Welcome to The Blank Canvas Blog Hop!
~Facing The Blank Canvas~ 
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Written by Artist/Illustrator Jennyann Carthern
Facing a Blank Canvas is like being confronted by a two headed monster! On one end, the canvas is inviting. On the opposite end, it becomes an eerie reflection of ourselves looking right back at us. We're forced to face our deepest fear. The shady one that tells us that we are inadequate, when in fact,"Our true deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - Marianne Williamson
If I start to believe that monster. I start to feel inadequate. I start to question myself, often bringing up a pool of negative thoughts and emotions, like fear of failure, imperfection! Oh! Oh! Oh!...and my absolute favorite. "It's already been done before." 
So, how do I face the blank canvas, when it might very well be a reflection of me.
     Well...for starters, my creative process doesn't really start with the canvas. It starts on a piece of paper, or an empty page in my sketchbook. You see...I love illustration, and that is what I do. I make kid inspired illustrations and wall art. The canvas is usually the last stage in my creative process. 
In order to get there, I'll have to let you in on 5 things I do to face the blank canvas!
 I let go of how much the paper cost. 
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(c) Jennyann Carthern
As much as I like to call myself a free spirit. When it comes to the canvas. I often transform into a perfectionist. It's a trend I see often among my creative friends.
The paper has a lot to do with this, along with the ritual of buying it. I compare buying paper to finding that perfect purse that calls my name. It's magical! It costs a pretty penny too! Then when I take it home or tote it to my studio, I'm afraid to touch it. I might ruin it's beauty & perfection. 
One day I realized that this ritual was preventing me from expressing myself on the paper. So now I work organically. I dive right into the paper! I tear it, I rip it out and I sketch to my hearts content! The marks aren't always perfect, but I don't care. After all, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." -Pablo Picasso
  I find reasons for boredom! 
Have you ever been stranded at a stop light, waiting for the light to turn green? While in that fatal moment, you gaze out the window, and see a woman standing at a bus stop with 10 bags of groceries in her hands. How the heck does she do that! That would be an awesome illustration!   I pay attention to unexpected moments, and I jot them down to take back to my sketchbook.
I surf the web. 
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(c) Jennyann Carthern
The internet has a lot of groovy surprises. Like quotes, poems, idioms and Pinterest.  Pinterest allows me to create prompts for myself. I have pin boards for settings, character, and background ideas. This has allowed me to install touches of personality into my characters. In turn supplying me with ideas for the page.
 I'll take a day-cation! 
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(c) Jennyann Carthern
Yep....! I'll blow everything off for a day, and just take some chill time. I'll use that time to tour a museum, go to a factory, or discover some place that's off the grid. All I take with me, is some cash and my cellphone.   Yes, you got it! I leave my sketchbook behind. A faux pas among many artists, however it's a part of my creative process of working organically. You've got to find what works for you. Leaving my sketchbook behind has released me from  the expectation to purposely look for pretty things to create.   Banning it from my day-cations has allowed me to truly be in the moment. When I do get inspired, my sketchbook becomes anything that's two feet in front of me.  FIVE.    I never ever forget to have fun! 
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(c) Jennyann Carthern
Now that you've got my 5 tools to facing the blank canvas. What do you think about them? Please leave your comments below, and if you really enjoyed this post, please tweet, share, pin and definitely send out a huge thunderclap! 
On another note: In a few weeks I'll be accepting a limited number of commissions for children's wall art for the holidays. 
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(c) Jennyann Carthern
Personalized painting on canvas or paper that you can give as a gift to a loved one, or to feel a space in your child's room. I'll add you to my interest list, along with 20% that will expire on Sept 22nd. When you sign up HERE!     Also, please don't forget my blog giveaway. It's a one year membership to The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. So make sure your signed up to enter HERE. Thank you for hopping along with me at The Blank Canvas Blog Hop! 
  1. Sept 8….Karen Friedland  
  2. Sept 9….Lezette Markham
  3. Sept 10Cynthia Patton 
  4. Sept 11Jennyann Carthern ←ME
  5. Sept 12FRIDAY FRENZY - Kiala Givehand, Tori Deaux, Karen Friedland
  6. Sept 13Jan Blount
  7. Sept 14Effy Wild
  8. Sept 15Virginia Simpson-Magruder
  9. Sept 16Dariana Cruz of Dari Design Studios
  10. Sept 17Susan Miller
  11. Sept 18Grace Howes
  12. Sept 19Tori Deaux
  13. Sept 20Kiala Givehand
  14. Sept 21Martin Arkenstone
  15. Sept 22Nicole Piar←YOU ARE HERE

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