10+ Savvy Ideas for Creating on a Budget

It’s easy to get distracted by all the amazing art supplies lining the walls of every craft store.

It’s easy to believe that without investing in all of those materials, you will never create great art.

I, for one, have been lured by the colorful, textured and liquid delights lining the shelves of art supply stores.  Self-control is not easy when I walk into a Dick Blick!

But that’s a belief I want to change. Creativity is not about having fancy paper, or expensive paint, or the latest marker on the market. Creativity is about making something, simply because you feel drawn to do so. Tweet That! And the beauty of creating mixed-media is that anything has the potential to become a creative supply.

Don’t believe me?

Well, sit down, pour yourself  a cup of tea - I suggest Chai, and let's dive into my tips for creating on a budget.

Look at what you already have.

Our homes are filled with creative opportunities.

Substrates: Junk mail and cardboard packaging are great surfaces for your art, as are catalog pages (I love using Anthropologie catalogs in my art). If you’re an art journaler, you could bind your own books using all of these bits and pieces, or recycle an old book or diary. One of my favorite handmade journals is created with old book covers. 

Collage fodder: Collect things from your everyday life. Used stamps, receipts, gift wrap, old greeting cards, leaflets, postcards, images or words snipped from packaging, junk mail, and magazines… the list goes on!  Just about everything is fair game in my book.  If I "think" I might use it, I save it!

Printmaking: Look at the different tools that surround you that could create interesting patterns in your work. Cardboard tubes and old bottle lids are great for making circles.  I use an old metal ring that used to live on an overhead light in my studio.  It kept falling on me while I was working and it finally dawned on me that it would be perfect for creating arty circles.

Mesh bags (like the kind you get fruit it) can be used as stencils, as can pretty much anything with holes in. Look at anything that could leave interesting impressions.

Textiles: Different kinds of yarn, string and twine can be great additions to your mixed media projects. You can also chop up old pieces of clothing (those that are beyond repair) for fabric. I removed the trim from an old t-shirt and stitched it onto my art apron.  Take apart broken pieces of costume jewelry and use them as embellishments. Seriously, your imagination is your only limit when it comes to your creative tools! Tweet That!

Adhesives: Duct tape, electrical tape, fabric tape, masking tape, painter’s tape… it all has a different look, and could all be incorporated into your mixed-media projects.

Office supplies: Don't even get me started on file folders!  I love me some of those!!!  Mark-making tools can be found on every desk across the country - ballpoint pens, a Number 2 pencil, and colored highlighters. Ring reinforcers, neon post-its, sticker labels, newsprint paper, paper clips and staples could also be used in your art.

Seriously, your imagination is your only limit when it comes to your creative tools!
— Roben-Marie

Make your own.

Spray ink: Grab yourself an empty spray bottle and dilute ink, liquid watercolor, or craft paint. You can then use these to create fun, colorful backgrounds to work on.

Stamps: Carve intricate designs into wood, erasers and rubber, or snip shapes from fun foam to create simple handmade stamps. These work really well when dipped into craft paint - but don’t forget to wash them afterwards!

Stencils: Grab a craft knife and cut designs into pieces of card stock or acetate, then spray using your DIY spray inks.

Embellishments: Doodle onto scraps of interesting paper, or print using your handmade stamps, then cut around your shapes, these can then be added to your mixed media creations as embellishments.

Shop smart.

  • Shop at big chain stores, and rummage through the discount bins.

  • Coupons are your friend.

  • Explore thrift stores and flea markets.

  • Look online - you can often find heavy discounts on craft supplies there.

  • If you really want to try a fancy new supply, buy one or two of your favorite colors to experiment with first. You can always add to the collection later.

I want you to see that if you look at your surroundings with new eyes, you will find inspiration. You will find supplies to use in your artwork, and you will unleash your creativity, without bankrupting yourself in the process.

I’ve also found that using free or cheap supplies gives you permission to play. You stop worrying about “wasting” your nice paper, or paints, or markers.

Instead the focus is on the process, and that’s how it should be.

What are your favorite ways to create on a budget?  What is your favorite find or tip or trick? I would love to hear your ideas!

Have a blessed day!

Roben-Marie

Mini Inspiration Journal Video Tutorial

Sherry Canino

I love to create mini journals that I can carry around in my purse to jot a note down in or fill with inspiration. If you saw the size of my purse you would know that the journal has to be quite small for it to fit! LOL!

