Taking Things One Week At A Time And Playing With Shimmer Sharpies…

Well, I think this week’s blog may take on two different themes because I just don’t think my brain has been thinking in a solid frame of mind all week. I am feeling the pressure of the semester and just trying to keep my head on straight throughout this online semester. Also, I am trying to allocate the time for myself to open up and feel creative without the pressure of needing to post something about it.

Let me start with the not so fun stuff, like laundry that has piled up to the point where you have no more clean pants. Or that therapy appointment you know you should go to, but you are insisting to yourself that it’s going to take up too much time, so you don’t go but instead of being productive you just scroll through social media. Not to mention the hours’ worth of homework you are actively procrastinating while you imagine all of the ways your classmates could be judging you during zoom classes.

Life is moving so fast that in one moment I may feel like I am rocking productivity and the next I am literally laying on the ground crying because I don’t think I’ll have enough time to read everything. I am the type of person who is always looking ahead, trying to plan and strategize for any future inconvenience while still trying to put out all of the current fires in life. In some respects, I think this has helped me throughout life because I am hardly ever surprised, but when I am surprised it sends me off my rocker.

I think as I grow older the number of things that can be planned out and strategized for continues to dwindle because with age comes the wisdom that nothing is predictable. So, my ability to constantly look to the future may help me with school projects but for the majority of life that isn’t schedulable, I think it makes it harder for me.

That is why I have been practicing taking things one week at a time since I have started the fall semester. Breaking my energy up into weeklong segments allows me to focus my time on the tasks at hand while still being able to look to the future but just for a week or so. If I try to think of all the projects, I’ll have to turn in by the end of the semester I just end up stressing myself out. Each week all I need to worry about is doing the reading for each of my five classes, complete two to three quizzes, post to discussion boards, complete two to three weekly projects, and of course attend my classes.

Within that week, each day I just focus on finishing whatever tasks are due first and I cannot explain how much this way of thinking has changed my life. So, maybe a week is too short for you, or too long but either way I truly believe that at least consciously knowing every task you need to complete and when is a game changer to productivity.

With this method of mental organization, I usually end up leaving my painting or creative time for the weekends. More often than not I just find time for my creative endeavors in the evenings or early mornings when I can convince myself I have caught up on homework. There have been a few days that I chose to focus my mental energy on something for my little business rather than homework and I quickly regretted it when I came out of the creative trance.

Needless to say, creativity sometimes takes a backseat when I feel like I have a million other responsibilities and I couldn’t tell you why it makes it harder when I feel the pressure to post on my social media outlets. Considering I don’t want to see myself fall out of practice, or worse just stop altogether, I have been channeling my inner silly and trying to have more fun.

Since I try to finish a painting every week, this week I wanted to add a little something extra to the art. I painted a typical scene I find easy, some clouds and a mountain top, but the dried product was so bland I decided to add some sparkle. Metallic Sharpie’s are always fun to write with, so I picked some up and went to town on my boring painting, trying to create something new and exciting.

The first stroke was the scariest because I knew that I couldn’t really paint over it unless I wanted to completely restart my painting and video. Once I placed that shimmering gold sharpie tip on the canvas I just hoped for the best and glided it across the slightly defined mountain tops. By the time I got to decorating the clouds I was just playing around with different shapes and patterns but eventually decided on a simple dot effect, this meant I had to fill in quite a bit of my mistakes.

In the end, I was left with a simple sparkling design (if you catch it in the right light). It may seem silly and I’m not sure exactly when else I could use this technique, but I did enjoy getting to do something brand new to me. I think it freshens up creativity and hey now I’ve got a new multi-medium art piece. Thank you for reading this week’s blog and make sure to check out the video of my sharpie creation!

Copyright © 2020 Serra Isabella. All rights reserved.

Art Style As A Beginner Artist

Recently I have been expanding my learning and understanding of most aspects of my life, art being one of them. In the spring semester of 2020, I took the first real art class I’ve ever taken and in just a few short months I had I learned so much. Since then I have been continuing to learn what I can online, whether that’s on YouTube or just by listening and paying attention to artists I look up to.

In this experience of expanding my horizons as a writer and artist, I have been hearing more and more about artists needing to find a “style”. The artist community tosses this word “style” or “personal style” around like crazy as if everyone is just screaming to the world that they are an artist!

But it got me thinking, do I have a personal style yet? Am I supposed to know what my artistic style is now? How do you find your “personal style”?

I’ve been diving into a couple of chapters of the book called On Writing Well, by William Zinsser, and a particular chapter caught my eye, chapter 4: Style. Zinsser explains to his readers that true and captivating writing comes from a writer expressing his or her style without fear of judgment. He reassures the audience too that finding this “style” everyone speaks of takes time.

It is simply illogical to assume that you could be the fully developed and stylized version of your artistic self without the years of experience it takes to get there. Most importantly, it is okay that it takes time, it allows you to play with new creative things and have blissful fun without the pressure of upholding a certain “personal style”

If you are on a journey to find your artistic “style”, like me, then continue reading to see what I have been doing to discover and develop my artistic style.

