Art Every Day Month 2012: Days 1-3

It’s Art Every Day Month! This will be my 6th year participating in my friend Leah Piken Kolidas’ annual challenge.

Like the past 4 years, I’m using my favorite itty bitty sketch book for my daily doodles.

I’ll be posting my itty bitty sketches everyday on Instagram (I’m @jennlee).

During previous Art Every Day Month challenges my late pooch Emmett inspired many itty bitty sketches with his mischievous ways – eating toilet paper off the roll, getting into the trash, eating food from the stove. Oh how we miss his antics! My new pup Kaya is very polite so we’ll see what doodles this sweetie inspires!!

Year in Review: 2011

At the end of the year, I like to reflect on my milestones and learnings. Since 2008, I’ve done an Exploding Box as a visual representation of the year. It’s a fun way to commemorate the last twelve months. If you want to make your own, you can see me show examples and you can sign-up for instructions here.

There are also some other great ideas for reflection and intention setting in this Scoutie Girl post.

What I’m celebrating from 2011:


Personal Growth

  • Painted and worked my way through a couple of dips and valleys post-book launch intensity
  • Participated regularly in bi-weekly Nurture Huddle calls
  • Continued to participate in high-end mentoring program and working individually with my business coach
  • Worked with a personal coach in the summer
  • Participated in Art Every Day month for the fifth year
  • Journaled and read lots of books

Wealth & Abundance

  • Exceeded my financial goals for the year – broke 6-figures
  • Paid myself a few bonuses in addition to regular salary
  • Kept up with monthly managing the moola
  • Sold an old domain name = some nice unexpected cash!

Health & Wellbeing

  • Stopped eating refined sugar in May (huge for this lifelong sweet tooth)
  • Stopped eating gluten in October
  • Started doing Pilates more regularly to help with my back
  • Treated myself to getting a massage a few times (did a lot more of the short chair massages)
  • Enjoyed naps in my hammock and dips in the pool
  • Took most of September off
  • Continued to honor my self-care Fridays
  • Did intuitive painting at home


  • Brian and I went to Napa in the Spring
  • Celebrated our 10th year wedding anniversary in Maui!
  • My parents hosted a Book Party celebration for me with my friends and family
  • My twin nephews visited overnight and we had fun playing Xbox Kinect together
  • Had a family reunion where the elders shared stories of what it was like to be in Japanese internment camps during WW2
  • Went to the Getty Museum with my parents
  • Spent quality time with friends
  • Had really nourishing calls with friends from my Leadership tribe
  • 10th year of book club fun
  • Connected more in-person with local creative peeps
  • Met a lot of really cool people and online friends in-person at the World Domination Summit and got to stay with my college buddy Tsilli whom I hadn’t seen in years

Physical Environment

  • Got a new washer and dryer (who knew it would be so life changing?!)
  • Got a new refrigerator and got new storage containers
  • Cleared out inventory in garage and sent to Solamar to handle fulfillment (a big step for me! Yay!)
  • Had housecleaner come regularly
  • Created an intuitive painting station in my kitchen nook
  • Reorganized my office/creative space (added a chalk board and new white board, got a laptop stand)
  • Cleared out closet and donated lots of items to Goodwill

Fun & Recreation

  • Maui and Napa trips with Brian
  • Visited Leah in Boston (3rd year in a row!)
  • Went to Squam Art Workshops for 2nd year
  • Went on fun lunch dates with friends
  • Cuddling with our cute, old pooch Emmett
  • Spent time in nature
  • Worked in my art journal
  • Continued to take photos via Instagram and went on photowalks in SF and Emeryville
  • Two of my photos featured on book covers: Desire to Inspire by Christine Mason Miller and Creative Pilgrimages by Jenny Doh

My reflection questions:

What was the most exciting, heart-stirring thing that happened in your life and/or business this year?

One of the most exciting things that happened in my personal life this year was celebrating my 10th year anniversary with my husband in Maui. It was divine! In my business, the most exciting thing was having my book launch and seeing the positive impact its made on people’s lives all around the world.

How did you stretch yourself?

I stretched myself by putting myself out there in a bigger way with the launch of the book and in doing things like the video summit. I also stretched myself by deciding to work with a larger team to help me with my admin, fulfillment, and marketing. This was a much bigger investment than I’d had with my individual VA, but it was the right move to help grow my business. I also worked with a personal coach, something I hadn’t done in a few years.

What was your biggest learning?

One of the biggest challenges from this year was not anticipating the “postpartum depression” after my book launch. So my biggest learning is to build in lots of recovery time after I have really exciting or momentous milestones and to cut myself some slack. Dips and valleys are part of the learning process. Also, that I can build my confidence back up again by taking small steps.

