Begin. Create. Evolve.

Today’s post is a bit different than normal. This piece is written by my dear friend + fellow artist, Nichole Rae. She is a brilliant artist + knows what it means to create from the heart. Definitely check her stuff out further — there are a handful of links at the bottom. Now, off to Nichole!


“begin. if you begin and need to begin again. begin.”

these are the words i carry this morning. i carry a cup of coffee and a feeling of excitement and {anxiousness} to write about my life as an artist.

an artist.

i have been an artist since i was 6. collaging shoe boxes and cutting out of magazines.

10 years later, i carry a beginning in book arts. using my photographs, found papers and my own writings.

10 years later, i carry another beginning. my own personal collection of books documenting my personal journey.

today i begin again.

28. creating my life as i go.

in those 10 year gaps of days. my heart carried my love for creating, though my supplies often were tucked in the closet. i am learning to honor that time.

let it be.

today. i am embracing a beginning again. in 1 year, i have set up a creative space to work in 4 times. today i am in indian harbour, nova scotia, canada. inspired.

i am beginning again. leading with love. choosing to hold a hand that i love and to hold my creative heart in the other.

Hearts and beach.

we all struggle with letting our creativity flow openly and free. i am learning that i can begin each day.

i have started simple ways of nourishing my creative spirit. handwritten journals and found poetry in an old book. i carry these and my morning cup of coffee. i am learning how to carry my creativity again. once we begin, we all know that creativity has its own energy and will lead your life exactly where you need to go.

i am here.

IMG_0878 (1)

here with a room of art supplies and that {anxiousness} again to go make a beautiful mess. i am having to use my bravery to begin. fear connects to all of us at some point in time along our creative journey. i am learning that i can turn this fear into a beautiful opportunity to begin again and allow my life to creatively unfold where it may.

creativity sets us free. free to be who we are. who we are becoming. all that we want to be. letting our hearts heal, our spirits grow and evolve.

i have stopped and started my creative journey over the 28 years of my life. today i have chosen, no matter what, to keep going. even small creative projects are keeping me in motion. filling my spirit with that creative energy. i am going through that {anxiousness} feeling and coming out with more creative ideas that i could have imagined.

Nichole's working desk.

i am learning to say “i am an artist. i make a living at creating,” “I will teach workshops. I have something to offer.”

I am a beginning.

my spirit is beginning.

i am finding a love for writing and photographing my life.

I am learning how to evolve into new creative things.

being kind to my creative spirit as it sets out bravely.

after 28 years, i am now using my own handwriting in my art. things unfold when we begin. each day here by the sea i begin. again. i choose love. i choose to allow my mind to embrace my creative spirit and i am learning how to create what we most need to find. create beautiful messes at a small desk i found along peggy’s cove road.

Setting out bravely.

i can feel that {anxiousness} feeling as i write. i am learning that is the nudge to begin. to begin again. to carry my creativity into the unknown and let it lead me. let it guide me along my journey, let it free my spirit. 28.

“i am an artist. i am creating my life as i go.”

I am an artist.

i begin each day to honor my journey. i carry trust. a journal with handwritten words. a stack of old books and more photographs on my instagram than i can count. i am doing this. i am choosing to lead creatively forward. i carry these words…

i know with my whole heart i am suppose to being doing this.

yes, i carry those voices in my head that try to hold me back, but i am going to break through. i am – will always be - set into creative motion – creating my life moment by moment, day by day. mile by mile.

create your life. live your journey. {wildly}

~ Artist Nichole Raewritten at 9:53 am atlantic time in a cottage by st margaret’s bay at a vintage dining table watching the sun shine through the window.

Artist Nichole Rae, 28, is a mixed media artist who has a love for collage, book arts and black and white artist nichole rae pictypography design. She is an author of her upcoming book “Art Journal Art Journey, Collage and Storytelling for Honoring Your Creative Process” that is available for pre-sale and prints July 2014.

She currently lives in Minnesota and Nova Scotia. She has love for documenting her journey through writing, photography and book arts. She has been creating since she was 6 and today is beginning again embracing her creative spirit to lead her along her journey.

You can view more of her work at , follow her on instagram or facebook. To view her book, or order, visit :

Conscious Kid’s Coloring Book: the inspiration + intention behind it all

For those of you who’ve been following my creative pursuits over the past couple weeks will know that I’m currently working on what I’m calling the Conscious Kid’s Coloring Book. The inspiration for the coloring book came from listening to Michael Franti – over and over and over.

