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Your Creative Genius – How To Tap It For Success

Author: Abhishek Agarwal

We are all creative beings just as the ultimate being is the divine creator. To create something is to bring into existence something that did not exist before. Creative genius comes when you bring into existence something that will enhance the lives of all who encounter your creation, including yourself. In order to tap your creative genius, there are a few considerations that you should be aware of.

There is one thing that your creative energy demands a lot of and that is time. You have to allow yourself enough space for your creative energies to flow. Some people are fortunate to have a form of employment which requires them to apply their creative minds on a regular basis. If you are a teacher you will continually creating new ways in which to impart knowledge to individual children. The best teachers are always creative geniuses. Others of us are in jobs that only require a certain set of skills. After we have acquired the skills we keep on applying them over and over again without much room for creative thinking. If you fall into this category then you will need to set aside separate time in which to work creatively.

Finding extra time is not always easy with modern daily schedules. Work, travel, family, health, are all things which take precedence over our time. After these priorities are attended to we are often too spent to begin thinking creatively about anything. The problem is that when we are not able to apply our creativity, which is an inherent drive within all of us, we become dissatisfied and unfulfilled. Sometimes we encounter disgruntled people in the work place and those who appear to hate their jobs. These people are often expressing the deep dissatisfaction they feel at not being able to express themselves more creatively in their lives.

To avoid becoming dissatisfied you must apply yourself creatively. The best way to do this, if you have a very busy schedule, is to channel your creative energy into those things you have to do everyday. A good example of this is food. Cooking is an excellent way to get creative and many of us have to do it everyday. Instead of preparing the same old meals everyday or relying on supermarket ready prepared selections you can create new ways in which you and your family enjoy food and stay healthy. If you travel to work everyday by bus or train you might use this bit of regularly occurring time to read. Reading inspires creativity and you can use the reading time to read something that will teach you something new about what you are interested in.

Although being creative is time consuming it can also be very relaxing. After a hard day at work, instead of slumping in front of the TV for the next 3 hours, you can use this relaxation period to apply yourself creatively. If painting or flower arranging or writing is your thing, this is a very good time to allocate toward pursuing such creative hobbies.

Those who do have a bit of extra time to spend being creative can consider attending a course or group that specialises in their chosen creative pursuit. Other people who are interested in the same thing as you are and who express themselves creatively in a similar way to you, provide a wonderful resource of creative energy which you can draw on to fire up your own creative thinking. Other members will be drawing from you too, everyone contributes and everyone benefits.

It is always a good strategy, for those who are able, to take time to visit somewhere else away from home. If you are able to get away to areas of outstanding natural beauty for example, you should find that the environment inspires you creatively. It is no coincidence that many artists have produced some of their best work in some of the world's most fabulous locations.

The way to tap your creativity is to try to think creatively as much as you can even while occupied with mundane, non-creative activities. You should also understand that creative energy needs to be fed by time; you must find as much time as you can to apply your creative thinking otherwise you might not blossom into the creative genius you are capable of being.

About the Author:

Abhishek is a Self-Improvement expert and he has got some great Self-Improvement Secrets up his sleeves! Download his FREE 81 Pages Ebook , "Self Improvement Made Easy!" from his website . Only limited Free Copies available.

Article Source: - Your Creative Genius - How To Tap It For Success

What Does Creativity Bring to Your Life?

Author: Linda Dessau

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

In my 2004 e-book, The Creativity Interviews (details below), I asked 7 questions about the creative process to 19 creative artists from a variety of disciplines.

One of these questions was "what does creativity bring to your life?"

As I'm looking through the answers with new eyes, themes start to pop up in front of me. As you read through these broad themes, and the actual phrases spoken by the artists in the book, consider which ones you identify with most.

Creativity brings adventure, affects my whole life and what's "out there"

Artist spoke of a sense of "exploration", "spontaneity" and "adventure", and that their creativity "brings life to whatever I'm doing". They felt the effects of their creativity on other parts of their life, giving them "unique problem solving opportunities" and "energizing my relationships".

Creativity brings opportunities for self-discovery of what's "in here"

Artists appreciated the "heightened awareness" and increased ability to "understand myself".

Creativity brings connections to people, both in and out of my "tribe"

"I feel I m part of a tribe of free people" was how one artist expressed this sense of connection and of being understood when they're around other artists. Another artist recognized their creativity as a "gift I can share with others" fulfilling the desire for connection in a way that's natural and enjoyable for the artist.

These are hopeful points, considering how isolated and misunderstood many artists feel.

Creativity brings a spiritual connection

Themes of spirituality such as "gratitude", "purity" and "essence" could be heard in some of the answers from artists. One claimed creativity gives them "a glimpse of the spiritual realm", and another described creativity as "a soulful experience".

There was also the idea that creativity brings "a connection to something larger than myself", and "the feeling that I'm 'in the zone', in the flow of life". Many of us connect to our spirituality most easily through being in nature. One artist found that creativity brings a "freedom to recreate what I see in nature".

I think one artist summed up the link between creativity and spirituality by answering with one word: "wonder".

Creativity brings an awakening, a jarring, a sense of delicious discomfort

Though I only heard one answer that fit into this theme one artist felt that creativity brought a "discontinuity" to their life I included it because it really interested me.

What about those moments of torment before the dissonant chord resolves itself, before the elements and colours of a painting "come together", before the ideas for a story or article make any sense.

And what about the plain fact that there is ALWAYS something we won't know how to do, always something more to learn, always a creative idea who's execution is out of our reach because our skills haven't caught up to it yet. Is that partly what keeps us going?

Creativity brings a return to home, a "normalcy"

"Creativity IS my life" and "creativity is unavoidable". For one artist, creativity is "a reason to live", and for another "it helps me live". Creativity is what we know, and when we're expressing it our TRUE selves are shining through. As one artist commented, it's a "relief".

Another artist noted that creativity often brings "more creativity". Which make perfect sense when you apply the law of attraction the principle that states that whatever you focus on is what you'll attract into your life.

Creativity brings a sense of self-worth and identity

For the artists I spoke to, creativity brings a "reward", "satisfaction", "pride" and "accomplishment" It contributes to their "self-esteem" and "sense of self and identity".

For artists, who often feel so misunderstood and different from other people, creativity provides "a way of explaining myself to the world". Creativity celebrates the fact that we're different, by showing us "a sense of purpose" and "a sense of my uniqueness".

One artist said that creativity "puts me in touch with the core and essence of my being".

Creativity heals me

As a music therapist, this theme was not surprising to me. Not only are the arts amazing therapeutic tools to use in treatment, creativity can be extremely therapeutic for the person expressing it.

Some of the therapeutic benefits of creativity that the artists shared with me were "relaxation", "centeredness", "possibility", "hope" and "connection with self". Creativity "lifts me from my sorrows" and is "a way to translate my hopes & feelings."

Creativity brings happiness, energy and power

The "endorphin rush" that one artist described was echoed by many as "joy", "energy, vitality it s a rush", "pleasure", "magic", "fullness", "happiness", "passion" and "a high". Creativity is "uplifting & motivating" and gives "the impetus to push further" and "a sense of power".

What does creativity bring to YOUR life? What do you miss the most when you're not actively expressing your creative ideas? What's the first thing you notice that changes in your life when you're in the "creative flow"?

Naming the gifts of your creativity can help to re-ignite your passion for your creative work and can excite you into courageous action. Thinking about these gifts can also put a mysterious smile on your face while you're traveling through the other parts of your life.

