28 days of
The Challenge

I’m doing something creative for 28 days to see how it effects my mood, happiness and general wellbeing.

Start Here.


I don’t have time to be creative.

I’d like to, but the reality is I barely have time for work, friends, family, exercise, meditation, eating healthy and very occasionally relaxing. It just hasn’t been a priority for me, that is until now.

Research is showing that people who have some form of creativity in their lives – either through their work or a creative outlet seem to be happier. So could this also be true for me?

And what is it about creativity that makes people feel better? Is it the sense of achievement, the actual process, the fact you need to be present? Or something else entirely?

I’m on a journey to see if drawing for 28 days has any effect on my health and wellbeing. Will I be happier, feel better, think more creatively by day 28?

Will I be a better person? Or could it be the catalyst for some sort of life change? Right now I don’t know, but I’m dead keen to find out…


I’m Not Creative

Creativity takes courage —Henri Matisse

It feels like years since I’ve done anything creative.

I sometimes cook dinner, I dance around the living room (more about fitness than creativity though), I clash patterns (haha, I’m actually claiming that thats creative!) but sitting down without an agenda and allowing myself the space to play and create is not something I feel at all comfortable with.

Which is why this is a great experiment for me.

There are always so many more important things to do and solve and learn and accomplish that for me, creativity is so far down the pecking order I’ve pretty much forgotten it exists.

But today that changes….

I feel nervous as I sit down to skype with my mentor for this challenge the very talented Cath Laporte – artist, art director, teacher, entrepreneur, and speaker from Montreal Canada who’s work and approach to creativity focuses on play and finding what lights us up from the inside out.

We started with some ‘warm up’ drawings – I found them tough, but also fun, and I felt really good afterwards (I’m not sure if it was the actually drawing, or the fact that it was over and I had survived my first drawing session that made me feel good!)

Check This

Cath is an inspirational artist, beautiful soul and my amazing mentor for this challenge. Her work focus on playful consciousness, creating authentic and unconventional pieces that move people through simplicity, self-awareness, beauty and humour.

Check her insta for inspiration, fun and some thought provoking art.

Drawing Tasks

  • Drawing of my inner world (I’m currently pregnant, hence the baby)
  • Cats in various shapes / places / forms
  • Cats and shirts in various shapes / places / forms
+ Read more

Are We Born Creative?

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. — Steve Jobs

For some people there is a deeply intuitive, creative space inside of them that guides them – it is so strong that all decisions, emotions, situations – literally everything is connected to it – it’s like a compass thats guiding their lives. And for others (like me) it is much harder to find because other skills have been more nurtured and developed.

I’m not so worried about the actual technique of drawing – I’m generally a good student and can learn this in time, I think, but the absolutely terrifying thing for me is tapping into my real, raw, completely-unique-to-me creativity and self expression that comes from somewhere deeper than I can reach right now – that bit’s not going to be easy, and I think it will probably be quite confronting.

Having said that, I’m also concern is that if I’m miraculously able to come up with something truly unique and creative, I wont have the skills yet to be able to actually portray this in a drawing. Cath’s advice was to just ‘get it out’ – it doesn’t matter what it looks like for now – play, experiment and find things that ‘feel’ good. So that’s what I’m going to do. Today’s challenge is to draw the same things as yesterday but Cath has instructed me to think a bit more outside the box – explore more and think about various situations and scenarios for the objects. It was fun to ‘allow’ myself to be more free today – to think of various fun and whacky situations for the cats.

Check This

Are We Born Creative?

Drawing Tasks

  • My environment (my current interpretation of it)
  • 10 cats in different styles
  • 10 cats + shirts in different styles
+ Read more

Drawing Dylan The Ice Cream

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

During this experiment I’m taking drawing classes at a drawing school here in Amsterdam, and also working with my mentor Cath Laporte. On the days that I don’t attend drawing class, Cath sends me drawing tasks to complete. I then share these with her to feedback on…

On yesterday’s drawings she commented that my inner / outer world drawing had a sense of letting go, more so than the cats. I was so frustrated yesterday – for no real reason – I think it has a lot to do with the pregnancy hormones (I’m currently 5 months pregnant) but whatever is causing it I was unsettled, anxious and stressed and the only thing I wanted to draw was the chaos and frustration I was feeling. Perhaps the feeling of letting go she was seeing was because it was coming from a very real place – something that needed to be let go of.

Interestingly, after I drew I felt heaps better – like I had managed to release something that was stuck.

Today’s exercise was to draw Dylan, my wonderful (/ insanely annoying)  boyfriend and best mate. I really didn’t want to – when Cath sent through the instructions I thought ‘anything but that – I’m so not ready to draw Dylan’. But I put my big-girl pants on and gave it a good crack and a wonderful thing happened. I was grumpy with him from something he did the night before (grumpy really was the theme from yesterday…) but over the 45-60 minutes of thinking about him and drawing him, it all melted away. We ended up going out for an impromptu dinner of amazing, but super grubby ribs at a brown bar (old traditional Dutch bar that is usually decked out in dark brown wood, and has stained yellow walls from years of caked on cigarette smoke – sounds rank, but they can be amazing) in Amsterdam, and we had a really nice evening just chilling – something that hasn’t happened for a long time because of the stress involved with the pregnancy and our never ending house renovation project.

