Thursday, April 17, 2014

Creativity, Part 2: Drawing, Painting, Typography

Part 2 of my Creativity posts is by my cousin-in-law, and dear friend, Anna Peterson.  She is a wonderful artist (as you will see), and a very insightful, gentle and beautiful person.  Here is what she had to say about the creative process:
A Self-Portrait of Anna
I am so happy to be sharing some of my thoughts today on creativity and inspiration! These are things that make my heart sing and energize my soul.  There just isn’t anything quite like that moment when I watch a likeness become realized on my canvas, or when I discover a new favorite artist.  Despite the thrill and beauty of creating art, over time I have experienced my fair share of anxiety, fear, and worry over how to begin a new project or series.  There are a few things I’ve figured out that have helped me, and I want to share them with you! These are some ways that help me to engender creativity and productivity.

“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” –Arthur Ashe

That blank, white canvas is sometimes terrifying. Remembering this quote helps me to calm down and to maintain perspective. It causes me to look around me, to think about the real talents or ideas or resources that I have to draw from when beginning a project, and to have proper expectations for the timetable of its completion, and the quality of the results.

Claim a space for your creativity.

As a mother, I often have to drop what I’m doing at a moments notice, not knowing when I’ll have another minute to start again. Having my own space means I can leave things out so I can jump right in whenever I can. Having to clean off the kitchen table every afternoon before dinner takes precious time away and means I have to pull it all out again.  Make your creativity a priority by giving yourself the room, convenience and resources you need.

Research, research, research.

Looking at lots of images or reading different styles of writing helps you to figure out what your tastes are, and gives you direction for your work. It also helps you to refine your taste as you pick up on things and learn from other creatives around you. Just as scientists shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel, learn what’s out there so you can contribute to the world. If you’re in a rut, pull up Pinterest, your favorite blog, or work from a creative person you look up to. I personally love Pinterest because it allows me to organize my inspirations.

Create now, curate later.

Try to not worry about something being perfect. Just start with something that makes you excited, and see what comes out at the end. To help you start, set a goal for a certain amount of time you’ll spend each day or a target number of completed projects you want to do. After you’ve made a bunch of things, look them over and exercise quality control then.  You can’t always be on your A game. Throw out the things that you aren’t proud of and admire the wonderful work you’ve made and want to frame. I often have to do this with my work. It is so much better to have made something and not have it turn out than to worry and worry and never begin.
I hope some of these things I’ve learned over the years can help you on your creative journey! Remember, the people you admire have worked hard to get where they are, and if you research, produce lots of work, and maintain perspective, you will be amazed at the beautiful things that come out of you!
To see what I’m up to and what I’m working on, follow me here on Instagram:


  1. Wonderful. I need to take the "make a space for your creativity" bit seriously. Your artwork is beautiful. I'll definitely keep an eye out for your upcoming creations!

  2. Thanks for these insightful thoughts and beautiful pieces of art!