Category Archives: Drawings

Illustrated Recipe: Easy & Delicious Marinated Tofu

The other day, I had a craving for delicious marinated tofu. So I went online and searched for a good, simple recipe. I think this recipe came up at the top – I had all the ingredients at hand and was craving for some Japanese-y, Asian flavor, so this was perfect!

It was super easy to prepare (which is very important to me… I’m a lazy cook by nature.) and delicious! I served it with some rice and veggies, and Dave and I just devoured it like there was no tomorrow.

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Definitely making this again! Hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

Eat well my friend 🙂

xo Yuko

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3 Things I Love about The Journey Within E-course!

It’s almost March, and my Nature Line Drawing class for The Journey Within: A Year of Handmade Journals hosted by Kiala Givehand will be live in just a few short days!

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You know I LOVE making simple line drawings of flowers and plants. When Kiala asked me to guest teach for this e-course, I was really honored and excited.

This course is year-long, and each month features different teachers and themes. Students are encouraged to follow along tutorials and learn different techniques every month, and there is a private online group to share their work and get to hang out with the teachers live on a monthly live session!

Look at the monthly theme here. Isn’t this great?? Kiala put this together to bring personal enrichment through art and creativity and did an awesome job at that!!

  • January = Explore & Discover
  • February = Self-Love & Intentional Living
  • March = Nature & Natural Living <– this is what I’m teaching!
  • April = Poetry & Music
  • May = Creative Empowerment
  • June = Wonderment & Dreams
  • July = Sanctuary & Silence
  • August = Harvest & Family
  • September = Memories & Archives
  • October = Devotion & Meditation
  • November = Gratitude & Words of Wisdom
  • December = Reflection & Memory

Here are 3 things that make this course unique:

1) It’s online, so you can access it anywhere, anytime that’s convenient for you. It doesn’t matter if you live in a rural area where you don’t know anyone creative like you – you get to participate and interact with others in this supportive on-line community!

2) You get to learn from different teachers with different styles and perspectives. It makes the learning experience more interesting, and it will help you get out of a creative rut if you’re experiencing one!

3) The materials are very accessible. You don’t have to be an experienced artist to enjoy it – Anyone with a creative mind will have lots of fun exploring different themes and techniques!

Many people start out the new year with a goal of having a consistent creative practice and have a hard time continuing the momentum without the on-going encouragement and guidance.

This course will be a (gentle) kick in the pants to reenergize your intention to embrace creativity throughout the year. It’ll give you fresh contents every month and a supportive community to learn in so you can incorporate creativity in your everyday living and meet your goals.

And get this – you only pay $120 to access everything for the whole year. Yup, everything: the tutorials, support, community, live sessions, and most importantly your motivation. For the whole year. Talk about getting bang for your buck!!!

It’s definitely not too late to enroll in the course! You’ll still get access to all the materials for the past two months as well when you register.

This short video about my creative inspirations may give you a better sense of who I am as an artist and what my class is going to be like 🙂

 

I’ll be on the live session on Sunday 3/13 (11:30am PST) and would love to see many of you there! ❤ Join me today!

xo Yuko

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From the Sketchbook

I like reviewing my sketchbook because it tells me how I was feeling and what I was interested in at that time. When I look at my old sketchbooks, I realize 1) my drawing was not as bad as I thought and 2) I’ve gotten better 🙂 It’s a great way to gauge where you were and how far you’ve come!

Also, it’s more playful and experimental. It’s so important for artists to not lose touch with our playful side and not be afraid to try something new. I get most of my product ideas from my casual drawings in my sketchbook by the way.

I want to share some of the recent drawings from my sketchbook today! Enjoy 🙂

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As always, I enjoy drawing food! I’ve been interested in making more illustrated recipes lately. It’s a fun way to to combine my love of drawing, handlettering, and eating 🙂 This simple ginger tea is awesome on a cold day or if you’re having an upset stomach.

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I made this lettering piece for one of the blog post. It’s such a simple message and drawing but makes me happy and inspired 🙂

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Whenever I feel stuck creatively, I draw flowers. I just love them so much! I bought dahlias at the farmers’ market almost weekly this past summer. I just couldn’t get enough of them! I usually photograph them to draw/enjoy later 🙂 And I added this beautiful quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Swoon!