What did you enjoy doing that you want to do more of?

I really enjoyed taking more quality vacation time with lots of pampering. I would love to do more of that next year!

What do you need to stop doing or let go of?

Stop feeling like I need to be perfect. Let go of my unreasonably high expectations. That will make room for more ease, flow, and grace.

What new opportunities are available for 2012 and beyond?

Continuing to grow my business in new and exciting ways, hosting another video summit, creating a mentoring program for creative entrepreneurs, developing new products and offerings, doing some home improvements, planning vacation time, spending quality time with Brian, friends, and family. And much more!

Art Every Day Month 2011: Days 21-28

The OCD part of me likes that my purse is now doubly organized. My purse is a Butler Bag which already has compartments built into it. I love it but sometimes smaller items like my keys and lipstick would fall out of it if the bag tipped over. So, I decided to try out a purse organizer from Mochi Things. I absolutely love the Slim Purse Organizer. And it fits perfectly inside of my Butler Bag, so I have the best of both worlds.

When I posted this on Instagram, I got lots of great suggestions for how to deal with cutting onions!

I’m really not a fan of cooking and I have getting a personal chef as one of the top things on my wish list!

I couldn’t take how overgrown our yard was getting, so I actually tried out my hedge trimmer for the first time. It was quite satisfying although my forearms were sore for the next two days!

Just a few of the things that I’m grateful for.

I must admit that I do wear my parka inside my house. I know it’s really on that cold compared to other parts of the country, but I grew up in L.A., so I’m pretty much a weather wimp.

I am loving Amazon Prime! I have really been missing out all this time, but now I’m converted.

Finding pieces of tissue in the laundry drives me crazy!

Art Every Day Month 2011: Days 17-20

My dog Emmett always provides such great inspiration for Art Every Day Month doodles. Above is one of his favorite pastimes. Does your dog do that, too?

And since I was drawing one of Emmett’s favorite things, I thought I’d doodle some of mine as well. Here is part one of a three part series: Reading, sunshine, nature, painting, love letters, my iPhone, hugs, and strawberries.

And part two: Drawing/writing, my hubby, my dog, my hammock, my Fluevog boots, my Anthro jacket, and a nice cuppa tea.

And part three: Yoga, smoothies, orchids, my home, laughter, friends, crafts, and cheese.

Plus since some folks have asked what I’ve been using for my Art Every Day Month doodles here are my tools of the trade: Koi Water Colors Pocket Field Sketch Box 24 colors by Sakura (jet brush comes with set) and Gelly Roll fine tip black pen also by Sakura. I draw with the pen first (it’s waterproof) then I paint with the watercolor. My sketchbook is a handmade 3″x3″ book that I bought at an art fair a few years from this artist but I haven’t seen another book like it in her shop. Happy doodling!

Art Every Day Month 2011: Days 14-16

More itty bitty sketches from Art Every Day Month. I love my Nurture Huddle. I’ve been chatting on the phone with these ladies every other week for three years. We’ve seen each other through so much. They’re so inspiring and I’m grateful to have them in my life. I wrote a post about how to start your own Nurture Huddle.

Sorry, this is gross, but it’s true and what we deal with most every day! The joys of having an old dog. Emmett’s doing good though for being 14 years young! He’s a sweetie.

The other day I received my new iPhone case from Casetagram. You can design your own iPhone case from your Instagram photos. Pretty freakin’ cool!

And here’s a shot of my case. I love it!

Art Every Day Month 2011: Days 10-13

More of my itty bitty sketches from Art Every Day Month. I am obsessed with this Crystal hot sauce. I could drink it out of the bottle.

On 11/11/11, Teahouse Studio co-founder Stefanie Renee hosted a fun art night at the studio. We painted and doodled while the video Beckoning of the Lovely played in the background. It’s a feature film that launched on 11/11/11 and is best described as “an interactive love letter to the universe.”

And this is what happens when I wait until the end of the day to do my AEDM doodle.

I’m a personality typing system geek. In 2008 I did an AEDM sketch based on the Hue Are U card deck. I’d love to hear, what are your different personality types?

Art Every Day Month 2011: Days 2-9

I’ve been having fun with my itty bitty sketch book during the first week or so of Art Every Day Month. Here are a some of my faves so far.

By the way, putting on my yoga clothes at the start of the day worked! I made it to class in the afternoon (at least that time).

This library sketch is one of my favorites.

Emmett tends to make multiple appearances in my itty bitty sketches. He’s a cutie.

And the one from tonight. If anyone has tips on how to cut a kabocha squash open, I’d love to hear!!

You can see the rest of my doodles on flickr or follow me on Instagram where I’m posting my sketches daily.

