• Episode 23: The Importance of Personal Development

    If I could back in time and tell myself one thing it would be…"Take the time you need to work on yourself, and everything else will fall into place." 

    I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that the big strides and waves I have made in running my business and becoming a working artist have come from working on myself, being curious about my inner critic, and changing the dialogue that my limiting beliefs have created for me. 

    It was when I started to reflect, journal, and work through the things that held me back that my art, my business, and my voice became stronger. I gained confidence to wholesale my greeting cards after believing in the value I had to offer. I started a podcast when I believed in my voice and pushed against imposter syndrome. I showed up more vulnerably and authentically online when I started to love who I was in my entirety. 

    I want this for you. If you have big dreams and ambitions but you are having a hard time putting them into action…I am here for you! I have been there too! I would love to help guide you in worksheets, workshops, and provide a special place for you in The Tillage Village. 

    Our six months together will provide beautiful “soil” for you to grow your roots and flourish into all that you are to become. 

    My belief statements for The Tillage Village are as follows:

    • I believe that creatives NEED community.

    • I believe that stronger creative businesses are made through accountability and intentionality.

    • I believe that when we start working on our mindset that opportunities will be abundantly more clear and easier for us to take action on.

    • I believe that when we quiet ourselves through reflection and journaling we are more in tune with our hearts, our desires, and we can make more informed decisions.

    • I believe that knowing our “why” is critical to making a meaningful impact that is fulfilling.

    TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to sign up at the founding members price of $222 for a 6 month commitment. I hope you can join as for community, accountability, and intentionality! 

    SIGN UP TODAY!


  • Episode 22: The Power of Celebration with Colleen Underwood

    The Identity of A Creative

    Colleen shares her journey, and how she found her way back to her creative identity after years of not identifying as a creative. She believes that everyone has a unique story and often their creative business is an intersection of their story and desires that have been quiet for many years. Everyone is creative by design and without realizing it we create things every day in our lives. Sometimes it can just take time to take on the identity of an artist or creative. Colleen describes that stepping into the business space with the identity of a creative has helped her to formally put a coat hook upon the wall and begin to say "this is who I am" and "this is what it's going to look like". This process of looking inward and understanding oneself is a lifelong process. 

    Celebrate The Process

    Collen defines celebration as intentionally marking goodness in something that has already passed. Celebration is just a marking, a noting, a noticing, a holding up of goodness, recognizing it, and then leaning into it. She stresses the importance of celebrating progress and the small wins in the creative process and not solely the end results. It is easy to get caught up in the thoughts of not getting everything done or not being good enough, but it is important to look back and celebrate the progress and small wins to gain momentum and hope for the future. Sometimes it can be difficult for us to celebrate progress because of our past stories and experiences. However, Colleen encourages us to give each other permission to celebrate progress and support each other in this process.

    You Are Worthy

    It is important to recognize our worthiness as creatives, and how it's connected to putting beautiful things into the world, progress, and growth. Colleen stresses that we are worthy of growth, progress, being beautiful, putting beautiful things into the world, and we are worthy of celebration. Celebration is the thread that helps us to lift up and hold up bits of goodness from our past, and the more we believe in our worthiness, the more confident, hopeful, and motivated we will be in our creative businesses. It is hard work to see the truth in our stories and unpack them, but there is a real gift in being able to have a posture of self-acceptance towards our art, business, and ourselves. Colleen suggests that we become curious when we catch ourselves having a posture of contempt towards ourselves, our art, or our businesses. This won’t get unpacked overnight, but we get to be a teacher to the part of us that is making and creating. It’s a choice and it's a skill that we get to foster over time, and a community can help you do this.

    Ways To Celebrate

    Colleen discusses how she has been challenging herself to find ways to celebrate her progress and accomplishments over the past year. She suggests having a "celebration basket" that includes items like taking a walk, having a cup of tea, or doing a small ritual to remind herself of her worthiness and to build hope and momentum. She also shares that her family has joined in on the celebrations and that it has become a part of their daily lives. Not only is it important to celebrate ourselves but it is important to celebrate with others and invite them to participate.

    Lastly, just as important as it is to celebrate it is important to allow ourselves to grieve and give ourselves permission to be frustrated or upset. Surprisingly, the same tools that can be used to celebrate can help in times of grief. 

    KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

    • Everyone's story is so unique and there's no right or perfect path to get where we want to go. We simply need to look at our own story and say this is who I am and that's a good thing.
       
    • Collen defines Celebration as intentionally marking goodness in something that has already passed. Celebration is just a marking, a noting, a noticing, a holding up of goodness, recognizing it, and then leaning into it.
       
    • Give yourself today the permission to celebrate progress right and not just the end result.
       
    • You are worthy and you are worthy of growth, of progress. You are worthy of being beautiful, of putting beautiful things into the world, you are worthy of celebration and you are worthy of being celebrated.
       
    • Be curious about that when you catch yourself kind of having a posture of contempt towards yourself, your art, or your business and have a feeling of unworthiness. This won’t get unpacked overnight, but we get to be a teacher to the part of us that is making and creating. It’s a choice and it's a skill that we get to foster over time, and a community can help you do this.
       
    • Celebration doesn’t have huge or break the bank. Find little things you can use intentionally to celebrate yourself.
       
    • You are also worthy of celebration in community. When we facilitate celebration with others we're giving them goodness and it's a gift that continues to give.
       
    • The things that we do to care for ourselves in a moment of celebration are also the things we can do to care for ourselves in a moment of grief. Allow yourself to feel grief just as much as you allow yourself to celebrate. 
       
    • THE TILLAGE VILLAGE IS NOW OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT UNTIL JANUARY 31ST! SIGN UP TODAY TO FIND A CREATIVE COMMUNITY TO UPROOT YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS WITH!

     

    Colleen is a mama, a surface pattern designer, and a coach for creatives. After living overseas in Asia and Europe for most of her adult life, you can now find her putting down roots between the Smoky Mountains and the ocean coasts of North Carolina. She is daily inspired by what is good, true, and beautiful and desires to infuse hope back into the world by creating work that evokes reminders of the goodness and beauty in our daily lives.

    Visit Colleen's website at www.colleenannalea.com and her Instagram

    Grab Colleen's FREE Guide "First Year in the Business Roadmap"

     


  • Episode 21: Leading With Curiousity In Place of Fear

    Genna Blackburn has gone on many different paths to make income from her art such as, owning her own stationery company, designing for Minted, freelance, wedding invitation design, art licensing, and online education. Her attitude and approach to learning and taking on new things have greatly contributed to her success. 

    Letting Go

    After creating a stationery company and an entire wedding stationery line, Genna knew it was time to let those things go and turn her attention to other revenue streams. She could look at letting go of these things as a waste of time or a step backward, but Genna has a different viewpoint. She reminds us that letting go of something is a step forward. Trying something out and changing directions is a learning opportunity that propels you forward onto the next thing in your journey. 

    Leading With Curiosity 

    Approaching new things with curiosity and the mindset that it is an experiment and it doesn't have to be a success right away can also help us take the pressure off of ourselves. 

    We never know if something is going to work or be something we like until we try it. Having a level of naivety also assists us in being bold. A lack of experience or understanding can make it easier to approach things with less fear. Listen to this episode of The Goal Digger Podcast to hear more about boldness from Jennifer Cohen.

    The Fear of Making Bad Art
    If you tend to approach a white blank page and feel paralyzed or fearful of making bad art, Genna has many great ideas to help work through those feelings such as:

    -Drawing for 20 minutes each day. Even though it feels like not very much time drawing for only 2o minutes each day is powerful and can create momentum. Every day you build on what you did the day before. 

    -When you approach a new piece of work take the pressure off of yourself that everything you make has to be good and sellable. This can be helpful to calm your mind when encountering the blank page.

    -Recognize that your art style is always evolving. There is always room to experiment and play. However, having rules and parameters can be helpful and freeing to help develop your signature style. This can also help with the decision fatigue a lot of us can experience when creating art.

    -Follow along and draw with another artist online to decrease anxiety and just play. 

    -Limit your supplies to help with decision fatigue. 

    -To warm up just draw shapes or lines. 

    -Read "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert 

    The Tillage Village opens up for enrollment in just 7 days on January 24th! Join the waitlist to get more information!

    Sign up today for Kim Burk's course "Connect & Convert" that has everything you need to connect with retailers and grow your wholesale line!

