2023 was a year of growth personally, professionally and spiritually. In this article, I wanted to share a list of things that were inexpensive and almost impulse buys that incidentally helped me immensely in my journey.
These are not major investments but little things that helped me make little changes to my surroundings, productivity, or art practice, the effects of which compounded and helped me achieve my goals for the year!
If you want to see these in action, then check out the video!
A Scented Candle
I did not know that scents can have an immense effect on my creativity but it turns out it does and there’s even some scientific evidence to it. I like to light one when I sit down to paint as it helps me get into the mood and sets a very calm environment in my workspace. My current obsessions are the Bath and Bodyworks Candles but I also really like the ones from Arkai. I believe that setting up your space to create the right environment really helps get your creative juices flowing and enhances your experience of creation.
Airtight Gouache Palette
As artists, we tend to give in to our blocks a lot and for me especially, setting up my paints to start working was one such block. This Transon Paint Storage Palette Box made a huge difference because when I wanted to sit down to pain, all the paints were already out of the tube and ready for me to see, pick, and mix.
I have definitely been painting a lot more since I made this very simple switch and did I mention the absolute kick I get out of cleaning and refreshing this palette? I made a whole video on it and If you’re a cleaning and organising nut like me, you’d find it as relaxing and therapeutic as I do!
Good Paint Brushes
Good brushes are a very underrated investment, even for a beginner because it makes such a difference to your painting experience. I was able to create such beautiful brush strokes, it improved my painting game so much. The first one was a Princeton Heritage Size 6 brush. Eventually, I invested in a few more brushes because of the amount of difference this small switch made in my art practice.
Books that changed my life
Reading has been another game changer to both my mindset and my practice. The books I’ve mentioned here gave me so much perspective and changed the way I saw and practised art. If you are an artist or someone who works in the creative field, these 3 books are a must in your library. If you want to know more about these books and a few others that I keep going back to, check out this blog!
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron: This book is for anyone who is in the creative field. The book is subtitled ‘A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity’ and the book is basically a 12-week crash course with small habit changes and practices that will help you work through creative blocks and get consistent with your art.
- Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kloen: Another highly recommended book for any artist. I have all 3 of his books including ‘Show Your Work’ and ‘Keep Going’. I actually started with Show Your Work and I have a whole video on it, do check it out but definitely check out this book because it gives you some much-needed perspective on creativity and how you can move forward with your art and art practice
Getting into the habit of journaling is something that has changed my life. Every morning I write my morning pages where I write about what I want to paint, do during the day, how am I going to get to everything I have planned for the day or just vent out my thoughts and feelings. It gives me some mental clarity, for instance, when I write everything I plan to do, I can already see if that is achievable or not and therefore tweak my plan to get the more important tasks done. This has been a very enriching practice for both my creativity and my everyday life and I highly recommend that you give it a shot.
Desk pads (weekly and daily planners)
I got 2 desk pad planners from Arkai and it’s made such a difference to my days and my productivity. The best part is it’s on my desk all the time for me to able to see and visualise my day/week. The first one is a weekly planner. I plan one week at a time and at the end of every week, I look back reassess, and then plan my next week. This planner is just so simple and easy to use. The second one is a daily planner. I use this when I have multiple tasks to complete and I want to schedule specific times to get them done.
As someone who is heavily inspired by nature, I wanted some green in my space so I added a Ficus Leaf Fig plant to my studio. I felt the plant added life to my workspace and also looked great as a backdrop for my YouTube videos. I think having a plant in our space really boosts your mood! I’m lucky to get a lot of light in my studio, even if you don’t, there are some really beautiful plants that do well in low light or very occasional sunlight.
When it comes to fitness, I have always struggled with being consistent and recently, I began to struggle with back and neck pains because of my posture and bending down to paint a lot. It got pretty bad and I couldn’t paint. This was a reality check that motivated me to begin my fitness journey and encouraged me to give it my all. This plant-based protein powder Cosmix was a part of this journey that is already helping me get stronger and paint for longer without pain as a distraction. Also, it tastes absolutely smashing!
A shiny new mic (well it’s matte but you get it!)
This purchase is a part of a journey I started relatively recently but has become a big part of my life. When I started, I wanted to keep it very simple and shot everything on my phone. Even now I shoot most of my content on my phone but this was my first investment for my YouTube channel and it feels incredible to see how far we’ve come I cannot wait to create more and better for you guys!