This is the word I will take with me when I go back to the Princeton.

If I simplify things, I get to do the things I want to do quicker and with less overwhelm.

What do you actually need to make art? 

In my time here in Munich, I've reduced my drawing practice to hanging a piece of paper on my bedroom wall and using an HB pencil, a kneaded eraser and a stomp.

No fancy shmancy easel, expensive paper or special set of pencils.


Sometimes the focus of the art practice becomes this complicated operation...I need this to start...I need that tool...I need this ideal setting...etc. Well,  no...just...

Go ahead and KISS.






There's another place in my bedroom for painting portraits. It's right here:


The window easel will do, thank you very much.

What else am I using for the painting part?

Burnt Umber, Titanium White, 4 brushes, fast drying medium, terpenoid for cleaning and paper towels. Later, I might want to add more color, but for now that's what I'm working with. 

I'm like any other person who can get paralyzed just by thinking about the process and the many factors I attach to it. Paralysis sucks. I don't learn anything from it. Engagement is better. Even if it produces mistakes.

I can learn from mistakes.


In order to enter a state of engagement, I take simple steps. This could look like this:

Keep. It. Simple. Sweetheart:

1. Buy canvas for fall workshop.

2. Get out paper and pencil.

3. Look for space where you can draw.

4. If you need some alone time, tell people you will be drawing/painting for 30 minutes and that you need uninterrupted time for that.

5. Ask for help!


Ask yourself:

What specifically do I need to do to move on? Figure it out and take that one step.

Keep your steps simple this week and say goodbye to overwhelm & paralysis!


Example: This was my first bite-sized video I did for a client, so she could figure out how to start a drawing in simple steps. (It's got typos in it, but it did its job. She got going with her drawing and we were both engaging!)

It's a 2 minute video, so if it's going too fast for you, just put your cursor on the pause button to stop and read instructions.

Simplicity makes me happy.
— Alicia Keys