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  • Writer's pictureGabby Mckenzie


Your own special art space to create and build skills
Time To Experiment & Build Artistic Skills

We all have big ideas about what we’d like to do (fancy baking, cake decorating, craft projects, art making) but a lot of the time we don’t quite get there. This might be because the voice in your head is scaring you away from starting a project because “what if I’m no good at it”. Or it might be because you are telling yourself you don’t have a huge block of time to get into it so you’ll wait until that magic window of time arrives (sorry, it actually never arrives).

So, how do you make inroads by making time for creativity?

Here are a couple of ideas to start you off:


By that I mean, just drop all expectations about creating a masterpiece and just muck around with brushes/pens/clay/icing or whatever medium you work with.

When I studied Graphic Design years ago one of the things I most hated turned out to be one of the most valuable lessons.

Whenever we were given a project like “create a promotional poster for a swimming class” or whatever we had to draw 20 thumbnails of the composition. Thumbnails are little drawings about 5cm square that just roughly show the size and shape of parts of your design. When you get to about ten thumbnails...

... your brain hits a wall and you can’t think of any other way

... to move your shapes around in the design…but forced to push on you end up just playing with the shapes and being less concerned about ‘the rules’ of composition. I’ve consistently found that the best ideas come to you when you just try things out in different ways and play with the possibilities. Sometimes you even impress yourself by coming up with something really cool that you’d never have found if you were allowed to go with your first ideas.

So, fool around with ideas, experiment and see what happens…you might just stumble on something that really tickles your brain!


“But I don’t have time” I hear you say. Ok, you don’t have 3 hours of quiet time to start and finish something amazing. Do you have 3 minutes? Or 5 minutes?

Set your new goal: For example I will do 6 minutes of art making every day or every Wednesday night or whenever (it just has to be a regular thing). On that day you go to your creative space and do your 6 minutes…fed up? you’ve achieved your goal so go and do something else! …want to keep going for another 20 mins? great! Just do another 20 minutes and see how you feel.

Working in this way does a few things:

  • It gives you a positive feeling because its something really easy to acheive.

  • It makes you feel that you are actually working towards something

  • It teaches you to be in tune with your creative feelings, like “I’m not enjoying this today” or “Wow I’m on fire today!”

  • It disciplines you to make time and get your creative brain working regularly

  • It slowly but surely increases your art making skills

When I started doing this years ago I even made a little sign for the door of the spare room where my art desk was that said “Just 5 Minutes”

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