     

    Genna Blackburn is a surface designer, illustrator, and educator working from her nearly 100-year-old home in Detroit, Michigan where she lives with her husband and son. Inspired by her love of plants and animals, her work is a playful exploration of shape and color stemming from her background as a graphic designer. Genna teaches on Skillshare, has her own course (InDesign Your Portfolio), and has had the pleasure of licensing her artwork on a variety of fun products for clients including Target, Hello Bello, PBS Fabrics, Little Sleepies, and JIGGY Puzzles.

    Visit Genna's website at www.gennablackburn.com and on Instagram

    Download Genna's 6 steps to develop your signature style

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • Reframe your thoughts about letting go of something. It isn’t a step backward but a step forward in your journey. It isn't a waste of time but a learning opportunity. 
       
    • Having a mindset of being curious and seeing it as an experiment can make trying new things less scary.
       
    • Drawing for 20 minutes each day can be powerful and can create momentum. Every day you build on what you did the day before. Taking pressure of yourself that everything you make has to be good and sellable can also be helpful to calm your mind when encountering the blank page.
       
    • Your art style is always evolving. There is always room to experiment.
       
    • Having rules and parameters can be helpful and freeing to help develop your signature style. This can also help with the decision fatigue a lot of us can experience when creating art. 
       
    • When you are feeling self-doubt and fear, recalling past successes can be helpful to push through those mindsets. If you are also being reminded of past failures, a helpful truth is that everything you try has a 50/50 result. You don’t have any idea what that result will be until you try.
       
    • You learn more from your failures than your successes. If you look back at things that didn’t work with curiosity this can be a powerful move to help create better things in the future.

  • Episode 20: Burnout and Messy Starts with Katie Leigh of Modern Magic

    Burnout is Real

    Over the course of ten years, Katie of Modern Magic, built up a marketing business and worked her way up to a marketing director and later a marketing consultant. She tells her story of the hustle she experienced and the burnout that followed her at the height of her career. In 2020, she lost her job working for a wellness company and found herself completely burned out after working insane hours to try to keep their doors open during covid. She explained that her symptoms and signs of burnout were always being exhausted, lack of interest in things she used to love, and even hormonal imbalances. However, with this new shift in direction, Katie saw this as an opportunity to start her art business, Modern Magic, and also start healing from burnout. 

    Making a thoughtful and intentional decision to step away from social media is what brought about new sparks of creativity. Katie worked on many paintings during this time and eventually sought professional help through a therapist and EMDR therapy. Her art also became a safe space and an incredible source of healing for her to reconnect with herself. 

    The Importance of Alignment

    Katie takes us back to revisit “sixteen-year-old” Katie and how comfortable and confident this person was. She knew what she liked and she wasn’t concerned with what others thought of her. As Katie grew up, she expressed the pressure to “be a part of society” and survive. She took part in the hustle of making more money and striving for exponential growth. Even though she was at the height of her marketing career and her consulting was super profitable, she wasn’t happy and she was not aligned. She reflected that starting her art business and creating is what fuels her and she is so much more aligned and happy. 

    She still has days of self-doubt if she made the right decision going into art and worries about money, but is comforted by her knowing that she is in alignment and that she loves what she is doing and creating. 

    Messy Starts 

    Starting a business is messy and full of new experiences with trial and error. Katie unpacks how her Type A personality and tendency towards perfectionism have been stretched during the newness of starting her own business. She tries to remember perfectionism isn’t something that is going to go away overnight and does little things to stretch herself like launching when she isn’t completely ready. She tries to accept the messy and tries to believe that done is better than perfect. 

    In closing, Katie explains that in her business, Modern Magic, she creates art and wallpapers to build calm spaces to rest and restore. With all of her art, Katie hopes to inspire rest. She hopes to help people recharge and recover from burnout in these spaces and remember the magic in the everyday.

     

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:
     

    • Taking a step away from social media doesn’t need to be scary. It can be a healing and centering experience to turn down the noise.
       
    • Symptoms of burnout can vary from person to person, but common signs are: excessive stressfatiguesadness or irritability, detachment, loss of motivation, and decreased satisfaction or sense of accomplishment among many others.
       
    • Burnout is real and should be taken seriously. If you believe you are experiencing burnout seek support.
       
    • Creating artwork can reconnect us to ourselves and even tap us into the younger parts of ourselves. 
       
    • Looking back at who we were in our childhood or adolescence can remind us of who we are deep down before we started to be influenced by the world around us and what we believed was expected of us. Our egos get in the way as we grow. Take the time to go back and remember that person so long ago, you may be surprised by what you discover. 
       
    • There is a fire in all of us. This fire can either help us build and create or it destroys. As creative entrepreneurs we do not HAVE to chase after exponential growth. Be aware of what your needs are and ask why you have the income goals that you have. Are you in alignment? 
       
    • Embracing the discomfort, starting from scratch and believing the messiness will all be worth it can help in times when we feel the need to be perfect.  

       

    Sign up today for Kim Burk's course "Connect & Convert" that has everything you need to connect with retailers and grow your wholesale line!

    Sign up for my FREE 4 day long workshop, "Get Out of Your Own Way Bootcamp." January 17-20 at 9am PST / 12 pm EST every morning. 

    Katie Leigh  Jackson of Modern Magic is an artist+wallpaper designer based out of Denver, Colorado. Through her art, she helps women create calm spaces to get inspired and recharge.

    Explore Katie's website at www.shopmodernmagic.com and follow her on instagram


  • Episode 19: Reflect On Your Year

    Relfect On Your Year With Me

    The New Year is upon us which means many of us are stirring with new goals and many hopes for what 2023 will bring. However, before we start making resolutions and goals, let's reflect together! Download my Reflection Worksheet for Artists and Creative Entrepreneurs.

    Why is reflection important? 

    "Reflection gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos, untangle and sort through observations and experiences, consider multiple possible interpretations, and create meaning. This meaning becomes learning, which can then inform future mindsets and actions." (Porter)

    When we reflect we are able to make informed decisions on our future mindsets and actions. 

    Source: Harvard Business Review, "Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It)" by Jennifer Porter.
     

    Key Takeaways:

    • Reflection can be a powerful tool because it gives the brain an opportunity to pause and sort through observations and experiences which can inform future mindsets and actions.
       
    • Returning to old journal entries can be a great source of encouragement to see how far you have come and also inform future decisions.
       
    • If you decide to use the reflection worksheet I have provided please remember that this is not to encourage a hustle mentality or overwhelm. Answers that seem simple are still profound.
       

    Learn how to manufacture overseas with Rebecca Woolbright and Manufacture:Awesome. Hop on the waitlist today!
     

     

     


  • Episode 18: Intentional Planning with Lissie Teehee

    Lissie has always seen herself as an artist and would create things even as a little girl. She chose to study art in college and graduated with a degree in graphic design and raised her family afterward. But when she became a single mother overnight, she had a lot of tough decisions to make as to how she was going to support her family. 

    She had dreamed of having a studio in the past but has some doubts as to if she could run her own creative business. With support from family and friends, Lissie let go of her doubts and committed to running her own business as a full-time artist and didn’t look back. She believed everything would fall into place as she took one step at a time. 

    Lissie loves the career of being a working artist because she can have flexible time and a flexible income that doesn’t have to be capped. 

    Planning with Seasons In Mind 

    Being a single mother of three, Lissie has to be very intentional about her time management and working in the margins. She also plans how and when she makes work with seasons: seasons of the year, seasons of her business, and seasons of her creativity level. She looks at her childrens' school schedule and where her collections and creating content for education need to take place. She also determines when in the year she can make room for rest and be ready to be inspired and create in the next season. She has the desire to only work from 8am until 3pm during the school year and carve out time to be with her children in the evenings. 

    Lissie explains that winter and summer are her slower and more creative seasons, whereas spring and fall are her more busy times where she can get more done while her kids are in school. 

     

     

    Looking For Inspiration

    Lissie describes when she is inspired she begins scribbling. Her emotions when coming to a blank page can also be a gauge of needing rest. Seeing that there is often something going on behind feeling uninspired has been comforting to Lissie at some level. However, she says that there is always a way to “push the page” and simply play with mediums to see where it might take you. 

    Lissie describes that her best work is born from a genuine place of being inspired by things around us in the natural world and living life and not from looking at other artists’ work and Pinterest.  

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • It just takes ONE person to help you believe in yourself. How can you be that one person to help someone in your life?
       
    • Intentionality leads to success. When we are intentional in how we are creating, what we are creating, and what we are pitching can help us experience more momentum in our businesses.
       
    • If you want to go all in and shift into a creative career, take inventory of where you are at today. What skills do you need to develop? What next steps do you need to take? Think about all the things you need to do and start tackling those things one day at a time.
       
