This month I am taking part in an art challenge from an artist that has really inspired me this year, Allison Lyon.
This art challenge is called “Fall Fungi Challenge” and consists of 15 mushrooms that we have to draw/paint this month. It’s not too late to join and if you are interested, here is the link to Allison’s post. ( I would also recommend you check out her account as she is a very talented watercolour artists and paints Nature beautifully ♥ )
I have made a little thumbnail list of all the mushrooms so as to keep on track as I always end up so far behind when I join challenges. (I still haven’t caught up with all the butterflies from her previous challenge! Ha ha )
However, since I have been so busy with my shop and also desperately trying to work on my music at the same time, I have already missed a few mushrooms (but I’m all caught up now so it’s okay!).
I am trying to be way more “laid back” lately and stop myself from freaking out over imaginary or self-imposed deadlines. Such as the shop update which I had to postpone in the end or even this post which I was supposed to write for yesterday.
When I left my office job, it wasn’t to jump right back into another life of misery where my days feel so constricted and I cannot breathe or do things my way.
As much as I hate being late and I take deadlines really seriously, I am learning that it is okay to not always meet those deadlines and to need more time to finish things.
I am only human after all and the amount of things that I need to work on is always greater than the time I actually have in a day, so I need to pace myself and be kinder to myself when I cannot get it all done “on time”.
This is your reminder to check in with yourself. 🌈
Your mental health & well being come before productivity and deadlines. Take care of yourself !
You can always catch up with the hard work but once your body & mind get too overwhelmed, that’s a different story…
Learn to bend before you break ♥
This brings me to the main focus of this post which is also related to self-care : embracing simplicity & imperfections.
I myself am a very complicated person and I am not just saying that.
There are billions of things about myself that even I can’t figure out because I am often existing at two opposite poles simultaneously and it makes no sense.
My mind is always racing and even when I am resting, it just won’t stop going. So, more often than not, when I want to just get something quick & simple done, it turns into a giant time consuming mess.
This painting is a perfect example of that :
This is my first entry for the challenge. The first mushroom that we had to draw was the beautiful chanterelle which I love because of its colours.
I was really busy at the start of the month sorting out my action plan to make sure that everything that needs to be done gets done on time (ah, there it is again, that self-imposed pressure!).
So, when I realized that I was a little late for the first day of the challenge, I decided to paint the mushroom digitally as I thought this would take me less time than doing it with pencils/fineliners as I had planned.
However, as you can probably guess, it did not take me “less time” than hand drawing it would have had.
In fact, it took me so much time to paint this that I had to push back many things in my to-do list and I am still trying to catch up with everything. 🤯
I just found it really funny more than anything to be honest !
I should have felt it coming because the second I sat down, I started drawing the first mushroom and then adding a second one and then decided to include Suzy in the picture…. I really should have seen that I was headed for an untimely disaster ! Ha ha
But in the end it was really fun which is the important part.
Now, I do have work to catch up with but the good thing with hard work is that it won’t go anywhere without you. So, you’re safe to go on your holidays, take a day off, a little break, have fun and then come back : it will still be there waiting for you AND you will be in a better shape to get it done then. 😉
Yesterday, I finally had some time to catch up with the first three mushrooms of the challenge and this time I did it in my sketchbook.
I re-did the chanterelle because I wanted to be able to put the two pictures side by side to better illustrate how I can be one thing and also the complete opposite :
As much as I love the painting of Suzy surrounded by those giant chanterelles, the simple mushroom sketch is just as beautiful & interesting to look at.
I do miss spending time in my sketchbooks, drawing without pressure and using my fineliners & coloured pencils to sketch things out and explore the world that exists outside & inside my own mind.
When I decided to join this challenge it was exactly because of this ! I wanted a good excuse to jump in my sketchbook every two days and do some simple studies again.
So I will be working with my fineliners for the rest of the mushrooms.
I was thinking that I might go back then and add more sketches with a bit of colour to them (either with my PITT Artist Pens or polychromos pencils).
I want the pages to look a little more like studies and less “empty”.
But for now I am really happy with these and with the fact that I managed to keep it simple.
Ever since July, I have been working digitally a lot, mostly designing stickers and I am just looking forward to having time to use pastel, pencils, markers and everything else again.
Starting my shop and now working on the shop update has taken a lot out of me and a lot of time too.
And it has also made me focus a little too much on things being perfect. Which they don’t have to be !
I actually don’t even like perfect things ; I like real things.
I like things with a story behind them and a beating heart inside them ; things that do not try so hard to be something they are not.
And that is always what I am aiming for with everything that I create : sincerity and a certain rawness that keeps them loyal to my vision and to who I am.
I have been freaking out over the clay items that I have made for this shop update because they don’t look as smooth and perfect as those of other people that I’ve seen on Instagram and YouTube.
But they are made by me so why should they look anything like someone else’s creations ?
The whole point of me starting this shop of my own is so I can make things that I love and also get to just be myself.
I am here to create things that make sense to me (or don’t) and tell my stories to those willing to listen/read.
I am not a factory but a tiny human with only two hands and so little time, so everything I create might not be even or smooth.
My handmade items are not flawless but they are cute and each contain a tiny drop of my soul.
They feel like me and that’s all that matters to me.
This is all the time that I have for this post. I still have a lot of work to do before the shop update so I better get going !
I am so looking forward to sharing all these new creations with everyone and I think I might write a new “behind the art” post then to talk about some of the clay items (click here for the previous one).
I am also looking forward to drawing all the other mushrooms for this challenge. You might want to follow me on Instagram (@chloerivsart) if you want to see some work in progress pics. 😉
Thank you so much for investing some of your precious time in reading this post ! I will be back soon with a fun post about Suzy the jackdaw…
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