Archives pour la catégorie Inspiration

Kids and adults attention and impostor syndrome

My husband, my daughter and I have been spending almost all the last 6 week-ends in the mountains where temperatures are way lower than in the city, overheated by the summer sun.

Most mornings are spent at the municipal swimming pool. My  husband and daughter swim for hours while I enjoy painting on a long chair.

Obviously, kids get curious and ask to take a peek at my sketchbooks.

It doesn’t take more than 2 seconds for my impostor syndrome to kick in.

Awkwardness is also very close. Impostor syndrome is common among creatives. It is the sign of intelligent and sensitive persons who are very conscious of everything they still have to learn.

They know what could be expected from a seasoned creative person (writer, illustrator, painter, aso.) and feel like their work is not good enough. So getting attention is very intimidating. Showing very imperfect work is nerve wrecking.

What’s very interesting about connecting with children is their lack of filter.

They are sincere. They are genuine. They are constant learning beings following their interest and curiosity.

If what you’re doing interest them, they come to you without any expectations. To be precise, they do not expect to see something exceptional, they only expect to see something new.

And they dismantle your impostor syndrome by talking straight to you.

The first meeting I have with a kid by the poolside, I’m painting a rose. The kid, a 10-ish year old skinny blond girl with long straight hair keeps walking past and forth me and takes several peeks at my sketchbook while I’m painting. She finally finds enough courage to tell me she finds the rose beautiful.

It touches me a lot. I thought I’m the most intimidated one but that girl fought her shyness and found a way to tell me what she thinks.

She showed a lot of courage.

This little scenario keeps happening with other kids and some adults too.

The kids, most of them less shy than the shy blond girl, come and ask questions and want to take a look at my sketchbooks.

It taught me to be more relaxed when they come to me.

I also learned how to respond to them and make clear only my daughter is allowed to draw in my sketchbook

Adults follow. And the impostor syndrome crawls back.

Adults have expectations. Adults can be judgmental. Adults can chose to use their social filters. Or not.

But so far, I have only met curious adults who are not used to see someone paint or draw in public. They’re not that interested in what’s inside my sketchbook. They try to define what I can or cannot do.

And that is exactly when I feel awkward and see the huge path that is still ahead of me.

I do my best so shush down my insecurities in these situations but acknowledging I don’t know how to do certain things make me feel vulnerable.

I guess it’s because working in corporate environment has taught me to always be ready to meet my boss/colleagues/internal clients expectations.

But this doesn’t happen in a corporate environment.

The take away of this experience is, I guess, even if I see a lot of imperfections in my creations, others will find interest and pleasure in looking at them.

Part of the creative path is accepting that even if we find what we create very imperfect and not attention worthy, others will actually enjoy it.

Sometimes we are the worst judges of our work.


If you’re curious about what I’m painting these days, here’s a sneek peek :

How to work with a creative prompt

Have you noticed how creative prompts seem to be popping around the internet ? I see them all around Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.

Chances are, if you’re like I was before beginning my creative journey, you don’t know what the hell you’re supposed to do with them.


What is a creative prompt?

It is an idea, a picture, a quote, a poem or a song that is meant to inspire you, a « coup de pouce » that is intended to help you start something personal.

If you don’t come from a creative background, you might be tempted to treat the prompt like a test, trying to figure out the right answer.

But there is no right or wrong answer with a creative prompt.

For example, two weeks ago, I published Order and Creativity, illustrated with a picture of my erasers neatly organised.

I would never have thought of such an article if I wasn’t responding to a creative prompt. In this case, the prompt translated into a blog article.

Answers can go in all directions. It really depends on who’s responding.

Check the prompt response page and you’ll see that everyone came up with a different proposition.


So, how to work with a creative prompt?

Best case scenario, the prompt sets your imagination on fire and inspiration is flowing like water out of the tab.

Rush to your work table and work these creative juices to your advantage.


Other case scenario, you feel like creating but the idea generating department of your brain is going MIA.


Don’t give up just yet. Try a methodic approach.


1/ make a list of everything that comes to your mind in relation with the prompt

2/ mind mapping works too

3/ sit back and spot your favorite association/ideas. Don’t second guess yourself, just go with the flow

4/ lightly sketch/ plot your ideas

Don’t go into details yet.