    • Quantity of time doesn’t always mean quality of productivity. When we work in the margins with our little amount of time it can lead to us being more creative and productive. 
       
    • As creatives, structure can be very helpful to make us feel safe and balanced. Therefore, being mindful of seasons and how we plan for our year can be very helpful. When we are mindful of seasons we can best plan out when to be creative, when to slow down, when  to be inspired, and when we need to put our heads down and do the harder work. 
       
    • Our best work is born from a genuine place of being inspired by things around us in the natural world and living life and not from looking at other artist’s work and Pinterest.
       

    “Lissie is a mother, fine artist and designer, and teacher in Oklahoma. She creates surface patterns, products, textiles, and other lovely works of art. Her aim is to celebrate the home and the nature surrounding our lives through all of the artwork that she creates. Every day, she collects little joys like laughter, the feeling of the light coming through the window, or a walk near the water on a hot, summer day. It is Lissie’s hope that her artwork can be a representation of the things that we love and cherish.

    Visit her website at www.lissieteehee.com and on instagram.

    Sign up for the waitlist for her course, "Art and Digital Processes."

    Learn how to manufacture overseas with Rebecca Woolbright and Manufacture:Awesome. Hop on the waitlist today!


  • Episode 17: The Mindset Journey with Mable Tan

    The Winding Path

    Surface pattern designer, Mable Tan, shares her story of how she finally arrived at her career as a surface pattern designer. From writing for magazines to food blogging to fine art photography, Mable has done it all. Our paths to finally arrive at what we love and is successful can be a long journey. However, it must be remembered that nothing is wasted. Mable shares how each of her former paths has made her a stronger and more well-rounded surface pattern designer.

    Working in the Margins with Intention

    As Mable developed her portfolio of patterns, she was also a full-time mom working in the margins of her life while her son was napping. She believed that she was "more than just a mom" and committed to being a surface pattern designer before any money was made.

    Mable had a vision for her future from the very beginning and was intentional about getting there. She knew that she was capable, smart, and talented...so why wouldn't she be successful? That was her mindset. While building her business, she also had the belief that this career was so special that she wanted to share with other mothers and disabled people specifically on how to achieve this. Mable believes wholeheartedly in community over competition and has created a very active community on Facebook. 

     

     

    Mindset and Belief In Oneself

    There are always going to be hurdles and bumps in the road of this creative entrepreneur journey. Mable explains that she still deals with imposter syndrome, self-doubt, and fear. This year, she even took a mental health break from pitching due to the mental toll it was taking on her. 

    One way, that Mable deals with self-doubt is by knowing that others have paved the way and have been successful. She says, "You don't need to believe in yourself from the start, but you need to believe that it is possible." She chooses to feel the fear, take one step at a time, and see how far she could go and continue.

    Mable also believes that there is "always going to be room for her." This helps when it comes to rejection (which she STILL gets). She believes that just because you get a "no" doesn't mean it's a no forever and if you don't try you will never know. While you are waiting in the slow seasons continue to make art!
     

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • Our paths as creatives can feel like a long and winding road to arrive at the thing that we love and reach success, but we must remember that nothing is wasted.
       
    • There is space for all of us. If we extend a hand, we all rise together.
       
    • If you are a mother, remember that your identity is more than “just a mom.” The internet has opened opportunities that we have never had before to cultivate and thrive as creatives while also being mothers.
       
    • This journey as an artist is more of a mindset journey than anything else.
       
    • You don’t have to believe in yourself quite at the start, but simply believing it is possible and that others have succeeded is a powerful first step. 
       
    • Feel the fear and take the step anyway. If we don’t try, we will never know.
       
    • Rejection is not necessarily a no forever. We also need to remember that our value is not attached to our success or our failure. 
       
    • ”What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.”
      -
      Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Get 10% off your Canvas Lamp today with code: Tillage10

    Mable Tan is a surface designer, based in Melbourne, Australia. Her style is whimsical, fun, and joyful. Her work is very much inspired by nature and birds. When she’s not drawing, she can be found in the kitchen baking or cooking up a storm, or going on a walk by the river for some inspiration. “I see my life as something artful-always creating and making it happy, fun and colourful in any way I can.”Her work has been seen in Target Australia, Spotlight, RICE DK.She has been featured on Oh Joy! blog, Mantra mag, Flow mag, Origin mag.

    Visit her website at: www.mabletan.com or on instagram

    License Your Art in 12 Months E-book


  • Episode 16: Taking Action and Stepping Into The Arena with Rebecca Woolbright

    How many ideas or dreams do you have that you are still sitting on? As creatives, we are idea machines! However, sometimes we can get paralyzed by all the "what ifs" and fear can hold us back. Today Rebecca shares how she quickly moved into action to launch her groups to teach about manufacturing called, "Manufacture: Awesome."

    5, 4, 3, 2, 1 

    Rebecca shares openly that she struggles to call herself a teacher and sees herself more as "a guide." After receiving a lot of great feedback about a class she did in The Creative Powerhouse Society with Stacie Bloomfield and putting a class on Skillshare about washi tape, Rebecca started to give space to the idea of launching small groups to teach about manufacturing overseas. 

    Rebecca explains that she felt terrified and felt the deep need to deliver when charging for her groups. The sea of educators in the arts industry can feel large and intimating to step into. However, with a little help from Mel Robbins and her book, "The Five Second Rule," Rebecca was quick to take action, squash her fears and insecurities, and step into the arena.

    It is easy to sit on ideas and make things perfect, but when we count down from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 we can actually click publish, send the email, or post about our product. Getting it done is better than making it perfect. You can always continue to improve things even after you have implemented them.

    Stepping Into The Arena

    Contrary to how you feel, there is room for you. Whether you want to be a licensed artist, have a robust wholesale business, or be an online educator, if you are showing up and doing the work, there is room for you. 

    You need to get over yourself and decide to be brave and step in. Your voice, your art, and your teaching style are your own and are needed in the world. What do you have to lose? Confidence comes after the decision to step and trying and trying again. 

    Critique and Criticism

    "There are a million cheap seats in the world today filled with people who will never be brave with their own lives but will spend every ounce of energy they have hurling advice and judgment at those of us trying to dare greatly. Their only contributions are criticism, cynicism, and fear-mongering. If you're criticizing from a place where you're not also putting yourself on the line, I'm not interested in your feedback.”-Brene Brown 

    When you are brave and start to put yourself out there, inevitably you will be met with criticism. However, it is important to view your critique and criticism through the lens of, "Is this person also putting themselves out there? Are they speaking from a place of experience?" It is easy to point fingers when you are not the one doing it. 

    Fear of Success

    Are you more fearful of success or failure? This is a question to really sit with. If you are afraid of success, why? Are you limiting your success in any way? Sometimes we can block our own success out of self-preservation and we only crack open the amount of success we believe we can handle. 
     

    KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

    • Getting something done is better than just sitting there and making it perfect. As Mel Robbins says, “Countdown from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and move into action. 
       
    • There is room for all of us to step into the arena. We all have different voices, different approaches, and different life experiences. We need to get over ourselves, show up and do the work. 
       
    • It is important to just get your first try at something out into the world. Recognize that it is going to change and there will always be room to make something better in the future.
       
    • Ask yourself, "What do you have to lose?"
       
    • Be prepared that when you are daring bravely, you will inevitably be met with criticism and cynicism. When you receive critique, examine if this is coming from someone who is also putting themselves out there.
       
    • We often limit our success, because we are protecting ourselves. Examine yourself to see if you are limiting your success or playing small and why that might be.

     

    Rebecca Woolbright is a licensed surface pattern designer, artist, educator and mom based in the beautiful Columbia River gorge. She started her own product line in 2017 with a few rolls of washi tape and a lot of hope. Her line of products now includes over 60 designs of washi tape, greeting cards, wrapping paper, and gift tags. Her licensed artwork can be found on puzzles, women's clothing, fabric and home goods. She has recently started guiding small groups of artists through the process of manufacturing products overseas in her group Manufacture: Awesome.

    Visit Rebecca's website at: www.rebeccajanewoolbright.com and her instagram


  • Episode 15: Self-Love During the Holiday Season with Cami Zea of Zeaink

    Let’s just say it right off the bat… The holiday season for creators and makers is a beast. We can all so easily succumb to the frantic scrambling not only in our businesses but also in our personal lives behind the scenes. As the demand or set expectation to produce grows, so does our perceived need to meet expectations… and a quota. It can all feel so overwhelming and out of balance. Our featured guest, Cami Zea of Zeaink, shares with us the reality of where she finds herself as a creative this holiday season.

