Introducing the Stress Less Pencil

Your weekly guide to using creativity to manage the stress and emotional ups and downs of life.

When I was growing up, I thought being an adult meant you had it all figured out. Life poses no more big surprises, you know how to handle any situation. At 39, I think I can safely say that that’s a load of horse shit.

Tired, Stressed, and Anxious

Each one of us deals with our very own Himalayas of problems, challenges, worries, and stressors every single day. Some are big, like illness and grief, and some are small, like endless work emails or loads of dirty laundry. Or the fact that I keep stubbing my toe on that stupid chair.

We do the best we can, and even though we improvise half the time, most of us manage to hold things together quite well. And we can be very proud of that. But the ups and downs of life, the permanent stressors, and worries can also take a toll on our mental health. Many of us feel tired, stressed, and anxious.

If we are lucky, our parents do our best to prepare us. My father taught me to be creative, and to draw. My mother taught me to cook, do laundry, take care of my finances, and be a good mother. And (I think) they turned me into an overall decent human being. However, what nobody taught me growing up was how to take care of my mental health.

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Journal, Bullet Journal, Planner, Art Journal, Junk Journal, Scrapbook – What’s the difference?

You’ve seen people create wonderful journal pages on YouTube and Instagram. You’ve bought yourself a notebook, some Washi tape, and some pastel markers. You’re ready to go.

You start looking around for more inspiration. Bullet Journal videos eventually lead you to to #plannernerds and to Art Journaling Facebook groups where people happily show off their Junk Journals. And some of this sounds vaguely familiar. Didn’t your aunt talk about this stuff when she got into scrapbooking? And whatever happened to keeping a good old diary? Or is that a journal now?

For those of you who are, like me, a bit confused with all these different brands of artsy journaling, let’s break down the difference.

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30+ Art Journal Prompts for your empty Planner Pages

art journal prompts

Do you also like to fill up your empty planner pages with some original art work? Every month, I leave some spreads empty on purpose between my weekly spreads, so that I have some space to let off some creative steam. My planner is therefore a nice hybrid between a bullet journal and an art journal.

But staring at those empty white pages can be tough don’t have any inspiration. I’ve therefore created this list of prompts to kick start you to get your creative juices flowing.

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Meet the Female Pop Art Artists Nobody is Talking About


Pop Art is an artistic movement that ranged from the late 50s to the 70s and well beyond. Pop Art’s imagery focuses, as the name says, mostly on popular culture. Everyday life, commercial products, celebrities, advertising, the mundane items of everyday life.

Pop Artwork uses bright colours, outlines, and features visually often inspired by comics. When asked to name some famous Pop Art artists, most people will probably name Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, maybe Roy Liechtenstein.

But as so often, I ask myself, where the women at? Surely the whole movement wasn’t exclusively run by male artists?

Of course it wasn’t! So let me introduce you to some of the best female artists of the Pop Art movement.

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6 Most Dramatic Landscapes by Expressionist Painter Emil Nolde

Emil Nolde, born in 1867, was a German-Danish painter who stands out for his bold use of colour. He was part of a group of expressionists called “Die Brücke” (the Bridge) who were all about using bright colours to convey strong emotions.

6 most dramatic landscapes by expressionist painter Emil Nolde #art #expressionism

Nolde’s work has always fascinated me, especially his landscapes. I mean just look at those dramatic skies!

Here is a collection of my favourite landscape watercolours.

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10 Awesome Pieces of Nature-Themed Street Art

Street art, loved by many, misunderstood by more. Living in a big city means we’re constantly surrounded by endless amounts of grey – grey asphalt, grey concrete, people in grey suits, grey rainy skies.

Street art, whether in the form of graffitis or the increasingly popular yarn bombing, is a great way for artists to break through the grey and add some much-needed colour to our city landscapes.

10 Amazing Pieces of #Nature themed Street Art #streetart #graffiti

The following is a collection of amazing pieces of street art found on Instagram, all inspired by nature.

I hope these will add some colour to your day as well… Continue reading 10 Awesome Pieces of Nature-Themed Street Art