View Full Version : How has The Artist Way changed you?

12-07-2002, 12:23 PM
I don't know if this is the forum to ask this question...

For those of you working with the Artist Way or those of you who have read it...How has it affected the way you look at yourself as an artist? And how has it changed you?

Personally it came to me just when I needed it most. I owned and operated a large furniture, gift shop. I had my original art, prints and a framing shop also. I was working non stop. Only left the building to go for mail and to the post office. I had to hire a photographer to photograph my reference material for me...can you imagine...It exhausted me to say the least. In essence I felt I was only creating art to sell, I sold a lot...gained a vast clientele, who bought work just for the name.

You would think this is what we all want...yet to me I was very unhappy. For a long time couldn't figure out why.

I read The Artist Way....and it gave me the courage to fight for my creative survival. I walked away from the business..handed it over to my husband, And never looked back...I gave my part of the business to my husband...many people said that was dumb...but it was freeing to me.

I now paint when I want, spend many hours outdoors studying nature....I work in many mediums...I don't earn even half of what I did before, but I am happier than before...I limit my commissions....My creativity is the essence of who I am...I valued that before any financial gain...The universe always seems to lift up my soul, provides me with what I need to live day to day.

I'm curious to know how the Artists Way has affected you.

Rose Queen
12-07-2002, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by sunny
Personally it came to me just when I needed it most.I'm curious to know how the Artists Way has affected you.

A perfect example of synchronicity, don't you think? I think TAW works best for those who stumble across it when they're most open and receptive to it, as you were.

I don't know if I was quite there, but I'd just retired from a job I loathed and spent the first year of my retirement battling breast cancer when I came upon both WetCanvas and TAW. I won't tell you I faithfully did all the exercises in the book or that I religiously do my morning pages, but I do know that what I managed to do loosened me up a whole lot as an artist and helped me to pay attention to what is really important in my life. I truly wish I could have found a local group to go through the TAW program with, because I believe having a group to buoy you up when the going gets hard is really essential, but I went through the online group here at WetCanvas, and that was nearly as good.

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12-07-2002, 04:01 PM
I'd have to say something along the lines of what Rose said. :) It helped me to re-evaluate what's important and put some order into my life regarding my artistic endeavors as well as the non artistic aspects of my life. I learned that to feel guilty about time spent on my art was counter productive and not necessarily the best thing for my family either! I learned that fear is one of the biggest factors in being artistically blocked and that fear was of failure. The only real way to fail at something is to not do it. I have a new sense of freedom and it shows in my work.

12-08-2002, 03:45 PM
Originally posted by sunny
I don't know if this is the forum to ask this question...

there is a subforum here all about TAW

12-09-2002, 07:49 AM
I don't have the book but I did do the morning pages for 2 years. That lead me into poetry. lol

12-10-2002, 06:12 PM
Hi folks,
I didn't really feel the effects of TAW on my art - I was already OK in that department - but it sure did affect my life. It helped me face up to and deal with significant relationships, helped me get my priorities straight and gave me some order in my life

Although I'm a bit slack about it now, I did my morning pages very strictly for a year. I sorted out so many problems and received so much inner guidance - which I have now come to rely on.

I found, creating symbols for myself very important - special music, aromatherapy oils in my burner, special objects around me, - all seemed to put me in the mood to be calm and creative.

I got lots from Vein of Gold too - especially the sections about walking and music. Not so many people seem to have read V of G but I loved it just as much and recommend it to all.


12-16-2002, 02:36 PM
I am new to wet canvas and have been looking for others who were affected by Artist Way. I surely have been and find it is good to talk with others about the process, helps keep me on track.

I had been doing Art Therapy for many years and was feeling drained, and I had just quit to stay home and care for my Mom. Ever since school my art has been directed toward others and I just did spirits of art for myself. I wanted to call myself a working artist.

I knew an artist in town facilitated groups and I contacted her, a group grew out of people who were only acquainted, sort of passing friends. It was a life changing experience for me and most of the others involved and as you might guess we are bonded forever. It affected my artistic life as well and my life in general. I am working on my art all the time and making great progress, I am preparing for a show here in Florida, where I live that is proof I am on the right tract. I do sell and I suppose there is success in that but making the art is what it's all about to me.

