Interview with Schim Schimmel

We sat down to chat with artist Schim Schimmel to learn about how he became an artist, what inspires him and how he stays creative…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

My father was a well-known water-colourist in the U.S., and I was fortunate to grow up with a father as an artist. He taught me the fundamentals of landscape painting, first in watercolour, and then later in oil. I eventually started painting in acrylic and sold my first painting out of a gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona at the age of 18. I have been a full-time artist since my late twenties.

How would you describe your own work?

Mostly I paint wild animals, but I also enjoy painting domestic animals as well. Thematically, my goal is to remind us all that we share this planet with its wonderful wildlife. It’s important to remember that all of earth’s animals, humans and ecosystems are interconnected.

Who are your biggest influences?

I am influenced greatly by both past and contemporary landscape painters. The paintings of Albert Bierstadt, as well as the Hudson River School landscape painters are particularly inspirational to me.

Where do you seek inspiration?

I am an avid hiker and spend most weekends hiking. In winter I visit the Arizona desert, and its forests in the summer. Spending time outdoors and in the wilderness is one of my greatest inspirations.

What keeps you creative?

We are all born with different brains and their propensities. I can’t do math to save my life, but I have always been a creative person. A musician, a writer, an artist, even a hobbyist. Living life for me is about actively pursuing creative endeavours.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

One of the greatest honours for me has been enriching people’s lives through my work. On more than one occasion, a fan has told me that my artwork helped lift them out of severe depression. Others have said that my work has inspired them to pursue their own passions and creative goals. To connect with another human being through my own creative passion is one of life’s greatest rewards.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

Now in my older age, I wish I could go back and visit my younger self and instil the confidence, appreciation, and gratitude for the opportunity to live a fortunate life here on this planet. It’s harder in today’s world, but if you have a dream, if you have a passion, I’d say do your best to pursue it with all you’ve got.


Explore Moments from Schim Schimmel by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

Interview with Milkyprint

We sat down with Mongs, the artist and illustrator behind Milkyprint, to discuss creative processes, what keeps her creative, and what it was like to see her work in app for the first time…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

It’s hard to pin down exactly how I became an artist, but I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. I went to a local art college in Singapore, studying graphic design and eventually found a career as a graphic designer. It was only in 2016 that I returned to illustration.

How would you describe your own work?

Fun, positive and relatable!

Who are your biggest influences?

My biggest influence is my faith in God. He inspired both hope and humour in my work.

Where do you seek inspiration?

Quite often, I get inspired whilst taking a break and sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading. Other times going for a walk will also help. I really enjoying playing with words though and my favourite subjects are usually animals and food, or inanimate everyday objects. 

What keeps you creative?

Checking out the work of other artists on various platforms including Instagram keeps me creative. It’s great to see all the different types of work out there. I also find that searching for particular words or puns can create little sparks of creativity.

What do you do if you ever find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

Taking naps certainly helps, or simply getting away and doing other activities like exercising or meeting family and friends.

Talk us through your creative process

I don’t have a fixed creative process. Sometimes ideas pop up randomly, or I may be inspired by things I see during the day. Often, I’ll google words or phrases, and then try to visualise them as funny drawings. 

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

People often say seeing my work makes them happy. That makes me happy too!

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit your couldn’t live without?

Can I name two? My iPad Pro and Apple pencil. No doubt about it.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

Don’t give up on your passion.

How did you feel when you first saw your work published in the Momentful app?

Absolutely delirious!

Which is your favourite Moment of yours that’s available in app?

The four different cheese Moments are fun!


Explore Moments from Milkyprint by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

Interview with Jennifer Hines

We sat down with illustrator and lettering artist, Jennifer Hines, to discuss her inspirations, creative processes and what it’s like to create Moments…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

I’ve always loved creating. My mother is also a very creative person, so art was always encouraged and came very naturally to me. I studied art in high school, before going on to study creative writing at university, however I quickly learnt that I couldn’t live without visual art and new that I eventually wanted to go back to it.

How would you describe your own work?

Colourful, fun, whimsical and playful.

Who are your biggest influences?

I love the work of Mary Kate McDevitt, Lisa Congdon, and Lauren Hom. They all have a very playful and fun aesthetic, using lots of colour and lettering in their work.

Where do you seek inspiration?

Everywhere! I take walks, which always spurs some ideas. I also enjoy visiting to art museums and traveling to see new perspectives. In my spare time I also read a lot and am often inspired by good food and recipes!

What keeps you creative?

Doing it regularly, but also taking time off. I always get ideas when I’m thinking about something else, so it’s good to spend time perfecting my craft, but also taking time to do something entirely different.

What do you do if you ever find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

I often take a break and try not to feel guilty about it. There’s often the assumption that to be a good artist you must draw every day, but that isn’t true. Spending time reading, watching a movie, or handing out with friends all feeds into your creativity, so permission to take a break is essential in my opinion.

