Feel your creativity burning out? Here’s how to spark your passion again!

Creatives usually go in usual cycles of creativity. Sometimes, they wake up at 3:30AM and have a stroke of genius. Other times, they sleep for twelve hours, wake up groggy, and find nothing to fill their blank pages/canvases with. Creatives are also usually hard on themselves. They see someone else’s masterpiece and think, “I could never do that. They are lucky they have such creative passion and skills.” The truth is, however, every creative experiences this type of burn out at some point or another. Here are two signs you may be burnt out:

Celebrating someone’ creativity and supporting their beautiful work becomes annoying, as your jealousy boils beneath the surface.

The work that once brought you a passion for life has now become a burden to complete.

If you are feeling a creativity burnout, make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep per night; break down large creative projects into exceedingly small, bite-size tasks to help you move through your work one step at a time with low stress; and lean on others who have experienced the same to find comfort and ideas on how to overcome the impending, creative doom you may feel.

Arches, Women in Trees, and David Lynch—This week in art

Some fun news to share with you all this week!

Looking at the Art of Arches

When’s the last time you’ve taken a moment to admire the beauty of an arch? Has it really been that long? Arches are ubiquitous they make up so much of our surroundings, but it’s very easy to not notice them—an example of how well they blend into their surroundings. Well, not only are these circular gateways important to the integrity of the buildings that many of us make use of on a day-to-day basis, they can also be quite beautiful. Frieze.com recently gave the arch its proper due in a blog post with some beautiful videos.

Frieze London & Pablo Bronstein: The Art of Arches from Frieze Art Fair on Vimeo.

Women in Trees

For over 25 years Jochen Raiss has been collecting pictures of women in trees. Sound weird? I promise it isn’t. It all started at a Frankfurt market when Raiss stumbled upon a vintage, black and white photo of a woman in a tree. With her dress and dancing shows, she wasn’t exactly dressed for climbing a tree. SInce then, Raiss has found a number of vintage photos of well-dressed women ensconced in trees. Below is an example of one of those photos. To see the rest, check out “Delightful Vintage Photos Of Women In Trees Are What You Need Right Now” in the Huffington Post.

Working With David Lynch

David Lynch is an iconic visionary in the world of cinema. His absurd, jarring, and sometimes downright uncomfortable master pieces like EraserHead, Mulholland Drive, and Blue Velvet have left an indelible mark on the medium. But with all of his high-concept, emotional surgery pieces it leaves one to wonder: what’s it like working with the guy. Chrysta Bell has collaborated with Lynch on a number of projects to bring her music to them. The Wall Street Journal recently had the opportunity to conduct a long interview with Bell that is just as much revealing about her own creative process as it is about Lynch himself.

Here’s a look at Real Love, which was written and produced by David Lynch and features the talents of Bell:

Real Love — Chrysta Bell/David Lynch from LOVE on Vimeo.

Those are my highlights from this week. Have you found anything good yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading.

Julia Sotnykova


Just published the first part in my Emanations series on Behance.

Check it out!


Hello All,

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I love nature. To be able to hike or go for a walk or generally enjoy the outdoors is essential to my creative process. A lot of my work focuses on nature and nature’s intersection with humanity. I recently released a series that focuses on Flowers around the Vancouver area. I scoured the city for good subjects, looking in gardens, parks, window sills, and of course florists. In this series I really experimented with different media and tools to get a multi-faceted approach to flowers. It’s not just about the angle or the color of a piece, it’s also about the tools you use to tell the story. A no-brainer to some extent, yes, but nonetheless something that I really tried to explore with this series, that I feel I’ve often left to the wayside in other series.

I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to tell me what you think by visiting Vimeo and leaving a comment or via Twitter @JuliaSotnykova.

Julia Sotnykova Presents: Flowers I from Julia Sotnykova on Vimeo.

Julia Sotnykova Presents: Flowers II from Julia Sotnykova on Vimeo.

Exercises and Exams from Art School

Hello All,

I just created a presentation of some of my work from art school. This body of work comes from my still life painting class, which I found to be a lot more invigorating than I though it would be. If you’ve seen any of my digital design work, you know that I love the intertextuality afforded by the digital medium. You can collage dragonflies wings onto human silhouettes, juxtapose a textureless house next to surreally textured trees, and even emulate the techniques of manual painting.

