A Bite-sized Tip For Creating a Series of Art

  “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”    — Vincent Van Gogh

 “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

— Vincent Van Gogh

The thought of doing a 365 day daily art project can seems daunting. What will I do for that long? What if I get bored or run out of things to draw? What if I quit after a week, like that diet I tried last year? I had such good intentions and high hopes, but at the end of the day, it amounted to nothing, except a reminder that either i’m a failure, a quitter, or I just seem to be missing something in my DNA to enable me to complete the task at hand.


I learned early on that I needed SMALL projects. I can’t think in 365 day chunks. But I can do 30 days. Or even 100 days. So after a little bit, I started to identify a topic that I wanted to tackle for 30 days. 30 days of self portraits, 30 days of pets, 20 days of toes, 30 days of faces... you get the idea. I started to incorporate Instagram and social media. I would sketch people’s photos who would show up in my feed. I would then tag them so they could join in the fun too. It was a great way to be held accountable because I was posting publicly, as well as meet new friends. I started to sketch celebrity photos they posted on Instagram, and tagged them too. Some of them even liked and shared (and occasionally commented to my delight as well) I mean, who wouldn’t like to be included in being sketched by an artist, right? Most people consider it an honor.


I also joined in a 100 Day Project that was being hosted by another artist I was following on Instagram, Elle Luna. She threw out the challenge to join in with creating or making anything for 100 days straight. We would all start and end together, posting and hash tagging so we could all follow along and encourage each other. I did this project twice. The first time, I sketched a black line drawing based on the photos of others, using only my iPhone and a stylus. The second time I did the same, only this time, adding in color to the background and key parts of the drawing. Every day was a new adventure. I would look for inspiration, and others would follow along wondering what I would post next. And some, hoped that they might make it into my project. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I did attempt another 100 day project recently, but I got behind and the subject matter wasn’t engaging me enough, so I only made it to day 60 or so. You've got to choose carefully, or you won't follow through when things get tough.)


It was always a thrill at the end of the 100 days, to create a photo montage of all the images. One giant image to chronicle the past 100 days.


I talk about the importance of this process and gaining momentum in an art making practice, more in depth in my video course “Your Artists’ Journey”.

Check it out if this sounds like something that would be of interest.


What bite-sized tips have you discovered along the way that helps in your art making practice?





30 in 30: Day 14

Day 14 of my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I'm using sketches i created from Instagram photos on my iPhone I did as part of a 100 day project and turing 30 of them into paintings. User: @elleluna

Original Instagram photo:



100 Day iPhone Sketch:



30 in 30 day painting:


Gouache & Ink. 8 x 8 on 140 lb. watercolor paper.

100 Days of iPhone Sketches

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 12.56.00 PM This past Friday, June 13th, I completed my 100 Day Project of sketching photos from my Instagram feed on my iphone only. How'd I do it? Simple actually - I used an app called Sketchclub & a stylus to draw with.

It was a fun project that had some interesting by-products. One sketch won me a free t-shirt. I had a few (minor) celebrities respond to the sketches of their photos. But mostly, it was reactions from people I know and know only through online, that kept me coming back again and again. Most people were excited and thrilled to be chosen, so it made for a fun interactive element of harnessing the social in "social media". I ended up with a little over 100 (guess I got a little over zealous and my week out of the country made me loose track a bit). Thanks for all those who played along & encouraged me along the way!

If you'd like to see them in order check them out here!

Special thanks to Elle Luna for the prompting & invite to join her in this 100 Day Project adventure!



Kick Your Creativity in the Pants

calvin-hobbes-swift-kick-in-the-butt Everyone finds themselves stuck in a rut at some point. Getting out can seem difficult if not impossible. (Where did I put that motivation?) When it comes to creativity, it's easy to fall back on the same ol', and to stop growing, pushing, reaching, risking...

So here's a suggestion. Join me on a journey over the next 100 days. March 6th through June13th.


I was looking through my Instagram feed and happened upon a post by Elle Luna (@elleluna on Instagram) where she was throwing down the challenge to do a #100dayproject. She's even set up a website for it. What is it? Simply put - One thing. Every Day. 100 times.

It could be five minutes a day. Everyone has five minutes to invest. Keep it simple. Small. Light. Portable.  To be honest, I hesitated because I have already committed to doing a drawing or painting for a year (finishing up in April). Did I really want to commit to another goal? Yes. Why? To keep pushing just a little further than where I am now. But I am keeping it light. I'm doing a black continuos line drawing on my iPhone each day based on a photo that shows up in my Instagram feed each day. (So be warned that if I follow you on Instagram, you're fair game). A quick drawing. The challenge for me comes in the size.

Want more ideas? Check out this and this.

This isn't just for artists either. Do anything for 100 days. Send an encouraging email to someone different each day. Take a photo. Get creative in your thinking and approach.

The reason why you haven't moved forward is because you keep doing the same things. The same ways. You can't expect different results when everything is the same (definition of insanity I believe). A small step is better than no step. And you can join a community of others on this journey as well. So...

Who's with me?

And if you have Instagram be sure to hashtag your daily progress with #100dayproject

And spread the word.


What's your next step?

photo (1) I've been pondering the question of "What's next?" as of late in terms of my passion to create. That is, when I'm not taken in different directions in the busyness of my project lists and the tasks of life. The question is always there in the quietness, when things do finally slow down.

To be honest, I have no big revelations. At least not yet. But what I am convinced of is simply showing up and taking the right next step. Some days that's making sure I get myself in my sketchbook. Or recently, signing up to take a watercolor class (which I'm loving BTW). Still, others days, it's finishing a project I've set out to do (like the art above, commissioned to do based on a page in my sketchbook project) or reading another chapter in The Artist's Way. The only thing that is certain for me is that I must find new ways and opportunities to keep creating more. Creating the stuff that flows out of my heart, and hopefully finds a way to touch someone else.

Part of me feels like it's starting to wake up to more of what could be. I'm leaning into a phrase found in the Bible in the book of Ephesians - Immeasurably more. I want to know what that looks like in my life. For my Art to be immeasurably more that I could ask or imagine - for it to go places and touch people that I don't know.

I'm not talking fame or success. I'm talking usefulness, and being a blessing in some one else's life. I'm not talking grandiose dreams. I'm talking me - fully alive, using my gifts and abilities, and trusting God to use what He desires to - in breathing life into what I create. You might think that's crazy talk. Or prideful. But, you see, for far too long I haven't given my art the value it deserved. And at one point, I almost let it die.

So at this stage in my journey, I'm not interested in "playing" art. I'm interested in real and true creation. Creation that moves me and the people around me. Creation that somehow brings a smile, or a tear, or an acknowledgement of some beauty around us that we miss most of the time. Creation that I'm is born out of passion.

I saw the following video by artist and design Elle Luna (love her name BTW) on a talk she gave entitled "Find Your Must". That's where I am. Where I've been. Where I will continue to be... (at least for a little while I think). Finding and rediscovering my "Must" - what I and only I can & must do.

I resinate with the journey. Maybe you will too. And just maybe it will help you take the right next step on your journey, leading to a new path.