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It’s time for me to start designing new products for summer! I think it’s going to be veggie/summer garden themed 🙂 Some warm-up sketches to get my creative juice going. Excited to see where this will lead me.

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Though I love simple pen & ink line drawings a lot, I was missing more colorful watercolor drawings the other day. Dave gave me beautiful roses for Valentine’s Day so I decided to make a painting of it to encapsulate their beauty 🙂 It’s always fun to make a loose painting with watercolor and brush.

And just in case you’re wondering what kind of sketchbook I use, my current favorite is this Canson Mix Media sketchbook! I like the thickness of the paper, and the size is great, too. I used to work in a much smaller sketchbook but wanted to challenge myself to work a little bigger. Granted this is not that big, I’m learning to expand my horizon a bit 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed getting a peek into my sketchbook today! Have a great day 🙂

xo Yuko

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My Favorite Tools: Micron Pens

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One of the things I’d like to share more in my blog is to share the tools and apps I love!

I want to start out by sharing the drawing tool I use the most in my work and play: Pigma Micron Pen by Sakura a.k.a. “Microns.”

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You might have seen many of my sketchbook photos I share have Microns, and I was recently asked why I like drawing with them, so let me tell you why!

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I started using Micron pens for drawing only a couple of years ago. I chose them simply because some of the artists I admire, like the handlettering artist Sean McCabe and artist Lisa Congdon, use and recommended them.

My favorite thing about it is how smoothly and evenly it writes/draws. Its pigment based ink is waterproof and fade proof as well, so I feel confident that my artwork will maintain its quality for a long time.

I like and use size 01 (0.25mm) for most of my work. It’s pretty fine, but since the ink flows out so evenly and the line is so consistent, I can trust it to handle some small detail work nicely.

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It works well with my simple and clean illustration style as well. I also like to add my handwriting/handlettering to the piece and this size is my personal favorite to do so.

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I use size 08 (0.50mm) sometimes when I want a little bit more boldness. This drawing was done in size 08 Micron.

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No matter which size I use, I typically stick to using just one size within the same piece. I like the consistency of the look.

As far as colors go, I like drawing in black ink the best. I do like other colors and do draw with them occasionally to switch things up.

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Floral line drawing in blue/black
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Old buildings in Paris in purple
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Mushrooms in blue
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Berries in Jars in rose

I pretty much use my favorite Micron for all my writing and journaling too.

When I make my drawings, I typically just draw with the pen and no pencil sketch first. I used to sketch with pencil first and trace over it with pen, but when I did my 365 Day Happiness Is drawing project in 2014, I quickly realized that I simply didn’t have the time to be sketching first and making a perfect drawing every day!

When I draw with pen, my drawings have more spontaneous and organic look. It’s the key factor that makes my drawings wonky 🙂 Of course, I don’t always get it the first time when I draw with pen. So I start out sketching or practice drawing with pen or pencil a lot before I work on the actual piece. It’s a bit scary but I like the drawings I make this way better than any other! Plus you can use Photoshop later to touch up small mistakes 😀

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If you want to see how I make my line drawings with a Micron pen, I share my steps in my upcoming tutorial here. And I’m guest Instagramming on Sakura’s feed this week in case you’re looking for more inspirations!

I’ve used other pens to draw before, but this is the one I keep coming back to. If you’re in a market for good quality drawing pens, give them a try 🙂

Talk to you soon!

xo Yuko

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Something exciting is happening on Instagram this week!

insta_icon_notext_loresAre you on Instagram? If so, check out Sakura of America‘s feed this coming week! I’ll be their guest Instagrammer 🙂 Woo hoo!

I’ve loved using their products for several years, especially the micron pen (I often use black micron size 01) and Koi Coloring Brush Pens. So I was super excited when they reached out to me and invited me to be their guest Instagrammer.

Looks like I'm not going to run out anytime soon...
Looks like I’m not going to run out anytime soon…

They first contacted me last summer after I competed my 365 Day Happiness Is drawing project from April 2014 to April 2015. When I say put your work out there consistently and the opportunities will come, I’m not kidding!

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I’ll be posting new drawings on their feed every day this coming week 🙂 Hope you will follow along for daily inspirations!

xo Yuko

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Check out these beautiful artist manifestos!

proud-artist_loresI offered a free 4-week Creative Coaching email challenge during the month of January. I had about 40 creatives join me and sent out one prompt/challenge every Monday. I had a great time coming up with the challenges and enjoyed helping other artists explore their creative passions and make plans to achieve their goals.