When I was going through the beautiful Art Pops™ Cards by Roben-Marie I knew that the size would be perfect for something like this.

Design Team member Sherry Canino shares her gorgeous mini Inspiration journal with us for her design team project. Fill your own custom journal full of beautiful images to motivate and inspire you. She uses stamps from Paperbag Studios and Art Pops™ to create this gorgeous piece of Art! @robenmarie @sherrycanino #robenmarie #robenmariedesignteam #paperbagstudios #artpops #mixedmedia #diy

The colors and creative elements in the Wait for Me Art Pops™ Collection was already an inspiration to me, so I felt it quite fitting to create a little inspiration journal with these products.

Inspiration is all around

I believe that Inspiration is all around us, we only need to open up our eyes to see it, our minds to know it and our hearts to receive it. Tweet that!



Going Deeper...

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can't live without in your studio and why?

 My most important tool would be my imagination - if that's considered a tool. When you use your imagination to come up with a project or idea its where the art starts. I can't live without my music in my studio, it's honestly where I draw a lot of my inspiration from and it definitely enhances the mood of the project I'm working on.

Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?

I think I go through phases where I have a favorite product or element. Right now I'm crushing on watercolors, I haven't worked with them much so they are still a bit of a mystery to me and that really draws me in and excites me. I enjoy working with new elements that I don't already know what the end result will be.


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3 Instagram Apps For IOS That Will Change How You Share

Hey, Instagram!  Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

What time is best for ME to share?

Which photos are best to share?

What are my analytics?


Instagram is my favorite social media platform because it is visually beautiful, uncluttered and easy to use!  With the addition of Instagram Stories, it is even sweeter!

The techie side of me is always on the look out for new software and I love taking them for a spin.  I found three Instagram apps that I want to share with you: Prime for Instagram, Lisa Photo Assist for Instagram and Analytics for InstagramNote: as of publishing date, these apps are only available in IOS iPhone.  
 

3 Instagram Apps That Will Change How You Share by Roben-Marie Smith @robenmarie Prime for Instagram,  Lisa Photo Assist for Instagram, Analytics for Instagram #instagram #apps #robenmarie


Prime for Instagram

So, what's your Instagram Prime time? Is it Friday at 10AM or Wednesday at 3AM?

How nice would it be to actually KNOW what time is the best time for you to post to Instagram?

Prime for Instagram's powerful algorithm processes hundreds of thousands of data points to determine when your followers are online, their activity, their relation to you, and, ultimately, when you should be posting to Instagram.

Prime generates a personalized Prime time for you for each day of the week. It also processes alternative Prime times, so that you can post multiple times a day or whenever best suits you while still getting the most hits on your posts.

Plus, Prime allows you to schedule as many posts as you want (including the option to add a caption to them). You can also track the success of all of your past posts.*

Have an Android?  Take a look at The Preview App.


Lisa Photo Assist for Instagram

Can't you pick the best photo for Instagram? Lisa checks thousands  of features while calculating on your behalf.  Lisa also recommends hashtags tailored to the content of your photos and that's a huge time-saver!

Select the photos that you have no idea which to post. Hit the button! Let Lisa analyze each and every detail so you can KNOW which one to post!**


Analytics for Instagram

Analytics for Instagram give you what you need for your accounts, including:

- You can monitor followers, followings, and posts

- Get daily updates and with the Pro account, get updates every hour

- You can watch multiple accounts, even if they're not your own accounts

 

What are your favorite Instagram apps and why?  I would love to hear about them!

Have a blessed day!
 

Roben-Marie

 

*Information from the Prime for Instagram website.
**Information from the Lisa Photo Assist website.

Chance - An Art Journal Page Video Tutorial

Karen Gaunt

I'm a great believer in not reinventing the wheel when it comes to using techniques in my Art Journal. I love to revisit older ideas and re-purpose them, use them in new ways.

Embossing powder is definitley one of those old school techniques and I love how it looks on my journal page against the colors on my background. 

Design Team member Karen Gaunt shares her "Chance" Journal page with us. Be inspired by her techniques as she uses stamps from Paperbag Studios and Art Pops™ to create this gorgeous piece of Art! @robenmarie @karengaunt #robenmarie #robenmariedesignteam #paperbagstudios #artpops #mixedmedia #diy

I was excited to play with the distressed alphabet for this journal page. The large, chunky and irregular letters worked so well across the center of the spread.

