Thursday, 24 April 2014


Our spring landscape is lush, colourful and renewed. I'm drawing in little sips and relishing the beauty.

Simply inhaling spring's beauty & feeling thankful for nature. I hope you are too!


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A look at my evolving brand

marketing materials/ postcards, biz cards etc

I've been building on my brand for awhile now & I'm stopping for a moment to look at all the pieces and celebrate the small steps.

facebook business page 


etsy shop

company website

 pinterest boards

instagram (@redpearcreative)

new society6 shop, just launched and slowly adding things

flickr photostream

new biz cards printed at jukebox - so loving the spot gloss

mini moo cards - these puppies are so much fun, everyone I meet enjoys them

artful stickers & packs, with branded "local artist" tags

greeting card gift sets

what it looks like when I'm packaging up an order of my art products, spread out all over the studio :)

This was fun – it's so necessary to give yourself credit for the small steps. Thanks for joining me and reading about my adventures in business and art and life, friends. Appreciate the love!


Friday, 18 April 2014

How to stay inspired: 10 Tips for Creative souls

People keep asking what inspires me & how I stay inspired. I thought this was a topic for the experts but I’m realizing something – I’m an expert in my own process. And I’d love to share it. Here are 8 tips to STAY INSPIRED.

1. Regular inspiration gathering outings

This is probably my biggest creative practice. Inspiration is everywhere and there are so many opportunities to tune into it. Some of my favourite expeditions are: wandering around the city feeling like part of something and noticing the details around me (architecture, fashion, graffiti art, human connection…). Going boutique browsing. Watching a great film. Taking a nature walk, feeling the energy and freshness and noticing little details. Having a great talk with a creative ally. Watching a TED talk. Oh and of course Pinterest browsing – almost too much inspiration there. Anything that takes you out of your daily perspective and environment will refresh you and jolt your mind. Things pop out and ideas begin spilling forth. I need to do this frequently or my lens on the world dulls a bit. My friend calls it living like an artist.

2. Follow your own rhythms

Give yourself permission to follow your own rhythms. Work when your mind is clearest and your creativity peaks. For some this is really early in the morning. For me this is late afternoon to midnight-ish, and sometimes well into the wee hours of the morning. It’s not always practical when you’re a mom, but I try to create windows of opportunity. And rhythms aren’t only on a daily basis – there are all kinds of rhythms over weeks, months and years that creative people can harness. PMS is an incredibly intuitive and creative time. Some artists turn out work over a few months and recover for a few more. Embrace the rhythm that feels right to you (as much as you can – within the context of life, family, motherhood, work etc it’s not always possible).

3. Use your experiences and emotions in your work

Instead of looking for things to use in your art, turn it around and look at art as a way of expressing your way in the world. Tap into your own experiences in life. This gives you endless material, is a way of processing things and is a very effective healing tool. Think of it as an outlet for growth. Here’s a great quote Mindy Lacefield shared at the Sugar and Spice art retreat last year: “Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite – getting something down. –Julian Cameron, The Artist’s Way. So there you go, get it down.

4. Write

A habit I got from the lovely Danielle Daniel is to do a short writing exercise before you paint. Have a few prompts and free write. I find it warms me up and removes any blocks that might have been in the way. And of course I love to rip up my journal pages after and use them in my art!

5. Schedule time for solo creative retreats

Schedule off a few days for a solo retreat a few times a year. Clear your schedule and prepare beforehand to set the tone for the kind of experience you want to create. Set some goals and targets, gather reading materials & writing prompts, stock the kitchen and do batches of cooking so there are healthy foods on hand, have your yoga mat and running shoes ready, put together some music playlists and put a fresh set of sheets on the bed. And then simply follow every instinct on what you want to do next. There is no structure or schedule. Fully immerse yourself in your solitude. I’m lucky that my family heads out of town when I do my retreats so I usually get to stay in my own studio. Booking a B&B, cabin or a room at an Inn would be great too. Many people have asked how I manage to find the time for my solo retreats – my answer is, I make them a BIG priority which usually means giving something else up. I treat them as seriously as I would if I were catching a plane and investing in an expensive event somewhere else.

*Travelling to retreats and learning from teachers and other creative souls is wonderful too!

