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PRINTSPIRING http://printspiring.com Printable Inspiration Wed, 26 Apr 2017 03:02:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.15 http://printspiring.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/cropped-favicon-32x32.png PRINTSPIRING http://printspiring.com 32 32 Saying Yes To New Adventures – The Story of Sumbawa http://printspiring.com/saying-yes-new-adventures-story-sumbawa/ Mon, 29 Aug 2016 05:20:30 +0000 http://printspiring.com/?p=4380 The rugged and remote Indonesian island of Sumbawa is part of the world that most people can only imagine existing. Here, far removed from the modern world – life is...

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The rugged and remote Indonesian island of Sumbawa is part of the world that most people can only imagine existing. Here, far removed from the modern world – life is one of simplicity. Travel by horse and cart is still a ‘thing’ and cows, goats, sheep, chickens, horses and ducks wander freely along the roadside. Instead of grocery shops and malls, market stalls line the roads in every village and women sit chatting behind fragrant piles of chillies, limes, garlic, ginger, galangal, and not so fragrant dishes of fly-covered fish. Many people live in tiny stilted huts where they tend to their fields, their skin wrinkled and darkened from the intense tropical sun. Women forage in the ocean at low tide, carrying baskets on their head, and tiny colourful wooden fishing boats line the shores.

For almost three years, Sumbawa has been home to me, and PRINTSPIRING has grown from an idea into a reality here.  Ironically, as I sit down and weave the sentences of this story together, it is actually coming to and end. The last chapter of this Sumbawa story will close as we leave on a seaplane one final time in less than two weeks. I thought it was a good time to go back to the beginning and share a little of my journey and how saying ‘yes’ to this adventure of living abroad on a remote and rugged island has influenced my creative work.

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Once upon a time

At the end of 2013 I packed up my comfortable life in Australia, left behind family, friends, my sweet Buddy dog, the English speaking population, my winter clothes, drinkable tap water, and followed my man and his mining career deep into the jungle of the remote, developing island of Sumbawa, Indonesia.

For me, the timing was everything. After years of developing myself as an artist, I was feeling drained creatively. I had been doing large scale acrylic on canvas work, and had just taken down a collection of paintings in what had turned out to be a fairly unsuccessful exhibition.  I’d also been doing commissioned paintings, and had just handed over a huge painting to it’s buyers. This particular painting had taken weeks and weeks of painting and re-painting. The whole process was a struggle, and it showed in my work.

Up until this point, I had worked so hard towards being able to wake up and paint every day. I had worked at various soul-sucking office jobs, while developing myself as a fine artist after hours. I painted numerous paintings and made hundreds of prints. I sold my work online, at markets, and displayed my paintings at exhibitions and in cafes. I had been hired and fired, accepted and rejected. I’d been asked “When are you getting a ‘real’ job?”, more times than I’d like to remember.

It had been an uphill road, but there I was, finally in a position where I was able to wake up to paint every single day. Living the dream. It should have been exciting and rewarding, but I wasn’t enjoying it at all.  I knew I wasn’t on the right path, and the pressure and expectation I felt robbed me of the joy that painting had once brought me. I had knots in my stomach at the thought of returning to an office job and I was creating from a place of fear.

Saying ‘Yes’ To A New Adventures

When were given the unique opportunity to relocate across the ocean, I was ready to embrace the adventure – knowing that it would be a heart opening, and life-changing experience.  The hard decisions I was going to have to make about my creative career were removed from me overnight. Far outside of my comfort zone in a foreign, developing country I felt free. There was no longer pressure to earn an income. Nobody was asking me when I was getting a ‘real’ job.  Life became about living. Learning a new language. Exploring the jungle, mountains and ocean. Meeting new people and making new friends.

I took my art website and blog offline, and closed that chapter of my journey with relief. I didn’t pick up a paintbrush for a whole year. I flirted with creativity, and explored all of my interests and ideas. I immersed myself in books about photography. I started to experiment with calligraphy and hand lettering. I wrote about our adventures here in Sumbawa. Each day, as I navigated my way through the different experiences that a new culture and language brought, I began to learn so much about myself. Travel and living abroad has a way of placing us outside of ourselves, providing us with a brand new perspective of ourselves and who we believe we are as a person. Change is inevitable.