Make sure to press play below + continue reading : )

So many good vibes and positivity in his lyrics and music. I was super impressed, when I looked further into his career, that he’s been able to start a foundation, write a children’s book, and tour the world. If you look at any of the videos from his live shows, it’s all SO FUN, and everyone in the crowd ranges from children to adults.

Everyone’s invited.

The inspiration

The way he blended his craft – his music + positivity – with people of all ages is what first sparked the idea for the coloring book. I was doodling lyrics in block letters and doodles, when my Jeremy’s daughter, who’s six, started coloring them in.

And not only that, but because she’s still learning to read, she was asking what certain pages said and what the words meant.

At this point, I knew I was onto something.

The intention

Being able to start a conversation with a child that’s built around creativity + positive intention is something that I find important and this coloring book is intended to make that easy for parents or literally anyone who has a little one in their life.

But, it’s not only for kids – it’s also for adults as well. Really, any age will benefit from coloring the pages in and putting them on your wall to look at every day. The pages will be a standard 8.5×11 and can certainly be matted + framed if you love your work as much as I think you will. : )

Because I believe in the power of positive intention, I felt this was a really wonderful way to blend art, creativity, and intentional living into one and this is how the Conscious Kid’s Coloring Book came to be. The coloring book will be filled with 25 positive affirmations, doodles, and fill-in-the-blank activities to encourage conversation around intentional living and making the world a better place by just being YOU.

Pay what you can model

I originally had an intentional price to offer the coloring book at; however, because I’ll be offering it digitally, it will be pay what you can. Putting the good vibes + positive intention into people’s hands is more important to me than making sure I make $X amount of money per book.

So, when it is released, it will be pay what you think it’s value is whether it’s $5 or $20 or $500. Whatever you feel this thing is worth, I will accept + appreciate it.

Click the lotus flower below if you want to be the first to know when it’s released + also receive a one page coloring book page to print at home.

Lotus Flower /// Conscious Kid's Coloring Book.


Get in touch

I love you people. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions about the coloring book, if you want to interview me, or perhaps want to collaborate sometime in the future : )

Dropping egos, doing the work, and creative generosity

Here’s conventional wisdom:

Success makes you happy. Happiness permits you to be generous.

In fact, it actually works like this:

Generosity makes you happy. Happy people are more likely to be successful.

- Seth Godin

I recently interviewed with my good friend, Ozeal, over at Connected Creatives. We had a good conversation about doing work with intention and incorporating generosity into your business plan.

For me, it goes something like this:

I freely share my art with the world because I believe it makes the world a better place.

Not only does the art + showing up in the world make it more awesome, but so does the generosity.

It puts my work into the world.

It encourages a creative habit of actually DOING THE WORK.

I also believe that, even if you aren’t getting paid, but you’re doing the work, the universe steps in to assist.

Only by taking action can you make anything happen FOR REAL. You can think and think and think about the perfect painting, website, design, whatever. But what it really comes down to is flowing with the work, taking action, and being generous. No one’s ever said, “oh man, that artist… she shares too much of her work. So stupid. So foolish.”

And, well, if they do? They’re an asshole anyway.

Yes, putting your work out there for everyone to see, even when it’s not as “good” as you’d hope, still gives you the opportunity to let people into your little corner of the world. To see what it’s like behind closed doors. To get a glimpse of how your brain works and why you do what you do. It also opens a door for trust.

I have no shame in sharing what I create, but mostly because I drop the ego before I even start. What I create comes from a deep place within me, but I’m not attached to how it should be perceived by anyone, except maybe myself.

By dropping the ego + being generous with your work, you’re able to inspire others to do the same: to show up bravely.

I encourage you, with the next thing you write, create, design, to share it.

Share it freely + bravely.

Show it to anyone who’ll look at it. Put it on Instagram. Put it on your Facebook page. Send a photo to your dad. Send an email to a friend. Scan your work in + create a digital file to share with your mailing list, or put it somewhere on your website so anyone can download it if they want it. None of this work goes unnoticed by the universe, your potential clients, friends, or family. They want to see what + how you create your ‘THING’.

If you can inspire at least one person to step bravely into their work by doing that exact thing for yourself, then your work will have mattered, regardless of how imperfect it may be.

So, be generous. Be love. Be inspired.

And? Forget the ego when you sit down to share your work.

with mucho love + good vibes,


Hi! I'm Kristen.

I am an artist and writer. 

I am currently working with clients one-on-one to help craft their online presence through funky, fun, + vibrant branding.

I write about stepping bravely into life + sharing your work with the world.

And I believe by pursuing personal evolution, you make the world a better place.

One love.