In my last post and video, we talked about when a crafter is called an artist – and the feedback was so powerful I decided to create a part 2! And of course that gave me an excuse to make some more patterned paper, yay! This time – no watercolor, just stamping inks; so you can take the class without having to watercolor everything. It has a different look, but still very pretty. (This follows the template for Lesson 2 with some adaptations that are discussed in class.)

Tutorial: Overcoming “bad art” days….and learning to respect your art

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Ten minutes a day

I always recommend that artists create something every day. What does that mean?

  1. At ten minutes a day, you’ll develop a practice habit.
  2. A tiny notebook and a pen or pencil is all it takes.
  3. Figure out when you have 10 minutes to sit still and just make art without thinking.
  4. Drawing shapes and lines helps to develop habits, work on hand-eye coordination, line quality, etc but the real benefit is  learning to loosen your mind while you work.
  5. Drawing objects is better – but if that’s at all intimidating, don’t go there til you’re comfortable and have a habit already developed. This can become your “omg do I have to do this again” thing, and the idea is to let pencil and paper become something you love and crave.
  6. By the way, this 10 minutes is in addition to —or a way to start off on —a regular session of making art.

Keep a grace journal

What’s a grace journal? At the end of your daily 10 minutes, write down a compliment in a little journal. Just the date and a sentence. Look at what you just made, and write down something like:

  1. These colors make me feel joy.
  2. The lines in the upper left look really elegant.
  3. I sat down frustrated, got up peaceful.

You needn’t detail whatevr you worked on – but this is practice in getting GOOD words on paper to stick in your head. Every time you open up this journal, it’s filled with statements of grace you’ve poured out into yourself.

Befriend a cross-discipline artist.

I’ve found that the best people in my life to encourage me artistically are the ones who are making art NOT like mine. They DON’T make what I do. They use a different medium. They have a completely different style.

Those are the people who can see your work for what it is—not comparing it to the same circles you walk in. (There’s a place for those kinds of friendships to wax on about your niche, but if you want to start seeing your work on the spectrum of ART and not get sucked into thinking you’re “only” a crafter again, you need some outside input.)

Urban sketching is where I’d recommend starting to find an artist friend. Other “fine art” groups will inquire/compare notes on who does what, and I find that’s not so in sketching groups….they don’t care what kind of artist anyone is – just that you’re there and drawing with them is plenty. You’ll find people who are just barely beginning, as well as people who’ve been drawing for years. Some have made lots of progress, others are slower. And it’s all good. All that matters is you’re there and participating, and you’ll not find judgment!

Yesterday’s YT short

In case you missed it, I posted a short video with this piece on the left; it uses the template from Lesson 5 from Pattern Stamping class – but with different stamps and products; the blue is a water-based marker since I didn’t have the “right” blue in distress inks. So you can use other water-soluble mediums for class, too!


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  1. Tracee Reiter

    I get stuck many times and literally just sit and stare, not knowing where to start or get my MOJO working! Thank you for this video.
    I never thought of making a back ground like this!
    Which stamps are you using?
    I’m going to rewatch this video.
    I do have days, that I feel I just suck, but I also have days when I can’t believe I’ve created such a beautiful piece of art!!
    I really enjoyed the way you explained how to get back into the things I used to love to do & be fairly good at.
    Thank you!!

  2. linda klocek

    I want to tell you that I love the way you explained what and artist is. I do so many things. Creatively and I never felt that I was a artist just a craft person.
    I sew clothes, quilt, paint, knit, and crochet. I sometimes for it for a gift or just for me. Again, thank you. For making us feel that we are artist and not just craft person.

  3. Gab

    Another great post and video – thanks Sandy.
    Love your three tips
    And I’m all signed up for class!


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