Improve Your Life And Your Art

Our art is really just
a sequence of choices.

A series of “Yes I like this”,
or “No, I don’t like that”
decisions.

In the end it is
all about discernment.

To get good at this we need to
practice. Not just in our art but
also in our life.

Discernment is the primary
factor in making your art, truly
yours.

Focusing on discernment
in both Art and Life
optimizes both.

It can make the mediocre,
extraordinary.

Are you saying “yes” when maybe it should be a “no”?

Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for sharing a small part of your Sunday
with us,

Nicholas

What does your Design look like from 30,000ft?

Hi, for the past 2 days
I have been talking about Design
because the Art2life Free Workshop
has started!

Go here to grab your spot!
We just started with lesson 1 Design
and have 3 to do over the next week.

Today I am talking about the
importance of seeing the 30,000ft
view of your art.

From a distance you can
best see how one change
affects all the areas of your art.

Understand too,
that changing your art, improving
the design is usually done
in smaller, incremental changes.

It usually takes repeated efforts
to get one’s art really strong.

Design is one of the
most powerful principles
available to us and that is why it is the first lesson
in the Free Art2life Workshop
this week.

Hope to see you there!

Nicholas

PS During the next week I will be doing
additional training in the A2L facebook group.

Click on this link to join the group!

Which kind of fear do you have?

Fear holds us back in our art.

But not all fear is the same. Knowing which kind of fear
you have is important to discern.

Most fears come from not knowing the answers.
Uncertainty in life and art conjures up a little fear
almost every time.

And this is a good thing. At least in art making.

Watch the video and I will show you…

Uncertainty forces us to use our intuition and when this occurs
our art becomes more personal. Not knowing, in the end, can
dramatically improve our art.

What do you fear?

Leave a note in the comments below!

Nicholas

PS I am launching the FREE Art2life workshop on
April 26th, 2019. To sign up, just click here!

PSS If you would like to take a deeper dive into all things art,
just join my free Art2life Facebook group, which you can do
by clicking here. Hope to see you in there!

Start with the start in mind

If you sometimes have a hard time starting or don’t enjoy the process
of making your art so much, here is something to try.

When you begin, instead of thinking about where you want to end up,
try to focus on what you are doing in the present.

Forget about anything else, and you just might find a bit
more ease and curiosity returning to your art making again.

By starting in this way, a sense of play and spontaneity
can return to your process.

Do you find you think too much of the end, at the beginning?

Leave a comment and let us know your experience…

Nicholas

PS I am launching the FREE Art2life workshop on April 26th, 2019.
To sign up, just click here!

PSS If you would like to take a deeper dive into all things art,
just join my free Art2life Facebook group, which you can do
by clicking here. Hope to see you in there!

Does your art ever feel like a garage sale?

There is something cool about garage sales.

There are so many disparate things and all are thrown on a
few tables on someone’s front lawn.

You never know what you might find amongst all this person’s stuff.
People sell all kinds of things.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to what might be on those tables.

There simply is no curation.

Sometimes our art can feel a little like one of those garage sales.

Being able to recognize and then fix it is what I am talking about today.

Watch the video below…

choosing less instead of adding more are helpful ideas that can strengthen
and clarify your art.

Do you ever get the sense your art veers towards that garage sale place?

How do you recognize this and what do you do to fix it?

Leave a comment here and we can talk about it…

Nicholas

PS The free Art2life Workshop starts on April 26th. If you haven’t yet grabbed you spot, just click the link below to do so

https://workshop.art2life.com/2019-free-art2life-workshop/

Your view from here is entirely different

Sometimes, to make a big change in your art, all you need is a small, one in your thinking.

I was reminded of this when recently being shown how to find mushrooms in the forest.

Watch the video below and let me show you…

Like the wide awareness of an owl perched quietly high above, we too can learn to perceive our art the same way.

Especially as we create. Staying above the singular details permits us to see and respond more accurately to all the parts of our art.

If our art is made with broad  awareness, it can feel more expansive and open.