I'm off to the TWA group to connect with what is going on there.

Rose Queen
12-16-2002, 05:05 PM
Welcome to WetCanvas, Diana! C'mon into chat some evening so we can 'meet' you!

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12-16-2002, 05:12 PM
Hi! How do you get to the chat for Artists Way or are they all together?

Rose Queen
12-16-2002, 05:37 PM
Diana, here's the thread for you!

When you go to login, you'll be asked which chat room you want to enter. Select Artists Way from the pulldown menu. You'll need a password, which I'm sending you by private message. Ta-da! Hope to see you there...

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Gypsy Baubo
01-05-2003, 10:51 AM
I read The Artist's Way several times, took a few workshops with Ms. Cameron, belonged to a cluster for a couple of years, did Morning Pages for four years and, while it helped in many ways, I still couldn't let go of my corporate "security blanket" which was leaving me with virtually no time to be creative.

Then in June someone I loved very much died - I'd known him all my life and we'd shared so much and, when he died so young and full of dreams, I realized that this isn't a dress rehersal - this is real life.

Since then I've changed everything in my life. I am freelancing as a designer, have started a small ePublishing business, am writing every day, write an art column for a local publication, paint, and attend a weekly life drawing group, and am beginning to believe that I CAN have this way of life. I don't have the income I once had - sometimes I have to do some fancy financial juggling but I've discovered that The Artist's Way is right! If you take chances on behalf of your art, the Universe will encourage you and support you. It starts small but if you believe and keep moving forward little miracles happen every day.

It's very sad that it took something like this to make me wise up. But every day my belief in the rightness of the Artist's Way is re-affirmed. You are supported to the extent that you believe and act on your own behalf. I'm finally getting that.

I miss you, Jack, and I am sorry that it took your loss to get me to wise up but I want you to know that I'm happier now than I've ever been - and that, at least, is a little consolation.

Rose Queen
01-05-2003, 11:04 AM
Good for you, Gypsy! I'm afraid I think it usually takes a "wake-up call" like the one you had to get people moving. I buried three friends from lung cancer before I quit smoking, and it took breast cancer to turn me to art more or less full time. I bet a lot of us have stories like that.

Oh, well; as long as you can still stand after the 2 x 4 hits you... :cat:

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01-24-2003, 05:21 PM
Like others, I staggered into TAW at just the right time in my life (I'm on week 4 now...and am badly blowing the reading deprivation).

Going through the exercises and doing Morning Pages (tho sometimes they're Afternoon Pages:) ) has really brought some parts of my psyche and my background out into the light.

One of the bigger revelations was just last week when I compared my current financial situation (filing bankruptcy) to when my mother went through a similar problem in 1990/91. She committed suicide. I chose life...or so I thought. I only recently realized that life chose ME. I'm only now really choosing life.

I also realized that for my entire life I've been carrying around my mom's baggage--I thought I had been carrying it around only for the last decade or so since she died. And I'm sure she had to carry around her parents' baggage, too.

TAW has absolutely galvanized me into believing that not only do I deserve to follow my "inner compass," I MUST follow it, for my very life depends on it--contrary to the messages I got from my mom (who, no doubt, got them from her father and brothers and passed them on).

This sounds like I'm trashing my mother, and I don't mean for it to. I love my mom. I miss her terribly. I wish things had gone much easier for her in her life. She was a wonderful, beautiful person and deserved so much better than what she got. If she only could have believed that she deserved better. Then, she could have made decisions that were right for her instead of getting angry and jealous with me when I started making decisions for myself that she didn't agree with.

She would be going crazy over this one: I'm up for a job at an office my friend works at (it would be working with him). I love my friend (especially for thinking of me for the job--since I've been unemployed for nearly a year now). I'd love to work with him again. I can DO the job. But it's web work and project management. Not creative work, but work that I've already done and want to get away from, and it would be long enough hours (=job+commute) that it would keep me from putting as much into getting my degree in interior architecture as I need to.

