Creative Routines with Mashell Ewing

Hello there! My name is Mashell Ewing but a lot of people know me as Holland Loop - the maker of colorful abstracts and patterns.

I’m a part-time artist and full-time freelance graphic designer where I help small businesses with branding and marketing.

I live and work in Berkeley, CA with my partner of ten years and our two cats, Penelope and Racer.

While I haven’t completely nailed down my daily routine, as a freelancer and artist I had to get much better at scheduling out my time in order to stay on top of due dates. This is the routine that’s worked for me the best:

7.30 am

I get up!

I take this time to brush my teeth, put on my contacts and get dressed. Often it’s yoga pants and a top but I found that putting on an actual outfit helps me get into work mode better.

8.15 am

I drop of my partner at BART (our public transit system here in the Bay Area).

Then I either drive to my studio or home office. I usually alternate where I work each day to switch things up.

9 am

I make a pot of coffee, grab some oatmeal or a green smoothie and make a list of everything I need to accomplish work wise for the day.

I used to read and respond to emails during this time but I found that doing my creative work in the morning before emails allowing me to be much more productive.

Mashell Ewing
Mashell Ewing

9 am - 11.30 am

I use this time solely for creative design work time. Woo hoo!

I try to get up, stretch and take a 10-minute break every so often.

I love listening to tranquil music or podcasts while I work. I’m logged out of all social media accounts which helps me focus on work tasks.

11.30 am

Finally ,I check and respond to emails!

12 pm

I try my best to head out to my favorite noontime yoga class at least every other day so I come back feeling refreshed for the rest of my work time.

If I can’t I fit in yoga, I’ll take a walk around the neighborhood.

1 pm

I grab lunch and head back to my desk to answer any new emails. Then I try my best to work up until 3.30pm.

3.30 pm

I usually do some of my artwork.

At home I have an art table, so if I’m not working in my art studio I have somewhere to create and come back to it.

I’ll lay down some paint, take 15-minute walk and come back to painting.

Some days I might only have 15 to 30 minutes to create and even though it’s not a lot of time I feel like it can be pretty meditative and worth it in the end.

Mashell Ewing 100 day reflection
Mashell Ewing 100 day reflection

4.30 pm

I usually come back and check any emails, prepare for the next day and make sure I’m up to date on my content calendar.

Anything I didn’t accomplish I move and reschedule for another day.

5.30 pm

I either run the to the grocery store or start prepping dinner. I love to cook!

If I have time, I’ll go back to painting or creating in whatever way I want. I love doodling on my iPad these days!

7 pm

Dinner time!

8.30 pm

I try to start getting into bed mode around 8 pm with sleepy time tea, aromatherapy, meditation music and by turning off all electronics.

After I shower and get ready for bed I usually journal about my day and what I’m grateful for.

10 pm

By this time I’m *hopefully* asleep!

Advice for other makers: This has taken me a while to learn but start scheduling out your time as soon as possible.

If you want to create or start a side project start out by devoting just 15 minutes a day to it and schedule it! Yoga? Meditation? Schedule that too!

I use google calendar but even a paper calendar works. I did an abstract a day for 100 days and I completed most of them under 30 minutes with the help of a blow dryer. I didn’t have a ton of time to devote to painting, but I knew I wanted to start creating more so I only gave myself 30 minutes a day.

Check out Michelle's work at Holland Loop or say hello on Instagram.

Maker Academy Creative Routines with Mashell Ewing. If you’re a creative entrepreneur, blogger, business owner you’re not going to want to miss this article. Click to read!

Maker Academy Creative Routines with Mashell Ewing. If you’re a creative entrepreneur, blogger, business owner you’re not going to want to miss this article. Click to read!