In a lot of ways the artist journey is a lonely one, but artists certainly need not go it alone, nor should they. Having a strong support network of carefully selected family, friends, mentors, and even mentees is so important. It’s important to be very selective about who you include in this inner network as an artist because the act of making art is such a vulnerable act.

Here are some traits to look for in the persons you choose:

They take you (and your dreams) seriously, no matter how crazy, out of reach or wild they may seem.

The listen to you and provide a strong sounding board.

SANS Judgement – your artist has to feel safe sharing without the potential for judgement.

Look for reciprocity – we imagine it might be nice to just have people who center their lives on us and our dreams, but optimally, you want to connect with other movers, shakers, and dreamers. This mutually sustaining energy will truly feed you and you won’t ever feel guilt about having great dreams. You also shield yourself from the negativity or jealousy of blocked individuals.

They lift you up when you are feeling doubt or fear and believe in you unfalteringly.

It’s not always easy to gather up your support network but we must guard our dreams and our artist self – in the earliest stages, our ideas and thoughts can be crushed with doubt, jealousy, and negativity by those persons we bring into our confidence. Be discriminate. Choose thoughtfully.

It’s been a long day but I spent the last three hours in absolute joy and laughter with two of my besties over dinner – my mind, body, and soul feel fed. I feel full.

I have learned over the years that the true measure of a relationship is that gut check afterwards. Some “friends” exhaust you of your energy and reserves with their drama. Some people are simply takers and there is no room for reciprocity. Do a gut check with your relationships – those relationships that leave you chronically feeling empty… they’re just not worth your time.

Conversations with a best friend

This morning, I painted these three pieces in tandem, letting one dry a little while I started or resumed another. I let my hands comfortably grip the brush and flowed along, picking up and stopping short in a loose rhythm – much like the flow of a conversation with a best friend or life partner – someone with whom you can be vulnerable with, entirely open, honest and unapologetic with. Who do you share your wildest dreams and visions with? Who is your best friend whom you can bare your soul to without feeling judged? Maybe it’s time to catch up if you haven’t recently… 😉

[Even] God rested.

This will not get biblical. But, it’s worthy to note that on the seventh day [even] God rested. It’s so easy to fall into this trap of busy-ness, the feeling of importance as we rush about our lives trying to one-up everyone around us with the proverbial “bigger fish” that is our overbooked, over accomplished, overwhelmed life. What is this race we are consumed with? Everyone’s finish line is ultimately their own… and it comes at the very end.

For those of us struggling with taking a break, let’s remember:

There’s wisdom in resting. Allow your mind to process offline.

There’s self-compassion in resting. Pamper yourself a little, you deserve it.

There is love in resting. Spend some quality time with your friends and family.

There is healing in resting. Rejuvenate your body so you can reboot and start again.

So, on that note, I’m just gonna leave this right here (one of my mini paintings from this past week) and spend the remainder of the day resting up and reading this week’s chapter in The Artist’s Way, cuddled up with my husband who is engrossed with NFL playoffs, so I can center myself for the upcoming week. Sending out positive vibes of light and love to all… ♥

P.S. Happy Birthday, Michie B. Love you like hot cocoa loves marshmallows.