Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers

september wildflowers

Hello everyone.

Today, we have Ruth Speer who creates the most wonderful art under the moniker of September Wildflowers.

Her work is just so beautiful and it’s impossible not to say, “Whoa! You painted that?!”

She also strikes me as a person who really loves what she does- and works hard at it. Also, she works with different media: pencils, oils, acrylics and watercolours-so there’s variety and exploration in both her work and journey as an artist.

There’s something striking and just kinda awesome about it all- read on to hear what Ruth has to say!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Ruth, and I’m an artist, learner and all-around creative dabbler who loves flowers, tea, being outside, books and listing off things I like.

What sparked your interest in art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I can remember! Really, I always knew I wanted to be something creative when I grew up.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?

I truly believe art can be found anywhere and everywhere, if one is only interested in discovering it. In a person’s freckles, or the way they take their coffee, or the combination of colors and textures in a building, or ivy creeping around a window, or even pretty words like “effusive” and “scintillating”. Finding beauty in the little things is a favorite lifestyle choice of mine.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

(photo by Ashley Rose Productions)

What is your general process while creating an art piece? 

I usually begin with an idea or several elements I want to put together. For example, I might think of bird wings and gold paint and brown paper and wistfulness and come up with the piece below. As I didn’t have any large pieces of brown paper, I found a paper bag and trimmed it. It’s now hanging in my friend’s living room!

The last example was a spontaneous project that I completed in a few hours, but typically, especially when working with oil paint on canvas (which is what I use for most portraits), I’m a very slow painter. It can take months to finish a piece as I add layers and ideas. It’s like embarking down a path you’ve marked out and going off-route every two steps to enjoy the scenery. Time-consuming and worthwhile!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

How do you balance running a creative business along with maintaining your natural creativity?

Remember why you started! I wanted to bring more beautiful, colorful, thoughtful things into the world, and every once in a while I have to remind myself of that fact. The logistics and business and marketing sides are fun, but it can become a distraction when all I need to do is sit down without a plan or strategy and just play with colors. Artists (myself included, obviously) can take themselves way too seriously – art can be serious and contemplative, but it’s also play.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

It actually depends on the medium and purpose!

Commissions, which I usually do with watercolors, take longer because I like to make sure the client loves the piece; and this requires a lot of back-and-forth emailing for different stages. It usually takes several weeks, or up to 2-3 months if I’m busy.

My own pieces, when I use watercolor, ink or pencil, take only a few hours. As I mentioned above, however, when I’m working with canvas it’s a different story! On average, oil portraits emerge over three to six months.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via


Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite ) piece of art you remember creating?

I have several favorites! One of them is this orange-haired lady. Last September, I was in Europe for two weeks, and in a little London art shop I bought a 6B graphite pencil. The day after I got back home, I sat down and drew this piece with my new pencil. I mostly remember the sunshine through the window and Edith Piaf playing in the background.

I’ve since lost the pencil, but the portrait is still hanging in my studio.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via


What do you do in your free time (when not drawing)?

I love music, reading, exploring and picnicking in the woods near my house, spending time with my wonderful friends and Jesus, and finding new coffee shops and book stores. I’m also a freshman Studio Arts major at George Fox University in Oregon!

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via


How did you create a more or less consistent style with which you draw?

Personally, I don’t think I’ve developed a totally consistent style yet – it’s still in flux a bit. But I do think having a consistent style all comes down to creating and drawing and making consistently. If you make one or two pieces of art a year, you won’t get very far with recognizing what you love to draw or make, which I think is the key element to developing your personal style.

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

On most weekdays I have several classes at my university, which, including homework, take up a lot of my time and energy (as they should – I love learning!) I try to get my assignments for coming weeks done fairly early, so that I can take time to paint and draw and not feel like I ought to be working on something else! It’s a bit ironic, as I’m going to school for art.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

What’s your outfit staple and flower and colour?

I love so many colors! I love pale periwinkle blue, deep orange and shades of green and rose. I love peonies and daphne. I like wearing dresses!


What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays?

People and their stories, always. I’ve been wanting to paint wings – bird wings and dragonfly wings and butterfly wings. I like the color violet. And I’ve been wanting to use metallic gold oil paint.


What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media  you use?

Vivid oil colors are always my favorite! I use Gamblin and Blick for the most part. I also use Schminke watercolors and have recently discovered the magical properties of gouache through my art classes.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

I love your colourful canvases and the precision with which you draw! Could you share any tips for aspiring artists who want to make original and distinctive drawings?

Why, thank you! I would still describe myself as an aspiring artist, so this advice is for myself as well: look at a lot of art and see what inspires you the most. What catches your eye about it? What makes you think “Dang, I want to run home and make something now!” Don’t try to replicate it in your personal style (though you can practice by recreating a particular style, and it’s really fun, and it helps add stylistic tools to your mental tool-box). Try to recognize what you love about other art (bright colors! Human subjects! Peaceful landscapes!) and see if that’s something you want to work with.

