My new favorite illustration prompt: #Colour_Collective

Illustration

I’m putting a spotlight on #Colour_Collective this week because it’s helped me find tons of amazing artwork from many talented illustrators! And I love that all artists and mediums are welcome.

Here’s the skinny. Every Saturday on Twitter @Clr_Collective releases a new color for that week’s inspiration. The following Friday at 19:30 BST (that’s 1:30pm CST, my Midwestern friends), artists of all stripes share artwork inspired by that color and tag it #Colour_Collective.

Here are some of the pieces I’ve made over the past couple weeks and the colors that inspired them.

#Colour_Collective Artwork by Sheri Roloff

So, if you’re looking for a smile on Fridays, browse the hashtag for some beautiful art! And if you’re an artist looking for weekly inspiration, join in! The online community around this is awesome. This week’s color is Portland Orange, and I can’t wait to post something new tomorrow and see all the amazing artwork!

My art book “Empathy” is done!

Art, Writing

I’m delighted to announce the release of an art book I created called empathy. I felt driven to put this together in the wake of all the crazy things happening in the world lately.

Empathy Cover by Sheri Roloff

I used spray paint artwork I made a few years ago as the backdrop and designed words over the top under the helpful advisement of my Design Yoda (aka my talented graphic designer friend that always has amazing feedback and ideas!). The message inside is for writers, artists and doers everywhere. Keep going – don’t stop. The world needs your writing, art and actions.

Empathy Spread by Sheri Roloff

I hope you’ll view and download the free PDF here. Or if you’re looking for a shiny new book to add to your shelf (or perhaps a gift for someone who likes shiny things), you can purchase a print copy here.

Please feel free to share this with others. I made it to process thoughts and feelings, and I hope it resonates with you.

Wacky Wednesday Post #6: HEY, Grumpy-Head!

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Last week was filled to the brim with highs and lows on a number of projects. During one of my grumpier moments, I drew this in my new bullet journal. (Bullet journaling is way cool by the way, and I recommend checking it out if you’re a chronic list maker/misplacer.)

Anyway, this post isn’t as wacky as I’d prefer my Wacky Wednesday posts to be. It was originally just a reminder to myself. (That’s me pictured below with the slouchy hipster hat and serious facial grumps!) But I decided to share it anyway because I thought it might resonate with other people who make things.

Projects inevitably ebb and flow, and sometimes grumpiness strikes when self-doubt and impatience seep in. As far as I can tell, the only answer is to step back, maybe draw a grumpy picture or go for a run or bake some cookies or do whatever else you’re into for a while… and then get back to work.

HEY, Grumpy-Head! by Sheri Roloff

Creative Workspace Tour

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I’ve been meaning to do a post on creative workspaces for a while because I really enjoy taking a sneak peek into where people do their creative work. I think it’s interesting and inspiring. In fact (nerd alert!), I have a Pinterest board dedicated to it. So now that I’ve grown to really love my workspace, I thought I would share it.

Most people use their dining room to dine, but my husband and I turned this space into the desk zone (his desk is on the opposite wall). When I want to sound fancy I call it our studio. 🙂

Desk

I have a trestle-style desk with a nice big work surface. I store art supplies and my printer on the shelves underneath. You can barely see my chair in the photo above because it’s made of clear acrylic. I wanted something that wouldn’t take up much visual space, and the Vapor Chair from CB2 does the trick. I also really dig my task lamp. It provides ample light and is easily adjustable. Plus, it attaches right to the desk so it doesn’t take up much valuable desktop space.

Work in progress

The canvas on the clear acrylic easel is a work in progress. I like to have in-progress work in sight so I can problem solve and think about next steps even when I’m not actively painting.

Bookshelf

My bookshelf holds an eclectic array of writing books, fiction and non-fiction books, children’s picture books (my favorites for inspiration!) and art books. On top I rotate 8″ x 10″ paintings on a mini acrylic easel and the dino seemed like just the right quirky accent to finish it all off. Given the amount of CB2 merch I pointed out, one might think this post was sponsored by CB2! But really, I just identify with their style.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my workspace. What’s your favorite aspect of your workspace? Please share in the comments below!

Is too much (writing) advice a bad thing?

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Is too much writing advice a bad thing? My current answer: yes. And I think this is true for many things. Eventually too much advice becomes, well, too much.

The last few months I’ve been actively soaking up advice from innumerable sources (blogs, articles, social media, books, people in real life *gasp!*) both about writing in general and writing picture books specifically.

Here’s what I’ve found. Some of the advice has been super helpful, insightful and inspiring. For instance, some of the quotes and articles I’ve found through @AdviceToWriters, Stephen King’s excellent book On Writing, and (especially) feedback from my awesome critique group. On the other hand, some of the advice I’ve found seems misguided and conflicts with other things I’ve heard/read…which is frustrating.

I think the most prevalent advice I’ve found is that if you want to write, WRITE. And I think this can be applied to anything. If you want to paint, PAINT! Stop merely thinking about it, worrying that what you’re doing is not good enough, distracting yourself, etc. and hone your craft. You’d think this sage advice would be obvious, but these universal hurdles are clearly thwarting people on a daily basis. (I can personally attest to this!)

So I’m not saying we should shut ourselves off from advice or not be open to advice. There are bound to be golden nuggets, especially from the right sources. And it’s up to each individual to find those sources and filter advice into two categories: useful and not useful. But I think too much advice can bog a person down from their actual task, project or goal at hand.

What do you think? Can too much advice (writing or otherwise) be a bad thing?