Banish Fear and Make a Plan to Pursue Your Creative Dreams | Anne Butera | Skillshare

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Banish Fear and Make a Plan to Pursue Your Creative Dreams

teacher avatar Anne Butera, watercolor artist, pattern designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (1h 17m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Why a Class on Fear?

    • 3. Make a Book

    • 4. Dreams and Dreaming

    • 5. Admitting Your Fears

    • 6. Reframe Your Fears

    • 7. Paint Over Fear

    • 8. What is Your Why?

    • 9. Make a Plan

    • 10. A Few More Tips

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About This Class

Do you have creative dreams? Or maybe you just long for a more creative life but don't know how to get there? Are fear or your own imagined limitations holding you back?

In this class you'll:

  • Identify your dreams.
  • Understand your fears.
  • Create a book to support and encourage you throughout the process of bringing your dream into reality.
  • Learn simple exercises to help you turn your fearful statements into hopeful declarations.
  • Banish your fear in fun, artistic and symbolic ways.
  • Create a plan to work toward your dream(s).

The world needs your dream, so let go of fear and start working towards it today.

This class is facilitated by self-taught botanical watercolor artist Anne Butera. Fear held Anne back for years before she dared to follow her dreams. Today she runs a full-time art business.

In this class Anne shares her own experiences as well as fears and dreams shared by her students, reminding you that fear is a natural part of growth. The lessons demonstrate ways to banish your fears in fun and creative ways. You'll end by making a plan to help you move from dreaming to doing.

Meet Your Teacher

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Anne Butera

watercolor artist, pattern designer

Top Teacher


The beginning of my story might sound similar to yours. When I was a child I loved to make things, but as I grew up I "learned" I wasn't good at art and stopped making it.

But that's not the end of my story.

As an adult I eventually realized something was missing from my life and I began to play with the idea of learning how to paint. I was encouraged by the example of other artists who had begun their creative journeys as adults with no formal training. Their stories gave me confidence to try.

When I started out learning how to paint I didn't know where to start. I learned by doing (and by failing and trying again). 

It's been a long road, but today I work as a watercolor artist.