By the end of the day I had a big smile on my face.

Drawing Tasks

  • Inner and/or Outer world
  • Draw Dylan in 10 different ways without him in the room
  • Draw Dylan 10 different ways with him moving around in the room
+ Read more

Negative Self Talk

Creativity takes courage —Henri Matisse

Today I had to draw myself.

Are you kidding me, that’s really tough – it’s only day 4.

Drawing Dylan yesterday was hard enough, but drawing myself was another thing entirely. I gravitated towards drawing myself more abstract than I have in the previous task. I was also using a lot of geometric shapes, and quite sharp lines.

…every single part of the drawing and the process I’m second guessing.

Cath instructed me to spend a moment on this page, which is filled with child-like colours – pinks and yellows and blues and playful sketches with lots of wobbly lines. I was instantly inspired to draw myself in a softer, more feminine way, and to focus more on my growing baby.

Cath also had me drawing with my left hand today – I really liked it – it came with a sense of freedom because I already knew it was going to be silly and look like it was drawn by a 5 year old, which made it more fun and less stressful. I’m wondering if this is a place I should explore more – even though I am trying to not judge what I create it’s hard / impossible not to – every single part of the drawing and the process I’m second guessing. I know that this is something Cath is specifically trying to get me out of, but it wont be easy.

Tomorrow I’m at drawing class here in Amsterdam – a completely different type of drawing to what I’m doing with Cath. Drawing class is more about learning techniques and it somehow feels much easier to just copy, and learn and practice than looking inside myself for the creativity, like I’m doing with Cath.

Drawing Tasks

  • Inner and/or Outer world
  • Draw yourself in 5 different ways
  • Then just look at this Instagram page Now draw yourself 5 different ways again
  • Draw yourself 1 time with left hand
+ Read more

Creative Mornings Amsterdam – Mandy Smith

I started my day today at Creative Mornings listening to my friend and amazing paper artist Mandy Smith talk about her work and creative process. It was interesting to hear how she gets inspiration from her environment – small insignificant things, or in your face obvious things like the city we both live in – Amsterdam.

And also nice to hear how she often mashes completely unrelated topics together to create something special – think Alien meets Christmas, which sounds really weird but is a super cool piece of work. I love it because it really comes from her – no one else I know would put these things together and execute it the way she has.

28 days of drawing

I’m sometimes envious of creative folk – they are so driven by their passion that there really is no other path for them – they just have to use their talents to create. I think it’s pretty common these days to flip-flop on career paths and what direction to take, but for the creatives I have the pleasure of knowing, there really is only one option – to be creative, and that seems like a pretty nice thing.

Today I spent my drawing time at Impression Painting Studio where I finished off my sketch of a jug. I really enjoy the classes – this is now my third class – I did 2 classes before the experiment to make sure this studio was the right one for me). I find the space and the drawing here really meditative – as soon as I walk in I feel my whole persona change from slightly manic (how I tend to live my life…) to calm and focused. Today I was learning about shading and how to achieve different results with various tools and techniques.

Check This

How to shade tutorial

Drawing Tasks

+ Read more

Motivation = Zero

If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.

—Edward Hopper

I struggled a bit today.

Ok, a lot.

I’m really tired so maybe that has something to do with it. Funny enough, because drawing and being creative isn’t physical like exercise or dancing I naively thought my tiredness wouldn’t have that much impact on my drawings and experience, but of course it did.

But unlike physical activity, drawing doesn’t give me energy. I like it, and feel good doing it, but it doesn’t give me energy like working out does or even having a good yarn with a mate.

Check This

How to Motivate Yourself When You Are Absolutely Exhausted

Drawing Tasks

  • Draw 1 owl with your eyes closed 
  • Draw 1 owl with your eyes open and with your left hand
  • Then look at this
  • Now draw 1 owl 
  • Then look at this
  • Now draw 1 owl
  • Then look at this
  • Draw your inner and/or outer world
+ Read more

Getting Past The Inner Negative Self-Talk

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
― Sylvia Plath

My challenge today was to get Dylan to dance around and stop in various poses so I could draw him. He was 100% not into it but agreed to participate anyhow. The drawings became quite abstract – I wonder if because I don’t have the skills and techniques to actually draw him I gravitate towards more abstract objects to represent his poses.

I’m really enjoying the eyes closed drawings – it’s fun and liberating to draw with such low expectations. It’s a similar feeling to drawing with my left hand from Day 4.