Most importantly; I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times more: make things. All the time. As much as possible. Make things you despise, make things that you come back and change, make color palettes and experiment with the same compositions, make a billion and one paintings and drawings and your style will reveal itself.

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

What do you think makes a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

Feeling happy about the end result is really a personal thing, and I think it depends on what the artist was originally setting out to do and whether they think they achieved that end goal, or even reached a different, better one. As an art student, I’ve been gaining wonderful insight into the technical part of what makes art look like a good art; but in the end, I always come back to this quote from Amanda Palmer: “You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.”

Art with Ruth of September Wildflowers - a creative interview via

A little insight about your name ‘September Wildflowers’?

I was born in September, and I love wildflowers! It’s pretty simple – I chose that username a lot time ago for something inconsequential, and it’s stuck with me ever since!

Thanks Ruth for sharing! You can find Ruth over at her instagram and on etsy.

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Book Reviews coming soon!

Book love <3

Just an update that I’m going to be starting book reviews, discussions about literature and more about the wonderful world of fiction! (and also a bit of fun non-fiction!) So excited to share this..stay tuned and keep in touch via my instagram @opinion9! -Aaria

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The Freelance Life 2: Yes, yes…or no?

yeah yeah yeah - The freelance life via Opinion9

The Freelance Life 2: Yes, yes…or no?

When it comes to saying yes to new creative chances, and work opportunities- this is usually what happens in my mind. (top image.)

I think of all the possibilities and at that moment..there’s no room in my head for a ‘no’. But unless it’s really worth my time and effort, it’s always a no, thank you.

I’m talking about people asking you for showcasing work, skills, getting an art project order, any sort of commitment that’s required from you. There are great opportunities to be found while freelancing.

But one thing to always remember is – you’re the boss.

-If you really like something and understand that it will help you in showcasing your work and it maintains the standard you have so carefully built, then consider it.

-If you’re on slightly shaky ground, take a few days to think it over.

-If there’s something particularly bothering you about the product, the work details, or anything remotely- then say a firm no. If it bothers you now, it’s going to bother you later too- if you continue working on a project and don’t appreciate the criteria it’s based upon.

Since I started my website Surely Simple and this one, I get a quite a lot of sponsor emails, and ‘amazing’ projects. I filter out most of it- and focus on only one thing: what do I want from myself and my work?

As a creative person working on your own- before you say ‘yes’ to any seemingly good opportunity that comes your way, it’s always best to consider the following:

– Have I worked/interacted with this person in the past? (if you have, you can understand their work ethic. If not, then it’s best to do your research and get all the details you need from the person.)

-Is the project genuine? Will my work be recognized accordingly and credited properly?

-If the other party is being purposely elusive and not answering your questions- big NO alert. Working with someone who’s not honest is a major no-no in my book.

-Is the person/party friendly and accommodating?

-Do I like the project? Do I have freedom to do whatever I like with it?

Extra: if you have already worked with the person, and they ask you for a continued project- consider :

1- how the past project benefited you and your learning

2- if they are asking for you to work with them again, they must appreciate your work. At this point, you can have the reassurance that your work is rightfully credited and valued.

3- are their conditions for deadlines, submissions acceptable and flexible?

Always think carefully before taking on new projects. Sometimes it’s not always about the project, it’s also about the person who’s alloting them. Both go hand in hand.

Freelancing is a tricky business that way, because it involves networking and great work- one without the other makes it very difficult to progress. Say yes to really good opportunities which will reward you well in the long run. Reserve saying yes and say no more often.

It’s your time and your effort on the line, always remember. And when you get a good opportunity, you’ll realize being selective is always the wiser option.

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Mood of the Month / October

Hello! You may have seen my September moodboard. Today, I’ve got not one, but two moodboards filled some glittery and vibrant October inspiration. It’s basically stuff that’s inspiring me at the moment.

October is such a fun month- you can feel change in the air. A lot of people associate October with a familiar comfort, even to some predictable boredom. I don’t.

October for me has always been bright, and not just about oranges, reds, leaves and pumpkins and other fall stuff. It’s so much more than just that- even though all that is lovely too. October has this unique feel to it- and here are my two moodboards that slightly capture October!

Hope you like it.

Mood of the month / October – Moodboard 1MOODBOARD oct 1

1- this breezy print makes me think of seaside trips, fading leaves and spring all at the same time.

2-awww to this.

3-this disco ball on the ice cream > cherry on top of cake/ice cream

4- these clean lines make me want to pick up the pen and doodle all over the page

5- this rad highlighter works in three ways- perfect for someone who likes variation without carrying too many highlighters/markers

6- sweet botanical paper clips. want.

7-oh yes to sans any font.

8-and this party is retro-cum-spring-summer-fall mixed into one.

Mood of the month / October – Moodboard 2

oct 2 moodboard

1- this illustration of the trends this year is a good thing to eyeball. (pun alert)

2- brush stroke lettering all the way. add to an image = oh yeah.