And as a result, it becomes a more generous invitation for those who encounter it.  There is simply more space for the viewer’s experience of your art.

This kind of thinking generates art that is memorable. It creates art that is desirable by others.

It does something that possibly we all strive to do in our art.

It creates connection.

Do you ever view your art in this way?

Let me know in the comments below.

Nicholas

PS We have a winner from last week’s North Star Challenge!…watch to discover who!

PSS  The free Art2life Workshop is going to be amazing… it starts April 26th. If you haven’t signed up already, just click on the link below!

https://workshop.art2life.com/2019-free-art2life-workshop/

Use this to improve your Art

Hi everyone,

Once we begin making our art, everything changes. It can so much that sometimes our art ends up very different than intended.

The reason this occurs is because once the art is underway, it is super easy to forget the essential feeling we had when we began.

So how do we remedy this?

It turns out the workaround is not only remembering but prioritizing the “feeling” we want to express in our art.

And not just when we begin but all the way through.This desired feeling can become the “North Star”,a reference point, for our creative decisions in making our art.

Spending time understanding the “North Star” of your art is one of the most powerful and bold steps you can take to strengthen and unify your art.

Interestingly, and not surprisingly, I have discovered when querying this idea for myself is that the North Star of my art is not too far from that of my life.

The act of writing it, articulating it, and then sharing it is a big step in its formation.

So today, I ask you,

What is the North Star of your Art?

We all can’t wait to hear.

In anticipation,

Nicholas

PS The brightest North Star comment will receive the NW illustrated, 3 Book Collection by Don Miguel Ruiz.

PSS If you haven’t signed up for the upcoming Free Art2life Workshop, that begins April 26th, you can do so here.

www.art2lifeworkshop.com

It is going to be amazing….

Learn This to Start Your Art

Hi everyone,

The hardest part of making art is when you are not making it. And, it seems like it gets harder the closer you come to starting.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here is a simple re frame that might help you start more easily:

Starting will never be super easy. It just feels a little risky. But it turns out that uncertainty often makes great art.

And yes, this seems to work in life too. How do you overcome starting resistance? Your thoughts?

Nicholas

PS On April 26th we are starting our brand new, free Art2life Workshop.

To join, click below and we will notify you when we begin:

www.artlifefree.com

Why your creative life is expanding

As my Father grew older he talked about how his future plans and ideas were probably not going to happen. He felt his choices in life were lessening and his world was becoming smaller. But his art, he said, was different.

When we are just starting in our art, our awareness is limited. Due to a lack of confidence, technical knowledge, and distractions, we tend to have a much narrower vision of what is possible. Our art generally reflects this immaturity.

However, as we grow older our awareness can expand. Our sensitivity can increase.

The feelings of contraction, often felt in the later stages of life, can be wonderfully offset by the blossoming growth of our art.

Click on the video below to see what I mean.

If we can shift our thinking about our art, then why not apply this same thinking to our life?

Maybe we have far more choices than we think we do.

What choices have you made that, at the time, seemed unavailable?

Nicholas

PS Congratulations to our A2L artists, Jeanne Raffer Beck and Patricia Chappell Bingham! Please email me at info@art2life.com so we can send you your book!

PSS Jeanne, I have to know what animal you like, otherwise you will get my default Maizy dog picture!

Do you want to know what to do next in your art?

Painting is a process of call and response. You make a mark, step back and then evaluate what to do next. Over time, your ability to discern the next, best mark improves. And when it does, your art practice becomes less stressful, and more joyful.

It sounds easy, but it repeated efforts to improve.

Here is a really good tip: When you are not sure what to do next in your art, refer to what you made previously. It’s that easy.

Click here or on the image below to see what I mean.

In art often you have to start before you know where you are going.

There are no roadmaps for each of our creative paths if they are truly our own.

But the answers are there. Just take a peek behind you.

How do you know what to do next in your art?

Please leave a comment telling us.

Nicholas

PS Make that comment a doozy! This week whoever posts the most helpful comment below will get a copy of Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”

PSS I will be doing a signed animal drawing in the book so let me know your favorite animal in your comments!