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Why Being Creative is A Lot Like Swimming in Ireland // Blog

Being Creative is like swimming in ireland_Blog Post Image Cat De Pillar

[This topic came to me as I started thinking about my artist residency starting next week *eek. If you haven’t heard of it yet, I’m going home to Ireland for the entire month auf August – and because I know how many of you love Ireland and either miss it, or would really like to see it….I’ve decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign to help me turn a vacation into an artist residency – dedicated to bringing Ireland home to YOU! In exchange for your support, I will take you on my month-long adventure and make you feel like you are there with me – except you won’t feel as damp as you would in real life! 🙂 Click here and have a look at the perks that my sponsors get, maybe there is something you’d like me to bring you from Ireland!]


Being Creative is like swimming in ireland_Blog Post Image Cat De Pillarf you’ve ever been to an Irish beach, you know that there are roughly two types of people you will encounter there: Those who are wearing three layers of clothing, wrapped in a blanket, hugging a hot cuppa of something [+ sand] – and those who are running into the ocean in their bathing suits, screaming all the way.

The people I want to talk about today are those in bathing suits, or possibly underwear, running into the water with crazy eyes and a fierce war cry. Because there is a lot that Creatives can learn from these people.

The truth is, and I talk from experience here, nobody just goes swimming in Ireland. With water temperatures below 16° on most days, and some weird algae floating around, you have to be really sure you want to do it, and even then, it’s never easy.

However, if you really want to go swimming, there is a way of doing it that makes it easier and that I think can be very valuable for Creatives who struggle with consistently showing up to do their creative work.

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3 Ways To Channel Your Inner Fangirl & Why You Should // Video

Hey awesome you!

How are you? Let me tell you, it’s so great to have you here and I really hope that you enjoy this video I made for the Fangirl in you and me. However, this is not only a video on a topic that is important to me, but also a little teaser for my upcoming gift to you: A 5 day video series for creatives struggling with doubt and low self-esteem.

If you sign up for my newsletter until the 11th of April 2017, you can snag my current gift – a guided meditation + free illustration – before I remove it to make space for my new gift. 

When we look at the OED definition of the term “Fangirl”, we come up with something that isn’t all to flattering. In fact, I am pretty sure that the word “obsessive” is a red flag for most of us [am I the only one thinking of the girls who fainted when they saw Justin Bieber their favourite youtuber?].

Thus, while many of us might not consider ourselves Fangirls [or Fanboys], at least not in public, I’m pretty sure you could come up with a couple of situations in which you are – if not obsessively, then at least passionately – already channeling your inner Fangirl. Think The Walking Dead, Mass Effect, Cookie-Dough Ice Cream…

It’s for this reason that I decided it was time to create this video, as I believe that the Fangirl is not appreciated enough and that this aspect of our personalities needs to be encouraged. That’s why I not only offer you my take on why it’s important to channel her, but 3 ways you can incorporate her into your life that you might not have considered, and that will take your fangirling to the next level.

I’m ready to redefine the meaning of Fangirl from someone who is “obsessive” to someone who cares deeply about not only enriching her own life, but supporting those who are creating the things she loves. You with me?

Of course, this list is by no means extensive [particularly because I wanted to keep the video short], which is why I would love to know

  • How you channel your inner Fangirl, and
  • What you would add to the list

Thank you, as always, for taking the time to look at my videos and work, and sending me so many emails with your thoughts and suggestions.

I very much appreciate your presence in my life,

bear hug and lots of love,

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#TakeMeHomeThursday | “Ruling the World (from My Couch)” Watercolour Illustration for Planners and Dreamers

RulingtheWorld_Small_Stamp

“Ruling the World (from My Couch)” (2016) Watercolour Illustration by Cat De Pillar | Click to view print options

As a videogame aficionado (heck, I’m actually pursuing an academic education in this field) I love seeing people wearing t-shirts with some variation of “achievement unlocked: [what you managed to do].”

Not only do they make me laugh, I always end up making up my own versions of the phrase, which I find highly entertaining.  Some of my favourites are:

“Achievement unlocked: I left the house today.”

“Achievement unlocked: I washed myself”

“Achievement unlocked: I tackled my to-do list and survived”

But my most favourite phrase – and interestingly, the one I usually think of first – is:

“Achievement unlocked: I changed out of my pyjamas today.”

