your creativity coach by robyn mcclendon

reach your goals discover your creative mind

Staircase Dreaming and Art Journaling

Hi all! Join me in my YouTube Video where we will combine creating our dreams with creating art. It can’t get better than that, right?

Draw a staircase, and think about your biggest dream. Draw it at the top of the staircase and then fill each step with the “steps” you’d have to take to make your biggest dream a reality.

One of the questions I get asked a lot is “How have you been able to do art full time with a traveling lifestyle?”

The simple answer is that I planned and intended a particular lifestyle while in my 20’s before I had my kids and other obligations. Then I didn’t take no for an answer, I just couldn’t stomach living a life that didn’t include me becoming an artist full time.

I share this with you because I still use this process to reach goals and uncover my dreams. I find it to be a fun and easy approach.

I discovered that the planning process for me is more accurately picturing and visualizing goals to help bring them into focus and then reality.

How about you? What do your dreams look like visually?

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Laughter and Book Construction

Hey everyone!

I invite you to check out my YouTube Video where we dive into the subject of laughter and how important it can be to our artwork. Laughter! We all can use some. When is the last time you had one of those great gut rolling laughs? There are times when even though I may have been focused and productive and happy, all of a sudden I experience one of these laughs and can’t emphasize enough how refreshing they are. It’s like they’re the body’s natural reset button.

Stress is the price we often pay for overloading our lives. I knew I had hit my limit once when all I could think about doing was parking myself in front of the television and loading up several episodes of Comedy Hours. 

I think I sat there for 3 hours laughing until my sides hurt. I’m one of those people who has a hard time sitting in front of the TV long enough to watch a movie. Although I love watching a good film, I find most TV viewing a waste of my time. My mind wanders and I’m thinking of every other thing I could be doing, generally in the Studio making art…lol

Yet on this particular evening I could think of no other better thing to do but to sit there laughing. Even the next day I found myself replaying some of the funnier monologues over and over in my mind and laughing as if I was hearing them for the first time.

The moral here, “Sometime we just need a hard,hard laugh.” I was able to renew my commitment to my projects, finish them, and prepare for my trip to Europe with ease.

As you work on your art, perhaps use laughter as an opportunity to create in a new way. Maybe think back on a crazy event that occurred during a family vacation, or your favorite comedy or comic. 

Maybe just take some down time and look at the movie or have it playing in your studio as you work. See what comes up, discover how laughter can change the relationship to your work or inspire new images and ideas.


Robyn xx

Art Journaling a “Quote of the Day”

Hey all!

Join me in this YouTube Video where we dive into creating art journal pages around the subject of a “Quote of the Day”. Rarely a week goes where there is not a quote that I either hear or come across in my readings. These are a perfect opportunity to inspire art.

When I seem to have lost focus and need more than visual inspiration I search for one of my favorite quotes and use it as a jumping off point for working in my art journal.

a recent page from my “GelliJunkAdori”

Here’s another of my favorite quotes, I’d like to share…

The beauty of a thing is in man’s heart, and its usefulness is within man’s comprehension. Neither of these is in the creation itself. -Walter Russell

Sometimes we need soulful inspiration, something that resonates from a deep source within our spirits, to give that boost of meaning to our work.

Have you ever felt like that?

I know I have!

I believe that we can feel like this when our work has become more than a pretty picture, when we realize that through our work we are transmitting a more profound aspect of our emotions. Emotions that can often, find difficulty being anchored in language.

My intuitive scripting was born from such a place in time. The desire to speak and share beyond words and in ways that the viewer would understand, or not, yet I held a stronger desire to share what I felt inadequate to express otherwise.

Using our art to heal our own emotional trauma(s), or life’s happenings, that we may still be trying to make sense of or come to grips with, is as it should be. I find that when I allow my art to speak through from the depths of my being, others who resonate will also connect and respond in meaningful ways. I believe that’s how we find each other along the path. I believe vulnerability opens us up to deeper connections in life.