 Say Yes To New Adventures by PRINTSPIRING

Enter PRINTSPIRING

As my heart expanded, I experienced a deeper level of  passion and inspiration than ever before. I began to think of a way I could combine all of the things I am most passionate about. Painting and design, writing and the power of words, wellbeing and personal development, nature, creation and colour. Living so remotely made many ideas an impossibility. The postal service in our jungle village is next to non-existent, and the only ‘shops’ nearby are more about selling bananas and coconuts than paint and sketchbooks.

Enter PRINTSPIRING

Printables! I could create art, upload the digital files to an online shop and buyers could download and print the art at home! While creating printable wall art was the perfect solution to my isolated geographical situation, the plan was far from flawless. I didn’t even have a printer of my own. I had limited art supplies. Our jungle internet connection makes the dial up internet of yesteryear look fast and efficient. My only workspace option was a tiny, warped company-supplied dining table. I believed I could make it happen though, and I got to work. Whenever we left the island on the seaplane, I would return with some art supplies, (and a printer on one occasion!) in my suitcase. I shared my progress on Instagram and found myself surrounded by  a supportive and encouraging tribe.

PRINTSPIRING is still evolving, a work in progress. Being able to indulge my creativity full time without the pressure of earning a reliable income has been a unique opportunity and a privilege I’ve woken up grateful for every single morning. Now, almost 3 years since this journey began, the time for us to relocate back to Australia has arrived. I have mixed feelings and emotions about re-entering the ‘real’ world. It is my dream that I can continue to pursue my creativity full time, and I’ll be working towards making that dream a reality. As the Story of Sumbawa concludes, I find myself once again saying ‘yes’ to new adventures!

Free Printable!

This painting was inspired by my adventures, and I want it to inspire adventures for you. So, I’ve created a special freebie for your wall! You can find this free 8×10 printable in the PRINTSPIRING Free Printable File Library. Download this freebie and many others here!
Say_Yes_To_Adventures
Click to gain access

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Make a Rainbow Bird Garland with this DIY Printable Bird Garland Kit http://printspiring.com/4327-2/ Fri, 01 Apr 2016 03:05:59 +0000 http://printspiring.com/?p=4327 This DIY Printable Bird Garland is for the bird nerds, colour lovers and paper crafters! I’ve had this idea in my head for a long time, and I’m excited to share the finished product! It’s...

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This DIY Printable Bird Garland is for the bird nerds, colour lovers and paper crafters! I’ve had this idea in my head for a long time, and I’m excited to share the finished product! It’s a DIY Printable Bird Garland featuring my paintings of a rainbow of birds from around the world!

If you follow PRINTSPIRING on Instagram you might have seen some of the behind the scenes action. The time-lapses of the birds appearing on the page have been super popular! I also shared in a blog post the art materials I was using. It’s been a huge project –  designing, painting, editing and assembling, but it’s finally here and ready for you!

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Let me introduce the feathered friends that feature in this rainbow garland.

The bright red cardinal is from the woodlands of Northern America. He’s hanging out beside a pretty flame-coloured tanager from the mountains of Mexico. I’ve spotted the tiny yellow-bellied sunbird right outside my window, hovering in the hibiscus flowers here in Sumbawa, Indonesia. Green toucanets live in the forests of Central and South America. Kingfishers, with varying shades of blue plumage can be found in tropical places all over the world, usually near a river or stream! The indigo coloured splendid  fairy-wren, is a beautiful little bird from Australia, and the spectacularly coloured violet-backed starling on the end can be found in the woodlands and savanna forests of Africa!

MAKE YOUR OWN

This garland is available now as an instant download, printable DIY kit. I’ve made a few myself during the testing/tweaking phase and they’re a lot of fun to make! Perfect for a relaxing crafternoon!

  1. Click here to purchase the printable DIY Bird Garland Kit
  2. Download the files. They will be available straight after purchase!
  3. Print the contents of the kit. Use at least 200gsm paper, and the best print quality setting on your printer.
  4. Cut. Snip. Trim. Don’t worry, there are tiiiiiny dotted lines to make it easy!
  5. Hang & Decorate! You could stick the birds straight on a wall, hang them on a piece of string with miniature wooden pegs as I did, or you could get creative and sew them together. Add some feathers for that boho-chic look!

