Exciting news over here, the newest issue of Artful Blogging just hit stands and Work Play is featured! I was over the moon excited when the magazine asked me to share my blogging story, so please check out the full article and magazine spreads below or pick up your own copy by using the Artful Blogging locator

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the article, so make sure to comment!

About a year ago, I had been out of college just long enough for the novelty of a steady paycheck and a new city (Seattle) to wear off.The paycheck all goes to rent, food, and student loans anyway, and the new city quickly becomes routine. I spent hours reading advice on how to be a successful twenty-something. Desperately trying to find anything in those articles to point me in the right direction of who I was and what I should be doing with my life, I was left feeling nostalgic, scared, and even more lost than when I started. How was I supposed to be carefree and living it up at the same time I was supposed to be working toward my dream career and keeping it all together?
Once I saw through the fog around me, I sat down and asked myself what I really wanted, what was I good at, and how I could use those talents to make myself happy and successful. As a graphic designer, I’ve loved watercolor for as long as I can remember, but it is hardto find time and inspiration for your hobbies when you’re exploring that new city, making friends, working a full-time job, and still trying to be spontaneous and adventurous. Finally, I realized I was just making excuses. No one was ever going to see what I could do if I didn’t sit down and make the time to do it. Most importantly, I wouldn’t know what I was capable of or where my art could take me, until I tried.

I started the blog,Work Play, before I even broke out my watercolors from the depths of my closet. Suddenly, there it was in front of me, this blank blog staring at me — a place where people could find and fall in love with my work; a place where people could critique and tear that same work apart.

Scared would be the only word to describe the way I initially felt when I started posting toWork Play.A public blog — what if something actually came from it? What if people looked at it and expected me to fail? What if people thought I was just another silly twenty-something trying to follow the thousands of other young adults making a name for themselves by blindly posting to the Internet? But no one said these things, no one except me. My own self-doubt was telling me I would never succeed, but my pride and desire told me to keep going. 

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Through all this self-doubt I was harboring, I decided to start celebrating the accomplishments I was reaching. Suddenly I wasn’t worried about what other people saw or thought, but instead I was proud of what I saw — a growing talent that was developing through each painting and each new idea. I was getting better, no one could deny that, and it was something that I wanted to celebrate. Over the next few months I continued to populate Work Play with my illustrations and designs, making the time to work on my watercoloring while hopefully inspiring those who saw my illustrations.

It took me several months to feel confident enough to tell my friends and family about Work Play. I had been scared of their doubts and worried their expectations were the same as my initial nagging ones; once I realized my blog was always for me, I shared Work Play with them. I told everybody. I started posting my blog to every place I could think of, like Facebook and Instagram, and spamming my family. I started talking about Work Play with pride and confidence, and selling my artwork publicly. Guess what? People bought it; they were interested in my art and were interested in Work Play.The only person who actually thought I would fail was myself, the lost twenty-something who started Work Play to share her art. I can’t describe the life lessons and confidence I have gained by building and consistently posting my watercolor illustrations to Work Play. It has given me the strength not to worry what others think of my art, but to show whoever wants to see who I really am. So for any aspiring (or veteran) bloggers looking for advice, stop following a timeline or worrying about others’ expectations of what your blog should be or look like, because at the end of the day, our blogs exist to make us happy and make us better people.That is all that really matters.

Amy Schwager is a Seattle-based custom illustrator, adventurer, talker, and out- of-control dreamer.To learn more about her, visit her blog at or follow her on Instagram (@amyschwager) and Society6 (AmySchwager). She welcomes email at


  1. Awesome feature Amy!! Anyone who knows you wouldn't have had any doubts that you'd be successful with your art!! :) I love your blog and I love you! Keep up the good work!



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