Monthly Archives: June 2017

Why I quit posting my daily paintings on social media

I began my 30-minute daily painting challenge in November of last year.

I realized I’d been putting my art making on a back burner and thought daily challenge would reinvigorate my practice.

(You can read more about my challenge in this blog post and this one.)

My new challenge did help me tremendously to develop  a habit to sit and paint every day. Once it became a habit, I’d feel uneasy if I hadn’t painted by mid-afternoon.

But, I was also getting really stressed out.

It wasn’t the act of painting that was stressful – for the most part, I looked forward to my painting time, and it was calming and relaxing – but, I began to pressure myself to create something my followers would “like” on social media.

I knew intellectually the daily creative practice was ultimately for me but would feel bad when I got fewer “likes.”

Rather than creating something I felt like creating, I began painting something I thought my followers would respond to better.

Rather than being playful and curious, I was carefully crafting works that were attractive and well put together.

And to do so in 30 minutes became so exhausting! It’s like creating a concept, writing your first draft, editing, and publishing an article all in 30 minutes. I was making so many micro-decisions while I painted, and that was not enjoyable at all.

Plus posting my artwork every day became a chore – not only did I spend 30+ minutes for prepping, painting, and clean up, but it took extra 30 minutes to take a decent photo, edit the image, write the captions and hashtags for Instagram, and schedule the post every day.

It was taking the time and energy away (not to mention my social media real estate) from the work I should’ve been focusing on, which is making products and promoting them to generate more income for my business.

So I decided to quit posting my paintings on social media after day 183.

This is the last painting I posted officially.

I still sit down to make something every day. But rather than focusing on finishing a presentable piece in 30 minutes, I might just make a quick 10-15 minute painting or take longer if I feel like it. Or I’d collage. Or draw with pen and markers.

It just depends on what I feel like making that day, and since I don’t have the pressure to share and get more “likes”, I’m more relaxed and free.

The practice was actually enjoyable again!

These are some of the art I made after I quit posting.

(I still do share the peek of it on my Instagram Stories every day. But since the images go away after 24 hours, and you don’t have the “like” counts, it’s a lot less pressure.)

I realized it was more important for me to exercise my creative muscle every day than to create something that looks good every day.

I did lose some followers as a result, and I hate backing out of my word – but, I allowed myself to quit  because it was no longer helping me to achieve my goal.

So far, not posting my work hasn’t stopped me from making art every day (I’m on day 213 as of the time of writing this article), and I call that a success!

Who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind again in the future, and that’s OK, too.

When you set a goal, it’s important that you pay attention to the little voice inside of you and course correct when something doesn’t feel good to you any more.

There is absolutely no need for you to keep doing something that doesn’t bring you joy or bring you closer to your goal! Your work will suffer in a long run, and you’ll eventually get burned out.

And, burnout, my friend, is the worst enemy of an artist.

We all suffer from the “like” addiction, and recognizing how it hinders you from expressing your authentic creative voice is the first step in overcoming that addiction. 

Now, go do your thing 🙂 The world needs you to keep creating the things only you can!


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New Drawing Tutorial on YouTube

Hello, hello!

My “Let’s draw a poppy!” drawing tutorial is on Sakura of America’s YouTube channel now!

You can watch it here:

It’s super quick and easy, all you need is colored markers (I use Sakura Koi Brush Pens), a black pen (I use my Micron), and a sketchbook.

I love drawing these cheerful poppies 🙂 They make me excited for the summer months ahead!

You can play with different color combos, too.

Purple & magenta poppies with green Gellyroll outline for the leaves and stems.
Yellow & orange poppies. They look like tiny sun 🙂
Blue and purple poppies with white Gellyroll lines.

These poppies are joy to draw ❤ Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag me (@honeyberrystudios) if you share your poppy drawings 🙂

Happy creating!


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My Favorite Tool: Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleedproof White™

Gouache is an opaque watercolor, and it’s one of my favorite medium to paint with!

I like it because I can achieve a flatter effect and can make crisp lines and shapes that look great against the white (or black) paper.