Talk us through your creative process

Thankfully I have so many ideas, I never really have an issue finding something to draw. Usually, I’ll create work on my iPad in Procreate, which feels just like drawing on paper.

I tend to start out with a pencil sketch to perfect the layout and styling. I might even create multiple sketches or use different layers so I can move and resize things to ensure I get the layout exactly how I want. I’ll also conduct a lot of research around the subject so that I have some references.

Once I know what I’d like my sketch too look like, I draw in the outlines using a textured brush in a colour a bit darker than the intended colour of the object. I use a lot of layers so that I can move or recolour things if needed. I also like to add a little bit of texture and shading. Most of my work includes lettering in various styles as well. Finally, when I’m all done, I bring the Photoshop file onto my computer to do any last touches, before hitting save.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

Usually giggles at my dumb dad jokes and puns, but they make people smile, so I keep drawing them.

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit your couldn’t live without?

My iPad (and Apple pencil). If it broke today, I’d be grabbing a new one right away!

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

To trust the process. I didn’t know that I would end up where I am now. Sometimes I’ll find myself questioning the past, or previous decisions, but in the end, I know that my journey to get where I am was important. I learned a lot that still feeds into my work today. Plus, there will always be time to do more and re-explore

How did you feel when you first saw your work published in the Momentful app?

Warm and fuzzy!

Which is your favourite Moment of yours that’s available in app?

I’ve always been partial to ‘Slay Your Doubts’, both for the fun colourful nature of the piece, but also because I can always be reminded to focus on the positive and not fall into self-doubting.


Explore Moments from Jennifer Hines by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

Interview with Grimm Inc.

We sat down with Ileana Grimm, the hilarious artist behind the Canadian gift company Grimm Inc., to talk inspirations, creative processes and what really makes her tick…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

I am a self-taught creative. When I graduated University, I sold hand-painted T-shirts to pay back my student loan and as it turns out, I was quite good at it! Off the back of that success, I decided to start my own gift company and 33 years later the well has not run dry.

How would you describe your own work?

Both my art and its style has changed a lot over time, but if I had to describe it, I think I’d call it humorous pop art.

Who are your biggest influences?

B. Kliban, David Shrigley, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Andy Riley and Chris (Simpsons artist)

Where do you seek inspiration?

A lot of inspiration comes from listening to the radio. I hear the words and see a different direction visually in my head. I also make myself laugh a lot, thinking “wouldn’t it be funny if…”

What keeps you creative?

Is beer a suitable answer? Just kidding. I don’t know any other way of being. I create all day. With paper, paint, pens. The list goes on.

What do you do if you ever find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

Paint or draw without reason. I find removing the pressure of it being for an audience gives me a sense of freedom.

Talk us through your creative process

Firstly, I’ll ask myself “what’s the topic?” and then, “why is it topical?”. After that it’s a case of identifying which parts are laughable, and whether it’s something that many can relate to and how I can convey why it is funny with as little detail as possible.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

Two that stick out are “your art makes me happy” and “there is not enough happy artwork out there”.

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit your couldn’t live without?

A cheap hotel pen.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

Paint more. Don’t worry about how much you weigh. Buy stock in Apple.

How did you feel when you first saw your work published in the Momentful app?

I’m proud that my art can make a difference to someone’s day and help them feel special and cared about.

Which is your favourite Moment of yours that’s available in app?

The Moment titled ‘Licked Me Back’, where the dog is saying to his owner “it would be nice if every once in a while, you licked me back.”


Explore Moments from Grimm Inc., by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

9 moments for nature lovers

From hikers to gardeners, and eco-warriors to house plant obsessives, there’s a Moment for every outdoorsy type.

With the Momentful app, you can send a little dose escapism to a friend, invite someone to join you for a walk, or even send an eco-friendly birthday card! Explore the full collection by downloading the Momentful app here.

Can nature inspire creativity?

We all know that spending time outdoors and embracing nature is good for both our physical and mental health, but what impact can it have on our creativity?

Throughout history, nature has been a source of inspiration for many creatives. From retreats in remote locations, to artist-in-residence programmes held in stunning landscapes. But okay, we know what you’re thinking: that’s all well and good for landscape artists, but how can nature help to inspire me?

In recent years, studies have found that spending time outdoors is one of the best ways to get your creative juices flowing.

Getting outdoors doesn’t just help us escape the stresses of daily life – but it’s also a wonderful way to relax. Reconnecting with our environment can have a profound impact on our mood and behaviour – helping to reduce anxiety and stress, as well as increasing our attention span.

Wandering outdoors can also boost our positive emotions – such as feelings of awe, wonder and contentment. All of which have cognitive benefits, which are directly associated with creativity.