My art has been featured in magazines an... See full profile

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1. Intro: Do you have a creative dream? A yearning to express yourself, add beauty to the world, or joyfully encourage others. What's stopping you from following your dream? Is it fear, doubt, uncertainty? My name is Anne Butera. As a self-taught artist who didn't begin learning to paint till my mid-30s, I know what it's like to dream, and I know how hard it can be to overcome fear, anxiety, and other negativity. Over the years, I was able to move past my fears, and so many of my dreams have now come true. Today, I run my own full-time art business and have taught tens of thousands of students. Knowing that fear affects so many of us, I asked my students to share their fears and their dreams as I was creating this class. The response was almost overwhelming and I realized how important this class topic is. The world needs beauty. The world needs love. The world needs art and creativity, and joy, and it needs your dream. In the class lessons, I'll help you identify your dreams, address your fears, and make a plan to bring your dream into reality. You'll create a book which you'll use throughout the class. Its creation will get your creativity flowing and on its pages, you'll dream, brainstorm, spill your fears, and discover hope. You'll learn techniques that will help you move past fear and energize your inspiration. Your book will be your refuge, your guide, and your encouragement. By the end of class, you'll have shifted your perspective from one of fear to one of hope and begin crafting a concrete plan, setting goals to bring your dreams into reality. I can't wait to help you get started, so if you're ready, I'll see you in class. 2. Why a Class on Fear?: This class feels special to me. Before we begin with the lessons, I just want to spend a moment talking about why I'm teaching a class about creative fear. I know so many of us struggle with fear. I certainly did, and I still do. Fear meant that although I majored in creative writing, after I graduated I ended up with a job in a library. Fear meant that although I began a graduate program in creative writing, I quit to pursue the more practical master's degree in library and information science. Fear kept me from picking up a paintbrush or any other art supplies for many, many years. When I quit my job with the dream of crafting a life around my creativity, fear meant that I focused on sewing and crochet instead of giving my energy to painting, but my dream of learning to paint did not disappear. I began to teach myself tentatively, cautiously. Slowly, I began to learn how to paint. I didn't give up, even when it felt scary, even when I struggled, even when I failed, I did not give up. When I was first taking those tentative steps on my renewed creative journey, one of the things that helps me to keep going, was hearing stories from other artists who had pursued their dreams, women who changed their lives to follow their creative dreams, and who had eventually found their success. I'm so grateful to those people for sharing their stories and for showing up in the world and following their dreams. It's a brave and important thing to do. I held onto my dream. Eventually instead of failure, I began to see success, small successes building on other small successes one step at a time, because that's really the only way that anything creative happens. Any dream becomes a reality one one step at a time. Today I'm a full-time artist running my own business. Not all of my dreams have come true yet. I'm still dreaming and I'm going to keep going. I think that's one of the best lessons and biggest lessons that I've learned along the way, to keep going, to not let fear paralyze me, to get up after a failure and try again. It's so important. I've also learned how important it is to have people cheering me on, how important it is to have mentors and role models and to have people showing up and sharing their stories. If I hadn't heard those stories of those women following their creative dreams, I wonder if I would have been brave enough to follow mine. Though Skillshare didn't exist back then, and I am so happy that it exists now. I'm so happy that you have it as not only a wonderful resource of teachers and mentors and role models, but for the whole supportive community. I'm so proud to be a part of it, and I hope that you're proud to be a part of it too. I love teaching because it's a way of giving back. Teaching this class feel so special to me, because I know how important it is. I know what it's like to struggle with creative fear. I know how parallelizing it can be, and I know how so many of us struggle with it. I talked to my students while I was putting this class together, while I was dreaming this dream of creating this class, and the response was overwhelming in a way. So many people struggle with fear. Each of us has a unique perspective. Each of us has a gift that we bring to the world that no one else can bring to it, and it's so important that we do show up, it's so important that we do pursue our dreams and share our gift with the world, because no one else can share what each of us has uniquely to share. I hope this class will encourage you to keep dreaming, to pick yourself up when you fail and to keep creating in spite of fear, to keep trying new things, and to keep dreaming. The first lesson we are going to do something fun to get started and to get our creativity flowing. I will see you there. 3. Make a Book: Before we dive into working with our dreams and our fears, I want you to start with a fun and easy project. We're going to be making a notebook. You could call it a guidebook or a journal or a sketchbook, whatever you want to call it, and however you want to use its pages. We're going to be digging deep into our dreams and our fears throughout class on the pages of the book that we make. You could certainly go out and buy a notebook or a sketchbook or a journal to use. But we're going to make our own for two reasons. The first reason is that you can customize it to be exactly what you want and need, how many pages you want to use, how large it can be, what sorts of paper you want to use, all totally up to you. You can make it fun and interesting and totally customized. The second reason is that I have found that when I'm feeling stuck or overwhelmed or uncertain, all feelings that you, my students have told me while I was working on putting together this class. Those are all feelings that you are struggling with surrounding fear and creativity. I've found that when I'm feeling those things, one of the best ways for me to move past that is to start being creative and no pressure way, do something that's fun and easy and playful and creative and trick myself into being creative again. Trick myself into getting the creative juices flowing. I'm hoping that this will work for you as well. Don't feel you need to buy any special supplies. I'm going to be talking about lots of ways to create your book with things you already have on hand. I was actually going to run to the store and buy some things. But once I started gathering different papers, I realized that I had plenty to make my own book and maybe you'll find that as well. Let's dive into making our book. Now we're going to get really creative. I have gathered some supplies here, just all sorts of papers. Here are the papers I want to use for my pages. There's a bunch