Late-bloomers and perfection

Every sketchbook I made has been claimed. Thank you all for your interest!

journal cover

I believe there are more creatives than we think. More so, I believe those people are unaware they are creatives.

A lot of artists displayed artistic tendencies at a young age. Pablo Picasso even believed, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

On the contrary, I’ve met many children with the sole interest of tackling others to the ground and pounding in their faces. Maybe it’s their upbringing, maybe it’s their personality–I don’t know.


My point is, I believe some people naturally create things while others have to make a decision to discipline themselves to create things.

Depending on the day, I feel like a natural–things flow from my head and into something tangible with little effort. Then, there are times I don’t want to think at all–I just want to cry. I hate what I’ve created and pack it away until I can emotionally face my failure.

polaroid and portrait 2

A few days ago, I read about an artist who does not finish a painting until he absolutely hates it and cannot stand to touch it anymore. The same day, I read about a separate artist who knows her work is complete when she senses this unexplainable feeling in a single brush stroke.

Both artists “know” differently, neither of them are wrong. Whichever you identify with is what’s right for you, and that’s why there’s so much differentiation in the art world.

polaroid and portrait

In this, I feel deeply for those artistic “late-bloomers”. The ones who grow up without a creative foundation and suddenly want to put ink to paper, fingers to clay, paint to canvas–whatever. These people may be absolute naturals, and others may love it so much they discipline themselves to create daily.

Depending on the day, I may feel like a natural or a disciplined artist. However I relate, I encounter fear. More specifically, the fear of paper–blank paper. The intimidation is enough to drive me away from my creative desires because my humanity is afraid to be imperfect.


Once, I read about a teacher who poured coffee on her students’ sketchbooks. She stained unmarked paper and had them begin again. I’ve tried it, and I felt freedom from the belief that I needed to be without error.

So when Izzy gave me a stack of yellow, moldy smelling encyclopedias from the 50s, I knew it was the perfect material to use for a sketchbook. The next step was making sketchbook minis small enough to tuck into my back pocket.

polaroid shot

For Christmas, I want to send some mini journals out into the world. I want to inspire people to step outside of any belief of what they can’t do, and encourage them to just…doodle something.

If you’re interested, please leave a comment (be sure to fill in your email address), and I will email you details. Keep in mind–three sketchbooks per person and I can only ship in the US.

They are absolutely free, so take into consideration the people around you who may need an artistic nudge.


  1. Gyuinn wrote:

    Hi! I just stopped by to see what your Instagram posts were about and I must say, I love the way you think and write. Similarily, I go back and forth from being a natural to a disciplined artist and I would love to be able to carry around one of your works to motivate me to just doodle whenever. If it isn’t much, may I ask for a handmade sketchbook?

  2. Jennifer S. wrote:

    I am always inspired at your postings. It gives me hope that I can also inspire my three children to be as willing to explore their creativeness as you are. :) If you have any left, I would love a sketchbook. Thank you!

  3. Erin wrote:

    So. You know I want one.

  4. ariel :3 wrote:

    peekaboo! i would love one…… maybe two? one for my friend and one for me? ahh you always blow me away with your creativity emelie!! i might have crept to your blog from your instagram just for the sake of asking about these awesom sketchbooks… seriously! how do you do it?!? you’re so creative! epic idea and you are too cool for making these. my email is if i may have one! ?? i have a feeling ill visit your blog again because if every instagram post you make sounds like poetry then i can’t imagine the wisdom youve shared here! love ya.

    • I can definitely send you two. Let me email you right now about details.
      Your compliment made me blush. I’m going to stash it away in a file for those days I feel like a complete bum. hahaha, so excited to gain your attention on my blog.