    Love Letter to Artists

    Have you been feeling constantly behind and generally all over the place? Cami shares how she has come to terms with where she and her business find themselves during this year’s busiest season. After she posted her "love letter" to artists on instagram, it circled around artist communities on the internet. She wrote:

     

    Small business owners and artists-it's ok if you don't have a lot of fresh new items to sell for the holidays. It's ok if your resources, capacity or mental health is lower than previous years. Maybe you feel behind. (You're not). Maybe you feel like you aren't good enough anymore. (not true). 

    The urgency and hustle this time of year demands is rarely doable for the makers, the one-person-doing-it-all shops. The artist's whose work takes time and cannot be mass produced. 

    Thank you for showing up with your creative offerings however you can. The world around you is better for it. 

    She did not expect it would resonate so deeply with those (artists especially) in her digital vicinity. She gave voice to the fact that it is okay not to adhere to the holiday push. Her words gave permission and acknowledged the validity of perhaps not having anything new to offer this season. And that kind of vulnerability not only resonates but brings audiences in. It’s a ripple effect. 

    You Have Permission

    The holidays tend to highlight the feeling of being behind and not good enough. Why do we always feel not good enough? As artists, the world does not realize how much energy goes into owning and operating a small business alone. Cami invites us to acknowledge our capacities and to keep our expectations of ourselves in check. 

    When our capacity is full, we have the opportunity to choose to approach the season with calmness. This honesty is important not only for clients but also for artists. With social media, we perceive the best in others and the worst in us and we create a standard that is impossible to reach. 

    Can we actually do anything about these thoughts? How can we practically shift our perspectives? There is power in community and Cami deeply points to this. From her own experience, making friends who are doing similar thing tackles the narrative of “I'm all alone in this", keeps her perspective accountable, and keeps her thoughts in line. She says to never underestimate an internet friend, and to get into markets to meet other creatives. 

    Bring Your Audience on the Journey 

    Whether you're “in the zone” for the holidays, or feeling behind with the demand, it can be easy to scramble or feel like you're missing out on the product rollout. This podcast episode strives to affirm you as you are and aims to encourage you to let go of the pressure and expectation to hustle. We know how many hats you wear daily, but your audience may not. Don’t be afraid to take your audience along with you in the process. It could be an idea to be open with them and perhaps, they’ll not only appreciate your gifting more but also become educated about what it takes for you and your business to thrive.

    Moving Forward

    How can we protect our mental health during the holidays? Don’t be afraid to call on your communities. Let yourself be needy and people will show up for you. Asking for help is key.

    It might be the year that you permit yourself to not do much. Acknowledge your creative integrity and use what you have. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Remember… frantic creating isn't cute. You are invited to not be afraid to be scrappy and show up for yourself in the way you can this holiday season. 

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • Our creativity and art matters. There is power in the words and the art that we share online. When we share from a vulnerable resonate and gain something when you share from a vulnerable place. 
       
    • The belief that we are alone and the only person having our experience are beliefs that can get us stuck. Having community and being honest with others can help bring about a perspective shift and bring truth to our circumstances. 
       
    • Never underestimate the power of an internet friend. 
       
    • We need to be mindful to have grace ourselves for “dropping balls” or not having everything perfect. We often are stacking ourselves up against impossible standards and this is just unfair and not helpful to our journey as artists. 
       
    • You don’t have to carry everything all on your own. Ask for help and allow yourself to have needs.   
       
    • Creating out of panic, anxiety, or the feeling that you are not doing enough doesn’t produce anything cute or inspiring. 
       
    • Take your audience along on the journey to help them understand your process and your products. 

      We never need to justify making a living with our art businesses.
       

    Cami is a hand-lettering artist, writer and illustrator. She focuses on messages of social justice, mental health, and the overwhelming amount of feelings that come with being a human. In her spare time she listens to a lot of MUNA and plays with her dog. 

    Visit her website at: www.zeaink.com and follow along on her instagram


  • Episode 14: 3 Things That Can Help Artists Grow

    Community

    A lot of artists and small creative business owners work alone without a team. Therefore, we often can feel lonely, be in an echo chamber of ideas because there is no one to critique or give feedback on designs and feel vulnerable when it comes to pricing our work. 

    Community can be one of the most beneficial ways to grow as an artist. Since finding a community of artists I can confidently say that I have had:

    • Stronger artwork
    • Business ideas and advice 
    • Support for hard and difficult circumstances
    • A place to bounce ideas off of 
    • People to celebrate with me
    • A place to be vulnerable, heard, and understood 
    • A boost in mental and emotional health
       

    Accountability

    With no "boss" but ourselves, many of us artists struggle with deadlines and holding ourselves accountable for our goals and dreams. Having accountability has been a HUGE way I have been able to accomplish the big things that I tend to drag my feet on. 

    One way I have had great accountability is through co-working sessions. 

    Co-working sessions can create:

    • extra accountability
    • increased productivity 
    • community

      ​​​Here is an excerpt from an article by Corinne Preston that states:


       

    According to social psychologist Floyd Allport, the presence of other people can boost your performance. The “social facilitation” effect showed that a group of people working individually at the same table performed better on a range of tasks even though those people weren’t necessarily cooperating or competing on the same projects. This concept can be seen in virtual coworking sessions, the energy of the other participants can act as a substitute for being part of a team.

    This concept might be particularly helpful for those with ADHD as well. Commonly referred to as “body doubling”, working alongside others helps to provide focus and to ease an anxious mind. While no direct research has been done on the benefits of body doubling, much of the supporting evidence is based on word of mouth. Virtual coworking is the perfect space to test this for yourself since the knowledge that someone is present with you and aware that you are doing your intended task increases follow-through.

    Intentionality

    As creative business owners and artists, we often can become so busy and tend to not come up for air. As Leana talked about in Episode 12, we often do not work from a quiet place and we can often not be intentional in our rhythms, routines, and have space to reflect. Having intentionality in our businesses and art practice through reflection and journaling can help us gain perspective, respond more efficiently, and help us learn from experiences, and strategize for what lies ahead.

    The Tillage Village


    Community, Accountability, and Intentionality will be the pillars of the membership I am opening up for enrollment in January. 

     Sign up today for THE WAITLIST FOR THE TILLAGE VILLAGE!


  • Episode 13: Shame, Shoulds, and ADHD with Dylan M

    Seeking Answers

    In the spring of 2020, after four years of making a living running her business, Dylan knew she had a really horrible procrastination issue. She had an immense amount of shame and felt like she needed to get it together and “grow up.” What was maddening, is that Dylan knew she had it in her to work really hard. She came up with a term she called “creative resistance” to explain this procrastination issue. However, it wasn't until a friend started to share about an ADHD support group she was a part of, that Dylan started to see for the first time that she too could have ADHD. In August 2020, she found an online evaluation and received a written confirmation that she did in fact have ADHD. This was a great day where Dylan felt a release from the shame that it wasn’t just “all her” but something else was going on. Ever since she has found community in sharing vulnerably about her ADHD diagnosis.

    Wrestling with the Diagnosis

    In one way receiving the diagnosis was a relief from the shame and an explanation that Dylan could work with and understand. However, she explains that it is hard because some weeks she feels like she doesn't have ADHD because she feels like she is managing life. Then the week after can be really hard. If that’s the case, it feels like it must mean that she is the problem and not her ADHD. 

    Dylan touches on the fact that she wishes others knew that people with ADHD are not making excuses or wearing their diagnosis as a badge of honor. It is a very real thing and it looks different for each individual that is diagnosed with it.

    Shame, Shoulds, and Limiting Beliefs

    Dylan discusses that our “should” thoughts only trigger shame. When this happens, shame multiplies and can get out of hand. However, reframing and shifting our verbiage and thoughts can help with this. Shoulds are distractions from the thing that is actually going to move us forward. Dylan suggests that more helpful terms that can help move us to action can be: "It would be helpful for me…I want to…I would like to..."

    Feelings are like our fuel to move our vehicles and shame does not make our vehicles go. If shame isn’t getting you anywhere, what could? Feelings that can help with this are: capable, determined, accepting, and calmer…these feelings and fuels definitely take us further.

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • A simple definition of ADHD is that the brain has difficulty with important functions related to memory, attention, and thinking, which is also known as an executive function deficit or disorder.
       
    • ADHD looks different for everyone who is diagnosed with it. 
       
    • If you resonated with Dylan’s story and think that you might also have ADHD, know that it’s a journey, you are allowed to take your time and process which steps are best for you.
       
