5 Ways Sleep Can Promote Creativity

Good morning creative friends,

Today I come to you with a heartfelt post that I feel I must share with all of you.  Up until just recently I have been not giving my body enough rest and had been living off caffeine.  Getting enough rest and not needing caffeine has been such a game changer for me.

Being dedicated to your craft is admirable, but to maintain or improve your artistry, rest is as important as devoting time to create art. As I talked about in my post here taking some time off can bring about a different perspective. It lets you reflect on what you really feel inside as well as what you want to express.

In fact, the amount and quality of sleep you’re getting has a lot to do with your creativity. Sleep has been proven to promote creativity in multiple ways, and here are 5 of them.

Keeps your creative juices flowing

The part of your brain responsible for creativity is like a machine that churns out new ideas. It needs fuel to run properly, and this is replenished when you get enough sleep. It was proven in a study from University of Haifa cited by Leesa, which found that people who slept sufficiently were more creative than their sleep-deprived counterparts. This is more important if you’re a visual artist, because the researchers also observed that visually creative people have more difficulty functioning during the day. Needless to say, you don’t want to make that worse by skimping on sleep.

Dreams make you more creative

Sleep is your ticket to dreams that make you more creative. “Dreams are just thinking in a different biochemical state. In the sleep state, the brain thinks much more visually and intuitively,” explains Harvard University psychologist Deirdre Barrett. Many priceless works of art actually sprouted from their respective artist’s dreams, and one of the most famous is Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory.

Maintains memory skills

Memories may also serve as inspiration for art, be it a profound experience or something rather mundane. ABC reported that sleep strengthens the connection between brain cells, which helps you consolidate memories properly. Among today’s talented contemporary artists, J.M. Culver admits to frequently incorporating his memories in his work, especially those with his grandfather who suffered from schizophrenia.

Reduces stress

When you’re suffering from stress, your creativity is stifled because you’re overcome with negative thoughts. Sleep counters this by regulating cortisol, AKA the stress hormone. Albeit some great artists were able to channel stress to create a masterpiece, like Vincent Van Gogh, not everybody can do the same. When you’re well rested, your mind is calm and you can maintain focus on creating your artwork.

Enhances problem-solving skills

Rapid eye movement sleep helps incorporate information from your brain, and the compounded knowledge is useful for solving problems. It’s important to remember that creativity is also about finding new ways to correct an error or turn it into something positive. A mistake or accident can provide ideas for artwork and may even make the project more interesting. A good example is Alexander Cozens who started his skill of illustrating landscapes from ink stains on his canvass when he was lecturing one of his pupils. Today, his works and art form are considered to be one of the most beautiful in the field.

In a time when virtually all ideas have already been thought up, creativity is even more important. Today’s artists have to push the boundaries when making their art or craft pieces, and sleep can help you achieve your next magnum opus.

Thank you dear friends for sharing your time with me today.

xxoo – Sherry

This is a contributed post

 

 

My Journey Continues + New Video

Hi Friends,

So I had a really deep / strong awakening the other day.  It was so enlightening and so beautiful that I really wanted to share it here with all of you.

If you are not interested in reading about my journey you can scroll to the bottom where I have a fun creative video tutorial for all of you. 🙂

I am currently taking a class that helps you find and connect with your Animal Spirit Guides, in addition to working with my Spiritual mentor I have come to know that Swan, as I mentioned before is one of my Power Animals as well as Bunny.

Up until a couple days ago when I was working with my oracle cards I still didn’t know why either of my Spirit Animals were with me, what messages they might have for me or guidance they might give.

So when I was using my oracle cards and had a realization that the Swan was here to help me mourn my loss of innocence as a child and my loss of my childhood.  Growing up how I did, created a situation where I really lost my innocence very young. Below is the deck and the Swan Card from the Deck that I was using.  Until this moment I had not really a great connection with this deck, I loved the imagery but never really connected to the meaning written on the cards.

After my latest class in my Spirit Animal Journey I realized that Swan is here to protect me.   I went into to the meditation and actually was asking Bunny what message he had for me. It started out with visions of sitting on the grass when I was a child, it was sunny and the grass was soft and warm.  There were daisies all around and I worn a crown of daisies (not sure where that came from as I never have worn any flower crown), but I did used to pick daisies in the field by our house, they grew wild there and there are lots of them.  

