Are You Ignoring An Important Voice?

Are You Ignoring An Important Voice?

Are you listening to your own creative voice?

I’ve been talking over the last several episodes about why painting matters, why your painting matters, why your art matters, whatever your art form might be. (Check out Reclaiming Your Inner Game as an Artist and Finding Inspiration in the Ordinary)

It doesn’t have to be painting. It could be cooking. It could be coding. It could be writing. It could be making music. It could be gardening. It could be almost any form of creative expression.

But if you’re not listening to your own creative voice, then you’re holding back on the rest of the world because the truth is you have a unique voice that’s waiting on you to unlock it, and if you’re not in complete alignment with what your voice is, it’s going to be really hard to be satisfied with where you are.

Being in alignment with your own creativity is crucial for living a happy, healthy, productive life. It’s important. For becoming resilient. Meaning being flexible in times that are challenging. Being able to go with the flow, being resilient, so you have to exercise that creative muscle. Every last person on earth is born creative.

It is not something like your guardian angel comes down and taps you on the head and voila, now you’re going to be a great artist. That’s just not how it works. It works by working. You know, a lot of us set fantastic goals at the beginning of the year. January rolls around in December actually rolls around and we start making grand plans about what the next year is going to be all about.
We’re going to lose 20 pounds. We’re going to make $20,000 more. We’re going to have dinner with our friends three times a week, maybe on the other side of Rona. We’re going to do all kinds of things that are going to make us different people. And we stick to that for about 10 minutes into the next year.

Maybe a little longer than that. But most of us let go of those things really fast. And one of the reasons that happens is lack of alignment that we don’t stop to chat to see whether it’s something we really want. So what do I mean by alignment? I mean that alignment, what you say you want. It’s something you truly do want.

It is something that is in alignment with your purpose, with where you want to go. When you are not on purpose, when you’re not in alignment, it will feel uncomfortable. It will feel uneasy. You know, people who have repressed their creativity, people who’ve shut the door on whatever their creative dream was.

Still have a deep hunger to create. It’s just that they’ve pushed it back somewhere. That may be one of y’all. It’s going to keep talking to you. That’s that voice I was talking about at the beginning. It’s going to keep whispering in your ear. It’s going to keep waking you up in the middle of the night.

It’s going to keep making you feel dissatisfied with the the job that is boring. The things that people have told you you should want to do. Don’t listen to those voices that tell you that your skills aren’t good enough, that your art doesn’t have any value, because that’s not true. Skill levels can be developed, valuables up over time, but if you shut the door on your creativity, if you shut down listening to that voice.

It’ll have a profound impact on your life and it won’t be a good one. Creativity feeds your soul. Creativity feeds your ability to handle every day life, and it doesn’t have to be going to paint. Mona Lisa doing something creative every day, exercises that creative muscle and it builds on itself. So that the next time you go to do it, it gets easier and then it gets easier and then it gets easier.
It’s just like starting a new exercise routine. It can be painful at first and you don’t want to, but you got to push through that and go do it. Because when you push through it and go do it, it gets a little bit easier every day. There’s this myth out there that if you’re a creative, it’s easy to go create, and all of us who are creative are exercising our creativity because we’re all creative.
Those stuff is to exercise it on a regular basis. No, you’re going to hit sticky points at times. You’re going to hit that messy middle. Which is where every artwork goes through. Every creative project goes through that stage where it looks like something the cat threw up in the corner. It’s by cat still behind me over there.

That’s just the way that it works. That’s part of the process. You can’t avoid that. It’s part of life. It’s part of the creative life, but leaving creativity out. That’s something that nobody should be doing. So figure out how you can answer that call. Yeah. Listen to that voice and begin to exercise that creativity just a little bit every day.

Find some creative ways. It’s not about going out and decorating your house so that it looks like a show place. That’s misplaced creativity. Unless it’s what you really want to do, then it’s fantastic. But to live a creative life, you get to decide what that means. You get to define that, not other people.

So spend some time and just a little bit of reflection. What is it that’s calling to you? What is it that. Needs to be expressed because the more you express yourself, the more you exercise your creativity, the more resilient you are going to be and the happier you’re going to be as a human being. So hope that’s been helpful.