Something I learned to really value in school is just how important it is to master manual techniques before moving on to digital means. I’ve always been big on drawings and sketches, but I did not always have the finesse and attraction to painting that my art school days instilled into me.

Hope you enjoy!

Art Paris Art Fair 2016

I’m super stoked for Art Paris Art Fair 2016! I mean, I don’t think I’ll be able to go this year. I want to go this year. But I don’t think I’ll be able to go. Alright, I might be able to go. We’ll see.

acm, julia sotnykova

At Paris Art Fair is basically the comic con of the visual arts world. Artists converge from countries all over the world (roughly 20) to exhibit their work in a number of modern and contemporary art galleries (about 140). Paris may be the historical capital of European art but, Art Paris Art Fair makes a point to lure in and showcase artists from a number of regions, including Singapore, Bangkok, and Casablanca. This year introduces the festivals first artists from Azerbaijan, Colombia, and Iran.

orsorno juan, julia sotnykova

In fact, expanding the representation of international artists is one of the main focuses of the fair. Guest Curator and Guest of Honour Sang-A-Chun

will be showcasing some of the top talent from her country of South Korea. All throughout the fair, South Korean art will not only be on display within the main exhibition area, but also throughout the city (2015-2016 marks the France-Korea year).

desert of winds, yun soo kim, julia sotnykova

The flavors of art featured at Art Paris is largely post-war and period, and comes in a few different packagings. Solo Show focuses on the work of an individual artist. Promises showcases up-and-coming galleries and artists. ArtDesign explores the dynamic between design and contemporary art with limited-edition pieces. Exhibitions run the spectrum from traditional pictures to full-room pieces that completely immerse you to digital mappings that are projected on the side of the Grand Palais (the HQ for the event).

So you see, there’s a lot to be excited about! And the best part is, you don’t even have to be there to enjoy it. On the fair’s website, you can take a look at a gallery that encompasses a lot of the art work there. Of course nothing beats getting to see the art in-person. And of course, there’s no way that a picture can do justice to a lot of the three-dimensional and immersive art there. But, it still is great to be able to see what so

The Best Art Exhibitions of 2015

Every year the art world pushes the envelope with new exhibitions. Across the globe there’s plenty of drool-worthy museum shows. In 2015 we saw female artists leading the way headlining massive art shows including Bjork, Marilyn Minter, Yoko Ono and many more.

Here’s some of the best art shows of 2015


On Kawara at the Guggenheim, New York, New York

Karara passed away in 2014, leaving behind a massive body of complex conceptual art. This is the first full representation of his output, which spans over 50 years. Art lovers were excited for the continuous live reading of his “One Million Years” series, which consisted of a steady recitation of numbers by volunteers at the ground floor of the Guggenheim rotunda.


Bjork at Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

The influential full-scale retrospective of the Icelandic singer and artist, Bjork, had her entire career of work including sound, film, visuals, instruments, objects, costumes and performance. The show presented her new for 2015 “music and film experience.” This exhibition was a must see for all Bjork fans.

Frida_Kahlo Julia Sotnykova

Frida Koahlo at the New York Botanical Gardens

The currently running (until November 1st) exhibition, is a collection of Koahlo’s paintings and works on paper that mine her relationship with the natural world of in Mexico. The show also features a flower show that re-imagines Kahlo’s studio and garden at the Casa Azul in Coyoacan, Mexico City.

susan hefuna

Islamic Art Now at LACMA, Los Angeles, California

The show featured 25 works from contemporary artists from Iran and Arab world. Artists such as Shirin Neshat, Susan Hefuna, Lalla Essaydi, Mitra Tabrizian, Mona Hatoum, were all featured. Also on view was Bari Kumar: Remembering the Future, Drawing in L.A.: The 1960s and 1970’s, Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada

fritz scholder Julia Sotnykova

Super Indian at the Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado

Currently running into 2016, featuring the works of Fritz Scholder. Scholders paintings have been called many things, like controversial, revolutionary and haunting. Scholder claimed he was “not an American Indian artist”, but he was. He claimed his art wasn’t political, but it polarized the art world.

