What Inspires You?

In this feature, each month artists share one thing that excites them creatively.

One key piece to support healthy, productive creativity is stimulating inputs. What kinds of things stimulate the creative centers of the brain? What kind of inputs stimulate us visually? Emotionally? Spiritually? Mentally? Physically?

I’d really like to know, what’s one thing that fills your creative cup?

If you’d like to be part of this feature, send an email to info@themindfulartist.com. Include a sentence or two about one of your key inspirations. Please include some photos – either to illustrate your inspiration, to share your artwork with us. We especially love pictures of YOU! We want to feature YOU and your work so please send a link to your blog or website or flicker page.

What Inspires You?
Candace Pryor

What inspires me?

Lately, I’ve been inspired by African-American male presenting lesbians. Before I explain what that means, I’ll give a little insight on who I am.

For a long, long time I hid my sexuality for the usual reasons (shame, fear, internal turmoil, etc) Though I’m over that, I’ve never put my sexuality into my work and so I’ve started drawing and painting African-American lesbians.

I love everything about gender-bending women who present themselves as more male than female to the public. They are my inspiration and I hope to honor the many things that they are, visually.

CandacePryor aka ARTacrobat, Raleigh, NC
Website: http://www.wix.com/artacrobat/candace#!home|mainPage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/ARTacrobat


What Inspires You?
Ann Holsberry

One of the things that inspires me is old found papers I gather when I travel to other countries. My use of them in my art is not about sentimentality for the past; rather these ephemera evoke for me a feeling of the passage of time. I often use them with encaustic which provides both protection and a luminous veiled quality.

I am pleased that my work will be featured in an E-book, Encaustic and Paper: Twenty International Artists which will be published this year.

This is a photo of me in my studio with some old papers and French Notebook, one of my works in the background.

Ann Holsberry, Watsonville, CA
Website: http://www.annholsberry.com

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You can do this!

Wherever you are right now as an artist, I am here to remind you that you can do this.

Top of the World, ink on paper ©Theberge 1992

It may not always be easy and it may not always be smooth but if you keep at it you will experience joys and rewards you could not have dreamed of from where you stand right now.

It may not always look exactly like you dreamed it would, but the life you aspire to is waiting for you.

I just wanted to make sure you remembered this.

Your work means something. There is a place for your work in this world. No matter what kind of work you make, there are people out there just WAITING for you work.


There hearts are longing for what you and ONLY you can give. Just as there is no one in the entire world who looks quite like you, there is no one in the whole entire world who can create what you do.

Your work is important.

Please remember that.

Now, go get in the studio!

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Food for Thought – Hurston

This month’s quote is from a writer. I learn so much from reading all kinds of artists – dancers, writers, actors, musicians – speak about their process. I don’t feel it’s that different in other mediums. 

“Perhaps, it is just as well to be rash and foolish for a while. If writers were too wise, perhaps no books would get written at all. It might be better to ask yourself ‘Why?’ afterward than before. Anyway, the force from somewhere in Space which commands you to write in the first place, gives you no choice. You take up the pen when you are told, and write what is commanded. There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.”

Zora Neale Hurston from Dust Tracks on A Road

What about you? Is there anything in Zora’s words you can relate to? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Mindful Artist Mentorship Program Scholarship Contest!

Through the scholarship contest, we will be giving away a full-ride scholarship to the mentorship program. If you have already registered and you win, you will receive a full refund on your purchase!

Here’s how the contest will work:

  • If you haven’t yet, listen in to our free class that we did, “Connecting With Your Deeper Wisdom to Overcome Three Common Obstacles as a Professional Artist”, by downloading the recording here: http://themindfulartist.com/freecall/
  • Please don’t over-post. Up to once a day on facebook and up to 3 times a day on twitter is the limit. 
  • Feel free to share this contest with your friends. All details are posted on this mindful artist blog post. 

On Twitter, make sure that your Tweets are tagged with the hashtag #mamp12 so that we can track it on this end. On Facebook, be sure to tag my Facebook art page in your update so that it shows up on our wall. Alternatively, you can just come to our Facebook page and post your tip directly to our wall!

The contest will be open starting today and will close on June 17, 2012. At that point, we will close the contest, tally up the entrants and choose a winner at random.

If you have any questions about the contest or how it works, please e-mail us at info@themindfulartist.com and we’d be happy to help!

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Connect with others to accelerate your progress!

A few months ago, a friend invited me to join at women’s fitness challenge group she was forming.

Participating has radically changed my yoga practice  (In addition to getting me more in shape and encouraging me to do even more cardio.)

I have been practicing yoga for 27 years now.

I’ve had dozens of amazing teachers over the years. I’ve gone through periods when I went to 3- 5 classes a week and periods when I’ve just practiced on my own.

I’ve had times when I stepped away from it temporarily.

But mostly, I’ve practiced daily for all these years.

But I need to admit something to you.

There are poses I just have not really progressed in.

I can do a mean triangle pose but I’ve never been able to do a full vrischikasana (scorpion) without assistance:

or bacasana (crow pose):

I just haven’t built the upper body strength.

So that has been a big part of my commitment with the fitness challenge – to work on my upper body strength.

And I have. I’ve been doing poses all on my own that I shied away from. And it’s all due to the support of this wonderful group of women.

I am so grateful to them.

So what does this have to do with you? And with your art?

Is there an area of your art life and career where you haven’t been challenging yourself?

Have you been coasting? Staying with what’s familiar or easy?

I heartily recommend gathering a group of like-minded individuals around you. You’ll be amazed at how motivating it is.

Some people call this a Mastermind – a group in which the power and intelligence and motivation of the group far exceeds that of each individual.

That’s why I always build a group forum into the Mindful Artist Mentorship Program. I have experienced first-hand what an enormous difference this makes and now I wouldn’t want to be without it.

When you are discouraged or needed advice, you have the group to turn to.

You cheer each other on during trying times.

You celebrate victories!

You encourage each other to stretch for excellence.

You will also help each other to recognize when your goals are unrealistic or when you are being too hard on yourself.

Here are six steps to create a similar group to turn your dreams into achievable goals:


1. Select the people you invite carefully. Make sure you find some folks who are equally committed. People who aren’t committed and don’t participate can drag the energy of the group down. People who are committed and enthusiastic lift the level of participation and energy in the group to a remarkable degree and really make it work.

2. Set a time specific time frame for when the group will start and end. This way people can jump in and fully commit even when they are very busy. They know it’s not a forever commitment but chances are many will want to continue.

3. Set manageable goals and make your commitments to each other. I realized my first set of goals was unrealistic after reading everyone else’s and I ratcheted it back a notch or two. (By the way it feels much better to exceed your goals then to not meet them.) and feeling good about yourself is self perpetuating it makes you even more motivated to achieve.

4. Designate a day for a weekly check-in via email. I actually don’t recommend trying to meet in person unless you all have oodles of time and live close to each other.

5. Create a simple form of questions for your weekly check in. – I’ll share our fitness form here for an example: 

  • Name:
  • Week #__ of 12:
  • Did I reach my goal?
  • How did the week feel/ how did it go?Any changes I would like to implement?

6. Have a simple way to connect between your weekly check-ins– a facebook group is free and works really well for this.


Have you ever experienced the power of a group to propel you forward? Share in the comments section below.

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