Taking chances with art

I don't often have a deep and meaningful aspect of my Art Journal but when I do, it has a special place in my heart. I picked the word "Chance" for my journal to reflect all of the chances and risks that I am taking in my life just now. Taking chances is what helps us to grow as Artists and humans. Tweet That!



Going Deeper...

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can't live without in your studio and why?

I't so hard to narrow down what would be the "one" thing isn't it? If I had to push myself I would probably say that my Gelli Plate is my most important tool that I have. I nearly all of my pages there is an element of it in there somewhere. 

The one thing I could not live without though has got to be my book text and old books. I can't seem to make anything these days without adding in a found poem!

Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?

I'm not sure if you would class it as an "element" of Art or not but the thing I love to work with the most is my own imagination! I look at the shelves of art journals that I have completed and I am always blown away by how many different ideas I have been able to come up with and still continue to imagine. It so important that we look at all of the wonderful things we've already made and achieved. I don't think that we take the time to do this enough, we're always too busy looking ahead at the next "new" thing.


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The 100 Day Project Week Fourteen + 2



@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.

Day 97

Visit the iCreate Collective Blog today to read the article that goes along with this art piece.


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Week Fourteen + 2

Day 97

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Altered Art Tag Tutorial

Kristi Nazzaro

I enjoy altering shipping tags and knew that for this first project I wanted to stay within my comfort zone. I love adding stamps to my projects and the Art Fusion set was the perfect compliment to this piece.

I enjoy adding various textures to my pieces while building up my layers. Adding torn and frayed fabric to my art symbolizes for me the threads and pieces of our lives and how we move forward in life with these experiences - whether good, bad or indifferent and how they stay with us. 

Design Team member Kristi Nazzaro shares her process for making her gorgeous altered art tag with us for her design team project. Be inspired as she uses stamps from Paperbag Studios and Art Pops™ to create this gorgeous piece of Art! @robenmarie @kristinazzaro #robenmarie #robenmariedesignteam #paperbagstudios #artpops #mixedmedia #diy

I began this tag with a base layer of gesso to prep the surface. This hides the bland color of the tag and begins the transformation. I then chose acrylic paint as the background to establish the color scheme. The process of transforming a basic, plain shipping tag into something bold and colorful is truly magic to me. I find repurposing everyday objects as a theme in the art I create. 

I added acrylic paint to my stamps and stamped using various masking techniques. The first impression is always bold in color but I love seeing the varying degrees of color each generation of stamping provides.

I have been experimenting with stamping on fabric and love the uncertainty that comes along with that technique. Allowing myself to try new techniques and having no expectation of results has been a huge area of growth for me as an artist. I found that in the past, I strive for perfection in my art had really smothered my creative process. Letting go of preconceived notions and unrealistic expectations has allowed me to enjoy all of the aspects of creating - the good, the bad, the ugly and the sheer joy.

Art is my avenue of connection.

Often art connects me with other people, however, I find that art also allows me to connect to myself on an entirely different level. I see where that connection has me growing in all the right places.



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15 list prompts for your art journal

I am a big list maker.

I am also a big journaler.

So what do you get when you cross lists and journals? A very happy Roben-Marie, that’s what.

Aside from keeping your life organized, lists are a great thing to add to your art journal spreads. Tweet It!

15 List Prompts for Your Art Journal by Roben-Marie Smith @robenmarie and a Free download of 21 Jump Starts for Daily Journaling #artjournaling #journaling

Many of my students struggle to bring the journaling into their art journals - the actual writing part, I mean. And one of the tips I give them is to incorporate lists onto their pages.

These don’t have to be shopping lists, or to do lists, or lists that you would actually use. They could be lists of your favorite things, or lists of your dreams and thoughts. The idea is just that you take the pressure off yourself, and write down a few words.

These words could be covered up completely by paint or collage. They could form part of one of your journal layers. They could even become the focal point of your page. That’s up to you.

To help overcome a journaling block, I encourage you to start with a list!
— Roben-Marie

To help you overcome your journaling blocks, I encourage you to dip into my list of 15 list prompts for your art journal. Tweet That! 