of different kinds. I like this black paper. There's some printmaking paper and some watercolor paper, tracing paper. I've already pre-folded all of these. The pages are nine by 12 and I folded them in half to make my book. You can use any size, papers that you want, any types of papers you want. If you have papers that are different sizes, you can still use them together and have an interesting book. I think I'm going to use this graph paper that I've folded in a different way. I'll have a couple of different sizes of pages. It's really up to you and I want you to go crazy here. Just use your imagination, use your creativity. I really love how the cover here, I'm going to have the watercolor paper and then use this tracing paper on top of the black paper. It's just going to really look interesting, I think. Then here I'll show you how this graph paper is going to work. I'm folding it, so we'll have a couple different sizes. I'm going to be sewing down the center here, but there are so many ways that you can attach the pages. You could use a hole punch and then you can hand sew things or you could use staples. You could use brads and attach them down there, lots of options. It also gathered some other fun things to personalize my book, like this library pocket. I think that'll be really cool. I have this business envelope that I turned inside out because I just love that pattern. I'm going to attach that in here, much like with the graph paper. I think maybe I'll do it right up against there. Then when that gets sewed through the center seam, there will be some jagged edge on the other side, which I think will look interesting. I really want my book to be interesting and quirky and fun. I'm going to just continue adding fun things. You will love these little page corners, that'll be fun, maybe to attach some photos. I have some photos that I printed out here. Envelopes are fun to either glue on the pages or even to sew inside. I could take an envelope and much like with the other business envelope, I could sew this into the seam. I could even glue down that flap and then have an interesting shape on my page. Again, there are so many options for these books. I want you to use your imagination. I want you to play and have fun and be creative with this process. Don't stress yourself out over it and instead just enjoy it, have fun. I love this because it's like a warm-up. It really is doing something creative that has nothing to do with whatever else you're doing is such a great way to warm up and get your creative ideas flowing. Gather some really fun things and your book will be a reflection of you. It'll be really wonderful. There are so many fun and interesting things you can use for this, all sorts of paper, of course, papers from games, your own art of all sorts, receipts, especially if they're interesting or unusual looking, ticket stubs are really fun, photographs, vintage ones are cool, postcards. Again, vintage postcards are cool to use, envelopes of all sorts, color swatches, especially if you've painted them, and so many other things. I really want you to make this your own and have fun finding things to use in your book. Now one more page here, I'm going to add in the center. This is a piece of sketchbook paper that I pulled out. It's mixed media paper, had a perforated edge. I'm going to just fold this in half like I did the other papers because this is nine by 12, just like the other ones. The mixed media paper, I want to put right in the center of my book. The center seam is going to go down the middle. I need two pages that are back-to-back for one of our exercises and I'm going to be painting over one of them. I need a nice sturdy page. Now I'm getting ready to sew these together, I've arranged all my pages. To keep them in place, I'm going to use some binder clips. That will just ensure that the pages don't shift around while I'm sewing them. I'm using my sewing machine and I'm going to use a leather needle to be able to easily sew through all these papers. That's a nice sharp heavy-duty needle for sewing and I used some really long stitches. Now I've finished sewing. I'm going to cover over the stitches because they don't look very pretty. I'm just going to trim the excess thread here, leaving a little bit, so it's not too short. Then I'm using some tape. I'm sorry, you didn't see the first part there but it was obscured by the book. I just took some tape and cover it over the spine. A few different layers of tape and wrapped it around just carefully so that secures the book together. It covers up the thread and it's nice and sturdy then. I like how the tape reinforces the spine. You don't have to do this. If you're binding your book differently, you wouldn't necessarily need this, but that's just one example. Now I just want to show you some fun embellishment of my book. I'm just using some glue, Elmer's glue stick to attach this piece of craft paper card stock on my cover. This card stock is going to act like a frame for an image that I want to tape or glue down. I think I'll use glue on that too. I'm going to use one of my watercolor illustration, a botanical painting for the cover. But I will first start by attaching this card stock frame. It also will make the cover feel a little more substantial. Once I get that in place, I'll press it down. That was purple glue but it will dry clear. It's just a children's glue stick, always handy to have on hand. Then I can attach this date due pocket, which I'm so excited to be using. It's really fun to collect all ephemera like this to use for different projects. I got this from a seller on Etsy, but you can find them lots of different places online. Gluing that down there and then making sure it's nice and secure. Got this fun photo that I'll use some photo corners on and attach it to that black piece of paper and just stick it down. Again, you could pick things up at paper crafting stores. One more embellishment here, I'm going to be adding a tie for my book and I've got a button. I reinforced the cover with some more pieces of watercolor paper. Then we just through threading the string through my button, I had to tie some thread around the string to be able to pull it through because it was too thick to go through the needle, then I'll just tie the string and go do two knots here. Then my string will act as a fun binding to close my book. I can just wrap around the button. I'll trim the string a little bit, and that'll keep it closed. Above all, I want you to make this your own. Here's another idea. I'm using my vintage typewriter to type up a little tag. I wrote planting dreams and I'm attaching that to the front of my book. I have an image, one of my illustrations of a plant in a pot. Planting dreams is a perfect title for my book. You don't have to title your book, but I did. I have this little check-in card that I can stamp with a date whenever I check in with my dreams and writing with silver pen on that black page was wonderful. I wrote some dreams and put that in the one pocket. There's lots of empty pages still, lots of things I can add. Here is a little note I wrote to myself, writing a letter to yourself, an encouraging letter, is a great exercise. It can help cheer you on and then tucking it into an envelope in your book is really fun. I added some of those photos, another little pocket, this with a vocabulary card, again, grab up all kinds of fun things to put in your book. Make it yours, make it interesting, make a quirky, and