6. Trust your instincts & work your own way

This is a biggie. Mainstream society seems to often value logic over intuition, practicality over creativity, self-control over emotion, productivity over quality/ joy of use, etc. Women tend to have a more feminine approach and work differently. We tend to be more intuitive and emotional and it doesn’t always fit with the mainstream ways. For some people working slowly and intentionally is part of an important creative process that yields the best results. For me, following my instincts is at the heart of how I work, and it took me years to figure this out and stand tall and be proud of it. Acknowledge and embrace these parts of who you are, and trust that they will serve you well.

7. Incorporate tiny creative releases into your days

For me it’ll be sketching or zentangle for awhile, then it will shift to cooking and creating new things in the kitchen for awhile, then it will shift to nurturing the garden, then it will be a stretch of painting in the studio… it changes, often. But the habit is there and it always involves doing something with my hands – regular small things I do that release creativity into my day.

8. Be careful about looking at others too much

It’s great to look at what’s out there, who’s creating what, and what you like. Especially when you’re first exploring your creative style. But over time you need to step away from this and focus more on your own interactions with the world around you, your own interpretations of what you see and feel, and put your own heart and soul on the canvas. I feel like having a few key anchor mentors or idols that linger in the back of your mind is good, and you can often see they are influencing your work, but you’re not looking at their stuff frequently or it suppress your own unique creativity from flowing. Also looking at others too much can lead to comparing yourself too much, which I just don’t find helpful.

9. Let go of inspirations being fixed

We can hold ourselves to some strange rules sometimes – if I once loved florals it means I will always love florals. This may not be true. Allow yourself to change your mind, to evolve and grow out of things. It’s a necessary part of evolving your creative style and staying inspired. This great gal reminded me of this recently.

10. Read!

I have a pile of books going all the time, which I don’t read in any kind of order. I pick them up and read bits here and there that speak to me at the time. There are a few blogs I follow, and a couple of magazines. It would be interesting to know the science behind what happens in your brain when you read vs watch TV, but for now all I can say is I am much more inspired and creative when I opt to read instead of plunk myself in front of the box that talks.

Thanks for reading & hope there is something new in here that you’ve learned. How do you stay inspired? Leave a comment and let me know.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Shaping our reality

Our little family has hit some bumps.

As I step back and evaluate I’m thinking a lot about what makes us tick, what we value and how we can move toward being our fullest selves. Do you ever feel like you’re moving further from where you want to be, but can’t seem to wrap your mind and heart around what’s needed to reshape your reality?

Well, we’re working through it. Stripping life down to the essentials. Practicing soul soothing and visualization. Clarifying what we truly want in life.

Big shifts. Big work.


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Life carries me into the next

I can feel a shift happening. In this moment, and over months and seasons and years and a lifetime. A shift in who I am, in how I see myself, how I navigate and interact with the world around me. Labels can be so easy to adopt. Rules can becomes woven into the fabric of your life so subtly they are fully entrenched by the time you notice, if you notice. Fear creeps in. Fear decides for you. Fear closes you off, numbs you, holds you in.

Our lives are what we make them, ripe, ready, positioned for change and evolution. It is the life of anyone brave enough to lean into it.

I've been watching films and documentaries and TED talks lately as spring ushers itself in. I'm taking a break from regular life by necessity—a break from routine, structure, shoulds and musts. It is liberating, nauseating, restless, anxious, uncomfortable and rejuvenating. I feel peace, calm, certainty, truth, wholeness, self-doubt, anger, frustration, deflation and completely lost all at once. Soon I will be back to deadlines, but for now I am simply in it.

Here are a few meaningful things I've watched recently that cracked me open and made me feel alive and connected with humanity: Life in a Day (documentary), Vegucated (documentary), Embrace Your Inner Girl (TED Talk by Eve Ensler), Shadows In The Sun (film), About Time (film).

Each inspiration is contributing something to my process—of unfolding, unfurling, becoming who I am. A new self is shaping. A softer, more compassionate, patient, sure-footed, strong hearted, tender woman is emerging. Someone whose instincts I'm not sure I completely trust or understand yet. I feel everything in every part of myself. So much pain, so much beauty. So much love and sadness. So much hope and anticipation of the next. The next what? The next… I don't know.

Trust the process. This is sprinkled in my thoughts throughout the day. It seeps into my sense of being, and I am doing my best to lean into it. Trust the process. Let life unfold.

Let Life Unfold, 2014
14" x 18"
mixed media on wood canvas