Finding Your Creative Mantra | Ria Sharon | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Go on a treasure hunt


    • 3.

      Pull out your journal


    • 4.

      Grab some art supplies


    • 5.

      Use the magic bowl


    • 6.

      Make art


    • 7.



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About This Class

Words matter. A few years ago, when I began to take more conscious steps towards designing a life I truly wanted, I started a tradition of picking a word as my mantra for an entire year. Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, just one word became my guide; an affirmation that inevitably became my experience and narrative for that year. Intuitively, my word embodied what I most needed at the time (even if I didn’t know it).

I invite you to join me for this playful 10-minute class, where we’ll explore the process of picking one word as a mantra for your creative practice... and bringing it to life in a physical piece of art that can be a reminder to you in the months ahead.

This class is perfect for anyone who is looking for some playful guidance and enjoys making things. No prior experience needed, just an openness to whimsy and magic.

Follow me on Instagram and sign up for Secret Sketches, my free weekly behind-the-scenes/inspiration email.

Meet Your Teacher

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Ria Sharon

Practice Makes Better.


There is no path to mastery that does not involve doing something over and over -- that's been my experience as an artist and illustrator!

So I encourage my students to take small consistent steps by creating bite-sized classes that make art a simple, easy, daily practice -- one that is joyful and fun!

I occasionally post what's in my own sketchbook on a brand new Instagram page. If you're interested in what goes on in my art-making process behind-the-scenes, join my private Secret Sketches group. That's where I share things that are not ready for the interwebs yet. :)


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1. Introduction: Once a year, usually around November or December, I start thinking about a word, my guiding principle or theme that I want for the next 365 days. Just one word that I can focus on that will represent what I want to experience. Each of these words have profoundly shaped me in years past. The time that I picked craft as my word, was the year that I signed myself up for half a dozen technique classes, and also the period when I drew a dog portrait every day for a 100 days. The year that I picked play was all about allowing joy and delight decide which projects to pursue. I invite you to join me in picking a word to be the North Star of your creative practice, and then also making a work of art that features your one word. Magically, each one was exactly the word that I needed to navigate the challenges and growth for that time. I became the word, the word became me. So I invite you to join me in this annual ritual. We'll be making a charm of our words using basic jewelry making supplies that are available at most craft stores. I'm so delighted you're here, let's get started. 2. Go on a treasure hunt: This is the simplest way to find your word. That is, to let your word find you. What I've found in years past is that once I set my intention for picking a word for myself, I start to see possible words everywhere. All you have to do is pay attention. For the next week or so just notice and jot down the words that come up in your daily life. These might be headlines that pop up in magazines, quote someone posts it on Facebook, signs in store windows, lyrics to a song that just happened to be playing every time you get in your car, or words that come up in conversations you're having with friends, that kind of thing. Your first assignment is to start keeping a list. If you see a word more than once and it has been of a few days, write it down. When you see it a second or third time, snap a picture of it with your phone and post it in our gallery. 3. Pull out your journal: Perhaps you already keep a journal. If so, that's great. If not, I encourage you to try it as an exercise to help find your one word. The technique I like to use, is writing down my question while using my dominant hand, which happens to be my left hand, and then answering it while using my non-dominant hand. So I write, what is for me for this time ahead, with my left hand, and then allow the ideas to flow using my right. This technique is a great way to access your intuitive wisdom. So see what emerges. 4. Grab some art supplies: After you've had a little time to ponder the words that have appeared for you, make a bullet list of your potential words in your journal. As you write them down, maybe related words will come up for you as well. Playing with this bullet list for a bit, as in doodle, color, collage if you want, see which ones resonate with you the most. That might manifest itself in which ones you feel like coloring or embellishing the most. 5. Use the magic bowl: Now that you have an assortment of words to choose from, it might seem daunting to decide. So again, I like to take the pressure off of myself and let that one word pick me. How do we do that? Well, if you've taken my sketchbook magic class, you can use the magic bowl for this purpose. Write all your possible words down on slips of paper now that you've narrowed them down. Put your two or three options in the bowl, take a minute to center yourself, close your eyes, and then pick one. 6. Make art: Now, for our project, you can incorporate your one word mantra in any number of ways. Now, I'm going to demonstrate how to make a charm that I'll be able to wear close to my heart for the coming year. First, I make my word art and scan it so I have a digital file that I can resize. The pendant setting that I've chosen is an inch in diameter so that's the size I've made my art. The easiest way to make the charm is to buy these peeling stick epoxy stickers that you can place directly on the paper. I trim it and then place it in the pendant setting using some bead glue which is also available at a lot of craft stores. I'm going to share some links with you in the project page of the classroom where you can find all of the supplies. Voila, my charm is ready. Here's some other art project ideas for your creative mantra, perhaps one of these will inspire you. Think about how you would like to experience your word every day. Would you like it to be a secret tucked into your sleeve or purse, or do you want to see it in your workplace every time you sit down? As I say in all my classes, have fun with this and when you're done with yours, we'd love to see it. If it feels comfortable for you to share, please post a picture of it in the gallery. 7. Reflection: Let's do a quick recap, shall we? We set an intention to find a one word mantra to guide our creative practice for the next 12 months. We listened, paying attention to the words that showed up for us. We use some intuitive exercises to help narrow down our choices. We journaled, we sketched, and finally, we use the magic bowl, all to find our one word mantra. Then I showed you how to make a charm incorporating your word, but perhaps you want something different for your project. The form it takes, it's completely up to you. The important part is the process with which you choose to bring your mantra into physical form, this is manifestation in its essence. As artists, we take ideas from our internal world and bring them into the outer physical world. Words really do matter, a single word can shape the story we tell ourselves about what's possible. Through experience and also through research, I discovered that this phenomena is actually hardwired into our human brains. Consciously picking an intention and focus really changes how we experience something. The word that came to me this time was full, while at first I was drawn to complete, lavish, abundant, plentiful, none of them felt quite right. They are all fine words, but as I said them out loud and wrote them on the page, I did not feel any resonance with them in my body. By the way, this is a great way to tell if a word is right for you, when you say it, you feel a release or shift in your body that confirms it. Like how it feels when you hold your breath for longer than normal and then release it. It was only when I allowed myself to doodle with all my words that I felt a need for one that was more grounded or more earthy even and full, felt correct. For your final assignment, I invite you again to share your Word Art with us in the project section of the classroom, along with any insights and reflections you had during the process. I would love it if you could check back in in a few months as well and let us know how you are experiencing your word. Having a mantra has been a wonderful way to center and focus my art practice. I wish the same for you as well. Thank you so much for joining me for this class.