Whatever you're doing, whether it's taking care of life's little details and obligations or taking care of other people's needs you can remind yourself that you're one of the lucky ones with access to creativity.

You have this incredible source of adventure, self-discovery, connection, spirituality, awakening, normalcy, self-worth, identity, healing, happiness, energy and power.

This article originally appeared on the Creativity Portal in August 2005.

C Linda Dessau, 2006.

About the Author:

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. For your copy of the Creativity Interviews, visit:

Article Source: - What Does Creativity Bring to Your Life?

What It Takes To Live A Creatively Productive Life

Author: Mary McNeil

If you want to lead an existence which is not just rich in creative thought, but which also produces regular and recognized creative output, you need to design your life so that it supports your creativity. As the writer Oriah Mountain Dreamer observes: "The artist's life is simply an ordinary human life that is consciously choreographed to support ongoing creativity in both you and those around you."

So if you're going to make creative output a practical reality, what are the elements you need to consider as important ingredients in the recipe for your creative success?

Famous achievers in an array of creative fields have written books revealing much about what it takes to live a creatively successful and productive life. Each one describes their individual creative practices, challenges, connections and stories. And while there is much that is unique about each account, there are also many common threads weaving their way through the genre. Here are four of the themes which appear with regularity...

** Don't wait for circumstances to be perfect before you get started.

Producing creative output is a process of starting over and over and over again. Every single time you come to your work, you're required to make another beginning. This is a constant challenge for most creative people. No matter how much you love your creative work once you're in the flow, the struggle to get started rarely goes away.

The temptation to find reasons to procrastinate is strong. That voice in your head can be particularly persuasive. The one that says: 'the time isn't right... I don't have the correct materials... there's no space to work in... I'm not in the best frame of mind... I might get interrupted...' All of these objections may have some truth behind them, but if you don't overrule them, you'll never get started.

Progressing your creative work means creating in the middle of things. Whilst being aware that there are chores to be done, calls to be made, the trivia of life to be attended to, you have to choose periods of time when your creative efforts take the top spot on your list of priorities. If you wait until everything's perfect, you'll simply never get started. And if you never get started, the obvious result is that you'll never produce anything.

** Don't rely on inspiration - build appropriate structure to support your creativity.

Being inspired is a wonderful experience. It can give you wings to produce fabulous creative output. But inspiration can't, unfortunately, be relied upon.

Creative activity needs to have continuity, regularity and a structure to support it. That doesn't mean a rigid structure that's more likely to stifle than to stimulate your imagination. It means supportive routines and practices which, when thoughtfully constructed and utilized will encourage you to get working away on your creative projects and entice your inspiration out to play as you do so.

There will be plenty of days when you don't feel even the tiniest trace of inspiration. These are the days when your support structure will see you through. Your job is simply to show up. If you don't show up and get started, your inspiration won't either. The prolific British composer, John Rutter, was once asked when and where he gets his best ideas. He replied without missing a beat: "When I'm working".

** Be prepared to produce low-grade output more often than top quality work.

The only way to learn and to improve is to experiment. If you want to master your craft you have to practise it. And when you set about practising with enthusiasm, you'll produce any amount of what you might class as inferior quality output. It's important not to allow your judgment of it to stop you in your tracks. Instead, appreciate the progress that you're making and see the improvements as you keep experimenting and learning.

Yes, it's wonderful to produce top quality output, but the kind of output that teaches you the most and develops your skills is, in fact, the substandard. Treat your less magnificent results as encouragement to try again and to improve upon them. Celebrate your turkeys!

** Allow your creativity to change you.

Creative endeavour can and will move you along the path of spiritual and personal growth. A willingness to embrace the changes that it brings about in you as a person and in your life will allow your creative output to develop simultaneously. The two are interwoven. If you attempt to contain or to control the changes that your creative work is nurturing in you, beware! For you run the risk of settling for a smaller, lesser version of the full, glorious, connected self you could be.

Creative work that stems from deep personal connection has tremendous power to reach and to touch others too. As you are changed by your art, so your art can change the world.

Naomi Wolf describes the power of the creative act particularly expressively: "the making of a beautiful thing cracks open the painful or ugly ordinary world, and then something amazing shines through, which you have forever; which can make you blind with tears."

About the Author:

If you're brimming with creative ideas but struggling to develop them into tangible output, the practical support of a coach can make all the difference. Mary McNeil of Create a Space is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach, natural born planner and declutterer extraordinaire! She works with artists, writers and musicians, coaching and supporting them as they make creative output a practical reality.

Article Source: - What It Takes To Live A Creatively Productive Life

The Challenge of Writing an Artist’s Statement That is Artistic and Deep But Also Makes Sense


By Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

Often, while viewing other artists experiences with their creativity, defined by pen to paper within their "Artist's Statements", I find myself thinking, "This reminds me of man trying to define God by putting creativity into a box." Oft times too I wonder, "What the heck are they talking about? I wonder if even 'they' even know."

I have met all kinds of artists. I always hope that I will share some kind of phenomenon with fellow artists, of an unmistakable vibration we both generate and feed off of. I hope that our connection will cause us to reach new heights and feel compelled to go home and create great things. I rarely come across artists like that, they are as different from one another as anyone.

I really do believe there is an 'energy' within art, colors, and it is that energy about a piece of art that people resonate to.. or not. Some only like only my precise artwork, of which I feel are renderings and not in my personal opinion, 'true art'. It tells me that we are not connected in a 'spiritual' sense. We connect on other levels though so consequences of that kind of thinking are not something that needs to be brooded over, on the outside chance you find my opinion offensive or objectionable.

I think a lot of 'art talk' is mumbo jumbo, and is as redundant and boring as the latest football player explaining how his team is going to win the next game. Yet, I also think there is a need for the artist to describe the connection they feel with their art. Doing that, helps the viewer to enter their world, as well as the artist to understand 'what the heck happened' to cause them to create what they did.

Creativity is elusive, but the more we enter that gate, the more we find ourselves in the presence of something truly remarkable. I think the vibration of colors, coupled with the spirit of the dance of creative action, can be found in all kinds of art and no one has the market on that. Once in a great while we come across genius like Leonardo da Vinci and we stand in awe. Because of miraculous adventures of the soul, in any genre, it is our responsibility to pursue the unknown. Leonardo da Vinci only scratched the surface. Pursuing the vibrations of the elusive is often an alone experience. It is within that 'prayer' of sorts that mystics are uncovered. There are many ways of doing it though, as there are religions, so I don't think anyone has the key to it all.

So how do you do it? How do you write an "Artist's Statement" that makes sense? First define who you are within your work in your own mind. If you do not know, you won't be able to write anything at all that others will comprehend. Be careful of the mumbo jumbo, but write out your heart as you look at your work. You may just discover a part of yourself you had not met before. Take your time, discover who you are. Remember da Vinci as well, nothing he did was done without extreme confrontation of what it was he was looking to explore, so laziness is not acceptable. Right? Yes!

ABOUT Kathy Ostman-Magnusen: I am an artist, represented by Monkdogz Urban Art, New York. ORIGINAL ART may be purchased through Monkdogz:

My newest website:

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Self Love–Primary Path To Healing, Health And Success

Author: Suzi Elton

Self love is a topic that is almost never discussed. It's not even a concept for the majority of people. What does healthy self love mean, and how does it lead to healing, health and success?