Allow yourself to be inspired through words and/or thoughts that you hold deep and dear, and experience what rises to the top in your art and your journaling time!


Robyn xx

Art Journaling Inspired by Poetry

Many of us have literary influences in our lives, hence why we sometimes want to add language to our art. For some, this can cause a challenge of allowing the right and left sides of the brain to work together. ArtMythos is our ability to tell our stories visually; however, because we are highly influenced by language, it is important for us to focus in on how we use our words. Check out my YouTube Video on Art Journaling that is inspired by poetry to dive more into this fascinating subject and challenge yourself to write or find a poem that you will incorporate into your art.

One of my fav poems from Cleo Wade…

I did not lose the lesson

I did a lot of things

not in the right way

some may even call them


I just call them

the scars

that keep me

from touching the oven

too long

when it is hot

It is definitely all about the journey….the destination is just a by product!

This thinking has been fundamental to my development and growth as an artist. It is what I hope to impart in ArtMythos: defining, refining, and reaching your personal goals while having fun and going easy on yourself.

Poetry is a magical art form that aids in the introspection necessary to see life through a different lens!

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Art Journaling: Conversations with Your Younger Self

Hey everyone!

In this YouTube Video, we created art journal pages around the theme of having a conversation with our younger or past selves.

If you could tell your younger self one thing,

what would it be?

I love to look back over the years, far and wide across the spectrum of my life. I review the ways of my past and compare them to my current ways. What often times will come up for me are the things that I know now that I would tell my younger self. Often, my current “me” finds that I can apply much of my own advice to current situations as well. Art journaling can support us in diving deeper into our own wisdom and hear our own advice with clarity.

Here are some of my own journal pages when I went through a month of introspection as I journaled and collaged my way to clarity…

Generally our habits don’t fall far from us and if these habits get a bit in our way, then we must, with conscious intentions, push them so far away that they are no longer in our sight path.

Focusing in this way, ultimately becomes so freeing, because we give ourselves the permission to learn and grow.

And as we’ve learned, by Journaling through our Art, it is an incredibly powerful, freeing and self actuating way to explore life!

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Travel Destinations

Hey everyone!

In this video we will be creating art journal pages based on some of our most recent or favorite travel destinations. I do a lot of travelling and travel journaling. I’ve developed many techniques on how to make travel journaling easy and concise so we can enjoy the process; however, I think that this prompt is important because many of us during these times have not had opportunities to travel and may feel that our next trip is a long time away. This might be a great opportunity for you to express your personal feelings around this and maybe reflect on a trip you have taken in the past to connect to that special experience that may feel like it was from a very distant time.

Below is a photo gallery of images from my various travel journals…The images speak for themselves.


Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Literary Inspiration

Hey all!

This video is part of Week 17 of my 52 Week Art Challene on YouTube based on my ArtMythos Program. Many parts of this challenge I taught as part of my curriculum at the Smithsonian to challenge my students and help them develop their own style. These methods are aimed to make us dig deeper and work between the left and right brain, the EQ and IQ. The goal is to create a balanced style of thinking and to expand our creativity. An important aspect of the curriculum is to become aware of things that inspire us.

Let’s look for some art journaling inspiration on our library shelves!

Grab your favorite novel or book of poetry and randomly open it to any page. Read the first paragraph or so and allow colors, images, and memories to rise from those pages and translate them to your journal pages.

Hidden Journey by Andrew Harvey is one of my all time favorites. Over the past 20 years I have re-read this book from cover to cover more times than I can count.

I often do this as a way to excite and stimulate new ideas for journaling. I have quite a library of novels I enjoy re-reading that include the life works of some of my favorite artists, and anthropological/archeological books that are full of images, concepts to ponder, and pure inspiration.

My mark making rises out of my love of petroglyphs, rock drawings, carvings, old pottery, and bronze work. The patterns that translate the complexity of civilizations long past fascinate me and stimulate new directions in my artwork.

