Sketch of the Week

tree wash

I started a “Sketch of the Week” post last week, and it was a sketch of hearts (for Valentine’s Day).

This week, it’s painting. I did a watercolor wash background and a watercolor painting of a tree, scanned them in and combined them, reversing the tree white out of the wash. Parts of the tree are translucent, allowing some of the wash to show through.

This project rekindled my desire to paint.

Faith Over Fear

Faith Over Fear

I had a motivating conversation over coffee with a friend and fellow creative. We were talking about success and fear and how sometimes we are are own worst enemies. Sometimes…we are afraid to succeed.

Let’s admit one thing: there will always be fear. Maybe you’re afraid of doing a good job on a project. Or maybe you’re afraid of talking about some concerns with a friend. It’s how you deal with that fear that shapes the outcome.

We all have a fear voice and a faith voice. Your fear voice tells you, ‘You’re not good enough; this is going to take time; you’re going to have to learn something new. Just do the bare minimum.’  Your faith voice tells you, ‘You can totally do this. You want a happy client, right? Do the work, give them a little more than they asked for, and make them love you.’

If you change your way of thinking, the good stuff you’re looking for will drive you to succeed. Listen to the faith voice. Focus on the faith voice.

Take Time to Play.



Melissa Carlson Creative illustration with filters

This morning, I took some advice. Instead of jumping right into work, I played for about ten minutes. I opened up my illustration program and found some filters I didn’t know existed. The results were varied: some subtle, some wild. And even though none of the stuff I created is going to show up in my next project, I now know those filters are there to use. Right now, I don’t even know what I’d use them for, but I could imagine creating an interesting background or pattern.

I have a couple subscriptions to online skill sites. You can learn how to build a website, sew a pillowcase, hand-letter a headline. It’s amazing what’s out there. These skill sites come in handy when you need to know how to do something in quick order. Some of the tutorials are better than others; you can tell the folks who took time to practice and have the presentation packaged neatly. I wish I took more time to do these things, but it’s like anything else. You have paying work that has to get done. You have last-minute requests from clients, bills to pay, a house to clean, etc. Play gets put on the back burner. It’s just very refreshing to learn something new.

Take time to play. It’s fun, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s only ten minutes.