By the nature of childhood (dependency and necessity of learning how life works) many of us humans end up being fed a steady stream of criticism, rebuke, and the opinions of others. We are told how to think, how to feel and how to behave. We are strongly encouraged to conform to standard behavior and seldom allowed to express our uniqueness. We are told to hug and kiss adults we don't want to interact with. We are not allowed or encouraged to make our own decisions.

We are told how to "decide". If we think we know the right thing to do, we are told what the right thing to do would be. The worst part though is being consistently criticized, abused and humiliated, scorned or belittled. This leads us to develop a constant mantra of negative self talk that can follow us all the days of our life unless we purposefully "decommission" it. This is often the most critical part of learning to develop self love. Here are some ideas on developing self love.

1.) Realize that many child rearing techniques are well intentioned, but often end up creating self hating adults who do not trust themselves, and parrot the opinions of the adults who reared them. This in unfortunate, but often is simply the result of parental lack of skill. It is our job to do what it takes to create healthy self respect and self love for ourselves if our upbringing did not provide this. This is easily said but not as easily done.

2.) The most important thing to do is to develop awareness of your negative self talk and replace it with supportive self talk. Start by "capturing" the negative statements you "hear" in your head. Write them down so that you can see exactly what dynamics are at play here. You will likely be shocked when you realize what you are mentally telling yourself all the time. Most of us experience this, but we aren't even aware that it is going on.

Be vigilant about writing these down. You will be amazed at the breadth and depth of negative self talk your inner critic bombards you with. Take each statement and reverse it in such a way that it becomes a self supportive statement. Take the time to do this work; it will really pay off for you. Then, be vigilant about replacing each negative statement with your new self supporting statement.

2.) Learn to trust yourself and your opinions, wishes, and desires. This is not done in a selfish way, just a simple and honest way. Trusting yourself means trusting that "inner voice" (usually felt lower in the body than self talk--which is experienced in the head). This voice might warn us to bring our umbrella, or not walk down a certain street. It is very subtle and usually "mild mannered".

Don't confuse it with parental style admonitions. Some people call it a "gut" feeling because these feelings are frequently experienced in this part of the body. It can feel like a tension or "shrinking" if it's a warning or like a release or expansion if it is a "go" signal. Experiment with becoming more aware of these signals and trusting them.

3.) Self love also means being kind to yourself in a multitude of ways. Taking healthy care of yourself is important. This can mean excellent dental care, exercising, resting, eating healthy, paying attention to and getting care for your health needs. One way to think of this is to pretend that the care you give yourself is the care you would give a well loved child. Likely, you'd take the best care of a child. Why would you do any less for yourself?

Self love is the most direct path to healing, health, and success. It might seem at first that we all love ourselves, but there is likely residue of unloving behavior left over from childhood. You will be amazed as you start to jettison this stuff. Your life will become better, more satisfying and success will be a lot easier. It's a wonderful path to a better life!

About the Author:
Suzi Elton is a success coach working with highly creative types to create income that matches their talent. She has coached hundreds of clients to approach their goals strategically through tiny steps to bring about quantum leaps. Get free Life Purpose exercises, at

Article Source: - Self Love--Primary Path To Healing, Health And Success

The Art Of Creative Business Success

Author: Cynthia Morris

The Starving Artist myth proliferates because it is often accompanied by that other myth: creative people aren't good at business. With these ideas circulating, it's easy to see how artists struggle to succeed professionally.

But I don't buy these myths. In fact, I believe that artists and creative people make the best business people. Here's why.

Artists are experts in seeing the big picture. They can hold an expansive point of view. This creative perspective, this ability to see what isn't there and to relish possibility, is key to business success.

Good artists are adept at pinpointing the details. A painter knows the difference between cobalt and azure, a writer uses specifics to describe a character, and a sculptor's strokes will make all the difference in the end expression on a sculpture.

Artists and business people are willing to risk. There is no guarantee in art, business, or life, but creative people take risks every time they go into the studio. In fact, any art worth its salt takes the artist and the viewer outside the realm of the known and shows them something new.

Artists are able to dwell in the unknown. Art making is the biggest adventure there is. If you do not know what you are creating, if it will appeal to anyone, or if you will make any money at all, you're in good company with both artists and business people.

Business and art are fueled by a high level of passion. Any advice on running a business will preach that you need to be passionate to fuel the long stretches of challenging times. Artists thrive on passion.

All of these characteristics give artists an edge over others in the business realm. It's great to be fueled by the knowledge that you do have what it takes to succeed, and you also need to operate in a business-like way to make it happen. Here are the keys to business success that I have used and enjoyed.

Vision. You have to want your creative success from a deep, deep place. What is this about for you, anyway? Have a vision for yourself and your business. Write a vision statement that springs from your values and passion for your art.

Commitment. In a business or art career, there will be plenty of ups and downs. It's important to have a solid commitment that you can return to when times are tough. You will question this commitment again and again, but if you have a clear sense of your commitment at the beginning, the dips will be navigable. Write a mission statement for how you will fulfill your vision.

Follow through. Most success can be attributed to those extra actions we take - sending a thank-you note, making a call, going the extra mile, or researching a tip. Follow through is a key factor in being able to maximize opportunities, build connections and deliver on your promises. It's also a key to being perceived as professional and on top of things.

Build authentic relationships. Do business with people that you want to be around. You want to be able to be yourself with your support team (accountant, banker, coach) and your clients (gallery owners, editors, clients). Connect with people who share similar values, interests and art forms. Some people say that building relationships is the key to success, so become a master at being a good human with others.

Maintain self-care practices. Making art and building a business is a lot of work. There can be a lot of stress involved with art and business, so having a stable personal life is key. Know your needs and do what you can to get them met. Know what helps you release stress. Make sure that you have play time, too, since it can be easy to work all the time at your art business.

Perspective. This is the secret weapon. Perspective is the most powerful tool we have. How you see the world, yourself, and your enterprise all have an enormous impact on how successful you will be. If you can shift your perspective easily, you'll have a much broader range of options available to you in your art and business. Practice noticing throughout the day what perspective you are operating from. Does it feel good? Bad? In between? How does the perspective of any moment contribute to your work?

Systems. And, of course, for business success, you'll want systems for operating your enterprise, for marketing your work, and for handling all the money that comes your way. Contact systems, marketing systems, bookkeeping systems, and ways to catalogue your art and record your sales are all essential for a thriving business.

If some of these essentials make the artist in you cringe, take that as an opportunity to see where you could grow. I can't think of any other work that challenges us to grow more than art and business. If you want to stay safe and unchanged, you'll want to choose another path. But why would you? Art and business are grand adventures!

About the Author:
Cynthia Morris of Original Impulse helps writers and visionaries make their brilliant ideas a reality. Author of Create Your Writer's Life: A Guide to Writing with Joy and Ease, and Go For It! Leading Tours for Fun and Profit, Cynthia coaches from Boulder.

Article Source: - The Art Of Creative Business Success

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Permission To Be An Artist – Granted!

Author: Linda Dessau

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

Since I've been offering Artist Retreat Day programs, I've been hearing a lot about the concept of "permission". Some artists who said yes to a retreat day shared that this was a much-needed structure to enable and empower them to FINALLY give themselves permission to take time for their creative work.

Others just couldn't say yes, just couldn't give themselves permission.

What does it mean to have permission to do something? My thesaurus tells me that other words related to permission are: consent, sanctioning and authorization.