Art Every Day Month 2011 Begins!

Yay! It’s November and that means Art Every Day Month is here. My dear friend Leah Piken Kolidas has been hosting this annual challenge for nine years. I participated back in 2007 and that’s actually where the first Right-Brain Business Plan® was born. I love the magic that happens when I commit to the creative practice of doing art every day for a month.

The first couple of years I experimented with lots of different mediums and had fun with that. Then in 2009 I stumbled upon a 3″x3″ journal at the Squam Art Fair and that’s been my itty bitty sketch book for AEDM since. I love that it provides me a do-able structure and keeps my doodles simple.

This year I treated myself to a new watercolor set with more colors to choose from. That makes me happy.

Getting a new fridge also makes me happy! Our other one had been on the fritz and I swear I’ve had mild food poisoning for the past week (of course my hubby just thinks I’m a hypochondriac!). Anyway, now I’m so excited about stocking up on healthy food – it’s like a blank culinary canvas! I love how doing art every day helps me document these little bits from my daily life.

I won’t be blogging every day, but I will be doing my daily doodles and posting on Instagram with the hashtag #aedm2011. BTW, today is my 1-year Instagram anniversary. I heart IG!

The Hero’s Journey

“What each must seek in his life never was on land or sea. It is something out of his own unique potentiality for experience, something that never has been and never could have been experienced by anyone else.” – Joseph Campbell

Today I watched a fabulous new movie called Finding Joe which looks at the phases of what Joseph Campbell dubbed The Hero’s Journey. I love the synchronicity because I was recently talking with a client about how she is on her own Hero’s Journey and on a call last week with my coach we talked about how I’ve been slaying my own dragons.

The movie is playing in select theaters right now but you check out the inspiring trailer below.

Finding Joe – Trailer V.7 from pat solomon on Vimeo.

Photo taken with my iPhone on Wailea Beach during my trip to Maui in September.

Squam Art Workshops Fall 2011 Recap

I spent last weekend in the woods at Squam Art Workshops where I played with paint, dipped my feet in the cool lake, connected with creative souls, and re-energized my spirit.

I attended last year and enjoyed the creativity and connections. It was nice to be back and to enjoy some warm, sunny days for at least part of the retreat – perfect weather for chillaxing on a dock. But don’t get me wrong, I made good use of my waterproof shoes and down parka as well!

I got my hands dirty in Mary Beth Shaw’s Stratilicious, Baby! class where we learned how to create interesting textures and layers using materials such as wood icing, tar (yes, tar!), and beeswax. I’ve played with encaustics before, but this time I got to etch the wax and color it in with oil paints, which created a very cool effect.

On the second day, I did yoga with the wonderfully grounded Michelle Madden Smith in front of a toasty fire. I don’t think I’ve ever practiced yoga wearing as many layers as I did (think Stay Puff Marshmallow Man!), but it was a chilly morning. Once I got my ujjayi breath going, though, I was in the zone. I wish the class had been a full-day. It was so blissful.

I also took a hand-lettering class with Penelope Dullaghan who is a fellow contributor to Christine Mason Miller’s forthcoming book Desire to Inspire.  I really loved the effect in my first piece using the tip of a liquid acrylic ink pipette on top of a wet wash of color. I wasn’t able to recreate the look again, so I was grateful I had my happy accident.

The last class I took was Care and Keeping with “the other Jen Lee.” It was funny how people kept getting us confused.  I spell Jenn with two n’s and live on the west coast – she spells it with one n and lives on the east coast – we joked that we needed to have signs or T-shirts so that people knew which Jen(n) was which!

I appreciated the spaciousness that Jen invited in during the session. We got to spend part of it on our own and I lounged on a dock and refilled my well. It was just what I needed before leading a short talk on the Right-Brain Business Plan after lunch. During my presentation I connected with all sorts of wonderful women who are running creative businesses or who dream of doing so one day. The great thing about being at Squam is it certainly inspires people to live their creative dreams!

One of the highlights was getting to have many belly laughs with my lovely friend Kimberly Wilson. She recently launched a new e-Course about creative and conscious business and I’m on of the featured guests. I can’t wait to see her again when she’s in town next month!

You can see more pics from my trip here on flickr.

And before I headed out to Squam, I had the chance to hang out with my dear friend Leah. This was the third fall I’ve stayed with her – I like this pattern! In 2009  we led a workshop together. In 2010, we went to Squam together, and then this year I got to visit and meet her super sweet little girl Annabelle. Isn’t she a cutie?!

Going on this trip made me realize how much I’m really craving a nice private retreat with my Nurture Huddle. Oh, that just sounds heavenly! I can’t wait for us to start dreaming up some locations for us to gather at next year!