I use gouache paints from several different brands but wanted to highlight one gouache paint I like and use all the time : Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleedproof White™

I first learned about this product in August Wren’s gouache painting class on creativebug.

I like the look of crisp white lines and details on watercolor paintings, and even though regular white gouache from the tube works just fine, I became curious and decided to give it a try.

White lines show up so nicely against black.

It comes in a small 1fl. oz jar. I typically just dip the clean, wet brush directly into the jar to use it.

The paint is quite thick so you could mix it with a little bit of water.

I typically wet the brush first and then dip it in the jar. If it seems too wet (like you can see the water dripping from the brush), I’d just wipe it lightly on a paper towel. Start with a tiny bit of water first, or it’ll be thinned down too much and lose the opacity. Do experiment!

Per the manufacturer, Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleedproof White™ isn’t meant for mixing with other colors, so I use regular white gouache for blending.

Unlike regular watercolor, which would allow the white color of the paper to show through, gouache is opaque, so adding white paint helps to create lighter colors.

I also use it to cover up or clean up any mistakes! It’s essentially a white-out paint 🙂

I don’t know if you can see, but I modified her wing size/shape with the bleedproof white.

And it’s useful as a base layer as well when you’re layering colors and you don’t want them to blend.

For example, in the painting below, I painted the chicken with grey/black, and then once it’s dry, I covered up the parts where her beak and wattles would go with Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleedproof White™ before I painted them with red and yellow.

You can see the little bit of grey showing through her comb where I didn’t lay the white first, and the yellow and red of beak and wattles show up brighter because I covered it up with white first.

I really enjoy adding extra details and texture to my work with Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleedproof White™, and if you like the look of it on my paintings, give it a try 🙂

You can get yours here.


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Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Dads Who Are a Little “Different”

Hi friend,

Father’s Day is only two weeks away! Do you need help finding a unique gift?

For some reason, I have a harder time picking a gift for my dad (or men in general) than buying something for my mom… 😀 It somehow requires more imagination to think of something he’d appreciate, so I end up getting him the same old sweets every year. Sweets are a sure bet for my dad !

In case you need fresh Father’s Day gift ideas, I pulled together a gift guide for dads who are a little “different” – maybe he’s not that into sports, maybe he likes to nerd out on board games. Maybe he’s obsessed with eating healthful foods (but likes to indulge every now and then).

Unique Father's Day gift ideas

1. “Authors Are My Rock Stars” T-shirt – Perfect for a book loving dad! Comes in variety of colors.

2. Pandemic Board Game – Does your dad enjoy playing board games (that are a little more involved than Uno or Yahtzee) with his friends? This cooporative, strategy game was recommended to me by my nerdy husband, and his friends also approve!

3. Healthy Creations’ Vegan, Allergy-Friendly Donuts – If your dad wants to eat healthy and has a sweet tooth to satisfy (or you want him to eat better :)), Chef Ariel has got you covered! Her super yummy gourmet vegan, gluten-free, nuts & refined sugar free donuts are made fresh and shipped nationwide from Seattle. Subscribe to her Donut of the Month Club, and get her delicious treats delivered to your dad (or you) every month!

4. “Thank You for Being An Awesome Dad to My Cats” Father’s Day Card – Does your dad have a sweet spot for his adorable feline family members? Refer your cat as his “grandkitty?” Then you gotta get him this card.

5. Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown – Is your dad into Star Wars? Always had a special bond with his daughter? This adorable illustrated book features Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, and his rebellious daughter, Leia, sharing funny and sweet father-daughter moments. They’ve also got Darth Vader and Son.

6. Espresso Coffee Scented Soap from Emily’s Handmade Soaps – If your dad is like me, and doesn’t drink coffee but loves the smell of it – Emily’s all-natural handmade coffee scented soap is perfect for him! It’s got real coffee ground in it for exfoliation and would make a great gift for a gardener dad, too!

Hope you found something your dad will love 🙂

cat lovers father's day card

p.s. My Cat Dad Father’s Day card was a big hit with my husband last year, and lots of my customers have gotten a kick out of it, too 🙂 You can shop them in my Etsy shop. I also have a Dog Dad Father’s Day Card here.


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