Consent signifies agreement, validation that what you're doing meets with specific expectations, criteria and guidelines. It sounds solemn and like someone has faith in you. Sanction is an even more formal declaration of acceptance and faith.


Authorization well, that implies that you're something special. That not just anyone is meant to be painting this painting, writing this song or designing that jewelry. You have been specially authorized to do it.

And why? Because you have the unique gifts that are necessary to bring that creative project into being. Who authorized you? The same power that granted you those gifts and skills whether you choose to think of that as God, the universe, Spirit, or another name. As we read in the Science of Getting Rich, we're not given the desire to do something without also being given the skill to carry it out.

Why is it so difficult to authorize ourselves, grant ourselves permission and consent, to sanction our own creative work? Sometimes we seek this permission from others, unconsciously (or consciously) hoping they'll deny it, so we won't really have to venture into the scary world of living up to our potential.

A lot of these words symbolize that external permission is needed. And sometimes it is.


Whether you want to attend an artist retreat day, meet a deadline or just develop a new idea that came to you overnight, you'll sometimes need permission from the people you share your life with to take the time for your creative work.

It might mean delegating household work or child-care or rescheduling a date or planned event. All of you might also need a willingness to be flexible and to accept that sometimes things don't get done right away. It also means ensuring an environment of support for your work.

Will others give you permission? Of course you can't control what anyone else thinks, says or does, but consider this: our loved ones will take cues from us about how serious our creative work is to us. If we're constantly putting it on the back burner, putting our work down, and letting it be the first thing to go when things get stressful or busy, we're teaching others to treat it the same way.

If we don't take our creative work seriously, why should they?


I think what's even more important is the permission we give ourselves. There are so many reasons we deny ourselves permission to pursue our creative work. Fear tops the list. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of what people will think of us, fear of being good, fear of being terrible, or fear we'll let someone else down, to name a few examples.

Sometimes we hold on to earlier instances when we were denied permission, denied access, not sanctioned or authorized, or when our work was criticized or belittled. Some of us have even been told, directly, NOT to pursue our creative work ("don't give up your day job", "find another path", "you have no business doing this work"), which hung a big UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS sign on the door of our creative hearts.

So hang a new sign on your creative heart one that reads "Artist at work". And in fine print, "This work has been sanctioned by _______" (the name of your source of Power).

10 Signs That You've Given Yourself Permission To Be A Creative Artist

  1. The first words out of your mouth when someone asks "and what do you do?" are "I'm a songwriter/artist/sculptor/writer, etc.".

  2. You work steadily at your craft, whether it's working on or re-working pieces or promoting your work.

  3. You teach your loved ones to treat your art seriously.

  4. The materials and resources that you need to create with are part of your budget and are planned expenses every month.

  5. You're committed to your learning, growth and development, participating in artists groups and discussion forums and seeking out mentorship and coaching.

  6. You don't let mistakes or criticism stop you from taking your next steps.

  7. You're building the resources you need to support yourself financially, emotionally and spiritually.

  8. You're conscious of your physical lifestyle habits and choose the ones that won't interfere with your creative work.

  9. You find opportunities to pass on your knowledge and support wherever possible, to someone who's had less experience than you have.

  10. You consistently say no to requests for your time, energy and commitmentthat will take you away from your creative work.

It takes time and practice to consistently give yourself permission to create. Start today by improving just one of these ten creative practices.

C Linda Dessau, 2006.

About the Author:

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. Feel like your creativity is blocked? Sign-up for the free e-course, "Roadblocks to Creativity" by visiting

Article Source: - Permission To Be An Artist - Granted!

On Becoming an Artist

Author: Charles Griffith

How does one become an artist? It makes sense to start with this broad topic, rather than the fundamentals of drawing, painting, etc, because this is the basic framework for everything else. To say that a person is "born" to be an artist is a romanticized cop-out. Some people may have a greater aptitude for learning the craft, but the inclination towards art is shaped by a person's experiences and the influences they encounter in life. I could easily be a jockey today if I had grown up around the race track. Instead I grew up in an environment where artistic and intellectual pursuits were encouraged.

In it's most basic form, the desire to create art is all that's really needed in the beginning. But to pursue art as your life's work, to be a "serious" artist, requires a well-rounded foundation, one built upon a broad range of knowledge and experiences.

Art reflects the world around us, and often the world within us. The old advice to "paint what you know" is certainly valid, but just what do you know? Most take this maxim to mean that you must paint or draw your backyard, your neighbor or your dog. I "know" these things too, but I also "know" history, literature and mythology. I have traveled in a number of countries; I have been in the military. I know my life, and I know something of myself, too. This knowledge is reflected in my work.

Writers are encouraged to write as much as possible from their own experiences so that it sounds authentic. Why should a visual artist be any different?

The wider the range of your knowledge and experiences, the deeper and broader your art will become. Exposure to great works of literature and philosophy have given me new ways to look at life and the world, as well as giving me ideas for new artwork. It has allowed me to see how others have viewed these things before me. Some artists have been optimistic; others cynical; but every age has had both optimists and cynics, demonstrating a continuity in human affairs. Both art and psychology tell us that whatever you feel, others have felt the same way you have. The more you read and study, the more you'll see this too.

The more well-rounded a person you are, the finer an artist you'll be. It's "cross-training" at its most intellectual level. This also applies at the more technical level, when developing the actual skills for creating art. To create fine art requires mental focus, patience, discipline, superb hand-eye coordination, well-honed decision-making and problem-solving skills. It requires you to be a good student, one who knows how to study and practice. It also demands the ability to look at your work objectively, not an easy task. I spent a year or two playing and studying chess many years ago, and found that it improved my drawing ability, probably because chess demands so much concentration and foresight. And if you are an artist that works in a representational style, try studying and working in a more abstract style for a while, and vice versa. You'll gain a greater understanding of both.

Da Vinci and Michelangelo were remarkably well-rounded individuals who could think logically, practically and analytically, thanks to their activities in engineering, architecture and the sciences. They applied these skills to their art, and the results speak for themselves. I can think of no better proof for my contention than of these two extraordinary men.

I think it would be helpful now to address the merits of being a formally trained artist, as opposed to being a self-taught artist, such as myself. There can be no doubt that a school trained artist has a considerable advantage over one self-taught; you have someone knowledgeable to ground you in proper technique and help you to correct your mistakes. The self-taught artist must go to great effort to be as constructively critical of his work as he can, concentrating extra effort on the areas in which he is weak, something that will be difficult for some.

But I think all students are ultimately self-taught; no one can make the effort for you. And I have seen many works by academically trained artists that are so formulaic that they look like they came out of a paint-by-the-numbers kit. The self-taught student may fall into improper practices if he isn't careful, but he may be freer in his artistic expression than his school trained friend. Keep in mind that Van Gogh was largely self-taught, receiving only minimal classroom instruction.

I don't want to scare anyone away from pursuing art; as I said before, all you need to start with is the desire to start. But gradually, bit by bit, you may find that expanding your sphere of knowledge and experience will improve the quality of your work, and your life. This all reminds me of the criticism that students have perennially made -- why should I study geometry, French. Latin, etc., when I'm going to wash dishes or mow grass for a living? You're right -- you don't need these studies for everyday accomplishments. But creating fine art is not an everyday accomplishment --it is an extraordinary endeavor that requires extraordinary abilities. I hope that my thoughts here can be of help to you in developing these skills.

About the Author:

The artwork of the author, Charles Griffith, can be found at and he can be contacted at .

