my creative resolution

Painting, Illustration, Surface Design, and Animation


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Sad news

rainbow
My dad passed away last Thursday. Diagnosed with cancer around Christmas, he put up an admirable fight. He was 83. A few months before his 80th birthday, his twin brother, Jack, passed away suddenly. After that I was on high alert and knew our time together was precious. Of course once he was diagnosed I knew our time was even more precious. I think we became closer in his last months – like when I was young and I was his pal.

meanddad

An hour or so after my dad’s death, my cousin came over to my parents’ and told me, “Look for the signs.” She told me a story about her dad, my uncle Tommy, and a rainbow she once saw. Shortly after her story it began pouring, then the most complete and beautiful rainbow appeared. The rainbow was perfectly placed for us to see from my parents’ terrace. My mouth dropped open. A few days later someone on facebook commented, “The rainbow means he arrived safely.”:)

I tell my kids that I cry because I was lucky enough to have such a great dad. Apparently others thought he was great too – the line at the wake went out the doors of the funeral home and down the block! Dad wouldn’t have believed it. The outpouring of love from family and friends has been amazing and has made this sad time easier for all of us.


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A Creative Kickstart

workspace echinacea
World Watercolor Month has given me the creative kick in the butt I needed to get back to painting. I’ve dabbled a little in drawing and painting recently but most of my creative energy has been focused elsewhere – Specifically on growing my web design and social media marketing business.

Once I heard that Charlie from doodlewash got July officially named World Watercolor Month, I knew painting would be my focus for the month. It’s funny how we may want to do something like focus on painting or our health, but it takes outside influences to get us to make it happen.

The day before the start, I prepped paper by taping it down onto several boards. I walked around our garden taking photos for inspiration and reference. My goal is to paint every day, not necessarily have a final piece to post – just paint every day. It’s not too late to join in! Learn more about World Watercolor Month here.

Montauk daisies #worldwatercolormonth

A photo posted by Eileen McKenna (@eileenmckenna) on


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A Bee in the Garden

bee
Only for my friend Charlie at doodlewash.com would I risk my life to take photos of this bee to paint. Just kidding, I’ve been told these bees aren’t the stinging kind. Of course I snapped the photo at the beginning of June with Charlie’s theme of a nature doodlewash in mind, but waited ’til the last day of the month to finish and post. I do need a deadline to get things finished!

World Watercolor Month starts tomorrow! Watch the trailer here.


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It’s National Typewriter Day!

typewriter

I remember typing cover letters on my sister’s blue typewriter. The ad for the job I ended up getting, was one of those tiny classified ads in the NY Times. It was less than 1/2″ high. But I was so excited to start working at an advertising agency!

A special shout out to my friend Charlie O’Shields who famously has doodlewashed many national days! And he got July to be officially named World Watercolor Month! More info on Facebook: Doodlewash and World Watercolor Month


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Drawing Shoes

In my first adult drawing class about 9 years ago, Eva, the instructor, had us bring in a pair of shoes to draw. I brought in my youngest’s baby shoes. I followed that up with a drawing of my daughter’s ballet shoes, and then one of my other son’s cleats. I still occasionally sketch my shoes. The angles, the foreshortening, the perspective – they are such a great subject to practice on!

Recent shoes

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My first shoes
Please excuse the large watermark:)

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Facebook Algorithm

This was my drawing the other morning, when I was frustrated that a post on my business Facebook page was only seen by 2 people!

Eileen McKenna

algorithm
Yesterday my Facebook post reached 2 people. 2 people, even though I have over 200 fans. Why? It’s Facebook’s Algorithm.

“According to a closely guarded and constantly shifting formula, Facebook’s news feed algorithm ranks all the posts in your feed, in what it believes to be the precise order of how likely you are to find each post worthwhile.” – Will Oremus (read the complete article here)

So what can businesses do, besides pay to “boost” our Facebook posts?

  • Post regularly. Try increasing your frequency.
  • Ask for engagement. Ask questions.
  • Share content your readers will “Like.” Don’t just sell, provide value.
  • Repeat the types of posts that get the most visibility.
  • Engage with those, that engage with you.

Please share any tips you have in the comments below.
Thanks,
Eileen

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GUEST DOODLEWASH: Featured Artists At The Doodlewash Dinner Party!

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It was so fun being a part of Charlie’s doodlewash dinner party!

Doodlewash

#DoodlewashDinner title card by Jacob at Jaywalks Alphabet Soup Title Graphic Created by Jacob at Jaywalks

This month’s adventure was a truly fabulous event, as artists from around the globe came together for a very unique gathering called a #DoodlewashDinner Party! Over 60 talented doodlewashers showed up with their culinary creations! And we were even visited by some intriguing surprise guests (thanks Jill!) and treated to a fabulous food painting video (thanks Bogdan!).

Check out the Featured Culinary Artists’ images below and click any one to scroll through the gallery of artists. If you see someone new at the party you’d love to keep up with, just click the follow link under their art! It was truly an amazing gathering, so thanks to everyone who participated! (I was only able to select a single dish per artist for this gallery, but you’ll find many more on Instagram and on WordPress!) If I missed your hashtag and failed to include you in the gallery below, or misspelled your name…

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This gallery contains 8 photos


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Lessons Learned on my Creative Journey

flowers
In the beginning, I paused every few months and wrote about what I’d learned so far about creating art, and about myself. Just 1 post shy of 300 posts I decided to reflect again. Here is what I’ve learned on my creative journey:

  1. There are ups and downs in a creative practice. Stick with it through the down times, an up time is coming, and you never know how high you’ll climb.
  2. Practice does make (almost) perfect.
  3. Accountability motivates you to get stuff done.
  4. You can retrain yourself to embrace better work habits.
  5. There is character and style to the “imperfect.”
  6. Share what you create, don’t create to share.
  7. Those beautiful Instagram posts only tell a sliver of a story. Don’t fall into comparing yourself.
  8. Interviews with other creatives tell much more of the story, and can be very real, and very inspiring. I love listening to podcasts.
  9. It takes time and work to develop your style.
  10. Capture the moments when you feel inspired – snap a photo or jot down a note, for later.
  11. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike or a plan to form, sit down and start creating, and things will start to unfold.

My other “lessons learned” posts:

What have you learned on your journey?

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