2016: The Year of Creative YES

This is Your Year of Creative YES.

Yes, your year.

Yes is such a powerful word. Artists and thinkers of all kinds have written about the power of YES, from SARK, to business leaders, to ABC executive producer and writer, Shonda Rhimes in her book, Year of Yes. When we decide to open ourselves to new opportunities and the idea that we CAN, things happen.

I want 2016 to be that for you. [bctt tweet=”What if you said YES to your creative life? #couragetocreate”]

YES to painting.

YES to creative writing.

YES to expressive dancing.

YES to making that short film with your iPhone.

YES to doodling.

YES to sewing.

YES to creating with abandon.

YES to showing up in your creative life regardless of the outcome.

What Gets in the Way of Saying YES to Your Art

I know you that as you read this, your mind is filling up with your to do list, and all the other “reasons” you don’t have time for art. I’m not going to mince words here though, not because I want to be unkind or harsh, but because I want to help, and sometimes we all need a little reality check. (Trust me, I include myself in this statement!)  The new year is about making a fresh start and new intentions, and I want to make sure I help you be really honest with yourself. So here’s what I want you to hear, take into your heart, and really consider:

The only thing that’s getting in the way of you making art is you.

It’s not your laundry,

Or your lack of supplies, (talk about making something from nothing)

Or your demanding schedule,

Or your shaky hands, (check this out)

Or your (so-called) lack of talent.

It’s your fear and your excuses.

It’s you allowing everything else to have more importance in your life than spending even 5 minutes doing something creative.

When you are 85, and you look back on your life and what you did with the time you had, how will you feel about not taking that dance class, and never writing that novel or finishing that painting? You didn’t have time to dance, to write, or to paint because you were cleaning, snooping on your ex on Facebook, or organizing your sock drawer. Will you be satisfied with what you made a priority? What you chose to do by default? Will you be happy that you let fear of not being “good enough” get in your way of creating?

What if you stopped putting off your creative dreams, large and small?

[bctt tweet=”The only thing that’s getting in the way of you making art is you.”]

Clearing Creative Obstacles and Making Creative Opportunities

If there were no obstacles, what would you be saying YES to? Don’t just sit there and read this, my friend. Let’s get out a paper and pen and write down a list. What are the things you wish you could do in your creative life? If you were to be totally bold and daring in 2016, what would you create? Take a chance, write it down.

Share your list here in the comments, and your comment will give you a chance to win a beautiful art journal.  Let me know how I can help you reach these goals. What supports do you need? What inspiration is lacking? What sort of organizational help do you need?

Comment for a chance to win! 

If you share your list of creative aspirations for 2016 in the comments, I will enter you in a random drawing to win this gorgeous tan-paged art journal. Comment by Friday, January 8th at 9 am EST for a chance to win. *See official rules below.

1/8/16:

***And the randomly drawn winner is: Shelley Gregg! Congratulations Shelley!***

How We Can Make Your Creative Dreams a Reality in 2016

This year I will be rolling out a lot of content aimed at helping you kickstart your art, overcome your artistic blocks, and realize your creative dreams. There will be an email course on living your creative life, more free, live art workshops, and lots of inspiring links to ideas and helpful resources on art journaling.

You can always tap into my free art tutorials, affordable e-book on all the basics of starting an art journal, and my video course on intuitive art journaling. My private Facebook group, Creative Self-Care is a well-spring of creative inspiration and support. Join me on Instagram @amymaricle to see what I’m working on and my process. Be sure to get on the mailing list to get weekly posts, resources, and special inspiring messages and tools.

If you are feeling that hunger for your art, but need more hands-on support and guidance to get started or to overcome your creative blocks, I’m now offering Creative Development services, click the link to learn more, or contact me and let me know how you are hoping I might help.