Charles Griffith's interest in art began in childhood, and was encouraged by his family. Later, while serving in the U.S. military in Europe, he was inspired by seeing firsthand some of the treasures of European art. Today his art focuses on traditional realism, often with elements of Expressionism and Surrealism.

Article Source: - On Becoming an Artist

Make it a Masterpiece

Author: Rhoberta Shaler

Developing an authentic lifestyle--one that truly reflects what is important to you in all areas of life--is a work of art. It is your personal statement to the world. Are you creating your masterpiece with both the intention and attention a great artist gives her creation?

Reflecting on the ideas and manipulating the materials over time, the artist begins to clarify the vision and, as the piece emerges, watches, refining her ideas, adding this, discarding that, reworking, until the materials begin to match the vision. Once the realization of the dream is glimpsed, work accelerates, and joy and passion carry the piece to completion. Isn't that much like our lives?

Few artists receive their inspiration from attempting to fulfill someone else's idea of what the clay, paint, rock, notes, words, fabric or wood might become. Imitation in art is only the tool of the student as the techniques are learned. The truly authentic work of art must come from within the artist, through the techniques and media, into reality.

Similarly, you cannot live the dreams of your parents, the desires of your friends or the visions of another with passion and integrity.

Great artists understand that their art is their personal expression, and is, therefore, unique. The artist values the medium for its potential to express the idea. The artist works diligently with it-- keeping the vision in view, making small adjustments, learning new techniques, experimenting--until the vision emerges in concrete form and becomes an extension of the artist. It is visible then to all who care to look. The piece bears the artist's name and influences all who view it.

Sometimes, pieces do not please the artist and they are reworked, painted over, melted down, unraveled. These pieces have great inherent value. The artist's vision is clarified, the materials better understood. This contributes much to the next project, the next work of art.

Sometimes, pieces become a legacy and influence many by their existence. These are the authentic works, the true expressions of the artist. These are the quality pieces, as Willa A. Foster, says, "Quality is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives."

You want your life to be of quality, filled with wise choices. Therefore, approach it with high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.

When creating a work of art, you must be present with it, fully engaged each moment, totally absorbed by the possibility you are actualizing and the potential you are exploring. This intense focus is required if you are not to be distracted by the myriad of seductive, and easy to justify diversions. It is a powerful process uplifting, inspiring, sometimes frustrating, satisfying, and, most of all, creative. When you are making a success of something, it s not work. It's a way of life.

Now, if by chance, you are thinking that viewing your life as a work of art, or a lofty contribution to the world, is impractical compared to a factual time-management, goal-oriented, bottom-line approach, please consider this. Every successful business, organization and corporation has two types of leaders, visionaries and administrators. Both are required. You need to be both visionary and administrator in your own life, to live a life of integrity, of wholeness.

After all, would you prefer your life to be a fleeting statistic, or a memorable piece of performance art?

By Rhoberta Shaler, PhD

About the Author:

Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, has helped thousands to see life differently. Dr. Shaler connects people with their authentic selves, their purpose and values, and provides insights and inspiration to overcome the challenges of personal, family and business life. To learn more, visit: . and join It's fr*ee.

Article Source: - Make it a Masterpiece

Making Creative Output A Practical Reality

Author: Mary McNeil

If you want to bring your creative ideas to life, you'll know that you need more than just inspiration. It takes planning and persistent effort too. So if you're brimming with creative ideas but struggling to develop them into tangible output, here are a couple of techniques you can use to make creative output a practical reality.

1. Declutter your way to creativity

Clutter takes many different forms. The most obvious is the physical clutter in your home. Less obvious, but just as constricting, are the emotional and mental clutter you carry around in your head and in your habits. I'm a great believer that the first step you need to take towards greater creativity in your life is to create a space for it.

Sometimes you need to create space without knowing what will fill it. Just clear the clutter and trust that something creative will appear once there's space for it. In my experience it always does. Other times you need to create space with a specific purpose or creative project in mind.

The process of decluttering itself often involves tough decisions, followed by a brief period of grieving for the ex-clutter. But once you've got through that, you experience a fabulous lightness and sense of possibility. This is the space in which your creativity can come out to play.

- So if you stop for a moment and think about where the clutter is in your life, what springs immediately to mind?

- If you were to clear one particular area or type of clutter in your life, which one would free you up the most to get creative?

- What's the first step you need to take to get clearing and to create some creative space for yourself?

2. Create structure to support your creativity

There's a fairly widely held belief that truly creative people need to live unstructured, bohemian lives and that any hint of a routine will kill their creative output. Now while that may be the ideal for a rare few artists, for most people it removes the possibility of a support system.

I believe that the structures and routines you build in your life are the foundations which support your creativity. They can, of course, also stifle it. So you need to make sure that you're building the right sort of foundations. And that means designing your day-to-day routines thoughtfully.

Ultimately you want your creativity to have some output. That involves creating the space and the routines which will allow you to practise your art regularly, whatever form it takes. The grander the scale of your creative ambitions, the more space and disciplined structure you will need.

- Have a think about how much time you want to spend each day (or each week) on your creative projects.

- What routine or structure could you put in place to ensure that you get the time you want?

- If you can't get all the time and space you want, how could you get at least a part of it? What's the first step towards it?

About the Author:

Mary McNeil is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach, natural born planner and declutterer extraordinaire! She works with her clients on a variety of decluttering, success and creativity projects. Her 30-day home learning e-course is jam-packed full with the knowledge and experience she's gained over years of one-to-one coaching with her clients. Check out => Declutter Your Way To Creativity

Article Source: - Making Creative Output A Practical Reality

Making Tomorrow a Better Today

Author: Miata Edoga

How do we define success? And, more importantly, what does it take to achieve it? For actors, those answers might be "Being a series regular on a night-time drama" and "Consistently honing my craft and auditioning regularly". For a photographer, they might be "Shooting a cover for National Geographic" (or Cosmopolitan, depending on preference), and "Constantly shooting in different conditions to increase my skill". It will differ from person to person, and from art form to art form, but I want to give you one key to what it takes that applies across the board, be it art, business, finance or sport:

"The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda… by the daily decisions I make, and the daily disciplines I practice" – Dr John C. Maxwell

I heard that statement in a lesson a few years ago, and it is something that has always stuck with me, because I fundamentally believe that it is true. Another way of saying it is that, if what and where I am today is a direct result of my previous actions, what I am tomorrow depends on what I do today. The problem is, most people underestimate what they can do today, and over estimate what they can do tomorrow.

Now, if you think about this for a minute, you will see how true it is. You constantly hear "I'll do it tomorrow". I know I say that, and then, when it doesn't happen tomorrow, it becomes "the next day"… then the next… then the next, until either we hit a crisis and do it at the expense of something else, or we just never quite get around to it.

Taking your acting career as an example: how can you book any jobs if you don't audition? And how can you audition if casting directors aren't seeing your headshot? And how are they seeing your headshot unless it is being put in front of them? So how many submissions are you or your agent making today? How many workshops are you attending today? What networking are you doing today? What are you doing today to hone your skill so that, when the opportunity arises, you perform to the best of your abilities? But maybe making that phone call to an agent is uncomfortable, so you put it of to tomorrow, and traffic is really bad tonight, so that networking event can wait… you get the picture.