And, there is a lesson here – when we do things in a child-like way – without expectations or judgement then the experience is more positive, more free and it often enables us to tap into that space that is usually hidden by thoughts, judgements and inner negative self talk.

This is something I really want to explore during these 28 days because of course negative self talk and inner judgement doesn’t just apply to drawing, or being creative. The monkey mind can creep in at anytime.

Drawing Tasks

  • Ask Dylan to dance and stop in positions – draw these positions
  • Close your eyes and imagine a yoga position. Draw it with your eyes closed.
  • Draw your inner and/or outer world

Check This

Beautiful Losers is am amazing documentary that celebrates the creative spirit behind one of the most influential cultural movements of a generation.

+ Read more

Finding Beauty In The Imperfections

Dropping our onion peels is a liberation in itself. Within each of us there is a core —our essence, our true being. Finding that essence is our return to ourself – to who we really are – to our child-like being. From there we create in a flow. — Cath Laporte

Each week I have a skype session with Cath and today the focus was on being as open as possible to the ideas so they can just flow. This is how she sees creativity – she symbolises this by a funnel or a straw that lets the ideas come in and flow into her work.

The more connected we are to who we are, and the more ‘cleansed’ we are of all the crap, the easier it is for the inspiration and creativity to flow.

So, with that in mind today was about drawing as free as possible – drawing quickly, not putting in too much detail but just making shapes that I feel and see. It was SUPER fun – again playing with this theme of letting go of expectations like when I’m drawing with my left hand or with my eyes closed.

Less judgement, more creativity.

This is something I really struggle with. I like things to be organised and structured – packed neatly into boxes – I struggle when I’m around mess or when things haven’t been defined or planned. I also don’t like it when a line or a shape ends up somewhere unexpected, or ‘messy’ but this is actually where the beauty and creativity is. This space is really uncomfortable for me but it is somewhere I need to just sit for awhile.

For the first time today I almost kinda liked what I created, even though they are far from ‘perfect’.

Check This

The Beauty of Imperfection

Drawing Task

  • Draw Cath’s hand in one line (or close to one line)
  • Then look at this
  • Draw Cath’s mouth in one line
  • Draw Cath’s face in one line
  • Draw Monique’s face – simple lines
  • Draw headphones – simple lines
  • Draw inner/outer world from the top
  • Inner/outer world from the top, but this time zooming in more on the layers that make up my current world
  • Draw the masks that represents the layers
+ Read more

Drawing Class – The Owl

Today I was back at drawing class. I learnt about how different types of pencils create different effects, and how to use charcoal (and hopefully not cover yourself it in in the process)

With all the lines and shading and smudging, I feel like I’m spending hours applying make-up…just on paper, on an owl, and not on my face. 

This is my progress after two hours, pretty slow going right?

I’m really enjoying drawing class, but I don’t feel like I’m being creative like I am with Cath. I usually leave quite zen, and happy and maybe in some ways it is a relief to not challenge myself to really be creative on these drawing class days.

Drawing Tasks

  • Working on drawing the owl in drawing class
+ Read more

Using Negative Emotions To Create

We’re often afraid to do anything unless we know we can do it extremely well. How does it feel to do it anyway. — Cath Laporte

I don’t like extreme feelings – I’m happiest when I’m in the middle.

That might sound a bit odd (and pretty lame maybe) because I have then essentially ruled out being extremely happy as well as extremely sad, but I just like the middle (or as the Swedish would say: lagom)

I like to be in control of everything, including my feelings. I’m not saying that this is the right way to live, this is just me. When my emotions become too strong and take over, I don’t like the head space it puts me in.

I just stew on it for hours or even days. Its awful. It’s bad for stress and my mood, and my health.

A really interesting thing happened late last night…

…There is a situation in my life at the moment that is a bit of a thorn in my side. It has been going on for months and I keep hearing little snippets of information that stir everything back up. Usually this makes me angry, sad, annoyed, frustrated and I internalise these feelings. I usually don’t let too many other people know, I just stew on it for hours or even days. Its awful. It’s bad for stress and my mood and my health (and my growing baby). But, an amazing thing happened last night – when I heard some more information on the subject I got frustrated, as I usually do, but then the conversation with Cath came into my head from the other day about taking ideas and funnelling them through ourselves and all of a sudden, it was way easier to let go. And – the best bit – I was genuinely excited about getting up in the morning and drawing using these emotions – moving these feelings through me and onto the paper. So I got up and I drew. And this is the result.

Drawing task:

I asked Cath to move the task for today to later in the experiment so I could spend the time drawing what I felt inspired to today.

+ Read more

NUDE Drawing

“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.”
― Pablo Picasso

Today was rad – Cath had instructed me to draw Dylan – with and without clothes in various poses after looking at different artist’s work.

Dylan was more comfortable with his clothes off than on (no surprises there for anyone who knows my boyfriend) but it does tie into the theme I’m hooked into at the moment – when you do something silly or unexpected it creates more freedom and space and less judgement.

