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What I learned from doing 30 birds in 30 days challenge

What I learned from doing 30 birds in 30 days challenge


The idea of being an artist can be easily romanticized.


I know many people might think an artist doesn’t work a day in their lives.

They are creating and making beautiful things for a living.

Their hobby is their job.

Painting…drawing…that is not work, that is play!


How great is that?!


Actually it is GREAT!


BUT!!!!! It is still WORK!


When creating anything, in my experience, I learned that I expel so much mental and physical energy. I may be standing or sitting in one spot, but my neck, my back, my arms, my hands, and my eyes are constantly working.


Then, I am problem solving, I am using my critical thinking skills, I am imagining, I am computing ratios and size comparisons, I am using chemistry and science by mixing colors, and this is just the start of it. If I am tattooing I am constantly analyzing my client, their skin, and how they might be feeling through the process of the tattoo.



As much as I love art, it is work and taking time to rest and refuel has been essential for me in being the best possible artist for myself and my clients.



So when I decided to take on the 30 birds in 30 days challenge, I knew I was adding one more creative element to my already quite FULL creative plate. I realized that I would have to make space each day for these quick paintings. As I started the 1st of February, I went in a little scared and honestly overwhelmed…why? Because after years of being an artist something I have learned about myself is I NEED creative breaks. I mean we all need a day off right! I knew I needed a day where I wasn’t doing anything that involved art. That included visiting galleries or museums or even really talking about art. These days have become cherished days, allowing my head space to clear, recalibrate, and experience things from a different perspective that often become my muse and inspiration.


These 30 days I didn’t really have that. I survived! I learned! And I still had fun!

What I learned is that I can paint quickly and efficiently while making a total mess of my art room at home.That sometimes when working on wood, less detail is better.

The hairdryer is my best friend when working with wood and watercolor.

Time management is key.

Planning is essential when taking on a challenge or project like this.

Social media is already annoying and became a bigger job for me and my assistant (mainly my assistant)



AND I CRAVED creative breaks. I began to need them REALLY bad!

Towards the end of the challenge, my work began to suffer because of creative work overload (or so that is what I will call it.) And the frustration began, then the frustration began to feel like depression.




As much as art is FUN and a GIFT, and I LOVE IT and It is a part of WHO I AM. Taking breaks to clear the mind, rejuvenate, allow my brain muscles to relax, allow my body to recoup is essential.



If you are a creative, or maybe someone who is passionate about their work. Maybe you find yourself in constant “creative” overload, I encourage you to take a FULL day each week to literally check out of that space, and check in to a space that refills and refuels you. For me it is kayaking, walking/ hiking, going to the springs, planting, or just being outside. I don’t clean or manage the house either! This is literally a day of rest (and you can do this as a mom with kiddos!) I did! Plus, you might be surprised with what really inspires you the most, and that it comes from these days that you set aside for just you.




As much as I do not want to encourage overload, doing a 30 day challenge is an excellent way to move yourself towards growth, learning something new about yourself, finding your strengths, adjusting and making improvements, and seeing where your needs are. It can also clarify goals, and confirm passions. For example!!!!! I definitely LOVE painting BIRDS, I did not get frustrated with that!


I am grateful I did the challenge, especially since I always boohooed many of those trendy inktobers and whatnot. I will admit, I am glad it is over! I will be taking some time on my off


days, to refresh and refuel the creative juices!



Then I can plan for the next project to push myself towards being my creative best!


Xoxo Naomi


If you are creative and would love encouragement and support on your journey I would love to help! Go to Naomi Shanti .com to learn more!!!!





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