HOW TO BE MORE CREATIVE IN 2017

Inspiration

New year, new you right? At this point we’re all focusing on the resolutions we made last weekend, promising ourselves that this year would be our year and that the next 365 days will bring greater satisfaction and contentment than any other year has ever seen before!

…Perhaps a wee bit dramatic but, then again, our new year’s resolutions typically are, right?

This year add another, and totally obtainable, resolution to your list by resolving to be more creative! While this can easily be reached in a number of different ways, check out my suggestions below if you are seeking a little inspiration:

Get inspired! One of the most important steps in being creative is being cognizant of where your inspiration comes from. Whether it’s books, television, poetry, film, spending time with friends and family or whathaveyou, embrace that which inspires you!

For example, I gifted myself some inspiration post-Christmas with this fabulous t-shirt:

 

Invest in new supplies. Everyone likes new toys. By treating yourself to some new art supplies or kitchen appliances, you’re much more likely to get into your workspace and actually create.

 

Consider a daily calendar. Last year I made use of the “Craft-a-Day 2016 Day-to-Day Calendar: 366 Simple Handmade Projects” desk calendar, which featured a new craft every day. While I never actually completed the crafts presented in the calendar, having it sit on my desk was a great reminder to be creative on a daily basis, and provided me with some fun ideas for future art pieces and crafts.

Try new things. If you like to cook, try new recipes. If you’re an artist, try new media. If you’re all out of inspiration, step outside of your comfort zone and make it a priority to experience new things. Go see a play, experience nature in a new way, try taking a creative course or learn a new skill.

Keep an idea book. Before there was Pinterest, many creatives would (and many still do) keep idea books. Invest in a sketchbook or notebook in which you can write, draw, paint, collage and paste all of your musings and inspirations. It’s so easy to get caught up in your mind and allow the intimidation of a blank page hold you back. Break that barrier by letting loose in your idea book!

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So while I hope you are able to stick to all of your 2017 resolutions, I especially hope that you find this year to be one filled with copious amounts of inspiration and creativity. Cheers to perpetual creation!

Feature photo retrieved from https://unsplash.com/search/creativity?photo=bYOi200uQ6w
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Society6 Products! (15 Percent Off + Free Shipping)

Festivity

A new year means a new look and new adventures for this blog! I am very, very excited to announce that you can now support this site and your love for constant creation and inspiration with products from Society6!

You can now buy tote bags…

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Notebooks…

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Art prints…

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Notecards…

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Pillows…

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And a t-shirt to support your favorite inspiration blog!

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To help me celebrate this big announcement, click the link below and receive 15 percent off of EVERYTHING + FREE SHIPPING!

https://society6.com/emsmith21?promo=F6N8YJNDQR6Q

*Sale ends Jan. 8 at midnight, Pacific Time.*

Also, be sure to stay tuned for more products!

Celebrating the Magic of Winter and Wishing for a White Christmas

Art

Today marks the first official day of winter, also known as Winter Solstice.

A season that tends to get a bad wrap due to the raised energy bills and driving inconveniences, it’s undeniable that winter also possesses the ability to be the most beautiful time of year. (It also happens to be one of my favorite seasons!)

This year in Central New York, it’s looking like we may actually, finally get a white Christmas! While the Christmases of my childhood were always white, the last few years have left us New Yorkers in a green-spell, dooming us with rain and warm weather on Christmas day.

Sending out some white-Christmas vibes, I’m sharing with you a recent colored pencil drawing of mine, inspired by Disney Frozen protagonist Elsa, the Snow Queen.

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Inspiration:

It’s no secret that I love Frozen and have mentioned before my fascination with winter-themed magic.

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This drawing was fun to do from the fan art perspective as the imagery was not taken directly from the film. Rather, I modeled the drawing after a real-life image of an arm and added my own Frozen-inspired touches.

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Although New York doesn’t have its own personal winter sorceress to ensure we have snow this Christmas, I’m hoping the wishes and prayers of its residents is enough to allow this holiday to live up to its fullest and most magically picturesque potential!

P.S. Only 3 days until Christmas!

Christmas Checklist: Finding Your Holiday Spirit

Festivity, Inspiration

It’s that time of year again! The most wonderful time of the year as a matter of fact, and everyone is abuzz with excitement and anticipation as Christmas day looms closer.