then leave lots of blank space for you to write in, so that you can glue things in. Here we're getting towards the center where I have that mixed media paper and we'll be doing something with that later. Make sure you leave two pages in the center for us, for our exercise later. I know that the premise of this class is that fear is keeping us from being creative and I hope that this book will be a fun way for you to break through some of that fear and get creating in a fun way. I hope my book has inspired you a bit. Here at the end, I wrote just the beginning because I didn't want to say the end. Then still dreaming. Then I'll probably put something fun on the back. But I like that there's so much unfinished about this. It's something that I can come back to again and again and I hope you will create something that you can come back to again and again. I can't wait to see your book. I hope you'll share it. I hope that this inspired you to create a book that's just for you, that's interesting and fun and that will be helpful as you work through the rest of the lessons. As I said, I can't wait to see what your notebook looks like. Be sure to share it in the class projects section. I'm sure that I will be inspired and so will your fellow classmates. Be sure to share. As soon as you've made your book, you can move on and work through the next lesson where we'll be talking about creative dreams. I'll see you there. 4. Dreams and Dreaming: Now I hope you have created your notebook, I have mine here. I want you to take it somewhere special. I want you to go somewhere that feels nurturing to you, where you feel calm, at peace, inspired, joyful. Maybe it's somewhere inside your home. Maybe it's somewhere outside in nature or, for me, I'm in my garden. We're going to spend a little more time doing some fun things, doing things that aren't scary before we dive into our fears. I think it's really important to acknowledge our dreams, to state them, to get that down on paper in your book or you could make a vision board. You could write them in words. You could sketch it out. You could take photographs of things that represent your dreams and spend some time with this, don't rush this process. Dreaming is a wonderful part of the process of being creative. Before you start writing in it or drawing in it or doing any output, I want you to think about your dreams. Think about, what is most dear to you? What things are you wishing you had more of in your life? What joys do you want to invite in to you? For me, learning to paint botanicals was a dream that I held dear. I really didn't think it would be possible. I had no skills at all when I first started, but I held on to that dream and I kept it going and I was able to learn slowly, but surely. I want to share with you some student dreams that my students shared with me while I was putting together this class. They let me know that they dream about learning how to paint botanicals and other sorts of painting too, how to use Photoshop, to sell their art, to license their designs, to learn pattern design, to sell on Spoonflower, and to support yourself with your art. All of those are such beautiful dreams. I'm sure some of them probably resonate with you too. But I'm sure you also have dreams that aren't on this list. Whatever your dreams are, I want you to dream as big as you can, whatever they are, hold on to them. For this exercise, let your imagination run free, dream of beauty. What beauty do you want to see in the world? What beauty do you want to see in your life? What inspires you? What makes your heart sing? Think about that and think about what really touches you. What do you see and feel excited about? Those are all clues of what direction you should be going. Maybe go back to your childhood. What did you love when you were a child? What things caught your eye? What things still catch your eye? Don't worry about what anyone else is doing or thinking, but listen to your own heart. What makes your heart sing? This dream is yours. I want you to really embrace that. I want you to admit even your deepest, most hidden dreams. Spend some time really dreaming, spend some time thinking about what is most important to you. What have you always been excited by and inspired by? Whatever it is don't be afraid. Now is the time to push fear aside because this is your dream that you are dreaming. We'll get to the fears him a little bit, but now I want you just to dream. After you've spent some time dreaming, then I want you to turn to your notebook. You can write in it, you can sketch in it, you can collage in it, whatever works for you. I'm just going to write a little list of some dreams in my notebook. But you can do this any way that feels right. You can do this again and again. You can write it directly on the page. You can do it on a separate piece of paper and add it in later. You can use photographs. Whatever works for you, do that. All of this will help reinforce your dreams. This time is for you. Don't rush it. Don't skip it. State what you're dreaming, declare your dreams, and be proud and excited about them. Having that as your foundation will help your dreams be stronger. It will be nurturing for your dream. I hope that this has inspired you to spend some time with your dreams. I want you to do that. Then when you're finished with that, we'll come back and talk about fear. 5. Admitting Your Fears: Biologically, fear is the body and brain's way of keeping you safe. Now, in a lot of situations, fear is a good thing. But when it comes to creativity, fear can be damaging and one of my students shared a really great quote with me and I'd like to share it with you. Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life. As long as we're out here in the garden, I'd like to share a metaphor with you that will give you a visual way to picture your fear. I think it's going to be a powerful way for you to be able to see really how damaging fear can be to your creativity. I want you to visualize your dreams like these flowers. So imagine that these beautiful roses in my garden are your dreams. They represent your beautiful creative dreams. But sometimes things eat away at your dreams, and in my garden right now, I am struggling with Japanese beetles. They are all over the place, they are eating my plants. They especially love these roses and they destroy them. They come in and they eat away at my flowers. So imagine your fears like these beetles eating away at your dreams, and eventually if you let them take over, they will decimate. So your fears will decimate and destroy your dreams and you will be left with nothing. You'll have just a shell or a skeleton of your ideas of your dreams. I want to spend a moment with your fears. I asked my students to share their fears while I was putting together this course. What was shared with me really was raw and honest and I think all of these fears are things that so many of us deal with and struggle with, put together with the visual metaphor that I just shared with you. You can see how powerful these fears are. Here are some feelings my students shared with me. Being afraid of looking stupid, feeling overwhelm, procrastination, not knowing where to start, not being in control, not being able to find my own voice, not being good enough, that's huge, feeling stuck, feeling unmotivated and uninspired, being afraid to fail, being afraid to try, pressure to be great, that's a huge one, comparison, that's another huge one, not