Google+ LISTENING TO THE SQUEAK INSIDE art by Kirstin McCulloch of LilliBean Designs

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

☆ How do I find my voice in a world where there are many?

Once a month I send out a short newsletter, where I share what's going on my head at the moment, a free downloadable calendar featuring my art + announce the winner of that months give away. This is a short snippet from October's newsletter that I thought might be of interest + be relevant to others.

"How do I find my voice in a world where there are many?"

I was asked the other day, how I discovered my 'voice'?  How did I make my blog + my art my own?

And I realised that I don't have an easy answer. (Sorry guys now ten step solution here!)

But please, if you are trying to find your own voice, your own style, your identity, don't give up JUST YET!
2011 - 'Beneath'
Still discovering my style
Some days I don't feel like I have progressed very far in my journey. Some days when my little bitch is in full force, I feel I should just throw in the... well, throw in the paint to speak.

But, and this is so important: What I realised early on was I needed to show up. I needed to keep writing + painting. Even if it sucked.

Even if I hated it.

Even if I lost confidence in my self.

And if you are struggling with finding your 'voice' I want you to keep going. Keep doing what it is you aren't sure about. Keep doing what you are afraid of.
Cats Eyes - 2012
Developing the style that I use today
 You see, I re-read some of my very early blog posts + have looked at some of my very early art.

And WOW. Sometimes I cringed. And sometimes I smiled. And sometimes I just wanted to press delete.

Because in the beginning I wasn't myself.

In the beginning, I was so busy reading what I should do, should write about, should paint, that those very early posts seem to be some one else. I swear (like a lot), I throw tantrums, I am definitely not a domestic goddess, my washing is piled up, my kitchen is like a bomb went off + my bed is rarely made.
And it took me a very long time to be ok with that. And I am. Now
2014. How I paint today.

So my answer to that very sweet yet, very difficult to answer question is this: I am so sorry that there isn't a ten step check list to answer this question. 

  • If you keep showing up.
  • If you keep doing what ever it is that you're doing right now that makes you happy.
  • If you keep doing what fuels your desire
  • If you keep doing what makes your soul sigh
Then eventually your voice will shine through all on its own.

Eventually your voice will be true + your style will be yours.

And don't worry if in the beginning if you don't look/ sound like yourself. It's all a part of your journey.

I pinkie swear it. And if you don't believe me check out my first few posts....  or not. Definitely not.
So what about you? How did you develop your style. Are you still working on it? Share with us your stories, your tips, your how-to's - I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
You can read the rest of Octobers News here
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The monthly love letter with studio snippets, has a monthly give away of one of my paintings or products, a free calendar download + more. Click here or on the image below for more + your free downloadable gratitude angel 

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Monday, October 20, 2014

☆ Botanicals Painting [Life Book 2014]

Week 39 - Botanicals: Painting on Paper & Dry Media with Alena Hennessy

This was such a lovely lesson. I loved that this lesson was intuitive, but I didn't feel like I usually do when I paint intuitively.

Let me explain....

I know that mostly I do paint intuitively.

More often than not, I don't know what I will paint until I sit down. I don't know which colours I will use, or which materials I will use.

More often than not, I make decisions in the moment.

I do this instinctively.


BUT as soon as I stick a label on it, like 'intuitively' then I loose all confidence in the way I am painting.

Crazy right?

I suspect this is tied in with my inner bitch. And the fact that she has for 30ish years told me I am not an artist.

'You can't draw' she's told me. 'You can't paint' she's gloated. And now I suspect she is using an almost whisper as she tells me 'You can't paint intuitively'.

I loved Flora's lesson, but the whole time I was painting I felt uncomfortable. And the painting seemed forced. It didn't feel natural.

This one felt easy + it flowed.

I loved it.

I wonder where else, in my life, where I am struggling to break free of past behaviours, I would be more successful, if I was to relabel it!

What about you??

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Friday, October 17, 2014

☆ Blue Feathers [Friday Art]


I have had such a busy week, organising, sorting, throwing out, putting things away in their new home...

This week I moved my studio.

It's a move I have been thinking about a long time now.

Something that I was always planning to do when we redid our kitchen + renovated our garage.

One day.

Some day.

While we were away, we stayed with my brother + his family. And we love hanging out with these guys - they are so chilled, our kids play awesomely together (99% of the time!), their patch of paradise so peaceful, our conversations lively +  I love sitting on their back deck + dreaming.

So sitting on the back deck, cold beer in hand, looking over their two acres of peace,  I was thinking some of the dreams that we have been shelving.

To do one day.

Some day.

And then I thought about all the huge dreams I have. The huge dreams we have. All these dreams that we put on hold because we don't have time. Don't have the money. Don't have the inclination.

And the startling thought I had was this:

There were parts of these dreams I had that I could do now. That I could begin right now. Things that aren't dependent on one day. On some day.

It was like I was electrocuted. Such a simple thought. One that has the potential to change everything.

So once we had a day to recover from the long drive home, I enlisted Mac + we moved the studio from downstairs to a sunny room upstairs.

I wish I had done it earlier.

I loved my room downstairs. Loved. It.

But there were always little things that made it difficult to work in.

As soon as my desk was put in my new room. I felt at home. I felt settled.