First week’s challenge was to create an artist manifesto. What the heck is an artist manifesto, you might ask? Well, you can think of your manifesto as your personal or professional values statement. It’s a set of guiding principles to live your creative life by.

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No matter what your creative pursuit is or where you are in your journey, it’s absolutely critical for you to understand why it’s important to you. Following your creative passion is a very rewarding but often lonely and scary journey. When the road gets rough and you start wondering if it’s all worth it, I want you to remember that you’re choosing this path for yourself. You’re saying yes to your creative passion because you want to, not because someone is forcing you to!

Your artist manifesto is like your compass. When you feel lost in your creative endeavor, you can always come back to it, and it’ll help you make a decision that is best for you.

I thought this was a perfect way to kick off our challenge for the month, and a lot of participating artists thought so too!

I asked if I could share their beautiful work and the process with you, my lovely blog readers, and I’ve got an enthusiastic YES from a handful of the artists!

I hope you enjoy meeting these artists and get inspired by their work as much as I did 🙂


Lisa Kaye

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I am a painter/mixed media artist. I am truly my best self when I am immersed in the creative process. I was struggling with self-promotion, balance and finding a direction that was authentic to who I am as an artist. I was growing in many different directions at once without any real focus.

Working with Yuko I was able to create a plan and even narrowed down a direction (for now) that will support my continued growth as an artist (just even being ok with referring to myself as artist was a big deal).

I liked creating my personal manifesta because instead of just writing about my creative process or who I wanted to be as a painter; I was able to shift my focus to the bare bones of who I am and how I move through life as artist.

You can find me on Facebook or http://lisa-kaye.pixels.com/

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Lisa’s Artist Manifesto, or as she likes to call it her manifesta 🙂

Beth Colletti

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I’m a mixed media and embroidery artist living in New Jersey and am always on the lookout for moments of wonder that I can capture in my work. I love to combine paint and thread to highlight beauty in places that are easily overlooked. My desire is to invite my audience to find reasons to delight in life’s ordinary, yet magical moments. Currently I’m working on expanding my product line beyond wall art to include other home decor items.

I actually had a lot of fun working on my manifesto – it came at just the right time when I was floundering a bit with my work and feeling a little lost. This project helped me really drill down to why I’m doing what I’m doing and gave me the momentum I needed to keep pushing forward. I find without reminders like this, I can get lost in the weeds of busyness and start comparing myself to other artists too much. My artist manifesto reminds me I’m on a unique journey filling a role that only I can fill.

You can find out more about me and my art at www.bethcolletti.com or follow me on:

Facebook @bethcollettiart
Instagram @bethcolletti
Pinterest @bethcolletti
Twitter @bethcolletti
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Beth’s Artist Manifesto

Tania Denyer

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Tania Denyer, 46 years old, have been an artist since ever I can remember. I sew, crochet, draw, paper craft, cook, bake… if it requires my hands and my heart, I am there. In 2014 (after an unexpected and traumatic job loss) I decided to start my business, Ginger Quilts.

I make custom quilts, teach quilt classes and do longarming for hobbyist quilters. Just before I lost my regular job, I was reading The Artists Way by Julia Cameron on the train and her introduction had me in tears. It was the start of realizing that my creativity was not something crazy I had to hide but a gift that I could celebrate and share 🙂

Creating my artist manifesto was at first a bit daunting, then as the thoughts came and I worried less over what I should and should not say (silencing the critic) it was fun! I felt empowered. I decided to write it out and doodle a bit (I have a doodling heart) and tape it somewhere I would see it instead of hiding it away. I felt it needed to be somewhere I could see it, read it and remember it… putting it on my sketchbook (I try to sketch everyday) was exactly where it needed to be.

You can find out more about me:

Tania Artist Manifesto
Tania’s Artist Manifesto

Emily Vanderlinden

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My name is Emily Vanderlinden and I’m a volunteer, artist, and self-guided learner. This means I have decent say in how I spend my time so I try to balance it between being in community with those around me, researching topics related to my Open Masters (find out more at www.openmasters.org), and block-printing on fabric.