Though our culture tends to associate this season with gift-giving, most of us know that there is so much more to this holiday and that it is the traditions that make it special. While the Christmas season technically kicked off two weeks ago, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the activities and traditions that make this the most wonderful time of the year.

But perhaps you’re still in need of a little holiday spirit? Not a problem. Check out my Christmas to-do list for inspiration:

  1. Decorate the house and transform your home into a holiday wonderland.

2. Trim the tree, because it wouldn’t be Christmas without a grand and shining tree sparkling through your window.

🌲❄️☃️

A post shared by Emilee Smith (@emileejaysmith) on

3. Make a festive wreath to hang on your front door.

4. Bake an abundance of Christmas cookies (because calories don’t count on the holidays).

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5. Watch a Christmas classic, such as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” 

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6. Check out a Christmas show or performance, such as the “Nutcracker Ballet.”

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7. Attend a Christmas-craft class or do one on your own!

8. Read a winter or holiday-themed book.

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9. Sit back and enjoy the snow.

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10. Spend time with the ones you love most.

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It’s the little things in life that we remember, and the little things that count most. Be sure to make this holiday season count!

P.S. Only 18 days until Christmas!

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A Fantastic Beast Menagerie: Magical Creature Artwork of 2016

Art, Inspiration, Pop Culture

Fantastic Beasts comes out this week and I couldn’t be more excited! Needless to say, we Potter fans are eager to explore New York City through J.K. Rowling’s wizarding eye.

For me, however, the most exciting part of this film will be the creation of more fantastic beasts. Or, more accurately, the materialization of the beasts mentioned in the Harry Potter novels but left out of the coinciding films. I.e. The niffler:

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After all, anyone who reads this site on a regular basis knows that a solid portion of posts are centered around my own artwork, especially that which features fantastic beasts inspired by the Harry Potter films.

Today, as I share my excitement for this film’s release, I’m adding to this fantastic beast collection, sharing my most recent drawing of a thestral.

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Created in pen and ink, I knew that the black and white color scheme paired with the sketchbook quality would give the drawing the eery yet beautiful vibe that those of us who know what a thestral is have come to associate with them.

With Beasts getting ready to hit theaters this weekend, embrace your own excitement and check out photos of my other Fantastic Beast pieces below!

Dragon: Colored Pencil and Watercolor

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Hippogriff: Cotton and Acrylic Paint

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Phoenix: Colored Pencil

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Mandrake: Colored Pencil and Ink

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Getting Excited for “Beauty and the Beast”

Art, Inspiration, Pop Culture

This past week, the internet has been losing its mind and weeping tears of joy over the recently-released, exclusive photographs of the upcoming live-action film Beauty and the Beast.

Released by Entertainment Weekly, the photographs capture the magic that the mass audience has hoped and dreamed would encapsulate this visual retelling of the much-loved, classic story.

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Needless to say, Disney lovers are much anticipating the March 17 release date, unable to contain their enthusiasm as they count down the days.

Unsurprising perhaps to most of my readers, I happen to be among this crowd and plan on seeing the film in theater.To showcase my excitement, I’m sharing my most recent hand embroidery, an original piece inspired by this upcoming film.

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Featuring the enchanted rose that is often used to symbolize the Beauty and the Beast story, the embroidery is constructed of running stitches, back stitches and french knots, and completed in a hand-drawn style, similar to some of the other hand-embroidered pieces that I have shared in the past.

Due to the style, the piece was relatively quick in the making, taking approximately two weeks from start to finish.

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So while we Disney fans still have another four months of waiting to overcome, there is a lot to be said of the inspiration that is created by anticipation.

In other words, expect to see another Beauty-inspired piece from me before the film hits theaters!

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Spirited: New Series

Art

I’ve been waiting for a new series idea to come to me for a long time. Probably one of the most challenging aspects about being an artist is finding inspiration. In fact, part of the reason I started this blog was to inspire myself and others by  sharing creations and inspiring places, media and recipes.

Recently, Andy and I were watching “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” Although probably my least favorite installation in the series, I have always been inspired by the scene that showcases the DA (Dumbledore’s Army) learning how to cast a Patronus charm.

