Episode 469 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — Mindfulness, slowing down, finding your voice, and a book review
The book reviewed in this episode is Draw Yourself Calm: Draw Slow, Stress Less by Amy Maricle.
Finding the balance, the perfect pitch quality of “loose” in your own work isn’t easy, and it isn’t a one-and-done process. Fine-tuning our creative practice and being open to the need to evaluate, course correct, and make micro-adjustments are often necessary steps on our creative journey. We stop, pull out the map (which might be blank save for the trail of breadcrumbs that mark the steps we’ve taken so far), check the angle of the setting sun or the light coming over the mountains, and, if necessary, adjust our direction just a bit.
On the heels of the “loose” shows (467 and 468), I have continued to look reflectively at what I’m doing now, what I was doing at various mile markers along the way, and even what I was doing a few weeks and months ago. In some ways, I have moved to a different middle ground, and I’m continuing to watch how things unfold while also trying to not overthink it, to stay out of my way as much as possible. Through it all, I am mindful of my own voice and aesthetic and trying to stay true to that as I continue to document and record life in an illustrated journal that incorporates a bit of all the things I enjoy, markmaking, mindfulness, gratitude, portrait drawing, sketchnoting, journaling, and more. The #illustrateyourweek weekly prompts continue to be a wonderful part of my practice and a good set of guideposts each week for helping me “fill in” pages.
Inktoportraits in October (or Inktober)
October is coming, and I’ll be doing Inktoportaits again. This will be year 3, and I am looking forward to it. I did see a birds prompt set that was really tempting, but the Inktoportaits series have been ones I really enjoyed. I think I’ll open myself up this year to a few dogs (drawing dogs continues to be something I am fitting into spaces in my journal in the months since our dog passed)…. and so maybe some birds. I’ll be talking more about October drawing next time.
Inchie Challenge in September
For September, I encourage you to sign up for Amy Miracle’s Inchie Challenge. It runs September 6-16 (2022). You’ll need 2×2 (or similar) squares and a pen.
Review of Draw Yourself Calm
In this episode, I talk about Amy Maricle’s new book: Draw Yourself Calm: Draw Slow, Stress Less. I really enjoyed this book, and I think you will, too. At the core of the book are 25 beautiful patterns that Amy walks you through how to draw. All the while, she encourages you to branch out and explore these patterns in your own way.
Amy’s foundations of slow drawing and mindfulness are ones that have resonance for me (and the underpinnings of the CMP). I think you will find her approach inviting, soothing, and very accessible. Working on small, individual cut pieces of paper (similar to how people who Zentangle use tiles), she outlines and invites you to embark on a soothing creative practice, one that encourages you to slow down. Her pattern work stems from close observation of patterns in nature, and the organic feel to her art is wonderful.
Thank you to Amy for providing a copy of this book for review.
- Episode 385: Mindfulness By Any Other Name
- Episode 369: Filling Space
- Episode 454: Five Minutes
- Episode 367: Illustrated Journal
Books and Audiobooks Mentioned
- Every Note Played (Lisa Genova)
- Still Alice (Lisa Genova)
- Ordinary Grace (William Krueger)
- This Tender Land (William Krueger)
- Free Food for Millionaires (Min Jin Lee – September group read)
- Sea of Tranquility (Emily St. John Mandel – hopefully the October group read)
- Anxious People (Frederik Backman – listening to this now)
- Oathbringer (Brander Sanderson – current read)
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- Snow Globe (457)
- Gratitude Cup (455)
- Five Minutes (454)
- Summer Series (445)
- When You Want to Quit (440)
- Panning for Gold (290)
- Red Sun (257)
- Here (319)
- Find a Penny (298)
- Teapots in a Tree (383)
- Slice of Life Contour (356)
- Olive Jars (436)
- Love What You Do (244)
- Illustrated Journal (367)
- The Moments within the Moments (197)
- Scroll Your Feed (362)
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Listen to Episode 469
(This episode is available in many of your favorite podcast players.)
- Moleskine Art Sketchbook (what I WAS using for regular drawing and my illustrated journal)
- Moleskine Art Sketchbook (the REALLY big one — A3 (11.75″ x 16.5″ — I am now using this for my illustrated journal)
- Preppy Fountains Pen 02 – this is one of the best starter/inexpensive fountain pens you can buy!
- Preppy Fountain Pens 03 (multi set)
- Lamy Safari – always a good choice
- TWSBI Eco – my favorite fountain pen in the starter range (although I love my TWSBI Iris Vac even more)
- Dip Pen holder I’ve been using (with maru nibs)
- PILOT Iroshizuku Bottled Fountain Pen Ink (multiple color options)
- Diamine Fountain Pen Ink (multiple)
- Noodler’s Fountain Pen Ink (multiple)
- Monteverde Fountain Pen Ink (multiple)
- Colorverse Fountain Pen Ink (multiple)
- Platinum Carbon Black ink (what’s in my fountain pen)
- Sktchy app for inspiration photos
- Micron 08 (larger nib good for thicker lines or filling in small-medium spaces)
- Micron 01 (favorite for drawing)
- Micron Sampler
- Notes on large format sketchbooks
- ROYGBIV supplies: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet
- Uni-Gel Alpha Shaker pencil (mine is listed as “slightly firm” – but it’s super cushy; they do come in other softness/hardness ratings. I really do love this shaker!)
- Pentel Hi-Polymer Block Eraser, Large, White (these things disappear like socks; you can never have too many white erasers lying around)
- Buy me a Coffee with Ko-Fi
- Start your shopping at Amazon here
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- Creativity Matters at YouTube (please follow!)
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- oamyoamy at Instagram
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- Try Creative Bug with the Living a More Creative Life: 30 Ways in 30 Days class
- Guitar music: Nicholai Heidlas on SoundCloud