I showed you a sneak preview of my 2017 Mindfulness & Gratitude wall calendar a couple of weeks ago in this post.
Let me take you on a behind-the-scenes tour and show you my creative process today.
I started creating illustrations about mindfulness and gratitude after I came back from the 10-day silent meditation retreat earlier this summer. It was deeply healing and I wanted to make art about it as a reminder of that experience. (You can read about my reflections here.)
Once I started to make a few of these drawings, I thought, why not create more and make a calendar that encourages people to live mindfully every day?
What does “living mindfully” mean to me? It means that I can hit a pause button in my mind when I’m in a stressful situation and think “oh, this situation is stressful.” I remind myself that whatever is going on is only temporary, and I bring my focus back on my breathing. It helps me stay calm and respond to a situation more thoughtfully rather than reacting.
Of course, I’m a regular human being and not a Tibetan monk :D, so I still react to situations.
I get mad when someone cuts me off in the traffic (without the turning signal on even!!). I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night worrying about how my business isn’t where it should be and can’t get back to sleep. I get so jealous when my husband devours slices of super cheesy, gluten-and-carb-filled pizza or a big piece of custardy Bosc pear tart with a scoop (or two) vanilla ice cream and does not gain an ounce.
Believe me, I’m not above it all!
But I try. Every day is a new beginning and you can only try, right?
For the calendar, I created 12 new drawings with watercolor, gouache, and pen on paper.
Many of the drawings are inspired by nature and seasons. I also incorporated some everyday objects like these tea cups and pots:
I also hand-wrote positive messages for each calendar page to encourage mindful living.
I gathered these simple quotes and sayings from the instructions of the meditation practice or advices my wise friends gave me in the past. I also included some of the things I tell myself when I’m feeling off-centered.
Then I scan my hand drawn art in to Photoshop to edit and design the layout for the calendar pages.
Here is a couple more sample pages for you 🙂
Do you know someone who can use a little positivity boost? This calendar makes a great gift for the holidays, and it will be available on my Etsy shop early November!