    • Our “should” thoughts only trigger shame and shame easily multiplies.
       
    • Feelings are like our fuel to move our vehicles, and shame does not make our vehicles go. Other feelings that are helpful that can move our “vehicles” are: capable, determined, accepting, and calmer.
       
    • Some mindsets that Dylan shared that can help with limiting beliefs are:
      “It doesn’t have to be a big deal.”
      “I can do anything next. I am always on the right path.”
      “Persistence over consistence”
      “15 minutes would make a difference and I have 15 minutes.”

      “I am allowed to have my feelings and feel this way.”
       

    Dylan Mierzwinski (“M” for short), is an illustrator and surface designer living in the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix, Arizona. Her work has been featured with Anthropologie, Martha Stewart, Magnolia, Red Cap Cards, American greetings, and many more. A top teacher on Skillshare, Dylan is known for her warmth, ability to communicate difficult ideas clearly, and bold and retro botanical illustrations. As a self taught artist, Dylan has enthusiastically grown into her position in the art world as a creative cheerleader, sharer of helpful keyboard shortcuts, and combiner of unexpected colors. She enjoys waving at dogs, quoting Michael Scott, and encouraging people to talk about their feelings (not a joke).

    Join Dylan's  fellow artist Patreon group

    Dylan's Skillshare Courses (this link will give you a month for free!) 

    Dylan's Quarterly Newsletter 

    The ADHD podcast and person I recommend is Kristen Carder from the "I Have ADHD" Podcast, and her group "Focused"

    The ADHD book I recommend is Taking Charge of Adult ADHD by Dr Russell Barkley 


  • Episode 12: The Art of Running a Quiet Business with Leana Fischer of May We Fly

    Sometimes our journeys just look different, we are all different people with diverse expressions. As artists, we experience a plethora of seasons as we work toward our goals. Sometimes it’s wild, frantic, slow, quick, and a continual ride of ups, downs, and the in-between. Yet today on the podcast we chat with Leana as she gives us a look at her process and her principles that just might inspire you. She is a former architect, artist, educator, and gloriously introspective. Join us as she shares her background of growing up in an artistic environment and the slow steady road as she ultimately became a full-time artist. 

    The Art is Me

    When choosing to transition into art full-time, sometimes the focus of the “why” can get blurry. Leana emphasizes how returning to herself as an artist has continued to bring her back to center. As she began her journey with her online shop on Etsy she continued to nurture who she is. She learned about herself, her personality, and what felt genuine to her as she ran her business. This approach helped her with the challenges of imposter syndrome and the sense of disqualification. 

    Alignment With The Quiet

    For Leana, ultimately, building a business quietly was and is what she finds is best for her business. But….what does that even mean? It is so easy to fall into comparison and feel the pressure to gain a massive following or meet certain standards or quotas. For Leana, it’s about defining and discovering who she is and what is “enough” for her. She discovered her natural tendency towards quietness and this is the approach she has taken to working in her business. Her story shows that partnering with who she is and the art she creates around that principle demonstrates that the best growth is the slow kind. 

    Nurturing 

    Leana also emphasizes the value of loyal local and online communities who value and support our work. Being centered on how we impact the world with art brings us back to focus… even in the face of doubt. There is something about trusting that “you will be ok” in the face and wake of doubt that becomes an anchor for believing in your work. Lastly, nurturing your journey can also come with establishing your own principle or definition of success. Be encouraged, and remember that you can come back to center during the frantic moments, and create from a quiet place.
     

    KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

    • You are a real artist whether or not you are making a full-time living at it. Reframe the full-time work you are doing as something that supports and nurtures the artist you are today and the artist you desire to be in the future
       
    • Learning about personality and understanding yourself can help you understand what you want your business to look like too.
       
    • A quiet business is designed to support your life and goals. It is sustainable and gentle and it grows slowly but steadily over time. Slow growth prepares you for what lies ahead.
       
    • Working from a quiet place can help you create your best work. When you are working from a quiet you are better in tune with your intuition, focused, and create work that is genuine and comes from inside you.
       
    • Having an anchor can help when you have moments of doubt. An anchor could be your guiding principles, remembering your why, and knowing this is what you were made to do.

      SIGN UP FOR THE WAITLIST FOR THE TILLAGE VILLAGE! Coming to you in January 2023.

       

    I’m Leana Fischer, the artist behind May We Fly. My artwork is made to celebrate the wonder of the little things in everyday life, and to encourage others to notice the beauty in their own stories. The name May We Fly comes from my wish for all of us: that we’ll live in alignment with our deepest values, and share our gifts with the world.

    May We Fly took root in 2013 after leaving a job in architecture to move from Virginia to Fayetteville, Arkansas with my husband, Dan. With a bit of extra time on my hands during this period of transition, I began to realize that painting wasn’t just a hobby. Little by little, one piece at a time, I began the long, winding journey towards becoming a full-time artist. 

    Painting remains my true calling: it’s my expression of joy, my sincere offering, and my enthusiastic invitation. I work mainly with watercolor because it feels most natural in my hand. It has a language all its own, one that I am certain I will be learning for a lifetime. The elements behind it—pigment, water, movement—all point directly to my deep love of the natural world. When I paint, I’m connected to my own nature: present, peaceful, and reverent.

    After a decade as a painter, I can see how profoundly my art has enriched my life—not only through the joy it brings me, but because of the connections I’ve made with so many kindred spirits. May We Fly has grown from a tiny website into a business that has allowed me to share my artwork with people around the world, teach hundreds of students through in-person and online watercolor workshops, and partner with wonderful brands like Terrain, Trader Joe’s, and Hallmark.

    In 2022, Dan and I (and our pup, Buford) made the bittersweet decision to move back to the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, where I now work and paint out of my home studio. Wherever I am, May We Fly keeps me connected to a growing community of creators, sharing and celebrating our collective gifts.

    Follow along on instagram @maywefly and visit Leana's website at www.maywefly.com


  • Episode 11: The Power of Mindfulness with Debby Casher of Mindfulnice

    We all feel stressed and anxious from time to time, but what is going on in the brain when these feelings occur? Debby Casher, a mindfulness instructor with a Master's degree in Psychology, teaches a lesson on the brain and how powerful mindfulness can be if we take the time to practice it.

    * Please be advised that if you are experiencing clinical levels of anxiety & depression please get professional help. Mindfulness is an incredible tool but should not take the place of professional help.

    The Complexity of The Brain 

    The more we can understand about our brains the more we can understand how our brain and body work together. This can be to our advantage, because we can start to change our brains and how it responds to stress and anxiety. 

    The brain has plasticity and can learn, grow, and change over time. This is great news because we can learn new tools to help us in the area of stress and anxiety! 

    Debby went on to explain three main parts of the brain:

    The Prefrontal Cortex plays a central role in critical thinking & decision-making.

    The Hippocampus plays a major role in learning and memory. This part of the brain allows you to remember the smell of your grandmother's cookies. 

    The amygdala is like the alarm center of the brain. When activated it alerts the nervous system and our fear response begins. Cortisol and adrenaline are released and physiological responses happen in our body. 

    The False Alarm

    One job that our brains have is to protect us, keep us from perceived danger, and help us survive. Sometimes our amygdala can set off a "false alarm" alerting us that we are in danger when we are not in a life-and-death situation. It is so important for us to identify when it’s appropriate for the Amygdala to activate and when it isn’t necessary. 

    The Amygdala often sets off a false alarm when we are faced with doing something that takes a lot of courage and can be stressful, such as taking a test or speaking in front of a large group of people.

    We can bring mindful awareness to the fact that we have the power to recognize the function of the amygdala and whether or not its reaction is necessary.

    Mindfulness Exercises

    There are ways to calm the amygdala so that also the other parts of our brain can work to the best of their ability. One of the ways to go about this is practicing mindfulness to change our thought patterns and "rewire" the brain. Mindfulness is like a bicep curl for your brain. It takes time, consistency, and a lot of intentionalities. Over time, we will begin to see an overall change of appearance in our brains, our health, and our attitude. 

    Debby's Mindful Minute Activity Cards that she touched on were: Breathe, Awareness, Loving Kindness, and Gratitude

    Breathe: Learn to be mindful by feeling your breath. Box Breathing involves exhaling to a count of four, holding your lungs empty for a four-count, inhaling at the same pace, and holding air in your lungs for a count of four before exhaling and beginning the pattern again.

    Awareness: Take 5 Excercise can help shift your focus on your surroundings and away from your unhealthy thought patterns.