The practical side of me is screaming (with my mom's voice) at me to aggressively go after this job because I need the money. But I can't quite reconcile it with my need to be creative and my need to get my certification (and experience) in interior architecture. If this job is offered to me, I'd be taking it for all the wrong reasons. I can see that now...I couldn't see it a year ago (or even six months ago). There is something in me that says, "I have to be an artist NOW!" At this point in my life, this seems to be non-negotiable.

Long story (very long story:) ) short, TAW has focused me, it's brought long-buried issues out into the light and it's shown me how much great material I already have to work with...if I would just work with it!:D

Gypsy Baubo
01-25-2003, 08:09 PM
Reconciling the practical side and the creative side is hard. In my beaten up and battered copy of TAW Chapter Six - Recovering Abundance - is the most underlined chapter. It is a day by day process.

I'm glad you posted what you did because I have been having a poor-little-me day and reading your post reminded me to get out my copy and re-read that chapter.

Thank you.

Rose Queen
01-26-2003, 02:30 AM
Originally posted by vklum
Cheers, Victoria

:clap: Cheers to you, too, Victoria, whatever you decide to do. Many artists have been where you are now and they have all made different decisions for different reasons in different circumstances. We are here to support you, come what may! :clap:

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01-26-2003, 09:54 PM
Having this thread 're-awakened' now seems to have a message for me too. I too got out my TAW last night and started re-reading, to remind myself why I am doing what I'm doing.

My husband and I did follow our dream, (again after the tragic loss of a loved one - our son.) I have been painting full time and we have been running our own framing business/studio-gallery for 6 years now.

After a generally bad year (financially), we have just had our worst January on record, and since this is a seaside town (in Australia) that is usually our bumper month. I'ts hard to keep the faith going when bills are mounting and you see your business slipping backwards.

We have never regretted our decision to leave our secure jobs and follow our hearts, but we are feeling pretty depressed right now. We sure could do with some of that "the universe will provide" stuff!


01-27-2003, 03:24 AM
Originally posted by Gypsy Baubo
I'm glad you posted what you did because I have been having a poor-little-me day and reading your post reminded me to get out my copy and re-read that chapter.

Thank you.

No problemo! :D

Actually, I'm probably the Martha Stewart of throwing pity-parties!:p I usually start off with hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant (yes, the chocolate is very important here) and move along into the merlot and a bubble bath (thank goodness for Lush bath bombs and bubble bath bars--and my close proximity to the CA wine country!)

I'm trying to not mark in my copy of TAW because I have three people already that I'm going to be loaning it to (if I cannot afford to buy them their own copy, that is). This book has so much utility beyond being an artist, that my "non-artist" friends will find this very enlightening.

Rose Queen...thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement! I'm so glad I found WetCanvas (and TAW!). It is going to be interesting to see how I sort this all out. I've always had a saying that making choices is easier than making decisions (because decisions seem so much heavier than choices). So of course I'm hoping this comes down to choosing, rather than making a decision :)

01-27-2003, 05:29 AM
I've just 'rediscovered' TAW through the new book (Walking in this World) jsut a few weeks ago. The synchronicity is amazing - I've hit a point in my career where I was questioning how I had the audacity to be an artist. And of course that's covered in the first chapter. :D Even with TAW I sometimes skimmed passages because they were a bit too self-helpy preachy for me but on the whole it changed my life. Quite literally. After reading TAW I got more and more fed up with my corporate job and eventually quit and sold my house and started over to be an artist. Turns out a few other artists around me had read it too!

I always hated the morning pages (I used to write and keep a journal, when I discovered painting that mysteriously stopped.) And I couldn't bear the no-book week either! haha! I can't remember if I actually made it through that... but the artist dates stayed with me. The walking thing from the new book is great and is doing me a lot of good. More synchronicity though - I've worked hard to lose a lot of weight in the past year and the walking has really given me more energy, and even has me doing the toning exercises I'd been meaning to do for months. I already walk a lot but only since starting the book have I suddenly thought of it as a solution to problems. I was very upset by a client last week and couldn't paint. So I went for an hour walk then came back to the studio and was fine. :) I guess the books are best for showing us things that in a way are already in our life. We just need to connect them differently and shift our focus.