[bctt tweet=”This is your year of creative ‘YES!’ #couragetocreate”]

OFFICIAL RULES: Comment by Friday Jan. 8, 9 am EST for your chance to win. No purchase necessary. You must be at least 18 to enter. You can live anywhere in the world, be male or female, and be any shape, size, gender, color, religion, etc. Void where prohibited. One winner will be randomly chosen from all the commenters, and receive a Strathmore Toned Tan, 128-page art journal, worth $10. The winner will be contacted individually via e-mail and their name will be shared on the blog.

*A couple of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you choose to click and purchase something, your price remains the same, but I get a small commission for referring you. Thanks for supporting great resources and information on keeping your art alive!

54 Comments

  1. Tayla

    Such a great message. No one ever gets in our way but ourselves. Even as I read this post, I started thinking about all the work I’ve taken on this year and how “I MAY NEVER GET A CHANCE TO PAINT AGAIN.” Obviously, that’s not true – since I’d surely perish if I stopped painting – but it goes to show that it is so easy to get caught up in the day to day! Thank you for the reminder, and thank you in advance for all the reminders that are sure to come this month. 🙂

    My list for 2016 is short and simple:
    – Paint everyday
    – Try to work through my fear of not being “good enough”
    – Share my artwork with the world every chance I get

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Oh my goodness, Tayla, Tayla, Tayla. I LOVE your comment, and I LOVE your list. And before anyone gets overwhelmed reading your list, I want to remind us all that “paint everyday” could mean as little as a few minutes! I think you’ve seen on Instagram (@amymaricle) how much I’ve been LOVING liquid acrylic paint. They definitely lend themselves to short little bursts of art making. Sometimes I make little puddles, scrape or blow them around with a straw, and then walk away and let them dry.

      I think your goal of sharing your artwork is amazing too. In my experience, (and I bet yours) it really does help quiet the inner critic because people are so warm and supportive if you seek out the right forums.

      Many thanks to YOU for all you add here!
      Creatively Yours,
      Amy

      Reply
  2. Tayla

    Yes! The only way I can manage painting everyday is to keep it in short bursts as well. Some days I have more time, but mostly, I’m working with 10 minutes or so.

    Reply
  3. Joy

    This was one of my MAJOR goals for this year even before reading this!
    Mostly, I just want to create something AUTHENTIC. Something ME. Something REAL. I want to learn and do and play and experiment. And just DO it. I’ve already signed up for a few free online courses and projects (money is a bit tight), and am loving it. My floors may be stickier because chores are being put off, but overall, already, I’m happier.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      JOY!

      I just love having your voice here on the blog. You are speaking my language. YES to real. Yes to You. Yes to authentic. Let it flow. Keep us posted on what you are creating please!

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  4. Debbie Bruce

    I have been following your emails for about 6 weeks now and to be honest the say “the teacher appears when the student is ready” applies to myself in bucket loads. I have had a little time to myself lately and reading your posts have given me much to ponder.
    I have made a very big decision (For me anyway) to make a New Years Resolution for the first time in my life. This year is the year 2016 of TIME FOR ME YEAR.
    You know I have never felt as free as I do today just giving myself the permission to take a few minutes a day for me!!!!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Debbie!

      Aw! Your words mean so much to me, THANK YOU. I love your resolution – and here’s the thing, to make sure it sticks, you need some sort of commitment – whether its a structure, a calendar, a set of goals broken into steps, a commitment to a certain amount of art time/ you time each day or week. An art buddy is also helpful, as are classes and workshops. What will it be for you? I am loving your plan!

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
      • Shelley

        Oh, did I need this! Amy’s article says it all. Yes, this is MY year of NO MORE EXCUSES, creative or otherwise 🙂

        I can relate to so much of what all of you said, and I am wondering if any of you are beginners and want to “buddy up” as Amy suggests, for encouragement, accountability, and maybe even a Play date on Google hangout or Skype. I am so glad I found this site, and Amy Maricle, who has been a true miracle to me!

        Reply
        • Amy Johnson Maricle

          HI Shelley:

          Oh it is so gratifying to hear that I am getting to the heart of what you need! You may want to throw out the buddying up idea on Creative Self-Care.