    • Name 5 things you can see
    • Name 4 things you can physically feel
    • Name 3 things you can hear
    • Name 2 things you can smell
    • Name 1 thing you can taste

    Loving Kindness: Use this metta: "May I be happy, May I be healthy…" 

    Gratitude: Name things you are grateful for, this actually releases dopamine!

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • The brain has plasticity & can learn, grow, & change over time.
       
    • The Amygdala is like the alarm center in our brains. If activated it alerts the nervous system, and our fear response begins. Cortisol and adrenaline are released and there are physiological responses in the body that take place.
       
    • We can learn to identify this experience and when the amygdala is giving us a false alarm with mindful awareness. 
       
    • Mindfulness is like a bicep curl for our brain. It takes intentionality and practice, but if mindfulness is done consistently over time, you will start to see an overall change in your health, attitude, and even your brain will start to change in appearance.
       
    • 4 Mindful Minute Activities Debby explained were: Breathe, Awareness, Loving Kindness, and Gratitude
       
    • Start small. Focus on the breath as much as possible, and focus on acceptance. What we resist will persist. Be consistent and try doing mindfulness activities for a few minutes every day. Together these practices join neuroscience and mindfulness for a mindfully nice life.


    ​​​​"Reflect On Your Year" Workshop on November 17th.

    SIGN UP FOR THE WAITLIST FOR THE TILLAGE VILLAGE! Coming to you in January 2023.

    Get one free month of 
    Skillshare
     today!    
     

    Debby is the owner, educator, and artist of Mindfulnice. 

    She has been an artist since childhood with a passion for creative & healing arts. She has a Masters degree in Psychology with a pecialty certification in Mindfulness Education & an Elementary Education Teaching Degree. She is a mom to three amazing kids and is also a yoga, meditation, & mindfulness instructor. 

    By combining my love of creating art with my experience, education, and a desire to help others, Debby is able to create products and lessons that inspire mindful living. By learning the tools to practice mindfulness regularly, an abundance of happiness, kindness, good health, & a focused attention to (and gratitude for) the present moment, is a result. The Mindfulnice collection of products can help you achieve this. Most recently, Debby has also become a licensed surface pattern designer. Each of her designs are inspired by mindful living and have a mindfulness lesson behind them. 

    Debby feels it is her purpose and her passion to introduce and teach mindfulness to others. Her hope is that her products will inspire you to have a mindfully nice life. 

    Follow along on instagram @mindfulnice_com and check out Debby's website and her products at www.mindfulnice.com


  • Episode 10: Nourish Yourself

    As creative business owners we can often push ourselves to work long hours, sacrifice time with family or friends, and sometimes fail to recognize our limitations. It is so important for us to check in with ourselves and take care of ourselves so that we can do our work to the best of our ability. 

    Nourish Yourself First 

    “Your soul needs time for solitude and self-reflection. In order to love, lead, heal, and create, you must nourish yourself first.”-Louise Hay

    If we are creating from an empty space we aren’t doing ourselves any favors. We must check in on ourselves to see how much we have been pushing. Reflect on your week or past month and take your "temperature" to see how much you have been working. If you haven't had a break in a while, your temperature is running high. At this point, you NEED to nourish yourself. 

    Ways To Fill Yourself Up 

    How do we go about nourishing ourselves? Here are a couple of ideas:

    -journaling/reflecting
    -gathering inspiration for being creative by reading, listening to podcasts, listening to music, and going for walks
    -doodling and sketching with no intentions
    -self-care (sleep, drinking enough water, and doing something just for you)

     

    Key Takeaways:

    • We must nourish ourselves first to be able to love, lead, heal, and create
       
    • Reflect and ask yourself, "What is it that I need to stop doing for my mental health, and do I need to start doing? How would these things serve you and your business?
       
    • We cannot create from an empty space. Allow yourself to gather inspiration and simply play.
       
    • Give yourself permission to rest.
       
    • Make sure to fill yourself up by taking care of yourself and doing something just for you.

     

    You are invited to my "Reflect on Your Year" Workshop on November 17th  from 9:30am-11 am PST


  • Episode 9: Debunking "The Starving Artist" Myth

    From weather apps to Creative Services at Pottery Barn, Ashley Paggi has had a stunning creative history. As she transitioned to motherhood and navigated the pandemic, she began to redefine her vision for her art career. Ashley shares with us the powerful truth that an artist doesn’t require subscribing to the “starving artist” cliche. As she shares about returning to her work she reveals some key wisdom to help encourage us toward a thriving future and career in art.

    Fulfilling Purpose

    After a time of reflection in 2020, Ashley shares how she came to realize that she had actually “never loved work before.” How relatable, right?! Even as young people, many of us, regardless of being surrounded by creativity, never even thought that an art school or an art career was even an option. Perhaps our goal was like Ashley’s…financial stability. The two things, art and money, never coincided. Yet after Ashley chose to hone in on her craft, she settled into the world of a surface pattern design career. In this episode, Ashley shares about surface pattern design and how it essentially consists of artwork created preemptively that is then licensed to companies.
     


    She touches on:

    -Repeat patterns
    -Copyright
    -Personal product sales
    -Revenue streams: finding what suits
    -Leveraging artwork

    Ashley discusses several revenue streams that one can have with an art career. Her revenue streams have included licensing, producing her own products to sell direct-to-customer, art education, and affiliating for different courses and products. 

    The "AH HA" moment

    Ultimately, the conversation with Ashley confirms that being a lucrative artist is doable. Artists are no longer required to adhere to luck. You are not chained to the destiny of a “starving artist.” If you're still in a rut and doubtful, it’s time to shift from a scarcity mindset and start seeking out what other people are doing successfully. Looking for people who have similar giftings as your own, can open your mind to what is possible. Find that community and reflect on what you would like to pursue and build.

    Furthermore, Ashley reminds us that we don’t know what's out there when we don’t position ourselves to find and build our artistic communities. It can be overwhelming thinking about the opportunities available for artists to make money, but Ashley shares how much education exists to bolster your vision for your career. 

    It’s Two-fold: Hard Work and Looking Inward

    The reality is that to be a thriving artist hard work is a fundamental aspect. It is also important that we educate people outside of our creative world that artists have a great capacity and are required to do hard work to find success. Reminding people in our worlds that we aren’t destined for a scarcity mindset can let everyone understand what it means to be a working artist. 

    Ashley also stresses the beauty in allowing yourself to be inspired by people who have fine-tuned or carved out a niche. Make your own “special sauce” and define your creative “why”. Then, one step at a time, give your “why” some time and space to breathe. 


    Community over Competition: A Perspective into the Art Community

    If anything represents Ashley’s heartbeat for this episode it would be this: that removing competition and sewing into a community is a true testament to artistic success. We all know how easy it is to pit each other against one another. We all have similar goals and may be doing similar things artistically. So it’s key to keep unhealthy comparisons at bay. Ashley invites us to allow other people’s success to stoke our creative fire… through the art of celebration and championing. When other artists have successes it is simply another point of evidence that working artists have the greatest possibilities to thrive. 

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • We can be thriving artists and not starving artists! The revenue streams and possibilities for artists are endless. You can license your designs for products such as fabric, children’s clothing, home decor, and outdoor gear, manufacture your own products to sell direct-to-customer, sell your products wholesale, teach online or in-person workshops, and even affiliate for products or courses.
       
    • Look for examples of people with similar talents to you and see where they are putting their efforts and what they are doing. Our eyes can be open to all the possibilities when we put ourselves in a room with people who are successful and are doing what we want to be doing.
       
    • It’s our responsibility to educate others about what we do as artists so we can slowly build more respect and an understanding of the art industry.
       
    • Having a career as a working artist is a lot of work and it requires commitment, but it is possible!
       
    • Community over competition is a beautiful thing because when one person celebrates success it can allow us to see what is possible and what opportunities lie ahead for us too. 
       

     

    Ash Cascade is an artist whose bohemian/retro style evokes a polished yet gritty sense of place. Ash draws infinitely upon the adventures she takes with her husband and their two fierce little girls in the Pacific Northwest.

    Ash’s designs translate beautifully across many industries with her most passionate being outdoor gear, clothing, stationery, dinnerware, wallpaper, gift wrap, home goods and fabric. She is a designer with Cotton + Steel Fabrics. Her fabric collections are sold internationally in boutique brick and mortar fabric shops as well as online in countless shops.

    Ashley is also a mentor and online educator to other artists because she believes in the power of community over competition above all else.

