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  • Writer's pictureRim


Updated: Feb 28, 2020


It is now the third week of recommended home confinement here in Shanghai. Despite all efforts to stay positive and make the most of our staycation, let's talk about the elephant in the room:  IT HAS NOT BEEN EASY!

Who could have foreseen this situation! Only a few weeks earlier, we were all welcoming 2020 cheerfully; I mean, it was going to be a new decade, filled with hopes and new beginnings!

Trying to maintain a Flower Power mood!


"Denial ain't a river in Egypt" - Mark Twain

Well, that's a new beginning alright! Albeit not one we could have wished for! Anxiety, hope are all emotions succeeding each other these days. I must confess to having experienced them all at the same time.

Here I was, early January, all cheerful and full of “anything is possible” energy, ready to “kick arse”… When all of a sudden, poof, the coronavirus happened!

Most of my plans seemed to be falling apart. Like many other small business owners, I felt this would be a hard blow, one that I may not be able to overcome. I was scared. Feeling utterly powerless, as if I had been thrown down the bottom of a well. All sorts of questions came to my mind: does it mean that my life in China has come to an end, will people still care about art and creativity? does it mean I can not make art here anymore?

However, isn't it often in times of hardship than one is pushed to make deep reflection on oneself and change? For change is always uncomfortable, and we're seldom prepared for it.

Whenever feeling a sense of loss, an identity crisis, uncertainty about your place, it's time to address the negative narratives in your life.

And so, when feeling my mood swings are coming stronger than usual, I know it is time to get grounded and re-centred.

"The best antidote to negative thinking is creative doing" - Chase Jarvis

Doodle by Rim Studio


This is a situation you were totally unprepared for and you may not understand how it will benefit you in the moment.

Do not fight it, ride it out and see where it leads. You cannot change it, accept there are things you cannot change. Surrender to it and use the time to reflect on your story. Things will flourish again.

Make use of this “resting” time to allow your dreams to arise. After all, you are a human being, not a human doing.

Are you suffering from workaholism, or perfectionism? Do you feel the need to go, go, go until you can barely think straight? I must confess: guilty as charged!

Don't let your ego keep you going full speed when your body and spirit need rest. In order to be creative, one's mind need some rest.

You will feel like a new person if you take that opportunity to reset.

This is how my work schedule looked like before the outbreak / artwork by Rim Studio

I see this situation as a crossroad: the moment to reflect on the past, on what really matters to us and what story we want to write about ourselves.

Will you further your dreams? Will you take the road less travelled or the one conditioned by others?

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - Eleanor Roosevelt

2020 marks a new beginning indeed a time to tell our story based in truth and authenticity. The outbreak has revealed a deep need for change, evolution, bettering of our circumstances.

Life is precious, and we can all make a positive impact. Even a small step is beneficial. We do what we can, at our own scale. By turning sad events into positive experiences. By creating our story, by helping each other to do so, one step at a time. I truly believe that.


artwork by Rim Studio

While carving out time to reflect on your dreams, be very clear about why you're doing this.

"When you create art, the world has to wait." - Will Smith

Knowing your why is the key to your success in achieving your dreams.

Motives define the nature of your experience, they drive intention.


Now is the time to address the cracks in the foundation of your life. Perhaps your values have changed and it's time to strengthen your convictions and let go of things that no longer serve the vision of your life. Who do you need to become in order to give life to your dreams?

For at the end of the day, we are all artists, creators of our lives.

Two of my favourite tools to stimulate my creativity and get clear on my dreams are vision boards and journaling.

Journaling helps to activate your right brain and get those creative juices flowing. By getting clear on what you truly want, you have a better chance to being aligned with your true desires. By drawing a plan on how to achieve your goals, and putting it all in writing, you are more likely to act upon them.

While going through the journal prompts, answer honestly and from the heart.



This is a very popular literary game in France, that we often play as kids.

It's a game stimulating creativity, by allowing to detect some aspects of someone's personality through analogy.


Uncover your desires, honour all the things you love and take action.

Using your answers to the journal prompts above, find pictures that represent or symbolise the experiences and feelings you want to attract into your life in 2020, and place them in your board. Have fun with the process!

Use photographs, magazine cut-outs, pictures from the Internet, whatever inspires you. Be creative. Include not only pictures, but anything that speaks to you. Don't spend too much time selecting images, pick those that immediately make you say: "Yes, this is something I want in my life". Focus on the emotions you feel when looking at these pictures.

I would recommend to add words that are meaningful to you, I find it helps crystallise the emotions.


What I learnt from being a broke art student many years ago: you can create with whatever you have at hands.

In my case, my desire to build my business sprung from a deep need to creating beauty and giving joy to others.

At the end of the day, no matter what happens, I can still create, and make things, and spread joy, with whatever tools available at the present moment.

graphic by Rim Studio, inspired by The Artist's Way

The need to create is bigger than everything. Design, Style, Art, are my way to tell stories, to express myself, to help others finding their stories and telling it.

What about all my plans for my business? Instead of organising in-person workshops, I will do them through an online format. I will find a way to make them as personable and fun online as in-person.

I had the idea of creating online training in mind, but I had put it on standby for the moment, not wishing to step out too quickly out of my comfort zone. And as for my artworks, I am in the process of setting up an online shop as well.

I am now grateful that I have the opportunity to challenge myself on that actually!


"If you have a dream, fight for it. There's a discipline for passion. And it's not about how many times you get rejected, or you fall down, or you're beaten up. It's about how many times you stand up, and are brave, and you keep on going. " - Lady Gaga

If change is making you nervous, trust the process as you become awakened to the vibrant new possibilities that life has to offer.

Discipline and consistency will help you there, without them, your dreams will remain just dreams. Truth be told, as much as the rebel hates to say it, discipline is key!

By getting clear on what you truly want, you have a better chance to being aligned with your true desires. By drawing a plan on how to achieve your goals, and putting it all in writing, you are more likely to act upon them.

According to what your vision board and creative exercises reveal, set clear and detailed goals for the year to come.

Break down these goals into small tasks, and build your discipline muscle bit by bit, by showing up consistently.

graphic by Rim Studio, inspired by The Artist's Way


It’s tough to motivate oneself all the time, and when no one is checking, it’s easy to let things go… out of control!

Make sure to look up to your vision board often: it is here to guide you and to help you making sure that every action you take is in accordance with what you put into it.

Find an accountability partner, or even better, put the word out there and share your journey with other like-minded people. That’s the beauty of social media.

Setting up the 30 days’ creativity challenge has been great in ensuring I carve time every day to a purely creative endeavour, just for fun, for myself, without expectation, while sharing with our community.

How will you make 2020 a positive, creative year despite it all?

artwork by Rim Studio

I'm passionate about sharing my experience in the world of design and creativity, and share how we can apply it to everyday life, for more joy and more fun! I believe everyone can learn to express themselves creatively and generously through art, style, colours, textures, and the scenography of their daily life.

Let's continue the conversation on Instagram: @rimcreativestudio

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