BLUE FEATHERS - journal page painting. © kirstin mcculloch LilliBean Designs
Blue Feathers
Mixed Media Journal Page
This is the first new painting in my studio. It was a page in my journal that I had used to wipe ink sprays on in the past + I never knew what to do with it.... until this week!

So I wonder if I am guilty of pushing my dreams to one day + some day, if you are doing the same. And I wonder if there are little things that you can do today to make those dreams just a little bit closer?

Feel free to share what steps you are going to take to move a step closer to your dreams next week below in the comments. I would love to hear what your planning!

And now I am off to measure steps. To make another of my one day dreams just one step closer...


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Did you know that I send out a monthly love letter with studio snippets, a monthly give away of one of my paintings or products, a free calendar download + more. Click here or on the image below for more + your free downloadable gratitude angel 

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

☆ Creating with Kids [October 2014]

Since Bean started school, it's been hard to find blocks of time to create with her + Bug. 

Not like we've done in the past anyway.

They often paint on the weekends: We drag out the watercolours and blank paper for them to play. 

But I have missed the one on one, chunks of time + watching their faces as they learn new things.

So I was trying to figure out how to do this with them, when I received an email - one of those 'recommended for you' emails that had Keri Smiths 'Wreck this Journal' in it.

(Yet again the universe speaks to me - via email this time!)

I bought three books. One each for the big girls + me and as soon as they came in the post we started.

"Awesome" says Miss Bean

I adore this book. Adore. It.

I love that we can spend short amounts of time, being creative, being spontaneous, being fun. We don't need special materials, special paints or studio space. All we need is this book.

The other reason I adore this book, is that it pushes my very rule oriented Bean into doing things that make her uncomfortable.  Hell, even I had a problem cracking the spin of my book - this being one of my huge pet peeves!

So if you don't have a huge amount of free time, you have kids and you want to create with them, you should definitely try something like this book.

Do you create with kids? What ideas do you have to create in short bursts of time? We would love to hear your tips + tricks.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

☆ Intuitively Creating with Flora Bowley [Life Book}

Week 38 - Brave Intuitive Painting with Flora Bowley

*no brushes needed* 


This was one of the hardest lessons I have ever done.

Not because it was technically difficult.

Not because the subject was hard.


The reason I found this one of the hardest, is because I was accessing new ways of painting that I had never done before.

Using a range a tools, from potato stamps, flowers, feathers, and other items I found around the house, the pantry + the fridge I made marks.

Marks that had no real rhyme or reason.

Marks that were intuitive.

I had no idea that this would unleash my inner bitch + bring her to the front.

Every mark I made she has something to say.

Every time I added something new she had a comment,

I had to walk away several times...

And I realise that the reason my inner bitch was out to play, was because this was something I hadn't done before.

It felt foreign + uncomfortable.

So uncomfortable...

In the end, although I am not particularly fond of the painting, I love that it represents that I pushed past the doubt, the criticism + the fear.

I think I will need to make some more of these types of paintings, paintings that use my intuition.

I would love to be in a place that I could create with out the commentary of my inner bitch.

What about you? Are you comfortable with your intuition guiding you while creating, playing or living? Or does your inner bitch like to pop up + share her two cents?? I'd love to hear your stories.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

☆ Hidden Moon [Friday Art]

This was supposed to be something else.

I started with a quote in my head about a single star in black.

Once I started sloshing paint on the page it became something else.

But I like it.

A lot!

I decided that it needed a quote + in amongst the cliched moon quotes this one leapt out at me.

And I think we all, just like the moon, we keep a little part of us hidden.

Have a fabulous weekend. I will be back around the week after next. We are having some quiet family time before the crazy festy season starts.


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Did you know that I send out a monthly love letter with studio snippets, a monthly give away of one of my paintings or products, a free calendar download + more. Click here or on the image below for more + your free downloadable gratitude angel 

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

☆ Round Here [September]

It struck me as I was sitting down to edit the photos for this post that today is day one of October.


Holy Freak Out. What the hell happened to the year??

But how amazing this last month has been.

I've been taught lessons in bravery, created intuitively, stepped out of my box (albeit reluctantly)

So round here we've been...

Dreaming, dreaming of the future, dreaming of big things to come...

Dancing to + watching the Tayor Swift song Shake it off....
(The girls demand that I turn it up LOUD when it comes on the radio!!)

Drawing with out worry + using out mistakes as part of out pictures...
(So proud of how Bug dealt with this!)

Having fairy tea parties...

Waking up to spring loveliness...

Playing with colour...

Finishing off the design for the 2015 calendar
(I/m still taking pre-orders just email me and let me know if you want one!)

Enjoying the sun, the music, the people at the Sakura Matsuri Festival...

Playing ninja...

Celebrating Fred's 4th Birthday - I can't believe how old you are now!

Realising that painting intuitively is harder than I previously thought. 
And by all accounts I suck at it...

And believing in unicorn wishes...

October is shaping up to be just as busy, just as fun + totally chaotic.

I can't wait...

What are your favourite memories of September?

By the Way - Did you know that I send out a monthly love letter with studio snippets, a monthly give away of one of my paintings or products, a free calendar download + more. Octobers Newsletter is out later today.

Click here or on the image below for more + your free downloadable gratitude angel 

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