I’d love to see your bird garland, feel free to share! You can send me a message or tag PRINTSPIRING on social media!


 

FREE PRINTABLE LIBRARY

Click to gain access

 

 

DIY Printable Bird Garland by PRINTSPIRING

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The Evolution of A Bird Painting: How I Paint and What Materials I Use http://printspiring.com/4065-2/ http://printspiring.com/4065-2/#comments Fri, 22 Jan 2016 00:55:53 +0000 http://printspiring.com/?p=4065 I am self taught artist, I’ve never had any painting lessons. My process is intuitive, often messy and it often involves a lot of experimentation and many layers of paint. This is...

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I am self taught artist, I’ve never had any painting lessons. My process is intuitive, often messy and it often involves a lot of experimentation and many layers of paint. This is definitely not tutorial on technique, I just wanted to share the process of how I bring a bird to life on my page!

I’m always mixing different mediums, so my list of materials varies with each painting but here’s the combination of tools that brought this particular flame-coloured tanager into existence!

Paint
Winsor & Newton Gouache and Cotman Water Colors
Dr Ph Martins Concentrated Water Color Ink
Daler Rowney FW Acrylic Artists Ink

Brushes
Raphaël Kolinsky Series 8402 Size 0, 8408 Size 2/0

Paper
Fabriano Artistic Extra White Watercolor Paper

The Evolution of A Bird Painting: How I Paint and What Materials I Use

To see more of my work in progress,  follow PRINTSPIRING on Instagram.

Make sure you sign up to the monthly newsletter, you’ll receive lots of inspiration and free printables that are only available to subscribers!

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A Daily Creative Practice: 7 Days, 7 Unexpected Insights http://printspiring.com/a-daily-creative-practice-7-days-7-unexpected-insights/ Sat, 10 Oct 2015 09:39:07 +0000 http://printspiring.com/?p=3966 Up until recently, if I were to have used a sentence containing the words ‘daily’, ‘creative’ and ‘practice’ it would have almost certainly also contained the words ‘never going to happen’.  When it comes...

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Up until recently, if I were to have used a sentence containing the words ‘daily’, ‘creative’ and ‘practice’ it would have almost certainly also contained the words ‘never going to happen’.  When it comes to creativity, my process would be best described as sporadic or spontaneous. I’ve always wanted to cultivate some sort of daily creative practice, but I feared that by setting parameters or committing metrically in some way to creating consistently, that I would feel burdened and uninspired by the whole process.

Daily Creative Practice by PRINTSPIRING
I’ve often admired the commitment and consistency of some of the daily painters, sketchers, calligraphers and other creatives on my Instagram feed. Here are a few rabbit-holes of inspiration for you to fall down. (You’ve been warned!)

30 minute painting a Day – @augustwren
100 Days of Birds – @charlotteduffydesigns
Daily Watercolor Paintings –  @joycharde
100 days of collage –  @nullsie
Make Art Everyday – @blendastudio
Daily Letters – @bysarahkimRecently, I decided to play the game for just 7 days, to ‘dip my big toe’ into the world of daily creative practice. I figured a week was achievable  even if I was finding myself feeling pressured, constrained and uninspired by the experience. So, for one hour each day, I set a timer and sat down to paint a bird.Daily Creative Practice by PRINTSPIRING

Painting the birds was enjoyable, but the real magic was in the unexpected insights that presented themselves during the process..

1. Time slows down. I am convinced that time slips by faster when I’m sitting in front of a screen. An hour of painting felt like a good old fashioned hour. You know, the way an hour used to feel when you were a kid. A reallllllly long time. I was surprised at what I could achieve in this hour.

2. The crowds gather around. People love to see work in progress. During the challenge, two of my daily paintings were featured on larger Instagram accounts. This lead to an influx of new followers, and attracted a supportive, encouraging audience.