The spell that has come to the forefront of all Harry Potter witchcraft, the Patronus charm defends again dementors and for every witch or wizard, takes the form of a different animal.

tumblr_inline_nvs2kwqehg1stluio_500Thinking about partonuses and spirit animals, I landed upon the idea of creating a series of mixed media pieces, featuring different ghostly animals. Whether the animals are ghosts or the result of magic, I cannot say. All I know is the vision that I have.

 

Right now, that vision entails white, ethereal animals painted onto fabric and embossed with embroidery. I hope to machine embroider white wisps of thread trailing from the animals. The first animal is a fox, as I have always loved these animals and thought that, were I to have a spirit animal, it would probably be some species of fox.

Although I started this piece a while ago, I am just now ready to proceed into the embroidery phase. Painting onto untreated cotton, I needed to put down numerous layers of paint before I was able to achieve the opacity I was looking for.

Ready to start #embroidering. #textileart #fox #spirit #newseries #paint #markers

A post shared by Emilee Smith (@emileejaysmith) on

 

I’m looking forward to embroidering, as I know that will pull the piece together, adding details and movement to the composition.

Stay tuned for the final result!

Perpetually Creating Through Year One

Inspiration

Dear Readers,

Exactly one year ago today I made the decision to start a blog dedicated to the idea of creativity and the power of inspiration. With this blog, I hoped to foster a creative entity that would break through the boundaries that so often segregate art, craft, cooking, writing and the many other ventures sought after by “creative types.” Three hundred and sixty-five days later, I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Thank you to everyone who has read this site during the past year. I’m grateful to every single one of you, the dedicated weekly readers as well as the occasional browsers. I can only hope that within the past year I have entertained and inspired you, whether it has been through my tips on creating hand embroidery patterns, my numerous pop-culture inspired drawings, my various book reviews or my favorite Christmas cookie recipes .

I look forward to commencing this site’s second year, anxious for the projects to come and driven by the mantra perpetually create.

–Emilee J. Smith

 

Celebrating Harry Potter

Inspiration

Like thousands of other people, I am overwhelmingly excited for this weekend’s release of the eighth Harry Potter installment, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” We fans have, after all, been waiting nine long years for another chance to visit the wizarding world.

This past weekend, Andy, his siblings and I attended a special showing of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” at the local movie theater, adding to the excitement I already possessed.

Now, in order to celebrate all things Harry Potter, I’m using this post to recap all of the wizarding inspired art and cooking that I have made and shared this past year.

I’ve shown you costumes…

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And food…

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Cauldron Cakes

But mostly magical creatures…

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Of course our hearts were broken in January, but we will Always remember.

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Clearly, this series acts as constant inspiration for me and it is thrilling to see the story being resurrected again in pop culture.

Aside from purchasing your  book this weekend, you can further celebrate the franchise by tuning in to FreeForm’s Harry Potter Weekend beginning this Friday (don’t forget Harry’s birthday on the 31st) and keeping your ears and eyes open for midnight release parties in your area.

Nearby Colgate Bookstore will be holding a party this coming Saturday and you can be sure I will be in attendance. More on that later, but in the mean time: LESS THAN 4 DAYS LEFT!

 

 

Drawing Breakfast

Art, Colored Pencil

I have always been fascinated with eggs. A fascination, I believe, that stems from both their beautiful exterior to the mystery and wonder held within. While their shape and general purpose unify them across the animal kingdom, I love the unique sizes, colors and patterns that are influenced by species.

While in the future I would like to create art focused on the exterior of eggs, today’s drawing is of what you would typically find on your breakfast plate.

Having been watching a lot of cooking shows lately, I thought it would be fun to do some food drawings. When picking an “entree,” I decided that an egg (sunny-side up) would be both artistically challenging as well as visually pleasing.


I knew that while the pleasant factor would be found in the bright, spherical center, the challenge would lie in depicting the egg “white.” As any visual artist knows, white is never just white, and the fun lies in attempting to pick out the colors within.

This drawing is rendered in colored pencil, which lends itself well to layering and creating depth through color, and took about an hour from start to finish.

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There is always something satisfying about drawing food, especially food that is visually playful. Stay tuned for my newest ice cream-inspired piece, but in the mean time, be sure to check this out!