    Link to art mindset guide:

    General 3 — Ash Cascade Designs

    ashcascade.com

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    Brand photo checklist opt in:

    BrandPhotoOpt-in — Ash Cascade Designs

    ashcascade.com

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  • Episode 8: Dare to Dream

    Dreaming Big

    As an artist or dreamer, have you ever felt inadequate or childish for dreaming? “Lofty” dreams are beautiful and life-giving but it doesn't mean that our dreams aren’t confronted with opposition in the process. Have you ever felt inner criticism or criticism from others? How do we remind ourselves that our dreams are worthy as life hits us in the face?

    Today on The Tillage Podcast, I discuss being dreamers and creators and highlight how as dreamers we have a beautiful and impactful “gift.” We need to be reaffirmed of our big dreams and how we can remind ourselves that what we create in this life is worth all the hard work and effort.  

    Remembering: The Past

    What do we do personally when we feel negative or tired regarding our dreams? Stories of dreamers might just be a way to bolster your big dreams. The tool of looking back to dreams that come to pass is such a fruitful practice. History is full of these reminders. Remembering how others dared to dream and their process towards achievement echoes the truth that the “thing” can be done. This is true even when we look at our personal history with dream building… even if it isn’t always positive. In looking back there are lessons… and perhaps even healing and new perspectives to spur us onward. Personal testimony and narrative can be useful; especially when encountering naysayers and critics. “Success leaves clues”... go out and find them.

    Journaling The Now and The Future

    Now, in looking at our present dreams, we can also use the powerful tool of getting things out of our heads and onto a piece of paper. Perhaps you need to move past feeling ashamed of your dreams or even stuck. Journaling and measuring different possibilities to make important decisions for the next steps in a practical way. Small steps into action. 

    Lastly, be encouraged: there is no shame in owning that you are a big dreamer. Nestle into and feed that beautiful part of who you are.

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • Being a dreamer isn’t something you need to be embarrassed or ashamed about. It is a gift that you bring to the world. 
       
    • No one has ever changed the world or not made a big impact without dreaming big. 
       
    • Three things to help you keep reaching your dreams:
      -Look to examples 
      -Try to fend off negatively from others by creating boundaries 
      -Think into the future of what you would feel if you didn’t go after your goals. Think through whether you are now living the life you want to live or are you living in a way others want you to live. 

       
    • Journal questions:
      -What do you need to tell yourself today about being a dreamer?
      -What dreams that seem unrealistic are you wanting to bring to life?
      -What has been stopping you to start to achieve this dream?

       

      The Tillage Village 

      Are you wanting community? I cannot wait to share the Tillage Village with you! This will be a membership where you can find accountability, join co-working sessions, continue the conversations we are having on the podcast and so much more! The Tillage Village will be opening up in January 2023. 

      Join the waitlist HERE


       

  • Episode 7: Moving into Ease with Jen Fox

    Burnout In Business

    We all know burnout is real. But how do we manage it? How can we ground ourselves and still thrive? In this episode, Jen Fox shares her story with us. Her experience spans from designing quilt patterns, designing fabric, to hand-making pieces and stationery. Jen shares her experience as an artist through stages of sustaining both her business and creative exploits in a way that is best…for her.

    Often for artists, it's challenging to find a balance between handmade elements and production. Throughout Jen’s growth, she shares how to preserve creative energy and get off of the “hamster wheel” of consistently producing something new and exciting on a regular basis. Here is where the challenge of creating ease in her business comes in. She shares her tactics and experience including: reflecting, remembering who and why we serve, and acknowledging the possibility in slow, small beginnings.

    Finding The Sweet Spot

    Moving away from one-of-a-kind work can sometimes feel scary. How do we maintain passion and excitement for our craft while producing and also creating profit? For Jen, it narrows down to tools for moving into the “new phase” of preserving creative energy and finding balance…that sweet spot.

    Jen describes gaining comfort in taking data into account as well as the necessary component of giving the process time. The narrative then turns from burnout to the powerful question of “How do I make this work for ME?” Here is what Jen describes works for her:

    -Intentional analytics

    -Monthly routines

    -A new framework

    -Taking the pressure off

    But where does the customer fit? How do we maintain authenticity and still sustain marketability? Inviting customers into the process in an honest and vulnerable way gives space for grace. That grace might just lead to the growth…of that sweet spot between heartbeat and profit.
     

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • Remembering your why and who you are focused on serving can keep you from going into hustle mood 
       
    • Relationships are key and people meet authenticity with grace. 
       
    • Data removes emotion and can be helpful to help to find your sweet spot of creating things that light you up and are also profitable 
       
    • Be thankful for slow steady growth because our skills are grown over time
       
    • We need to give ourselves grace when we do new things 
       
    • When we push through hurdles that get in our way we get to experience the reward on the other side

       

    Jen Fox creates modern illustrations rooted in folk art charm. Jen draws inspiration from the desert landscape and her outdoor adventures, and combines her love of nature with the influences of her Norwegian and Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. 

    Jen works out of a little casita in the backyard of her home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While she's not doodling cheerful florals and dreaming up her next gardening projects, she's hiking & camping with her dogs and husband and exploring the desert and mountains nearby.

    Jen’s artwork can be found on stationery, bags, jewelry, and home decor items- all with the goal to add a bit of lighthearted joy to your day with her whimsical & cheerful designs.

    Visit Jen's website and instagram @jenfoxstudio


  • Episode 6: The Time Is Now!

    Do you have an idea, dream, a goal that you haven't set in motion? You've talked about it a lot, and daydreamed about it, but you haven't made any real traction to make this dream come to life. There may be many reasons why you haven't made any moves, but I am here to tell you that the time is now!

    Hurdles That Stall

    I have personally felt many hurdles when it has come to making traction on my dreams. Some things that have gotten in my way are:

    -Perfectionism

    -The Feeling of "I'm not ready yet." I need more tools, more information, more experience...and the list goes on and on. 

    -It's already been done before

    -Imposter Syndrome 

    These are things that can constantly halt us in our tracks from moving forward on our big ideas, dreams, and goals. 

    Journal Prompts

    One excellent way to start to give yourself space to reflect is through journaling. I believe that journal prompts are a great way to process big things and also give us the tools to uproot our limiting beliefs.

    Pause and think about what it is that you have been wanting to do that you keep putting off or that you have stalled in your momentum. 

    Ask yourself these questions:

    What is holding me back?

    Why do I think this is holding me back?

    What can I do to remove these barriers?

    What is the worst that could happen if I did it?

    I hope that working through these questions will give you clarity and help you make some shifts. 

    The Time Is Now!

    We aren't promised tomorrow. We only have today. Would you be disappointed if in five years you still hadn't accomplished this dream? Start making the moves today to work towards your dreams!

    Forgiveness Statements

    Forgiving yourself is a powerful experience. It can open the door for you to walk in freedom from shame and guilt from not moving forward on your dreams and goals like you wish you should have. Here are some of the forgiveness statements you can use for yourself if they connect with you. 

    -I forgive myself for holding onto fear 

    -I forgive myself for holding onto perfectionism

    -I forgive myself for limiting my own talents, skills, and abilities and not believing in myself

    -I forgive myself for hoarding my talents and my skills and not sharing them with the world

    -I forgive myself for not sharing my voice when it was needed

    These are POWERFUL statements. When these statements are said OUT LOUD with sincerity you will feel the shift inside as you start to move forward with freedom. 

    Personal Relfections When Looking Back 

    I wish I could tell my past self to move forward without fear because things sure have taken a lot longer to come to fruition when I was stalled by it. 

    My high school self didn't have the courage to be an Art Major in college, because I simply didn't feel like I was ready or had enough experience "to make it" in the classes. Instead, I studied Intercultural Studies with an Art Minor, but here I am today using Art as my career. It just took me a lot longer to get here! 

    What Do You Do NOW?

    Now that you have done the exercises, now what? Take the time to sit down and write down everything it is you need to do to reach your goal or dream. Break it down into bite-size pieces over the course of days, weeks, months, and years. Get someone to help keep you accountable! This is the only way I have made any real traction. 

    KEY TAKEWAYS:

    • The time is now

    • Ask yourself these questions:
      -What is holding you back?
      -Why is it holding you back?
      -What can I do to remove these barriers?
      -What is the worst thing that could happen it I actually did the thing?

    • Forgiving yourself can close the door to shame and guilt and allow yourself to walk into newness.

    • Your voice, story, ideas, goals and dreams are needed in the world.

    The Tillage Village 

    Are you wanting community? I cannot wait to share the Tillage Village with you! This is a place where you can find accountability, join co-working sessions, continue the conversations we are having on the podcast and so much more! The Tillage Village will be opening up in January 2023. 