The same is true in your artist development, and especially your finances. If I am struggling with debt, what can I do to get out from under it? Can I call the credit card companies and beg for a break? Can I tear up my bills, move, and hope they won't find me? You certainly could, but it wouldn't be recommended. Instead, wouldn't it be better to make more money, shave some money off your expenses, pay a little less in taxes, put a solid debt plan in place, and move forward freely than constantly worrying about how you were going to handle those student loans? (None of which is taught by acting schools !) Again, what expenses can I track today that can be used as tax deductions? How can a work a bit more today to make that bit of extra money I need to cover those expenses? How can I alter my spending habits today so that I have to worry less tomorrow? (For assistance with this, please email us at with the title "Chart of Expenses", and we will send you a very detailed excel file to help break down your income and expenses, and identify where you could trim, what you need to improve etc).

By now you get the picture. Oscar Wylde said "every action of the common day makes or unmakes character", and, beyond that, everything you do today effects where you will be tomorrow.There are two kinds of pain in this arena: the pain of discipline, and the pain of regret. Now, especially when it comes to our finances, we can play now and pay later, or we can pay now and play later. The problem is, payment compounds, and increases with time and missed opportunities. So if you suffer the pain of paying now – of discipline, of doing the things you need to do long after the mood in which you said them in has gone, of paying attention to your actions today – you will get to play a lot longer in the end.

All of this is a process. No-one expects people to flick a switch and suddenly have amazing organizational skills, perfect credit and financial savvy. Just like getting fit takes time, so does this. The important thing is that, as you take your journey into financial education , you are not alone. Abundance Bound is there to help you any way we can, and we very much look forward to the opportunity of doing so.

About the Author:

Miata Edoga is a working actor, as well as being President & Founder of Abundance Bound . Inc, the financial education company for actors & artists. Her vision is to develop a community of artists able to pursue their creative goals free from the crushing weight of financial stress.

Article Source: - Making Tomorrow a Better Today

Make Every Day an Artist Retreat Day

Author: Linda Dessau

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

What do you enjoy most about going on an Artist Retreat Day? For most of us it's getting away from our "normal routine", having our creativity sparked by new surroundings and having the luxury of "open time" to work on our creative projects.

A retreat gives us the opportunity to step outside the day-to-day and look at the big picture of our creative dreams. It gives us freedom from obligation and responsibilities and guidance from a facilitator and/or our artist peers.

Here are five ways to bring some of these elements into your life EVERY SINGLE DAY:

  1. Call yourself an artist. Find a way to work it into conversations with new people or join and get active in an association, discussion group or other community of artists. Get used to fully claiming your identity as the creative artist that you are.

  2. Enjoy - and celebrate something you've already completed. Savour it, relish in it and accept it as a perfect expression of the "you" that you were when you created it.

  3. Let go of one of the obligations and responsibilities on your list today. Delegate it, cancel it (respectfully and in a considerate way), reschedule it or let it go.

  4. Make use of the free space you've just created. Take a small step towards making your creative dream come true.

  5. Change something in your routine. Take a new route, brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand, get outside, eat your meals in a different chair or change the location of something in your creative workspace.

(c) Linda Dessau, 2006.

About the Author:

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. To find out more about her "Artist Retreat Day Guidebook", visit

Article Source: - Make Every Day an Artist Retreat Day

Creativity and the Artist

Author: Charles Griffith

The artist's inspiration has been the object of wonder and misconception ever since early Man created the first painted images on the walls of his caves thousands of years ago. In truth, there is nothing mystical about creative thought; the average person uses it in his daily life to solve everyday problems, just as the engineer, scientist and architect employ it in their professions. And to expand the mind's ability to conjure new ideas can be accomplished by simply learning to break free of restrictive ways of thinking, and by exposure to new and stimulating experiences.

Everyone falls into a mental rut sometimes, where habit takes over. But habit is the enemy of creative thinking! You have to open your mind to new ways of experiencing and perceiving in order to gain fresh ideas. There are many established ways to improve your ability to think creativity. To begin with, you should always strive to avoid time-worn cliches; for the visual artist, this could mean taking a common subject, such as a still-life, and injecting some new element into it that normally wouldn't be associated with that subject. Consider my painting "Voodoo", found on my website. Instead of the usual flowers and vase, I have used an African ceremonial mask and a human skull, adding a darker twist to the traditional still-life genre.

Many innovative ideas originate in the subconscious mind. Therefore dreams have often been the source of new ideas for the artist, and for Surrealists such as Salvador Dali they were usually the main source of inspiration. Sometimes the mind can be stimulated simply by drawing or painting in a different location than usual. I often find walking or pacing helps me to think and sort out any confusion in my mind. Trying your hand at other fields of artistic expression, such as writing or music, can give you new perspectives. Literature and film can also be rich sources of ideas. I found that studying poetry helped me to draw more upon the subconscious, and to gain a greater appreciation of the principles that are common to all art forms.

One of the greatest obstacles to creativity is conformity. Don't allow yourself to be restricted by what is socially or culturally acceptable; society encourages uniformity of thought and attitude--this is the death of creative thought! Follow your own instincts, believe in your own view and perceptions; don't be afraid to be provocative if that is what your concept demands. Look at my works "The Lady Of Ill Repute" and "The Years"--certainly not everyone's idea of beauty. But beauty can be found in the truth expressed in these women's faces and in their lives, like the beauty found in the ruins of a forgotten temple. In these women one sees the scars of past experience and the price that time exacts from the human soul. In short, they tell a good story, something art should always strive to do.

It is a great mistake to think that every idea that you arrive at should be a good one. The creative process is by nature somewhat chaotic--this naturally means that some of your ideas, perhaps most of them, are simply bad. This is fine! Even a bad idea can be of value, as it may lead you to make an unconscious connection that eventually matures into something useful. In fact, sometimes deliberately coming up with a bad concept can open the mind to something better. It's all a matter of making unconscious associations.

I have come to believe that there is no truly original idea. Everyone builds upon the work of others. Consider Van Gogh's style: his use of color comes from the Impressionists; the hard outlines and flat forms from Japanese woodcuts; his everyday subject matter from earlier artists like Millet. Perhaps his fluid brushwork is his only personal contribution to his distinctive style. But by blending these different elements he came up with something totally unique and personal. This is an example of combining influences. And there are other approaches, such as modifying, maximizing, minimizing, substituting, rearranging, reversing, exaggerating and separating.

Inspiration is always an uncertain commodity; some people will always have the advantage over the rest of us when it comes to innovative thinking. But everyone can expand their capacity for creative thought by ridding themselves of old ways of thinking, and by exposure to new experiences. However, it isn't always necessary to be clever; the most important consideration for the artist is to have something to say, and to say it well. I hope that the methods discussed here will help you to do just that.

About the Author:

The artwork of the author, Charles Griffith, can be found at and he can be contacted at .

Charles Griffith's interest in art began in childhood, and was encouraged by his family. Later, while serving in the U.S. military in Europe, he was inspired by seeing firsthand some of the treasures of European art. Today his art focuses on traditional realism, often with elements of Expressionism and Surrealism.

Article Source: - Creativity and the Artist

Be of Service and You’ll Achieve Artist Success!

Author: Greg Katz

We're caught in a world where time is money and extremely precious. It's difficult enough to figure out how to create art, run a business, and have a life but there's one more step we need to consider that will make running a business much easier. When we stand in service to others we create an exchange with the community and those we serve. This is not a call to go out and volunteer for every nonprofit that knocks on your door. I believe that when we are of service to our own community first we are given a huge advantage in the business arena. Remember charity begins at home.

