Tap Your Creative Flow


Art is a journey. I truly believe anyone can be an artist. Not everyone chooses to be, and thats ok. But art is such a wonderful way to open up your mind and express yourself in a new way.

If you are interested in exploring what you can do in art, you need to understand something first. Creativity is something you need to nurture. Creativity requires time. Above all else it needs your time and focus, it needs a chance to ignite and take off. My longest creative black hole was from 2010 to 2016. It wasn’t because I suddenly lost the ability to think creatively… in was simply because I didn’t access that part of my brain and heart. Instead, I was prioritizing my brand new relationship and then children.



“Creativity requires time. Above all else it needs your time and focus, it needs a chance to ignite and take off.”

People think of creativity as a rare ability, but every human on earth has the capability to be creative. Its how we are so inventive, its how we solve problems, its where ideas come from. Art is communication as much as it is expression. We tell stories, we capture a moment, we give others a different point of view, we utilize satire and humor. People connect with art because its not just about you as the artist, its about how other people can relate to what they see or hear coming from you.

The Skill

Maybe you want to be an artist, or maybe not even so ambitious, maybe you simply have something you want to express. Many people are put off by their lack of technical skill. Let me tell you something… technical skill is learnable, it just takes practice. Like anything else, it takes lots and lots of practice.

Even if you never become an expert, I’ve seen many pieces of artwork that are more rudimentary but still communicate strong messages and move me to pieces. It’s not about your technical skill, its about your ability to communicate, your willingness to take whats inside you and put it out.

Then theres the reality that even if you are technically proficient, you will still put out bad art (yes there is such thing).

In my personal art journey, I might get an idea… its usually the more ambitious and poorly planned ideas that result in “bad art.” I get tired, I get lazy, I get uninspired. If you’ve squeezed the motivation out of an art piece, its ok to start over, or maybe even ditch it all together.

“It’s not about your technical skill, its about your ability to communicate, your willingness to take whats inside you and put it out.”

If you want to get technically good at creating art, you CAN learn. Take classes, watch youtube videos and keep practicing.

The Struggle is Real

My most recent pattern started out with a very ambitious idea. The concept itself wasn’t terrible, and the original sketch was a good plan… but my experience in arranging textures and shapes aesthetically is still limited when it comes to more complex patterns. So far, my patterns have all been fairly straight forward and all the shapes maintain a distance from each other.

So, for the Spoonflower challenge involving the Tortoise and the Hare, this was my original sketch:Untitled_Artwork

I wanted to create a scene, add humor, and involve many different pieces. Well, when you work with patterns, this gets a little crazy if you don’t simplify, simplify, simplify (not my strong-point). Using procreate, I got started, spent way too much time on the first few motifs which almost immediately burned me out for the rest.

Untitled_Artwork 2

At first, it felt like everything was turning out great and I was fairly satisfied with what I had. Then I realized I had 3 more fairies to draw and another turtle and two rabbits. I’m listing off everything I felt I had to do, but the quantity was not the issue. The piece was losing inspiration. I find myself overwhelmed with a piece of artwork and “how much more I have to do” when I am no longer inspired by it.

Now, this happens, especially with larger, more detailed pieces. This also is not the same as a creative block. Losing your inspiration kills your motivation altogether. Creative block is when you simply feel stuck and feel like theres a wall between you and that rich creative flow. Losing inspiration is closer to the feeling you have when you don’t want to go to work anymore.

There are a few ways to handle this, and it takes some self-assessment.

  1. Put the piece of artwork down for a week. Come back to it with a fresh mind.
  2. Power through it, look at the plan you had laid out and rely on your technical skill (at whatever level) over the inspiration you relied on before. This is common if art is your job or if you have a deadline. Sometimes you have to be tough with yourself and just do the work at hand.
  3. Drop the piece all together. Consider it a flop, move on, sometimes what you thought would inspire you didn’t actually follow through.
  4. Start over. You can also start over whenever. Maybe you really liked the idea you had but didn’t feel like the execution went very smoothly, come back to it later. If you are still working on a deadline, just start over right away. Sometimes loosening up with a more ambitious piece opens up a creative flow for a better and simpler piece.

