Sketchbook Magic III: Hobby to Creative Career | Ria Sharon | Skillshare

Sketchbook Magic III: Hobby to Creative Career

Ria Sharon, Practice Makes Better. riasharon.com

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
10 Lessons (1h 23m)
    • 1. Introduction

      3:39
    • 2. Before We Get Started...

      2:11
    • 3. Week 1 Lesson: Create Space

      17:13
    • 4. Week 2 Lesson: Live your Dream

      10:10
    • 5. Week 3 Case Study: Take Action

      8:11
    • 6. Week 3 Lesson: Take Action

      14:43
    • 7. Week 4 Lesson: Let your idea pick you

      2:26
    • 8. Week 5 Case Study: Keep Your Hands on the Wheel

      14:08
    • 9. Week 5 Lesson: Keep Your Hands on the Wheel

      4:43
    • 10. Conclusion: Rinse & Repeat

      5:52
12 students are watching this class

About This Class

Are you ready to take your art practice to the next level? Whether you want to take your art from hobby to creative career or you want to master a particular skill, Ria Sharon will share her tried and true techniques for getting results.

Ria is the artist and founder of The Animal Guidance Project, a product gift line that went from sketchbook to distribution across the country in 24 months. In this class, Ria will share her behind-the-scenes process of identifying and focusing on a project and how her intuition helped guide her along the way.

In Sketchbook Magic I, Ria taught you how to start and cultivate a daily art practice. In this advanced level class, she will take you on a deep dive, covering:

  • the shifts in mindset that are needed to be open to new possibilities
  • how to tame the beasts of fear and doubt that accompany everyone along the way
  • the habits and practices that are necessary to level up in any creative endeavor

Every lesson will include activity prompts, inviting you to apply the simple and gentle techniques that will move you forward, step-by-step.

This class is perfect for you if you are asking yourself, “What’s next?”