Play around with your ideas and figure out what gives the best result.

When you’ve settled for an idea that appeals the most to you, try to refine it a little bit, adding details.


5/ It’s time for research.

Feed your idea. Give it flesh and bones.


6/ Once your project looks good to you, go go go and only stop when you’re done.


Try not to put « perfection » pressure on your shoulders.

When working with a prompt, the process is more important than the result.

Breathe. Dive In. Enjoy.

Sketchbook Skool new class Let’s Make a Map

Nate Padavick, freelance artist specialized in map illustration  and founder of They Draw and Travel and They Draw and Cook websites teaches a lovely class on map making in Sketchbook Skool.

I was a little bit skeptic when I first heard of this course. It evoked tedious boring hours and frustration at not achieving perfection. I remember a time when I was maybe 10 or 11, trying my best in industrial drawing exercise (yes we had this kind of classes when I was a kid) and failing.

But the trailer won me over. It introduces us to the instructor and many examples of the kind of maps he would help us to illustrate.

The class isn’t about producing a perfect reproduction of an area, but it is more about turning the spotlights on particularities we love in certain places and in a fun way.

The above trailer made me feel very comforted in the idea that I can do it too because there are no drawing skills required. An no rulers and no ink smudges nor specific sizes and shapes of letters and numbers.

It’s more about  defining what you want to express, deciding which elements will be included in your map. Will you illustrate the savy food market, the indy theater scene, the children’s park and playgrounds or will you show the way to a certain location ? Nate Padavick teaches the method to prepare and draw a map, doodle fun icons and express our love for a specific place on this earth.

The home work assignments are very well paced and anyone can be able to illustrate a map after taking this class.

If you still feel like you’re unsure you want to attend this class,or do not have the opportunity to do so, you can get your hand on Nate’s book Let’s make Map art. It’s an easy introduction to map making and gives the tone for the course.

However the course does go further in the explanations and method than the book.


So, do you feel inspired to draw a map ?


❤ always


Inspiration exists but it has to find you at work

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Creative Revolution e-course

I have been lucky enough to be granted a scholarship for Flora Bowley’s creative revolution e-course.
This means I’m embarking in a seven weeks of creative, intuitive and completely new art-venture. I’m a little bit fidgety right now I must admit.

The course is designed to help its students develop their creativity via a series of creative exercises, meditations and yoga exercises.

It has started on June 5th and so far I’ve tried two exercises : Visual Riffing and Watercolor meditation.

I never really thought this kind of simple exercises would unlock so many things in me but Visual Riffing did.

New forms and patterns showed up in my grid at my first attempt and I’m really happy about it. A rooster showed up in my grid with a circle, a brick wall and a poppy made their way in my grid with a triangle.

My 4 year old daughter also tried the visual riffing exercise and she was absolutely delighted about it. She first treated it like a coloring page but could not resist the temptation to work according to her own imagination.

Since I decided to complete my creative journey with drawing and painting courses, I have gone in a lot of directions, looking for my ‘style’, my voice and I feel this course is going to help me think less and let my intuition lead the way.

❤ always.


Inspiration exists but it has to find you at work.


Order and creativity

I never thought order would be the companion to my creativity.

Actually I thought it was an obstacle because I always need to see my supplies or I don’t use them, there fore I maintained a conscious semi controlled chaos on my desk for years.

But as Jazza says in his videos, having an orderly work space is an invitation to create and invade the space in the process.

On the contrary, chaos seems prolific and creative but it is just… chaos, hence noise, hence a disturbance to express any creativity. At he end it’s something you have to deal with before starting to create.

There is a satisfaction in sorting and aligning our possessions.

Artist Lisa Congdon explored the artistic appeal of order in one of her photographic series called small things organized neatly.

For an entire year, she took pictures of her belongings and private collections, every batch being organized neatly.  And people loved it so much she was offered a book deal that pretty much launched her career as a professional artist.

For this article, I’ve decided to pay an humble homage to her work by presenting you with my erasers, organized neatly.

