search /// unblock 4

sweet ’16


Happy Sweet ’16, everyone!

Ok, hopefully you’ve had your morning coffee, because it’s heart-on-sleeve time…

This new year feels HUGE. Full of possibilities, opportunities, new plans. Deep breath. It’s exciting and terrifying, wrapped into one sparkly package. I have more resolutions than I’ve ever had. There are lists. Lots of lists. I wasn’t going to talk about this but my fingers just keep typing, so I guess this is happening. After almost seven years of writing “The Jealous Curator”, I’ve decided that in July of 2016, when I wrap up my current design job, I will finally make the jump and take TJC from my “side project” to my “only project”… I’m not going to say “job” because I don’t see it that way. This little corner of the interweb has never felt like a “job” to me. No, not even close. It’s the place where I’ve met all of you. It allows me to share the art that I covet. It’s given me the opportunity to start a podcast and write books … which still kind of blows my mind. On top of all of that, my own artwork has improved so much, and although sharing my work has always seemed like a terrifying thing to do, this community is just so amazingly supportive, I finally feel like I can.

This is where it gets a bit scary. In the fall, my new book will be released. It’s different than the first two. No interviews like Creative Block, and more than a collection of work like Collage. This book is ten chapters. Ten chapters of me… writing. Writing about self-doubt, and inner critics, and blocks, and inspiration, and failing, and finding your tribe, and remembering the joy of just making stuff. And this is where it gets a bit meta… my inner-critic has always lived in my art studio. He has never, ever, come over to Jealous Curator land – until I started writing this book. I was writing about inner critics, and so perhaps he saw that as a fancy letterpress invitation to come on over. Anyway, he showed up. He questioned every word, every chapter title, every little f’n thing. But I kept writing. I cried a bunch of times, wanted to quit a few times, but I kept writing. Slowly but surely I was able to actually take my own advice {meta}, and by the end of it all my inner critic was kind of on my side. I don’t want to call him a friend just yet, but we’re working on it. However, as I head into this new year, this HUGE year, he has a few things to say:

You’re going to put everything you’ve got into this Jealous Curator thing? Really?! What if you fall on your face? That could totally happen.

Yeah… jerk. We may need a therapist.

So, on January 1, 2016 I’m going to take my own advice. I’m going to take a deep breath, and instead of allowing that voice to stop me from jumping, I’m going to listen carefully to what it’s nattering on about and translate it… ok, so what if I do “fall on my face”? First of all, what does that even mean? Am I worried about failing? Failing so epically that I will fall on my face and just stay down there for the rest of my life? Well that’s dumb. “Failing” just means you tried something and it didn’t work the way you thought it would, so you get back up and you try it again in another way. If I “fall on my face”, well then, I guess I’ll just get back up and go again. Hm, that doesn’t sound too bad. And besides, the only way I could truly fail, would be if I chickened out and didn’t make this jump… this jump that I should have made a long time ago.

Exhale. So there you have it. Everything out. Shared. Ready {ish} for the new year. I hope your year is filled with exciting/terrifying challenges too… I’ll see you out there! xo  Oh, and ps. the full year, 12 unblocking projects from 2015, can all be found right here if you want to do them again, or try them for the first time. Have fun!

*Art by Trey Speegle

joël penkman (on my birthday)


Yep, it’s my birthday. A perfect excuse to show a few delicious paintings by New Zealand born, UK based artist Joël Penkman. It’s also a great excuse to play hooky for the day… I’m off to give #creativeUNblock no.5 a shot! See you tomorrow!

merve özaslan


Love! This series of collages, titled “Natural Act” is the work of Istanbul artist Merve Özaslan. What a fun, gorgeous reminder that all of us, even the big city dwellers, are in fact part of nature! Happy weekend, everyone.

{via Honestly WTF}

{ps. the next issue of “Art for Your Inbox”  goes out tomorrow so if you’d like to subscribe just use the field in the top left corner of the site… oh, and #creativeUNblock no.4 will be posted here tomorrow morning!}

noël skrzypczak


Whoa. How’s this for a way to end the week!? These insanely colorful, dynamic, large-scale abstract paintings {synthetic polymer paint on canvas} by Canadian born, Melbourne based artist Noël Skrzypczak make my heart race! Love.

ps. It’s the last week for the March #creativeUNblock project… the April project will go up on Saturday April 4th.

art at the architectural digest home design show

Yep, I’m heading to New York in a couple of weeks, and I’m bringing a whole bunch of art with me! GREAT.LY has a shop at the Architectural Digest Home Show and I’ll be there every day, sellin’ art and signin’ books! Here’s a peek at a few of the pieces that I’m bringing with me:


Yes! Lots of gorgeous art… and a cat planter! I couldn’t resist! {and I may have been pressured into including one of my own collages too}. Design Milk will also be hosting one of the days, as well as the ladies from Cool Mom Picks. Pop by if you can! Oh, and all of these pieces are also available in my online gallery, so no need to worry if you’re not actually in NYC. Click on the images above and they’ll take you right to my shop. Ok, happy weekend! I’ll be working on creativeUNblock no.3 … will you? ; )

tasya kudryk & lesia paramonova


It’s Friday, and I think all of us could use a little glitter, a few diamonds, and a pink unicorn – am I right? Kiev, Ukraine based photographer/collage artist Tasya Kudryk collaborated with fashion designer Lesia Paramonova on these pieces – these magical, pastel-hued, dreamy pieces. Ahhh, the twelve year old girl in me is so happy right now.