With my piece, each of the next motifs I did had less and less quality to them. Then when I plugged the images into Illustrator to work out a pattern, it looked even worse. Here was the final scene from my workings:


Untitled_Artwork 3

My decision was to power through, I would make it work, edit the motifs I needed to edit to make it look how I wanted. For me, I work on a deadline and need to push past the lack of inspiration.


But when it came to the actual pattern, it left me hugely unsatisfied. It wasn’t working, plain and simple. So, I decided to start over.

The steps I took were drastic. I kept the themes I wanted only in semblance. Still, all that wrestling I did over the older pattern had loosened me up and the new design came easily to me. Below is the time-lapse just to show how straightforward the ideas were after the hours put into the first pattern.

This sketch took me maybe an hour, maybe less.

Untitled_Artwork 8

All this to say, the difference between the two patterns is stark. Artist or no artist, drawing and creative expression take time, practice and nurturing.

View full pattern in my portfolio.

The Process

I’ve mentioned a few times now that creativity takes nurturing. I know people who think that they don’t have a creative bone in their bodies. However, I don’t know how strongly I believe that. Let’s talk about the process of accessing your creative flow.


Your goal when you are in the pre-discovery stage is to find your inspiration. Get the juices going. Find what inspires you. It could be literally anything. Looking at other art, or photography, going on a walk or a hike, spending time with your family, a quiet day in a coffee shop, listening to music or listening to a podcast, even watching a movie! Find what inspires YOU. When something hits you, an image or a feeling or even sometimes its as vague as a thought, that is your inspiration.

Sometimes inspiration takes a little more work. Very similar to a brainstorm, start thinking of ideas and see where they take you. Maybe do some sketches. Maybe you like dragons? Draw some dragons, maybe you don’t feel skilled enough to draw dragons, draw their wings. Dragons like to fly, maybe you want to visualize flight in some wind lines or clouds, or maybe you want to draw the mountains said dragon is flying through. You need to kick your imagination into gear, give it ideas, feed it random things and see what gets it going.

Play movies in your head, make up situations, fantasize.


Once you have that inspiration, work on it. Doodle some ideas out. Expand on your inspiration. Maybe you need to write actual words down, or maybe you need to simply create a sketch and layout the plan.

Think of this like a warm up, similar to warming up before a run. If you are drawing figures, get someone to model for you and just sketch some images out. This helps your brain connect with proportions and how to follow certain curves. You find yourself struggling less and less the more time you spend drawing.

Spend time thinking about whatever it was that inspired you. Get lost in thinking about it. If it was a feeling, let yourself keep feeling it. If it was an image, play that image over and over, add to it, get lost in it.


Execution is how you actually create your piece. Execution can often times not go the way you want it to. Here’s one of the most challenging parts, but you can make it fun if you teach yourself to let go of perfection… let the art go where it wants to go. Sometimes (not always), you might really like what comes out. You drew that dragon but it looked more like a Godzilla than a dragon, try going with it, keep drawing around it.

You could also start over and simply improve on your ability to draw what you were aiming for to begin with.

Still, sometimes, regardless of all our efforts or even our relaxation, our execution flops. Think back to my example with my pattern that just didn’t turn out. At this point, go back to the options I gave you. In my case, I started over and achieved what I felt was a much stronger and clearer piece.


Completion is the satisfaction. Its stepping back from a finished piece of art and feeling that sense of pride and self-worth at what you just created. This is very personal. Someone else might look at your piece and not give you the hopeful response you had pictured in your mind of being impressed and supportive. Ignore that. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. There are so many reasons someone might not respond the way you might hope to your work of art. It might not be their taste, they might just not like the content or even care for art at all. Maybe your talent has room to grow and they don’t know how to appreciate you at the level you are at. Thats ok!