    Join the waitlist HERE

     


  • Episode 5: The Complexity of Decision Making with Alyssa Black of Drawn to Ecology

    Alyssa Black is the founder of Drawn to Ecology and a self-taught ink and watercolor artist. The focus of her art is anything nature-related. Her passion is to blend science communication and scientific illustrations to create pieces to help people understand how to recreate responsibly in the outdoors. Sells to national parks, and her website, and also runs a community called the "Outdorker Community."

    Her art process is known as "stippling" which can be seen in the way she makes trees and landscapes. This process ignited an idea to host “Meditative Art Sessions” when she realized the process of stippling helped her move through stress and anxiety and let go of perfectionism. 

    Big Leaps 

    As Alyssa was gearing up for big transitions in her life such as getting married and buying a home she made a big "leap" by hiring her first hire which was a virtual assistant. Her second big “leap” was moving into a studio space without knowing when the money would be coming in to support this decision. She made these big decisions with the help of community, which helped her see herself as worthy and capable of making these big changes.

    It was when she started to realize that others believed in her more than her belief in herself, that she prioritized her business and herself. Surprisingly, when she made the space to listen to herself, prioritized her business, took the leap, and made margin for more opportunities she soon started to get the biggest clients she has ever gotten.

    Alyssa reflected that she had made a beautiful foundation in 4 and a half years of business to be able to take this big leap and trust in herself, and encouraged others to build a strong foundation before jumping into something like a studio rental. She also explained that she feels that part of the "big leap" is trusting and knowing you have laid a good foundation for your business.

    Scared Verses Smart Decisions

    Every single decision is a big leap of faith and Alyssa says every time she has made a big decision it has always been a little outside her comfort zone financially.

    She reflected on two stories of decisions that have been pivotal for her business. One was turning down a Mastermind in the beginning of 2020. Later, this ended up being a decision she was so thankful for because in February her best friend committed suicide and then the pandemic happened. Not being in the Mastermind allowed her the space to step away from her business, focus inward, heal, and create a lot of artwork that ended up sparking her "Mediative Art Sessions."

    The second big decision came about when her Mom got breast cancer and she couldn't take the time off work to be with her. So she took the leap of faith to quit her job and start her business with the money she had saved. Alyssa believes this is one of the best decisions she has made.

    Alyssa stated that it can be hard to evaluate if you are being scared or smart when making decisions and it takes time to learn how to access these things within yourself. The best thing you can do is to ask yourself do you have faith in yourself and your leap? Not believing in yourself and your decision could be the root of what may be holding you back.

    Practical Tips for Decision Making

    -Mediation and centering yourself to allow yourself to disconnect from what other people think and their opinions 

    -Asking yourself "What feelings are attached when you look at numbers and projections for your decision?"

    -Asking yourself "Are you making a decision out of fear and/or scarcity or is there room for more? If you let go of the “how” what would the decision look like?"

    -Trust your gut and intuition

    -Ask yourself "How can your business work for you and not you for your business?"

    -Remember that making decisions is a balance of trusting your feelings and also looking at data

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • Are you keeping yourself small?

    • How much do you believe in yourself?

    • Are making a “scared” decision or a “smart” decision?

    • “If you let go of the “how” what would your decision actually look like?

    • How can your business work for you instead of you working for your business?”

    • Find time to quiet yourself so you can trust your gut rather than only relying on other people’s thoughts and opinions.

    • Trust that you have made a foundation and done the work to believe yourself as you take your big leaps.

    • It’s ok for your values to change in your business over time
       

    Artist, science communicator, and mental health advocate Alyssa, the outdorker behind Drawn to Ecology blends scientific illustrations with whimsical anthropomorphizing of species to allow every adventurer to learn about the places they recreate and tap into the healing powers of nature through the use of art. Their products are made in the USA- sustainably and a portion of our proceeds go to support the planet and our public lands. 

    Pairing a critical eye, science, nature, and artistic whimsy to illustrate and highlight important topics from threatened species, responsible recreation, to depression and grief. Drawn to Ecology uses science communication to inspire, educate, and help people connect using hand-drawn nature-based illustrations that are made with the planet in mind! We hope to rock your world! 

    Find Alyssa at www.drawntoecology.com and on Instagram @drawntoecology 

    Find out more about the Drawn to Ecology: Outdorker Community- Meditative Art Sessions, Sticker Club, and more! 

     


  • Episode 4: Small Beginnings and Slow Growth

    It's In The Small Beginnings 

    We often feel like we are stuck when we are at the beginning stage of something. We are putting in the time and energy, but we don't feel like we are seeing the growth we want to see. However, it's in the small beginnings that big things can grow, it just takes time for our "seeds of effort" to take root. 

    It's so easy to get caught up in looking all around us thinking that many people grew overnight, or that there are overnight successes. Even these situations that we think "had it easy" have had growing pains and perseverance. You weren't a part of that beginning and you didn't see the waiting and the effort that happened beforehand. 

    This podcast for me is a "small beginning" and I know it is going to take time to grow. Even though I know this in my head, my feelings can get in the way. I can start to spiral and think "what's the point?" when I can't see the growth I want to see now. We ALL feel this from time to time and It can be hard to not get discouraged when the growth isn’t happening that we want to see. 

    It can feel pointless to keep moving forward when you aren’t seeing people sign up for your class, when you didn't make the money at the craft show, and when no one signs up for the amazing freebie you spent hours creating. 

    5 Things You Can Do When You Are Discouraged In "The Small Beginnings Stage"

    1. Take a walk through memory lane.

    Look back at what you have accomplished and how far you have come. The simple act of doing this is encouraging. If you are brand new to something, bask in the fact that you took the steps to start learning the thing. This podcast…may not be much right now but I can already look back and remember that it used to just be a conversation, then it was a research project, and now it is a thing. Look at your older work as an artist and see how much your work has developed and changed over time. This is a grounding experiment because the lie that you can believe is that…you haven’t grown. Yet you truly have! 

    Check out the Instagram reel I made from taking a "walk down memory lane". If you are inspired, make your own and tag @thetillagepodcast so I can see it! I would love to see your growth story!

    2. Normalize the experience.

    Every person who has set out to do something for the first time has a learning curve and more often than not it wasn't an instant success. Even the “instant success” stories you think exist still came with a lot of hardship and perseverance. It is normal to feel discouragement and you don't need to be embarrassed or ashamed about it. Sharing how you are feeling can also open the door for others to be vulnerable, and allow you to see you are not alone in your feelings. 

    3. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

    Keep doing the task that will enable growth in whatever it is you are setting out to do over and over and over again. Just like keeping a real plant alive, with repetitive watering and weeding, growth will happen when we continue to show up and do the work. I know it can be easy to give up at the starting line. We try something once and say that didn’t work. We launch the class and no one signs up, and we think our calling isn’t education. We make art to sell and no one buys it…so we must not be talented or no one likes our work. Those we look up to and inspire us did one thing, they kept repeating and they kept showing up. I encourage you to keep going, repeating, and to not give up. 

    4. Celebrate even the smallest wins.

    Write down a list of all of the wins you can think of for the week, the month, and even the quarter. Seeing these will give you a boost of energy and affirmation. If you feel like there aren't any wins to celebrate, celebrate your action instead of the result! Even if you haven't landed a licensing opportunity or a new account to carry your product, if you still pitched...that's a win! 

    5. Squash the comparison.

    Easier said than done, I know. But the comparison is the thief of joy AND is practically poison for growth. Some helpful boundaries with your phone, Instagram, or Pinterest could be helpful in this area if you find yourself continually sucked into comparison. I have even "muted" certain artists I know I have a difficult time not comparing myself to at times. Comparison is like allowing yourself to kick yourself down at the stating line. Give yourself a chance! 

    A Haiku Conclusion

    To conclude, here is a haiku that I wrote when making a calendar all about growth in 2020. September's haiku went perfectly with this episode (and I promise I didn't plan it!). 

    A haiku for you:

    Seeds are not unearthed
    For growth to be monitored
    Trust in the waiting

    I encourage you to not uproot your seed and trust in the waiting. I know it is hard, but good things will come and growth will happen!
     

    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • From small beginnings, big things can happen
       
    • Your work is valuable in the early stages even when it is not being affirmed 
       
    • Slow growth is nothing to be ashamed of 
       
    • 5 ways you can keep going when small beginnings are discouraging:
      -Take a walk down memory 
      -Normalize the experience
      -Repeat, repeat, repeat
      -Celebrate even the smallest wins, and celebrate your actions if you aren’t seeing results
      -Squash the comparison