ps. Be sure to pop back over here this weekend – I’ll be posting the March #creativeUNblock project!

bedford show … a recap

Ok, this might be the longest post ever, but this show is just so gorgeous, I had to show you everything! I was thrilled when the Bedford Gallery asked me to curate a show in their lovely space… and after almost a year of planning, it finally opened on December 7th! The Bedford gave me carte blanche, so I decided to bring my book, Creative Block, to life! We have work from 20 of the 50 artists, unblocking stations set up so that people can try a few exercises from the book, and some of my most favorite pull-quotes are on the wall in vinyl lettering. Have a look, and I’ll see you at the bottom of this gigantic recap…

Ahhhh! So exciting! Six of the artists came to the opening from as far as Chicago and New York… it was an amazing night! So many friends, collectors, art enthusiasts, kids, and even a chihuahua {sorry, no photo of him!}. The days following the opening were action packed too. I did an indepth walkthrough with the 60+ docents that volunteer at the gallery {so many amazing people!}, and artist Trey Speegle was still in town so he stopped by to chat about his work, the book, etc. I also went to a sound studio and recorded the voiceover for the show! You know when you can rent the headset at a gallery to get the details on each piece… yep, I got to record that! Later that night we had Q&A event at the gallery… it was a packed house!

And finally, the badges. I designed these as section headers in the creative talk that I give, and so when Carrie Lederer, the gallery director, asked if I wanted to make anything for their gift shop I said, “YES. Actual, embroidered creative scout badges!” and she made it happen! Originally they were only available at the Bedford, but, I’ve arranged to have them in my online gallery too {$17.50 for the set}, so now anyone anywhere in the world can have them! They’re the merit badges you earn as a creative person. None of us are alone when it comes to asshole-ish inner critics, or being burnt by criticism, or the fact that we love making stuff. We’re all in one giant, supportive, amazing creative club… so put those badges on, and wear them with pride!

Well, there you have it. The show is still up until February 1, so if you find yourself in the Bay Area over the next couple of months you should totally go! Thanks again to the Bedford… Carrie, Eric, Christine… you guys are amazing, and I loved every second of my time with you! xo

ps. Thanks to WCTV for doing this interview/peek inside the show with me!

‘o’ is for oprah

A few weeks ago I put up a very vague ‘O’ post on my Facebook page. I had exciting news but couldn’t say much… until now:

Yep! My book, CREATIVE BLOCK, is mentioned in the current issue of O, The Oprah Magazine! It’s the “Breakthrough” issue, so I am ridiculously honored to have the book be included. Down the left hand side of page 100 you’ll find three of the unblocking projects – one by painter Martha Rich, another by multi-disciplinary artist Kelly Lynn Jones, and a road trip idea from photographer Jennifer Altman – they’re all such smart, creative women! Have a peek:

Amazing! But wait, that’s not all!!! They also asked me to come to LA and shoot a few segments for #OWNSHOW. Um … I SAID YES. I was so nervous. Excited, but yes, nervous. Luckily I didn’t have too much time to overthink it, because about a week later, I packed my suitcase and was on my way. It turns out, there was nothing to be worried about. I have never met a nicer group of people. So fun, so encouraging, and so professional… what else would you expect though, right?! I ended up shooting five segments with their lovely #OWNSHOW host, Danisha Danielle Hoston. Thanks goodness for Danisha – she instantly made me feel comfortable. Anyway, we talked about shame, inner-critics, blocks, and finding a way out of all of that. I think everything went pretty well … wanna see them? (they’re all less than five minutes each, I promise):

No.1  How Artists Handle Self-Doubt:

No.2  What Artists Know About Creative Blocks:

No.3  How Shame Stifles Creativity:

No.4  Three Ways to Find Inspiration:

No.5  A Simple Way to Free Your Mind:

Ahhh!!! Craziness. Thank you so much #OWNSHOW – I loved every minute of my time with you guys, especially drawing those flowers!

So, next stop? Super Soul Sunday with Oprah herself. Ok, that’s not actually happening (yet!) but I’m going to put it into the universe anyway, because, hey, you never know!

camilla engman

How have I not seen these before? I’ve written about Swedish artist/illustrator Camilla Engman several times, and she is one of the artists in CREATIVE BLOCK {you have to try her unblocking project on p.219 – it’s a really good one!}. I love these found envelope collages so, so much… clever, fun, creative, and instantly recognizable as “Camilla Engman”. I love that I recognize some of these funny little characters from her paintings, and now here they are, in found paper form, popping out of envelope houses! They make me want to rifle through all of my recycled paper, grab some scissors, and head into the studio for the rest of the day #donotdisturb

paul rouphail

Ah yes, I do love finding beautifully painted, perfectly hued {those purples & pinks!}, everyday subject matter … and who wouldn’t want to come across a giant, smoking cowboy? … oh look, the gorgeous oil on panel work of American painter Paul Rouphail! Everything I was looking for.

ps. If you’re in San Francisco, pop by Little Paper Planes tonight from 7~9pm for a little book party. Wine, sweet treats, a few unblocking projects, and a chance to meet some of the artists from the book. Hope to see you there!