i need rules.

it’s easy to be really involved with a creative idea in the beginning. ultimately a road block appears where the project is avoided. it just isn’t fun anymore or it’s too complicated/time-consuming to complete at the moment.

the most disappointing part is, i rarely pick it back up. and if i do i wait forever to finish it. life has changed gears for a season, and my aim is producing more with my time. producing more of whatever it is in that moment for me. producing an intentional and finished product. one day, it’s a random craft with repurposed bottles. rearranging our den as a playroom for V. the next day, owning a task at work. organizing a junk drawer. designing a gallery wall. i’ve penned lists in my notebooks: projects at home to conquer, and project tracker with goals for work.

in order to be intentional about working through my grandiose list of possible design projects, i have defined some new personal guidelines…or something like that.

1. choose one project from the list only. enjoy thinking about the project in advance and divide the project into clear-cut steps.

take one of my latest piece for example (pictured). i wanted to do something a little different and fun with V’s birth announcements. don’t ask me why, but i had 12 different cards printed that i wanted to collage on a canvas with some sort of handpainted work included. i started by ordering the cards, obviously, and picked out canvases from my stockpile to use. then i took time to envision the piece and imagine the arrangement, colors and tools i would use. after planning out the timeline, i felt confident and excited about my upcoming craft.

Canvas with paper cards, acrylic paint and modge podge.
Canvas with paper cards, acrylic paint and modge podge.
Canvas with paper cards, acrylic paint and modge podge.
Canvas with paper cards, acrylic paint and modge podge.

2. house must be clean and all work-related tasks completed before i start to art.

my OCD mind will wander to what’s unfinished or undone, and then I’ll inevitably be juggling 15 chores with my designated project. making sure things are in the order before i step into my realm of peace with the piece.

3. communicate with the art.

quite possibly the lamest way to put it, but the most enjoyable part of any creation for me. it sounds nuts (and maybe it is). for years i have pondered God as an artist and how He must delight in the artform of nature, space and humanity across decades and dimensions. could you imagine…? i don’t [think i] have a god complex, but i appreciate the idea of imagining my blank canvas as a creation i’m breathing life into as i work. ┬áso, i enjoy “getting weird” while i paint. fluid patterns and strokes that follow the imperfections of a specific tool. mixing colors to massage their best pigments and making sure they feel good on the canvas. that no stroke or pen mark feels completely awkward unless agreed upon between me and the brush. call me crazy, but those are my favorite pieces. they get the most of me in them.

4. let the stuff sit out.

the house is clean, so i intentionally leave my craft necessities out in a designated, but obvious, space until i finish the project. ‘not wanting to drag the supplies out’ can’t be the excuse not to finish. barring a visit from important company, i allow my supplies to get some fresh air mid-project. why not? my living room, my life. and who ever got much done without getting a little messy? (these questions aren’t rhetorical. i have to motivate myself that a little of art supplies gathered by the bookcase and gallery frames on the table are not the end of my clean house.)


so those are my new four rules for myself, the ultimate procrastinator. this lazy artist with all ideas and not much product to show for it lately has been churning out some stuff recently.

the creative process ebbs and flows, of course –but i’m maturing my processes to get the most out of my creative time, at least until Baby V is stealing the paintbrushes out of my hand.

image(which she can totally get away with being this cute.)



it’s official! i started an art blog. i thought for a long time about combining erinwhatley.com and erinish.com, but i like having this blog strictly for all of my random musings, and i wanted a more commercial space to put my art stuff. i really don’t know what to anticipate with the art blog, but i am really committed to creating more recently.

i would be lying if i said i didn’t want to be successful in licensing some art or creating something completely unforgettable. i’ve been back and forth about taking the leap. it’s just so easy for me to feel insecure and cynical about putting myself out there. i follow so many artists and get so irritated knowing that i can create but that i am not doing anything about it. so, i am going to give it a shot. it may never be anything more than more colorful musings, but it’s worth my best shot.

i don’t really have much in other news. i’ve been struggling to stay positive through some difficult situations at work. nothing major, only the nuances of a sales job. if i didn’t work at a great place, it wouldn’t be as easy to get through, but i do enjoy my coworkers and clients. i often want to be negative about the things i can’t control, but i am really pushing to stay positive through all of the stuff going on. i hate i can’t be more specific, but i just don’t want to speak out in a way that might seem inappropriate in a professional setting.

justin and i are doing well. he’s working a lot on threeforty, putting together events and proposals, and of course doing a lot of secret whispering and planning for this year’s georgia throwdown. i couldn’t be more proud of him for following his dreams, and that’s kind of what’s inspired me to start following through a little more on my art career.

we’ll be taking some trips for two of my friends’ upcoming weddings. though i love my girls, i am so ready for this season to be over. it’s a lot of stress and cash to be a part of these things, and that surprises me daily when i think on it! i have ultimately decided that i will elope or do something similar when it comes my time. i will probably have a big party with loved ones once i have had my non-stressful time with the groom in jamaica somewhere. i just hate to stress out myself, my family and my friends with all of the crazy details of weddings these days. i’d rather enjoy $50,000 post-wedding than push everyone around me to make this one perfect day at the same extraordinary cost. i am totally supportive and excited for my friends who have gone to such lengths to plan their day, but it has truly helped me realize how little i care about all of the wedding buzz when it comes to my own plans one day.

other than that, i have started working out some. which i haven’t done in over a year. after pushing myself for nine years of fighting the pounds, i needed a good break. and i may not be totally back in the saddle. who knows? i have been feeling better through exercising and eating cleaner, but i could be back on burritos and the couch by friday. we’ll see what happens.

so, here it is.

i bought erinish.com about a year ago, but i have procrastinated and been kind of nervous about sharing my ideas and creations with the grand internet abyss. it’s really intimidating. but i am attempting this whole thing, and i plan to give it a good shot. i’m not going to force myself to do anything extravagant, like a post a day. but i will be sharing things i’m doing or things i like. whether they be ideas or the creations themselves.

so, my creation for today is this blog and a facebook page: facebook.com/artishbyerinish

i’ll make a legit post soon, but for now i would like to say hello to you, the person who has happened upon my wild, brain vomit of a blog. if you want to know more about me personally, check out erinwhatley.com.

i’d also like to say hello to you, blog. now you are no longer empty!