being considered professional. So maybe some of these fears resonate with you too. Maybe you feel some of these things. Now, grab your notebook and take it to your happy place, wherever you took your notebook when you are working with your dreams. Take it there and we'll be working with our fears and this is the hardest part of the class. It's uncomfortable, it's scary. But I think it's really important too. So take your time, give yourself grace, be gentle with yourself, and spend some time thinking about what it is that's keeping you from moving ahead with your dreams. So in my notebook, I've opened my pages so that I'm in the center. I am working on some mixed media paper because we're going to be painting soon. But first, just write down the feelings that you're having if they are specific fears or if there are other feelings like anxiety or overwhelm whatever is keeping you from pursuing your dreams. So take some time with this. The more time you spend with this, the more valuable this exercise will be. Once you've finished writing in your book, I will meet you back in my studio and we'll go on to the next step of the process. 6. Reframe Your Fears: That was hard, that was uncomfortable. I hope that you were okay at working through these and I want you to spend a moment just congratulating yourself for being brave enough to look at these fears. Because once you acknowledge your fears, once you put them down on paper, then you can work to move past them, and we'll be doing that. We're going to be reframing each of these statements and I'll demonstrate with mine how this works. But I want to give you another visual garden metaphor that is going to show you what role we want to play in our creative dreaming. Instead of a negative, destructive role of letting the fear takeover, we're going to play a more encouraging and nurturing role. Where the Japanese beetles represent fear, on the flip side, in the garden, there are pollinators that come and nurture the flowers. I want you to invite pollinators into your dreams and by that, I mean, let's get rid of all the destructive negative fears and instead encourage and nurture your dreams and so we will act like these pollinators, like the bees and the butterflies, the insects that are nurturing and pollinating the flowers. We will take that role. We will encourage our dreams, we will nurture our dreams, and that way we will help our dreams to grow and to thrive. Let's reframe some of these, I'm starting with being stuck in a rut, I can change that to say, I enjoy trying new things. Then this next one is the fear of not being good enough for real success and I can change that to say, I know success arrives slowly and is built one piece at a time I just need to keep going. This next fear, not really knowing what I'm doing can be shifted so I can say instead, I am constantly learning and growing. My fear of trying something new that alienates my current fans can be reframed so that I can say trying new things is important to my growth as an artist not all will work and that's okay. I can take the fear that I don't have the energy to sustain myself through really big projects and shift it so that I can say and remind myself that big projects are achieved one small step at a time and we're going to be talking about that in a later lesson, if you're struggling with that too, hang on. These next two fears are really pretty similar, not leaping high enough and not taking enough chances and I can reframe that idea to say, some seasons bring visible external growth, others bring quieter underground groves that will anchor future growth. This last one on my list is a hard one and not knowing what to do next, I think a lot of us struggle with that. I'm going to reframe that to say, uncertainty is part of the process, know when to ask for help or seek advice. By re-framing each of these fears, we are nurturing and encouraging our dreams. I hope that watching me re-frame my fears has inspired you to take a look at your fears and see how you can shift your perspective. See how you can change your statement from one that is negative and destructive to one that is supportive and encouraging. In the next lesson, we're going to be doing something fun, it's going to be a bit symbolic and a bit cathartic and it's going to involve paint. I will see you there. 7. Paint Over Fear: Are you ready to do some painting? I'm going to grab my acrylic craft paints. You can grab whatever paints you would like to use. Try and find something that's more on the opaque side because we are going to be painting over our fears. I think that's going to be a bit cathartic, a bit symbolic, and I want it to be fine, so don't put any pressure on yourself. We're just going to be enjoying color, playing with color, playing with paints, unlike in the earlier lesson where we first created our books, doing something creative like this will get your creative juices flowing. It'll help you move past feelings of being stuck or blocked. I think it'll also just be fun because we've done some things that are a little bit heavy, and now we need to reward ourselves with something that's more fun, so grab your paints and get ready to cover up those fears. I've got my notebook here with the fears on the left-hand side, and I've got some acrylic craft paint that I have squeezed out in this little palette. I have a brush and some water, and I'm going to paint over the page. I'm going to just dip my brush in some water to dampen it. You don't want to use too much water here, you just want the paint to be able to flow nicely. I'm going to start with this cream color and just add a light layer of paint. You can do this in so many different ways. I'm looking at it as an abstract color exercise, and I don't really have a plan for it, other than this limited palette that I've chosen, the four colors, and the cream. You can use as many or as few colors as you'd like. I'll just keep adding layers of paint and color, smearing it around a bit. I want it to blend. I want there to be some colors that show through one another. I'm just going to keep adding paint and keep adding colors, and it may change a bit as I'm working on it. I want you to just feel free to do whatever you feel moved to do. I'm moving on to another brush. It's not really important what this looks like. If you're not a painter, you don't have to worry about trying to create a masterpiece. I just want you to have fun with the process. This is such an easy thing to do that it doesn't really matter what your skills are. I'm not an acrylic painter. I'm not an abstract painter, but I love playing with color and I love playing with paint, and so this is fun. This is an easy way to trick myself into being creative. I squeezed some more of that cream and I'm just going to keep going. I'm speeding up the video here, but I don't want you to feel rushed while you're painting. The words are still showing through here. If you want to leave the words showing through, that's great. If you want to cover them entirely, that's also great. This is really a forgiving project, an easy project. Don't put pressure on yourself. I was talking with another artist friend of mine who really loves working in sketchbooks, and her advice is, don't be afraid of sketchbooks. There are so many things in the world to be afraid of, and sketchbooks shouldn't be one of them. Of course, I was afraid of sketchbooks when I first started with them, so I can understand that. But I also understand