One of the communities most artists belong to is an artist guild. If you go, how many times do elections come around and the board is scrambling to get someone, anyone who will give a year to serve. I can tell you from personal experience that serving on your professional organization's board is the best investment you can make in your business. It sets you aside from others in many ways and allows you to provide your vision for the organization and the art world.

When we make a commitment to serve we are making a statement to the world that we are firmly planted in our art business. We set an intention to succeed and lead with that example. As part of the leadership team you can keep your finger on the pulse of the community and realize skills you may never have recognized in yourself previous to that moment in time. You'll be included in marketing decisions, exhibition plans, education opportunities; all of these are things you can take and apply toward your own business.

Upon entering the coaching world I never had any intention of serving in a leadership position. Things change quickly and within six months I was part of the leadership team. That move led me to run for the board as Secretary and then I was asked to run for President of the organization. When you are given the opportunity to lead it's not just about guiding the organization, but creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and inclusion. You become known for more than just your artistic talents; you become multi-dimensional. The key is the more people you know and know you, the easier it becomes to run your business. Remember, word-of-mouth is still one of the strongest selling points we can hope for in the art community.

Take the opportunity to learn more about yourself and if you want create a work of art based on your leadership experience. Serving will provide you with insights into human nature you can't gather in any other manner. You get to make the leadership experience what you want it to be. It can either be an asset or a liability, that's your choice. Since we're in the business of building an artrepreneurial empire I'm guessing that you'll find the way that suits your personality and your style to help move your business and the art community you belong to forward in its mission.

About the Author:

Want to be a successful artist? Get the FREE 7-part series "Beating the Odds for Artist Success". Along with the series you'll get the "Beating the Odds" audio-visual program as our special gift. Both the series and audio-visual program are available at .

Article Source: - Be of Service and You'll Achieve Artist Success!

Awaken Your Creative Intent

Author: Heather Ash Amara

The catalyst for internal alchemy is what I call "creative intent." This is your ability to find new ways of moving past obstacles while staying focused on your final goal.

Support Your Internal Creativity

Creativity is the feminine polarity of life, a sense of playful experimentation. Creative energy is the flow of art, and moves as a spontaneous response to stimuli. Creativity stems from dreaming and intuition, and a wide horizon of perception.

Creativity is the juiciness and flow of life. It is often unexpected, unexplainable, and unpredictable. Creativity is our unique expression of life, which we manifest for the pure joy of it. When we are in the river of creative flow, we seek neither reward nor recognition; rather, we tap into the unknown, and mystery moves through us into form.

Creativity cannot be forced or scheduled, but it can be enticed and allowed. As we make ourselves vessels and clear out our doubts, "shoulds," and rules, creativity often comes to fill and overflow us. We see new possibilities, new actions, and new ways of being. We are inspired to take the images, sensations, and taste of our inner world and make them tangible. This creative expression is not only what artists strive for; it is a vital force helping us move through our own internal obstacles and fears.

Our places of limitation often stem from the creative ways we tried to stay "safe" when we were children. For example, most of us grew up with a sense of scarcity in our lives: not enough love, resources, self-confidence, etc. In order to compensate, we create fantastic agreements or strategies, e.g., "I have to be in a relationship or I am not whole." "If I have a lot of money in the bank, I am safe." "If I make sure everyone likes me, I know I am a good person." (These are examples of wacky internal creativity.)

As we become more aware and strive to change these agreements, obstacles arise. Our old structure, which we created to order an unpredictable world, fights to stay alive. Our habitual response is to follow the old pattern, e.g., "That relationship just ended, so I must quickly find another one, or feel lonely and fragmented until I do." "I am feeling insecure, so I am going to go buy something expensive" (and later go into fear that I don't have enough money.) "My friend is disappointed in me, so I must have done something wrong."

When we are willing to risk being creative, there are a million different ways we can respond to stimuli. It is exciting, for we pull our heads out of our tiny box of responses and look towards infinity for our answers. We approach obstacles and fears with a sense of adventure: "What will I do today?" "Who will I be today?" "What will I learn about myself today?"

For example:
Your relationship ends, and you consciously choose to be creative, so you

o (and your former partner) have a divorce celebration with close friends to support you, where you cut the cords on this and all of your previous relationships;

o spend a week in retreat, nourishing yourself with good food and long hikes;

o take your new alone time to do something you have always dreamed of;

o get on the internet and create a personal ad, and then go on dates with fifteen people in four weeks with the agreement that you will not get into a relationship, but simply explore what you like or who how you act around others;

o shave your head and dedicate yourself to meditation for a year;

o volunteer to help a child in need;

o find a good therapist or spiritual guide.

In other words, you are creative, and you do anything that breaks the habit of your usual pattern. To cultivate your own creativity, try these activities for a week:

o Select a problem in your life and list at least ten different ways to work with it. Let some of your ideas be outrageous. Stretch your mind. If you cannot think of a problem, take the examples above (money in the bank or disappointing a friend) and list ten creative things someone could do. Then do at least one of these creative ideas this week.

o Pay attention to the ways your mind goes into habit. Constantly ask yourself: "How can I be creative in this situation?"

o Do at least one physical activity that opens up your creativity: paint a dream, visit a museum and wander through the hallways feeling the art, dance wildly under the moonlight, build a fire and speak to the flames, sing out loud in public.

Tapping into your creativity may feel awkward at first. Remember you are breaking your own box, which can feel frightening, liberating, or both. Enjoy and keep breathing through whatever arises. Pay attention to where you want to limit yourself, or where you are uncomfortable stepping out of your own comfort zone. Keep dancing towards the infinite.

Hone Your Intent

To stop undermining yourself and truly unfurl your wings means attending not only to the beginning, but also the perhaps uncomfortable middle all the way through the alchemical process of internal transformation. Intent is the masculine polarity of life, the movement of focused purpose. It is the determined questing of science, and it moves as a piercing force of transformation. Intent stems from disciplined stalking of the goal and strong action to stay on course.

Intent is the clarity in life that keeps us focused on a specific purpose. Intent acts as the guiding force for our actions in the world. It gives us direction and the will to carry on, despite the obstacles that arise. Intent is a combination of determination and dedication. Intent is a science, a practice of getting from point A to point B systematically without getting distracted or straying from the course. Intent allows us to see beyond chaos, fear, and temptation. All of our senses align with our goal. All of our energy aligns with our senses. We are a pure point of perception, undaunted by the impossible. We know what we want and are not afraid to go for it.

One problem, however, is that our intent often flows from an unconscious place. When we act from unconscious intent, our integrity and truth are compromised. Our actions are colored by our experiences of the past. Old agreements and fears dictate how we react to life happening around us. Our intent then stays at its default setting, which is usually the setting we agreed to when we were very young.

We would never consciously say: "My intent is to sabotage myself and prove that I am not deserving," or "My intent is to never put my full heart and energy into any project, so I do not have to worry about failing," or "My intent is to blame everyone else around me for my inability to take responsibility for my life decisions." But we hold these types of unsupportive intents and live our lives from them.

There is a great little book that expresses perfectly the sort of intents we carry within us. "Today I Will Nourish My Inner Martyr" is a book of "Affirmations for Cynics," or really, for the unconscious. Some favorite samples are:

o "Today, instead of dealing with situations that upset me, I will create melodramatic diversions."

o "I have a right to be a victim after all that I have been through."

o "Because I demand that everything in my life is the best and beautiful, I will disown my body today."

o "Today I will remind myself that my friends and family are just waiting for me to fail."

o "Today I will cultivate a relationship with an especially needy person so I can fulfill my need to be needed."

