anna brones

writer + artist

Archive for the ‘Design + Creativity’ Category

Daily Creativity Prompts: September 2021

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While I am not quite ready for fall yet, I made September prompts that will hopefully gently ease us into the season.

Drawing, writing, daily, daily-ish… whatever works for you on these.

Take some time every day to sit down and draw the prompt. Don’t love drawing? Use them as writing prompts instead. Or do something entirely different: blind contour drawings perhaps?

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

September 1, 2021 at 10:52

Daily Creativity Prompts: August 2021

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You know the drill: draw, write, scribble, etc. Do them daily or just drop in here and there.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

August 1, 2021 at 13:21

Daily Creativity Prompts: April 2021

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A new month, a new list of creativity prompts.

These can be used for drawing, painting, writing, scribbling… whatever works for your own creative practice. Do them daily, do them daily-ish, or dip in every now and then.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

April 1, 2021 at 09:49

Daily Creativity Prompts: March 2021

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Here is a new set of daily creativity prompts for the month of March.

Use these as drawing or writing prompts, whatever works for your own creative practice.

I’m still about a week behind on my own February drawings, so please know that skipping some days or playing catch up every once in awhile is very normal. Mostly this is just to give you a little guidance and encouragement for taking the time to sit down for a regular (or semi-regular) creative practice. Show up, allow yourself to play, see what happens.

You can find previous monthly lists of prompts here.

These monthly prompts and a lot of my other work are made possible thanks to supporters on Patreon. Maybe you want to consider joining?

Written by Anna Brones

March 1, 2021 at 09:35

Daily Creativity Prompts: February 2021

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A new month, a new set of daily prompts.

I personally use these as drawing prompts, but they can definitely be done as writing prompts too. If it’s helpful, set a timer: 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes… whatever you can commit to as a daily creative practice. And not to worry, sometimes I play catch up too when I miss a few days.

If you post your work, use the hashtag #creativefuelpromptsfeb2021 so we can see them all in one place. You can see some of the results from January here

Written by Anna Brones

February 1, 2021 at 10:47

Daily Creativity Prompts: January 2021

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Creative practice keeps us active, engaged, and inspired.

Daily drawing prompts have been a bit of a saving grace for me over the last few months, particularly in December, so I made another monthly list to kick this new year off.

I usually use these lists as drawing prompts, but you can use them however you see fit. They could certainly function as writing prompts if you prefer that medium. These prompts are not really about what you end up creating—the value lies in taking the time to do them, taking the time to keep your creativity going. Maybe you’ll do them daily, or maybe you’ll play catch up every once in awhile. Take some time to figure out what kind of a routine works for your own creative practice. And remember that it often changes!

Here’s to kicking off good creative habits this year.

If you post your work, use the hashtag #creativefuelpromptsjan2021 so we can see them all in one place. You can check out some of the ones from December here

Written by Anna Brones

January 4, 2021 at 11:04

Sign Up for 24 Days of Making, Doing, and Being Digital Advent Calendar (+ Preorder a Limited Edition Print Calendar)

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I am doing my annual digital Advent calendar 24 Days of Making, Doing, and Being again this year, and now is the time to sign up!

The goal with this Advent calendar is always to create a little magic every day during the month of December, so that’s it’s not just a countdown but an everyday celebration. It’s a focus on slowing down, finding balance and contentedness.

While in the past, the calendar was intended as an antidote to the consumer frenzy that has come to define the season, this year I think we need an antidote for something different. We need an antidote for uncertainty, anxiety, loneliness, and the weariness that 2020 has left us feeling. Fortunately, the antidote is essentially the same, and I think that putting out this year’s Advent calendar feels more important than ever.

We need daily reminders to keep us present, to keep us breathing, to keep us existing, to keep us hoping. We need to remember the things for which we are grateful. We need to be challenged to create a little extra magic in what has felt like a dark and heavy 12 months. If there ever was a year where we needed a bit of seasonal magic to cheer us up, it certainly seems like it’s this one.

With that in mind, this year I am doing the digital version again, but I also made a limited edition print Advent calendar. There’s a daily card with a prompt (featuring versions of some of my favorite prompts from the last few years), something that allows you to just be in analog mode and create some moments of stillness and presence throughout the month. Anyone who buys one get signed up for the digital version as well. I will be sending them out next week, and if you preorder one now you get free shipping.

$5 will get you access to the entire digital Advent calendar. If you are a Patreon supporter of mine, you will get a subscription to the digital edition of the calendar for free.

I hope that you consider signing up!

Vote: 2020 Election Posters

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I have been making a collection of vote-inspired artwork over the past few weeks, and I have turned several of them into a series of free, downloadable posters.

All of these posters started as papercuts, made from a single piece of paper.

The posters are designed for 8.5×11″ and 11×17″ paper. You can download and print these posters at home and hang them up wherever you like. You can even color them in!