Most days I manage the social media accounts and website for Innisfree Village, a lifesharing community with adults with disabilities, and participate in art making with those adults. Whenever I can squeeze in some time, I read books about the optimal human experience, how to find flow and happiness in our work, art therapy, and printmaking.

I also go on walks and hikes to get inspiration from nature and create block-printed patterns according to those findings. I have a degree in Graphic Design, so I also do some freelance work for friends when I can!

I do a lot of my work on the computer so most of my brainstorming for this manifesto happened in rapid typing and stream-of-consciousness sentences! I’ve thought a lot about this in the past so it wasn’t particularly difficult, though finding a format that made sense was a challenge!

I chose to do my artist manifesto in a circular form to remind me that this is continuous and I can always add to it. After completing the writing, however, the paper felt boring and I wanted to leave the text clean so I chose to attach with a brad it to a colorful backing by one of the artists I work with. This way it spins for easier reading and reminds me what colorful people I have in my life to draw from!

By the time my manifesto was finished I realized that content AND function are a huge part of why I do what I do.

My website is emilyruthopenmasters.wordpress.com

You can also see what we do the art studio here at Innisfree Village at innisfreeart.wordpress.com

Emily's Artist Manifesto
Emily’s Artist Manifesto

Isn’t it so cool to see how different artists come up with their artist manifesto? Every time I received an email from the participating artists and read/saw what they were working on, I got the chills. It was such a humbling experience to be the witness to their struggles, joy, and growth.

I was so honored to have them and others join me and learn with me in January! Make sure to check out their work and follow them on various social media platforms 🙂 BIG thanks to everyone who participated!!

I created this PDF A Guide to Creating Your Artist Manifesto in case you missed the challenge and want to make one!

I’m pretty sure I’ll be hosting a challenge like this again in the future – if you want to be kept in a loop, you can sign up for my e-newsletter here.

OK friends, I hope you have a creative day! ❤

xo Yuko

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My Interview with Stephanie Medford at Everyday Artistry

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Hello!

I was so honored to be interviewed by Stephanie Medford on her blog Everyday Artistry the other day! Stephanie is an artist and encourages others to build a life full of creativity through her art and blog.

She’d asked me to share my creative process and how I embrace creativity in my daily life with her readers, and of course, I said yes!

Every time I’m asked to talk about my passion and process, I discover something I hadn’t thought about before. I wanted to share the interview with you and hope it inspires you to have creativity in your everyday living, too 🙂

You can read the full interview here. Enjoy!

xo Yuko

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January #MakeWithMe Drawing Challenge Highlights

Hi friends!

I participated in the #MakeWithMe daily drawing challenge hosted by Janine Crum in January. This was my third time to join in the fun.

When I received the email about it in December, I thought about not participating because I felt my plate was already full. But then I remembered how fun and challenging it was last time I did it and thought what could be better than to start a new year with a consistent drawing practice?? So I told her I was in. And, of course I had a lot of fun again! 🙂

For those of you who are not familiar with how the challenge works – you receive a daily email with a prompt for drawing for a certain period of time (in this case, from January 1 to 31). You draw your interpretation of the prompt and post it on Instagram with the hashtag (#MakeWithMe for this one). It’s a great way to keep your motivation up and challenge yourself creatively in a fun, community environment.

To make it a little more challenging for myself, I decided to use just a black Micron pen (size 1) for the entire month. I did use color for a couple of them because they were just begging for it!

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites from the challenge here!

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An Iceberg – I was really tempted to draw more details in but loved how it turned out.

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A Kangaroo

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A Matchbook – found a random matchbox from Peru

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A Praying Mantis – I love their dramatic poses!

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A Rooster – they’re so fancy-looking!

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Sea Otters – what can I say? They’re SO adorable. I have this drawing as art prints in case you want to enjoy the sweetness of these cuddly creatures in your home!

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Fury – the prompt was meant for an emotion, but Nick Fury from the Avengers movie popped in my head first… so here he is!

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Sunflowers – It made me miss the sunshine in the summer 🙂

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Things in My Pocket – gotta have something with cat eye laser on!

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A Toucan – I had to add Dave in – this is from a snapshot at Kobe Flower and Bird Park when we visited Japan several years ago.

If you want to join in the fun in the future, be sure to subscribe to Janine’s list on her website!

You can also see more drawings from my sketchbook on my Instagram @honeyberrystudios if you’d like.

Have a wonderful day, friends!

xo Yuko