Being Creative Daily

This is somewhat of a hard one but arguably the most important aspect it seems, of becoming a developed and stylized artist. Me telling you this, along with every other respectable artist out there, isn’t new information but maybe you will practice it better than I have. It can be so hard to find time every single day to create something, but I have noticed the benefits are worth the struggle

Trying New Ideas

I have always loved painting skies and mountains and oh do I love painting moons, but it wasn’t until recently that I gained some interest to start painting different scenes. Sometimes creating a new pallet of colors opens up your imagination, for example, I accidentally created a beautiful sea green color and have been enjoying creating ocean scenes. In a recent painting I decided to go even further and try painting something I have never done before, painting people, well a mermaid to be exact.

You can see in the video, I wasn’t trying to be perfect and I most certainly knew that this would not end up being any of my best work, but it was so fun to experiment with skin tone and body shape. More than that I learned a lot about what I could do differently in the future to improve my painting abilities. Stepping outside of your painting “norms” can be just the push you need to see more creativity come out of yourself than ever before.

Learning New Mediums

I would say my primary medium for creating and painting is acrylic paints on canvas (either board or stretched). I have dabbled into watercolors but nothing too fancy, and I enjoy calligraphy and hand lettering, but if I had to give one medium I use, it would be acrylic. I just love that it is opaque and dries so that if I make a mistake it isn’t too hard to cover it up.

However, a medium I hadn’t considered before six months ago has now become a medium, I go to often, digital media/art. My purchase of the app Procreate has been a game-changer in my digital art practice, compared to the Windows Paint 3D I was using beforehand. Opening myself up to trying a new medium as digital art has most definitely increased my creativity because I have discovered so many tools I can use in future projects. Even in the last couple of months, I can already notice certain styles appearing in my work and I am excited to continue developing my artistic style.

I hope you all enjoyed this little blog post where I examined ways in which creative people can find or discover their “artistic style”. Go ahead and check out my painting video at the end of this blog, I would especially appreciate it. Make sure to like, comment, and follow to never miss an update from me, happy reading!

Copyright © 2020 Serra Isabella. All rights reserved.

Writing is Hard

04 – 28 – 2020

Writing is hard. It’s hard to think of something worth writing, especially when you feel like you don’t have much to say. Writing is scary because it reveals woes and worries, I hadn’t previously seen. Although I am scared and of writing, I love when a sentence flows with ease, so the idea just rolls off the tongue. I love that moment when a phrase speaks to you so much you have to stop and ponder the idea into existence.

I have taken two English classes this school year and I have to say I love my English classes for the simple fact that almost every teacher I have has shown me a deeper meaning to the words we read and write. Words don’t come easy though, hesitation consumes me anytime I try to even start writing. I think I put too much emphasis on writing something that means something, I want every line I write to be the jaw dropping idea that changes their life. Though that simply isn’t realistic. Maybe the less meaningful sentences all together add to the magnificence of my true meaning.

Before I can even concern myself with writing profound statements I have to learn to just write. To write clearly, without wandering from point to point until I find my point. Another thing I’ve learned in my English classes this year is the importance of editing. The whole process of writing is just that, a process. It is necessary to write meaningless withering words, because that’s how I work through my thoughts. When I see the words in front of my eyes, I can finally see what I need to say and what I need to change.

I have realized change has become something I loathe, alas it is the only thing certain in my life. Change comes with every aspect of life, love, home, family, age, health, wealth, and even writing. That scares the crap out of me and sometimes it seems to paralyze me. When I stop paying attention to the written words and instead become consumed by my fear, shame, embarrassment, and anxiety nothing can get me to leave the couch or the bed (whichever is comfiest in the moment).

Serra Isabella

This past weekend after missing some to dos with my blog, and only getting some of my schoolwork done I felt defeated. My planner was left with a lot of tasks not marked off, and I felt like I had failed at my dream of becoming a writer. I was exhausted and overwhelmed first by all the things on my to do list and second by my ever-increasing want to achieve the goals I set.

But even though I felt my overwhelming emotions begin to wash over all the hard work I have accomplished I decided to just relax. To distract myself I dyed my hair purple and gave myself a much-needed haircut, I was trying to go for burgundy and a slight trim, but you know when you start it’s hard to stop. It doesn’t matter though because I feel better, I bought makeup and did mine for the first time in I don’t know how long. I decided it was okay that I hadn’t gotten everything done, it was okay that I haven’t written my book yet, and It’s okay to rest before finishing my to do list.

Serra Isabella

From this weekend I found out that it’s okay to relax and be lazy sometimes, frankly it’s even necessary in order to prevent burnout. If I had pushed myself over the weekend instead of resting I don’t think I would have had the willpower to keep trying today. So yes, writing is hard, and sometimes getting out of bed is hard, so on those days I decide to take the hint from my body and rest. I compliment myself on my achievements and prepare for the future by caring for myself in the moment, however that looks. Most importantly I cannot continue to look down on myself when things get difficult, life is hard and I don’t want to just complain about that anymore. I want to take life’s challenges and make the best of it, and truthfully I am not going to let that excuse rule my life.

Copyright © 2020 Serra Isabella. All rights reserved.