Discover Your Style by Building Your Visual Dreamland!

This week, I talk about how you can change your mindset so that you really feel like you are heading towards the style that fits you. I show examples of my work and share how I have built my visual dreamland. I also tell more about the new class Collageland. Watch the replay of Thursday’s live broadcast!

Visual Dreamland – Watch the Recording!

Collageland is a class for you who loves decorative textiles but wants to save time and effort by creating with pens and paper. Rather than trying to succeed and capture your style through a single project, start exploring your creativity as a process, designing your visual dreamland one stroke at a time! >> Buy Collageland!

Coming Up!

Next week, there will be a written blog post! If you haven’t yet, subscribe to my weekly emails so that you won’t miss the blog posts and there’s also a bonus – a free mini-course Loosen up!

Subscribe to my weekly emails – Get a free mini-course!

Resilience, Interview of Eeva Nikunen, and a New Class!

Lots have happened this week! I hope you enjoy these videos!

Resilience to Create a Big Project – Interview of Eeva Nikunen

This week, I interviewed fantasy artist Eeva Nikunen about her big project – creating a self-published book from her art. We are talking about resilience: what she has learned from creating a series from her visual dreamland and how she has been able to carry through the project all by herself. Eeva also shows the supplies that she has been using, and if you are curious about graphite pencils, this episode is truly inspiring!

>> Order Eeva’s journal here!

New Class: Collageland!

I am excited to launch a new class called Collageland! It is a new, expanded version of an old mini-course that I made for 21 Secrets in 2015. It’s packed with inspiration from textiles and instructions on how to create handmade collage art. See the video below!

>> Buy Collageland here!

New Live Next Week: Discover Your Style by Building a Visual Dreamland

Rather than trying to succeed and capture your style through a single project, start exploring your creativity as a process, designing your visual dreamland one stroke at a time! I will talk about my newest class Collageland and what I learned in 2009-2015 when moving from crafts to design and from design to art.

Live broadcast of Paivi's art blog. This time she is talking about her new class and how to discover your style.

Come meet me live next week, May 10, 2018, 5 PM BST (London), 9 AM PDT (San Francisco) >> Reserve Your Spot here!

Little Assistants – How Pets Help with Art Making

Surreal Stella, a sketchbook page made with Derwent Artbars and waterbrush. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

I work at home with two dogs and four birds. My husband leaves early in the morning and then there are only us, the gang of seven. One of my little assistants is a beagle called Stella, a very cute little angel to every human but I think she would describe herself as a hungry hunter and would order a very different portrait than this one!

Gathering Inspiration

First, I take the dogs out for a walk. I solve most of my work-related problems and make plans in this private morning meeting, happening inside my head.  In the afternoon, there’s another walk, but that’s not as productive as the one in the morning.

I always carry a phone with me so that I can take photos if I happen to see something inspirational and artistic. As a result, I have a lot of pictures that are not so great or meaningful to memory keeping and such, but that look abstract art to me.

Photographing light and gathering inspiration for art.

This winter we have got quite a many snow storms. In February, it had snowed a lot during the day, so before we left our front yard, I was already taking photos of this mad whiteness that we were trying to overcome.

Snowstorm in Finland.

We had been wading for some time when I realized that I had lost my keys in the snow while taking photos. After a lot of sweat, and stepping back and forth, I finally found the keys in the middle of “the road.” During a year, there are many days in Finland where everyone else than dog owners have their meetings indoors.

Taking Healthy Breaks

On a workday, my dogs hang around quite a lot.  They have learned that if I set something on the floor, it’s not for them to lay down on.

Photographing art and having a pet around an art studio. Read more about the life of an artist who has pets!

They try to be patient when waiting for daily treats but maybe see their role as interrupters who force me to have short breaks now and then. Cosmo, the old one, is the leader who decides when to stop my work, and Stella quickly joins him.

Cosmo and Stella, Paivi Eerola's pets.

These breaks don’t always seem so healthy and fun to me. I am often in a very concentrated mode and find a soft touch of a nose just annoying. But who could resist these faces?

Getting Genuine Encouragement

The birds – four budgies called Henrietta, Citronelle, Dynamite, and Bonneville – see my work differently. They want to join me and encourage me when I am at my best. It means that every time I record videos, and they sense the excitement in my voice, they start chirping: “Go on, you are doing great! Oh Paivi, you are so inspiring!”

Paivi Eerola's fours budgies. Read about her life as an artist working from home.

Hearing the birds is a contradictory thing. My birds don’t lie so if I don’t hear any sounds when I am speaking, I know that my enthusiasm doesn’t show and I have to fix that. But despite the walls, the mic picks up the high-note sounds easily. So I have to stop recording, go to the library room to ask them to be quiet. Sometimes nothing else helps than darkening the room and adding a cover on their cage. It often feels cruel, especially after seeing them happy and excited first. So many of my videos have bird sounds in the background, and I hope that you forgive us!

Paivi Eerola's art studio.

Having Pets as Models

Cosmo and Stella are very proud of their modeling skills, and they think that the reward they need for every minute is very moderate too. However, it’s often cheaper for me to take a photo and use that as a reference.

Cosmo and Stella, Paivi Eerola's pets. Read how she describes her life as an artist working from home with pets.

Unfortunate for them, but I don’t often paint dogs. But this month, when the monthly theme of Bloom and Fly is stretching the imagination and adding surreal elements to art, I wanted to express how cute Stella is in my eyes.

Paivi Eerola's art studio.

Learning Leadership Skills

My position as the leader of the pack has strengthened during the past years. We all wait eagerly for my husband in the afternoons but I am often the one my pets turn with their needs. My husband loves them as much as I do, and it hasn’t always been this way. But the time spent with them matters, and it gives me the sense of satisfaction when I don’t have to leave my pets alone.

Paivi Eerola and her beagles. Read how she works from home with her pets!

This year, leading an online community has been new to me. In fact, when I left my day job in 2014, I thought that I would be just making self-study classes and taking care of the pets! There’s a false sense of independence built in the art making because most of the creating happen alone. But after running my first workshop, I realized that I can help more when there’s more interaction.

With the community, it has dawned on me that the role of a leader doesn’t mean that I have to know it all. We are all learning from each other. It’s a liberating thought, and it doesn’t only empower the leader, but the members as well.

We often have intentions to create a certain kind of art or share our art but postpone it because we feel that we need to figure it out by ourselves first. Some of the things that I have postponed are diving deeper into watercolor painting and develop more ways to use art for self-exploration.

A Detail of "Surreal Stella", a sketchbook page made with Derwent Artbars and waterbrush. By Paivi Eerola from Peony and Parakeet.

But the truth is that when you have the support, changes start to happen. You get structure and kindness that gives you courage. There’s no need to struggle alone or wait until you are ready. The life is not so long after all.

Bloom and Fly – Don’t wait until you are more skillful, join the community now!