her point because really what's to be afraid of, it's just paper, it's just paint. This book is for you, and the more joy you have with the process, the more meaningful I think it will be. We are eradicating our fear here. We're covering it over with beautiful colors. We are enjoying some creative play, which is so important. It's so important to have creativity in your life. It's so important to do things that bring you joy. You can make this as thick as you want. You can now let it dry and add more layers. I want it to be joyful and fun and creative, and the opposite of fear. This is dry now and you can see some of the paint bled and got on the other pages, which I think looks cool. If you really don't want that to happen, you could put a piece of scrap paper between the pages and that'll protect it. But I really like having the other colors. It makes it more like a workbook. Now that this is dry, I'm going to write on top of here, and I'm just writing, Create beauty. Because instead of the sentiment of fear, I want the sentiment of creating beauty, of being creative, of adding beauty to the world. Then with my gold leafing pen, I'll come back here. I'm just going to make a simple plant stem, a vine, with this gold leafing pen. I love having this botanical spread across these two pages. I think it's hopeful. I think it's beautiful, and these are just really simple shapes. You don't have to do this. You could just leave the colorful page. But I think it's just one more fun touch. Your book is your own, so make it your own. One last fun touch I want to do on the spread is to use some stamps and stamp the words, keep dreaming, and I'm putting it on the bottom here. If you're writing or stamping on your page, write whatever is meaningful to you. I really like the idea that this isn't closed, this isn't the end. Of course, there are many more pages in our book. But I love the idea that dreaming is it something you do and it's over, it's just something that's a continual process. These little letter stamps are always so much fun to use. I think it's just one more way that I can trick myself into doing something that's fun and joyful. Sometimes it's hard to tell which is which. A lot of the letters look similar to one another. Just two more letters here. Keep dreaming, create beauty. I have all my reframed statements. I really like how that turned out. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this and how you make this your own. There are so many different ways to do this. Here's another example with abstract using acrylics. You could paint something that's more geometric like a quilt shape. If you don't want to use paint, you can always make a collage or you can use something like these Neocolor II crayons. Here's some watercolor. The words would definitely show through with watercolor, but that's another option if you want to use that. Here's another collage. Here's something else with the Neocolor IIs. There are so many ways to make this your own. I hope you had fun with painting over your fears. I know it might seem a little bit silly to do that, but I think that you'll find painting over the fear helped you to move past it. I know that it helped me. Now, that's a bit symbolic, maybe a bit silly, a bit more on the fun side. In the next lesson, we're going to move back to the more practical ways to move past fear. I'll see you there. 8. What is Your Why?: How are you feeling? We've done a lot. We've been working through things symbolically, I've brought up some different metaphors, we've done a lot of thinking, and you've done writing, you've done painting. We have been trying to take on the role of creative pollinators, encouraging and nurturing our dreams. One thing that I think is helpful at this point. Before we start moving ahead to make some plans, because dreaming is great, it's wonderful, it's a very important part of being creative and of success, you need to have the dream first. But you also need to have a practical plan, we'll be doing that in a minute. But before we do that, I really want you to go back to your why? This is something that is intensely personal. Why is it that you're dreaming this dream? Why is this creativity important to you? Spend some time with this. I, again, just like with our dreams and just like with our fears, I don't want you to rush this process. Take some time thinking about what is your why? There are so many different why's and there are so many different things that motivate people. Maybe your why is as simple as just wanting to express yourself. Maybe you don't feel that you could easily express yourself through words, through interactions with people, but by taking art supplies, you can convey your feelings, you can express yourself. That's a perfectly valid reason to have creative dreams. I think it's one of the basic human needs, our desire to express ourselves, so don't belittle that. Your why might be something as simple as wanting to add more beauty to the world. Maybe you've looked around and seen so much ugliness so often. The news is filled with hatred and ugliness, and maybe you want to counteract that by adding more beauty, adding more love, adding more joy to the world and that is a wonderful why. Or maybe you are feeling moved to inspire and encourage other people, you want to give back and you want to bring joy and creativity to others. Whatever it is that motivates you, if you hold this tight, if you keep that as your center, you're not going to go off course and your fears are not going to have as much sway over you. In your notebook, spend some time asking yourself, why do I have this creative dream? You can do this, however works for you. Maybe taking a walk and just pondering the question. Maybe you want to take a separate journal and write it all out, ponder the question, wonder about it, and then come to some conclusions. Once you have spend some time condensing your why into an easy and succinct statement. You can put that in your notebook, maybe you even want to print it out, or paint it out, or write it out and hang it over your workspace to continue to inspire you as you work towards your creative dreams. You saw in my notebook I wrote create beauty. But here's another page that I wrote on spread joy, because that is one of my why's, I want to spread joy. Our creativity, beauty, none of these things is frivolous. All of them are so important and the world needs that. I want you to remember again and again, the world needs you. The world needs the beauty and the creativity, the art. Whatever it is that you're moved and driven to put out in the world, the world needs it so badly. Never think that art is frivolous. Never think that your creative dreams are frivolous or silly. If you have those feelings, if you think, what's the point? This is meaningless, this is silly, that is fear talking. Remember what those Japanese beetles looked like in my garden, chewing up my plants. Thoughts like this is frivolous, this is pointless, that's all fear, that's all negativity, which is going to destroy your dreams and the world needs your dreams, so hang on to them. In the next lesson, I'm going to help you begin to create a plan, so that you can move forward with your dreams. 9. Make a Plan: You have identified your dreams, you have dealt with your fears, you've confronted them, and you have reframed them to be more positive, you have returned to your why. Now I'm hoping that you feel energized and inspired and ready to move forward with your dreams. That's really what you need to do next. You need to move forward. You need to work for your dream. This quote is a great reminder, "Dreams don't work unless you do." In this lesson, I'm going to talk about making a plan. We think it's really helpful to have a plan to look at the bigger picture. Choose one of your dreams and begin thinking about how you can move forward with it. If it's something like learning a skill, learning how to paint, you may want to dedicate time every day to painting. You may want to look for the best classes that you can take that will help you learn to paint. To help you create a plan that will support you in your dreams, I have a PDF handout that you can print out. This first page will help you get clear about your dream. You'll figure out a timeline and maybe write if you need to do some research or what classes you might want to take. Then I think what's most important is that you're going to commit to this and sign it, and date it. Then I have a couple of other planning sheets. This planning for the year, which you can fill in with the months and start anytime, that's for a more long-term goal. Then this planning for the month sheet that you can print out as many as you need and use for any month and then a reassessment sheet. You can use this to check in with your goals and your dreams either once a month or however it works for you. You can track your progress, tracking your struggles, and recommit to your dream. Now of course you don't have to use these pages, but I think they can be a helpful way to look at your dreams and think about moving forward. I'll show you a couple examples with two of my dreams. I put my planning sheets inside of my notebook in a little envelope. One of them here is for a short-term goal, which is moving my studio. I've written down some notes here. I committed to it. I used the month planning sheet because it's a shorter-term goal. Then I did check in and wrote down some notes for that. Whenever I check in, I can come back to my little card here and stamp the date. That way I can keep track, which is a fun way to track my progress and remind myself to keep checking in. This longer-term dream is writing a book and publishing it, and I've written some notes on my planning sheet. I'm using the year long planning sheet, starting with August and writing down the different tasks I need to work on. Then this is a check-in I've been working on this for five months, so I just took some notes about my progress so far. Then these sheets, I can fold up and put in my notebook, in that fun envelope and keep that handy. It's practical and fun and I think it's pretty too. This way, I can keep all of my ideas in one place. Now I want you to create a plan. This isn't something that is necessarily quick. Maybe your dream is something that's long-term, it may take you a while to really see clearly how to move forward with your dream and what plan will work and maybe reassessing after a month or so, you'll get a little clearer and then maybe after another month you'll be even more clear. Give yourself that time, and also be flexible. Of course, if you're using other planning resources, if you have a calendar or planner that works for you. If you use some digital calendar or digital planning, that's wonderful too. I want you to go with what works. I think it's really helpful to focus on one dream at a time. Of course, if you're really excited and inspired, you may want to try and do more than one thing at a time. But that can be frustrating and that can lead to you not really making any progress on either plan if you're tackling two things at once. I think to be more successful, it's better to focus on one thing at a time. Some things will be more quick. Something that's a short-term project will come about more quickly than something that's more of a long-term project. Something where you need more skills or special training will take longer than something where you don't or something that you already have the skills for. I want you to know that these things take time and I want you to remember that and not let the slowness of the process creep up on you like those fears, and help yourself remain energized. That's why I think it's helpful to check in with yourself. That's why I have the little card to check in in my notebook here. Maybe at the beginning of each month, just remind yourself what you're doing and why. Take a look at the progress you've made and if you haven't made as much progress as you'd like, don't be hard on yourself. In the next lesson I'm going to just share a few more tips to help you be the most successful with your dream and with planning for your dream, and with moving forward. I will see you there. 10. A Few More Tips: Thank you so much for taking this class with me. I have a few more tips before I am through, just to help you keep going and to help you stay energized. One thing I want to share with you goes back a little bit to reframing of our fears, sometimes what is really helpful is to use the word yet. The power of yet is a concept in education, and if you want to learn more about it, I would urge you to do a search on the Internet for the words, "The power of yet." You'll find some fun things like this Sesame Street video, but also there's a wonderful TED Talk by Carol Dweck, who's an educator and that'll give you a little more background of how powerful it is to use the word yet. To demonstrate that, I want to come back to the feelings that my students shared with me, the feelings around fear. So taking a look at these, I can choose some like, not knowing where to start, not finding my own voice, not being good enough, not being considered professional. I can take each of these and transform them with the word yet. I can change, I don't know where to start to, I don't know where to start yet. I can say I haven't found my own voice yet, and I'm not good enough yet, I'm not considered professional yet. All of these statements transform the fear into hope because instead of ending with, I don't know where to start, you're looking forward and seeing that eventually you will know where to start, and eventually you will find your own voice, and eventually you will be good enough and you will be considered professional. I hope you'll work with the word yet when you're battling your fears. Something else I want to share with you is something that Bonnie Christine, who is a teacher here on Skillshare and who is a surface pattern designer, she frequently says, "Do one thing each day to move yourself closer to your dreams." That is such wonderful advice. If you are constantly putting in time, if you are constantly showing up, even if the time you put in is short, even if you spend 5-10 minutes every day doing something, that is going to pay off. So don't get frustrated, don't feel like your fears are bigger than your dream, just keep plowing away a little bit at a time. As I mentioned earlier in class, it takes time to go for your dreams and success takes time. I've heard it said that overnight successes take 10 years to happen, there are no overnight successes. Don't feel that pressure, don't feel the pressure that you see other people who are getting success more quickly than you, or if you see other people creating beautiful art and you're not quite there yet, don't feel that pressure, instead, look at what you are doing. Two months from now, I want you to think back at where you were today, and maybe you could even write yourself a note and put it in your notebook. Tell yourself where you are right now and come back in two months and look at that and see how much progress you have made. Over time, this will build up and you will get better and better, you'll have more successes, and I hope that you will find joy in the process because that is really the point. Your dreams are important, but if your dreams don't have joy and love at the heart of them, then I'm not sure why you are going for them in the first place. So remember that and remember your why, remember to have fun, remember not to put too much pressure on yourself. I want to warn you that fear will crop up again and again, and that's perfectly natural. I still have fears that crop up and I still have anxiety and frustrations, and that is a natural part of growth. So come back to the things that we did in class, come back to your dreams, come back to your why, take a look at your fears and reframe them. Use the word yet in the statements that you make about yourself and your skills, and remember that the world needs your dream. The world needs for you to show up in it and create beauty and create meaning. So don't forget that, it's so important. One other thing I want to share with you is that sometimes, not only does it take time to learn a new skill or to have a project completed, sometimes a dream will not happen until the time is right. In the instance of the plan that I shared in the last lesson about my studio and moving it closer to the garden, having a space that I can enter my garden from my studio, that is a dream that I've had for a very long time, and that is a dream that was not possible for a very long time. In part because construction costs money and I needed to save some money in order to make it happen. In situations like that, if it costs money to bring about your dream, don't get frustrated and just plan for the future. There are so many other timing related challenges that you might be facing, things like affording technology or needing special tools or supplies that you may need to save up to purchase. Or maybe you have a family situation that's making things challenging, like young children at home or aging parents that need your care, or maybe your own health. All of those things make going for your creativity and spending time on your creative dreams more challenging. Also this past year and a half, at the time of filming, the COVID challenges, COVID lockdowns, travel restrictions, all of those things make some of what we want to be doing more difficult. Maybe you need a special degree, or a special training before you can go for your dream. That's okay, that's part of the process. One other thing I want to mention is neighborhood situations and for me, I've been wanting to create this class for quite a long time, and it's been challenging because my road has been under construction for five months now and some days it's too loud and the house was shaking too much for me to be doing any filming. I understand that some things are out of our control and that's okay, just be patient. Other things like saving up for technology or saving up for a big project, that is part of the process so remember that, and don't be hard on yourself when things seem slow. Don't let go of those dreams. Just know that maybe if something isn't happening, the time is not yet ripe for it. I hope that the notebooks that you created in this class is something that will really help you to be excited about your dream. To be a place that you can find comfort, a place that you can play, something that's really supportive for you, I want you to work in it as much as you want, put all sorts of interesting things in here. I'll show you a bit more of my notebook, I've worked in it some more, I've added some more things in here. I've shown you these pages and my check-in, my photographs, my encouragement, and some plans in here, adorning things with fortune cookies and some color swatches. There's plenty of space to add things as I go. I've stamped some more words in here and I added a little pocket with one of my paintings that I can switch out. I've also added another fortune cookie fortune. Those are always fun. Here are my dreams and my "Spread Joy" page that I showed you. Dreams don't work unless you do, it's a good reminder and some more encouragement. My envelope with my plans and my commitment. Some more encouragement and paint swatches and a sketch, a reminder that fear prevents life. Create beauty. My reframed fears. Lots of space here, but also here, "Make mistakes and try again." This is one of my embroidery patterns that I accidentally cut in half, so this is a good reminder that mistakes happen, but they don't need to stop us, we can keep going and move on. I have plenty of space left, add things, and a reminder that it's just the beginning, I'll keep dreaming and keep working. I would love to see your notebooks, so for the project, share some photos of it. Talk about how you put it together. Talk about the binding you used, what sorts of papers you used, what sort of interesting things you included. I'd love to see that and I know that your fellow classmates would too. I'm always so inspired by what my students are doing and I love seeing the comments from other students on your classmates' projects. So definitely, share a photo of your book. If you feel comfortable sharing what your dream is, do that, or dreams, if you have many. If you feel comfortable sharing your fears, please do. I think we all feel better knowing that fear is not an unusual thing and remembering that there's nothing wrong with you if you feel fear around creativity or if you feel fear around your dreams, that's completely natural. Also, I would love to see how you have reframed some of your fears. I think that can be inspiring for other people as well. If you have questions of where to go next if you want suggestions of places to do research about your dream, or if you want suggestions of teachers or classes that might help you move forward with your dream, please let me know either in the comments of the class or in your project and I would be happy to help point you in the right direction. Skillshare has a vast array of teachers and classes that are perfect for helping you learn and to move forward with your dreams, so feel free to reach out and I will help as much as I can. I would also just like to thank you again for taking this class, I feel honored to be a part of your creative journey. As I have said before, I love teaching and I feel that it's a way to give back and I found it so valuable to hear other people's stories when I was embarking on my own story when I was embarking on rewriting my own story. I feel that it is so important for me to encourage and inspire others and I just want to thank you again for letting me play that role in your creative journey. I'd love to have you follow me here on Skillshare, that way you always know when I have a new class out or when I'm running a fun contest. You can always also hop over to my website, I have a blog that I publish every Friday with all sorts of inspiration. I have a newsletter that I call "A Joy Letter" I send it out twice a month and when you sign up, you can get access to my free resources, so feel free to pop over there and get on my list. I'd love to connect with you that way as well. Thanks again, I am so happy that you took my class. I can't wait to see your project and I will see you next time. Bye.