  1. Your favorite ways to start your day.

  2. Meaningful quotes.

  3. Books that have changed your life.

  4. The best things you’ve ever tasted.

  5. Most adventurous moments.

  6. People you couldn’t live without.

  7. Favorite art supplies.

  8. Significant dates from your life.

  9. Your ultimate playlist.

  10. Things you’d like to do this summer.

  11. Movies you watch over and over.

  12. Favorite colors.

  13. Places you’d like to visit.

  14. Acts of kindness you intend to carry out.

  15. Things you’re beyond grateful for.

Tips:

  • Use list prompts as a way to practice your hand lettering. Tweet That!

  • Use alphabet stamps on found papers and collage onto your spread.

  • Cut letters or words from magazines, junk mail and book paper to create your list.

Have fun with these ideas!!

Have a creative day!

Roben-Marie


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The 100 Day Project Week Thirteen Projects

@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.


@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.


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Week Thirteen

Day 88

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On overcoming obstacles (and getting what you ask for)

I've just returned from an amazing mission trip to Honduras.

Mission work is something I've wanted to do for many years; back in 2007 I went on my first to Panama, and then I went to El Salvador. I've been to Romania and Honduras, too. This was my fifth mission trip, and my second to Honduras.

I really liked the people of Honduras and the teams that I worked with. It was a great experience that I want to continue.  Lord willing, I'll be returning each summer with the same team.

Facing the fear

Each time I go on a mission trip, I know that it's not going to be easy, but I'm always ready and prepared.

Years ago, I would get very excited about the idea of going on a mission trip, but I wasn’t sure I could actually do it. I felt that I might not be able to handle the conditions and maybe I was just a little bit too used to my comforts.

In fact, the first one I went on, I felt like I had made a big mistake. But I just spent some time praying about it, and realized that I needed to change my focus. My focus needed to be on serving the people of that country and not on myself.

I prayed about it, and it got better, and I really enjoyed it. Obviously, because I've returned several times since.

Ignoring the obstacles

I’ve always dealt with anxiety, but after my first couple of mission trips, I also started dealing with depression. I knew I wasn’t in a state to take another mission trip any time soon, and it was several years before I would make the trip to Romania.

I reached a point where I decided that I couldn’t let my illness stop me. I missed going and serving others, so I decided to take back control. I went with a girlfriend, and had an amazing time. It was hard, but I did it, and I learned a lot.

Each time I have the opportunity to take one of these trips, I'm excited, but I do still feel a little anxiety building up. I'm always given the answer in my prayers - He gives me the yes, and I do fine.

That's not to say that it's a piece of cake, because it's not, but He has gotten me through it each time.

Honduras 2017

A shared prayer

The start of the mobile clinic - Day 1.

On the very first day in the field, we held a mobile clinic and built a couple of homes. I was heading up the pharmacy, and although I had everything ready, it wasn't the best of circumstances. It never is.

It was really hot that day, we did have some cover, and we did have a breeze, but there were so many people, and lots and lots of children, and lots of dogs for some reason. These dogs did not want to move, and we just had to work around them. I prayed that I would stay calm in that heat, with that noise, knowing that I would be tired and thirsty.

At one point things got really crazy. I was moving towards one of the tables, and I knocked this baby over. He was on the ground, under my feet and I didn't know he was there. He was really small, and I knocked him over. He hit his head on the table leg and started crying. I was horrified, but I stayed calm. I picked him up and I just tried to comfort him. His mom was very understanding. I mean, it was just one of those things, and he was fine.

This is me, talking with with the doctor.  She took this photo to send capture the moment.  That's me...calm, relaxed and having fun!

This is me, talking with with the doctor.  She took this photo to send capture the moment.  That's me...calm, relaxed and having fun!

Sometime later, towards the end of the day, 20 people showed up all at once, and while I was rushing around, I stepped on one of the dogs (one of those dogs that wouldn’t move). He bit my foot. Thankfully, I had on a good pair of thick sneakers and it did not break the skin, but it scared me.

