’re all human and make mistakes. Remember that things happen, but there are some things we CAN change and that we CAN control: our attitude and how we start to perceive things. <3

xoxo
MaceyLou

P.S.: I forgot a really fun one: travel and vacations! It's one of my favorites, actually. Exploring new places that I've never been before, really helps me relax and enjoy life. It helps put things into perspective, too, when you leave your tiny bubble, whether it be leaving your house, or leaving your little town you live in.

relax bed comfy cozy blankets socks feet love.jpg

My Studio and How It Helps Me Get Stuff Done

Hello my starfishies! <3

The past couple of weeks have been interesting. Last weekend (Easter weekend) was amazing! My employer was kind and let us have Friday off, so I had a 3 day weekend! I got so much done that weekend, including shooting and editing several videos for my YouTube channel and doing some cleaning around my house.

My favorite part of my studio: the toy shelf and the iMac! <3

My house was a wreck before that (and to be honest, it still kind of is in some rooms), so cleaning a lot in the bathrooms and kitchen // living areas was super important and relieved a lot of my stress I had over my messy environment.

from left to right: my current painting, my dry erase board that needs a permanent home, one of my video lights, my photo collage, my clutter-filled table, and a chair and stool....

One thing I know for sure: I'm gradually balancing work with life. It's a difficult thing, actually. I work as a graphic designer in the day, over a 40 hour work week, so coming home and working some more until the wee hours of the night is tough, but I think it will all be worth it.

That 3 day weekend helped me a LOT. I rolled out several videos just in one weekend onto my YouTube channel. I've noticed a lot more engagement with viewers and followers on my social media accounts as I post more often. In fact, ever since I started my art 365 back in June / July of 2015, I've posted something pretty much every single day (except the rare occasion that I give myself a rest break, which I did just the other day, but we'll get to that in a sec...). So, it's helped a lot. I have about 820 followers on Instagram and just under 300 likes on my Facebook page as of the time of this post. My channel on YouTube has grown to over 1,400 subscribers and counting! :)

One of my windows is right above my work shelf, where I keep all my sewing and painting supplies.

I'm not posting my numbers to brag. Far from it. I feel like I have a loooooong way to go. I just think it's really important for me to document my numbers as my brand grows. I really want to be able to come back to this later and see how far I've come. I hope my art gets seen by many and loved by the ones who find it intriguing. It would be such an honor to have my art hanging in someone's home one day, on full display.

One's home is truly where their heart is in almost every case. It's such a personal look into their personality and their interests. So, to have my art hanging up in someone's home is just the most beautiful dream I could dream.

The beautiful trees right outside my studio window. They live in my neighbors forest of a yard. Love it. <3

One thing I do want to be really honest about is that after the high of getting so much work done that weekend, I started feeling down during the next week days. Not sure exactly why, but I think it was the change from having all day to work on things for 3 days straight, to realizing that most week days I have very little time to do my art.

I still think that the 3 day weekend was one of the best opportunities for me in a long time, though, and I'm glad I didn't just binge watch netflix. There's nothing wrong with binge watching netflix, but I'm realizing that if I want to build my art business and brand, I have to devote the time and do the work as much as possible.

Another view of the little forest. :)

However, there's a balance that needs to take place. It's really important that one takes breaks when really needed so as to not get burned out. I think I burned myself out a little bit this past week...I didn't really feel as artistic and creative as I normally do. I felt a little down. That's another reason I'm posting this. I think it's important to be honest and show that creativity and stuff like that is difficult. It's rewarding for sure, but it's also difficult at times and pushes us.

I want to show my process and my mindset going through this transition of graphic design to fine art. I am really aiming to be more creative with every day. The art 365 project I'm taking part in is really important for me, I think. It has helped me so much to improve my art, my process, my consistency.

This morning, I woke up early and made her a swimsuit from some pipe cleaners. Haha, I needed something weird and carefree to do. I've been so methodical lately...I needed some child-like fun. Something easy that I don't have to take too seriously.

I've read a lot of articles and listened to several podcasts that say that consistency is one of the most important things. I think that is so true. I think consistency is a very mandatory ingredient to success when it comes to building a tribe -- a group of people who support what you do and love to see it.

I think there are other important ingredients, too, though, and I think I need to work on these:

  • learning new skills
  • working in new mediums
  • meeting lots of people who share your interests
  • getting into some good daily habits
  • supporting other artists and creatives

I posted this on Instagram this morning to celebrate spring and kawaii cute things...<3

The last thing I want to say is don't forget to take breaks if you work your butt off. It will all still be there to work on tomorrow. If you already work super duper hard, don't feel guilty for needing to breathe every now and then. Go outside. Exercise. Go out and have some fun. I need to follow my own advice on this so much! <3

Love you all! xoxoxo

MaceyLou