The Joy of Being Creative Every Day and My New Skillshare Class

Hooo boy do I have a bad case of the Mondays this morning. I just want to keep going with the weekend and not dive into another week. Is that too much to ask? It was a good weekend. It was a productive weekend. It was a creative weekend. And it was filled with joy.

sunflowers, garden, late summer, summer, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I've been thinking a lot about creativity. On Friday I wrote about venturing out of my comfort zone in my sketchbooks and how valuable that can be. Trying new things, experimenting, playing -- it's the only way you'll grow.

I think it keeps things fresh, too. Straying away from your focus from time to time helps you to return with renewed energy, with fresh ideas, with invigorated creativity.

By creativity I don't mean just painting and drawing. I've been coming to realize how important it is to be creative in many ways. Of course, this isn't new for me -- I've always liked to make things, whether those things are gardens or food or clothes or art -- but I have narrowed my focus (for good reasons) and all those other creative muscles don't get exercised as much as they used to. I know part of it is that there are only so many hours in the week and this year between Matthias' illness, my art and my other job, there often isn't room (or energy) for other things.

I think there's only one solution. To all of it. To the Mondays. To being creative. To not having enough time (or energy). We need to jump in there and do it. We need to make creativity a priority.

Maybe that sounds simplistic, but it's the only way to accomplish anything.

"The secret to getting ahead is getting started."
                                                            --Mark Twain

Getting started is the hard part, but once you get started the actual doing isn't so hard.

I believe we can all fit more creativity into our days. And I think we should, whether that creativity is painting or sewing or cooking or something else.

It helps if creating becomes a habit, a regular part of our days (I've written about the benefits of daily art here and here -- and my assertion that "painting leads to a lot more painting" is true about any creative activity. The more you do it, the more you're inspired and energized to do it).

Because I believe that a daily art practice is so beneficial, my second class on Skillshare is all about developing one.

daily art practice, sketchbooks, watercolor, gouache, drawing, Skillshare, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

In it I walk you through designing a challenge to create art every day for a set number of days (you choose how many). I give suggestions for how to design your challenge to help you be successful and I provide a set of 31 prompts to inspire your creativity. I also demonstrate seven days of creating from those prompts using watercolor, gouache, pen and collage.

This class is now available on Skillshare and I'd love for you to join me there! If you're new to Skillshare and you sign up following any of my links you there's a special offer of 3 months of Skillshare membership (and access to nearly eight thousand classes, including both of mine) for only $0.99. The regular Skillshare price is $9.95 a month, so this is a substantial savings!

Of course, my new class is bringing me joy (and I hope it will bring you joy, too), but because it's Monday, I can't for get my Joy List.

Joy List Monday: 

a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day

Other things on today's list:

  • sunny skies
  • long walks
  • a toad taking a bath in the dogs' outdoor water bowl (I made sure he could get out)
  • cooking together with Matthias, listening to music, singing and dancing
  • eating the zucchini bread and calzones we made
  • getting out my sewing machine and doing some sewing
  • mint tea
  • getting together with my parents and brother for a shish kabab dinner and later some fireworks
  • the smell of roasting tomatoes
  • knowing there are roasted tomatoes in the freezer
  • working in the sketchbook I bound for myself in January of last year
  • chilly nights for good sleeping
  • birds enjoying the seeds from my sunflowers
tomatoes, watercolor, watercolor tomatoes, sketchbook, watercolor sketchbook, hand bound book, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Wishing you a joy-filled and creative week!


  1. Good luck with your second skillshare class Anne. I hope your confidence grows as you develop new classes. I am looking forward to getting back to my sketchbook after the summer break when I get the house to myself again! (Husband and son are on annual leave)! There are some great things on your joy list today. Here's mine:

    Organizing an area to set up compost bins

    Buying 2 new flowering plants to add instant colour to the garden

    Finding a tiny newt curled up under a plant pot

    Eating juicy watermelon

    1. Thank you, Simone.

      Hope you've gotten back to your sketchbook (or will get back to it soon!).

      Your joy list is lovely! A tiny newt! How exciting. :)

  2. I did my Joy List this week too, on the blog.
    I LOVE the love you have for simple life. It makes me smile, I feel so much the same.
    I can not tell you how many times in the week I appreciate your positive energy.

    1. Sending big hugs your way, Carla!

      I'm so glad that what I'm doing and sharing in my corner of the world is bringing you inspiration! I can't even tell YOU what that means to me!!

  3. I love this joy list. Watching the goldfinches steal seeds from the sunflowers is one of my favorite bits about late summer, too. :)


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