Swan came up behind me and wrapped her wings around me as if in a hug from behind.  It was then with my eyes closed in meditation that the tears started to flow.  As I laid down on the grass Swan sat beside me and spoke to me. She said “I’ve always been here you just didn’t know it. I have been here protecting you since you were young. You have a special journey in this life to help others and I am here to be with you to protect you and so you are never alone”.  At this point tears were just pouring down my face. – now at this point even though all this is happening I’m still thinking “Bunny what is the message you have for me”

Swan continued to comfort me and even though I didn’t want to leave that spot we got up and went into the woods I sat on a log of a tree. Bunny showed up, he let me pet him.  I continued to ask the bunny what his message was for me. I did not get an answer, he just sat there looking at me.

The swan gave me a hug and then offered me a small branch,  she said you are someone who needs something physical to remind you I’m here when you need me. Take this, put it in your medicine pouch so you remember to call on me when you are in need. She hugged me good by and I begged her not to go.  

I allowed myself to cry healing tears when the journey was finished.  As I went about my day I hadn’t really thought much more about my experience as it’s been a hectic day.  As I was outside taking Luna to the bathroom I looked down and, right in my front yard was the branch that the Swan had given to me.  It doesn’t look like much but in my vision it was just like this with that little knot and most of the bark taken off it.

I never got the message I was looking for from Bunny but I suspect that Swan believed I’d had enough for one journey. 

I know to some this story may seem a bit far fetched but I kid you not this is just how it happened.  I took a few minutes to write it down after it happened so that I would remember the details.  I truly believe that if you open yourself up to the healing your heart and soul needs that it will come to you, even if it’s not exactly how you expect it.  I feel strongly on documenting my journey here and I cherish each and everyone of you who has decided to come along for the ride.  Having so many of you in my corner really feels amazing and I appreciate each and everyone of you!!!

Now for some creative fun

This video comes from a place in my heart that I feel strongly about.  So very many people do not want to write or draw in their art journals – lest they “ruin” them.  I’m here to tell you that you most certainly should be writing and drawing in your art journals.  Art journals are personal they are a piece of our own journey sometimes the journey is just in art and that’s ok but you should put your signature on it.  Write a quote, add some marks, create some doodles, you get the idea.  I am here to share with you a couple very simple line drawings that you can add to your art journals to give them that personal touch.

I hope you enjoy todays tutorial and if you did be sure to leave me a comment, subscribe to my channel and if you give this a try tag me on social media so I can see your beautiful artwork. 🙂

Look for another fun video next week on how to enhance your art journals.

Thanks for sharing your time with me today my friends!  Have an amazing evening!

xxoo – Sherry

It’s Time for another Artist Feature

Hi Friends today I would like to Introduce you all to a wonderful Artist I admire Meg Smiley.  I met Meg Smiley on Instagram when I saw her beautiful and adorable animal paintings and was drawn in by her infectious positive attitude and smiling personality.

Please share little about yourself:

Hello! My name is Meg Smiley yes, “Smiley” is my real name, courtesy of my husband!  I lived in southern California until I was 18 ,but have since lived in three different states: Iowa, Pennsylvania, currently New York). I got started in art at a very young age– I honestly can’t remember when because I haven’t stopped drawing since I could hold a pencil. I never really considered that art could lead to a job growing up, so my first actual “art class” was a beginner’s course in high school. Thanks to my teacher’s encouragement, I decided to major in Graphic Design in college. I worked as a full-time Graphic Designer up until a year ago, when I had to quit my job due to an increasingly painful chronic health condition (called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or EDS). A few months after that is when I finally self-published my first children’s book. It’s been a wild ride but a very rewarding one as well.

What got you started in children’s books

About three years ago now, while I was still working full-time, I decided to participate in a side project to take my mind off work. This project was an Instagram challenge called the “The 100 Days Project,” and is still hosted yearly (I believe) by “The Great Discontent.” It encourages creatives of all kinds to make something (anything) for 100 days, and post their daily progress using #The100DaysProject. I wanted to teach myself how to use acrylic paint, so I decided to go for it, and almost immediately fell in love with the medium. My favorite subjects to paint, I discovered, were whimsical, colorful animals! I painted a peacock first, then a friendly but magnificent lion with a fiery, curly mane, and I just didn’t want to stop. I didn’t have an “art” or “business” account in Instagram, but I gained followers who were also participating in the project, and they started cheering me on every day!