Gypsy Baubo
01-27-2003, 09:26 AM
I was very upset by a client last week and couldn't paint

Tina, I'm glad that the walking helped but I think this is a good reminder that the artistic soul is a fragile one and needs much support and loving encouragement.

Ten years ago I wrote a first and second draft of a novel and gave it to my best friend at the time to read. She just tore it to shreds and wound up saying it wasn't even worth the time I spent on it. I was so devstated I put it away and didn't look at it until 2 months ago.

When I took it back out after ten years and reread it I realized it was very good and had a lot of promise. So now I am back at work on it but I am being very protective this time. I haven't shared it with anyone so far and won't until I feel sure of myself and that I am entrusting it to a worthy reader.

My painting teacher always says "artists have to be with other artists" and I find that to be true over and over and over.

02-02-2003, 02:31 AM
If you read my post above, written on the 27th, you'll know how down I was feeling. That night I gave myself a real pep talk - about having faith in what I do. I also got out my TAW and reread Ch ^ - prompted by Gypsy B, started again with my morning pages (neglected for about 4 months) and started my daily walks again.

I felt renewed and ready to start work again.
The story of what happened next, on Feb 1 is written in detail in the cafe forum (WetCanvas! > The Town Center > Café Guerbois > What a difference a day makes!!!) but in brief:
A couple visited the gallery, bought 4 paintings and commissioned at least 6 more - maybe 8, maybe more!!!
For me, that is my next 8 months work, with guarenteed income for that time.

Coincidence???? I think not!
It sure taught me a lesson about hanging in there and believing.

I know I had lost touch with something vital in my life and it sure took its toll untill I got back on track

So the moral of the story is NEVER GIVE UP :D
You never know when things will turn around.


PS - I sold 2 more paintings today!!! - unbelievable!

Gypsy Baubo
02-03-2003, 08:47 AM
Incredible, Minky! That is so inspiring.

Keep your fingers crossed for my book.......

02-03-2003, 05:04 PM
Am sending you energy Gypsy. You are right about not sharing with the wrong people.
My husband is also getting back to writing a book which he started a few years ago. If we can both follow our creative dreams side by side - what a blessing.
Keep us posted about your progress Gypsy. You know you have heaps of support at WC


02-06-2003, 01:13 PM
Hello there,

Reading these mails have brought tears to my eyes, the courage you`ve all had is amazing,

I`ve fought myself with so many problems, amongst them the loss of my daughter when she was 23, she had 2 children, who came to me in Germany and I became a mum overnight at 43, my granddaughter is 12 she`s still here, my grandson eventually went back to england to his father, I love her to bits, but she has learning problems that we have to deal with,

I`d always worked had my own businesses etc and then about 2 years everything hit me at once, I couldn`t keep appointments, I was depressed and in the end I went into a clinic, that`s where I started to paint, through theraphy, and I loved it, now I have time for myself I don`t want to work again, I`m on my own too much, but since I found WC and another website I`ve found new friends and heaps of encouragement, I`ve never heard of this book but I`m sure it must be very inspiring when I hear your comments, thankyou for sharing your life experiences

02-07-2003, 04:58 AM
Hi all, have been away for some time and am so pleased to see the TAW chat is still going. I completed the 12 weeks morning pages before Xmas, found it good therapy, sort of having a mental wash and getting rid of some rubbish. Also found I was planning my day better. No improvement on the art side but lots on the getting through the day side. That alone is worth while so will continue that together with the affirmations daily. Good value for me. Nice to read your views, thanks all for sharing, feels I am not alone.
God Bless and positive thoughts to you all.
Regards Les

02-08-2003, 10:05 PM
I just went to Amazon.com and bought the book. While searching for The Artist's Way, I found references to Thread of Gold and I'm planning to buy it soon.

I would like to thank you all for your comments about both these books. I think I'm at a place in my life when they would help me a great deal.

Have a good night, all....Emilie:)