And so, the evidence keeps piling up: nature is good for you. So, here’s a thought: the next time you’re feeling unmotivated or lacking imagination, why not pop outdoors? You might just find your creativity will soar with every step you take. But don’t worry – unlike Sting, we won’t be watching you.

Image credit: Helena Nilsson

Interview with Josephine Wall

We sat down with world-renowned fantasy painter (and now Moment creator) Josephine Wall to discuss her inspirations and how she felt seeing her artwork in app for the first time…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

Ever since I can remember I have been obsessed with colour, form, and any kind of creativity. So, it was little wonder that I became an artist. In fact, in my infants school we were each given little boxes of wax crayons for ‘drawing time’, and even now the smell of wax crayons will bring back the memory of the intense happiness I felt. It has been a dream come true to do what I love every day, and it gives me so much joy that others gain pleasure from my paintings also.

How would you describe your own work?

My work has evolved over the years from seascapes, landscapes and portraits to what some people have described as “art of imagination”, in which I use my work to portray a message or a story. I like to make my paintings interesting and fun. I love colour and fantasy, and really enjoy every hour at my easel.

Who are your biggest influences?

I am influenced by many late ‘masters’ including, the surrealism of Salvador Dali, the romanticism of the Pre-Raphaelites, and the illustrative skill of Arthur Rackham. I love art nouveau especially the work of Alphonse Mucha. I have always been fascinated with the ‘weird and wonderful’ and love putting strange unrelated images together (like the surrealists).

Where do you seek inspiration?

I am often asked this questions and the answer is “everywhere”. We live in an extraordinary and beautiful world where the constantly variable weather and seasons are themselves inspiring. As well as the natural world there are fantasy and historical books, films and beautiful music to allow one to dream.

What keeps you creative?

I was born creative and it has become an all-consuming obsession. 

What do you do if you ever find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

I have never been stuck in a creative rut. I am fortunate to be able to say I never have any kind of block. I always have more ideas than time to paint them.

Talk us through your creative process

I like to use acrylics, which allow me to paint quickly, creating many textured and colourful effects. I paint under a pyramid shaped wooden ceiling which some say channels creativity.  Time is one of my greatest enemies – there are never enough hours in the day to paint all the images in my head. My notebook is always at hand to jot down ideas and draw little sketches as reminders. As well as painting I also like sculpture, pottery, murals and painting furniture. I even find myself painting my own clothes and boots.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

Sometimes people have been moved to tears which I find amazing.

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit your couldn’t live without?

I couldn’t do without my easel which my dad bought for me at an auction sale many years ago. 

How did you feel when you first saw your work published in the Momentful app?

Being not at all a technical person myself (I have an old mobile but it’s only for emergencies) I was mostly amazed at what skills it must take to work with images like mine and translate them into this type of form, with motion and text and such…it’s completely foreign to me!

Which is your favourite Moment of yours that’s available in app?

I thought it was very clever how the designers took “Dewdrop Dawn” and made it into a multi-part, engaging meditation exercise.


Explore Moments from Josephine Wall by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android. Josephine is represented by Creative Rights Group.

10 inspiring quotes for creatives

Whether you’re in a creative rut, or simply want to add a boost of positive energy to your week, there’s no doubting the power that inspirational quotes can have. These kernels of wisdom from global creatives will have you feeling fresh and inspired in no time!

“There should be something revelatory about art. It should be totally creative and open doors for new thoughts and experiences.” – Tracey Emin, artist

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have” Maya Angelou, poet

“I think that little by little, I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.” – Frida Kahlo, painter

“Prosperity is not without many fears and disasters; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.” – Francis Bacon, painter

“There’s no diploma in the world that declares you as an artist – it’s not like becoming a doctor. You can declare yourself an artist and then figure out how to be an artist.” – Kara Walker, painter

“I don’t think there’s any artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing.” – Francis Ford Coppola, filmmaker

“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” – Oscar Wilde, poet

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt”Sylvia Plath, writer

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”Vincent Van Gogh, painter

“Above all, art should be fun.” – Alexander Calder, sculptor

Image credit: Last Lemon

Interview with James Booker

James Booker’s Moments are the best kind of bright, bold, colourful fun. Here James gives us the lowdown on where his ideas come from, his creative inspiration and how he felt seeing his artwork in app for the first time…


What’s your background and how did you become at artist?

It was early on in school when kids were encouraged to draw a lot more than they are now. I remember focussing on all the extra details I would add to my drawings. For instance, when I was about 10 years old, I would draw H. R. Giger’s Xenomorph, memorising all the details on the creature’s exoskeleton.