And I absolutely loved today’s challenge – it is fun drawing ‘live’ but it’s also fun to try and experiment more with this more free style – less detail, more free flowing lines and shapes. When I have that goal in mind, my monkey mind and inner judgement is quiet for awhile and I feel more connected to what I am creating. It feels more fun, free and true to who I am.

Check This

9 Ways To Become More Creative In The Next 10 Minutes

Drawing Tasks

  • Look at: the following instagram profiles:
  • Ymaj

    And also look here
  • Draw Dylan (dressed) 5 times — 1-2 minutes each pose
  • Cut Dylan’s silhouette in colored paper (dressed) 5 times — 1-2 minutes each pose
  • Draw Dylan (nude) 5 times — 1-2 minutes each pose 
  • Cut Dylan’s silhouette in colored paper (nude) 5 times — 1-2 minutes each pose 
  • Look at Archiespress instagram’s profile
  • Draw your inner/outer world
+ Read more

Blurred Lines

Blurring the lines between how we perceive ourselves, and what we have the potential to actually be. My yoga teacher this morning said something along these lines and it really stuck with me as it has a lot to do with what I am discovering in this experiment.

There is something so profoundly liberating about doing something that is outside of your comfort zone.

We all see ourselves in a certain way because of what we are naturally good at, and what we are told is ‘our thing’, but what I am loving in this 28 days is breaking out of the box I have created for myself. There is something so profoundly liberating about doing something (and enjoying it!) that is outside of your comfort zone, and what you perceive – and probably everyone around you perceives – as not really your thing. When I was telling mates about 28 Days of Drawing before starting this experiment I was kinda taking the piss out of myself – laughing as I told them what I was doing because, in recent years at least, I have been anything but creative in my work and personal life and I didn’t feel as though I could allow myself the space to do something creative.

…the pieces are starting to fall into place for me and I’m beginning to understand why it’s so important to give yourself time for creativity…

But it feels absolutely amazing to test the borders of this rigid little box I have created for myself, and dabble in something that’s bit left field for me. It’s only day 12 and I’m not even halfway through this experiment yet, but the pieces are starting to fall into place for me and I’m beginning to understand why it’s so important to give yourself time for creativity and learning, especially with something that is outside of your comfort zone.

Drawing today was at drawing class where it still feels like I am working more on technique than creativity. Here is the progress on my owl after 4 hours work:

Check This

The Science of Positive Thinking: How Positive Thoughts Build Your Skills, Boost Your Health, and Improve Your Work

Drawing Task

  • Drawing Class – working on the Owl
+ Read more

Today I Surrendered

In Zen Buddhism, there’s a concept called “zen mind,” or “beginner’s mind.” They say that the mind should be like an empty rice bowl. If it’s already full, then the universe can’t fill it. If it’s empty, it has room to receive. This means that when we think we have things already figured out, we’re not teachable. Genuine insight can’t dawn on a mind that’s not open to receive it. Surrender is a process of emptying the mind.
— Marianne Williamson

Today was a tough one – I was planning on drawing in the afternoon but only got through a bit and had to call it quits because of a nasty migraine. It was tough for me not to push on but I surrendered to the pain and went to bed…

I finished today’s drawings on the following day.

Drawing Tasks

  • Take one drawing of ‘Dylan’s modelling’ (day 11) and change the head with whatever you feel. Stick it on drawing – whatever you feel like.
  • Take one paper cut out of ‘Dylan’s modelling’ (day 11) a part of the body with whatever you feel. Stick it on.
  • Cut in colored paper your inner/outer world
+ Read more

Stress And Creativity

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

I’ve moved to a more ‘structured’ and geometrical drawing style over the past couple of days. It’s quite meditative because of the repetition and I wonder how much of this change has to do with some stressful stuff that’s going on in my life at the moment.

A situation that I have been trying to resolve for the past couple of months has been on my mind more than usual for the past 2 days, and my drawing has taking on more of a structured / detailed / precise form rather than the more free style I had previously. Connected? Quite possibly.

Check This

How Stress Assassinates Creativity

Drawing Tasks

  • Draw what was inside your head yesterday (migraine day)
  • Draw what’s inside your head today
  • Draw what you feel what was happening inside your belly yesterday
  • Draw what you feel is happening inside your belly today
  • Draw your inner/outer world “in a family portrait form”
+ Read more

Awesome Online Tutorial (Free)

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”
― Erich Fromm

Today I wanted to have a go at some online tutorials. I came across Rapid Fire Art and her tutorials are surprisingly easy to follow. She breaks everything down step by step and even though I didn’t have all the exact tools she uses, the sketches turned out pretty good.

The thing I’m finding out this type of drawing is it takes a lot of trust. I always find myself second guessing what I have on my paper and wanting to erase and draw in different lines, but I need to just be patient and follow step by step. It’s something I’m not very good at (I’ve always had more of a desire to do things my own way) so I’m enjoying being schooled in this way.

