Tag Archives: encouragement

Does it speak to you?

When I’m at shows, I often see my customers carefully go through my prints and cards and have an emotional reaction.


I hear:

“Oh…this is so true.”

“My sister needs this.”

“Your art is so HAPPY!”

And occasional (and my favorite)

“I’m dying of cuteness 😆”

I also hear:

“Your cards say exactly what I wanna say!”

YES!

What that tells me is my messages feel more authentic than the ones you find at big box stores.

It makes me happy because I do care a lot about what I say on my cards.

Art is important, of course. And the message is equally as important!

When I craft my messages, I pull a lot of inspirations from my past work in social service.

At the domestic violence organization I worked at, we were trained to be non-judgemental listeners and supporters of the DV survivors.

Not an advice-giver or tell-them-what-to-do-er.

That approach was perfect fit for my personality. Everyone’s situation is so different. I don’t even wanna pretend to know what’s best for other people!

Instead, I let them know I saw and heard them. I wanted them to know they were not alone, and that they didn’t have to prove anything to me.

No matter what you’re going through or how you feel about yourself, you deserve respect and dignity.

So when I create messages for my work, I ask myself, does this feel respectful? Would I actually say that to someone I care about?

Or would it be helpful for me to hear this?

Because when I dig deeper – and making good work always requires you to dig deeper – I’m the one who needs to hear those messages the most.

I’m no better than you. I don’t have it all together. I need to be reminded of my worth every day.

Art heals, and to be honest, I’m just as much of a recipient of its healing power as you are ✨

Art also connects people.

Even though I’m severely introverted 🙋🏻‍♀️ I still need connection to other people to thrive. And my art has helped me to share myself and connect with so many awesome people (like YOU ❤️).

I’m super grateful that you’re at the receiving end of my creations, and I hope my art is helping you to connect with your loved ones, too 🌈

Thank you for being amazing!!

xo

ps. do you wanna come enjoy my art and connect with me in person? I have shows and markets coming up! Click here to see my show schedule.

pps. a friendly reminder – price of my 8×10″ prints go up on June 1st. Purchase them now to take advantage of my current price.

I’m a pessimist.

When I’m at craft fairs, my customers ask me what inspires my art.

I tell them I’m not a naturally positive person so I need a reminder to be happy.

So I make art that’s uplifting and positive.

Often people respond with “me, too!” 🙋🏻‍♀️ or “yeah, it’s so important, especially now.”

I make happy art because it brightens my day and I want to share the joy with you.

Here are some of the messages I think of on a daily basis. If you’re needing a little boost today, soak it in 😘

I have this hanging on my living room wall.

I often take so much for granted – my husband, health, friends, etc.

When I’m in a funk, this message is a great reminder that I still have a lot of things to be grateful for.

I’ve got this in a sticker form and have it on my laptop where I see it every day 🌈

It’s easy for me to feel I’m not _____ (pretty, talented, thin, productive, focused, loving, good wife – you name it, I got it.) enough especially when I compare myself to others (more on that next.)

It’s nice to see this reminder and tell myself that I’m enough the way I am today.

And THIS. This also hangs in our living room.

I use social media, like Facebook and Instagram, every day for my business. I love how easy it is to connect with my friends and community there.

At the same time, it’s made it so much easier to compare myself to other people on the internet.

These are the thoughts I have often:

“Woo, look at her beautiful studio space! My work space is a mess, and I can never show it to anybody.”

“Her shop has so many sales! I wonder if I’d ever be so successful.”

“Wow, she has so many followers and likes on Instagram. Why don’t I have more?”

I still have these thoughts, but this message grounds me.

I remind myself that there are lots of people who have fewer followers or “likes” (or not on social media at all!) and have a very successful business.

(Or HAPPY.)

And everyone’s journey is different. I’m the only person who can know 100% of what’s going on in my life and business. What works for someone else may totally be a wrong choice for me.

It helps me to find peace wherever I am in life.

And if you’re having similar struggles, I hope it helps you, too 😊

xo

New in shop & spring collection sneak preview 👀

Hi friend!