  5. Elda wrote:

    I gotta say Emelie, it’s been an absolute joy watching you grow up in your mother’s blog and now on yours (and Instagram). Your art is so inspiring. I can always see how you let yourself be free in expressing yourself and throw away labels, expectations and you just ARE. I love it! I love that your mother and family have encouraged you to continue being an artist. As an adult I find that my art is more about making wearable pieces. Jewelry, clothes, accessories, etc. Every once in a great while I’ll sit down and partake in artistic activities with my kids, but they know that there is always paint, crayons, markers, construction paper and everything else at their reach to just express themselves and be. Anyway… All this to say that I would love to receive a mini sketchbook if you still have to spare. My daughter has recently decided to test children’s and adults’ imaginations to see if you lose your creativity as you get older for a science fair experiment. I think is like to show her that you don’t have to, so long as you nurture that artistic side of you.

    Keep up the good work Em! God bless…

    • I love people like you who have been around and are so kind. Thank you for this comment. Where can I find some of your own art? Do you sell it online?

      How many sketchbooks would you like? I’m having you claim the last bit. Also, I need to know more about this science fair experiment. How old is your daughter? Is there a way we can email? I’m so curious and agree with you. JUST NURTURE THAT ARTIST WITHIN. ;)

  6. Elda wrote:

    ACK! Just noticed all the typos. Can I blame my phone? I followed your Instagram from my phone and well… Yeah, let’s blame the phone. I’ve been reading your momma’s blog for YEARS. I keep reading because I’m a Texas Native and I feel a kinship to military wives, past and present. Not to mention the great parenting advice, Christian fellowship and amazing creativity that runs in all of y’all.

    As for the sketchbooks, one would work just fine. I have a feeling I’ll be sharing it with my kids, and that’s just fine with me. They make “journals” and sketchbooks” on a daily basis – I have a feeling they’ll grow up to be a lot like you: drawing, writing and expressing themselves.

    My daughter Emily is ten years old, and in sixth grade. (I just now realized you both share the same name, different spelling.) She is a curious and inquisitive little kid, that one. This is our first year here in Arizona, but that didn’t bother her or stop her from doing ANYTHING. She ran for Student Council President and was (surprisingly) elected (being the new kid and all), and her first order of business was to start an Art Club. She now runs her little art club with the librarian’s help at school. She’ll come home with all sorts of materials she tries to prepare for the other kids, and is always researching and coming up with crafts for her Club. Now that science fair season is coming up, I think she wants to explore and research more on creativity and art. We’ve already encouraged her to start with her siblings for her research, but have explained that she will need more participants to get more accurate data on the matter.

    I’m honestly very happy and proud that my kids see art as another form of expression and are willing to share that sentiment and nurture it in themselves and others. My 7 yr old daughter has declared time and time again, that she will be an artist when she grows up and her art WILL BE on museums for all to gaze upon. LOL. They crack me up.

    As for my “art,” I tend to share bits and pieces of it on Instagram. I’m EAC04 there. I used to sell some of the things I made, but now I just make it for the joy of it. I miss making things with my hands, and will go and buy myself some ribbon, paints, WHATEVER – just to be able to do something and feel the satisfaction of making ANYTHING.

    Feel free to email Emily (or me) at the email provided. I look forward to hearing from you, and I know you’ll inspire a lot of people with your mini sketchbooks. <3

    God Bless!

  7. I’ve been reading your blog for a long while now. I’m sorry to say I’ve never commented but that’s just the kind of person I am. I would really like to have one of your sketchbooks but it would be with the condition that once I filled it with art I would like to send it back to you. An art trade almost, if you will. Please contact me as I’d absolutely love to hear from you if you’re up for this. :)

  8. Naomi wrote:


    I have been reading your blog for a few years now and it always inspire me! I love your wisdom and you are dry inspiring! If there are still any sketch books left I would love one. I’m not very artistic in the drawing sense, but I’d love to give it a try!

    • Hi,
      I would love to send you some, but I ran out the day I posted about them. I am so sorry, but I do sell a variety of journal sizes if you are interested in one. Email me at if so. To be an inspiration to you makes me smile–thank you. :)