I would definitely recommend starting with Rapid Fire Art if you are thinking about getting into drawing. You do need a few basic tools, but other than that you should be good to go.

Drawing Task

Free online drawing tutorial – How To Draw Eyes From The Side

Check This

Some links to get you started:


+ Read more

No explaining, judging or make excuses.

“Everybody is talented because everybody who is human has something to express.” ― Brenda Ueland

At the very start of this experiment Cath did one thing that was really smart – she said when I send her my drawings I’m not allowed to explain, judge or make excuses. At first this was really hard and all I wanted to do “Ok, so this one isn’t very good because what I was trying to do was this, but then I accidentally did that…” or “ With this one, it would have been better if I did that bit – I was going to, and then I just drew that part instead….so it’s not the best, but you get the idea…”

But, I think her stance on this has really changed my experience of drawing and this experiment. When I’m finish each day I now try to not let myself to judge or be negative. It’s not easy, in fact it’s really bloody hard – I’m such an amateur at this and have zero confidence in my ability to be creative, but I’m trying, and, I think this mindset it is making this whole experience feel really positive.

I find something very similar happens in my life outside of these experiments – when I take the time to practice gratitude (which might be just reflecting after meditating or actually writing down things that I’m grateful for) I’m always happier, calmer and more positive for the rest of the day. The mind is such a funny beast, so powerful and so complex.

Cath has been very complimentary about my drawings so far, which is beyond nice of her. She said the other day that she likes what I’m doing with the combination of the sketches and soft colours. It took all my might not to respond with “that’s because you don’t usually teach people with the skill level of a 5 year old :-P’ – but I bit my tongue and didn’t say that and focused on the compliment instead.

Drawing Task

  • If your body was a house, what would it look like?
  • Close your eyes, imagine a stressful situation you are having this week – stay in that feeling and now again, if your body was a house, what would it look like?
  • Close your eyes, imagine a calm situation you are experiencing this week – stay in that feeling – if your body was a house, what would it look like?
  • Read this: Our body is like a house. Even if you have a house party in there, the house/foundation stays the same, strong.  The trick seems to let people, events, and stuff go in and out of your house. A house doesn’t judge what the wallpaper looks like or what kind of people your boyfriend invited over.
  • Draw your inner/outer world like if you were a house
+ Read more


Today was my weekly online coaching call with Cath. I’m loving these so much because they make me feel both grounded and secure, and also inspired at the same time. There is something really special about working with someone who is more experienced than you, who can guide, reassure and direct your efforts; who can be an inspiration rather than telling you what you should be doing. Leading by embodying the knowledge and not just by telling you how to do something.

It’s something that is really important to me as a coach – finding ways to inspire growth and change by directing internal dialogue, feelings and energy, and not just by telling clients what they ‘should’ be doing.

I’m so grateful to Cath for her guidance in this experiment, I feel super privileged to get this time with such a special soul.

Drawing Task

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

If your little one had something to tell you, what would it be?

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

  • If your heart had something to say what would it say?

– Re-invent an object 3 times; water bottle
– Re-invent an object 3 times; tennis racket
– Re-invent an object 3 times; toilet paper

+ Read more

Finally A Sense Of Freedom

To a very large degree, creativity made the world we live in. Remove everything about us that was not the product of the creative mind, and we would find ourselves naked in some primeval forest.

Today I drew late in the evening and for the first time since I have started this experiment I felt a sense of freedom with my drawing.

Maybe it doesn’t even come across in the actual work, but it was more enjoyable and I wanted to push myself more than I have wanted to before.

Up until now I’ve shied away from faces – something I think I’d really like to draw but haven’t because I was scared of tackling them. Tonight I just got stuck in and I liked it. It may not be the best solution to Cath’s tasks for the day, but I felt inspired to do it and just went with it.

Drawing Task

  • Look at this
  • Take the homework you gave yourself on day 15 (body parts). Take 2 “finished body parts” and “put in in a world” – whatever you feel like. Make 2 distinct worlds / take 30min each.Each world needs to have a title written in it.
  • Draw you inner outer world but just take 1 minute or 2 to do it today

Check This

I LOVE this TED Talk by Ken Robinson on creativity in schools – absolutely worth a watch!


The Never Ending Owl…

“The road to creativity passes so close to the madhouse and often detours or ends there.” ― Ernest Becker

Today I was back at drawing class, and this time with much better energy. Last class I really struggled – I’m not sure exactly why but the 2 hours felt like 6, and progress was S L O W. Someone complimented me on how good my drawing looked considering I’m new, I didn’t even try to make some sort of brush off comment to put myself down, even though I was very uncomfortable to take the compliment. Small steps…

It still amazes me how long it takes to draw in this style! It isn’t surprising once you learn about all the layers and details that need to go into it, but I would never had thought that something like the owl would take me over 6 hours to finish.

