Categorie: Creative life

10 tips for kickstarting your illustrated journal

Drawing the things from your daily life is a playful way to keep an illustrated journal. You’ll be amazed by how easily you fill up blank pages with your doodles and drawings once you’ve started. The creative process makes you become more conscious and aware of the choices you make in your life. You’ll be surprised how your own story and purpose unfolds.

Keeping an illustrated journal changed my life. I reclaimed my creative self and became more connected to myself than ever before. Drawing makes my heart happy. It makes me be. It makes me believe in my dreams again.

Laurien BaartMay these 10 tips for kickstarting your illustrated journal be help you to reclaim your creative self. Please never forget that your heart has what it takes!

Love, Lau

Shopping first.

Plan some me-time to visit a local art supply shop. Your intention of making space in your life for your creativity is worth a celebration. Going to a shop also has the advantage that you can feel and test the materials. On top of that you can get advice from experts. I created a yummy ‘Art Buffet’ on Pinterest where you find delicious art supplies.

Yes, I want to be inspired by this Pinterest Board.

Do this to your budget.

I encourage you to start low-budget when you’re getting your new art supplies for your illustrated journal. Don’t get me wrong, you deserve quality stuff but consider this: you’re starting. Keep it light and playful! Also, you won’t feel guilty if you don’t use them every day. If you get hooked you can always treat yourself with another trip to the art supply shop.


Start small and dream big.

Get yourself a small sketchbook to begin with. Go for a journal that’s passport size for example. When the pages are smaller it’s easier to fill them up. Look for a sketchbook with blank pages, preferably thick paper so that it works well with watercolour. Again, it totally depends on your budget which one to go with.

Keeping it light is key.

Get a small watercolour set that fits in your bag. I personally like the ‘Van Gogh’ watercolour set of 12. It’s not as expensive as a professional brand like Winston & Newton for example but the quality’s sufficient. You can always buy refills or choose new colours for it.

Laurien Baart illustrated journal

Get yourself a water brush pen my friend!

These pens are fabulous because they have water inside so you can draw everywhere. I prefer the Pentel water brush above the other brands that are on the market.

Go for waterproof ink.

Try a couple of different waterproof (black) pens. It’s very personal which one you prefer so you’ll have to test them first. Next, choose the one that works best for you. I write waterproof here because when your pen isn’t, the ink will run when you apply watercolour on it.

Creative retreat

Skip sketching with a pencil in you illustrated journal.

Instead of sketching with a pencil first, just start drawing with pen. I know this is scary! But keep calm and carry on, it’s just pen and paper. Give yourself permission to play and make mistakes. Learn from them as you go. Oh, and don’t forget to giggle.

Feel inspired.

Look around you for inspiration. Everything, and I mean everything, becomes interesting when you draw it. On the internet you’ll find tons of inspirational quotes, journal prompts, tutorials and challenges. If you really want to treat yourself on an online creative adventure you might be interested in one of the courses provided by  sketchbook skool. Let your curiosity guide you and try different things. See what you enjoy, amaze yourself!


Laurien Baart

If you feel inspired and you’d like to join a creative retreat in the Netherlands or San Sebastián please sign up for the creative retreat newsletter. Click on the link below:

Yay, keep me posted about upcoming creative retreats!

Go for it!

To draw or not to draw? Well, not drawing is losing out. I mean it’s always better to just give it a try.

Keep going and spread the love.

You’re amazing! You’re making art and you’re having fun. By reclaiming your creativity you become more of your whole beautiful self. Your heart has what it takes. Live by it!

You might be looking for a new notebook. Or you’d like to surprise a friend and encourage her to make art in an illustrated journal and reclaim her creative self.

Click on the link below to check LAU’s notebook collection:


Yes, take me to L A U’s  (he) A R T   S H O P



Map of Labour Land


¨When we consciously adventure into the landscape of birth, we learn to be present and we discover more about our role on this planet.¨ -Laurien Baart

Come, and adventure with me; Welcome to ‘Labour land’. This map is an invitation to explore the journey of giving birth and figuring out how you want to bring your baby into this world. A drawing for a journey of exploration which helps you to prepare, and become more conscious about the choices you make. A guide to give birth in a way that is aligned with your values and your heart. A free and loving birth.

Bringing ‘Labour Land’ into form happened while I was doing the visualisation practice ‘explore the landscape of your business’ of the course Become Your Own Business Advisor of Hiro Boga. The landscape of ‘the Wild and Free Society’ by Lou Niestadt also inspired me to create this map.

May the ‘Map of Labour Land’ remind you that you carry this awesome natural creative power of your female body. It’s my deepest wish that it empowers you to reclaim your inner knowing and wisdom of your body. So that you can bring your love, creativity and power into the world, to form it with your presence, your heART and your stories. More than anything, I want this for myself and my children; I want it for all of you; I want it for mother Earth.