The first step in honing your intent is to clear out the garbage intents that clog your system. They are heavy energies that weigh down the lightness of pure, conscious intent. Play with making up intents for yourself based on your unconscious beliefs. Keep this practice as play, for it will expose more of your unconscious heaviness. Notice where you are sabotaging yourself or acting in ways that go against your heart. Then make a joke of it:

o "Today, I will wake up depressed and then punish myself all day for it."

o "Today, I will make a mistake and repeat it in my head over and over again."

o "Today, I will say I want to write, but I will spend the day cleaning up someone else's mess."

Get these thoughts out in front of you so you can see them. Once you are aware, you have the power to make a choice and ask, "Is that really the intent I want to hold for my day/week/life?"

Once you have played with and felt you unconscious intents, rewrite what intent you actually want to be living from. What different action can you take? How can you bring the creative aspect in to this new intent? Write these intents when you are not in the pattern, i.e. before you get depressed, confused, anxious, etc. Action is best planned from a neutral or joyous space. Make three action steps you will take that oppose the old intent, or nourish your new one (preferably one of each).

For example:
o "Today if I wake up depressed, I will not believe the lies my mind tells me. Instead I will (a) call two people and ask them to tell me what they appreciate about me, (b) will email two people and share what I appreciate about them, and/or (c) go out and take a dance class."

o "Today I will write despite distraction or drama. If I get distracted or caught in drama, I will (a) take a deep breath and acknowledge my distraction; (b) get my butt back to the writing chair with minimal judgment, (c) drink a cup of tea while I read what I wrote before I was distracted, and continue onward, and/or (d) spend a few moments looking at what I felt like before I was distracted, and what uncomfortable feeling or thought arose that I can teach myself to sit through.

Write out your new intent, and new actions someplace you will have them handy when the situation next arises. Do your actions when you get off track; don't rethink them. Notice the results, and enjoy.

About the Author:

Heather Ash Amara weaves powerful practices of shamanic traditions to help people reach their potential. She apprenticed and taught extensively with Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. She wrote Four Elements of Change and founded the Toltec Center for Creative Intent. She runs Spiritual Integrity Coaching with Raven Smith. Read more creative actions from Heather Ash.

Article Source: - Awaken Your Creative Intent

Artists and Depression

Author: Megan Webber

Health concerns are a major issue for all of us, whether it's fitness, weight control or specific health issues. I am an artist. Since my mid teens I have also suffered from Depression. I however didn't come to terms with this until my mid 30's. Initially on consultation with my GP I began a six-month course of antidepressant medication.

What I found with this kind of medication was that as an artist it was not the direction I needed. Yes, it blocked my emotional responses to certain situations, but this was more a dilemma then help. To me as an artist if you can't feel you can't express yourself.

So at the end of the day I decided to stop the medication and live with my condition accepting that I would have my up and down days. This can be difficult when dealing with family or your partner. At times is can be difficult to gain understanding about these issues with people you love. Yes you are fatigued much of the time and others unable to get outside and experience life. Many aspects of life become difficult.

When I met my current partner I was introduced to the products of Herbalife. As a trained Kinesiologist she also was able to fast track some core issues that had impacted on my condition.

I've been that sort of person who likes to almost stick my head in the sand when it comes to some health issues. Also hold a certain scepticism, which means that I need to consider all aspects of anything before I commit.

First of all I became aware that even in my mid 30's I was peri menopausal. In fact probably for many years. Something that can also has an impact on emotional levels as well as physical.

I have now started a course of herbal treatments, which unlike traditional medicines deal with a holistic approach. I strongly believe gentler on mind and body, but truly effective on assisting me with my conditions.

I now take Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix, which balances my nutrition on a daily basis, Formula 2 that is a vitamin B complex, Formula 3 Vitamin C and Tang Kuei the key ingredient, which stabilise hormonal changes.

The key ingredient of Tang Kuei, which has been taken by men and women for centuries in China, is Angelica polymorph and Chamomile. These ingredients are used after strenuous physical exertion, relief of muscle tension and for relaxation.

This has been a fantastic break through for me with depression and pre menopausal conditions. Tang Kuei is extremely important for a range of health problems not just depression. From Chronic fatigue syndrome, menopause, arthritis, Asthma, Skin conditions, Weight Loss and more there are many products to help you. These products are much less invasive then many prescribed treatments and will balance your system physically and mentally.

As like some of you I don't necessarily like to talk about my conditions, but these nutrition products make a huge difference to my quality of life.

Please email me with comments or questions on DM or email me on the form below to see whether we can help you out or, other loved ones with any of their health concerns.

If you can think of anyone who you think can benefit from any of the listed information please feel free to forward this article to them.

About the Author:

Artist and Health Consultant representative.

Working as an artist for over 20 years. Have a love of the environment and politics, which don't always go hand to hand.

Lateral thinker who likes a challenge.

Article Source: - Artists and Depression

An Artist’s Statement

Author: Jo Mari Montesa

Of all the gifts God gave to man the finest is his free will. Second to life itself. It is the essence of man. It is what separates man from all the other creatures of God. By ones choice or action he is judged if he is worthy to be called the man created by God.

The child of free will is art. It is man's self-expression. It is synonymous to freedom of expression. Every art is unique since every man is unique. How man perceives art is also unique as how man perceives beauty. As how man perceive life.

Art is like life. It all depends to the person's perception. Truly beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. The gauge of how beautiful life is, depends uniquely to every man.

A professor of mine once walked in the streets of Manila during summer. It is very hot, humid and dusty. He noticed a very old beggar asking for coins to the passers while bathing to the heat of the sun all day. Beside the beggar was a newspaper stand. One tabloid headline reads 'Young Matinee Idol Commits Suicide." My professor stops for awhile and asks himself how could this young man kill himself when he has everything. Money, women, good looks, popularity, youthfulness, what more could he ask for. While this old beggar is still striving for a few coins. Why not just threw himself to the vehicles speeding in front of him. Like my professor, my conclusion too is that it's all a matter of perception.

Like life the beauty of art depends solely to the individual. It is how man perceives art that makes it beautiful.

Those who believe that they found the beauty in life. Let as show that beauty to the world. Let as show our art.

About the Author:

Jose Mari Montesa or Jo Mari is a Visual Artist by talent. He has Masters Degree in Business Administration, Accountancy is his profession and currently working in a bank. But his heart really belongs to the Art world.

Since his boyhood he joined many art contests in different mediums. He has informal trainings in Painting, Technical Drawing and Photography. Also, a student and a believer of Humanities.

Jo Mari is also into Photography. He joined competitions both local and international. Some of his Photographic works are now in the hands of private collectors.

Right now the artist is concentrated in painting. Specifically Oil painting on canvas. He hopes that he will be known for this medium.

Most of his paintings are influenced by the rich culture and tradition in the Philippines. For example his series of Immaculate Concepcion oil paintings are inspired by the dark wood used in the icons of the Virgin Mary centuries ago when Spain brought Christianity to the Philippines. This type of wood are used to make the skin complexion of the Virgin similar to Asian or a Filipina.

Jo Mari have also done Landscapes, Still Life and Abstract paintings.

Jose Mari Jose Mari -

This website has received the 2008 Artmajeur SILVER

Article Source: - An Artist's Statement