Now, if you are anything like me, not being able to finish a piece and find that feeling of satisfaction is very frustrating. Often times, the pieces I pass off as failed, I will actually save and come back to in hopes of improving it upon a second work through. In the case of this Tortoise and the Hare pattern, I had to finish my original one as soon as I could. Mainly, I had an idea of how I wanted to do it and needed to carry it out.


It’s definitely still not 100% and definitely not a quality pattern, but its done. I am happy with it being done as is.

Nurture that Creative Flow

If you don’t spend time inspiring yourself, your mind won’t bother. When your focus is your work or your family and you don’t stop to let your mind wander, your creative flow gets blocked up. Thats how I felt for years, but we were in family survival mode. I didn’t have the energy to give myself time to just let my mind go to the wonderful places it does when I want to be inspired.

Even if you don’t have a goal to be an artist, draw every day. A little sketch, an idea, a person you saw on the street that made you think, doodle those things down. Or maybe all your doing is a doodle, little squiggles and shapes… you should see some of the people I follow on Instagram for whom, thats how it all started. You never know what you are going to tap into.

Lastly, draw what you love. Let your creativity be an expression of your heart.

Tips for Getting your creative juices flowing:

  • Find what inspires you
  • read a poem
  • read a book
  • look at other art (Instagram is a great place)
  • go on a walk
  • go on a hike
  • go to the zoo or aquarium
  • watch a movie
  • go sit in a coffee shop
  • just sit and daydream

If you found this blog post useful or interesting at all, I would loooove to hear from you in the comments! If you are an artist and your process is different, share with me! How do you tap into your creative flow? If there’s something else you want to hear about, again, let me know in the comments!

Following me on Instagram or subscribing to this blog are great ways to keep up with my work! F O L L O W

My work can be found on the following three platforms:


Cute Nautical Sailor Boy


This year has started off with some commissioned designs. Something I am doing more and more of, and loving it.

Its great when someone is inspired, or maybe they have a song they want visualized or maybe they need a personalized design just for them! I love working with people and helping them make their ideas come to life!


I finally sat down to work on the first one from my current lineup. The request was for a nautical theme for a little baby, so my first inspiration was this cute little sailor boy and his animal friends.

Working entirely on my ipad for the concept design, I wanted to give it that rounded, cutie look.


Of course, from here, its time to hit Illustrator and find that appealing repeat. That part can really be challenging… but the most challenging part for me is usually the colors.

Final result for this ended up really simple, I chose to stick with that classic dark blue, and added some red cheeks for a little pop.


This could end up on some blankets or clothing really soon if this design is approved! Excited to see what happens next!

Check out my portfolio for all the colorways!

Shop the design on Redbubble!

That Elusive Niche


What is a niche? Like the elusive white stag, a niche is difficult to find. Some find theirs easily, the stag walks out of the woods, and they walk off into the sunset together. I wish. Others, for various reasons, might struggle to find theirs. Then, dare I say, some never lay eyes on their white stag? There’s me, “R.I.P Corinna, she could not find her niche.” How tragic that she could not live out her placement in life.

A Niches Purpose

A niche is like a hidden purpose in life. It’s almost as if we’ve just taken the word “destiny” out of modern culture and replaced it with “niche”. Not to say the two are the same. A destiny can find you, a niche can elude you.

In the design/internet world, a niche has a whole different type of value. The promise of glory and riches hides behind you finding the perfect balance of something you can do and something the mass majority adores you for. When you find the blogs and videos whose advice tells you to just be yourself, it doesn’t always seem to be true. Maybe it’s easy to say once you find your niche because you are probably being a part of yourself. However, it doesn’t always seem to be just you being yourself, it seems more like you being the part of you that people love most.

Don’t get me wrong, a niche is so handy. It also looks so nice, and it really brings a nice cohesive look to an artists body of work. I’m sure it brings a sense of fulfillment, especially if you’re lucky enough to love what people love about you simultaneously. Still, theres a part of me that wonders if you find it for you or for others. We are so starved for the general community and affection of our fellow man, our fulfillment is now filled through a sort of virtual admiration and acceptance. We are loved for the videos we make or the designs we create, for the blogs we write and the presence we hold on this bottomless cavern called the internet. We are not loved so much, for who we are.