Check This

Why Finding Time Each Day For Creativity Makes You Happier

Drawing Task

Drawing Class – still working on ‘The Owl’

+ Read more

Music Challenge

Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art. – Maya Angelou

Today Cath set the challenge of listening to different types of music and drawing what I feel. I love it that she has included this because I was thinking a few days ago how much different music affects my mood when drawing, and I wondered if that translates to the actual creation.

I decided to draw faces – no real reason why, I just felt like exploring faces again today.

I picked a song that made me feel happy, a song that made me feel open / expanded and a song that made me want to get my groove on. The results were interesting, definitely not what expected – for example, with the happy song I seem to have drawn more obscure and slightly gothic faces, with the expanded song I seem to have drawn someone (to me at least) that looks quite closed in (it actually looks like a police sketch of a wanted wanted criminal! Ha!).

Check This

Listening To ‘Happy’ Music May Boost Creativity, Study Says

Drawing Task

  • Pick 3 songs that make you feel different emotions, draw what you feel.
  • Draw your inner / outer world
+ Read more

Feeling Rubbish

“When I am ….. completely myself, entirely alone… or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how these ideas come I know not nor can I force them.” ― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Today wasn’t the best day for me – I was really nauseous (morning sickness) and I feel like this comes through in my drawings. I was just getting something down on paper rather than trying to explore something deeper and I think it shows – maybe not, maybe it is just me being over critical but that’s what I see.

I’m keeping the post short for today and crossing my fingers for a better day tomorrow.

Check This

Can’t Meditate? Here’s Why You Should Try Art

Drawing Task

  • Pick a piece of text / quote that you like and draw 2 images to represent it
    Draw your family portrait when you we’re a kid and draw your family portrait with Dylan and the little one
+ Read more

Rewiring Our Thoughts

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right. Henry Ford

Today was my weekly skype date with Cath – I am loving these because it is so nice to talk through my process and be able to jam a bit on the exercises Cath is setting.

We talked about how I am still comprehending how much my mood and energy levels affects my output. It is a good lesson for me to learn – it might be really obvious to everyone else but for me I still associate needing energy for more physical stuff (like exercising), and less for stationary tasks (like drawing), but actually, according to this source at least, even though the brain is only 2% of the size of our bodies, it uses up 20% of our oxygen supply and gets 20 percent of our blood flow.

We also talked about strong our thoughts are – if you believe you can do something then you are actually often halfway there, and the same goes for the reverse. It is pretty easy to get caught up in negative thoughts: ‘that’s too hard, that’s not what I’m good at, I wish I could do that but I just don’t have those skills.’ For me at least there is something so magical about pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and challenging myself to explore different things. I will never be an artist, but this experiment is teaching me so much about myself and my relationships and my environment and that is what it’s about for me – personal growth.

Already, by only drawing for 22 days I don’t think of myself as ‘someone who isn’t creative’ or ‘someone that is only good with organising and planning’, which is previously how I perceived myself. Through this experience I have found a softer, perhaps more feminine side of me that always been there, but I was too scared to explore.

Check This

Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories?

And this – amazing TED Talk about Rewiring how you look at yourself

And to dig deeper into re-wiring our lives through our thoughts, check out the master himself – Dr Joe Dispenza

Drawing Tasks

  • Draw 3 patches of color
  • Choose 3 emotions you’ve had in the past 24 hours
  • Draw a character to represent each emotion / use each colored patch as a base
    Create a character / what would she look like? / her attributes
    – make her dance reggaeton
    – make her do yoga
    – make her laugh
    – make her cry
    – make her swim
  • Draw your inner / outer world

+ Read more

Shades Of Grey

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” ― Pablo Picasso

Today progress at my drawing class was again S L O W.

I’m realising with drawing, like with most thing, that some days I’m ‘on’ and others it is like trying to (as my Dad always says…) shovel sh*t up hill.

My focus was off and I was having to re-do a lot of the owl. On the days that I’m on I really feel like I can take a good guess at how to draw a certain part or get the shading right, yesterday I had to ask the teacher every few minutes what to do next and if what I did was ok – I was even having trouble seeing if what I had done was correct or not.

I did learn a good trick to help with shading. The issue I’m having now is it is easy for me to see and replicate the obvious light and dark parts, but the bits in between – all the various shades of grey are hard to see and create. If you look at the original through your phone camera lens it helps to be able to see more of the various levels of shading that’s needed. You can also do this with a mirror, but my smartphone camera seems to work the best for me.

I thought I might be able to finish the old owl today but he needs another 30 minutes or so next class to finish ‘applying his make up’.

Check This

Why Drawing Is Good For You

Drawing Task

Drawing Class – my never ending Owl

+ Read more

Obviously Your Life Can’t Possibly Be Silly Or Trivial Or Meaningless If You Are So Busy

I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter.— Tim Kreider

Today Cath set me a real world exercise and I loved it. I think I liked it so much because it was nice not to think about myself and my world for a bit – sometimes too much self reflection can be exhausting!

