Challenge the old routine

Bank Holiday Monday… just a few days left before August is over and we start thinking about Autumn again. Soon, the Summer holidays will be just a memory and it will be time for school runs and routines. Whilst I can appreciate the benefit of a daily routine (especially on school mornings), I also like to feel free and this is where my art comes in…
I have built up an imaginative stock of techniques that I use to help me feel free.
I use some of them on the train if I am travelling, but need a burst of creativity; I use them to release me from negative emotions if I am feeling sad or angry; I use them when I want to express something for which words are not suitable… I use them to feel free.

On Saturday September 21 I will be running a one day art workshop in London.
I am feeling so excited about this, because it will enable me to share some of the wonderful techniques I use to connect with my own creativity and free myself from the worries and fears that hold people back. It has been just over a year since I really, truly committed to my own creative journey… and what a year it has been! I have learned so much and I have so many things I want to share with you, so I hope you will join me for a day of liberating creativity.

It can be easy to put off your creativity and indulge in avoidance techniques, but if you want to challenge the old routine and give your creativity a boost as the seasons change, take this opportunity, as I have a very SPECIAL OFFER for you UNTIL MIDNIGHT ONLY! This is a wonderful chance to give yourself the space to create in a supportive environment with me. I will be your guide to fearless creativity.

You will leave with:
a handful of art made by you
a JOYful spirit
fun techniques to apply at home
a new feeling of creative confidence
and a desire to let your creative spirit fly
…so JOIN ME!

Every day can feel like a Bank Holiday when you feel creatively free.
Enter the code HOLIDAY before midnight to get 10% off here:
https://bookwhen.com/becreativedaily

Don’t slip sleepily back into the old routine… spread your creative wings and come fly with me!

With love,
Julia x

p.s. If you have any questions, just e-mail me: hello@BeCreativeDaily.com

What is your WHY?

Today, I re-watched a talk that had inspired me, a few weeks ago, to examine my why?

In case you were wondering, this was it…

When I first took a serious look at my why? a few weeks back, the answer I came up with was this…

What is my WHY?

I LOVE ART!
I have seen, first hand, how art can change lives.
Creativity is a gift that I would like everyone to experience and enJOY!
For me, art is all about self-expression. It is not about creating something beautiful, it is about delving deep inside ourselves and letting all of our feelings and emotions spill out. I use art to explore and express the joys and the challenges in life and seek to enable others to step away from a desire to create something perfect and immerse themselves in the pure joy of the art-making process.
I want to help women reconnect with their creative selves after having children. As mothers, it can be easy to lose ourselves, focussing on the needs of our family and neglecting our own, but in looking after our own needs, we are better equipped to attend to the needs of others, making for a happier family life. By cultivating a creative practice, we can reconnect with, and powerfully express our true selves, and in doing so, encourage our children to do the same.
Art has always been at the centre of my life, but in reconnecting with my own artist’s journey after many years of concentrating on other people’s art, I found my way back to my own true, creative self.
I want to encourage every single person who feels the pull, but also the fear, to welcome art into their life.

And that, dear friends, is why I am doing this.

So tell me… what is your why?
And if you feel tempted by the pull of art, but frozen by the fear… join me for a day of playful creativity.

I will hold your hand as you let go… and let out a big cheer as you welcome creativity in. You have nothing to lose… and so much to win!

With love,
Julia x

How my body-centred art makes me feel more like me

My full body art

My self-expression, of late, has been largely focused on the body.

I have been using my body as a vehicle for self-expression in more ways than one… dancing more, stretching more and, in turn, using my own form as a starting point for making art. It feels to good.

As with yoga, the more you do it, the more aware you become of the way you carry yourself; the way you sit whilst driving the car; the way your body feels whilst standing at the sink, hands in warm soapy water.

The more I use my body for self-expression with my art, the more aware I become of the way I am expressing myself in the day to day. Just as making art is becoming a habit, so is moving and flowing and I am feeling so much more connected; more confident; at ease, and whilst I am more aware of my posture and I find myself, just naturally, doing a little dance here, adding a little gesture there. I am also more conscious of the way I dress and what feels good and enables me to feel flowing and free. Pure self-expression is slowly moving through every part of me.

On Monday, with the absence of someone to draw around my body, I lay on my dining room floor and attempted to draw around myself onto a long roll of lining paper. With some difficulty, I drew a wobbly outline, squeezing it onto the narrow paper for my piece. And then I began to fill it. Starting at the feet, I filled my form with grass and roots and flowers and a big tree, ending, right at the top with a glowing head that reflected how I sometimes experience life and how I would really like to feel… not every moment of the day, but more.