My Journey, Will I Ever Find My Niche?

My own journey to find my niche has been a difficult one. I can blame my kids, or how busy I am, how busy life is, but would I find it any easier if I was completely free to look? The biggest challenge for me has been how much I love to do. People don’t like to see everything you can do, they want to see one thing, one look, one experience for them to connect with and recognize. You have to brand yourself. People are even so delicate that they get confused if you add or take away anything from your brand. Re-branding is a feat, it takes incredible effort and planning to pull it off successfully.

No one is on the internet to get to know me, no one wants to find this person writing random things and then also learn she designs, but no, she’s not limited to designs, sometimes she likes to just draw, or even paint! Oh and she’s a mom? No, one wants to then read about my kids or experience as a mother in addition to all that. The expectation is, oh, a designer, great, love her designs, they have a cohesive familiarity I can connect to, perfect!

In a life of consumption, products, images and a constant need for new content, people want something they can arrive to, take what they want from, and leave. We market to each other, capitalism is in our blood and the transformation of our definition of destiny emphasizes that very fact. We have all been marketed to as well, marketed to since we were babes. Naturally, marketing to each other would simply follow in the trend. We don’t exist as side by side humans, but as internet entities, selling ourselves as brands to anyone who will buy.

There are of course, exceptions. There are communities and supportive fans who get to know the people they follow. There are true blue artists who are simply being themselves, and the internet loves them for it. There are people who have truly found something they love to do and don’t mind and all that they now focus on just the one thing.

It has left me to wonder, however, what happens when I find my niche?

What happens when you find your niche?

I don’t actually have an answer for you guys. I haven’t found my niche yet. Finding your niche is like one of those things in life that you have either experienced and understand. Or, you haven’t experienced it yet, and you are left to speculate, only. Before I was a mother, I had all sorts of opinions about motherhood, and ideas about who I would be as a mother. Until I became one, I never knew what would be true and what was just speculation.

In terms of finding your niche, maybe the heavens open up and a brilliant light shines down in celebration. Maybe the internet shows up at your door to carry you away on its shoulders… or maybe the sky will rain money.

Still, when I wonder what it would be like to find mine. I wonder about what happens to other talents. Does a person just give up on everything else they can do? Is that what we are supposed to do anyway? When I think about everything I love to do, and the exploratory nature of my art style, I can’t stop repeating the old saying “jack of all trades, master of none.” There’s so much I *can* do, but *should* I do all of it or pick one thing and focus on it alone? Throwing those thoughts around in my head for a little while exhausts me and I just come to the conclusion that all I want to do, is exist.

I really want to just be me, and if I’m lucky enough, be loved for it. I don’t want to create something for you, I don’t want to be someone specific for you.

When I was in middle school, I would only wear make-up to school occasionally. It was always on those days that I received lots of compliments on my appearance. I hated it. I was so rebellious to it, I would wash my make-up off. It frustrated me, that I needed to wear make up in order to receive compliments on how I looked; that I needed to change my appearance for people to notice and appreciate it. Honestly, I look back and think that its a little silly. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and making an effort. Nowadays, I wish I had the time to take care of my appearance the way I did then. Maybe there’s a lesson there. There’s an aspect of finding your niche that’s for other people, and we shouldn’t be existing for others benefit… but maybe most of finding your niche, is an existence of the truest expression of you. Maybe, it’s like making an effort with your physical appearance, but until I find my niche, I can’t confirm the theory.

Dont Worry About it Too Much ( I say to myself)…

In the meantime, it always comes back to the journey. While the internet might not care, not truly, about who you are or what you learn or go through… that journey is definitely more important than finding your niche. The people you meet, the community you build, the things you create along the way are far more valuable than a virtual recognition of a smaller collection of your talents. You might be like me, and you might be struggling to find it, wondering what its like to capture it, waiting for that fateful day. Well, when the magical day comes that you finally capture that white stag, your accomplishment will hold that much more weight, because of the path you paved along the way. At that point, I hope the fame and riches are yours.