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Will you make 2016 your most CREATIVE year yet? [+ free printable!]

I want to share with you two things that have been on my mind lately:

  1. Picking a word for the year 2016
  2. Understanding creativity and how to find inspiration (and keep it!)

Word Of The Year

Have you ever done this? You pick a word that you are going to focus on for the whole year. It’s an alternative to having a New Years resolution (because I’m not a fan of having unrealistic expectations and setting myself up to fail. In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert: I don’t hate myself that much) and for me it has been truly transformative for the last 2 years that I’ve done it.

Instead of focussing on a goal that you can either succeed at or fail at, you are infusing your life with a consciousness of the word/concept you have chosen. In 2014 my word was journey. In 2015 my word is self-care. Those words have embedded themselves into my life. It was tough! Focussing on the journey after a lifetime of thinking only of goals, results and outcomes was not easy. Practicing self-care after a lifetime of.. not… is tough!

But it’s transformative. It’s amazing. Focussing on what is really important to you is the ultimate gift you can give yourself.

In a moment I will share the word I have picked for 2016 (and I hope you will pick one too and use the free printable!) but first I want to talk about…


Creativity & Inspiration

Getting inspired feels so elusive. Sometimes inspiration strikes! And then sometimes it’s gone for days, weeks, months. What’s up with that? It’s so frustrating, and like me you might struggle with this too. We either keep creating in spite of inspiration’s absence or we stop and wait. Still, the question remains:

How can I invite more inspiration into my life?

There might not be a magical solution, but as with all things in life, I do think that there might be a practical one! Ask yourself this question:

What am I excited about right now?

Sometimes I think the key to inspiration isn’t frantically looking around ourselves trying to uncover where it is hiding (maybe inspiration is scared away by loud noises and sudden movements? Lol!), but instead getting quiet and checking in with our own selves. You can find hundreds of people willing to tell you what you should be working on (which usually says more about them than it does about you), but there is only one person who truly knows: YOU.

So what are you excited about? Is it a certain subject, a feeling, an art supply you want to try? Pursue it! Don’t let it go until it’s ready to be let go. At that point there will be something else you are excited about. Then follow that for a while, and then the next thing. Feeling excited and curious about things is like a spark that attracts inspiration.

Journey to…

My word for 2016 is going to be:


I’m super excited about:

Love Art Happy Life


This is a new art course I’m teaching on, run and thought up by the ever inspiring Marieke Blokland. This course is a bit different from others, in that it is based on producing a feeling of happiness & boundless creativity with art. Maybe a course that is only practical art techniques and tutorials isn’t what you’re looking for at this point, maybe you’re looking for how to get & stay inspired (and make art too of course!). All teachers are going to give you a look into their creative process, how they draw inspiration from their favourite artist and how to transform that into a fun and individual art practice.

My chosen artist is Tamara de Lempicka. Her art is a combination of roaring 20s, decadence, strong feminine, art deco style. I’m SO in love with it! Here is a study of her work that I’ve done. In the first part of my lesson I’m going to show you how to do a study and in the second part of the lesson I will show you how to use this to inform your more personal work and style.


And you?

Are you going to pick a word of the year? I hope you will and here are some free Frida printables that Marieke made for you to use to brighten up your art space and write in your word(s)! Please comment below and share your word with me, I’m so curious to hear what is important to you and what you will pick!

Click here to download

Click here to download

Click here to download

I really hope that you will join me on Love Art Happy Life if it resonates with you. I’m super happy to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to drop me a line or comment below!

PS Early bird pricing for Love Art Happy Life ends this week, sign up now if you’d like to join us and make 2016 your most creative year ever!
PPS When you sign up through my link you are supporting me to keep bringing you art courses & free content, thank you!

By Iris

Hi I'm Iris! I'm a mixed media artist from London, UK. I want to inspire everyone with a creative heart to make and do what they love!

6 replies on “Will you make 2016 your most CREATIVE year yet? [+ free printable!]”

2 years ago my word was PUSH. And yes it helped me so much. I had to push through my dads last months of cancer and his death. This last year I picked JOY. I needed joy in my life. My oldest son got married in May and a week before that my middle son and DIL had our first grandbaby. He was a preemie and is now 6 months and he is pure joy. I haven’t officially picked my word for 2016 but BELIEVE keeps coming to my mind. I believe in miracles but I find it hard to believe in myself. This is where my thoughts are going. I’ve loved picking a word to focus on through the year and I since I don’t believe in New Years resolutions this have been fun and enlightening.

It’s so wonderful to read about how your chosen words have helped you. I believe that you pick the word you need most. Or maybe the word picks you! In a way, I didn’t really consciously CHOOSE my words, I didn’t sit down and make a list or something, but it’s like they came knocking, and then knocked again, and again until I took notice. Believe sounds like an awesome word for 2016, I believe in you April! I understand how hard it is to believe in yourself, I’ve struggled (and still do) with that a lot.

Hi Iris,
Thank you for your email, it really is inspiring.
My two words for 2016 are
1. Selflove
2. Developing
I wish you a happy creative time!

Ooh Jacqueline I LOVE how your two words support and strengthen each other! I think that is a very powerful combination. Also really appreciate you sharing how you do this weekly and monthly, I might take that up too!

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