With love,

Laurien Baart


P.S. If you feel that the ‘Map of Labour Land’ would serve your sisters, daughters, mothers, cousins, friends, community, midwives, doulas, (yoga) teachers, nurses and doctors, please share it with them.

Help, my creative project feels too big. Now what?

Does your creative project feel too big for you? It’s probably because it IS too big for you to hold, right now. If this would be the reason not to embark on your creative journey; wait!

With these 3 steps you’ll make space for it in a way that feels authentic and right for you in this moment. You and your project will become friends even when it feels like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Creating makes you more human, because it’s exciting to create something that didn’t exist before you brought it into this world. It doesn’t matter how small or big your creation is.

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Papercranes 2




You make YOUR art because it grows you as a human being. There are zero guarantees of fame, status, prosperity or understanding. You create because you must. You want to make art because you’re in love with making, even when it challenges you.

Here are 3 steps to help you get started:

Step 1: Start exploring. 

Your project calls on your heart to explore even when you have no idea where it’s taking you. Trust that your creative project has a vision that’s aligned with your gifts, challenges, desires and needs.

Step 2: Make a plan.

I know, this sounds as simple as it is. Simplify your project and cut it down into little chunks ( write for 10-minutes a day for example). My mantra is ¨poco a poco¨. Step by step. So start with one and than the next and so on.

Step 3: Get support.

Get clear on who your allies are and get them involved. Ask them to support you.


Yay, well done you! Remember to celebrate each and every step as creating takes you closer to your heart and soul.

Laurien Baart

P.S. Never forget that your heART has what it takes!

7 questions for a heart-centered life and business.

You might feel that some things in your life or in your business aren’t serving you any longer. But you can’t quite put your finger on it. Perhaps you’re feeling tired and not good enough. 

This happened to me and I realized it was because of certain words that I’d been using quite often. Words are powerful and some of these’d become my mindset. A mindset however, can trick you if it’s not aligned with your heart.  

This insight and these 7 questions helped me to connect with my heart again.

Laurien Baart
Laurien Baart
heARTcentered 1


What do I value the most? Am I true to it?


How can I be kinder to myself?


When I listen to my heart, what does it say?

Play more:

When do I feel most alive?


Which expectations am I willing to release?


Where can I show more of my truth right now?

Go home:

What are my instincts trying to tell me?

May your answers bring you closer to your heart. Please don’t forget that your heart has what it takes!

Laurien Baart

P.S. Check in with your heart every day. Take a moment to connect and listen!


Plant-based happiness


How to feel great? Eat rainbow foods and you’ll SHINE my friend!

I believe that to reclaim our creative side we also have to consciously nurture our mind, body and soul. This is key to be happy and aligned with who we truly are and to live from our hearts. 


That’s why we’re creating an ebook for you to pass on what we’ve learned.

We’d love you to have lots of awesome positive energy that you need to achieve all those amazing things you want to do in your life!

If you’re interested in how to thrive on a plant-based diet we invite you to subscribe to Lau’s mailinglist and to follow plant-based with Grace for inspiration.


Laurien Baart


Together with my friend and health coach Grace Chinn we’re spreading the plant-based message. From our experiences, we truly believe that focussing on eating more plants is a powerful catalyst to leading a happy and wholesome life.


Can’t wait for the book to add some green happiness to your kitchen? Grab here your LAU notebook for your best green recipes!

Veggie cuts by Lau


Ten ways for busy people to add more creativity to everyday life.

First of all, give yourself permission to be creative. Your creativity deserves priority. On a very busy day you can still do the minimum. However, promise yourself that you don’t go to bed without doing something creative. Even if its organizing your books on a shelf by colour or sharpening some pencils. 

2. Make little drawings in your notebook. Especially during busy periods it’s very satisfying. One little drawing isn’t that impressive but when there are 30 little ones on 1 page it looks great! A tiny drawing, let’s say 3 by 3 cm, takes a couple of minutes to draw so there’s no excuse.

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6. Learn to love the process. Try to stay present and allow yourself enjoy the creative process. Don’t focus on the result, embrace imperfections and always go for progress.

7. Give yourself some time. You don’t have to finish your project today or tomorrow. You have time. It’s totally okay to let it be for a time. No sweat honey!

8. Create a nice space for yourself where you feel comfortable working on your projects. This doesn’t have to be an entire room, it can also be a desk in the corner of your bedroom. As long as it’s a sacred space for you. Light a candle and add some essential oils to create me-time. 


sorry but Im busy social media 2

3. Handletter your shoppinglists or draw something in your little one’s home to school communication notebook. You’re writing this anyway so why not enjoying it?!

4. If you’re into drawing: small sketchbooks are the best! Passport size works just fine because it takes less time to fill a page than a bigger size sketchbook. I personally love the Moleskine watercolour pocket albums and the Midori passport size refill notebooks (012 Sketch paper).

5. Creativity’s not just drawing or painting. It can be anything from baking a cake to decorating a room to take nice photos. If you do one of your favourite creative things mindfully, even if it’s 5 minutes a day, you’ll feel more content and fulfilled.