When the doctor and I were finished and waiting for the bus, she told me, "You know, I prayed that you would be calm today and that you would just be the "duck," and the water would roll off your back." I told her about my own prayer for the day - that I would be calm, and not get upset or anxious. Our shared prayer was clearly answered.                                          

We laughed about it, but God really answered that prayer for me on that day. It could've been a situation filled with anxiety. You've got lots of people needing you, and asking you questions, and needing your help, and it's loud, and it's hot, and you're thirsty. You have to go to the bathroom, but there is no bathroom. It had all the triggers that cause anxiety in me, but I was calm and really enjoyed the day.

A shared song

One Sunday, something really magical happened. We worshiped with a congregation in a place called Los Pinos. The congregation there sang in Spanish, and then we sang in English, and then at times we would all sing together in our own native language. It was so beautiful to hear the song being sung in both languages at the same time. There were no boundaries and it was a blessing to everyone.

19399102_10212836052407088_5329232432055119984_n.jpg

A shared story

One of the young ladies I was working with that first day shared that not only was this her first time on a mission trip, but also her first time on an airplane, so she had been dealing with some serious anxiety.

When I heard this, I thought, "I'm meant to be here, and I'm meant to connect with her."

I felt drawn to let her know that I also deal with these feelings, and we got to talking. She seemed to feel a little bit better talking to me and realizing that a lot of the things that she was feeling were not unusual and that we were going to get through the trip, and we were going to enjoy it, and it was all going to be fine.

An answered prayer

At our last clinic, we had to limit the time to 4 hours - we had until 1 pm, but unbeknownst to us, the entire community knew we were coming.

When the bus started going up the hill, we passed hundreds of people lined up to see us. We were worried. When we were about to start, I remember saying “We've got to pray about this, and ask for specifically what we need and what we want."

We prayed that we would be able to see all of the people that truly needed to see the doctor and get medicine and that we could do it all in the time that we had. We prayed that each one of those people coming in would be treated as if they were the most important person that we were seeing that day. We saw a lot of really sick kids that day.

It wasn’t the safest area, so one of our guys stood outside, monitoring the line and keeping everyone calm. Just before 1 pm, he came in and said: “We’re done.” I couldn’t believe it - we’d managed to see all those people in such a short amount of time.

This was a prime example of not being generic in your prayer, but just being very specific in saying, "Here's what I need. Here's what we need, Lord," and He really gave it to us, exactly how we prayed.                                          

I've got so many more stories of things that happened that week, and I really saw God work in me, keeping me calm. It was amazing, and it was really a faith builder.

I wanted to share this with you, because even with the houses that were built, women and children cared for and food delivered, so many other things happened, and it was just amazing to see God work in the lives of everyone who went. It did my heart good to see so many young people, and hear them share what it meant for them, and how they were impacted by the experience.

Lord willing, I'll return in 2018, and bring more stories home with me of God's amazing work. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes, it meant a lot to me. I hope that this was an encouragement to you as well!

Have a blessed day!

Roben-Marie

Handmade Grungy Art Journal Tutorial

Anna Friesen

I love making my own journals, and I wanted the gorgeous Art Pops™ cards and colorful yarn to be the stars. I chose to bind this book with Coptic stitching, which I am familiar with, and I love the effect it gives to the spine.

Design Team member Anna Friesen shares her gorgeous handmade grungy journal us for her design team project. Be inspired as she uses stamps from Paperbag Studios and Art Pops™ to create this gorgeous piece of Art! @robenmarie @annafriesen #robenmarie #robenmariedesignteam #paperbagstudios #artpops #mixedmedia #diy

When I was thinking coptic stitches, I felt the perfect marriage would be black paper, the cards and bright embroidery thread stitching. Add in the cheerful coordinating yarns, and you get lots of eye-candy for those dreary days we all have! :)

I knew that I am not a perfectionist when it comes to binding, as I'm not that great at it, so I knew I would tie in the messy feel with messy stitching and torn edges all around. 

And who doesn't like a little bit of interactive pages as well? So, each of the five signatures in this handmade journal also has two pockets for the lovely Art Pops™ cards I made into tags.

For more detailed instructions of the Coptic stitching, check out Gisele Grenier's video HERE.



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The 100 Day Project Week Twelve

@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.


@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.

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My five tips to creating art, consistently

My five tips to creating art, consistently @robenmarie #creative #acreativelife

•How do you develop a recognizable style?

•How do you create so much art and so many classes?

•How do you come up with all your ideas?

