Category Archives: motivational

The dog ate my motivation

The dog ate my motivation. Good excuse, right?

We get inventive when it comes to excuses to avoid that which we REALLY want to do if we weren’t so scared.

A lack of motivation usually stems from fear. Sometimes we realize that what we have been doing isn’t working so we lose motivation.

I have been sensing a shift lately. I don’t lack discipline (but strong discipline can sometimes work against me.) A feeling that things weren’t working out has bogged me down in the last week or so.

I felt cornered. I made this art journal spread to express my feelings.

art journaling

Then I realized that I have to go back to the moment, to let my intuition guide me. So often I “push through” which is not guided by my intuition, but by my force of will.

I’m stubborn and I want things to happen NOW, not later or on a universal timeline.  As frustration sets in I have to surrender, and then I find myself back on track, motivated to step forward again.

Our body is a great indicator whether we’re “pushing” or allowing. How does if feel? Like rolling a rock up a mountain?

Water flows easily around obstacles. Be like water.

Listen to that inner urge, the subtle force that propels us forward. The turtle wins the race…

If you don’t feel motivated what can you do? If you want to make art, set aside a no-excuse time to do it and stick with it! Everyone can find 15 minutes a day.

Put your art supplies out on a table or counter somewhere. They are a reminder of what you want to do.

Find creative ways around chores and children or involve the tots in art making with you. You might inspire a future artist.

Watch art how-to videos on YouTube. I have a channel with lots of INSPIRING VIDEOS.

To get on track we have to engage with the things that inspire fear. Art is easy as you can’t go wrong! Look at is as exploration.  I’m only addressing art here, but if you have a different dream, what is holding you back?

Cultivate discipline but don’t let it consume you and your inner sense of what is right. There is a balance to everything.

Trust the sensations in your body. They are never wrong.

When you feel inspired, act! Don’t put it off.

When you don’t feel inspired, listen within and trust that everything is okay.

Make a habit of creating some art every day. It bears repeating. Make friends with your art materials. Sometimes unknown materials can be scary. Remember, your art is never wrong. Accept the ugly with the beautiful and keep going.

Stop making excuses, period. Stand “naked” with the pain of frustration and indecision. Allow the stuckness until you feel that inner “go” again.

Make some bold moves.

Don’t blame the dog! 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. I have some inspiring and affordable e-courses if you’re looking for tutorials. CLICK HERE. 

 

Your gremlins

Your gremlins will always be around to sneak through the crack in your door. I’m talking about the “I am not good enough,” “I don’t have time,” “I can’t afford,” “I don’t know enough,” “I don’t know how…”  “I’m too old.”

You get the picture. Some of them are stronger and some are cunning. They are all opportunists and freeloaders, and persistent like sales people on commission.  They lie in wait…

crocodiles

You know they are there, so what to do?

They all stem from fear of course.  I wrote a blog post about that: What do you fear?

Every time you set a goal or set an intention to change your lifestyle in any way, the gremlins will show up like clockwork. Let’s look at the “I’m not good enough.”

Unless you have massive experience or a PhD, it’s likely you don’t know enough about something like astrophysics, but maybe you could get excited about a telescope and the stars?

Most people don’t know a huge amount of stuff, but they might know an angle that is unique.

Maybe you came across an artist making these great teapots and you are filled with a burning desire to learn how to make them and perhaps start a ceramic biz.

To start something like that you do need some classes, a lot of them maybe, but if you love it, go for it! At some point YOU WILL BE good enough and have fun in the process.

What if you have life experience? What can you teach people from your own experiences? Lots, I’m sure. People in similar circumstances want to know. People are always looking for solutions to problems.

If you have a passion and you have done nothing about it, why? We will always doubt ourselves, but once we roll up our sleeves and go for it, we find that the gremlin trying to stop us is only hot air.

courage

Once you make the decision to start the journey, the momentum of you applying yourself daily will take you to the heart of your passion. That is the law of nature.

I meet so many wannabe artists, but the first excuse coming out of their mouth is a clear indication the gremlins have a strong hold.  The “I don’t have time” or “I don’t have the right tools” or “I don’t know how,” are the most common. I know that they will never even try!

The status quo has a massive hold on us.

Don’t let the gremlins rule! Whatever your dream, don’t end up old and full of regrets. It’s never too late to start something new. If you’re breathing you can do something today.

Listen to that yearning, the little longing voice that makes you think of THAT thing you never did anything about.

Today is a good day to start! Do it even if the gremlins are screaming bloody murder…

xo

Maria

P.S. I went crazy this week and loaded up my etsy shop with new juicy art journals and a fairy pouch or two. EARTHANDFAERY.

 

Trusting yourself?

Trusting yourself can be an iffy business. I can say that I do for the most part, but then something happens to make me doubt my choices as in “am I insane?” 🙂

It happens to all of us since we live in a society that does not promote trust. It actually promotes the opposite.

However, we have a choice.  If you have the insight that you’re your ultimate judge of what is best for you, you can cultivate trust and see it grow from within.

We seek validation from others. That’s something ingrained in every cell from childhood. It’s a revolutionary concept to know you can trust your own inner wisdom and act on it.