YES! I admit to it – judge me all you like! [we both know you are guilty of this too]

I am one of those people who, if they don’t have to leave the house and have a day to putter around for themselves, they stay in their pyjamas. *I usually throw a XXL, bulgy, and absolutely unflattering jumper into the mix, just for good measure

And that, my friends, is what this illustration is about. [Although, it’s less about the disgusting, unwashed side of it, and more about that constructive emotional and mental space we enter into on those days.]

As we lounge on the couch, ideally with a hot cuppa and a notebook (the new one, not the thousand other ones you bought and are saving for “something special”), we are able to rule the world from our couch – by starting in our heads.

It is that beautifully cosy moment where we take some time to plan and and become clear on what we want in life. [or for dinner] Where we lean back into the soft cushions and imagine where we want to go, where we want to be, and what we want to achieve.

Where we surround ourselves with all the books that we have only read half-way through, but that inspire us just by lying in sight. Where we finally jot down the next steps we want to take; the next projects we want to tackle; the next experience we want to allow.

Where we take some time for ourselves; where we let go of pretences, and get to work on what is happening inside.

Where we are so much closer to ourselves and what really matters to us ,  that magic is possible.

Illustration Details: 

Watercolour and ink on 150 g/qm watercolour paper.

Let me know what you think and share it with all your friends to give them a subtle hint! [that staying in your pyjamas all day is awesome, of course]

I send you my love and a big hug,

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What “To Nurture” Truly Means | Art Vlog

You know how you work on a painting and everything works out perfectly from start to finish? You don’t?

Well, I don’t either.

In this instalment of my art vlog Cats Creative Channel [CCC], you can watch me awkwardly speak into the camera, sing about needing deodorant, fuck up majorly, and finally, paint my newest piece of the #powerword meets #lovemantra series.

// About the piece

This is a piece that feels like a little breakthrough to me – I cannot even point out to you why, but I know that this picture is a new beginning…of something.

It is dedicated to the fantastic Catherine Orer from The Artist Entrepreneur, who helped me so much during the 1:1 call that I won. As she was being so generous with her gift to me, I felt that I had to create something as a token of my gratitude in return! [And now I want to go watch Shrek]

Looking for a word that represents Catherine to me, I kept coming back to some version of “care” – which ultimately led me to “nurture.”

// The Finished Piece

This is for those of us who nurture through inspiration, through commitment, through trust and love – but who are aware of their boundaries and don’t allow others to abuse their kindness.

// The mantra to this piece is

I will nurture you and help you grow, but if you do not want to grow – I will not be able to support you. I help those grow, who are already willing and motivated to grow themselves.

Make a cup of your favourite hot beverage, laugh at me in the comfort of your own home, and take some time for yourself to be inspired [or entertained] by my art and process.

xo,

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The One Thing Every Creative Needs To Do To Feel Happy

Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you? – Elizabeth Gilbert

Take Creative Action

 

If you are anything like me, you have this deep and compulsive urge within you that haunts every moment of your life. *no, I am not referring to your urge to squish the cheese in the supermarket display, you sicko!

The urge I am referring to is surprisingly simple in its demands, and only ever says one thing:

You. Must. Create.

I can’t remember the first time I realised I was cursed – sorry – blessed with this innate need, but I know that I have been resisting it for just as long.

This is quite a boring thing to do, as all I am merely repeating the age old cycle of creative denial, which usually consists of three highly complex steps:

  1. Urge to live the best fucking creative and amazing life you possibly can
  2. Feeling too scared to do it and pursuing something else instead, while constantly beating yourself up about it
  3. Repeat

With the fear come the excuses, and you put following your calling off for another day or two, until another year has passed. It’s easier. It feels safe.

It is comfortable in the same way as Chinese Water Torture is comfortable. You think you’re fine at first, but drop by drop it will drive you insane.

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What To Do When You Are Too Afraid To Create

 

“Resistance is a bully. Resistance has no strength of its own; its power derives entirely from our fear of it.” – Steven Pressfield

what to do when you are too afraid to create four simple steps to help you deal with creator's fear blog post catdepillar illustrator artist

As I sit in my pyjamas at four in the evening and contemplatively take a sip of tea, I begin to wonder why it feels so hard to start the creative process.

Creating is what I DO, so why am I not whipping out the paints, splattering them wildly across a large canvas and throwing my cat over it in an outbreak of artistic ecstasy?

Why has yet another day/ month/ year passed without me doing anything remotely associated with creating? Why have I not picked up a brush, a pen, a needle, a pair of scissors?

Why have I not been listening to my deep desire, my core need, my inner longing  – to create?

Oh right, because it’s fucking terrifying!

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