How to Make a Little Art Everyday

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Dear Wonderful, Creative You:

I’d like to share a personal story about why I make a little art everyday. My parents both grew up poor. Their families were raised in the depression and so they learned to be resourceful and practical. They both scraped together what they could, and worked from a young age to contribute to the family. Neither went to college. While they both found success in adulthood, neither was exposed to, or ever developed an appreciation for art.

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When I came along, with all my various creative passions, they thought my creativity was “nice,” but they never got excited about my art.

Several years ago I was shocked to learn that my mom had an idea for a mystery novel, and had written a bit of it, but then let it go. I asked if she thought she would write it now that she had time in retirement. She said, “Maybe someday.” She died a year later.

“Maybe someday” is like saying “maybe never.”

What Gets in the Way of Making Art Everyday?

  • We make everything else a higher priority: the kids’ activities, our spouse’s needs, the laundry, dusting; the list goes on.
  • The negative self-talk of the inner critic. We tell ourselves art supplies are too expensive, and taking time to make art is “indulgent,” that we are not good enough and are wasting our time.
  • We live in a culture that believes only “gifted” people should dance, sing, and draw. This belief feeds all the negative self-talk noted above. 

You feel that urge to create. It comes from somewhere. It’s because it’s instinctual. Humans are creative, it’s how we evolved and survived. Stop questioning that, and we can start figuring out how to fit in some time to make art.

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There is Time to Make a Little Art Everyday

One of the biggest secrets to making time for art is to start small. Thinking about the big, grand projects is overwhelming, and if you are not used to writing or making art for an hour a day, that will feel overwhelming at first. That’s why I love inchies and small art. They are tiny, bite sized invitations to be creative. In 5 minutes, you can draw or paint quite a bit on a one or two inch shape.

The truth is, there is always time for a little art. A little writing. A little dancing. A little painting. If you make it a practice and a priority to create a little everyday, it becomes a habit. Once you develop an art making habit, you’ll find you start to need it, and things slowly begin to shift around so that you have more time to do it. You have time for what you prioritize.

Once you begin making art more consistently, you’ll wonder what you did with your time before. As a bonus, when we “indulge” in art making, we tend to feel better, and those around us can see the positive impact in our mood. In other words, your family may thank you for making time for art!

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Join The Inchie Challenge!

We’ve been making teeny, tiny art all week, and I’ve heard from so many of you who feel like they are just getting started, so I’ve extended The Inchie Challenge through all of July!  Working small has been so helpful to entice me to make a little art everyday, and I think has helped me to avoid many of the pitfalls that entrap us into thinking our art is not a priority.

What to Do with Your Inchie Art:

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3 Fun Inchie Art Projects:

1. Use an inchie to inspire a journal spread: Paste it down and create around it.

2. Make a grid of inchies in your journal or on crisp paper and frame it.

3. Give inchies with messages of love and gratitude to someone who needs it.

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Learn to use the natural properties of high flow acrylic paint to create in your journal.

Take Your Art to the Next Level with Fluid Art

I want to help you form a habit of art making everyday. If you are pushing your creative boundaries with  The Inchie Challenge, the next step is to learn more about fluid paints, working in stages, and making lots of art in Fluid Art. Students love how addictive it is to watch these paints flow, and then decorate them with fun and simple patterns using gel pens. You can make your own galactic and underwater scenes with no prior art training. Want to learn more? Click here to see what Fluid Art can do for your daily art practice. You can also  click here to take a peek at our 42-page class PDF

Let’s open up some more space for your art.

Small art, fluid art, inchie art, tiny art

Creatively Yours,

Amy

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18 Comments

  1. Rosie Schneider

    Thanks for today’s post Amy. Here I was sitting and think of all the excuses under the sun why I should not make time to do some Art. You are a true inspiration and I really enjoy receiving your emails all the way in Cornwall, England. I have heard of two deaths over the last couple of days, both young men who worked really hard and didn’t take enough time to relax and “feed their souls”! I was saddened to hear about your mum. You have inspired me to make time for even half an hour a day to play with my art materials and see what gets uncovered. Love Rosie xx

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Rosie:

      Wow – how lovely it is to get your heartfelt note all the way from Cornwall, England! Your words are so sweet and I’m thrilled that I could be a part of inspiring you to do some art each day. I’m sorry to hear about those young men. I’m glad that you can channel these experiences to help inspire. It’s an honor to be welcomed into your life, so thank YOU!