We can sometimes fail to remember our favorite written sources of story telling and their connections to our “visual dialogues” and imagery.

Take the time this week to re-connect to fresh material as we continue our journey!

Share your favorites in our Facebook group this week I’d love to see them.

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

The Art of Boro

Hey everyone! Check out my YouTube video where we dive in to creating Boro inspired art. Boro is the word for a Japanese small stitch. It is a mending stitch that has been used to stitch garments together. It’s a beautiful pattern that’s created over time as garments become worn and small pieces of indigo and other fabrics are used to mend the clothing.

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine!

Have you ever heard of this saying?

As a young girl I often heard my Mother and other family Matriarchs repeat this as if it were a mantra. It means that a timely repair of a hole or tear in a garment will save more work or the possible loss of that item in the long run.

The concepts of repair and restoration are a part of the fundamentals of my language as an ArchaeoMythologist and are responsible for my love old walls, crumbling and torn things, and the thrill of the hunt.

I didn’t grow up in a culture of consumption. We were taught to take care of our environment and preserve what we owned. I think it’s because of those early values that this saying has hung with me from those very early years.

And what’s remarkable is that my Mother has shared stories of giving me a threaded needle and a piece of cloth and I would stay entertained for long periods of time, making stitches on the cloth. In fact I was so young that I have no memory of this, yet the connection to thread lengths on fabric are a part of my visual vocabulary.

Years ago when I discovered the centuries old art of “Boro” I immediately connected to the kindred spirit in this artform. I have used the stitch and wrapping of bundles as a prominent visual element in the imaging of my stories ever since.

One of my Boro bundle books

and scroll bundles.

I hope you enjoy creating along with the video. If you are ever interested in sharing your work, please join my private Facebook Group. It is a great community of fellow artists 🙂

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Atmospheric Influences

Hey All! This is definitely going to be a fun post and YouTube Video. Atmospheric influences. Yes. The Weather. I find that the weather and the seasons can be a great influencer on what I create in the studio. The seasons definitely will influence the techniques I lean toward, for instance during the winter months I tend to create encaustic paintings more.

Encaustic wax on board with collage elements and found objects

In the spring, I use more loose flowing paints.

Sumi and Acrylic inks on canvas

Inks and watercolor on paper

Collecting from nature on long summer walks, I tend to paint patterns influenced by my collection of rocks, feathers, wasp hives and found metals.

Sumi ink on vintage papers

Gelli print on paper

And with the fall months I find my color palette becomes more intense and earthy.

Acrylic and ink on paper with collage elements

Eco-dying my paper and cloth bundles also seems so appropriate.

And of course Travel, Gelli printing and activities in my Journals are always on going!

Gelli print and collage with vintage ephemera on paper.

Take a look at your seasonal creating patterns. I have found that these general patterns do not limit me, as I constantly create outside of my seasonal tendencies; however, knowing this about myself helps me when boredom creeps up and I’m searching for some new inspiration. I look to the season and check in with myself to see if pulling out a new technique will help!

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx

Movement and Rhythm

Hey everyone! Let’s continue our 52 week art journal challenge with the subject of movement and rhythm. Be sure to check out the YouTube Video where we explore the subject in depth, and if you are just joining us, you can definitely start with this video.

Imaging our Stories is all about effective communication using visual components.

Let’s begin with the same piece of my art that I shared in the last blog post when we talked about proportions. See where you can find elements of movement and rhythm.


Movement is the path our eyes follow when we look at a work of art, and it is generally very important to keep a viewer’s eyes engaged in the work. Without movement, artwork becomes stagnant. A few good strategies to evoke a sense of movement (among many others) are using diagonal lines, placing shapes so that they extend beyond the boundaries of the picture plane, and using changing values.



A continuance, a flow, or a feeling of movement achieved by the repetition of regulated visual information.

 Regular Rythym

Progressive Rhythm

Flowing Rhythm

Happy Creating!

Robyn xx