Ohm baby by Lau

9. Prioritize play! Some things can wait, like the laundry or a dusty shelf. When you sit and create something first and then do the chores, you’ll do them with a lighter heart and you’ll see that you finish them in no-time. We often put so much energy in procrastinating or complaining. Use that energy for creating something instead!

Last but not least: follow curiosity! This makes you feel engaged and alive. When curiosity guides, you’re always inspired and say the word ‘WOW’ many times a day. There are so many new things to discover and learn and internet’s great way to find out anything. When you wonder about how something was made, how it works grows or happens you’ll have plenty of things to discover.

Celebrating creativity


Do you ever speak about your creative projects with others? Wouldn’t it be nice to speak positively with others about the value of our creative sides?

When it comes to our creations we tend to say ¨Oh you know, it’s not that good.¨ ¨Oh, it’s so easy to do, everybody can do that.¨ ¨Oh I know a person who’s REALLY good at this.¨ 

I know that I say these things because I grew up with the idea that drawing and making art is just a hobby. However, on my current route to find my truth I wonder: what if my (he)ART could support my life? 

I believe that everybody deserves to be encouraged in the direction of their own creative dreams. When we respect creativity in ourselves and in others we celebrate life to the fullest.

Creativity opens doors to happiness, joy, open minds and playfulness!

We all have our own beliefs about creativity and artists. With saying things casually like: ¨Oh, I’m not so artistic¨ to our friends or children we fall into a trap. Because when we say things like this we tell others that there’s a thing as ¨not being creative¨. Which is far from the truth.

YOU are creative, you’ve always been. 

Being conscious about the words you choose when you talk about artists and creativity is a constructive way. You’ll cultivate optimism, an open mind, playfulness and tons of fun. This is the reason why I organize creative retreats and the ‘mama heART café’ with all my enthusiasm and love.

Let me know if you’d like to celebrate your creative side with me! 

Laurien Baart


Why going on a solo surf trip was the best thing I did for my business.

I’m running my own business from home and have a 15-month-old toddler. I’m organizing retreats in San Sebastián that weren’t selling. I was wondering why? I realized that I was craving exactly what I was offering. I needed a break. Some sunshine. Vitamin sea. Surfing. Good food.

It was a big thing for me to leave my family for five days. I do not take it for granted that my husband supported my desire and took time off from work to care of our son. I do not take it for granted that other women joined my (virtual) creative retreat. I have deep respect for you.


joy 1

Self-care is a struggle for many women. Guilt often kicks in as soon as we want to do something that is just for ourselves. Just because we want to relax, let go and have fun. ¨What am I thinking? No way! I don’t have the support I need.¨ is what our inner saboteurs tell us. And there’s always work to do or someone that needs our attention. Especially when you’re a starting female entrepreneur who has a family. Like me.

How on earth was I going to sell retreats when I wasn’t giving myself the retreat I needed? So here’s what I did: I booked a solo surf trip to Morocco. And I organized a free virtual creative retreat for people that wanted to learn how to reclaim their creative side and learn how to live more from their heARTs.


As an entrepreneur and mom you’re not only responsible for your family and business, but you’re also an example to your loved ones. Your kids, your partner, your friends and your clients. What do you show them when you’re not taking care of yourself? How can you show your loved ones that they’re worth the best, when you’re not giving it to yourself?

I enjoyed life to the fullest when I was in Morocco. I felt my whole body, mind and soul relaxing. I felt nourished by the fresh and delicious meals. I made new friends. I felt refreshed by the ocean. I could let go while practicing yoga. Surfing made me feel alive and connected to mother Earth again. I drew in my sketchbook while the sun was setting and the gorgeous colours of the scenery made me realize that I’m very lucky to be alive. I felt inspired, but most of all I felt freedom & joy.

Because of this experience I feel more passionate than I’ve ever been to continue with my projects. With a grateful heart and sparkling eyes, I’ll follow my inner compass. It tells me to keep going no matter what happens. I know that I won’t give up and I feel so grateful for everything that I’ve learned so far on my creative journey. Progress is always better than perfection, and not trying is losing out.

I’m sharing this with you because my journey can be an example to you. I hope that it inspires to follow your own inner compass. You live NOW and how you’d like to create space for you and your desires is up to you. I hope you realize that you can do so much more than you think. Your heART has what it takes. Live by it!

What’s the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself or for your business? 

With all my love, Lau


I’m running my own business from home and have a 15-month-old toddler. I’m organizing retreats in San Sebastián that weren’t selling. I was wondering why? I realized that I was craving exactly what I was offering. I needed a break. Some sunshine. Vitamin sea. Surfing. Good food.

It was a big thing for me to leave my family for five days. I do not take it for granted that my husband supported my desire and took time off from work to care of our son. I do not take it for granted that other women joined my (virtual) creative retreat. I have deep respect for you.


joy 1