I got three of them with the Scrawlrbox (the Derwent, the Staedler mars eraser and the Tombow mono). Whilst already having them, I bought the Caran d’Ache and the Mono sand one.

Why ?

Because each one of them is better at erasing a particular kind of mark than the other. The Mono zero is very precise, the Mono sand gently scratches the paper allowing ink to fade away, the Caran d’Ache does wonder with graphite and the Derwent and Faber Castel form a great team for removing colored pencil without smudging the paper.

When I’m concerned, order is often antagonized by the hoarder in me. Especially when it comes to art supplies.

What about you ?

On which side are you ?

The order or the hoarder ? Do you relish in buying new arts supplies ? Which ones ?

❤ always

Inspiration exists but it has to find you at work

This post is a response to the prompt posted in the Daily post bog : order

TGBOL chapter 6.0 Embrace your quirkiness

Hello dear TGBOLers and thank you so much for all your contributions to last week’s prompt. I was wondering if this type of  list with instruction would interest some of you and by the looks of things, it seems like it did !

I feel like keeping on making lists with a positive attitude to begin this month of June. This weeks theme is inspired by a thought that crossed my mind a few days ago about the shoes I was wearing.

I was wearing ocean blue crocs and heard someone talking in my back « wow, this hurts the eyes ». And all I could think was « Yes, maybe, but they make me feel soooo good ». and Then I started thinking about all those things I do that are not common like but bring joy and comfort in my life.

This week’s theme is « Embrace your Quirkiness », celebrate these things that may not gather public opinion but contribute to you charm and happiness.

Choose at least five topics in which you beg to differ from mister or miz Everyone and delight in your own originality.

Without further ado, here is my list of quirkiness.

1/ Shoes : Crocs ! so many shapes and colors, Clogs, Mary Janes, Mules. I love them all. They make my hectic days so much easier. And the brand has released a collection of flats that look really elegant and still feel great on the feet.

2/ Music : Cheesy tune from the 80’s. I am an eclectic music leastener but there’s nothing that lifts my spirits like a cheesy tune from the 80’s. Ricky&Poveri, Mc Hammer, and for the french readers Peter & Sloane.

3/Readings : Romance ! I don’t know how it is perceived in your country but in mine Romance has a terrible reputation and romance readers binge on their kindle in order not to be judged. But honestly, I can read a romance books in just a few hours if its well written. And read it again and again.

4/ My precious : Your think Jewels ? Nope, I could not care less. It’s a fountain pen, a gift from my husband that never leaves my bag.

5/ Poetry : Angry, Absurd or funny. Some write poetry to reflect on their human condition, some express their thoughts about love, some relish in the beauty of nature. Not me. I write poetry to deal with my emotions. The results ? Here, here and here.


Here are all current TGBOLers :

KenLadylee, Selena, Ms GoliathAmyArwenLaurenRosemary,Jacqueline,Al,TJ,Maria,Angel,Sybil,Cach,Jartagnan,Jennifer,Lauraline,Judy,Esoria,JeanMandibelle ,KatMarie, Maëlysand Louise !

Check their blogs, check their lists, and if you feel like joining us in this great adventure : don’t hesitate.

It’s very simple.

Write a post, insert the TGBOL tag and a ping back the this article if you participate this week. The ping back and the TGBOL tags are very important : they allow me to know about your contribution and include you in the TGBOL authors list of the week.

You can suggest a theme or ask a question in the comments section.

Need more information on the event ? Here, you’ll find a complete presentation of the Great Book of Lists

Don’t know how to start? Here is a little guide to help you create your lists

Don’t forget to hit the suscribe button in order not to miss any TGBOL notice. The more, the merrier.

You can also like the blog’s Facebook page.

All the themes in the same place : TGBOL board on Pinterest !

TGBOL 5.2 & 5.3 : the elements of my day and So far so good

I havn’t been able to post last week because of infernal seasonal allergies but the theme I had chosen still feels relevant.

And this week’s theme is supposed to be a corner stone is this year’s TGBOL, so let’s begin.

The elements of my day.

The idea for this list comes from Brandon Burchard’s day planner. As a snapshot of your current life, it will allow you to leave a trace of what your days are made of, what you truly enjoy and what you’re really looking for.