I want to encourage people to get out the vote, and I want you to do the same, which is why I am making these posters free. They are intended for personal use and may not be sold or used for profit. For those who are able/want to, you can make a donation or support my work on Patreon. And if you want vote postcards with some of these designs, I have those available for sale in my shop as well as the original artwork.

Head here to download. 

Written by Anna Brones

October 19, 2020 at 10:19

Vote Like a Motherf*cker

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We must VOTE.
My original “Vote Like a Motherfucker” papercut illustration was inspired by the words of Cheryl Strayed. If you have read her book Tiny Beautiful Things, you will recognize the phrase “write like a motherfucker.” In the 2016 election, Cheryl adapted that to be “vote like a motherfucker.” I asked Cheryl if I could turn her words into artwork in lead up to the 2020 election. 

This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment. During the fight for the 19th amendment, suffragettes wore yellow roses to indicate their support. This yellow rose is a nod to the women who came before us and ensured that today we have the right to vote.

I turned this artwork into a “voter pack,” intended to remind you to vote, but also to take that reminder to someone else. Because we ALL need to show up and vote. You can wear your button and sticker proudly, and give the other button and sticker to a friend. Pass the voting energy on.
Postcards are 4.5×6.25″ and can also be hung as a small print on your wall/fridge/in the window so your neighbors see it. The pack includes a yellow, white, and black postcard. Snag one here. I am personally donating $5 of each pack to Fair Fight

Written by Anna Brones

October 4, 2020 at 12:31

Posted in Design + Creativity, Portfolio

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Armchair Travel Sketchbook

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“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”

– Twyla Tharp

What does travel do for us? We travel for many reasons. Sometimes it’s to new places for unexpected experiences. Sometimes it’s to well-known places that feed our soul, places that provide a sense of calm and grounding. Sometimes it’s simply because we need a reset.

Today is for conjuring up a little bit of the magic of travel without going anywhere. We’re going to do a bit of armchair travel journaling. A dose of travel without leaving home.

Supplies:

  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper or notebook

Optional:

  • Watercolors, markers, etc.
  • Reference photos or an old travel sketchbook

When I travel, I am not always great at keeping a travel journal or sketchbook, but when I do, I always love looking back on them. I think the main draw of a travel sketchbook is that when you come across a sketch from one of your travels, you always think “oh, I remember that day.” Yet in the moment, when you’re hesitating to put pen to paper, it’s so easy to think to yourself, “I can’t draw that.”

But no matter how quick or messy a travel sketch is, when I have looked back at them later, I have never once thought “that’s terrible.” Instead, those sketches evoke feelings and memories. They capture not just places but moments in time. They hold smells and sounds and textures.

Today we will focus on exactly that, and it doesn’t matter what the end result is. It’s the practice of taking yourself somewhere else through art.

There are two ways to go about this prompt, pick whichever one works for you.

Prompt #1: A meditation on place

In this prompt, you are going to pretend that you are in a place that you want to go to. Ideally it’s a place that you have already been to and love, because you are going to work on mentally putting yourself in that place.

Close your eyes for a moment and envision that place. Where are you sitting? What are you looking at? What temperature is it? What do you hear? What do you smell?

When you open your eyes, write a short travel journal entry, as if you were in that place. I think it’s helpful to choose a time of day for this journal entry, which will of course help to guide you with what activities you would be doing in that moment. It can also be helpful to make a little bullet list of all the elements your senses are picking up on.

Once you have done a little writing about where you are, what you are seeing, and what you are feeling, add some drawings. I think it’s helpful to focus on a few objects that help to capture the feeling of a place. So let’s say you put yourself on a beautiful beach somewhere tropical; focus less on capturing the entirety of the beach and everything that’s on it, and focus instead on a handful of individual elements that feel true to the scene. The blue of the water, a towel, a shell on the sand.

I found that after doing this exercise, it was clear from what I had written and drawn that I was craving certain things. Things that could be found in that place, but also things that I could do for myself here at home. So maybe doing this exercise will allow for a little introspection on where you are emotionally and what you’re craving right now.

Prompt #2: Take inspiration from a favorite travel photo

It’s always fun to go back through photos of where we have been before. Find a photo from a trip that you loved and use that as your reference photo.

You can choose to write about that moment, or draw it, or both.

When drawing, same thing here as above: challenge yourself to focus on a few different elements that you really want to highlight. Or maybe you want to let loose a bit and make a blind contour drawing based on your reference photo.

Whatever prompt you do (or maybe you do both!) I hope you enjoy a little armchair travel. As Twyla Tharp says, run away, even if it’s only for a little bit.

This was a prompt featured in Creative Fuel Challenge, a semi-regular newsletter with creative prompts. I usually send it out twice a week, and it’s intended to inspire a little but of extra time for creativity in your day. Sign up here.

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Like my work and want to see more? Consider becoming a monthly supporter on Patreon

Written by Anna Brones

July 13, 2020 at 10:48