          Creatively Yours,
          Amy

          Reply
          • Shelley

            I can’t believe I won the journal. As Amy said, it seems like the “universe is lining up for me” and I believe it. At this point, I couldn’t ignore the signs even if I wanted to (LOL), so I’m in for the duration.

            Hope to continue chatting with you all and sharing our challenges and encouragement.

  5. Aileen

    Woohoo! Love the idea of the Year of the creative Yes!
    Sounds great to me-no more ‘creative’ excuses!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Aileen:

      “Creative excuses” – that would be a great title. Can I use it in the future and credit your wittiness? I think we all have a lot of creative excuses, don’t we? One of my favorites is that I don’t have “time.” What’s happening in your art life, RIGHT NOW? However small…
      🙂 Amy

      Reply
  6. Bonnie Davis

    Yes!!???????? 2016, May it be a CREATIVE YEAR..THANKS FOR ENCOURAGING.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Bonnie!

      Thank YOU for being here! What is on your creative “list” for this year? What are you hoping for?

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  7. Cheryl

    Bravo for this post!!! I so agree with you!!!

    I need more me time, and I made the decision to act upon this need:

    I want to make art – it may not be what people consider as art, but it’s mine and therefore it’s art 🙂

    I will not judge my work – and I will share it on my blog 🙂

    I will colour outside the lines and be joyous about it 🙂

    I will live in colour 🙂 xx

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Cheryl:

      I love your last statement – LIVE IN COLOR! Actually, I love all your statements! Yes to not judging. Yes to showing up. Yes to allowing the art that wants to emerge to do so.

      Cheers!

      Amy

      Reply
  8. Pamela Robillard

    2016 is the year I make time for art journaling Bible study. I started last year and it fell by the wayside. My goal is to immerse myself in God’s word and art journal about what the Lord is showing me.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Pamela:

      What a wonderful goal! Do you have a concrete plan to make this a habit? Will you connect it to a standing habit, like getting up a bit earlier and journaling while drinking your coffee in the morning for instance? Or will you commit to a certain amount of time per week? Or a certain project or verse each month? Please share your ideas!
      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
      • Pamela Robillard

        Hello Amy,

        I already have a standing habit each morning. Pastor Mike has said to hook your devotions to something you do every day and for me that’s breakfast. However, there is a problem with getting up earlier and disturbing others. Since Monday is my day off, that’ll be the day. I simply won’t turn my phone on until I’m done. Once I get into a rhythm I should be able to include other days of the week as well. I started with downloading a free study of Ephesians from http://www.stonesoupforfive.com last year so I will review and continue from where I left off. I came to Christ late in life (53) and have been searching since for something simple that consistently works for me and the way my brain works (or doesn’t work) at the age of (60). Not all of us have the brain power to do inductive Bible study. Who knows where God will take this project, but I’m all in wherever it goes.

        Pam R.

        Reply
        • Amy Johnson Maricle

          Pam – This is the way to do it! Take the advice and make it fit YOUR life.

          Creatively Yours
          Amy

          Reply
  9. Peni Jo

    If there were no obstacles, (i.e. procrastination), I’d be pumping out these great scenes on my 3rd novel! Besides procrastination, I have a short attention span and I get so impatient with myself! Without those obstacles, I’d gleefully churn out these wonderful scenes, chapter by chapter, til I’ve finished this incredible story of my own ancestors!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Peni!

      Welcome to Mindful Art Studio! I wonder if you could ask Procrastination, ShortAttentionSpan, and Impatience to have a seat in the other room while you work for a short burst – even 15 minutes? Or, would it help to have a written dialogue with the 3 of them to see what they need from you? What are the strategies that you need? A writing buddy with whom you can share accountability goals or writing dates? What will help?

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
      • Pamela Robillard

        It is truly amazing what you can do in just 15 minutes. Freewriting is usually only done for 5 minutes or so and you can write tone in that amount of time.

        Pam R.