How do you do that? You decide to begin trusting yourself. The trust can show up as a gut feeling, a sense of right or wrong, a strong desire to NOT do something that others want you to do. Ask your body before you make a choice. It will tell you the truth.  You can tell the difference between avoidance and truth. It might take some practice.

It take guts to go against the grain.  It’s likely you will encounter resistance from others and yourself. The more you trust and see that you chose the right thing, the stronger the trust grows.

Then there is the spiritual insight: life is everlasting so there is nothing to fear. Trust is the very essence of life. A small child has nothing but trust until it’s taken away.

What does this have to do with art you ask.

In art making, do you look for validation from others? Is what you painted okay or do you trust your own process however difficult or stumbling it appears? 
mixed media

I made this mixed media art in 2015 and put it in my etsy shop for sale. It never sold, and upon critical review I decided that the big bird was not right. At the time I liked the art.

We change and so does the art. I decided to reuse the canvas so I covered the art work with lots of papers that I proceeded to paint.  I have come this far now but I’m filled with uncertainty.

mixed media art

Should I paint something popular like a mermaid or some cute primitive animals or….? An abstract maybe?

The mind jumps in with suggestions all the time. Play it safe. Paint what sells, be smart. MONETIZE!

That takes away a lot of individual choice, doesn’t it? I wrote about the wisdom of the body to create a while back. It all comes back to trust. Do you trust yourself to make the right paint choices or mixed media combinations?

Who cares? Is it a matter of life or death?

Screw it all up and start again. There are no right answers. The art will tell you via your “good feeling” if it hit the mark of something awesome.

I’d say 90% of my art never hits the “awesome” status. Awesome is when something unexpected appears that could only come from the deepest inner inspiration.  It is inexplicable yet unmistakable.

Every time I paint I wish for that genius to step forward. It takes a lot of patience and ruined canvases. It takes commitment. Hard traits to cultivate. It takes a lifetime (or more.)

However, I have traveled the path of creating art on canvas for a long while now so the trust is there. I cultivated it by showing up at the project.

Maybe this one will be AWESOME!

What are you creating today?

Have a great weekend.

Lots of love,

Maria

UPDATE: here is the video I created as I finished the art project above. VIDEO.

P.S. Check out my awesome  🙂 self-paced paper creating e-course. Lots of varied papers and ephemera and some art journaling spreads how-tos as well, about 9 videos. ONLY $24. LIFE’S SONG.

 

 

Fear holding you back?

Fear holding you back from pursuing your dreams? It happens to all of us, at least to those who accept they have a dream.

fear
fear

It was not random that we came into this world, and as we grew we showed certain talents and skills. Some were good at math, some at the gym, some showed artistic talent.

When I was a kid I knew I had a talent for words.  I loved expressive art, but it developed later. Words have always flowed easily for me so I ended up becoming a writer until that interest kind of petered out. But as they say, a writer is always a writer.

I have to say visual art is a tougher dream, but I love it passionately. There are so many ways to express oneself. Where to start?

art palette
art palette

There are two things I want to mention:

You often look at other people’s art and then try to copy it because you like it.

Or you encounter massive resistance.

That is the fear / ego kicking in saying lots of nasty stuff about your lack of talent and sense of color or whatever. Your fear will find something wrong with you no matter what. I wrote a blog post about resistance a while back: Who is in charge…

If you have no clue where to start, copy other people’s art that you love. As you get more sure about your art supplies and what they can do, you start to experiment with what you have learned.

As you grow bolder with each experiment, you start to feel more secure, but the fear is always lurking in the background.

Do the art processes that feel good to you. If it doesn’t feel right, try something else. There are so many techniques and tools it can be bewildering.  The only way through is to keep trying and doing.

If you hit a block, know that things are about to change. It usually shows up before a major breakthrough, but you can get stuck in procrastination. That is a sneaky way for the inner critic to attack you when you’re down. I wrote a post about that, available here: Procrastination is an ugly beast…

There are no shortcuts of easy fixes. Each artistic journey is so individual it’s hard to give advice that fits everyone.

One thing is for sure: A dream is worth pursuing, and the way to do it is to give it some time every day. Create a discipline for your dream. If it is important enough you will do it.

Is it?

Well then, what are you waiting for?

When all is said and done we have to do things that light us up, otherwise, what is the point?

Have a great creative week!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have some handmade art journals in my etsy shop that might help to get you started. CLICK HERE to check out my offerings.

Artist struggles

Artist struggles can be hard to overcome, especially if the road seems pitted with pot holes and many disappointments, not to mention loads of failed art work. I will get to that.

There is the issue of artistic expression, and the issue of selling your art. In a way, they go hand in hand even if they are two different arms of the biz of being an artist.

brushes

Artist expression, how to negotiate the pitfalls:

The biggest thing for expression is COMMITMENT.  As with any other work you have to be committed to get results. How do you build commitment if you don’t have it?

You have to build a new habit by showing up every day at your art, come hell or high water! There is no way around this. Even when you feel no inspiration at all, you show up and put brush to paint or whatever medium you’re using. Prepare you tools and inspiration might start to flow. If it doesn’t, paint anyway. It might look like crap, which is often does, but so what? You can always paint over it later. The sooner we realize how important commitment is, the sooner we will see progress in our art endeavors. Make loads of ugly paintings and be proud of them!

COMPARISON: Don’t compare your work to that of other artists. You are unique.  Why would you want your work to look like someone else’s?  To find your own style, you have to produce a lot of art, trial and error style, until you feel the unmistakable vibe of YOU in your art. It can take some time, but you are committed.

Guitarists did not become great overnight… Practice can be tedious, but the progress is noticeable.

It’s hard to explain what the vibe of YOU is, but you will know. It feels right, it feels magical, it feels like “yes.”

Then again, you might lose that feeling as you continue to grow and advance in your art. Then you lean on your commitment until the next breakthrough.

JUDGMENT: It can be the death of creativity. If you judge your own art as you move through your process, you are likely to quit making art. Judgment of others can be hard to take, but why take their word for it? They come from their single point of view, and maybe they are envious of your courage to be an artist. It takes courage to let the world see your art. Who cares what others think, right? Thick skin, remember?

Those are the three biggies.

business

Two pitfalls in art biz:

VISIBILITY: Unless you’re a performer it can be hard to make yourself visible online and offline. Many artists are introverts and find it difficult to allow the vulnerability of self AND personal art into the world.

The only way to overcome this is to SHOW UP and grow some thick skin. People will always be quick to criticize, but if you did your best and you love your art, you don’t have to buy into the criticism. There can be helpful criticism, but you can feel the difference. Don’t buy into the b*llshit. Remember your passion for your art and your commitment.

It’s easier to be visible online since there is a barrier between you and the public, but you will encounter trolls there too. Trust in yourself. You are enough, and your art is enough. It’s a journey, and you keep on going.

Blogging and having an online shop are two ways to be visible online. What is most important to you? To have gallery representation or online sales? You can have both. I find ways to show my art, usually in shops, and coffee shops. So far, I have not been in more than a couple of gallery shows, but I’d rather sell online. That has been my choice.

Make several streams of income available.

CREATIVE THINKING: Art-ing is not the only way to be creative. To make opportunity for yourself, you have to get your art out there. Think of ways you enjoy to make your art available. You don’t have to be represented by a gallery to have good sales, or travel to art shows.

I mix it up with some crafts and I also make e-courses. Find several ways to bring in income from your art. Build a mailing list.

Some of these things are pretty boring, but have you ever done work that was all fun and play? Commitment involves doing the boring stuff that is needed for your art to be visible.

There are so many ways to sell your art online: Prints, art on totes and mugs, commissions, online shops, a website with all the links to your goodies. Get inspired by what other artists have done to sell their art. If they can, you can!

When I started out I used to sell art on eBay, and I look at my art from my early days and wonder how it ever sold!  Some did though, so there are people who will always see the beauty in your art even if it’s amateurish (compared to where you are now.)

Today is the day. Make that commitment and go for it!!

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of new things in ONE of my etsy shops: https://etsy.com/shop/EarthandFaery

 

Who is in charge?

Who is in charge? You or your ego / resistance?  I know I have written about that before, but through my experience over time, I have realized that inspiration is not some kind of random thing that only comes to a lucky few.

Inspiration is a good habit to grow in your art practice. Inspiration is not a fickle muse or a random occurrence. It is yours to command if you show up consistently.

In charge
Who is in charge?

I wasn’t going to write a blog post today, but I had promised myself to write one this week. Kinda late in the game since it’s Saturday. My excuses were:

I’m not inspired

I have nothing to say

I’m too tired to write now

I’d rather be painting (when would that ever be an excuse??)

When I show up to paint, I get the same bullsh*t excuses. Life would just go by without me accomplishing anything I have set out to do.

I have “make art” written on every day of my calendar. I do miss some days, but for the most part I show up even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes at the current painting or art journal page.

I count my crafts as art too since I’m using my creativity. Here is what I made today.

mermaid polymer clay mosaic
Believe in magic

I woke up and really wanted to get going on this mermaid.  Part of me said, go for it, the other said, sleep in.

There will always be some bullsh*t excuse for not doing what we know will make us happy.

Same crap as with exercising regularly…

Saying “no” to the resistance is a muscle that can be toned and strong. At one point the resistance gets the message and moves over a bit so that you can get to the action you want quickly.

The point is to stick with the action you have set for yourself. If that is “do more art” it’s something that is “holy.” There is no argument allowed and as “do more art”  becomes a habit, you have won.

Remember though, resistance will always be there lurking in the background, but if you have set a “no compromise” status for yourself things have to move forward or YOU will feel like crap while resistance smirks in the background. Been there too many times.

If you expect inspiration to be there, IT WILL BE.

Excuses are not allowed.

mermaid polymer clay
Believe in magic

NOW, go do it! 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. My free 2017 art journaling challenge is going strong. If you’d like to have the prompt emails. sign up HERE. Guest teacher for March will be Julia Ostara.  The mermaids are available in my etsy shop Earth and Faery.