The task was to create an image to accompany a banger of an article – The Busy Trap which is all about how we are obsessed with being (or at least appearing to be….) busy.

Early on in this experiment I was struggling with ‘allowing’ myself the space to just draw, as though if I wasn’t ‘busy’ – working or completing tasks or my to-do list, then I somehow wasn’t achieving, or moving forward or ‘gaining’…whatever that means.

I feel this that this perception is changing as I go through this experiment – previously if I was doing something that was ‘busy and important’ I felt productive, but doing something creative, or leisurely or just giving myself space didn’t feel right, like I wasn’t allowed that rest until I completed my never ending, to-do list (which of course is never ending!)


Check This

Powerful and challenging – Marina Abramović in Brazil: The Space in Between

Drawing Task

+ Read more

Online Tutorial – How To Draw A Realistic Eye

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.” ― Osho

There is something so lovely and relaxing about doing the sort of drawing I’ve done on the two practice days (Day 15 and today).

The work is so detailed and you need to fully focus on what you are doing. Thoughts drift by but they don’t usually stick around too long so it becomes a nice sort of half-meditative state of mind.

I tried an eye from the front perspective today. I found it a bit more challenging than the previous profile eye. I’m actually looking forward to hopefully exploring this type of sketching more after this experiment.

Check This

Free online tutorial on How To Draw A Realistic Eye

Drawing Task:

  • Drawing practice day
+ Read more

I Finished The Bloody Owl!

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

I finally finished my Owl drawing! I don’t know why but I’m still surprised that this style of drawing takes so long.

I actually collected about 4 sketches to do in drawing class over the 28 days – thinking I would get through most of them, but I was lucky to finish this one.

It’s funny how we focus on the bits we don’t like though, like we often do in life. I’m really happy with the end result, but I do have to keep my mind from going to the parts I know I could have done better, and when I show anyone it’s a challenge to keep from saying ‘next time I would just make this bit bigger, or move that part there…”

It feels good to draw a close to the drawing class part of this experiment. I enjoyed learning the technique, but it never really felt like I was being ‘creative.’ That might sounds like a funny thing to say but it felt more about learning the technique of drawing than actually creating.

Drawing Task

  • Drawing Class – FINISHING THE OWL!!
+ Read more

Flow State

Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything… whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you’ll find that when you’re free, your true creativity, your true self comes out. — Tina Turner

Today I genuinely liked what I drew! And that definitely hasn’t happened a lot during this challenge.

I was able to concentrate easier today, and it just seemed to flow out of me more so than on other days.

…it feels easier to jump into that space that allows me to flow than when I started this experiment.

I am finally starting to allow myself the space to just draw and have fun. I’m still judgemental and critical of what I produce, but definitely less so than a few weeks ago. Maybe it is just something that comes with time and practice. Even though I have only being drawing for a few weeks I am finding that because I’m practicing everyday it’s easier to jump into that space that allows me to flow.

Check This

The Art Of Being Yourself

And, Flow State: What It Is and How to Achieve It

Drawing Task

  • Draw something to represent this piece of text:

There is an old cliche, “You can see the glass half empty, or you can see it half full.” You can focus on what’s wrong in your life, or you can focus on what’s right. But whatever you focus on, you’re going to get more of. Creation is an extension of thoughts. Think last, and you get lack. Think abundance, and you get more.― Marianne Williamson

  • Draw something to represent this piece of text:

We’re like the spokes on a wheel, all radiating out from the same center. If you define us according to our position on the rim, we seem separate. But if you define us according to our source, the center of the wheel, we’re a shared identity.― Marianne Williamson

  • Draw something to represent this piece of text:

As children, we were taught to be ‘good’ boys and girls, which of course implies we were not that already. We were taught we’re good if we clean up our room, or we’re good if we make good grades. Very few of us were taught that we’re essentially good. Very few of us were given a sense of unconditional approval, a feeling that we’re precious because of what we are, not what we do. ― Marianne Williamson

  • Draw your inner and outer world
+ Read more

Everyone Is Creative.

To believe in something is like gravity pulling towards you. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning. It’s what gets us back on track when something goes wrong. We need to believe in something — follow something other than our own fucking minds. Follow our heart, our inner GPS, our intuition. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is it’s something that’s felt from the inside. Being in touch with our creative side help us do that. — Cath Laporte

It’s always a very odd feeling when an experiment comes to an end – I’m happy to be getting some of my time back, but I’m also aware of how amazing the process has been for me, and if I do manage to keep going after the 28 days, I know I will continue to benefit from the experience of sitting down and creating, putting pen to paper and just seeing what comes out.

I feel like – especially over the past couple of days – that I’m really starting to find my flow which is so important when looking to tap into anything creative. I used to have this a lot when I was dancing, but at the time didn’t really understand what it was. It feels nice to – in a different way of course – be back in this space.