        Reply
        • Amy Johnson Maricle

          Pam – I love this technique too! I also really enjoy free writing and then underlining words and phrases that stand out. Next I cut out the words and arrange them into a poem. I’m usually way more insightful than I think!
          Cheers,
          Amy

          Reply
          • Pamela Robillard

            Oooo! I hadn’t thought of doing that. It’s a great idea I can use. Thanks!

            Pam R.

  10. Lory Osborn

    Love this!!! Just what I need to get started for 2016! My List: work with my sketches every day – get more of my art framed and out there in the public – keep producing, keep growing – take classes in new art forms – teach art classes again!

    Thanks so much!!!!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Lory –

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for your wonderful ideas. I wonder if you wouldn’t mind saying how it helps you to get your art work out there? I think some folks really fear it and their inner critic gets in the way. How do you deal with that?

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  11. Joanne

    Bonjour! Your post is helping me I needed just those good words from you to get started again doing what is a need for me. I dont feel well when I dont create with my hands. (I hope my english is not to bad).
    So from today,
    1. When a idea pops up in my head. If I can, I go in my atelier and do my projet immediately.
    2. If I am not at home I will write my ideas
    3. I always will carry a little notebook everywhere with me
    4. No idea his bad, I need art for myself and not to please others
    5. Once à week I will visite une exposition or see a movie or anything that
    stimulate my imagination.

    So, je ne me sensure plus du tout and I love what I make, I dont nedd l’opinion des autres.

    Thank you Amy for helping me get back to what I need so much.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Joanne:

      What a wonderful set of goals! They are simple and time efficient. What a great way to weave creativity into your life. I’d love to see some of your sketches in your carry on journal if you ever wish to share on Creative Self-Care.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  12. Jo

    Yes to creativity. I suffered trauma rendering me homeless. At 67 this is devastating and becoming my teacher. How? By making art on the floor next to my bed. My goal. To publish a art and healing visual journal. Thank you for this enCOURAGEment????

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Jo –

      I am thankful for YOUR courage. I’m so curious too about the art you are co-creating with nature. Please stay well and warm.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
      • Jo

        I am grateful to have a shelter bed so I can maintain art practice. I love leaves and feathers. Create mixed media art incorporating those elements and others. I do have a blog if you would like the address.
        Thanks for support.

        Reply
        • Amy Johnson Maricle

          HI Jo:

          I too am so grateful that you at a minimum have a place to lay your head at night. I hope that your housing situation improves soon.

          Thank you so much for mentioning your lovely blog, http://jojacksonstudio.com, I love the vibrant colors, mixed media, and powerful messages. I hope everyone hops over to check you out.

          What’s your latest project?
          Cheers,
          Amy

          Reply
          • Jo

            Thank you and for my blog shout out. Your feedback is appreciated.
            ArtLifting contacted me. They have an online shop representing homeless artists. My work is featured.
            Had to overcome a lot of feelings to accept being in the public eye that way. What lessons????????

          • Amy Johnson Maricle

            Hey Jo – This is thrilling! I’m so happy you took the leap! Congratulations and I’m so tickled for you.

            Cheers,
            Amy

  13. Natalia

    My list of creative aspirations for 2016:

    – Write a Book.
    – Photography.
    – Create Mandalas.

    Thank you so much!

    Reply
  14. Cindy

    I have lots of blocks and excuses that are preventing me from making making art , Health issues, perfectionism, too much clutter and stuff around and the need to purge! Expectations form my local art community of what “art” looks like…As a professional , “traditional” landscape artist, I was only making art when paintings were due to a gallery or for a show. They were pushed into 2 week bursts here and there a couple of times a year crammed in between dealing with more “important” and essential things like health issues, housework, animal care, worry about my family, etc. After 10 years of this I am basically dealing with life burnout …and trying to recover my health by letting go of a lot of the things that are no longer serving me….

    1. like maybe dropping out of the “traditional” art world of galleries and competitions for a time and instead…

    2. just focusing on “playing” in my studio with whatever strikes my fancy – whether it is just doing simple crafts, or stringing beads, making multi media pieces , art and nature journaling, meditative and intuitive art, etc.