After I had painted 10 animals, I knew I wanted to make a book. I had dreamt of writing and illustrating my own children’s book since I was a child because I love to write silly stories as well! A couple of years passed before I could finish the book because of stressful life circumstances. My husband and I moved to New York for his doctorate program, and I was just trying to keep up with work while my EDS symptoms grew worse. After I quit my job a year ago, however, I finally finished and self-published “Animals Under the Bed!” It has easily been the most rewarding personal project I’ve ever done and inspired me to start a business as well called:  Phigment Design Studio.

Please share 2 of your favorite pieces of art and tell us a little about them:

This is the mom and baby elephant painting from my children’s book, “Animals Under the Bed!” This is one of my favorite paintings, partially because it took me the longest to paint! However, I also love the sentiment behind this piece. Growing up, I was blessed with parents who encouraged my love for art and my free-spirited nature. They celebrated the fact that I colored my trees purple, drew my flowers taller than my people, and gave my people heart-shaped heads! The elephants spread in “Animals Under the Bed!” is all about the joy, silliness, and fun that parents share with their kids, which is something from my childhood that I will always be thankful for.

This painting also from my book, was originally painted for my husband in 2017 as a Valentine’s Day gift. This piece is significant to me for a few reasons. Only a few months after we got married, my husband was in a job interview and they asked him what animal he would be and why. He thought it was a strange question, but he immediately said: “Definitely a penguin. -Because i just got married and they mate for life.” I thought it was so funny that he came up with that on the fly! And then I thought it was adorable, of course, so we’ve been “penguins” ever since.  This might sound silly, but I also love this painting because penguins endure a lot of hardship to take care of their mates. Since my husband and I have been married, almost 6 years, we have moved across the country twice and been through some hugely stressful circumstances including grad school programs, chronic illness, job loss, and more). However, we have still managed to take care of each other through it all and I have never been more thankful.

I would love for you to share your website with all of us:

At my website, www.animalsunderthebed.com, you can learn more about the making of my children’s book, “Animals Under the Bed!” and purchase signed copies of the book, painting prints, mugs, and greeting cards. I also JUST started a blog all about my self-publishing process there! Several of my followers have asked me for self-publishing tips, so I am gladly sharing what I have learned.

Where can we find and connect with you on social media:

I’d love to connect with you on Instagram (www.instagram.com/phigment_design_studio/) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/PhigmentDesignStudio/)! Here’s what you can expect from my posts:

Honest, heartfelt sharing: there is too much “fake” on social media, so one of my goals is to be real, vulnerable, and “human” so that I can genuinely connect with and encourage others. – Art inspiration and new paintings: Most of my inspiration comes from my faith, my marriage, or my honest life struggles!

Share something that many may not know about you:

I live in a 250 sq. ft. apartment with my husband and dog, which is certainly an adventure lol!

Any last words or advice for my readers:

Here is my “in-a-nutshell” advice to you, inspired by my life experience so far:

Never underestimate what you can learn, accomplish, and get through in life with God’s help, motivation, and willingness to learn! You are never “stuck” where you are in life. There are always new opportunities for change around the corner, even when you can’t see them yet. – Meg Smiley

Thank you so very much Meg for sharing your art and your heart with myself and my readers today!

Thank you friends for joining me for another Artist Who Inspires me feature!

xxoo – Sherry

Is your soul seeking change? -Vlog

Hi Friends,

What a beautiful day we have been having here in NY.  The sun is finally shining – it’s still damn cold but that sun makes it so much more bearable!!  It’s days like these that I just am in total love with my art room – I have 5 windows across the front that just lets the sun beam in and it makes me feel so alive and happy!

So today I come to you with a Vlog instead of a long blog post.  The Vlog talks about the changes I am making to our Facebook Group The Empowered Creative Woman .  If you haven’t joined yet and you want to just click on the group name and it will take you to the FB group.  So grab a cup of coffee or tea and come chat with me for a few minutes 🙂

Below is the video I created on how to make vintage scrolls and I talk about this in my Vlog above for our first challenge and creating our love alter / sacred space.

Sharing an Oracle Card reading with all of you:

I want to share with you 2 cards that I drew today.  These come from the Sacred Vision Oracle Card deck.  I love the art on these cards as well as the deep meanings that they share.

