Sunday, January 03, 2016

Sunday Sketches: To Encourage and Inspire


Every new year we find ourselves reflecting upon the past 12 months and whether we succeeded in completing various goals. Last year, Michael (aka Mr. Toast and hubby) stumbled upon a blogger who developed a different way to set objectives for the coming year, ones that would stay with you while taking on new adventures and facing life's challenges along the way. The idea is to encourage us to not just ask questions about ourselves (as many do at year end) but to then sift through a list of words, writing down only those that make our heart jump when reading them. Eventually you find yourself choosing one word to guide you through the year to come.

In 2015, I landed on the word, surrender. For me, my focus was on surrendering the fears of feeling like I wasn't a good enough artist; to truly accept myself and what I had to offer the world... and that is exactly what I did! A year later, I'm an accomplished children's illustrator with over 10,000 followers on my art Facebook page. During this time, I illustrated four books and have three new ones forthcoming, including an illustrated cookbook. It's quite exciting, let me tell you!

Did I meet the "challenge" of my 2015 word? You bet I did, which contributed to the excitement of choosing my word for 2016. So many wonderful things unfolded last year, both planned and unexpected, that I'm looking forward to what this new word will birth for me in the year ahead. So, what word did I settle on? INVIGORATE! Although there were initially five words that sparked tingles inside my heart, invigorate tugged my creative soul the most. I not only desire to restore and strengthen my own heart but to do the same for others around me...and then some.

My hope for 2016 is to create art that will transform hearts and lives across the world—to set hearts ablaze through inspiration, excitement and encouragement. Big dreams, I know! The crazy thing? Michael chose the exact same word! Uh huh. I can only imagine how we're going to set this world on fire together.

Happy 2016, my bloggie friends!

If you're participating in Sunday Sketches, you can grab the NEW Sunday Sketches button HERE.

Submit your artwork by signing up below with a link to your website/blog. PLEASE make sure to visit each other! One of the biggest reasons for this co-op encouraging and lifting others up in their creative endeavors as well. Thank you!

SHARE:

40 comments

  1. Hey! I had to look twice to be sure I was on the right page with all your new looks. It looks great!!! I love to hear about your last year and all you were able to do. I know greater things are in your future, and I am excited to be able to follow you and watch from a distance. Love to you this new year!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha Yep, this is me. Thank you very much for your lovely thoughts! xx

      Delete
  2. Lovely mug sketch, I have been thinking to get porcelain pens to decorate real plates and maybe mugs just like your real one, why not! I saw another blogger Stefanie do that. http://stefaniestark.blogspot.ca/2015/12/ceramic-painting.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Christine. Not sure what you mean by porcelain pens?...I like these white gel pens. Probably the best I've found so far. Most of the time, I leave white space and then paint in around it. Not always a situation where one can do that. But yes, you should try it! :)

      Delete
  3. Thanks for visiting my place. Happy New Year to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome and same to you! :)

      Delete
  4. such an inspiration! Happy New year to you,
    beautiful cup too!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww....thank you very much, Laurie. That means a lot to me. xx

      Delete
  5. Hi Alexandra - Happy New Year and I hope you and Michael are well. Great to read your news and what an achievement 2015 has been for you. My word for 2016 is Intentional.

    Happy SS x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Helen. We're doing well. Thanks so much. And your word for 2016 is fabulous!! :)

      Delete
  6. From the amazing things I've seen from you this year Alexandra, I'm sure that you will have no trouble making your word 'invigorate' become a reality this year. I look forward to seeing how you put it into practice, and all the beautiful illustrations that 2016 will bring! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww...thank you, Clare! Thank you very much! Happy 2016!

      Delete
  7. Love your new challenge word!! Happy 2016!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's always such a pleasure to read your thoughts! All the best for your 2016 challenge and thank you very much for hosting this lovely meeting place for the bloggers year after year :) And I love your tea mug!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stefanie. Your sweet words blessed me tonight. And thank you on my mug. Christine mentioned you earlier! ;)

      Delete
  9. I'm not making goals are resolutions this year, just going to let what happens happen :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm sure your new year will be wonderful! I love your sweet art and thoughtful posts! Happy new year to you and Michael!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lisa! It will be exciting to see what the new year brings!

      Delete
  11. Alexandra, what a darling cup and I love your story of last year, and this. My, you have surrendered so much and been gifted to you by hard work. You are blessed with your talent from above, but it's your hand and imagination that brings it to life. I have such admiration for you. Your life story, and your ongoing story with your dear Michael. I love you both so much. This year, I plan to get back into Sunday Sketches and continue with Creative Tuesdays. Since I like to do a Sunday Thought...I will try in incorporate that into my sketches. Maybe I'll just do Sunday Sketches and quotes. But I will try to do something each week. You inspire me dear girlfriend. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Wanda. I appreciate your lovely comment about my work and such. Humbled, in fact. I wish you all the best this coming year in all things! Let your heart create! :)

      Delete
  12. You definitely inspire through your art and words and this blog! Congrats on all you have accomplished. I know your journey is just beginning. Hugs and Happy 2016!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww...thank you so much! Happy New year to you as well. :)

      Delete
  13. I love your closing thoughts, and hope all artists take your dreams to heart. Blessings, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. Thank you, Arnoldo! Thank you very much. :)

      Delete
  14. A very inspiring and uplifting post Alexandra. Congratulations on your amazing year of achievements. All the best for an equally fabulous 2016!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Wendy, on all fronts. Loved seeing you pop in my cozy corner. All the best to you as well. :)

      Delete
  15. Stunning cup and I'm gutted I missed out on the sketch link up but I have something that I did yesterday ready for next Sunday ;)
    Happy 2016 too
    Hugs
    Donna xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna....thank you very much. Don't worry on missing out this week. I do this every Sunday! :) Have a great week!

      Delete
  16. Wow you've accomplished so much this year, Alexandra! It's very inspiring; look forward to see what this year brings you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, Catherine. Love your blog, too. You're inspiring yourself. :)

      Delete
  17. How wonderful in choosing that one word lead to such a great achievement. I have choosen words or phases the last few years but haven't managed to follow them all through the year. Hopefully this year will be different! Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sarah. It's OK if we don't always meet our goals. I simply like the idea of having a word that keeps me focused and if I knock everything off on my list - awesome! If only a few things, that's still great! :)

      Delete
  18. I am so happy for you Alexandra! Go for it young lady! I know you will accomplish everything! You have such a beautiful soul! Truly accepting yourself! That is what I am doing this year! Big Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, lovely lady! And you go, too!! :)

      Delete
  19. Happy New year Alexandra! Thank you for hosting Sunday Sketches and lovely work as always!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Abigail. Happy New Year to you as well! :)

      Delete
  20. Hi Alexandra, your idea for a cup theme is brilliant. I just love your art. :-)

    ReplyDelete

BLOGGER TEMPLATE MADE BY pipdig