3 ways to hold onto your “I am going to be more creative” resolution

I am hoping that one of your dreams for 2016 is to be more creative ~ maybe to start keeping a regular sketchbook, maybe to learn new skills or maybe to start your artistic life. Maybe I can help by pointing you in the direction of people and places that inspire me.

Are you thinking that a course might help? I have done a couple of online ones over time, and have really enjoyed them. The courses have been very professional and thought out. They also have lots of materials to download and often a separate space for students to meet up and share work. The tutor gives feedback on your work. Some courses are organised to take place in real time, so a new lesson is posted each week. If you are short on time this can be a problem, and you might consider one that you can work through at your own pace.

  1. These are the artists I have done done courses with. [Remember, these are only suggestions, places to start. Many artists offer online courses, as well as residential workshops, so google around for something that suits and check out all the details for yourself. Most of them will say what level of experience they suit. There are lots around for beginners.]

Sketchbook Skool is the brain child of Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene. It has different Kourses (yep, with the K) with tutors from all over the world, all amazing sketchbookers.

Liz Steel must be one of the most prolific sketchers on the planet! I love her work and took her Foundations course last year. [check out some of the work I did on this course here.] She comes from an architectural background and is so thorough and dedicated to the students in her courses. She teaches ways of seeing that she has learnt and uses in her own sketching practice. She is extremely generous with her knowledge and her blog is worth following even if you don’t want to do a course.

Val Webb has a different artistic style. She creates little fairies that should be twee, but are not. Her courses have a narrower focus ~ drawing birds, especially owls, and lettering ~ but are still well structured and organised. I did her lettering course a couple of years ago.

2. The next links are to artists who run online courses that I haven’t done. However I follow their blogs and like their work.

Jane LaFazio is a mixed media artist, using fabrics and paper embellished with threads and beads. Her sketchbooks are delightful. She also takes tours to Europe and the UK. Imagine sketching in the Greek Islands!

Koosje Koene is one of the founders of Sketchbook Skool. Her passion is that everyone can make awesome art on a regular basis. Every week she sends out a little video of Draw Tip Tuesday, showing an art tip that is short and easy to do. She has online classes about drawing recipes and creating characters, among other topics.

Gaynor’s Flora Gaynor is a wonderful botanic artist, often working in coloured pencils. She runs regular workshops from her home in West Sussex, and I am going to do one when I travel to the UK next….. just not sure when. Also she is organising a course in Norway. That would be amazing! The link is to her online course where she will be teaching botanical art.

3. Maybe you don’t have time for a course but just need a regular boost to get out there and create. These are a couple of sites that do that for me.

Danny Gregory’s latest blog post is about how to keep the resolutions you have made about making art, but there is much more to explore in his blog. He regularly talks about taming your inner critic, and he writes in a very engaging way. His drawings are pretty good too.

Michael Nobbs has a chronic illness that limits the amount of time he can put into his creativity. So he has to think about what the important next step is, and whether it be done in 20 minutes. He produces a daily podcast of around five minutes where he encourages the listener to join him in 20 minutes of creativity. He has such a warm, gentle style and although the podcasts are just him chatting about his day so far, I find them very comforting and compelling.

And lastly, Roz Stendhal who is the direct opposite of Michael. She is a whirlwind of activity and like Liz Steel, very generous with her knowledge. It was Roz that inspired me to make my own sketchbooks. She also does classes which I imagine would be great fun.

I hope there is someone there that will inspire you or even just give you a little nudge now and again. Are there other courses, artists, websites that  give you a creative boost? Let us know in the comments.


13 replies on “3 ways to hold onto your “I am going to be more creative” resolution”

What a lovely treasury of ideas! I keep looking at my notebook and pencils and thinking I really should do something with them… and then I head back to my scraps of colour, my threads, my sewing machine and all the stuff that’s trying to get out of my head! I’ve come to the conclusion that making individual sewn blocks of whatever sort is akin to a drawing exercise, drawing the quilt, making colour notes and thinking about construction and quilting is doing studies, and producing the actual quilt is like producing a painting: many layered, full of care and a joy for the eye of the beholder!


Most definitely! I find it interesting that different people express that need to ‘get stuff out of our heads’ in unique ways ~ writing, painting, quitting, other textile work…. And even within that creative process our brains work in set ways so that we develop our own style and voice.


Hi Anne, Thanks for all these links. There are a few there I must look up.

My suggestion is to keep an eye out for Dawna Richardson-Hyde. In November I did her workshop “The Artist’s Journey: Professional Development for Artists”. It was excellent. I did the 6 day workshop at a place just outside Melbourne, Victoria. She is also running the workshop at art forums in Ballarat and Rockhampton. I think they are both booked out. However she will be doing more workshops in the future.
Dawna’s website is not kept up-to-date, but the telephone number is current and there is a message box as well.
This teacher is a gem.


That is a beautiful website, Sandi. The photos of the workshop space make me want to sign up immediately! I will certainly follow it up. The course you did sounds very interesting. Thanks for letting me know about it. I hope you enjoy the links you follow up.


Courses are a great idea. I did a Diploma in Creative Writing a few years ago with the Open University and having access to a tutor, assignments and a structured learning plan certainly helped me get into a writing routine. I’ve lapsed recently, but certainly plan on getting back into a writing rhythm. All the best for 2016 🙂


I agree, courses are such a good way to kick start things. I am always blown away by how generous everyone is with their time and knowledge. I do hope you can get back into your writing rhythm this year! All the best to you too.


I love learning, and soak up new ideas and techniques. The problem is that I often have too many new ideas to play with, and they distract me from the main focus! As for linking to others….well, part of the joy of the blogging world is spreading the word about other talented people. I love reading their blogs or listening to their podcasts, and maybe others will too.


I hope you find something interesting in them, David. After I had published it I realised that there were other artists I could have included. I may have to do a follow up post.


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