Motivation to Create! Six reasons to go make stuff NOW!

We all need a little push now and again. Sometimes we’ve just gotten busy and neglected making art for a little while or maybe we had a job or were raising children and neglected it for a good long while.

Whatever the reasons, here is some inspiration to help get you back to work! If not RIGHT this moment, then hopefully sometime in the very near future!

  1. Think how good you’ll feel when you do!
  2. Only by doing it will you be able to move through ‘the wall’ to free creative energy.
  3. You need creative time to bring out the best in yourself.
  4. The Butterfly Effect – Your creativity effects other in ways you will never know. You don’t have to be a “famous” artist to have an impact. Just think of how we are still affected by the cave paintings done over 6,000 years ago by anonymous early humans or the baskets, weavings, ceramics, etc. created by people in civilizations who predate ours.
  5. It’s an antidote to consumerism. Adds to the good in the world.
  6. Creativity connects you to something greater than yourself.

Now go make something. NOW. Go do it! Even if it’s just for 10 minutes! Yay!!

If you’ve been missing making your art, share below and let us know which reason resonated the most with you?

What are some other reasons you can come up with to do your creative work?


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How to Start a Painting?

I had a fabulous, meaty question from a subscriber recently who wrote to say she had recently switched from a 30-year graphic design practice to painting and was finding it tough.

She asked “How do I start a new painting? My paintings have no consistency.
Do I just let it flow? Or does in need to have a set direction?”

This is the question that comes up when we begin to take a more focused approach to painting. When it becomes for us more than a pastime or hobby and becomes a passionate pursuit or profession.

Usually, it’s not the painting that’s tough, it’s the thoughts that come up – the judgments, the inner critic.

Here are some things I suggested she try:

1. Create a studio journal. Writing before starting a painting. Blurt everything out.
2. Step back from the thoughts that are coming up. Become aware of what the quality of the thoughts you have while painting.
3. Set a timer during your painting process and step back, pause every 20 minutes or so and notice what is going on. Check in with your body, emotions, thoughts.
4. If the thoughts are not supportive, replace with more supportive thoughts.
5. Take out all your paintings completed thus far and look at them as a group. Journal about them from a curious, non-judgmental perspective. Don’t worry whether you love it or hate it. Just get curious. Write down from a neutral voice what you are noticing.
6. Think from a broader perspective about what the paintings are about. What are they teaching you? What are they showing you?



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Create a Consistent Studio Practice

Don’t you just love being read to? I do! I loved it as a kid and I still love it as an adult. Just one of the many reasons I love to listen to audio books.

My little holiday gift to you – I’m reading a chapter from my book Seven Essential Practices for the Professional Artist: Create a Studio Habit – Consistency

I hope this gives you a little boost to get in the studio if you’ve been having trouble making that a regular habit.

Many artists I’ve worked with struggle to create regular time for art making. It seems as if everything else always gets in the way!

It’s easy to fall into this trap. Why should it be so hard when it’s what you love to do?

One reason is that many creatives, in all fields, have a highly developed inner critic. But it can be a problem when you let this inner critic run rampant in the early stages of creating something.

We also doubt that we have ideas that are worthwhile. I’d like to go on record as saying even if only ONE person in this world benefits from your studio practice – YOU –  the entire world has benefitted. You are no more important or less important than every other being on this planet. Your happiness, satisfaction and sense of deeper connection with All-that-is that creative practice engenders spills out and touches all in your circle. When you have it in you to be creative and you fulfill that promise, it feels as if everything is right in the world. Have you notices? And in turn your family, friends and colleagues get a happier more fulfilled version of you. Then they in turn touch every one else in their circles with a greater sense of satisfaction and peace and so on.

I’ve found it highly beneficial when stuck in the studio and having trouble getting jump started to have a commitment to regular, inviolable studio time. Even fifteen minutes a day makes a huge difference!