      Creatively Yours,
      Amy

      Reply
  2. Anuradha Kurup

    Thank you. Yes once I started art a bit at a time I wonder what I did with my time before. It colours my life with the hues of my spirit.
    Inchies are challenging and doable at the same time. At its easiest a few doodles. At its toughest… Infinite creativity

    We all need a little dance a little art a little music.. #livelifenow

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Anuradha:

      Thanks so much for dropping in and taking the time to comment! I love your quote too! Thanks for bringing a little inspiration into MY life too.

      Creatively Yours,

      Amy

      Reply
  3. Jo

    “Those around us can see a difference in our mood” yes❣ When I was raising my sons as a single mom and my mood got somewhat ahhh let’s see…moody. My sons would say, “isn’t there a dance class you could go to?”
    They knew. Now, today, I know too. Thanks for your gentle reminder💕

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Jo:

      HA! I love that story. Thanks so much for sharing it. Keep dancing and creating Jo, and thanks so much for being a part of this community!

      xo Amy

      Reply
  4. Gerdien de Kruyf

    Hi Amy,
    Though I’ve done arty things throughout my 50-something years, you have inspired me right from scratch! I want to share two things: first, that something seemed so familiar as if meeting an “old friend” when I listened to one of your podcasts while browsing ,which on further exploring was confirmed in that Isabel Allende has a large spot on our bookshelves – she is the only author who’s books I read and re-read. The second is that I was looking for ways to help ‘forgotten’ people (the elderly, berieved,chronically challenged) restore their innate creativity, without them having to spend a fortune and thus making it accessible.
    You have helped me on that course of simplicity – Thank you!
    Gerdien

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Gerdien:

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, I too have a true love for Isabel Allende, clearly. It’s wonderful to have you here as a part of our community. Cheers,

      Amy

      Reply
  5. Leisanne Sylvester-Jarvis

    Hi Amy,
    Thank you for such a thoughtful post.
    For me, taking time to create is my way of slowing down and focusing inward. It reminds me to breathe and to reset.
    I like to make mini paintings too. I paint small inchies and 1 x 3 inch paintings that I then press between pieces of glass and solder. Right now I’m trying to make 100 by Christmas to use as ornaments.

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Leisanne: First of all, what a beautiful name. Secondly, thank you so much for taking the time to read and make such a lovely comment. I agree about the inward focus and your paintings sound lovely!

      XO Amy

      Reply
  6. Anja Meurer

    My parents both lost their home and much more during WW II. I have often been told that my father was so talented at playing the accordion but i never heard him play. And i never will. Suppressed creativity seems to be a family issue and it feels so good to finally break free from this.
    Making art is so much more than just a hobby. It’s vital. And it’s a cure. I wish you many fulfilling moments of creating, Amy 🙂

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Anja:

      I can always depend on you to make a very soulful comment that brings the whole conversation to a very real and important place. Thank you for brining that to this community. I’m so sorry you will never hear your dad play. And I am thrilled that you are breaking this cycle, and yes, art is vital, and necessary. I too wish you much fulfillment in art and otherwise.

      XO Amy

      Reply
  7. Claudia Rose MacLeod

    ❤️ This is such a beautiful site Amy! I can’t wait to order my class. You have been keeping me going for days of inspiration, throughbthe ups and downs of my disability. My vision and ablity to talk are in and out a lot, and quite rocky at times, but I’ve come this far and I’m not going to let it stop me. I may have bad days, or moments, but I’m here and I am getting better all the time. My dad and mom died all too soon, and I think of all the things they wanted to do as well. My dad was an artist at heart and my mom definitely has had a colourful spirit. I think they both would have loved these classes. I know I am thrilled and can’t wait to start. I am so greatful to have found your wonderful site, and works! Cheers! -Claudette

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Claudia!

      Thank you so much for telling me your story and how art is helping you. I would LOVE to have you in one of our classes and wish you much creative joy!

      XO Amy

      Reply
  8. Paras

    Thanks Amy,
    I appreciate your advices. It’s encouraging.
    All the best.
    Paras

    Reply
    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Paras:
      I’m so happy I could inspire. Thanks for being here! XO Amy

      Reply

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