So, just this once here are the instructions to build your list :

  • quickly jolt you to do list
  • what are the 3 things you are excited about today
  • what are the 3 things you are truly thankful for today

Here are The elements of my day

Quick To do list

  • drop at and pick kid at preschool
  • cook all three meals according to
  • write write write and write
  • send resumes

The three things I’m excited about today

  • opening the May Scrawlrbox
  • working on my manuscript
  • playing dinosaure’s world with my kid

The three things I’m thankful for

  • being able to spend time on my writing
  • my family
  • the rain that tames my seasonal allergies

So far so good

We’re heading towards midyear and I though it would be interesting to take a look at what has changed in our life , what has evolved, what is still going on and strong  since the beginning of the year and the launch of TGBOL.

So far so good

Since the beginning of the year ;

  • I’ve changed the way I eat out of necessity
  • I’ve lost weight
  • I’m still baking on a very regular basis,
  • I’m learning a strategic new skill (But Ush until I pass the exam 🙂 )
  • I’m learning a new way to express my creativity : drawing.

The Great Book of lists, chapter 5.1 : People who inspired you

This week, Jartagnan suggested a theme that is very dear to his heart and kindly accepted to write its prompt.

You too can suggest a them or a subject on which you’d like to write a list. You just have to go to the blog’s contact page or to the blog’s Facebook page.

Without further ado, I’m letting Jartagnan speak for himself.

It’s not about Dedcartes, Churchill, Coelho ou any other inspiring thinkers, whose quotes flourish the internet and the social networks.

No, this week is about a list of real people, unknown (or almost) to the world who had a real impact on our life.

Sometimes, just a little thing, a park, a teacher’s precepts, a piece of advice from a friend, you surely had such encounters in your life,  or people who did little but changed the face of your world.

So much gratitude an so many memories for these little but so significant inspirations


Here is my list of people who have inspired me :

My father
He is an optimist who often says nobody’s sheltered form a strike of luck. This way of seeing life has often allowed me to open my eyes and spot opportunities I could have missed.

My mother
Just like all researchers, she’s never satisfied with apparences nor averageness. It’s her fault I’m a nerd… and a star wars fan 😉
My grand father
He was a very wise man, never afraid to show a great tolerance but he fought like a lion to protect his family.  A man of great love, a wordsmith and a great cook.

Gordon Ramsay

Yes, an english chef. I like his common sense and how he’s demanding in a kitchen. I apply his motos everyday in my kitchen : cook in a clean and tidy kitchen, no more than 5 ingredients in a recipe, always taste, aso.
When I’m lost in between many recipes, I often wonder what would Gordon do.

Bernard Werber Douglas Kennedy
I have been lucky enough to meet them both. They do influence the way I approach writing. They see writing as a craft that needs to be practiced every day. Their discipline is incredible.


Le Grand Livre des Listes, chapitre 5.1 : Les gens qui vous ont inspiré

Cette semaine, Jartagnan a proposé un thème qui lui tient à coeur et il a gentiment accepté d’en écrire la présentation. 

Vous pouvez tous proposer/suggérer des thèmes sur lesquels vous aimeriez faire des listes. Il vous suffit pour ça de passer par la page contact du blog ou de me laisser un message sur la page Facebook du blog.

Sans plus attendre, je m’efface pour laisser la place aux mots de Jartagnan.
Il ne s’agit pas là de Descartes, Churchill, Coelho ou toutes ces penseurs inspirants, dont les citations pullulent sur le net et les réseaux sociaux.

Non, il s’agit là d’une liste de gens réels, des inconnus (ou presque) aux yeux du monde qui ont eu un véritable impact dans votre vie.

Parfois pas grand chose, un cadeau, une étincelle, les préceptes d’un professeur, le conseil d’une amie, vous avez surement eu dans votre vie des rencontres et des gens qui ont fait un petit rien qui a tout changé par la suite….

Beaucoup de souvenir et de gratitudes donc pour ces petites inspirations déterminantes..


Sans attendre, voici la liste des personnes qui m’ont inspirées :

Mon père
C’est un optimiste  qui dit souvent que personne n’est à l’abris d’un coup de bol. Cette façon de voir m’a souvent permis d’ouvrir les yeux et d’identifier des opportunités à côté desquelles j’aurais pu facilement passer.