Yoko Ono Julia Sotnykova

Yoko Ono at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Just wrapping up last month, this was the MoMA’s first exhibition dedicated exclusively to the works of Yoko Ono. The last time she’s had work at MoMA was in 1971, and this show differed by being a bit more extensive. Featuring 125 early objects, works on paper, installations, performances, audio recordings and films that celebrated her career.


Drawings and Sketches

Some Of The Best Design Schools

parsons, new school of design

With a new college year just beginning, students from all over the world are heading back to school. Many of these students are attending design schools. But which design schools are the best? Here is a list of the best design schools in the United States.

Academy Of Art University- San Francisco

The largest accredited private art and design school in the nation enrolling over 18,000 students. Founded in 1929 the school is world renown for as a source of inspiration and talent. One of the key values of the school’s portfolio development. From the first they step foot on the San Francisco campus students are encouraged to create a portfolio that demonstrates a their skill in traditional drawing and painting as well as typography, print and editorial design, and many other facets of design.

Parsons School Of Design- New York

Based off the main New York City campus on 5th avenue, the school is active in all corners of the globe. Parsons is made up of 5 schools, that make up 27 challenging undergraduate programs. The school is constantly investigating current design trends and tricks of the trade, including graphic design, web design and providing a solid foundation in a traditional practices and concepts.

Pratt Institute- Brooklyn

One of the oldest design schools in the world, founded in 1887. Pratt is home to almost 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Pratt has both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs. The school is best known for its communications department with concentrations in illustration, advertising art direction, and graphic design. All the degree programs provide students with the opportunity to develop their design process and prepare them for leadership positions in their field.

Rhode Island School Of Design

Founded in 1877, RISD has stood out as a leader in art and design. Attracting students from all over the world, the school founded simultaneously the RISD Museum of Art. The school is best known for its broad range of media, graphic design, giving students a foundation of formal aesthetic and analytical knowledge and skills while exploring visual communication.

Yale University School Of Art- New Haven, Connecticut

The very highly selective MFA program from a prodigious school needs no introduction. The program accepts up to ten students yearly and up to seven students for a preliminary year program. The degree program focuses on the student’s thesis, which is a project unique to each student. Most students who get accepted into these highly selective programs have relevant experience in a study outside design but have evidence of a design mindset.

Up and Coming Graphic Designers

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 2.49.03 PM

In my past blog post I talked about the unsung heroes of graphic design, whose work you see every day. Today the design industry is bigger than ever, and standing out is even harder than before. While there is a lot of talent out there here is a list of emerging designers/established designers you need to know.

Sulki and Min are a husband-and-wife team. Natives of South Korea who met at Yale. Their work tends to blend a wide variety of styles to help promote what the message they are trying to send is. They’ve worked mainly in the cultural area, collaborating with museums, galleries, publishers, and cultural foundations.

Mark Gowing, Australian designer who might consider himself a typographer, but he feels “a lot of people look at the text as an image before they realize what it says.” Mark considers himself an interdisciplinary artist working across communications, publishing and visual art. Also the founder of Mark Gowing Design, Preservation Music, the Australian Poster Biennale, and Formist Publishers.

Felix Pfaffli, Swiss born designer, at only 27 years of age has been making quite the splash as of late and has been considered an “incredible powerhouse.” Since graduating college in 2010, he’s started his own studio, and in 2011 he was appointed as teacher at the Lucerne School of Graphic Design to teach the fields of typography, narrative design, and poster design.

Jianping He, Chinese designer is known for his type and letterforms as objects rather than just 2-D shapes. Arrived in Berlin from China in 1997 in order to familiarize himself in a European location with the “Western” theory and practice of artistic design from his own surroundings.

Shiro Shita Saori, Japanese designer working in Berlin, known for putting modern stylized play on older fashioned designs. Born in 1990, Saori graduated from Tama Art University with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Graphic Design in 2013.

Theseus Chan, considered by many to be one of the influential pioneers of Singapore’s creative scene. Managed to prove himself to be both creative enigma, as a well as spot-on when it comes to either promoting, nurturing or judging innovative ventures.

Philippe Apeloig, is one of the most established designers as of late. Born in Paris, Apeloig has worked with cultural institutions, publishing houses, and important luxury brands. He’s created a number of logotypes including the ones of the Direction des Musees de France, the Istituto Universitario di Architetture di Venezia, and the Petit Palais.

These are just a few of the “must know” artists in today’s exciting graphic design world.