I think it makes a big difference when you can tap into your creativity. Think about ways that you can begin to exercise that creative juice. It really will flow more often the more that you use it.

So remember, I want y’all out there looking for the beautiful in the ordinary search for the extraordinary and the ordinary. Then capture it in some way. If you’re not feeling particularly creative as a painter, get your cam or out. Start that way. Write about it. Make a note about it, but exercise that creative bone.

Find some small ways to just get started and share those over in the ART+WORK+LIVING Facebook group. I would love to hear how y’all are exercising your creative muscles.

Paint on!

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Click here to join and start getting engaged with artists just like you! 

Reclaiming Your Inner Game as an Artist

Reclaiming Your Inner Game as an Artist

A strong creative mindset is central for any creative to thrive. But challenging times can get in the way of focus and shatter our mindset, our inner game.

That inner game is your inner studio space, a mental/emotional one. Lots of people get all hung up on the outer one, the physical studio space. Don’t let that get in your way! The mental/emotional space is so much more important.

How to cultivate that inner space no matter what’s going on in the world? In today’s video I go over 7 steps you can take to reclaim your inner game of painting.

Then let me know in the comments what’s helping you move forward in your painting. And what’s holding you back.

Join my free ART+WORK+LIVING facebook group and get involved in our community of artists of all mediums, styles, and stages. This space provides a reflective and supportive space for all artists, including you! 

Click here to join and start getting engaged with artists just like you! 

Finding Inspiration in the Ordinary

Finding Inspiration in the Ordinary

The world looks very different right now from just a few months ago, even just month ago. 

I’m hearing from a lot of the members of my community, ART+WORK+LIVING, that they’ve lost their drive. They can’t paint.

That feeling of being knocked off kilter can come from not having your regular space to work in, your regular coworkers, the things that normally inspire you.

But now is not the time to stay stuck.

Now is the time to move your feet, and to raise your hand and paint.

Because painting matters.

Your art matters.

And people need to see it.

And in the practice of painting, you can create the new habits, the new routines that will bring you back to a sense of being grounded.
One of the best ways I know of to find that deep sense of connection is through observation of the immediate world around you.
Cultivate deep seeing and close observation creates that connection, even in the most ordinary of spaces.
In fact, that’s where the magic lies.
Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Look for the beauty in the everyday.
And when you help other people see the beauty that already exists in their own world, you help them find their feet, their ground and their center again.
So don’t wait to find the perfect subject. There’s no such thing. Just paint.
Get started with the world right in front of you. 
Today’s video gives you three ways to get started in finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Let me know which works for you.
How can you make the most ordinary object look interesting?
  1. Zoom in on an ordinary object so that it fills your picture plane.
  2. Change your normal point of view. Instead of working from eye level, use worm’s eye or bird’s eye level.
  3. Use light, natural light, to make something commonplace wonderfully interesting.

What are some of the things you do to find the beauty in the ordinary?

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Becoming an ART+WORK+LIVING Community member is your access to me, Mary Gilkerson. You'll also gain access to an amazing community of artists, along with resources that my AWL team has designed to serve artists just like you. Our specialty is pushing artists to the next level of success in a positive and supportive environment. 

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How to Deal with Artist’s Block

How to Deal with Artist’s Block


Sometimes the creative flow just isn’t there…

Know what I mean?

Creativity takee a LOT of energy, and sometimes that energy is just gone.

Burned out…

But there are ways to refill your creative well if it’s been depleted.

I’ve got 7 ideas for ways to reset the creativity button.

  1. Walking is the creative reset button.
  2. Studio is a state of mind and can be anywhere.
  3. Show up and meet inspiration halfway.
  4. Find the extraordinary in the ordinary.
  5. There is power in doing nothing.
  6. Share your gifts. It’s your responsibility.
  7. Follow your curiosity.

Which one of these will work for you? Do you have other ways to get unblocked? Let me know in the comments below.

Selling Your Art: Where to Start

Selling Your Art: Where to Start

In the last episode I talked about the top 3 reasons why you should want to sell your paintings:

1- You’ll make more money

2- You’ll make better paintings

3- You’ll build a relationship with an audience for your work

Hands down, most of the questions and responses I got to that video were around this:

“If I want to sell my art, how do I do it?”

Are you asking yourself this??

My advice might not be what you expect.