    3. doing something creative with my hands every day – it is my soul work, the very essence of who I am and it is not important if it is good, or I can sell it, or how many likes it gets on Facebook…it just needs to feed me in some little way everyday.

    4. producing not to meet anyone else’s criteria or timeline or style or rules, etc.

    But, I know I am going to need help, because I have been intensely achievement oriented my whole life and really I work best when I have goals… I also seem to have little self discipline to force myself into the studio and prioritize that above other things that seem more important … I feel like I need some accountability ….it would also help to have a group of fellow artists to encourage each other and share the work with, maybe a Facebook group of fellow creators… I have thought about a blog as a good accountability system – a way to share what I have done and keep track of my progress – does this make sense. Just creating the blog itself would be creative. Sometimes all I want to do creatively is to take beautiful photos. I do have a strong need for others to experience my work, but the energy level and time required to intensely market art is out of sync with my goals of health recovery and a year of playful creative exploration.

    Any thoughts you have on my ideas/ or help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. BTW, I am enjoying your website, posts and emails.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Cindy!

      Oh my goodness, you have given us SO MUCH to be inspired by. I love your focus on PLAYFUL art in 2016. It’s something we all need so much. I so appreciate your need to have your work viewed – I obviously share that. (I never got over show and tell, really.)

      The idea of “doing something creative with my hands everyday” seems to open things up nicely – that could mean painting, crocheting, doodling, cooking, making a useful spreadsheet. I really like opening up my mind about ALL of the things that I am doing to LIVE my artist existence. It really validates my creative being and opens up new possibilities creatively.

      I think you might have a lot to gain and offer to our private FB group, Creative Self-Care

      I hope to hear lots more from you!

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  15. Cheryl Marois

    My creative goals this year:
    1) Create 12 patches for a crazy quilt
    2) Create a Knitted Sampler
    3) Alter 12 fashion dolls
    4) Complete at least six building projects

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Cheryl:

      WOW! You have big goals in your Year of Creative YES. I can’t wait to see some of it!

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  16. Julia

    I read everyones comments and they seem to have such passion and focus and wonderful ideas. I have these too but they are whizzing at a hundred miles an hour around my mind. Then I have the dreaded thoughts…why even start you will never create as beautiful as others. My goal for 2016 will be….get over my self. Create for me..from MY heart…for my peace and joy. They don’t need to be seen by others and if they are not masterpieces..they are MINE. I have to stop comparing and see the beauty (even if not evident to others) in my creations. And understand and appreciate why I am doing them. Thank you for guidance and inspiration.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Julia!

      THANK YOU for being the voice here of so many people reading who feel exactly the same way. That took courage and I really appreciate it. Getting over ourselves is such a wonderful task. When we get out of the way, and serve as a channel for the art and simply let it emerge, regardless of the outcome, it’s very empowering. Suddenly you are not responsible for the product, but rather for simply showing up in your art. That’s where I find peace and joy in my art, and many of my clients do too!

      Thank you for giving voice to this, it is so needed.
      Cheers!
      Amy

      Reply
  17. Shannon

    My creative goal is to BE creative everyday in some way. I started an art journal and when there isn’t enough time for that I’m drawing in calendar squares.

    Reply
  18. Kamania

    I know 2016 will be my year! I refuse to be afraid of what the world throws at me and I will put my best self forward!
    My 2016 creative/self goals:
    1: Paint! Paint any day with any colour, paint a lot or a little as long as I get the colours of my heart onto the canvas!

    2: Use art to express my emotions in a healthy way! To use art to express my feelings rather than holding in any emotions, whether it be disrespectful or elation! – I will paint it for myself.

    3: Learn how to use textures to paint to add more dimension and elements to my artwork. (This includes using cool tools like spoons!)

    Reply
  19. Amy

    I just started following you, and am blown away by the amount of inspiring information you provide! I look forward to seeing what you have in store for 2016!

