Happy August! It's my birthday month! *confetti*

Happy August! It's my birthday month! *confetti*

Hey, Happy August 1st! I'm particularly excited about this month because it's my birthday month yasssss! For this month's Desktop Wallpaper, I drew inspiration from all of the wonderfully overgrown plants on my balcony. It's been one of those great summers where it thunderstorms every afternoon (my favorite, not my dog's), perpetually smells like rain, and the plants have just been exploding. It's awesome. I sketched this in our sunroom with the door open and the smell of basil flooding in, while my sweet Patty was sunbathing in her corner of the balcony - it's a peaceful memory,  I hope that comes through in the final illustration. Click the image below to download it!

Paper Raven Co. August Illustrated Desktop Wallpaper

Paper Raven Co. August Desktop Illustrated Wallpaper

I would love to see your desktop or studio space if you use the wallpaper, so feel free to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram so I can see and give you high-fives. Bonus points if you hoard plants like I do. I really need to make a "Plant Lady is the New Cat Lady" Art Print, yea?

Thank you guys so much!
xoxo, Erin

 

Paper Raven Co. August Illustrated Desktop Download - www.ShopPaperRavenCo.com

 

My Biggest Motivation Secret

My Biggest Motivation Secret

A few days ago on Instagram, I asked y'all to throw some good questions at me so I could connect with you! One of the biggest questions I get asked is how to stay motivated. Let's tackle this one. Because this is a doozie and keeping yourself on track - especially as an artist - is really tough sometimes. 

Here are 3 things I do on a daily basis to keep myself motivated and on-task.

This is by far my biggest secret weapon to staying motivated. My brain wakes up at night, so I typically do this after dinner or before bedtime. If you're more of a morning person, grab a cup of coffee or tea and start your day this way!

Before I go to bed, I make a plan. I have a Paper Raven Notebook that I keep on my desk at all times. Every night, I flip to a new page and add the next day's date. I take a look at my Google Calendar and my emails and I prioritize and plan my day. Here's a snip of my day today (for real, this is actually what it says): 

  • Create little check boxes and start with a time slot.
  • 9:30-10:30: Answer and follow-up on all emails.
  • 10:30-11: Email 3 new stores from Instagram.
  • 11-12: Photograph Coloring Book for Giveaway posts.
  • 12-12:30: Eat lunch.

Make sure each step starts with an actionable verb; this allows you to take action immediately - you already know that to do and there is no guess-work! It's important to me to feel satisfied by checking off the box when tasks are completed - the more you mentally reward yourself, the more motivated you are to stay on track. If you're more of a highlighter person, grab your neons and go for it! Lastly, I add timeslots because it's motivating for me to section out my tasks into time chunks. If I just make a list, it's easy for my brain to say, "Oh, I'll get to that." But if I schedule a task from 2-3pm, it will happen from 2-3pm and then it will be done!

Don't forget to add in real time chunks for breaks (15 minutes long) and lunch time ;) I often schedule breaks after big tasks or tasks that aren't my favorite thing to do. Then, if I finish my task, I get a nice little break!

Creating social accountability means creating a post where you publicly share with your audience that you are going to do something, by a certain date, and that they can expect something from you at that time. 

When you create social accountability for yourself, you're more motivated to get it done because other people are expecting something from you. If you find it difficult to assign tasks to yourself and complete them, try making a post on Instagram or Facebook about an upcoming product launch, new series or blog post. Give your audience a date. Put it on your calendar. And when you finish it, reward yourself. 

Spend a little time gathering some great playlists. I'm definitely responsive to dramatic movie and television scores - when I feel like Daenerys riding her dragon into battle or like Batman throttling some thugs, I am in the zone (I'm being totally serious guys). Whatever your music choice is, turn it up, close the Facebook tab and get to it!! You do you, boo.

Remember, motivation is a muscle and a habit. You just have to have that moment of clarity where you realize you have a choice to make - and just make it! The more you make that choice, the easier it is to make it again and again until it becomes a habit and a lifestyle.

I hope this blog post was helpful for you! Always feel free to reply and let me know your thoughts. And if you try these strategies out and love them, please let me know :)