Galleries, local events, and fairs may NOT be the best way to start.

Which direction should you go instead??

Link to Register for free “Artist’s Path to Success” Workshop mentioned in the video:


00:00 This is the question that I got. “I want to start selling my art, but I don’t know how!”

00:11 In my last video we talked about why artists might want to start selling their paintings, their artwork. And I got a flood of questions, a flood of comments saying that the artists wanted to start but had no clue how to get started. One of the most traditional ways of selling art is to sell through galleries. Another way is to sell through outdoor events like art fairs, other sorts of temporary, local kind of art events. That tends to be the standard spot that all the gurus out there will tell you to start with. Start local, start with something that’s close to home, start with something that’s easy. Well, that was true 10 years ago, maybe.

01:10 Certainly it was true 20 years ago. Things have changed. Things have changed an awful lot. So I wanna talk about why galleries, local events like art fairs, art sale, outdoor art, sales or events, just might not be the place to get started if you want to sell your artwork.

01:35 Let’s talk for a second about the way it used to work pre internet. So back in the old days, if you’re like me, and remember those days pre internet, the way that art was so primarily was through galleries or through those local live events like those art fairs. And so that meant that an audience would come and attend a live public event where they would see the artwork for a limited period of time interact with either the dealer or the artist. They would have the chance and the opportunity to purchase that artwork.

02:16 Only during that time they would buy that artwork, they would leave and they’d go home and happily hanging on their walls. Well, that changed when the internet came along. And here’s how when the internet came, it meant that artists started selling their work online. It meant the art work was available online. It meant that there was an expectation that collectors would be able to find an artist online. So here’s how that scenario works. Now when people go to an outdoor art fair, an art event, now they go, they browse, they meet the artists, they look at the artwork online and they asked the artist, where can I find your work online?

03:11 They don’t always buy and in fact statistics show that attendance at both art fairs and outdoor events and physical galleries has dropped in the last 10 years and a lot of that can be attributed to the new shopping habits of people worldwide. People want and expect to be able to shop online. Galleries that are succeeding now are taking that into account and making sure that they are using online resources to market to those exact same collectors. So what does that mean for you as an artist? It means that when you try to start at a gallery or start at an outdoor event, a live event that you are going in to a market or a channel that has fewer people in it than it did 10 years ago. And those people now have no pressure to buy the ones who actually do show up because they know that art will still be available to them when that event closes down and they go home because they’ll be able to find it on line.

04:33 So there’s no longer any deep need or desire, FOMO, fear of missing out when they attend those live events. That’s the first main reason that I just don’t think that’s the place to get started selling artwork. The second reason that I don’t think that’s the place to get started besides there’s a really limited number of people attending anymore, is that if that was the first place that you try to sell your art and it doesn’t work, what’s going to happen? You’re going to pack it up, you’re going to go home and you’re going to say, nobody wants my artwork. This doesn’t work. You’re going to give up. You’re going to quit painting and you’re not going to share your work with the world and the world deserves to see your work. So that’s why I do not recommend that people use that as a starting point.

05:36 Does that mean that I think those are bad places to try to sell your art? No, not at all. I think they can be very fantastic channels for selling your art, but the artists that succeed in selling through galleries, the artists that succeed through selling at live events harness the of the internet to make sure their audience shows up so it’s not the place to start first. The place to start first is online yourself. The barriers to entry are so low, they’ve never been lower, and it means that you have direct access to your customers and clients want to know how to get started or we’re going to be talking about that more over the next few days, but I have an upcoming free workshop next week that’s going to be diving into exactly that and if you’d like to learn more about that or to register for that workshop, I’m gonna put that link right here.

06:52 If I can get it copied, I’m going to put that link right here in the comments so that you can hop in there and join us next week. We’d love to have you there. It’s going to be over three days, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of next week. Each day live here on my page and on zoom so you can join via the page right here via Facebook live, but I highly recommend that you register via zoom. It’s a much more comfortable experience. Facebook live can be a little unpredictable, but it’ll be at one o’clock Eastern on Monday the 13th and Wednesday the 15th and Friday the 17th where I’ll be going over my framework for how to grow an audience and sell your artwork online. Would love to have you there. Hope. See you soon. Take care everybody, and happy painting.


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