3- let’s all us girls wear sneakers with patterned skirts

4- i love, love these cookies embossed with doilies, lace and other pretty cloth patterns

5- oh my goodness, this lovely flower arrangement screams sophisticated fall season for me. The maroon red and blush pink elements with just a sheer pop of green = love it

6- these orange peonies remind me of pumpkins. Lol..not to say they aren’t beautiful, they are 🙂

7- yes yes to these quirky hairclips.

8- a sea of lavender mixed with colourful hues is not really about fall, but more about what I feel about the vibrance of fall.

9-and finally, let’s all make stuff and think deeply about things that actually matter to us. filter out what’s unnecessary.

And we’re done! Cheers to a great colourful and amazing October! -Aaria

(images compiled and October lettering done by me)

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The Freelance Life 1 : Looking beyond

The Freelance Life 1 via

Hello everyone. I’m starting a new series called the freelance life, purely because of the fact that I’m freelancing now, and have been for more than a year and a half. I thought this would be a good way to note down thoughts, advice and general discussion about freelancing. All this applies to any field- with one common factor: you’re working on your own, for yourself and you’re making all the rules as you go along. That’s what a freelancer does, isn’t it? So here’s the first essay of the series. Hope you like it and hope it makes you ponder about things.

The Freelance Life 1 : Looking beyond ( the ordinary)

When you’ve made that decision to work for yourself- first thing, congrats! It’s a brave decision and  one that not many people are strong enough to make. Now let’s get down to the nitty gritties of this whole wonderful yet slightly daunting situation. What happens is- you may have a thought of what you’re going to do. You may not. A lot of people say you should never consider freelancing if you don’t have a proposed plan in mind. I agree and disagree. It’s great to have everything planned out- but what usually happens is- nothing usually goes according to plan. And why should it? You’re moving off the track, you’re creating your own road to walk on.

When I started, I just knew one thing- I wanted to use my art and writing skills to forge a career for myself. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do- at all. I’m not kidding, I had no idea about me even writing a blog, I didn’t really read any blogs at all. I liked social media like Instagram and Pinterest, but I never really considered the power of it. I basically did not know anything that I do now about freelancing and website design- things I’ve learnt through trial and error, confusion and lots of research.

But that’s all the technical part. That part is the easy bit. You want to present yourself and your work- and yeah, okay, you’ll get there with endless Google searches and seeing what’s happening around- on the world, on the internet. But. The main thing is- what do you want to do?

I liked art and photography and writing. I knew that. I wanted to go in that line of work and enjoy the process. The only problem was- there was no process. I had to create one for myself- and that’s the struggle everyone who starts on their own has to go through. Making their own opportunities.

Nowadays, a lot of people decide: They want to sell their products. They want to start and maintain a blog about beauty / lifestyle / cooking / diy etc. I write this blog and another blog called Surely Simple, where I basically post art, diy, food, travel and basically anything and everything that falls in the broad category of a lifestyle blog. Mine is way more art oriented though, because that’s what I do best. However, I didn’t come to this decision instantly. It happened along the rocky path of uncertainty, lol. At first, when I got the website, I didn’t even touch it for months. I was too pressurized to actually create something, and I spent wayy too long just doubting myself and my skills. Then in March, somehow I made the decision to just start. I learnt more about photography, the technical details of post planning, html and creating a website. I did it all by myself, and still do everything on my own, because frankly that’s just how I roll. And then when I got a bit more confident, I started talking to other creatives and appreciating their skills.

It’s easy to feel isolated as a creative person- but never fall into that trap. We are social beings, and even though the internet feels like open, solo terrain, don’t ever become narrow minded and think that you’re the only one who creates work. There are millions of people out there, working on their creative pursuits, and I really admire them and feel motivated by the way they work. That’s actually one of the reasons why I started the Opinion9 Inspiration series, because people make some beautiful work out there and I appreciate how everyone has their own distinctive style and process. It makes me want to improve, makes me want to learn more.

Looking beyond is so important because when you’re starting out- you probably do not have an exact predefined plan. And you shouldn’t either. Having a rigid plan before actually getting some work experience limits you.

What you should know before planning a freelance career:

– your strengths in your work ( evaluate what you’re currently good at)

– your likes and dislikes (do you like something so much that you can work on it without getting bored? ..)

– be prepared for learning and re learning ( there are skills you need to acquire for your work- what might they be? For me, my skills to acquire list include: more advanced photoshop, technical practice and know-how of photography, learning code for website design, sharpening skills when it comes to scanning and processing my artwork, practicing writing skills frequently so they don’t get rusty etc)

What’s the most important thing- be prepared for uncertainty. Be prepared for days when you don’t have any idea of what you’re doing and why you started. Be ready to try new things if things you planned aren’t going as well as expected. And the most crucial thing- believe in yourself and keep your eyes and mind open for possibilities, ideas, thoughts and learning.

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