I hope the start of 2019 has been treating you well.

{at The Domes, Horticultural Conservancy in Milwaukee, WI}

Dave and I got to go away for Christmas and spent a quiet holiday with his family in West Bend, Wisconsin.

It was unseasonably warm (stayed around balmy 20-45F°!) and there was no snow 😢 But it did snow on Christmas morning, about half and inch, so my White Christmas dream was satisfied after all.

I took off almost 3 weeks over the holidays. It was a much needed break, and I’m feeling rested and energized for the new year.

{and ate lots of mochi for the new year’s 😋}

I also doodled my intention for 2019 – these are the words that came up when I asked myself “how do I want to feel in my business?”

And a wonky kitty, of course 😂

My show schedule for February is filling up quickly, so I’m spending most of January planning and making new work.

Speaking of new work, my 2019 Spring & Summer Collection will debut in early February!

But, I’m TOO EXCITED for a couple of things I’ve got, so I’m releasing them early 😆

For example, this kitty Valentine’s card is already available in the shop 😉

And one of my fan favorite designs is available as a vinyl sticker now!

You can take your favorite reminder wherever you go on a water bottle, phone case, or laptop!

Now, here is a preview of what’s coming…

UGH. ADORABLE.

I had so many cute attacks making this Baby Shower card – “cute attack” is a condition Dave and I have when we see cute things – we scream “CUUUUTE!” and feel out-of-control infatuation for said cute things. All the logical parts of our brains shut down for a couple of minutes, and we no longer have an adult conversation.

More new works are happening in the studio, and I can’t wait to share them with you in the coming weeks.

Have a joyful day ❤️

xo

Congratulate your grads with style and heart 🎓❤️

Hi there friend,

Is it just me or does the time go by waaaaay faster as you get older??

With a wholesale event coming up in July, I’ve been working hard on my fall/winter collection.

Having a deadline really helps me focus and be more productive.

And, prioritizing art making has been good for my soul, too

Sigh.

I’ll share some sneak previews in the coming weeks! I think you’re gonna like what’s coming for ya 😉

But let’s get back to what’s important right this minute…

May is almost over, and that means graduation season is upon us.

Do you have special people in your life who are graduating this year? Do you need cards and gifts to celebrate their accomplishments?

I’ve hand picked some graduation gift options for you that will make your grads feel proud and be ready to tackle their next adventures 💪

First up, don’t forget to send them a congratulations card!

{ 1. Sail On, Happy Graduation card | 2. Cats High Five card | 3. Pink Poppies Congrats card }

These art prints will send an encouraging message to your special grad, too (not to mention an awesome wall decor!)

{ 1. Sail On giclee art print (8″x10″) | 2. You Are Exactly Where You Are Supposed to Be giclee art print (8″x10″) }

Life changes are exciting but can be scary, too.

Let them know they’re good enough even if they may be feeling anxious or unsure about their next steps.

{ You Are Enough vinyl sticker }

And, who wouldn’t love a good list??

Help them get organized as they adjust to a new phase in their life.


{ 1.Eat a Rainbow Market List | 2. Succulents To-Do List | 3. Rooster Friends Notepad }

Last but not least, if your grads are moving away from either Seattle, Spokane, or Tacoma, gift them the city art print so they can take a piece of their home wherever they go.

{ 1.I ❤ Seattle giclee art print | 2. Vintage Seattle Chicken Garden giclee art print | 3. Hello Spokane giclee art print | 4. Tacoma giclee art print }

I hope you’ll find the perfect gift for your special graduates!

xo

p.s. You just wanna browse my shop? Go here!

p.p.s. And don’t forget my Honeyberry Studios 2 pop up shop if you’re looking for deals. Supplies are limited.

Feeling blue? This will make you feel better.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know I’ve been painting exclusively in blue lately.

I was inspired by Lisa Congdon’s Creative Boot Camp on Creativebug, where she shows us how to paint using only one color.

Here is an example of her painting in red.

I started painting using 4 blue colors in my Sakura Koi Watercolor Set and got immediately hooked.