Creativity is like a muscle. Use it regularly and it gets stronger, firmer, more toned and ready for action.

Once you cultivate this regular practice, it becomes like a loyal friend. It will not let you down it will be a comfort and solace in the good times and not-so-good times.

If you have your own ideas to share about how having a regular habit of getting into the studio has helped you, please do in the comments below!

Or perhaps consistency has never worked for you and you prefer a more sporadic studio practice – let us know about that! There is no ONE way for every artist. The mindful artist community is designed to help you find YOUR unique path to a satisfying and enjoyable life as an artist.

By the way, Iris mentioned in the comments that she hadn’t realized the book was available in print. If you are in Canada, you can purchase copy directly from the publisher, Editions FrI, and have lower shipping costs. (The may even have a few signed copies left!)!m…
Or you can get it here on Amazon:

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What Do You Do if Everything You Make is Crap?

I hope you don’t mind me being so crass.

But I’ve been going through a phase the past couple of weeks. I’m just not excited about anything I’ve made.

It’s disappointing.

It’s even a bit disheartening.

And I’m willing to bet at least some of you have been here before, too. Am I right?

What do you do when nothing you make delights you?

You know that lovely feeling when you look at what you’ve made and there’s a quickening, a sense of delight and enjoyment and perhaps exhilaration at your own creation?

I love that feeling!

But I’m not having it right now.

What I do know to do is to keep showing up.

I keep going to my studio or some mornings I get up and draw after my morning meditation.


I continue to make time for the work. I continue to make the work. Because there’s one thing that meditation practice (and observing lots of other creatives) has taught me. Consistency is key. You don’t give up because you have a bad day.

I know I will get through this.

I know more delightful work is on the other side.

I know I even made delightful work as recently as three weeks ago. (I checked my instagram feed for confirmation!)

I know I have a website full of projects, drawings and paintings I feel satisfied and pleased with.

I know this feeling can’t last forever. But sometimes it feels as though it will!

I have a box full of recent drawings that I want to discard, but I don’t have the heart to yet. I guess I’m hanging on to them as a drowning person hangs on to a life raft. It’s all I’ve got right now.


Which is why I am asking you – what do you do when everything you were making looks like crap?

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Why I Hate Ron Howard












I’ve got nothing against Ron Howard, really. Opie was a cute kid. But, forgive me, so far I can’t stand anything directed by the man. I find his style sappy and emotionally overwrought.

OK. That’s about as critical and mean-spirited as you will hear me get publicly. I even struggled with using the word hate in my title. In truth, I don’t hate anyone but I’m trying to make a point here.

I picked Ron Howard because I know he can take it and I know he’s probably a really wonderful and totally sincere guy who could care less what I think. And he has touched millions of lives with his work over decades of service as an actor, writer, director and, producer.









In fact, I’m certain many of you LOVE Ron Howard. (And if I insulted you with my opening paragraph, I apologize.)

I know many of you love mushrooms, too.

Can’t stand ‘em myself.

What I am trying to stay here is taste is purely subjective.

And that’s all it is. Taste.

Feel free to ignore the people who will try to tell you their taste is the taste. The correct taste. (Ahem – art teachers, professors and critics.)

As you send your work out into the world, some people will LOVE it.

Some will hate it.

Some will say “Meh.”

That doesn’t mean your work is good.

Or bad.

Or even Meh.

It’s just your work. It’s the work you do.

So when everyone is patting you on the back and giving you shows and buying your work it doesn’t necessarily mean you are brilliant.

And if NO one is paying attention and you continually get rejected neither does it mean your are an idiot who should give up and go do something else.

It means nothing.

It’s just ego stuff.

Because you love this thing so much – creating, making, innovating, birthing new projects.

To continually evolve and pull ideas from deep within.

To craft and hone and love them.

Your work is a gift of love to the universe and to yourself. (You are, after all, an integral part of the universe.)

Keep on, friend.



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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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