Free Floral Valentine 2019 Printable

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the series of mini floral paintings I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks. If you haven’t seen them, here is the full set…

They were all done with acrylic paint and are the size of a trading card (2.5 x 3.5 inches). I made them this size because I thought they would be fun to give them away as little Valentine cards, similar to the ones I would give out at my elementary school class parties. I’m a sucker for just about any holiday—I love them! As a young girl, I was always excited to celebrate in school. For Valentine’s Day, I remember decorating a cute little box each year and going around to drop off cards to my classmates. Back then, mine probably had Disney princesses or something like that. These hand-painted ones will be a little more special, haha, and I’ll be sending them to some family and friends.

I didn’t want to keep the fun all to myself, though. I created some printable cards from my paintings to share with you all! Access the file from Google Drive at THIS LINK or click on either image below.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Finding Time for Creative Pursuits

Ah, vacation.

This past month, I was able to drive across the country to New Hampshire to visit family for a few weeks. Even the long drive with two little ones was non-stressful and fun. Although I did end up taking work with me (oh, the life of a freelancer—gotta love it) I still got to spend a lot of time with my family, reunite with loved ones I don't see often, and take in the beautiful spring scenery of the New England area, which I consider home. It was a much-needed pick-me-up for my soul.

It's been a bit of a struggle lately as far as my creative output. Work is doing well enough, which is great, but with that comes less time to work on personal stuff. There are several professional goals I've been working toward this year as far as building my portfolio and building my career as an artist. While I've had some successes, I also feel like I've come to a halt. It isn't so much a lack of motivation (as in the past) but it is now more due to a lack of TIME.

Here are a few things that have helped me to make time to create:

1. Draw, write, make... (whatever you do) every day.

Even if it's just for a few minutes. Even if you think it's trash. Perhaps allot a specific time each day, such as before you start work or before you go to bed. It's all about developing habits and creating output. Nothing will happen unless you DO. Creating on a regular basis is the only way you will produce work, hone your skills, and develop your unique style.

2. Learn to let go and get help!

As a freelancer and stay-at-home mom, I often just have too many things on my plate. It doesn't help that I am also a bit of a control freak and overachiever. I want to do everything and I want to get it done ASAP. I really need to learn to step back and let things go sometimes. Not everything needs to be done immediately or done perfectly or done by me. Or even done at all (I'm talking things like cooking dinner—not client work, haha. Yes, my family probably eats out more than we should, but I get more done!) This past month was actually the first time since I started freelancing that I enlisted other people to help me with some of the tasks that were sucking up my time. It was hard to let someone else help me, but in the end, it was a lifesaver. Work smarter, not harder, right?

3. Create a calendar

Write down your goals so you know where you want to be a month, 6 months, a year, and/or 5 years from now. Divide your goals into smaller tasks and map out those tasks onto a calendar so you have a path to where you want to end up. It might not always go exactly to plan, but it is a good starting point and something you can reference now and again.

Now, I am definitely not the greatest at following my own advice. But you can't beat yourself up over it. Just keep going!

Are you a busy artist as well? How do YOU find time to do what you love? I would love to hear from you!

Till next time.
Sincerely, Nicole

P.S. Here are the mandalas I created for my personal art project these past couple of months. Regrettably, I didn't end up doing very many, but hey, I was on vacation, ok? ;)



M is for...




February 2018 Project Results - Floral Patterns

Last day of February! I really enjoyed working on my floral patterns this month. I picked three of my favorites and created a mini collection of finished pieces.

Here are the original sketches. I united the three different ideas into one color palette, which is based on Pantone's Floral Fantasies theme.


And here are the final patterns, created as vector art in Illustrator.


Here are some alternate versions with simpler one and two color palettes.


Thanks for following along with me! It was nice to accomplish something for myself that I can now add to my portfolio. I'm loving my monthly personal project idea so far! Stay tuned for something new in March...

Sincerely, Nicole


Pantone - Ultra Violet

This Month's Theme is...COLOR

Beyond Basic Color Theory—Four Things More Important Than the Color Wheel

How I Find My Colors

The Pantone Color of the Year: Ultra Violet

This year's "Color of the Year" according to Pantone, a leading color resource for designers, is Ultra Violet (Pantone 18-3838). It is a blue-based purple hue that is inspired by the night sky.


Some of the words Pantone uses in association with Ultra Violet include:

  • complex
  • contemplative
  • cosmos
  • limitless
  • unconventional
  • experimentation
  • meditation
  • reflection

I would definitely encourage you to check out Pantone's full description on their website. Ultra Violet is definitely a color that can inspire me, given my preference for deep, vivid colors. I love how Pantone seeks to make it a symbol of unlimited possibilities. Definitely motivating for artists!

As I mentioned in my previous post, if you go to their website, Pantone offers some suggested color palettes that include Ultra Violet. I used a couple of these in some of my floral pattern sketches as part of my monthly project.


What do you think of Pantone's Color of the Year? Does it inspire you? Do you feel differently after reading Pantone's description? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Sincerely, Nicole


Pantone - Ultra Violet

This Month's Theme is...COLOR

Beyond Basic Color Theory—Four Things More Important Than the Color Wheel

How I Find My Colors


February 2018 Floral Patterns, Part 1

Well, I'm halfway through the month of February, and so far I've managed to take time to sketch a floral pattern every day. (Read more about my project here.) If you're not following along on Instagram, here is a summary of what I've done up to this point.

What do you think? Do you have any favorites? Please, let me know!

Sincerely, Nicole


This Month's Theme is . . . COLOR

@nicolejonessturk on Instagram