    Like many people, I thought I didn’t have a creative bone in my body. My creative transformation began with a Zentangle class in 2012, then continued into 2013, when I decided to learn metalsmithing and metal clay at a local arts center. I was laid off from my television job in 2014, and had a dark period when I honestly couldn’t bring myself to do much except doodle or color mandalas. Eventually, I started playing around with watercolors, and combining them with doodles. I’m working again, in a contract position, but dream of being creative on a larger level.

    My 2016 creative goals are:
    ~Sell a piece of jewelry to someone I don’t know
    ~Create something every day (even if it’s just a doodle in my journal or on a sticky note)
    ~Move more and practice self-care

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Amy!

      [Great name by the way. 😉 ]

      I am always inspired by people who did not think they were creative and then find the courage to explore all the creativity stored within themselves! What an exciting set of goals. Please keep us posted!

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  20. Michelle

    I only found your website a few weeks ago and have been enjoying the thoughts it provokes! My goals for creative expression this year are:

    Remember that art is a verb, not a noun, and create something that cements this concept and I can place where I see it constantly.

    To bring as much knowledge, supplies, tutorials, books, etc. as I can fit in my luggage when I visit a high school in Uganda in 5 weeks.

    To remember creativity is the action of creation and I create constantly! Whether it be creating a mess, dinner, or formal piece, I can always do it with intent, fun, sorrow, or whatever needs expression!

    Someone above posted about doing 12 of __________
    This is genius! It makes my vague goals specific:
    12 essays/book chapters
    12 Zentangles
    12 small canvases in acrylic focused on a single word
    12 words to support my year’s word: Savor
    12 meals that are expressions of love for my spouse, as visually beautiful as they are tasty
    12 coloring pages colored with my niece or other young person
    12 origami pieces memorized
    12 unique music albums I might not usually consider

    12 of _____________ in a year…. seems so doable! I can do 12 in a year, I can do 1 a month. Why do I always indulge the compulsion to do it all NOW! Faster! Harder! Better! I’m going to savor projects one at a time, and know that I am always creating and can intentionally express myself in those creations!

    Thank you for the prompt question; it created the answer in me I couldn’t find because I didn’t ask the right question.

    Marvelous!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Michelle:

      I can’t wait to hear about your adventures – creative and otherwise, in Uganda!

      I love you folks with the goals of 12 – that’s so practical. Isn’t it crazy how we get caught up in doing IT ALL RIGHT NOW? I have to remind myself to SLOW DOWN all the time. Like right now. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

      YES. Let’s create, as a verb. And be creative people who live and breathe it across the globe.
      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  21. Rina Mooij

    Finally some answer from me????
    For me is 2016 a YES for a creative YES…
    I can’t amagine that there is no more art in my live….almost the best that could happen ..????
    Love

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Rina:

      Welcome to Mindful Art Studio! How very fun to have your voice on here. I’m so thrilled with your creative zest! What’s happening on your art table right now?

      Cheers,
      Amy

      Reply
  22. Janet

    Tayla, what you write is especially poinient to me. I am 62 and have procrastinated and made excuses for NOT making art since graduating art school in 1985! I think I’ve used every excuse on your list. You really nailed it. But now I’ve been given a real “deadline”. I have Stage 4 Metatastic Cancer. Docs think I have maybe one, maybe a”few” years. So this is it for me. My 2016 has GOT to be my year of living creatively. My plan is to make a contract with myself to just go to my tiny studio space every 2 hours, every day and play with my art toys. I think being messy with my art journal is really going to break me loose! Thanks for all your fearless creative input!

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Janet:

      Goodness! Thank you so, so much for putting this all into perspective for us, Janet. Your post and your plan is brave and wonderful. Please keep us updated. If you haven’t found it already, you might enjoy this post, http://mindfulartstudio.com/just-keep-creating/ I talk about moving past barriers, and have a link to an inspiring TED talk from artist Janet Echelman, who was rejected from 7 art schools and went on to be a world-renown artist. I hope you too find inspiration with her.

      Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply

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