28 days ago the very concept of drawing scared the shit out of me. I didn’t see myself as creative at all and thought that only people who worked in a creative field had the honour of calling themselves creative, but the reality is we are all creative in our own ways – maybe its just in the small everyday things like picking fun creative outfits for your kids, or adding that bit of flare to that dinner you are preparing for a loved one, or knitting or singing or curating your pinterest board, but each and every one of us has the gift of creativity, we just need to give ourselves the space to let it flow out of us.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me X

Check This

Flow, The Secret To Happiness

Drawing Task

  • Make a series of 3 drawings, paper cut outs or whatever you feel that represent what you’ve learn, what you take with you beyond 28 days of drawing
  • On one piece of paper separated in 2 – draw your inner/outer world 28 days ago and draw your inner/outer world today
+ Read more


Before the experiment started I was doing a bit of dabbling at home – drawing a few sketches of things I found online. We had a team of builders in our apartment at the time and I was so embarrassed to be drawing. Not because I’m a beginner – I really didn’t care what the result was like, but because it felt indulgent, it felt like I was being a bit of a princess just sitting there with my sketch pad while they were working.

But that was because at the time I didn’t really understand that having a daily creative outlet, like drawing, could be so important to stress levels, anxiety, confidence, mental clarity and really just feeling good and happy and at ease.

The 28 Days Of Drawing experiment was never about if I could learnt to draw ‘better’ over the 28 days, but instead how the experience made me feel. It was about seeing if I could allow myself the space to find my own creative groove, see if I could better manage my inner negative self talk, and determining if I could consider myself someone who’s ‘creative.’

So What’s The Verdict?

After drawing everyday for 28 days I felt calmer, more in touch with what I really feel about a situation (stronger connection to my gut feeling), a sense of lightness and ease and yep, definitely happier.

The feeling isn’t dissimilar to after I meditated for 28 days.

And, I also now see myself as a creative! Not a shit-hot one, not even a great one, and I wouldn’t even list creativity as one of my top 10 attributes, but the fact is we all have creativity in our soul and in our core, in our own very unique ways, and sometimes it’s just about allowing ourselves the space, and the time, to explore this, and allow it to open us up.

My 11 Most Significant Observations And Changes

  1. I found that as the experiment went on I was having more moments of complete calm – where I could easily sit and just be – observe and not fidget; be present and not run through to-do lists in my head. I wasn’t expecting this (I found this with 28 Days of Meditation as well) but there was something about sitting and drawing each day that made me really comfortable with just being.
  2. I’ve found that I’m now actively looking around for inspiration and things to draw which keep me distracted from my constant inner dialogue.
  3. At the start of the experiment I was not comfortable drawing with people around. This wasn’t because I was a beginner, it was more about the fact that drawing felt indulgent and I didn’t feel like I could ‘allow’ myself the time and space to draw. I understand the benefits so much more now and don’t feel this way at all.
  4. I found that after a couple of weeks I was able to get more into my flow state.
  5. I feel like it helped with stress relief.
  6. Making it fun and playful really does play an important role in creativity – drawing with my eyes closed, with my left hand or drawing really fast removed my expectations and the pressure that I was unconsciously applying to the task. Once it was fun, and free; and with less expectations, I enjoyed the experience so much more and was possibly more creative. Find your inner child, they are hiding in there somewhere!
  7. I found it really difficult to be ok with the imperfections. I don’t like mess and things being out of place or disorganised but this, I’ve realised, is where the creativity is lurking.
  8. Space is key – trying to approach creativity and drawing with an agenda, or pressure to perform or any sort of rigidity will result in something that feels fake – so how do we find this space? I think it’s unique for every person but for me drawing in the early morning, or very late at night was helpful…when the house is quiet and it’s dark outside.
  9. Consistency is key – each day it was easier to quickly jump back into my creative groove without giving it much thought, this wouldn’t have been the case if I was just going to drawing class once a week. Making something a habit is key to making a positive change in your life, whatever that change is.
  10. Expectations, rigidity, planning, speed, pressure all smoother creativity.
  11. With this experiment I planned and structured it way less than usual. This was because I working with Cath (my mentor) who was in charge of the daily tasks. This was really uncomfortable for me, but I think the letting go, and being slightly less prepared, really benefited the experiment and journey.

And What Have I Learnt?

Doing something creative – everyday if possible – has a positive effect on mental health and general wellbeing. Making it a habit is key – you need to find a way to do it on a regular basis and adding a big chunk of fun and lightheartedness is super important. Most of the time we are only limited by what we believe to be true so get out of your head, pick up a pencil or paint brush or cookbook or camera and do something creative for you. I did something creative for me – for a whole 28 amazing, fun, beautiful days and it felt bloody great.

If you want to read about my journey, or see what I created o er the 28 days – take a look here.

Until next time.