3. Blank page phobia loses it’s grip. Ok, so not entirely.. But those fears that bubble to the surface whenever you’re confronted with a blank sheet of paper grow weaker each day. There’s only 1 hour on the clock, so the bolder and braver the brushstrokes, the better!

4. You can’t use up creativity. I’m guilty of ‘hoarding’ creativity – if that’s even a thing. Sometimes I’m not sure where the next idea or inspiration will come from, so I stockpile, stash and store as though I might never feel a creative urge again. It turns out though, that the more you use your creativity, the more you have. If you sit down to create, the very process of creating leads you to new ideas, and the momentum continues to build.

5. The stars don’t have to be aligned. The dishes don’t need to be done or the bed made. There’s not a necessary sequence of events that must take place before you’re presented with ‘permission to create’. There’s no need to wait until everything feels ‘just right’ before you begin. Just start.

6. It doesn’t have to be good. I didn’t like every painting that I produced, but learned that it’s possible to enjoy the process of painting and creating regardless of how it turns out.  It’s all about the process. Often I’m creating with an end result in mind, with expectations about how it will turn out, so creating without this pressure made me feel so much more ‘present’ in the process.

7. You have so much potential. Yes, you! I do, you do, we all have so much potential.  When I realised just how much I was capable of creating in a short 60 minutes, it raised a lot of questions about time management. It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t have time to create something, but imagine if we all put pen to paper and created instead of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram consuming!

 

Daily painting creative practice - water-colour bird art by PRINTSPIRING

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Why I didn’t want to start a blog and why I’m starting one anyway   http://printspiring.com/why-i-didnt-want-to-start-a-blog-and-why-im-starting-one-anyway/ Fri, 25 Sep 2015 07:45:40 +0000 http://printspiring.com/?p=3924  I’ve been hovering in the awkward space between ‘To Blog’ and ‘Not To Blog’ for months and months. It’s not that I have nothing to say, or I don’t know how to...

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 I’ve been hovering in the awkward space between ‘To Blog’ and ‘Not To Blog’ for months and months. It’s not that I have nothing to say, or I don’t know how to blog… I’ve been a blogger before, and I’m familiar with the process.  I know that the Google creepy crawlies love blogs, and I know that a blog can be a huge in contributing to the success of a business. I like writing, and I’ve always got words swirling around in my head. They want to make an exit at the most inconvenient times (usually when I’m trying to get some sleep) and I know I have enough of them to create consistent blog content. Here’s the thing though… 
 

I just didn’t feel like I had anything new or original to add to the 164 million blogs already out there in the blogosophere.

Sometimes when I start downloading the contents of my brain onto a piece of paper, a quick google about the topic of choice reveals that my thoughts have already been articulated in a more clearer and concise way than the jumble of words I’ve written my page. My A-HA moment occurred while I was painting, with an episode of MarieTV playing in the background. The episode featured Elizabeth Gilbert on Fear, Authenticity and Big Magic, and it is full of gems of wisdom. It was these few words that snapped me out of my indecision.

“It’s all been done before. It has not yet been done by you.
You’re allowed to add to the pile.”

There is so much permission in those few short sentences. Many people paint and create inspiring artwork. Lots and lots of creative souls have been on a journey, and have written about the things I will write about. But there is only one person who can tell the story of a jungle-island dwelling, seaplane travelling, stargazing, nature-loving, bird painting, colour lover with a witty, sarcastic sense of humour and an impulsive urge to perform handstands. So, almost a whole year after the idea of PRINTSPIRING was born, I am hitting publish on the first blog post today. Here I go, ‘adding to the pile’.

I intend to blog weekly, but I am reluctant to categorize, or define exactly what my content will be, as this journey is one of  change and transformation. My work is constantly evolving, and I am always expanding and learning. I hope to share the insights, and inspiration that I am gifted along this journey. In doing so, my desire is that others might be inspired to embrace their own creativity and begin their own artistic adventure.

You may notice that I’ve disabled the comment section, for many reasons that I may go into another time. I am active on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, & Facebook, so let’s connect there, and remember you can always say hello via the contact form here anytime! I’d love to hear from you!

Pssst. Make sure you sign up to the newsletter, you’ll receive lots of inspiration and free printables that are only available to subscribers!

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