Transcripts

1. Introduction: My art practice is something I did primarily for my own enjoyment, my personal growth and my mental health and it's still an essential part of my spiritual practice. At some point, I was inspired by all the artists I saw around me whether in my community or online that we're sharing their creativity in their art in some way. I could feel that I was ready to take my art to the next level, but I had no idea what that looked like or how to do it. What I found was as soon as I declared that desire for myself it's as if a key was turned and all these doors and windows started opening up. People, resources, ideas, things that I needed just began to show up to take my art to the next level. So in a period of 24 months after I committed to project, it grew into a gift line featuring my art one that's now in retail stores all over the country. My name is Ria Sharon, I'm an artist. I teach classes on art and creativity, and I'm the illustrator behind the animal guidance project. If you're watching this video, it's because you're feeling that call too and you're asking yourself what now? Or what's next? And feeling a little bit lost like I did perhaps about what direction to take your art. I have so many ideas, how can I ever decide, do I want to create a pattern collection? Do I want to illustrate a children's book? Do I want to show in galleries. Do I want to be an illustrator for higher? The possibilities are as unique as you are. So what the next level looks like will be different for every single person. Whether you want to achieve mastery in your current art form or to pursue a creative career, the techniques that I share with you in this class will help you achieve your goal. I think one of the things that can be intimidating at least it was for me is comparing the result or where an artist is after already putting in two or five or 10 years of effort, versus where you are right now wrestling with just this next step. In this class I want to one; share my behind the scenes process and the techniques I use that helped me identify and focus on a project and then two, share how I follow the signs along the way to where I am currently. I don't have a secret roadmap because there isn't one. You're the only one who can decide where you want to end up, but I'm going to share some fundamental techniques so you can create your own map or maybe it's more of a compass. I will share the shifts and mindset that I had to adopt in order to be open to the possibilities that presented themselves. I'll also share how to tame the beast of fear and doubt that accompany everyone along the journey and I'll share the habits and practices that I found most supportive in achieving my goals. Our class project will be a series of exploration and reflection exercises that apply this simple and gentle techniques I share, and that can move you the forward step by step. In Sketchbook Magic One, I invite you to just start. To just take one step. This class is an invitation to keep going. So, if you're feeling the call now to take your art to the next level. Come join me. 2. Before We Get Started...: We know that the best way to learn is to take in new material in manageable chunks. So, I've created five videos that I suggest you watch over a period of five weeks. Now, if you've taken my classes before, you'll be familiar with this setup where I have you watch five videos in the span of five days. But this is an advanced level class, so I want to give you the spaciousness, not only to watch the videos but to do the exercises that will make a real impact on your work. This is a deep dive. We're going to be moving outside of our comfort zone and try on new ideas, but we will be doing it in a gentle and playful way that you know from all of my classes. In the video, I introduce a key concept for the week. Watch it, and then you can spend the rest of the week on the assignment, which should not take you more than 15 minutes a day. In each video, I'll introduce an essential concept, and I'll demonstrate how I apply that concept to my own art process. At the end of each one, I'll introduce an exercise that you can apply to put that concept into practice yourself. Now, this is different from Sketchbook Magic One in that you aren't necessarily going to get immediate feedback like a completed sketch in your sketchbook after each lesson. But a bigger goal requires leveling up, right? What I'm providing are the building blocks, the toolkit. When you use these tools consistently and develop new habits, I guarantee that you will experience a change in how you think, how you feel, and what you do, which will inevitably move your art practice forward. All the techniques I share in this class are the same ones I used to take the animal guidance project from an idea to sketches, to physical wearable art and a sustainable creative business. Although each product took some time to prototype and produce, they started right here with sketches that look like this. So, if you commit to just a little bit of time every day, just 30 minutes, you will make progress. 3. Week 1 Lesson: Create Space: One of the biggest thrills for me as an artist is that feeling that you have when you're making something. Perhaps you've felt it, too, where it's your hands on the brush or whatever tool it is that you're using, but when you step back and look at what you've made, you're still surprised. Like it wasn't entirely you or you by yourself in the room. I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way. In fact, the sensation is well documented throughout history. The image of the creative muse whispering in someone's ear, or the idea of inspiration. If you look at the word itself, ''inspire'', it comes from Latin. ''In'' meaning into, plus ''spirare'' meaning breathe. The word was originally used to describe the instance of a divine or supernatural being imparting a truth or idea to someone. The Romans actually had a name for this divine or supernatural being. They called it a genius. They believed geniuses were like guardian angels, and everyone was born with one. Not only were there personal geniuses, but there was also the genius of the theater that made performances successful, of vineyards that made grapes grow, and of art that made a painting or sculpture beautiful. Author Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love fame believes that ideas are alive. Just like there are plants and animals on earth, ideas are energetic life forms that are wandering the planet with consciousness and will, and want nothing more than to become real. For that, they need a creative partner. So, this idea might be new or familiar to you, but I'd like you to try it on in terms of your art. That art is a partnership. Let me say that again. Art is a partnership. How does that feel to know that you are not alone in the creative process? How does that change your relationship with your work? What possibilities does that that open up? One of my dear friends, Jen Lemen, published this zine years ago. I love this part that expresses one of the corollaries for this concept so well. ''My neighbor Mark told me this great story about this woman who was overflowing with ideas and dreams for the upcoming year. She quickly realized that there was no way she could possibly do all the things she wanted to do, at least not by herself. So, she got a big sheet of paper and split it in half. One-half for herself and the other half for the universe. Me: show up on the page every day, make lovely zines, talk to strangers, improve my skills, take chances, tell the truth about my wild precious life, follow my beginnings all the way to the end. The universe: send a nice and kind publisher my way, find readers who will enjoy my work, keep the flow of inspiration coming, deepen my sense of trust and adventure, arrange meetings with wise old ladies. So, we are not responsible for everything. If there are ideas floating in the ether looking for creative partners, and one decides that you might be a good candidate, say it's looked you up on the Genius Tinder app or whatever, it's going to try to get your attention. Now, this is going to be really subtle, like a hunch or a daydream or an inexplicable urge. Imagine for a moment that you're an idea trying to get someone's attention but you don't have a body, and all you have is an electrical impulse, a figment of a thought. But that person's head is so crammed full of other electrical impulses and thoughts, personal dramas and anxieties, grocery lists, childhood trauma, expectations, fears, doubts, that they just don't notice your little quiet nudge, and they miss it. Some ideas might try just one time and then move on. Or they might be really persistent for a few months or even years. But if that person, let's say it's me, I'm distracting myself scrolling through Facebook posts or stewing about the dude who cut me off in traffic, or I'm regretting where I went to college or whatever, just being too busy, then the idea moves on to someone else because there's just no room in there for me to catch that little whisper, that hunch, that still, quiet voice. Like Jen Lemen says in Beginnings, there are some things that are your responsibility and some things that are your creative partners. So, if your creative partner is trying to send you an idea, then your responsibility is to create space, so you can receive it. How have I applied this concept to my creative process? This is the demo part of the lesson. Over a two year period, I had done exercises like The 100 Day Project hosted by Elle Luna, they help you form a habit of making art daily. I already knew that starting and finishing a piece of art was important to do, but it also limited the scope and depth of those projects. In the past years, I'd also loaded up on classes, learning all sorts of new techniques. On top of that, I was also creating a lot of content, including my own classes. As you can imagine, life was really, really full, and so was my brain. In fact, it was overflowing, and there was no way that an idea could cram itself in there that tried. It was time for a clearing. ''Call in the rain. Wash away old opinions, beliefs or emotions that no longer serve you. It's time for fresh new perspectives.'' This is the guidance of frog, and I really took it to heart. Since the animal guidance project is my current passion project, you'll see infusions of it throughout the class, and you'll get to see how I use this guidance in terms of my creative process. In my experience, one of the most powerful tools of creation is aligning mental, emotional, and physical energy. When you focus all three on a single intention, it's like picking up a magic wand. You might be thinking, ''What does this mean?'' Okay, it's like this. If you have a wish or a dream, it stays a wish or a dream unless you have the following three things. One, a really clear picture of it in your mind. Two, a strong emotional connection to it. Three, a physical expression of it in the real world. So, this isn't a new concept. This is why talismans and sacred symbols and rituals exist. All of these practices work because they are based on the idea of our minds, so our thoughts, our bodies, and our feelings being connected. If you ever notice that if you have a negative thought, then there is a feeling that goes with that and then there's also physical expression that goes along with it? Let's say my dog, Herman, runs out of the yard. I have some thoughts about that. In fact, I'm thinking, ''Oh my goodness, he's going to get run over. He might be dead already.'' And I start to feel panic and fear, and my body starts to reflect that. My heart rate goes up. I start sweating. I start running around like a crazy person. So, I can't do anything about the fact that he's not in the yard, but I do have some control of how I respond. My mind is racing, my emotions are kind of out of control. But I can stop, and take a deep breath. I can take a couple of deep breaths because my breathing if I were calmer and thinking clearly would be slower, and then that helps me to take charge of my emotions which helps me to take charge of my thoughts. So when I'm thinking just even a little bit more clearly, I can tell myself well it's only been 30 seconds, so it can't have gone far, and sure enough, if I'm in that calmer state of mind, possibilities open up and I can hear his tags jangling from that direction. All is well. If I wish to create space for something new in my life, I can solidify that by creating a physical expression of it in the real world. That helps me to feel what it feels like with that spaciousness feels like and that in turn helps me to hold that intention and bring more of it into my experience. To prep for my new idea to come, I cleaned and organized my studio. I called in my animal guide, my frog and I recommitted myself to my morning pages. Morning pages is a ritual introduced by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist's Way. This book is considered the seminal book for the creative process. If you have a chance to read it, I recommend it. Simply, it's a daily practice of writing longhand, not typing, three pages every morning first thing. It really is that simple and magical. Julia says if you really can't think of anything to write, just write, I can't think of anything to write for three whole pages. This is not a journal. None of it is meant to be reviewed or read by anyone else, even you. My pages are awful things truly. They are mostly my to-do list or my grocery list mixed in with my list of grievances and annoyances, as well as the things that I'm appreciating or grateful for. I have a friend who is religious about doing morning pages and then burning the whole lot once a month so that she feels truly free to write whatever she wants in there. Why do this? There's something inexplicable but effective that happens when we commit something to paper. It's like your brain or ego can release whatever thoughts, concerns, anxieties, rage, or whatever it puts down on paper for the day because it's been captured physically on the page. Remember that the goal is to free up as much room as possible in your mind for the idea or hunch or inspiration to land. You're literally dumping the whole mess on the page to make space. I find this to be really just a fabulous way to do a clearing because you're doing all three things at once: mental, emotional, and physical. You're quite literally vomiting all your thoughts and feelings on the page. What came up in those morning pages was that I needed to say no so that I could say yes to my genius. No to commissions, no client work, no to relationships that were draining, no doing things for other people that they could do for themselves. Sorry kids, you're on your own for breakfast. Those of you who are following me in the spring of 2017, know I actually made an announcement that I was going on sabbatical for an indefinite period. That was huge for me and really scary. I had no idea what was coming just that I had to create space for it to come. Other ways I've created space in the past is to do an actual cleanse or fast for three to five days. All the time I would have spent on food, shopping, prepping, cooking, cleaning. I spent meditating and journaling instead. I've also gone on five day silent retreats either somewhere else or cocooned in my apartment with no screens. Again, instead of talking to anyone or feeding the screen addiction, I spent that time on self care, reflection, and writing. Can you guess what your assignment is for this lesson? That's right. Morning pages, just do it. I'll make you a deal. Write three whole pages, or write for 15 minutes whichever comes first. Do it for 30 days, if you miss a day, start over. So you'll be surprised at what comes up in these pages, most of it will be total nonsense and you'll find that you'll be doing this every day for a week and you'll feel kind of stupid. That's natural but just keep doing it. I promise you, even if it's junk, just keep doing it. If you really are at a loss, consider pondering your beliefs about art. I mean that's why you're here, right? You want to take your art to the next level. So consider what got you here. A few years ago, right before I started making art every day, I realized through my morning pages ritual that I had some unconscious beliefs about art. I believe that artists were poor, unstable, and suffered. I wasn't really aware that I thought those things but no wonder I did everything I could to not pursue a career as an artist, right? Here's the thing about unconscious beliefs. Whatever they are, from the minute you really invest any emotional energy in them, they start to become what you experience. Then, it becomes an endless loop that feeds itself. This isn't woo-hoo, it's actually how the human brain works. If you study cognitive psychology, you'll find that humans have evidentiary minds meaning that our brains will naturally choose those data points that support our beliefs. So because I believe that artists were poor, and stable, and suffered, sure enough, I found instances of artists who were poor, unstable, and suffering. That would reinforce my belief that there was a correlation between a creative career and a life that I absolutely did not want. See the pickle I created? Through my morning pages, I discovered one of the source slots for my belief. I was an art major in college and one of the TAs in the program I admired very much. Everyone, even the professors thought he was one of the most promising students in the program at the time. Then one day I overheard that this person was living out of his studio and bathing in the studio sink. I remember being horrified, but I didn't realize that I was also filing away that negative information somewhere in the recesses of my own conscious. I'm certain that when I heard stories like that after that point, I wasn't really very shocked at all. A story about an artist bathing in his studio sink was, of course, that's part of being an artist. But actually it's not. There are other stories out there too. Like Michelangelo being one of the richest men of his time. Oh sure you say, but his patron was the pope, and times have changed. Right. Times have changed, and as of today, I can name at least 15 contemporary artists whose net worth is in the multiple millions. Jasper Johns, 300 million, David Hockney, 40 million, Chuck Close, 25 million. Oh sure you'd say, but they are all white men. Well, there also Cindy Sherman, 35 million, Anish Kapoor, 85 million, and Takashi Murakami, 100 million. Okay, but these are all gallery artists. Well there's also Emily Winfield Martin who's supposedly makes 7,000 a month on her etsy store alone, and there's Mary Engelbreit who has sold over a billion dollars in products. Remember that evidentiary mind, as soon as I planted the seed of a different idea that artists can be successful and that their work can be valued, it was just as easy to find evidence that this is also true. You will undoubtedly glean insights along with junk and petty concerns in your morning pages. Choose to withhold judgment either way. The important thing is just that you do them. So get yourself a notebook like the cheap kind at Office Depot. Don't decorate it or anything, and I give you permission to have a bonfire every 30 days. 4. Week 2 Lesson: Live your Dream: You've created space during your morning pages. Now what? Now comes the fun part, you dream. So, Liz Gilbert thinks that there all these ideas flying around out there, trying to find creative partners. I like to imagine that there really is some kind of a genius, Tinder app that's matching your perfect idea to you, and it's looking at your profile and it's got your interests, your skills, your life experience. The algorithm for that match is heavily weighted to your heart's desire. I remember being at Disney World when my kids were little. When the nighttime parade starts in the Magic Kingdom, you hear Jiminy Cricket start to sing, "A dream is a wish your heart makes when you're fast asleep. In dreams, you will lose your heartaches. Whatever you wish for, you keep." Well, there you go. The Chief Imagineer, Walt Disney, really knew what was up. For all of you guys who told me you didn't know what to do next, the answer lies in what you dream about and what you long for. The tricky part is that so many of us train ourselves not to dream. I know I did. I spent a whole life telling myself that I couldn't be an artist. I was too scared. It felt silly. It seemed impractical. Wishing and dreaming just felt really vulnerable. Just think of all of the things that we wouldn't have right now. If some people listen to all that, we wouldn't have cars, we wouldn't have airplanes, we wouldn't have phones, we wouldn't have indoor plumbing This is the big concept I want you to try on for the week. Everything is in service to your art. Doctors keep us healthy so we can best apply our creative skill and imagination. Lawyers make agreements and protections for people who apply their creative skill and imagination. Marketers sell the products of human creative skill and imagination. What would change about how you approach your art if this was true for you? What dreams would you entertain if you felt like your art was your life's purpose? What art would you create if you knew the world desperately needed it and supported it? I know you have a dream because otherwise you wouldn't be in this class. It might need a little gentle coaxing to convince it to make an appearance. Remind yourself that this is a safe space. There is a reason that Julia Cameron starts the artist's way with a chapter on creating a safe space for your art. The great thing is that we're all gathered here, feeling similar feelings, and wobbliness, and doubt. So, you're among friends. Even better, you're among friends virtually. So, you don't have the added pressure of being around people as you're doing this really vulnerable thing. So, take a deep breath and start dreaming. Take some time. Put some energy into fleshing out the wishes of your heart when it comes to your art practice. I'm not asking you what you want because want can be misleading. It will get your head involved in the conversation. Your head will insert silly notions like what you're capable of right now, what skills you have, what you think is possible, what your circumstances will allow, and whether or not you know how to achieve this goal versus what your heart wishes, your dream. That's something entirely different. Can you feel the difference? There's a great quote attributed to Henry Ford: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." Like in the first lesson, we want to align thought, emotion, and physical expression. Sometimes when we're stuck, it's easier to create a vision or hold that thought if we come at it from the other side. So, remember that example of Herman running out of the yard. We're artists, right? So, let's make something that when we see it, it actually inspires us to feel all of the feelings of what it's like to live inside of that dream. That way, you'll have all three aligned: body, mind, and spirit. Again, not a new concept, this is why vision boards work so well. Neuroscientists and psychologists and high-performance athletes know our brains don't differentiate between what's happening out there in the world and what's going on in our minds. Because on a cellular level, what's happening is exactly the same. Electrical impulses are firing to create images in our minds and chemicals are being released to create corresponding feelings, feelings that we associate with those images. When we visualize something happening, the same cells in the brain are activated and the same chemicals are being released, as if it was really happening. Not only that, but when you create a physical symbol of your dreams, something that you can touch, the active touching it over and over stimulates your brain to light up the same cells. So, you're actually re-patterning your brain around your journey. This is one of the inspirations for the dream amulet for animal guidance. It comes with a dragonfly charm because the one-word mantra for dragonfly is mirage. This is powerful guidance because seeing something that isn't there yet is the first step in bringing that vision into form. For this lesson, your task is to dream about your art practice and create a physical symbol of that dream in any way that resonates with you. By resonate, I mean not just the thought of it, but that there's an emotion and a feeling in your body. You can make a vision board, or collage, or sculpture that you can look at and touch every day. You can get a charm of a mantra that symbolizes your dream. You can write a letter to you from your future self that you read over and over. You can make a short film that you watch over and over. You can make a goal card. This is something that Napoleon Hill writes about in his famous book, "Think and Grow Rich". I'm going to dive deeper into two of these ideas for demonstration purposes. The first is the vision board. There's no right or wrong way to do this. You can go old-school and cut out pictures from magazines or you can also create a digital vision board using Canva. The key is the feeling. Use your right brain to pick, which means, don't give yourself too much time to overthink picking your images. Literally, set a timer for a minute if you're scrolling through Pinterest, or 20 minutes if you're tearing up magazines. Pay attention to how you're feeling during this time. Do you feel yourself leaning into a scene or do you catch yourself smiling as you see an image? Those are the ones. The lit up, energized heart-fulfilling is the one that you're looking for. So, you're not necessarily going for pictures that match what your dream looks like as much as what your dream feels like. You're going to make something that you can look at every day, first thing, and get energized. When you look at it throughout the day, you'll get excited. So, once it's done, snap a picture to post in a classroom if you're comfortable sharing and then you can also use that picture as your phone's lock screen or wallpaper and your desktop too. Here's my desktop. When I imagine living in this space, I feel at peace. I feel expansive. I feel that heart-fulfilling. A gold card is a card that has your goal, or dream, or vision written out. So, this is particularly good if you're more of a verbal person, like a writer. I like it because once you've written out, you can read it out loud to yourself every day. I actually recorded myself reading out loud as a voice memo, and I listen to it every morning while I take the dogs for a walk. Activities like walking and running are effective because they incorporate bilateral stimulation, which is anything that occurs in a rhythmic left-right pattern. This type of stimulation helps our brains to synthesize and absorb new material. So, yes, going for a walk to clear your head is actually a thing. This was my morning ritual. I walk the dogs and listen to myself read my goals out loud. Within six months of using this system, I had achieved everything I've written down. Animal guidance, had retail partners around the country, my art was featured in a magazine and in five gift guides for the holiday season. You get the idea. Okay, your turn, dream your dream, then live your dream. As much as you can, immerse yourself in the feeling of that dream. If you want to, post a pic of whatever your project is, your vision board here in the classroom. If your project is a little big and unwieldy, I suggest you take a picture of it so that you can put it on your phone or your desktop. That way, every time you see it, you can stimulate those brain cells to light up and start that re-patterning. You're going to want to look at that image or read your card first thing in the morning, last thing before you go to bed, and as often as possible during the day. Since it's your dream, this should be something that you look forward to, something that lights you up when you see it. This should not be a chore. Have a great week. If you have any questions or insights, feel free to post them in the discussion thread in the classroom, and I will respond as I can. 5. Week 3 Case Study: Take Action: Let's take another look at this treasure by John Lennon. It says, you're responsible for some things and you're creative partner, the universe, God, the divine, spirit, infinite, intelligence, however you refer to this higher power. It is responsible for the other. Art, and really all of life is a partnership in this way. So although we have to take action to bring our dream into reality, it has to be the right action. That was really challenging for me. How do we know what the right action is? This is the guidance of mountain lion. You know when to take action and when to pause, when to speak and when to listen, hold fast to this inner compass, let it inspire those who look to your leadership. When I was creating this class, I got a lot of questions like, "How do I know what to focus on? I have so many ideas, how do I choose?" I totally get it. I was totally aware that if I was making a choice, i was making a choice away from all of these other opportunities. So, I want to share a story from my own life that demonstrates how right action works. It's not about art specifically, but I think it's a good one because it shows the process from beginning to end. A few years ago I found myself having to move. Up until that point, I lived in a lovely apartment with my two kids. But I really wanted to get them into new school district before my daughter started middle school. The neighborhood that I wanted to go to only had a few streets with properties in my price range and half of those streets weren't even in the school district. I looked around of course there was nothing on the market. To be fair, it was December, and I had until March first to let my leasing company now if I was going to be back. Still, I scoured the real estate sites every day, and every day, nothing. That's when I made this vision board out of an empty oatmeal can. I created this physical symbol of all the things that I wanted. I liked the idea of it being a container, because that represented a home or a space for my family and I used the exact process that I shared with you in the last lesson. I set the timer for 20 minutes, I tore out a bunch of images. I set the timer for another 20 minutes and glued all these images on this oatmeal tin. Then, I put little artifacts in here that's symbolized experiences I wanted to have with my kids in this new home. Like chocolate for sweetness or seed pods for a connection to nature. One night after I've done this ritual, I couldn't sleep. I got up to go to the bathroom, and for some reason, on the way back to bed, I randomly checked my phone and there was an email from Zillow that a unit was just listed, just inside the district boundary. It's perfect, it has three bedrooms, it's stage beautifully. Coincidentally, it is 12, 12, 12, December 12, which is only significant because I'd moved into my previous apartment on eight, eight, eight. What are the chances? I said to myself this places mine for sure. From that moment on, I was obsessed with it. Not only was it right across from the elementary schools, so my son could just walk across the street, but it was half a block away from the biggest park in town. There you go, seed pods, connection to nature. There was even a candy store around the corner. Hello sweetness. I sent a message to a woman I knew who was a realtor, and of course she said, "Do you want to go see it?", and I said, "No" What? I know, we were so busy, we had people coming in from out of town, I just adopted this stray dog, we were headed to Florida and it just seemed a little overwhelming. So, I was really sure that it was my place anyway. So I said, "let's just wait until we get back from vacation January." So, we leave for Florida, and all the while, I'm looking at the pictures from the listing and moving my furniture around, and seeing what would fit where. Seriously, the only problem I have with this place is that it had a separate kitchen, and that was really small. One of the things I loved about the apartment that I was in was the open kitchen, and the thought of going through a door and around the corner to cook breakfast out was really unappealing. I'm literally trying to figure out how I can put a little breakfast table in there. So I'm online searching for these tables that fold down and I'm bookmarking sites. This is nuts. So, we get back from Florida in January and I check the listing again, it's sold. Sometime in the 14 hour drive, the status changed from available to pending or whatever. I'm totally shocked. My partner Henry is like, "It's okay. Now you know that there are places like that that exist something else will come up." Yeah, whatever. Totally disheartened. But I pick myself back up, and I do this thing where I act as if what I want is already the way it is. So, if I actually lived on that street I would be driving down that street every day imagining that I already live there. I drive past the school, I drive down to the park, I drive past the candy shop. One day, I'm doing this and I see a sign for an open house on the street that I want to live in but it's for condo that's not in the school district, so I can't buy it. For some reason, I decided I'm going to go anyway. Maybe I'm thinking that it would be nice to see what they look like on the inside. It's late January at this point. So, I go in and I meet this lovely Realtor, I immediately fall in love with her, and she does what she does, and she asked me what I'm looking for, and I tell her, and she says, "I can help you. There's nothing on the market right now, but I'll find you something for you and your kids." So now, I'm thinking I have until March first to tell my leasing company if I'm going to be back, and I stop worrying about it for a while because I know Joan is on the job. But the week after Valentine's day, I start freaking out again. I have to let my leasing company know on March first in two weeks if I'm staying. I see a sign for three bedroom apartment for rent. It's a basement apartment, I don't even know, I went to see it. It's a stretch but I can't afford it even though it didn't feel very good. I gave Joan a call right after asking what should I do. She says, "Just wait, I have something. It's not on the market, the owner lives out of town. But if you can just wait a little while, I think I can get the key." I say, "How long?" She says, "Three days" Okay, I can totally wait three days. She calls me back the next day which is a Saturday, I've got the key we can go in on Monday morning. In the meantime, there's no pictures because it's not on the market but there is a condo in the same building that sold, so I'll send you a link to that. So, she sends me the link, I click on the email and of course it's the condo that I've been looking at for an entire month and moving furniture around. We go on Monday morning to see the place and it's exactly the same as that beautifully staged apartment that I was looking at, except it had an open kitchen. That is how we ended up here. I closed on April 12, four months to the day that I got the email about the unit upstairs. 6. Week 3 Lesson: Take Action: Thank you for indulging me in that trip down memory lane. I share that example because it's the clearest one that I have of what I mean by right action. I have examples too of how it applies to my art and I'll share those anecdotes in a bit, but this story had an actual beginning, middle, and end, and I thought that would be helpful for you to hear. So, let's unpack that in terms of the process we're learning now and how that can apply to your art. What did I do to start the process of looking for this new home? I started with a vision. So, I made this symbolic representation of what I wanted in my new life experience. Then, what? Then, I got that email. Of course, it could have been a total coincidence, but on 12, 12, 12, I saw that condo and because of that number being significant to me, I paid more attention than I might have otherwise. Then, what did I do? Nothing. I didn't do anything. I took no action because it didn't feel right. Can you imagine if I had? I probably would have put an offer in. But what I did do, is fine-tune my vision. Now, I had actual pictures to work with. I went from this symbol and these feelings to imagining this actual place. I started to create an emotional connection to my vision. I started to see myself and my family in this space. I put hours of energy into this, but not the grinding energy of going to see house after house and feeling frustrated by what wasn't quite right. I spent hours on my fantasy island and being excited about the place I earnestly thought was already mine. It wasn't all smooth sailing obviously. When I found out that my condo had sold to someone else, I was really devastated. It was a setback and I was scared. I started to go down this dark mental path of what would happen if I couldn't find a place in time. I really didn't have the budget for them to keep attending the school they were going to and I didn't want to move further out of the city. I was starting to feel the pressure. Someone told me once that your mind is like a town and if you find yourself in a bad neighborhood, you should high tail it out of there. I was feeling helpless. What could I do? Then, I drew the mountain lion card and it reminded me of what I'm sharing with you now, of aligning your thoughts and your feelings with the physical experience that you want to have. I started the ritual of driving down the street that I wanted to live on and because that was the action that I could take, that was my responsibility. It was something that came to me as a hunch or a feeling and my creative partner provided that open house. My responsibility was choosing to walk up those stairs even though the condo wasn't in the school district I was looking for. My creative partner made sure that Joan was working the open house. My responsibility was deciding to work with Joan instead of the other realtor. My creative partner found the condo for me, one that was even better than the one I had already picked for myself. My responsibility was to buy it, which at the time was a leap of faith because at that point, I hadn't had a regular paycheck in over 10 years. My creative partner ended up providing a regular gig that covered my mortgage. Can you see the points along the way when I took right action? Let's peel that back one more layer and look at how I knew when to take action and what action to take. The answer is I didn't. My logical left brain did not know but my intuitive right brain did. The problem is that my left brain is really noisy and has all these words and my right brain only has feelings, and hunches, and coincidences. It needs an interpreter or an amplifier to get its messages across. For as long as I can remember, I've created tools to help me listen to what my intuition is trying to tell me and this, this is truly the heart of The Animal Guidance Project. That we all have access to this wisdom inside us. That it's available to us whenever we need it and it's not even a new age thing. This is something that indigenous people from all over the world have been doing since forever. How does it work? Well, over our lifetime, we have acquired habitual ways of navigating life. If I want to create something new, something I haven't yet experienced, I can't lean into those patterns because the same old habits will give me the same old results. So, I'm creating here. I'm not replicating, which by definition means, I'm moving into unknown territory. Joseph Campbell says, "If you can see your path laid out in front of you, step-by-step, you know it's not your path. Your own path, you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path." My rational logical mind is really good about pulling from my experience, from my past. But if I want to move forward, I need to pull from my future. How do I do that? I need guidance and that is what the animals do for me, they offer me a different perspective than the one that I would naturally, unconsciously default to. I know from years of experience that what hesitation I have comes from fear of the unknown and I also know from experience that that's actually a good thing. It means I'm pointed in the right direction because I'm moving outside of my comfort zone. The gift of this technique is at that point, I've loosened my grip on the story I've been telling myself, the fearful one. So, I can look at a situation from a new perspective and inevitably, that little shift opens up a world of possibilities that I couldn't see from my previous vantage point. The magical part is that the guidance really isn't coming from the animal. There isn't a frog whispering in your ear, or a dragonfly, or a mountain lion, it's you. You're the one who's reading the card and interpreting it in a way that applies to your situation. This is one of the best and most fun tools to help your intuition override your thinking mind. Let's see how the process I used to find a new home is the same one that I've been using to take my art from a hobby to create a business. When I was creating this class, I asked you all what was keeping you from taking that next step. Some of you replied that you had no idea where to go or what that looks like and I want to emphasize that that is completely normal and that was the case for me as well. I didn't have a clear vision. I didn't see an e-commerce site and a wholesale business for this gift line. I just had a feeling that there was someplace that I'd like to take it that wasn't where I was at the moment. I didn't do a vision board per se because I'm not even sure that I was conscious of my desire at that point. Rather than a desire, I was more aware of the discontent. In my morning pages, this feeling kept coming up and I started to ask, what's next? What's next was me feeling totally overwhelmed and because I was overwhelmed I had this irresistible urge to clear everything out. I didn't know it at the time but I was doing step one which was making room, clearing space. That is how I found myself spending days cleaning and organizing my studio, in that process, I essentially got a retrospective of all of my life's work in art from the very beginning. That's when I started to see a recurring theme, animals. In the process of clearing out all that stuff, I stumbled on this drawing I did in 1994 and when I saw it I remembered that I had a dream of doing my very own animal oracle deck way back then. Not only that, but it was still exciting to me now but it didn't seem very practical. I had no idea how I was going to get a deck of cards made. I had no idea how people would find out about my products or why they would even want to buy them. There's so many the animal decks out there and angel decks and all sorts of oracle cards. How was this idea even useful? Then I discovered through my morning page ritual that this was the wrong question. The 'how' was coming from my left brain which is notoriously obsessed with how. Bob Proctor, the motivational speaker loves to say that Sir Edmund Hillary had no idea how to get to the top of Everest until he'd actually done it. So true. So, I decided to give myself permission to let go of how I was going to make this a dream a reality and just focus on what the dream was and to continue dreaming it. If I had this dream back in 1994 and I was still excited about it now that had to count for something. It was Sark who said, "Your dreams will wait for you." Okay, I'll draw animals and I have to tell you that once I made this decision it was not like the heavens opened and I heard a chorus of angels singing. It was more like okay, I'll draw animals and that felt good. I felt at peace with that choice. Let's break down what happened, step-by-step. One, I had a vague feeling. Two, I was doing my morning pages and asking a question when I got an urge to clean. Three, I stumbled on some stuff that jogged some memories. Four, I gave myself permission to want to draw the animals. Five, it felt good. I hope that helps you start to feel how intuition works. It's pretty subtle, right? It's not black and white. Okay, your turn. For the last two weeks, you've been doing your morning pages every day and last week you made your vision board or some physical expression of your dream and while looking at that daily allowing all the yummy feelings that go with it to bubble up to the surface. Starting today, you can add this next exercise to your daily routine. Your assignment this week is to practice tuning into your intuition. How do you do that? Well, for one decision a day, preferably more, turn the reins over from your left brain to your right brain. For example, when you go to the coffee shop to place your order, don't order your usual. Tell the barista to surprise you and be open to the possibility that whatever he or she picks is exactly what you needed. Roll the dice to decide what movie to watch. Use a fortune teller to decide what's for dinner. If you have a dilemma, a conflict with your spouse, child, dear friend or co-worker, pull an animal card to decide how to respond. You don't even need a deck, just go to animalsguidance.org and click on the animal tab, close your eyes and hover around the page a bit, let your mouse settle on a spot and voila. There's your guidance. Over the next week as you practice listening to your intuition, lean into the possibilities that present themselves. Are you particularly curious about a technique, medium or subject? Are you inspired by an artist's career or business? Approach your question of where you're going with your art practice with an open mind and an open heart. See what idea is trying to get your attention. You can use the animals for this too. In fact, do that and report back. Post to snapshot of the animal that picked you and write what it means to you for your art. If you posted on Instagram and tagged me, I'll even help you interpret it. All of these practices are going to build the scaffolding that you will need as your art practice grows and expands because if you are really taking your art to the next level, it's not going happen overnight and you're going to need to lean into these practices. That part when you're working on an art piece and it's really ugly and you have to fight every urge to throw it out and start over, I call that part the messy middle and that part can take a long time. Yeah, the messy middle. That messy middle might seem like it's taking forever and in reality it may take months or years. Concrete and tangible practices are what help keep the fear and doubt from taking control and it will help you forge ahead. Notice, I did not say that they will prevent fear and doubt because you will absolutely feel fear and doubt. You are outside your comfort zone but these practices will allow you to work past that and to keep going despite the wobbliness. Okay, hang in there. Peers, we covered a lot of material today. So, if you have any questions, if there are insights that come up for you, please drop them in the discussion section. 7. Week 4 Lesson: Let your idea pick you: This next step assumes that an idea has piqued you and you are really lit up about it. I mean, you are so excited about this idea that you jump out of bed every morning because you can't wait to start working on it. In fact, try to imagine yourself jumping out of bed every morning for a year or even three to five years, that's how excited you are. What, seriously? That's the reaction you have when you hear me say that, go back and keep listening until an idea comes to you that you do feel really excited about. Some perspective, it took Michelangelo 40 years, four-zero to complete the tomb of Pope Julius II, just saying. Let's say the same idea keeps tugging at your sleep, but you honestly can't say if you would be excited about it a year from now. As long as you're excited about it right now, I give you permission to try it on. I jokingly say that the idea for the animals first came to me in 1994 and I've been running away from it ever since. But, it stood the test of of time. Let's do this little decision tree for your idea. One being, Dear Lord, no, that's easy and move on, or 10, where you're so excited to do this, you're like Da Vinci with the Mona Lisa. If you have a 10, awesome. It's a match and you can get started. If it's a six or a seven, try it on and what does that look like? Well, I'm assuming because you're here, that you may have taken Sketchbook Magic One, you can approach your idea with the same curiosity and playfulness that you did with your sketches. The only difference now is that you have a focus. So, work a little bit on your idea every day. At this point, you'll need some time. You have to play with your mid-level exciting idea, maybe for a week and see how it goes. See if you can sustain your excitement level for it or if it fizzles out. If it does fizzle out, then try a different one until you hit something that really lights you up. So, at this point you can pause watching the videos or you can keep watching them, doesn't really matter. What does matter is that you keep doing your daily assignments, your morning pages and playing with your intuition. 8. Week 5 Case Study: Keep Your Hands on the Wheel: You've found an idea, now what? How do you make it happen? How do you get from point A to point B? When I was really little, I remember thinking that driving must be so hard because you have to make all these little turns. How does anyone know when to make all these micro adjustments? I asked my dad how he knew how to do that and he just laughed. That's not me, that's the road, all I'm doing is keeping my hands on the wheel and pointing in the direction I want to go. I had no idea what he was talking about. This week's lesson is keeping your hands on the wheel and pointing in the direction you want to go. So, direction you want to go is your dream or your vision and you can let the road take care of the rest. Might be easier to tell you my story and then we can reverse engineer the lesson from there. Like I said before, once I had decided on the animals it wasn't like the World shifted and they were seeing and dancing. I just started working on the animals every day, not one a day, but I did spend at least 30 minutes exploring different ways to approach them. It actually took me about six weeks or so to decide on the final style. First, I did baby animals but I got bored with them. I tried painting them in watercolor and those are fine as art pieces but I didn't like them as cards. Then, I did the Owl and to be honest I loved it so much that I had that cuteness aggression thing that happens when you see babies and puppies, it was so exciting. So exciting I couldn't wait to do more and that excitement propelled me to do the next 11 animals pretty quickly. Thankfully after 12, I was still excited about the project. So that's a good test. If you can spend some time on your idea, whether it is a series, a collection or one big piece you're on the right track. With 12 illustrations complete, I printed them out and I made mock-ups of how I wanted the cards to look. One day, I happened to be visiting with a friend of mine who owns a coffee shop here in town and I pulled the cards out to show her, and she was so excited about them that she kept waving people over to look at them and someone I don't even know said, "What are you going to do with these? I mean they are too good not to make something out of them". So that was a notable moment. That same day Jen told me the story of her nephew and how he was really nervous before his bar made stuff. Now, note I had shared with her about pulling animal cards years before. So she offered to do the cards with him and he picked bear. So, later that night before the ceremony when she asked him how he was doing, he pulled out the bear card from his suit jacket pocket, he gave her the thumbs up. That was a notable moment. I felt like there was something there that was exciting for other people and I got even more excited about my project. I did some research how I could produce these cards and amazingly I found a site that all they did was print cards, no minimums, quick turnaround, like an answered prayer. Now, even though I finished the 12 pretty quickly, I stalled out a little bit after that, you know, life. I realized that if it was going to take me a month to do one animal, it was going to take me years to get all the animals ready for a deck. My aunt suggested that I make something tangible with each animal as I completed the illustration, just so I can have a sense of progress. That's when I remembered the story of the boy and the bear card and I started dreaming of how cool it would be if people could have something, like a little symbol or a talisman of their animal, to carry with them and keep it close. What if I could make those? I started dreaming of how I could place my art in some kind of charm. My sister-in-law, Jane, is a master jeweler and when I asked her about the idea, she told me about the empty bezels and that I could add my art to them. That's how my first product came to be, the Animal Guidance Pendant Gift Set. They include a pendant and card which has the affirmation on it for that animal. I gave them to my friends and families for Christmas that year. Months later, I went back to the coffee shop and Jen was so excited about these, that she immediately dragged me to the gift shop down the street to meet the owner. Of course, I had no idea how to talk about the cards and explain what I was doing, but despite all the stumbling all over myself, Phoenix Rising became my first retailer. A few weeks later, I was at dinner with another friend who offered to introduce me to Jean at KIND Soap Company. Jean ordered some for her shop on the spot. At this point I asked Sharon, a friend that I've known for 20 years, for advice because she had a line of stationary that she sold to gift shops. Sharon suggested designing a simple line sheet that showed what I had available and my contact information. I printed out about a dozen of these and took them around to different stores and that's when I discovered that making appointments with store owners works a lot better than dropping by unannounced. That meant emailing ahead of time and I felt like I should give them some kind of a visual to increase their chances of wanting to meet with me. So that became the first iteration of animal guidance.org, it had two pages, one had pictures of my products and the other one had my bio. Once I had a website, it made it really so much easier to send introductory emails to store owners across the country. If they liked my work, they would reply. Of course, I make it sound easy, I probably sent out 20, 30 emails for everyone that I got a reply to. But at that point, it didn't really hurt to send an email and I felt like if I didn't send it the answer was already, no. Before long, I had to add another page to the site for my retailers and another one to list wholesale information. At first, I was really nervous because I don't think of myself as a sales person, in fact, you might be surprised to know I have a case of low grade social anxiety. But when I first met with Mary Beth and Sarah at Union Studio, I discovered it can actually be fun learning about my partner's businesses and their customers and talking about where your work intersects, it's really cool. That meeting was another notable moment because Mary Beth looks at me across that work table and asked, "so what else are you going to make?" I hadn't thought about it yet, but just that question was a game-changer, from that moment on I was on fire. I was coming up with a new product every 24 hours, all stemming from the idea of creating rituals that supported this intuitive connection to guidance. I wanted to design little pieces of art that could help shape moments in people's everyday lives like journals, of course, and sketching and journaling is such an important ritual for me personally, but even more common and fun things like lip balm that remind you that you can choose joy every time you have to reapply it. One day the owners of Union Studio asked if I would be willing to collaborate with some of their other artisans, a woman who made essential oils and another woman, a beekeeper, who made candles from pure bees wax. Their idea was to put together a gift set that included my animal guidance cards, and together with the essential oil and the candle, they could create a mindfulness ritual, I guess so. Through that project, I was introduced to Ingrid Petraeus, who is the owner of Lunalily Botanicals, as soon as I met her I knew that I wanted to work with her on something that would include her plant wisdom. This is how the oil diffuser amulets came to be, combining plant, animal, and mineral energy to create the mind, body, spirit alignment that I keep talking about. Set an intention, feel the emotion, and then when you smell that subtle essential oil all day long it brings you into the physical experience of whatever it is you want to create. Magic, right? Wholesale wasn't specifically in my plan either, but I was so energized by the partners I was working with that I started to do some research to see how the business could be wholesale ready. I found an article saying that press coverage was essential. So I started to read up on PR, and fortunately, there are a lot of people on the internet who are happy to teach you how to do that. I'm pretty good at following instructions, so I made a point of sending out three to five emails to either stores or magazines, and just like with the shop owners, sometimes I would hear back from an editor who is interested in covering the line. Then, I got an email from a buyer at UncommonGoods who was interested in seeing samples of my pendants. Of course, in order to fit the requirements, I had to redesign the packaging a little bit, I had to do some administrative things like I had to get business insurance, I had to review all of my cost and pricing, I had to figure out how I would scale for production and look into UPC codes, all of a sudden it started to feel like a real business. Now, the opportunity didn't work out and it might resurface in the future, but because it came up at the time that it did, I was forced to think about things that I wouldn't have otherwise. Somewhere along the line I was invited to participate in an art show. I had never done one before, and at the time of the invitation I thought I would just need a few pieces, like a few pieces of art, so I agreed and then I found out that I actually had a 10 by 10 foot booth to myself. Fortunately, I had been dreaming up all of these products and I had prototype's ready, I just had to make them in quantity in time for the show. I'd never done a live event before, so again, I did some research. I asked my retailers for advice on how to design a display, I found some people online who had checklists of what to bring including signage and lights and snacks and postcards, and most importantly, to collect emails from my email list. My what? So, I had to set up my email list, that people could sign up for updates, and from there someone asked if I was selling online, so that led to adding a shop to the website which then led to learning about search engine optimization, and a Facebook page, and running Facebook ads. Do you see how this is all unfolding? My intention in sharing all this is to point out two key concepts: The first one may not be such good news and that is, that in order to take your art to the next level, you're probably going to have to do more than make art. Two, this is the good news is that you don't have to know how to do all of those things beforehand, you can learn them as you go. If you look at animalguidance.org now, there's a lot on there, but it didn't start out that way, remember I only had two pages. In fact, if you had told the person that I was the year before who had just decided to draw animals about this whole enterprise, I probably would have been so overwhelmed, I would've just crawled back into bed with a stack of chocolate bars. But I didn't climb the mountain all at once, all I did was take one step and then the next, and then the next, and then when I finally stopped to see where I was, I looked back and could see that I made progress. Another thing to note is that any substantial endeavor, you can't do it by yourself, and the great thing is that the resources, people, all of that stuff is available to you, you just have to be willing to learn, and open to opportunities, and willing to follow instructions. Remember that Isabel Allende quote from sketchbook Magic One, "Show up, show up, show up. And after awhile, the muse shows up too." The news will come, but so will all the other resources that are required to make this idea take form. Remember what I said in the earlier lesson that everything is in service to your art, to your creative expression. Look at all of the people that I had to meet along the way that helped me to bring this idea to life. My aunt, who told me to consider making things, Jane, my sister-in-law, who showed me how I can make the pendants, Jen, who introduced me to Carrie who owns Phoenix Rising, Arlene, who introduced me to Jean who own Kind soap, Sharon, who helped me design my first line sheet and then also gave me props for my show, Belinda, who invited me to the show and helped me set up my booth for two hours, my friend Emma, whose worked tons of shows and helped me work my first show, then Mary Beth and Sarah Union studio, who introduced me to Ingrid, the list goes on and on. Those were simply the people, I also ran into articles, and resources, and websites, and software. All of these things that came without struggle or that much effort on my part except showing up at the right place, at the right time. Sometimes I had a question I asked out loud, sometimes it was unspoken. 9. Week 5 Lesson: Keep Your Hands on the Wheel: Let's say, that you're more interested in taking your art from hobbyist to mastery. That's your point A to point B. The trajectory might be different, but the techniques in the process is still the same. So, you set a vision or an intention, you listen for your intuition and guidance, and then you take action when it is right for you to do so. So, you might find that you stumble upon an advanced level class, or you need a friend who is an expert in that technique, or you might find that there's a sale for the supplies that you need at the art store. These are the things that you're listening for and then really tuning into how you're feeling to figure out what your right action, what action there is for you to take. As you go, your vision will get more filled out. With each step, you can fill in more details. Remember how vague my vision was when I started with the animals? I was responding to an excitement but not a super clear vision. With all the feedback I have from two live events where I could talk to customers and listen to how they were connecting with the work, that vision is much sharper now. My vision is to use my creative expression to help people connect with their deeper wisdom and intuition through ancient traditions of guidance. That's the direction I want to go. That's where I've pointed my car and all I have to do is keep my hands on the wheel. The most challenging part of this stage is that you have to keep going even when the excitement of the beginning is likely to have worn off, but there's no evidence of the end in sight. Not only that, but you don't have any mile markers along the way to give you a sense of how far you still have to go. Yes, it's the messy middle. Remember, I already said, you're going to need touch points to bolster your commitment along the way. This is the wisdom of elk. Your devotion is regal and majestic, deep and abiding. You can achieve anything worthwhile with such endurance. Yes. You're being asked to go the distance. This week's exercise is a practice that's going to help you during this messy middle. Yes. You are going to add it to your daily practices but it's really simple. I swear. It's only going to take 30 seconds. That is, you are going to write down three things that you can add to your evidence list. This is also called a gratitude list depending on your orientation, left or right brain. Every day, at the end of the day, make a note of all the things that happened that moved your project forward. It might be one thing, or three things, or 10 things. Did you run into someone who had a solution you needed? Did you find an answer to a question? Did someone reply to an email? Did you discover a new technique? What you're doing is building a case for your trajectory because there will come a time when you will face setbacks or disappointments and you'll wonder if you should keep going. But if you look at this gratitude or evidence list and see all the ways that the universe has supported this project, it'll be much harder to stay in the pity party and much easier for you to keep going. There will be setbacks. I assure you. The thing with uncommon good was really disappointing because they were on my list of dream retailers. In fact, the only reason that I had approached boutique stores was that I thought that that was a requirement for their consideration. But when I look at my list, the three things that I write down every day. It's really hard to deny that there is forward momentum here. Just not the way that I thought it should go. Maybe it's like the condo and I just miss being stuck with a tiny galley kitchen. Here's a little doodle that I did for my gratitude slash evidence list. I like the idea of making a mandala for the month. So, I could add to it every day and the physicality of trying to fit everything around the circle really brings home how much there is to be grateful for and how real this thing is. All right. If you're following along on a project in real time, we're in the middle now. Too far out to turn back, too far still to see the other shore. It's the messy middle and I'm here with you. So, let's just all keep going. 10. Conclusion: Rinse & Repeat: Let's recap concepts we learned to take your art practice to the next level. One: Create space for something new, Two: Live your dream, meaning define a vision of this next level experience and use your imagination to feel how it feels to already have it, Three: Take right action; that is, action that's guided by your vision and intuitio, Four: let your idea pick you and Five: Keep your hands on the wheel while you allow the process to unfold. Are you familiar with the concept of the hero or heroine's journey? It was first introduced by Joseph Campbell and his book Hero with a Thousand Faces. It says that every great story follows the same general pattern. Name your favorite movie or book. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Stranger Things. A hero or heroine is called on a quest that takes them out of their ordinary world. They meet allies along the way, they face an epic battle that alters their view of reality and then they returned back to the ordinary world forever changed. You're in this class because you've sensed the call. You're probably somewhere along the journey already. The heroine's journey is not just the story arc of epic movies, in fact it's the other way around. We experience this pattern of change and growth in everyday life and that's where the story is that implement the pattern are immediately resonant. The difference between movies and real life is that life keeps going. So, instead of an arc it's more of a circle. We end up at the top of the circle only to be called again to the next quest and the process repeats itself in an endless cycle of death and rebirth. Otherwise known as growth. Actually it's a spiral. Because every time we reach the top of the circle, we're not exactly where we were before. I find it helpful to reframe this voyage for horns. Instead of one big epic journey we're on a series of smaller adventures. Think of it like the Star Wars episodes. Everyone has a complete narrative art right? As we conclude our time together the point I want to make is that you can actually apply the same process for the whole journey to each episode or milestones along the way. Let's say your big dream is to be a children's book illustrator. You could break that down into a smaller dream of getting a book published and then break that down even further to the dream of getting an agent. That would start with the dream of putting together your portfolio. Once you've defined your milestones you can use the same process. Set an intention, live the dream, take action towards that vision and then celebrate the milestones upon their completion. One of my milestones was to have retail partners in several states. Whenever I add a shop to a new state I get to celebrate by adding a new section to the retailers page and have a cupcake. Same with press. I get to add a new logo to the press page, it's a small celebration ritual that gives me a sense of completion. So, even though I don't know how big the gap still is between where I am now and my next level vision, I can look back and see that I really have made progress. Rinse, repeat until complete. All along remember the concepts that have gotten us this far. Art is a partnership. Everything is in service to your creative expression. You can trust your guidance. Every day what will you do? One, your morning pages. Two, you're going to let your intuition take the lead at least a few times a day. Three, you're going to make your gratitude evidence list. That's max, 20 to 30 minutes a day. Thirty minutes, that's the length of an ADT sitcom. You can totally do this and I promise you if you keep doing these exercises every day in the process of leveling up, your life will change. Thank you so much for taking this class. This is the last video but I pop into the classroom quite a bit. So, I invite you to share your questions or your insights as your own process unfolds. This is also a great way to get support from your peers because you will feel doubt, you will experience setbacks and what feels like failure. This is all normal and natural part of the process. In fact, it's a really good sign because that means that you're pointed in the right direction. You're on you're growing edge, outside of your comfort zone. I encourage you to lean into your practices. Those are the things that are going to get you past resistance and help you to keep going. I want to leave you with two gifts. The wisdom of Panther which is my own personal animal guide during this process. Embrace the magic of surrendering to the unknown. Last of all, this lovely quote from Henry David Thoreau, "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."