Category Archives: 365 day illustration challenge

30-minute daily painting challenge is ON!!

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The other day I posted this drawing on Instagram, and the cation read:

“Ok truth time – I haven’t drawn anything for 2 weeks. It’s a shame, I know. // I’ve been spending most of my time putting together my winter collection and other tasks, and you know how it goes. There is a lot of photoshopping, uploading, writing, posting, promoting, emailing, scheduling, packaging etc. etc. // Last night I finally doodled this while watching Netflix and it felt so nice. // I feel like I need to be intentionally creating work now more than ever. For myself and others who can use beauty and light in their lives.”

It was difficult to admit I hadn’t made any art (including doodling!) for two weeks!!! I mean, how can I call myself an artist If I don’t have a consistent creative practice? Isn’t the whole reason why I quit my day job to pursue my passion (=make art) full-time?

Right.

I get being an entrepreneurial artist means you need to have a strong business practice, and you don’t get to just make art all the time.

I’ve been focusing a lot on the business side of things because that’s where I had the least experience in, and I also enjoy the hustle of working on my business. But that doesn’t mean the only time I create art is when I’m designing new products or when “I have time” (well, look what that got me! Two weeks of not making art!!).

I had a wake-up call to me – in order for my business to grow, I need to nurture my creative practice more intentionally and put more time and energy into it. And business aside, I want to be a person who truly values creativity, and I want my action to align with my words. 

So, here is the deal. I decided to start a new 365 day painting challenge!

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My first painting was of our beautiful persimmons.

You may remember between April 2014 and April 2015, I did a daily drawing project called 365 Day Happiness is, where I made a drawing about happiness every day for 365 days.

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Happiness is Apple Cider. Isn’t that the truth?? Pen, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper, 2015.

That project helped me find and develop my own creative voice, and I became more confident as an artist. I also got many cool opportunities through the project, like being featured in one of Lisa Congdon‘s speeches and starting a partnership with Sakura of America.

This time around, I’m not gonna have a specific theme, but I’ll paint or draw something for 30 minutes every day (my big inspiration for this comes from August Wren, who is on her year 3 of daily painting!) and share it on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

I’m excited to practice painting with gouache (i.e. opaque watercolor) and other media, and limiting it to 30 minutes a day makes it less overwhelming. What scares me the most about putting a time limit is sharing work I don’t think are great 😀 You know, because when 30 minutes is over, it’s over. I’m not gonna try to make it “perfect” before sharing it with my audience. No matter how much I hate it, it’s going to be shared! And that makes me feel SO vulnerable!! EEEEEK!

But, my goal is about showing up every day and not about making a masterpiece every day. 

Like Jennifer from August Wren says, I’m not gonna apologize or make an excuse for work I don’t think are great. I’ll just paint every day, share, and move on.

Doing a daily project like this is a really good practice in letting go. And the thing is, number 1, people probably don’t think it sucks as much as you do, and number 2, nobody’s gonna remember your post 5 minutes after they see it 😀 They’re just not as emotionally attached to your creations as you are! So it’s OK 🙂

I want to do this for at least one year but potentially longer. I know once it becomes a habit, it’s just gonna be something you do every day, and you’ll start to miss it if you don’t do it. Painting every day is an awesome thing to do anyway even if I decide to switch my career at some point in the future!

When I had the inspiration to start another 365 day project, I thought about starting it on January 1st. But there is no real reason to wait, is there? I was afraid I’d lose a momentum or come up with excuses not to start if I waited.

So I just started my daily painting challenge 2 weeks ago! And here is a couple more 🙂

This painting is about how I'm becoming appreciative of my body the way it is now <3
This painting is about how I’m becoming more appreciative of my body the way it is now ❤
My mild kimchi :D
My mild kimchi 😀

You can follow along on any social media I listed earlier although Instagram (@honeyberrystudios) is probably my favorite. Use the hashtag #yukosdailypainting to view my paintings so far!

Hope you enjoy! And feel free to join me in the daily painting challenge. I can use a company in this journey 🙂

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

 

365 Days Later

Hi friends!

As promised, here is the blog post about my 365 day “Happiness is” project which just wrapped up in April – reflections, thoughts, and what’s next!

In case you aren’t familiar with my project – I decided to draw and post one illustration about happiness every day for 365 days back in April 2014 after watching a very inspirational video of  Lisa Congdon’s speech “Embrace the Abyss“.  Lisa is an artist/friend I admire so much and was talking about how she practices going out of her comfort zone every day to help her grow as an artist.

I sort of made this decision very quickly without thinking how hard it could be or knowing if I had enough materials to draw for 365 days.  I also felt very vulnerable about sharing my imperfect drawings on the internet.  Who would care?  What if I get mean comments??

But there I was, determined to follow through with my words, and I did it!!!  AHHHHH!!!

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getting ready to be scanned in.

Here is a quick summary of what I learned from the project:

  1. You can find something to feel grateful for even on the crappiest days of your life.
  2. You draw not because you have an inspiration.  You draw because you have to.
  3. People are not paying as much attention to your imperfections as you are.  Let go.
  4. Your success should be about your commitment to growth and learning and not just about how many followers or “likes” you get.
  5. Showing up every day as your authentic self is a hard work.
  6. Only way to get better at something is to practice a lot.
  7. It’s all about the relationships you develop with the people who support you.
  8. Nothing good comes from comparing yourself with others.  Never.
  9. It was totally worth it.

I realize I can go a lot deeper on each subject.  So I decided to turn each of them into a blog post! If you’re thinking about doing a similar project or want some inspirations for a meaningful and intentional creative practice, stay tuned 🙂

I’ve been asked a lot about what’s next.  Here is a list of things I’ve been scheming:

  • I have a couple of art shows coming up in Seattle area this summer.  I will be showing and selling some of my original work from the Happiness is project there.
  • I will also be selling prints of many of my Happiness drawings this summer!  If you have particular ones you wish to see as prints, do let me know 🙂
  • I would LOVE to turn them into a small gift book.  Need to do more research on how to go about it.  If anyone has any ideas of publishers or self-publishing resources, I welcome them!
  • I’m taking a break from doing this kind of project for a while but would love to start a new daily (or maybe weekly) project again in 2016!
  • I want to help other artists find their voice through regular practice and self-reflection.  I don’t know what this looks like yet, but I’m excited to brainstorm ideas.
  • Last, but not least, my big goal for this coming year is to write more.  Writing about my process, life, struggles and successes.  So, here it is again with my public commitment – I will publish a regular blog post every Sunday starting June 7!!  Making my commitment public really helps to hold myself accountable. Eeeeek!

OK, that’s it for now.  Thank you for being there for me as I move through life.  I will keep you posted on my goals and plans as I go on my weekly blog posts!!

Talk soon,

Yuko