Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5 internet resources for creative souls

Creative Life Print by Hello Cherie Handmade

Living a creative life is a beautiful yet complicated experience. For me, it brings deep meaning to my life daily, fulfills me, excites me, and keeps me going. But, there is another side to it. Like many artists, past and present…..I struggle, I am a little bit crazy, I am intense, I am passionate and feisty, I am prone to periods of sullenness, I can be overly serious, I can be overly playful, I can be manic, and sometimes I doubt what I'm doing with my life. Living as an artist brings all of that out, which isn't always easy to deal with. But, this is the life I was meant for.

Feeling as if you have no choice but to be an artist can be scary….at least it scares ME sometimes. It's not a cookie cutter career, it doesn't have a neatly laid out path, it isn't always the most lucrative choice, and overcoming societal pressure, childhood conditioning, and your own fears can be very trying. So, what do I do to keep myself (relatively) sane, inspired and full of faith on this creative journey? I devour books, find communities, take classes, read blogs, spend time with other artists and watch videos that provide support for creative beings, living creative lives.

I've mentioned several different types of resources above, but I thought today I'd share the most easily accessible type. Here are 5 internet resources I've used to keep myself going recently:

1. Trusting the Journey Times (monthly e-newsletter). This inspirational newsletter never fails to fill me with the faith that I am living my artistic journey exactly the way I'm meant to. The author, Tama Kieves, is someone I can really relate to—she is honest, emotional, and quit her cushy job (she was a Harvard trained lawyer) because she couldn't stomach living a passionless, non-creative life. She fought through the doubt and fear associated with giving it all up to follow your wild dreams and now helps others do the same. She is also the author of one of my favorite books, This Time I Dance: Creating the work you love. I was originally drawn to her e-newsletter because I was hungry for more after reading her book. Click here to sign up for a free monthly pep talk!

2. Elizabeth Gilbert speech. I found this video through a Facebook post by Tama Kieves. Elizabeth Gilbert had a huge impact on my life a few years ago when I read Eat, Pray, Love. A friend in San Francisco lent me the book when I was going through a breakup, eating cookies for dinner, and devoting my days and nights to yoga and meditation (so, if you've read the book, you know that I obviously found it relatable). My affinity for all things Elizabeth Gilbert, thanks to my love for her book, led me to watch all 19 minutes of this video, in which she discusses nurturing creativity. She poses a very intriguing theory about the creative process, which ultimately relieves a lot of pressure we artists may feel. I love her idea! Check it out!

3. Ira Glass video. Ira Glass is the host and producer of the infamous NPR show: This American Life. I learned about this video in an amazing online painting class, Get Your Paint On, that I took a couple months back. Here Ira talks about being a beginner and what you have to push through to become great. It was a nice little pep talk for me that I was able to use in so many ways and gave me good perspective on where I am on the spectrum of beginner-expert in my many different crafts. I also simply find him enjoyable to listen to, but I suppose that's why he's a radio sensation.

4. Esty community. The Etsy blog is an amazing resource for those of us trying to make our art our livelihood or who have an Esty shop. If you have a shop, you likely receive the weekly emails highlighting the top posts for the week, which usually provide interesting and useful tips. One series that I really enjoy and get a lot of inspiration and encouragement from is: Quit Your Day Job. If you type both "quit your day job" and your specific craft (i.e. photography, painting) in the blog search function, as Etsy suggested to us readers last week, you'll have the added benefit of hearing from those who have been where you are. Aside from the wonderful articles, tips and how to's on Etsy, I have found just as much advice, encouragement and information in talking to other shop owners. I've been overwhelmed by the openness, honesty and friendliness to be found in other Etsy shop owners. Thanks to all of you for being you!

5. Get Your Paint On. I heard about this online painting course from sfgirlbybay, a bohemian modern style blog written by a fabulous San Francisco lady (hello, right up my alley!). The course was designed for those who have always wanted to paint but have no experience, full-time painters looking to infuse their current practice with something new, and those looking for a community of like-minded individuals to share with. I wasn't quite sure what I was looking to get out of the course (I grew up painting, but hadn't painted in 12 years), but what I did get was a great community of people who shared their experiences as artists, exchanged blog info, talked about art retreats and other classes, provided amazing feedback/critiques, encouraged one another and just a whole lot of inspiration. It opened me up as an artist, gave me new direction and encouraged me to try new things. It was about more than just painting! I have always believed that we should play with different types of art to bring new energy to our chosen craft. The next 5-week class begins June 12th. Click here to sign up!

There is a great universe out there eager to support you! So, my question is where do YOU turn for support on your artistic journey? Where do you find inspiration or guidance? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. What a wonderful post! I cannot wait to check out some of these links. I agree that the Elizabeth GIlbert post is well worth the time.

  2. thanks stephanie! i'm glad you found it helpful! elizabeth gilbert is just so inspiring and honest. love her!


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