I didn’t have a goal of painting so many works in blue. But it’s one of my favorite colors because it’s soothing and calming. So I just kept painting in blues! (At the time of writing this article, I’ve painted in blue for 31 days straight. Wow!)

I like the challenge of using limited colors (and of course the limited timeline I set to complete a painting). Restrictions encourage creativity. The more limitations you set on your creative practice, the more creative you think!

Just think how you’d feel if you have a huge blank canvas with unlimited color palette and materials to play with, and you can paint whatever you wanted vs. someone tells you you need to draw a cat using just red and blue on a 4″x4″ piece of paper? See what I mean?

Of course, there is a danger of your practice becoming stagnant over time if you’re not intentional about working in a limited color palette.

When I feel my blue paintings are getting stale, I switch to different subject matters or add different elements. For example, I was painting still life at first, then abstract, and then more representational works.

One day, I did a lettering piece for one of my daily paintings and really enjoyed it, so I created a series of encouraging quotes in blue.

You know I love creating art with encouraging/motivational quotes! First of all, I do it because I need a positive reminder. And I know I’m not the only one who needs to hear it, so I like to share them 🙂

Art has the power to make you feel. When you see a powerful message represented in an art form, it goes directly to your heart, doesn’t it?

That’s how I feel about these paintings – somehow, these encouraging messages resonate with me on a deeper level than just hearing someone say it.

If you’re feeling blue today (pun so intended!), I hope these paintings will cheer you up! 🙂

Have a lovely day, friend!

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

You’re making a difference even if you’re not making money.

yes-you-are_1000px

{First of all – THANK YOU for responding to my “What do you enjoy reading about the most on my blog?” survey! I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know how you feel. If you missed it, you can still share your thoughts with me here :)}

I recently posted this video on Instagram and it resonated with a lot of people.

You are making a difference even if you are not making $

I often get anxious when I’m doing things that are not actively paying the bills, like gardening, making food from scratch, and taking my mini sabbaticals every 7 weeks.

I could decide to let them go so I can spend more time on growing my creative business (and I almost did give up on gardening a couple of years ago). We only have 24 hours a day, and if we wanted to create time for something important, you just need to say no to other things.

But really, I often get my creative inspirations from doing things like gardening and cooking healthy meals from scratch.

Gardening gets me in touch with the seasons and nature. It also gets me outside of our house regularly. I’m a homebody and would stay home for as long as I care to admit if I let myself 😀

I also feel empowered knowing that we’re able to meet at least a tiny portion of our basic needs ourselves.

Eat a Rainbow Colorful Summer Vegetable Illustration by Honeyberry Studios
Eat a Rainbow, watercolors & pen on paper.

Making food from scratch might take longer and could actually be more expensive than buying prepared or processed food, but it also helps me feel good in my body and mind.

Cooking is a very hands-on creative activity with an immediate reward (well, most of the time anyway) and gives me a break from a lot of thinking and computer work, too.

This beet walnut hummus recipe is not only tasty and healthy, it's beautiful!
This beet walnut hummus recipe is not only tasty and healthy, but it’s beautiful!

I also feel annoyed by other household chores, like cleaning and grocery shopping, but if they don’t happen, my working environment wouldn’t feel as good and productive.

Yes, as a creative business owner, I need to be making money and maintain a strong focus to achieve that goal.

I constantly think about how to create a life where I still enjoy the craft and have a sustainable business doing what I love. I need my life to be meaningful and joyful so I can continue creating work that brings others joy ❤

These other things, though they don’t seem to be directly helping me bring in the big paycheck, are part of what keeps my creative reservoir filled. And it’s my professional obligation as a working artist to do so.

If you ever felt guilty for taking the time out of your day to attend to “other” needs, think of how those activities are helping you to stay well-rounded so you can focus on your goals.

Remember, your creations have values. It makes people happy and feel warm and fuzzy. It makes them laugh out loud. It makes them think or cry. People are moved by what you create. It’s truly magical!

Keep putting yourself out there even if you don’t feel it’s making a difference today. Believe me, you’re making a difference by doing what you do!

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot