Just One Thing

Just One Thing.

That’s not “just one MORE thing.”  It’s just one thing. That’s all you have to do to kick off marketing your art.One more thing

Last week I taught a great group of artists a workshop called “Marketing and Self-Promotion for Artists.” I offer an art business workshop each month through a local art venue. However, there’s a problem with marketing. The problem is there are so many ways to market, so many tried and true ways, that, if you’re a beginner, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Continue reading “Just One Thing”

Filling the Solo Cup

(This is a repost from July of 2013. The information is still relevant today, especially if you’re  working alone…feel free to comment or share the post with others who may benefit. ~m)

Working AloneI work alone.  Mostly, I write alone. I paint alone, and that’s the way I like it. Sometimes I’m coaching others, and I really love it.  However, most of my day is spent in my own company…and I’m an extrovert. I think. I was.

I have conversations with my “Studio Dogs.”(click to Tweet). We listen to music in the studio and I sometimes dance with them. Maybe I talk to them too much. They don’t complain. Continue reading “Filling the Solo Cup”

Mad Monsoon

Inhalation.Inspiration

Deep, exhilarating, thoughtful, inspiration.

As I consciously decide to take a break on my series of Villages, the possibilities on new work pour in…like torrential rains. A mad, invigorating monsoon of ideas, mental snap shots and dreams begging to spring to life.

It’s like drinking from a fire hose. It’s like digital information that floods your mind and you can’t get mental a foothold. “I’m drowning in inspiration…possibilities.” (Click to Tweet that).

Have you had this experience? Have you had the sheer joy of waking in the morning, rippling with excitement of what you might explore and discover that day? Have you felt like a 5 year old in your adult body, ready to pack a day full and explore every corner of God’s creative earth?

It is this little break, between creating, doing and delivering that is the sweetest space for me. (Click to Tweet)  Faced with the openness of possibilities, no searching for inspiration, but trying to catch the pouring 7 Sacred Pondsideas in a teaspoon…abundance.

How do you assimilate this? Here are some ideas to help manage muse in a mad monsoon:

  • Capture ideas in sketches – Do small studies that can become larger works in the future. Carry an idea book with you.
  • Balance new skills with existing competencies – Know which skills you have nailed down, and which ones you need to work on…use each…stretch with new ideas and skills, but anchor them to existing competencies – that way you can get a foothold and minimize epic disappointments. Epic disappointments squelch the joy of inspiration.
  • Identify ways to leverage your ideas – Can you string them together? Find a place where they meet in the middle and build on it? If there is no junction, don’t force one.
  • Work in series – You will create a comprehensive body of work and deepen your understanding of the subject matter and skills you are working to improve along the way. Learn more about series work here.
  • Let your imagination run wild – Consider the design elements and your ideas. Work through them all, consider them again and again.
  • View lots of work – by other people, by Mother Nature. Become a keen observer.
  • Find a mentor or trusted friend –  Have someone to bounce ideas off, give you gentle guidance and feedback. It’s a huge asset to have a critique group or a few trusted allies. Make sure they are people whose work and judgment you trust. They should be honest, gentle and supportive. Mean mentors will not only ruin your day, they can ruin YOU!

Munds MountainSo this spring, in the season of renewal and rebirth, I encourage you to welcome ideas as they flow, too fast to catch in a teaspoon. Mop them up with journals and sketchbooks. Catch them in a voice memo function on your phone. Drink from the fountain with trusted kin and feel free to share how you find and capture inspiration in a comment below. I welcome you to the conversation.

 

Enjoy the Monsoon!

Coaching

 

 

Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy Writer, Artist, Coachmore success in their lives. 

                          Follow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

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Shifting Gears

Better LivingI’m changing gears this week. This post is not about art business, it’s more about “life business.”  It’s a glance in the rear view mirror where I see a road behind that’s strewn with worry and angst. I realize, like a finely woven tale, it evolves into a road of purpose, goodness and gratitude.

Yesterday was rife with challenges. It began with too much coffee, which was quickly followed by a “pirouette” that resulted in coldcocking myself in the face with the edge of the bathroom door – hard enough to leave a mark. Don’t ask…the toilet paper roll was too big and that’s all I’m sayin.’ If you ever ask my husband he will tell you, “She’s not clumsy, she incredibly athletic.”  That’s his gracious way of saying I haven’t yet broken a hip.

All amped up on the crack-Kona coffee, I stole away a few moments in the studio and quickly realized small motor skills are degraded by a good cup of joe. My car was in the shop, but I had my husband’s car, so I went to meet a friend. Surprisingly,  the key I was using worked in the ignition, but wouldn’t allow me to lock the vehicle. I ran some errands and left the car unlocked; interestingly, things went smoothly.

Mid-afternoon a nice man from the garage drove my freshly and partially repaired car to my house. He took me to his shop to finalize the repair paperwork. There was one more major repair to be made at the dealership. To my surprise, but not really, I couldn’t persuade my car out of the parking lot. It gasped, and lurched and died. Admitting defeat I summoned the tow truck, which hauled it to the dealership for its “final final.”

I was able to get home from the dealership because, in my past, I had the good sense to have children and marry a man who also had children. I’ll bet you’re surprised that my husband had children…sounds sort of painful…and I’m sure it had its moments. Anyhou, he raised a lovely daughter. She and her little yorkie fetched me up to take me home. After a brief visit, a Mexican payoff and a 10-dollar bill, she left. She took her yorkie with her, but in his customary regalia, Better Livinghe left behind little yorkie turds in my studio. Every. Time. He. Visits. Little shitter.

Because of these mis-adventures, I missed an annual charity event I’d been looking forward to attending. Sitting home hungry and tired, it dawned on me.

I have shifted gears.

Years ago I would have focused on each thing that “went wrong.” I would have dwelled on the string of imperfections that formed my day. I would’ve complained about the inconvenience, the heat, the loss.  While it sounds like I’m doing that now, that’s not the case.

I find myself grateful at the close of this day. Grateful for the good will of strangers. Grateful they cheerfully went out of their way for me. Grateful the dealership went beyond their call to see if the high dollar repair would be covered under warranty – and it was! There was value in the interesting chat with the driver from the first garage.  I’m touched by the tow-truck driver’s positive attitude and careful attention. I’m blessed by a daughter who is responsive and generous – and her little dog, too, for he is WAY too generous. I’m delighted friends at the charity event said they missed me. An additional wave of gratitude is for my husband’s car, which served me well, escaped a raping, and didn’t end up street-side on blocks, despite being unlocked. I’m even happy with the unseasonably warm weather. I’ve been deeply touched by the kindness of those who don’t know me, but were willing to give to me nonetheless. Mostly, I’m thankful for the personal growth; the ability to shift perspective without clawing my way through old habits to do so (click to Tweet that). It came naturally – today.

You hear people say things like, “You can’t change the world, but you can change your attitude about it.” “Look on the bright side.” “Happiness is a choice.” Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We know these things. Sometimes, some people would like to haul off and slap these sunny-side crusaders – I’m not absolutely sure, but it’s an educated guess (click to Tweet). But, the day you have a potentially tough day, put your feet up and count your blessings, that’s the day you really know it. The day you don’t consciously reframe your life, but it instead falls into a frame of its own, and you’re happy with it, is when you know you’ve really shifted gears.

Just Cruise Along!

Signature

 

 

Michelle Andres is a writer, artist and coach who nudges, nay, shoves, her clients in the direction of their dreams, helping them to overcome non-productive behaviours and enjoy Writer, Artist, Coachmore success in their lives. 

                          Follow her on  Facebook and on Twitter

For a free gift that will help you boost personal productivity “Join the Tribe” and subscribe to this blog!