The first card I drew today was power.  The card says:  You are a spirit warrior who sings your song line – your agreement to live.  From the moment of your birth into the restrictive physical world, you must call upon the mysterious language of intuition to remember the world from which you came – the world of your dreams and spiritual relationships.  It is from here that you feel true power. – (click on the photo to read the second paragraph on the card) –    How True it is that when we are unrestricted and allowed to be the people we want to be, when we are allowed to feel deeply as women, cry hard and laugh hard that is when we feel the most powerful and whole.  If this is how you want to feel then I recommend you join my Facebook group because this my dear friends is what my group is all about.  Join Here

The second card I drew is Worthiness:  All water birds are medicine:  if followed, they lead you to water – the essence of life.  The kingfisher, in particular represents healing.  One would wish any wound, physical or psychological, would med as quickly as the water’s surface after a kingfisher’s dive. – click on the photo to read the second para on the card.   –   wow another very powerful deep meaning card that truly resonates with me and all the healing I have been working on.

So I will leave you with these thoughts my dear friends.  

I would love to have you join me in community in our facebook group, to join in a supportive, loving and uplifting environment unlike any others.  Let’s grow a wonderful Empowered sisterhood together.        The Empowered Creative Woman Facebook Group

 

Thank you my friends for spending your time with me today, I cherish each and everyone of you!  Have an amazing day!!

xxoo – Sherry

Where the hell have I been? +New Video

Hi Friends,

I know I have been away from all of you for awhile now.  After getting sick in January things have been a bit hectic but even more so I have felt it really time for me to take sometime to myself.  During this time a lot has happened to me.  It has really been an intense time of grieving and healing for me.  I do still have a long way to go but many things have healed for me which has made me feel a bit lighter and happier.  I know that grieving is a process and I am trying to allow myself kindness, patience and love while I go through this process.

I am currently working on finding my animal spirit guides to help me though this process and to have beside me in my life.  I have taken on a Spiritual Mentor which has been such an eye opening experience and so very helpful to me on this journey.  My heart has called for me to take this journey to heal, not just current wounds but many from the past as well.  And while doing all of this “internal” work is not glorious and beautiful the end result has been a happier more peaceful life.

The swan is one of my spirit animals.  On a chilly afternoon walking at the park with Luna I saw one of the swans that I usually only see in the fall, out there swimming in the lake

I have also had such a strong pull to create.  I have been creating from my heart and what it desires and craves.  I realized that although I enjoyed my time on various creative teams it was not allowing me to create for me, to create because my heart and soul are yearning for it, create for none other than the pleasure or to get my feelings & emotions down on paper.  This year I have choose not to re-sign up for the teams that I was on or to try out for any new teams.  This year I will be strictly creating what comes from my heart.

I created a bunch of these soul cards made with magazine snippets and a bit of watercolor and ink

I was thinking of creating a youtube video on how I created my soul cards – let me know in the comments if this is something that you would be interested in seeing a tutorial on. 🙂

Some of my art work created during my spiritual journey:  Earth Goddess, Feather, Spirit Owl and Spirit Deer.  The owl and the Goddess came from a class with Micki Wilde, although if you go back and look at her samples mine are quite different as I like to create my own take on my paintings even if it’s coming from a class.

Along with Animal Spirit Guides I have been learning to work with the Goddesses as well.  Below I created this art tag of Kali – it was inspired by a Goddess Deck that I own.  She is the destroyer of all things that are no longer serving you.  She is strong and bad ass and doesn’t take any crap from anyone.  She is someone I need in my corner as I’m not all that great at times at standing up for myself.  She has been walking with me on this journey and given me strength when I feel weak.

Below meet the Goddess of Darkness.  She is my latest work and right now the one I am most in love with and drawn to.  It took me a couple weeks to finish her.  She appeared to me in a dream.  At the time I started to create her I was not sure who she was, as she slowly unfolded and I finished her I then realized that She was the Goddess of Darkness.  She is a healer of the darkness inside of you.  She will be your strength when you feel that the darkness may swallow you up.  It is so amazing to me that when you open  yourself up to this intuitive nature and allow the light in that there are so many ways the universe has to offer you strength and guidance.

There was a period of time in the middle of last year that I thought the darkness might swallow me up.  I felt it slowly creeping up inside of me consuming me a little bit at at time. The Goddess of Darkness has come to pull me out of the darkness and has shined her light on my heart and is helping me restore myself back to the loving person I have always been.  For that I am forever grateful!

I realize this was quite a deep post but one thing I have to always be is honest to myself and to all of you.  My art comes from my heart and I may not always be on the same journey year after year but one thing with remain constant with me and that is my integrity and honesty and my belief that art heals and brings people into your life that you need.

I do have a video I created for some fun inspiration that I wanted to share with all of you.  This video will show you how I used some ephemera in my stash from Tiare Smith Designs to create this 2 page art journal spread.

Hope you all enjoy and thank you dear friends for sharing you time with me today!! xxoo – Sherry