Whether you’re hosting a paint and sip with your friends or designing your own jewellery, art projects are a perfect group or solo pastime (not to mention the proven mental health benefits like elevating your mood). If you’re looking to carve out some quality time, a creative outlet might be just the ticket. To help you get started, follow the advice from these artists who used Born art supplies to create four different DIY art projects.

Shuh Lee’s Art Project: Polymer Clay Earrings

A GIF series of Shuh Lee making her polymer clay earrings, which feature flowers, branches and leaves using green, pink, red, yellow and brown clay.

Colourful, hands on and endless potential: these are just a few of the reasons Melbourne-based artist Shuh Lee loved creating this multicoloured pair of polymer clay earrings. “I love the vibrancy of the clay and using my hands to create shapes. It was really fun trying to work out, 'Should I create a branch or should I have a leaf here?',” says Shuh.

It’s important to be patient when you’re working with polymer clay. “Embrace your trials and errors,” says Shuh. “Enjoy the process and take time to develop your artistic ideas and embrace your mistakes. I think this is the nature of being creative.” 

The first step is to sketch your project first in order to fine-tune your designs. “I sketch my initial ideas and thoughts, and often it leads to products that I'll actually eventually create,” says Shuh. “I find sketching is really valuable because I can see my work progressing from there, too.”

Creative Advice from Shuh

If you find yourself in a creative rut, Shuh suggests stepping away from your project. “Take a break and do something different,” she says. “Go for a walk or a swim or cook a nice meal; just simple things just to get away from the table. Sometimes by letting go and just relaxing, I find myself thinking from a new angle.”

What to Try: 

SEE ALSO: Sketching 101: What to Add to Your Beginner Drawing Set

Kat Tillman’s Art Project: Watercolour Drawing

A GIF series of Kat Tillman creating her watercolour drawing of a beach setting with lots of brightly coloured plants and trees. ‍

Visual artist Kat Tillman doesn’t have to go far to feel inspired: the sublime Surf Coast of Victoria is right outside her door in Torquay. Her vibrant artwork is inspired by her nostalgia for past summer days spent at the beach or walking bush trails. 

Kat says it’s important to be “curious and playful” when learning a new artistic medium. Though well versed in using acrylic paints, Kat swapped her paintbrush for watercolour pencils to challenge herself to think outside the box. “It didn't come as naturally as I’m used to, but for me art is about experimenting and trying different things,” she says. “The main thing is to let go of expectations and act like a bit of a child. Have fun and then you'll always surprise yourself.”

Kat’s Top Tip

Ready to take a dive into some watercolour drawing? Kat says planning is your first step. “Watercolours are a lot less forgiving; once you've put it on the page, you can’t paint over the top easily,” she says. “I enjoyed the process of mapping things out and being more thoughtful in the process.”

What to Try: 

SEE ALSO: How to Create a Watercolour Painting of Your House

Sharya Wickramesooriya’s Art Project: Acrylic Painting 

A GIF series of Sharya Wickramesooriya creating her acrylic painting of two black women in a pink and green jungle setting. 

Melbourne-based artist Sharya Wickramesooriya uses her art projects as an avenue to reflect on her emotions and experiences. “I’m always going outside looking for inspiration,” she says. “I take myself on little walks and have curiosity about what I would see or what I would find, making it a point to see how these experiences make me feel.” 

Sharya encourages any budding artist to dabble in many different mediums. “My favourite part of making [this piece] was using so many different kinds of supplies,” she says. “There’s acrylic paint but there’s also oil pastels, markers, pencils; everything is in there. It just made the whole process very fun and experimental.” 

Whatever your creative pursuits, Sharya says it’s important to have fun. “I feel like life is so serious and hard, so don’t make art like that, too,” she says. “If you're having fun and making art that feels like you and true to you, I think that's really all that matters.”

Sharya’s Top Tip

Sharya’s number one staple is a nice set of coloured pencils. “That's how every single idea starts. I can’t begin to think of any other steps to create the finished piece without having that initial sketch with a coloured pencil,” says Sharya.

What to Try: 

SEE ALSO: How to Pick Up a Creative Hobby: Three Artisans Show You How

Kitiya Palaskas’ Art Project: DIY Tablescape

A GIF series of Kitiya Palaskas creating her DIY decor – a table runner, round place mats, vase and wall decorations, which all have bright, bold flowers painted on them.

Hosting a successful dinner party is an art in itself – and the decor is just as important as the menu. Add a personal touch to your next event by creating your own DIY party decor. Melbourne-based designer and crafter Kitiya Palaskas creates a multi-part art project using paint, plywood and paper that covers everything from place settings for your guests to a table runner and garland for a wow-factor.

Kitiya was inspired by “sixties floral and plant patterns” for this particular set, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to finding inspiration. “I’m really inspired by seeing folk art from other countries or nostalgic, tacky ephemera you might find in an op shop. Anything that tells a story,” she says.

She recommends creating cohesion in your tablescape by repeating your chosen pattern or element throughout each piece. “You'll see similar shapes in the placemats and then again in the floral garlands and again in the little place tags,” she says. “I picked some bold, simple silhouettes and then repeated them in many different colour combinations.”

Creative Advice from Kitiya

If you’re a hosting newbie, you can still elevate your next event without biting off more than you can chew. “Pick a few different elements to make the feature of your table,” says Kitiya. “Just pick what’s really important to the event and then your projects will kind of fall into place from there.” 

What to Try: 

SEE ALSO: 5 Australian Artists to Inspire Your Creative Journey