Trust your gut


How is your year going so far? Did you do New Year Resolutions, a vision board, a word of the year?

IMG_0073.jpeg|brush lettering: trust your gut |400

I did some thinking about setting big goals for myself, even made clever Notion pages for them. But I’ve decided to throw out the whole SMART goals thing and just boil it down to trusting my gut. This might sound like a passive approach, but I’m finding that untangling the noise and the conditioned behaviours to really listen to myself is something that takes real effort and patience. Is my gut reaction always correct? No, but I can pay more attention to what it is telling me without jumping straight to my logical brain and second-guessing myself.

IMG_4820.jpeg|photo of a sketchbook showing sketches of a paintbrush, pen and pain

My gut is telling me to keep painting in my sketchbooks, and that’s what I’ve been doing. No specific end goal, certainly no plans for monetisation, just keep sketching. Friends have asked me why, and I usually just say it’s because I like to. I think that’s reason enough, but beyond that I think that I’m just a better, happier person when I’m creating art regularly. It’s as important for my wellbeing as getting enough sleep.

This year I’ve been focusing on watercolour with a Sketching Now course, but I’ve also kept experimenting with different media and techniques to keep things interesting. Here's some of my favourite things at the moment:

E05CE776-D569-4B95-A8A9-84F8DAC02AA1.jpeg|photo of a hand holding a sketchbook with fluoro colour swatches and paintings of dragonfruit in bright colours

Cheap kids watercolours, which I bought so that my kids keep out of my expensive ones. But although they behave quite differently to my "nice" watercolours, the intensity and opacity are so much fun to play with! I'm especially loving the fluorescent colours, although they don't photograph nearly as in-your-face as they are in real life.

IMG_4823.jpeg|photo of a sketchbook with black and white sketches of scenes in Japan

Fude fountain pen, which has a bent nib that can achieve incredible line weight variation. There's a definite learning curve but it feels like my calligraphy and lettering days with dip pens and brush pens.
trim.3E326693-B747-4E37-A783-D9CC90FDC868 1.gif|animated gif closeup of paintbrush painting watercolour landscape

Making little videos - don't worry, I have no ambition to become a content creator, I just think some things work better in video format. It's fun being a complete beginner at something. I have a couple of short videos up on YouTube.

I hope the year is treating you well so far!