The purpose of this work, apart from pure self-expression, was to gain clarity.

Before creating this piece I set an intention and on finishing it asked questions of my art and I was surprised how well it responded to me. I will not explain this right now, but I will share with you my questions and answers here.

I would love to know what you think or if you have any experience of the effects of delving more deeply into your own creativity as this is something I will soon be sharing more of here.

If you think you might like to explore with me… to begin your own journey of creative self-expression through art, keep September 21 free… I will be running my first one day workshop in London and I would love you to join me.

Setting an intention and questioning my art

Everybody needs Creative Space

Leading my Creative Space art workshop

Leading my Creative Space art workshop, photo: Karen Mercer

On Monday evening, I ran my first Creative Space art workshop at My Coffee Stop, a cosy, jam-packed spot on the station platform at Enfield Chase. The plan was to offer busy women the opportunity to explore art-making in a friendly, supportive environment, with guided activities as well as freestyle creation. It was thanks to the generosity of spirit and community consciousness of Karen Mercer (our wonderful, welcoming hostess… maker of great coffee, baker of delicious cakes) that the workshop came about. I had spent several months with the idea of such a creative art workshop floating in my head, but a suitable venue which enabled me to work with a small group of women at an affordable price had not proved easy to find. So, when someone recommended I go see Karen, and she offered me the use of the space, I jumped at the chance.

Walls decked with art, shelves stacked with Fair Trade goodies, music pumping, this was a space in which I felt comfortably at home. And so, with Karen, two friends and two strangers (who have since become friends) being brave enough to step into the unknown and embark upon an evening of playful creativity with me, the adventure began.

When embarking on something new, I often feel a sense of apprehension, as most of us probably do. Stepping into the unkown, no matter how well-prepared we are, can feel scary at best, but this just felt exciting! There were no butterflies, no last minute nerves, no what if’s… this felt different: natural, right. I had a real sense of adventure. I knew, from the moment these ladies arrived, that this was going to be fun. Their warmth, energy and willingness to open their hearts and explore their creativity put me at ease and I felt that I was doing what comes naturally… I was in flow.

I led the group through a number of playful drawing activities, designed to free the creative spirit through trying new ideas with unexpected outcomes. We explored new ways of working/looking/seeing. We laughed, smiled, sighed. One of my goals with this, and indeed with all of my classes, is to lead people away from any ideas of perfection and towards a free-flowing form of self-expression with engagement and enjoyment in the process of making art, rather than getting hung up on the end result. When the fear and the expectation is removed, the natural outcome, more often that not, is that great art is made, and this was no exception.

I loved that when the ladies were left to their own devices – with canvas, paint, glue, glitter, sequins, etc. on offer to be used in any way they wished – so many different things came out. Each person worked in their own individual style. The pieces that were created were very personal in that each one portrayed something of significance to them and it was a pleasure to hear the stories behind the art… it is this kind of sharing that bonds a group, helps them understand each other a little better, leads to deeper friendships. And there was a real sense of community I felt. A bonding over a shared creative practice… something so rare these days which brings such joy when experienced.

Everybody needs creative space in their lives… we should all take the time to explore our own personal form of self-expression, whatever that may be. This should not be a luxury, it should be a necessity. Perhaps if more people tried it, the benefits would be felt.

I felt deeply energised by the experience that night and woke in the morning feeling optimistic about what’s to come.

I have no idea what is coming next (so many ideas, it can be hard to choose), but I have a feeling it’s going to be great!

If you would like to take part in the next workshop or if you are interested in hosting a workshop in your own home, please do get in touch… I would love to hear from you!

Warmest wishes from a very chilly North London,
Julia x

Tea, cake and collage

Four of my fabulous friends just headed home after the first ever Be Creative Daily workshop with Life Collages to be proud of.

I can think of few better ways to spend an evening than drinking tea, eating cake and making art with friends. With little more than a piece of card, a pile of magazines, a pair of scissors and some glue, wonderful, inspiring and possibly life-changing art was created here at BCD HQ tonight!

The process is simple, the result powerful. Life Collage is way of exploring your likes, loves, dreams and desires, in an intuitive, feeling way… discovering images that resonate, words that inspire and putting them together to create a visual expression of the good things you would like in your life. This evening’s Life Collagers all left with a smile, having met new friends, shared lively conversation and interesting ideas whilst making very personal works of art.

I have spoken with lots of people about the creation of Life Collages. For many, they have acted as a powerful tool for change, bringing into focus what is important in their lives. I look forward to hearing what positive changes come about following the creation of these veritable dream boards here tonight.