Ma mère
Comme tous les enseignants-chercheurs, elle ne se contente ni des apparences ni de la moyenne. Si je suis une nerd, c’est en partie de sa faute 😉 et Star Wars aussi…

Mon grand-père
Un homme d’une très grande sagesse, qui n’a jamais eu peur de faire preuve d’une très grande tolérance mais qui s’est battu comme un lion pour sa famille. C’est lui aussi qui m’a donné le goût de la cuisine bien faite.

Gordon Ramsay
Oui, un chef anglais. J’apprécie son exigence et son bon sens en cuisine. J’applique ses préceptes tous les jours : cuisiner dans une cuisine propre, pas plus de 5 ingrédients dans une recette, toujours tester ses plats, etc.
Lorsque je suis perdue en cuisine, je me demande souvent ce que ferait Gordon.

Bernard Werber Douglas Kennedy
J’ai eu la chance de les rencontrer tous les deux. Ils influencent mon approche du travail d’écriture. Ils conçoivent le métier d’auteur comme celui d’un artisan des mots qui parfait son art au quotidien; Leur discipline est incroyable .


TGBOL, chapter 5.0 : I am currently…

Happy may the fourth to all of you. It’s Star Wars day today. And it’s a good day to plan something fun, unusual and a little outside of our comfort zone.

So this week’s list is going to be a little different. It’s going to be a portrait of you who are, what you do and what you plan.

I found the list idea on MAMBI website as a freebie for their Create 365 brand and I thought it was a great idea.

How does it work ?

We’ll be listing items starting with I currently…. love, eat, drink, etc. You can answer each and every one of them or chose to create your own in order to come up with you very own list.

So, without further ado, here is the snapshot of my day.


I am currently…

Loving… the new burst of inspiration that keeps me writing these last few days.

Eating… a lot of vegetables and fruits.

Drinking… water and Coca-cola zero

Watching… Castle and The Voice, french edition.

Going… to start to attend a new class this evening, I’m really excited.

Reading… La voie brisée de Madharva by Matthieu Rivero, a very talented french writer.

Texting… to my fellow class mates. We’re all anxious to know who’s the instructor.

Playing… elephants and dinosaures with our daughter. She came up with the game. First animal to slide in the swimming pool wins.

Working… on three manuscripts at a time. When inspiration fails me on one, I can always switch to the other ones.

Listening… to a lot of classical music because it helps me focus.

Thanking… life everyday for giving us the opportunity to live pleasantly and guide our daughter toward her true self and her best potential.

Buying… nothing. My credit card is broken. I’m waiting for a new one.

Planning… the following weeks and trying to fit in everyone’s needs and imperatives.

Visiting… Ardèche. My husband and I came back from a short trip and are still amazed by all the beautiful landscapes we’ve seen.

Wondering… what I’ll cook tonight. No kidding. 3 people in the house, 3 different ways to eat, including a toddler with current red food phobia.

Feeling… happy as a bee in a field of wild flowers. No room for boredom.



Here are all current TGBOLers :

KenLadylee, Selena, Ms GoliathAmyArwenLaurenRosemary,Jacqueline,Al,TJ,Maria,Angel,Sybil, Cach,Jartagnan,Jennifer,Lauraline,Judy,Esoria,JeanMandibelle ,KatMarie, Maëlysand Louise !

Check their blogs, check their lists, and if you feel like joining us in this great adventure : don’t hesitate.

It’s very simple.

Write a post, insert the TGBOL tag and a ping back the this article if you participate this week. The ping back and the TGBOL tags are very important : they allow me to know about your contribution and include you in the TGBOL authors list of the week.

You can suggest a theme or ask a question in the comments section.

Need more information on the event ? Here, you’ll find a complete presentation of the Great Book of Lists

Don’t know how to start? Here is a little guide to help you create your lists

Don’t forget to hit the suscribe button in order not to miss any TGBOL notice. The more, the merrier.

You can also like the blog’s Facebook page.

All the themes in the same place : TGBOL board on Pinterest !