These are the three questions I get asked most frequently, both online, and when I meet my students in person. While there is no “short cut system” when it comes to creativity, there is one concept that has helped me seriously grow as an artist…

Consistency.

Showing up to create on a regular basis is what has helped me build my creative muscle over the years. It’s what has helped me develop a signature style that people recognize in an instant. It’s what has helped me develop a whole roster of creative workshops.

No matter what you want to believe, there is no such thing as a naturally prolific artist. It’s all about sitting down and doing the work - then coming back and doing the work again. The potential to be an artist is there in each of us - consistent creation is what helps unleash all that possibility. Tweet That!

The potential to be an artist is there in each of us - consistent creation is what helps unleash all that possibility.
— Roben-Marie Smith

Whenever I say something along these lines, I feel like people are poised to push back by saying things like “I just can’t," or “it’s so easy for you.” Neither of those things is true.

I have trained myself to be consistent in my creative process, and with these techniques, you can too:

 1 - Declare creativity a priority.

Decide that you want to train your creative brain to be present, and practice the skills you’ve always wanted to develop.

This sounds silly, but try saying it out loud. Tell yourself that creativity is a gift you’re going to give yourself.

2 - Make space.

I mean this both literally and metaphorically.

Start by making sure you have an easily accessible space for creative play. Not everyone is blessed enough to have a home studio, but you could take over the kitchen table or a corner of the den.  I started out that way.  I remember once, I was working on a large scrapbooking project and had papers all over the dining room table and floor.  A friend of my husband's came by for a visit, took a look around and asked if we were redecorating.  

Next, I want you to think about how you can make time to create regularly. I try to work on my art every day, but that’s because I’m a full-time artist. This sometimes looks like a quick background on a journal page, or tag art for a friend - it does not have to be something big and time-consuming.  You could start with something more manageable - like two hours each Sunday, or the 45 minutes you spend waiting for your kid to get out of practice.

Identify the time slots you want to set aside to nurture your creativity, and schedule them into your calendar. This will make your plan feel real.

3 - Pick your project.

When you start becoming really intentional about your creative process, I’d recommend choosing one area of focus. Tweet That!  This could be anything from art journaling to embroidery, to watercolor abstracts. Just pick a path and follow it. If you get distracted by a new technique or idea along the way, follow that muse. It happens to me all the time.  Sometimes, I have to reign myself in because I am a person who "chases shiny objects" all the way down the rabbit hole.  Just go with it and see what happens.

For a supercharged combo of motivation and accountability, consider taking part in an online challenge. Take a look at my 100 Days of Anthropologie Stories Project for inspiration.

4 - Stay inspired.

Think of your art as something that uses up inspiration. In order to keep creating, you need to keep refueling that source.

Instagram and Pinterest are both gold mines of ideas, but I’d encourage you to take it offline.

Think of your art as something that uses up inspiration. In order to keep creating, you need to keep refueling that source.
— Roben-Marie Smith

Go to a flower show, or a gallery, or a museum. Visit new landscapes. Try new foods. Read books. Soak in something new, then channel that back into your creative practice.  I touch on this subject in more detail in a past article, 3 Tips for Overcoming a Creative Block.

5 - Surround yourself with the right people.

As creatives, most of us tend to be quite sensitive. That means we need to spend time with those who support, and encourage, and uplift us. I’ve mentioned the importance of consistency in creativity before, and that remains true. 

Surrounding yourself with fellow creatives will nudge you to keep going with your art. Sharing ideas, and staying accountable, are hugely motivating - I’ve seen it first hand in Claim Your Happy, my free creative community. Find out more HERE if you want in on the action.

The lesson here is that you can decide to create consistently, but you’re the only one who can make it happen.

 What do you say? Are you ready to choose creativity?

Sending love your way today!

Roben-Marie


Download a FREE Copy of Five Tips to Creating Art Consistently and a Bonus Worksheet!
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The 100 Day Project Week Eleven

@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.


@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.
@robenmarie #the100dayproject and #100daysofanthropologiestories where I will take something from an Anthropologie catalog, create a mixed media piece around it and write a little story to go with it. @anthropologie Follow @robenmarie on Instagram for art and stories each day.

Want Access....

...to My FREE Resource Library?

Get access to my library of resources, including checklists, artist papers, tips, sources and more!

All FREE - all for you - want in?

Created With Love in ConvertKit