Over time my art style changed. I experimented with acrylic paints and marbling, before going on to study multimedia and animation at collage, which is where I picked up Photoshop. At the time, I remember seeing a growing trend in photo manipulations, so naturally being a fan of Terry Gilliam and stop motion monster movies, I decided to try creating my own using the Photoshop skills I’d learnt. And that’s where my current style of art came from.

How would you describe your own work?

When starting a new piece, I have a general idea in mind of what I’d like to make, but once I start, I find myself improvising and using whatever I can to arrive at a point where the pieces click.

Who are your biggest influences?

The majority of my ideas come from watching comedy, fantasy and sci-fi movies from the past few decades. Early on, when I was creating more absurd art, I remember being inspired by a show on Adult Swim called Tim & Eric.

Where do you seek inspiration?

I’m inspired by epic fantasy and sci-fi paintings from the 70s and 80s. I also look at current artists who are producing animal and fantasy art, looking for trends or bits that stand out to me.

What keeps you creative?

Just a love for creating. I constantly need to be working on something. If I’m not, then I’m building other things. I don’t really drink and live pretty healthy, so I can’t sit still and do nothing for too long or I get into a bad mood and start to feel awful.

What do you do if you ever find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

If I find some directions just aren’t working for me, I re-evaluate what I’ve made. I take a look at what strategies have previously worked best and try to focus on those. It’s a constant learning process though.

Talk us through your creative process

I haven’t used traditional mediums in a long time. For me it’s more about whatever you can use to get the final piece achieved and out there. A few years ago, I would think about colour choices, using basic art principles learned from high school. More recently, that’s gone out the door and I tend to work with the colours that are offered in the photographs I’m working with, basing the lighting and shadows off of those.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

The most memorable ones are “WTF?!”, and “I can’t believe people actually buy your ****!”, etc.

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit your couldn’t live without?

Has to be Photoshop.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

I wish I could go back a few years and tell myself which designs were worth making. I made thousands of designs which never really took off, which seemed to be a huge waste of time. But I’m fortunate enough now to have built something which can sustain me thankfully.

How did you feel when you first saw your work published in the Momentful app?

I laughed as I thought the animations were amazing! It made my day.

Which is your favourite Moment of yours that’s available in app?

So far, the one with singing llamas, “Fleece Navidad”.


Explore Moments from James Booker by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android. James is represented by Tate Licensing.

7 ways to beat artist’s block

Creativity does wonders for your mental health. So, it’s no wonder that when you wake up in the morning and sit down to work and the creativity isn’t there, the spiral of self-doubt begins. Perhaps the words just aren’t coming… visually something is missing… or maybe you can’t put your finger on exactly what’s wrong.

But don’t worry, it’s normal – it happens to us all. If you’re looking for ways to get out of your creative rut, why not try out some of our different ways to find inspiration and see what works for you?

Change Your Environment

One of the easiest changes to make when you’re feeling uninspired is to change your physical environment. For many of us, lockdown might restrict our options. However, changing your environment can be as easy as moving into a different room, setting up your desk in front of a window – or even putting on some music and lighting a candle. Just don’t leave it unattended 😉

Try Something New

If you find that you’re hitting a creative roadblock, now might be the time to pursue a new hobby. From experimenting with different recipes in the kitchen to writing a short story – or trying out watercolours instead of acrylics. Have a go at something you wouldn’t consider yourself to be a ‘pro’ at. By putting yourself out there you’ll not only give yourself a break from your usual practice, but you’ll probably find that you unleash more creativity in another area.

Listen to a Podcast

Podcasts became an ally for many last year, which saw 2020 crowned as the ‘golden age of podcasts’. You can find one for almost anything these days so it can be hard to know where to start – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! A few of our favourite creative and art-based podcasts: include Artcurious, 99% Invisible, Raw Material, and Talk Art

Collaborate

How many times has a problem been solved simply by talking it through? The same goes for creative blocks. Sometimes the energy that other people bring to a conversation can have a really positive impact. Asking your social media followers for thoughts, feedback or even suggestions is a great way to kick start a conversation!

Start a Moodboard

Start collecting as many ideas as you possibly can! Perhaps it’ll take shape in a Pinterest board, or magazine cut outs – but before you know it, you’ll be flooded with inspiration and ideas again.

Pen and Paper at the Ready

Keeping an notebook close to jot down ideas is a great way to be creative throughout your daily life. You can fill it with quotes, doodles, or even a paragraph about what you did that day. The important thing to remember is to not overthink it. Let your mind wander… and play.

Don’t Force It

Whilst there are lots of things you can try, forcing yourself to be creative shouldn’t be one of them. The last thing you want is to try harder and for the ideas to become flatter and flatter. Sometimes, the best thing to do is step away for a bit. Everyone needs a break now and again. So, take the time to relax, enjoy yourself and come back later. Time away might be exactly what you need in order to be restored and inspired.

Image credit: Happy Fluff Comics