Before & After: My home studio DIY renovation!

I've written in the past about how a formal studio practice didn't work for me (more on that here), but I've always loved having a dedicated space for creative work, so I decided to give a home studio a try. Why: less financial commitment; easier access; and more privacy. (I sing when I paint. Loudly.)

When I discovered this dingy dark concrete room in the basement, I immediately saw it... a studio...

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An action plan for staying ahead of perfectionism.

This weekend I packed my Honda Element with everything I needed to eat, sleep, climb, and make art in the desert. A camp kitchen, food, four gallons of water. Climbing shoes, crash pads, sunscreen. Paints, pens, an empty sketchbook.

While rolling on an empty stretch of highway from Colorado to New Mexico, I began recounting my last two trips to this climbing destination, both less than positive experiences. On these trips I became engulfed by feelings of frustration. I developed obsession with certain climbs I couldn't finish. And both times I nearly injured myself from refusing to let. go. of what wasn't working...

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Question: Should I go to art school or self-learn?

A curious soul recently asked: What is your biggest piece of advice for someone torn between getting a degree or teaching themselves art?

What a big, beautiful question -- one I've been asking since the beginning, as well. Although I certainly have an opinion, I turned to a group of AMAZING artists, some self-taught, some traditionally educated, some both, for advice...

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How to care less.

If there's one thing I've learned over the past three years of being self-employed and working as an artist, it's that the process can be a rollercoaster of emotion. You'll have days or weeks when you feel unstoppable and filled with inspiration, yet there will always be moments when you question everything and wonder if it's all worth it...

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Pop the damn champagne.

Last Christmas I was sent home from a party with a bottle of champagne. I decided not to open it until I had something very special to celebrate. Soon after I began preparing my application for an art residency and planned to save the bottle popping until I got into the program (a bold statement, indeed). I placed it lovingly on the bottom shelf of my fridge and eagerly awaited the email: “We are thrilled to offer you a spot in this year’s program!” ...

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Remember why.

Almost every time I'm out in the mountains there is a moment of pain or exhaustion when I ask, "Why?".

Sometimes I even say, "I'm never doing this again" or "I'm never going back there". 

Yet every time, without fail, my body recovers and I find myself yearning for it all once again. And I remember why...

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