4 tips to get your creative practice off the ground


Since the election of 2017, I have struggled to get out of bed in the morning. As the realization that the new leader of our country started to sink in, I knew I needed to find a way to push back against fear mongering and misogyny. While I felt overwhelmed and full of anxiety about the future, I also wondered, “What am I bringing to the table? As an artist, what can I do?"

These questions inspired me to set a goal to make a new painting every day for the year.

4 tips to get your creative practice off the ground as featured on the Belong Magazine blog

Subversive Joy 2017 was born. To be subversive is to push against the grain, to act in a way that isn’t expected. The focus of these works are the small joys in my daily life. It has been incredible to share them with people from around the world through social media.

As I build this body of work, I’ve had several inquiries from people who would like to do the same. I suggest it is best to find a favorite medium. Creativity can be found in cooking or singing or sketching in a journal. My medium of choice is painting. It has always been in my heart - a kind of voice that helps me translate my experience of the world. Although I’ve known this as a small child it took me a long time to embrace it as an integral part of my life.

The key to tapping into the peripheral magic subversive joy is to focus on quantity over quality.

Quality is, of course, a good thing. However, when I focused on quality, my sketch journals remained empty, and canvases sat quietly in the corner waiting for me to be ready. It’s a good reminder that the time is now to get out there and create.

4 Tips to Get Your Creative Practice off the Ground:

1. FOCUS ON THINGS FROM EVERYDAY LIFE - It is difficult to notice things right in front of our noses, but once you do, the results are astounding.

2. INVEST IN A FEW QUALITY MATERIALS - I use Schmincke watercolors (one set has lasted over a year of daily use) and a few small brushes from my local art store.

3. K.I.S.S. (KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID) - Rather than painting on small canvases, I use small (coaster-sized watercolor pieces for the foundation of my designs.

4. SET UP YOUR GOALS AND SHARE YOUR WORK (online and in-person) - this is most important! Having a community of people who look forward to your weekly or daily dose will help hold you accountable and make your experience truly rewarding!

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Theresa Hutch is an illustrator and the founder of Small Cloud Shop, a locally printed, stationery line in Minneapolis, MN. Theresa enjoys posting her daily work on Instagram, biking around the lakes, and sipping on dark coffee.

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