A Little Art as a Daily Practice

I have been creating a Little Art as a Daily Practice for the past two months, and it has totally rejuvenated me as an artist. If you follow me on instagram you have seen most of these pieces, but I wanted to write about the experience too. This post is about creating tiny art, creating art daily and creating art for yourself.

Blog post: A Little Art as a Daily Practice by iHanna

It was in the beginning of September that I saw a little art challenge on Instagram. An artist that I follow posted it to her feed, inviting other to create “a little art” along with her. I jumped on the same day, without any planning or thinking. I do think planning is a good thing, but sometimes you should jump in without a plan. Just doing something without giving it much thought can stop your Inner Critic from telling you that you really don’t have time for another project right now. It can also help you to start a project even when it is not the first of the month and year, even when you haven’t proclaimed it on your blog, even when you know you’ll be too busy later that month…

A Little Art Piece as a away of looking for inspiration, by @ihanna

But I had strips of watercolor paper, leftovers from bookbinding, laying around without purpose (eI find it is hard to throw away good paper, even when I don’t think I will have any use for those small pieces). Each strip was quickly, and without measuring, cut into two small squares for art experiments (once again I prove to myself that you just should never throw away good paper. Ever!). No planning: I just used what was available, and got started.

I decided to to what I like to call a watercolor doodle each day, something mostly abstract and quick. An it has really been super fun. Some I have fallen in love with, others I don’t like at all. But the most important thing, this little art project has made me think about art a lot, and about what I as an artist in development need, to be able to call myself an artist. I think mostly, I just need to make art. A lot more art.

I need to keep art-making at the forefront of my mind, instead of forgetting about it for months, like I did previously this year. I was charged with energy during my year of 365 Collages and it was amazing, but I also got a little burnt out. Since then I have kind of forgotten about the importance of creating art.

Why I think a daily habit is important if you want to grow

If you want to learn about your artistic style and develop your own voice, having a project like this is perfect! If you are interested in growing as an artist or person, you should cultivate a habit towards that growth, with some kind of growth plan in mind.

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Inspired by Autumn’s Colors

Inspired by the colors of Autumn photo by iHanna of www.ihanna.nu

I am inspired by the shift of seasons. I am inspired by autumn’s colors, though it feels a bit like I missed the whole autumn because of that horrible cold and then back pain. Plus a load of computer work as I’m writing articles and editing a magazine right now. But I managed to take a walk one of those sunny, crisp days.

I brought my camera and managed to capture some of the beauty. I am inspired by autumn’s colors so I picked a few leaves to create another autumn mandala with. Now all the leaves are gone, and Sweden is a gray and boring place until it gets colder and we might see some snow…

Shifting from green photo by iHanna of www.ihanna.nu

This was one of my favorite finds from my walk:

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Pretty Things for a Planner Girl

Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.
Charles F. Kettering

iHanna's Pretty New Things on iHanna's desk

Like any girl I like pretty things, especially from the office supply store. Or even better: random little shops where you can find cute stuff for your desk, planner or journaling. Like cute pens with patterns or rolls of adorable washi tape… I want to share some random cute stuff today, because I think that readers of this blog are a bit like me: collector of pretty things, especially pretty office supply store things. Am I right? If yes, keep reading…

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Finding the Invincible-blogger-self

Blogging for over ten years, one of my biggest identities as a grown up has been that I am a blogger, the creator of this blog, writing up and sharing new inspiration every week… But if we lose that ability to write and share blog posts – how do we go about finding the Invincible-blogger-self again?

I am the Invincible blogger. I might not post very often right now, but I am not giving up this thing called blogging. Not this year, and not next year either. Or at least that is my plan, so I keep coming back – and then loosing it. My voice. The momentum. The identity as a blogger. Maybe I’m not the only one?

One of my biggest identities as a grown up has been that I am a blogger on this journey to share stuff with you guys for the long haul. But this year I haven’t as much, and that makes me sad and a bit stressed out. I feel like I have, in a way, lost my identity as a blogger. But is not true, because as long as I am alive and trying, this will be alive too.

Finding the Invincible-blogger-self - again, a blog post by @ihanna

To find my way back though, I have been reading other’s advice on how to become a more consistent blogger, even though I know the trick already…

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A Book about Designing Patterns by Lotta Kühlhorn

One of my favorite book designers in Sweden is called Lotta Kühlhorn. A couple of years ago she made hew own book (Designing Patterns by Lotta Kühlhorn) about her process in making repeating patterns and of course it was on my wish list ASAP! It’s now also available in English, so I thought a review would be a good start to introduce you to her and this very pretty book. Then you can decide if it’s something you want to check out.

I got mine as a Christmas present under the tree… just sayin.

Designing patterns for Decoration, Fashion and Graphics by Lotta Kühlhorn I wanted this book a lot because it is simply a very beautifully designed book, from the cover to the layout of the pages. You know I’m a sucker for well designed books.

It is a coffee table sized beauty, that you can look through many times. It is filled with beautiful photos and full pages covered in Kühlhorn’s graphic patterns, a color feast for the eye. And the story she tells is just as fascinating, as she has a very special way of looking at patterns as information…

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Everyday is a good day when you paint | Inspiration en masse

I love to inspire you guys to be more creative in your everyday life, but since I haven’t had the energy or time to write posts myself lately (and now I’ve got a horrible cold this week) I will post this for your weekend: inspiration em masse from others. I hope it will get you inspired to create something, anything… Just remember: everyday is a good day when you paint!

Inspiration Mosaic October 2015 collected by @ihanna

Inspiration Mosaic October 2015 collected by iHanna on Flickr.
Click the image to view individual creators, or if you want this as a big image here.

In this post I am sharing a whole long list of YouTube videos and links to articles, blog posts and fun stuff (free printable, peanut generator, Bob Ross quotes etc) that I think you should check out when you have the time. En masse actually means in a group; all together.

So all together now: Let’s get inspired!

There is something beautiful about a blank canvas, the nothingness of the beginning that is so simple and breathtakingly pure. It’s the paint that changes its meaning and the hand that creates the story. Every piece begins the same, but in the end they are all uniquely different.
Piper Payne

The link list doesn’t have a painting theme as a whole but at the end there is painting happiness ideas that just makes me smile and dance a bit… I hope you will too. Let me know in the comments below.

Inspiration en masse

iHanna Loves this Dad draws on lunch bags – Bryan Dunn has been drawing on his son’s lunch bags every day for two years… and it’s amazing art!

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You are a DIY Postcard Rockstar – share your link here

Hi Dear DIY Postcard Rockstar!
This is the post where those of you that joined iHanna’s DIY Postcard Swap Fall 2015 can share your blog post links (the swap is now closed but if you missed it join my newsletter and I’ll let you know when the next one is). Loads of inspiration from all participants, can and will be found, below.

DIY Postcard Quote by iHanna - share your postcards with us!

And even if you’re not a Postcard Rockstar yet, I think you will find that you will want to become one after clicking through these links…

Edit: The link-up is now closed, thanks everywone who played!

Join iHanna's Newsletter to be notified about the DIY Postcard Swap Spring 2016 We’re not aiming for artistic perfection, but for the joy of creating, sharing and sending out art into the world! You become a DIY Postcard Rockstar by daring to create from your heart and sending your art into the word. It takes courage, especially if you’re very new to this world – but the benefits are huge. If you have been hesitating, I hope you’ll dare to jump in next time.

I always enjoy receiving my postcards no matter what. I also love reading about other’s creative process, and find inspiration on what I want to try next. Reading about what you do tickles me to sit at my desk and do more art! So a big thank you to all of you who step out of your comfort zone and share here. You rock!

Below you’ll find some additional resources, fit for both participants and others who enjoy mail art and mixed media stuff!

DIY Postcard Swap Resources

Let me know where you find your inspiration for postcards?! I’d love to know.

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My Colorful Collage Postcards

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
Leo Buscaglia

DIY Postcard: Smile by iHanna

Every bit of paper on these collage postcards makes me happy. There are patterns, imagery, tape, stickers and words mixed together into the best kind of DIY Postcards (if you ask me).

DIY Postcard: Mushrooms by iHanna

The way I made these postcards is similar to how I do many of my art journal cut and paste pages, as show in my part of 21 secrets this fall. In that class I demonstrate what kind of papers I collect, how I plan the collage and how I finish it. But back to postcards.

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How to Finish a Postcard using a Sewing Machine

There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.
Edward de Bono

I’m back with some thoughts on how to finish a postcard using a sewing machine, and a reminder that this is the last week to sign up for the DIY Postcard Swap fall 2015.

I talked about creating postcards in a series in my post last week, but I’m not sure I got out what I wanted to say. Man do I feel rusty as a blogger. But I’ll give it another try today and show more of the process and the collaged postcards. In the previous post I showed you that the spring postcards were all colorful and fun collages created on a sturdy background. But the backside was still plain and bare, and that’s not how I roll…

My pile of postcards before sewing the backsides on - an inspirational blog post by iHanna

So what I wanted to write about today is my preferred method of finishing a postcard, using a sewing machine to attach the backside and close the edges. I just love that look, even though my sewing machine didn’t do the job perfectly this time.

DIY Postcards - finish and adding a backside - an inspirational blog post by iHanna

I have been using a sewing machine on papers for many years, and it is always a thrill to get back into it. If you haven’t tried it, you must. You won’t break your sewing machine, just be sure to change the needle when you go back to fabric, and you’ll be fine. I promise!

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Creating a Series of Postcards

When I am creating postcards I usually start by cutting ten or more pieces of paper to size. Cereal boxes are perfect material to use as a canvas for what ever medium I am choosing to work with, be it paint, collage or anything else. But you can also get thicker cardstock from the craft store, or order it online. There are even pre-printed watercolor pads for in postcard size if that’s something you want to try out. I love Creating a Series of Postcards that are similar yet different…

DIY Postcards - Creating in Series

Having them all cut to size, about 10×15 cm (3.9×5.9″) or a tiny bit bigger, laying in a pile on my desk gives me the kick i need to start working on them, one by one or all together at once. I love having these small canvases waiting for me – even though I have also started on a bigger sheet and cut out postcards after decorating the paper (also a fun way to make your postcards).

I get excited for the possibility that each surface provides me with, but one of my favorite things about creating +10 postcards in my DIY Swap each year is the fact that I can explore something new each time. Something new – but within one theme or a technique that I want to explore further. That makes my postcards into a series of artworks, similar but not exactly the same. Each one unique and equally hard to part with when it’s time to send them out into the world.

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