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The Most Powerful Question I've Ever Answered ~ Artellagram~4/18/09
April 18, 2009

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I can't tell you how often I hear this: "I don't follow my creative dream because I'm always wondering what would happen if I fail..."

Well, I wonder when we all got so scared of failing. I look at my little baby son, Kai, who is 11 months old today, and the whole purpose of his world is to explore things and find out "what happens if I do this?" All he cares about is just seeing what happens when he tries different things, and learning what he can do. He has NO fear of failing. He doesn't really have fear at all. He just has this delicious curiosity that powers EVERYTHING, including me! LOL

And that's how I encourage you to approach your creative dreams. What if it ALL was just about curiosity? What if there WAS no failure...there was only just curiosity and exploring? The most powerful question I've ever seen asked and that I have answered many times throughout my own life is, "What would you dream to do in your life if you knew you could not fail?" Here’s a fun 10 second exercise...clear your mind, breathe out one or two nice cleansing breaths, and then ASK yourself that question. You can just feel your chest expand as you ask it, as if you are inviting the entire universe and all its potential into you, with just that one question. In fact, answering that single question has really helped shape the path my life has taken, as well as those with whom I have worked personally. If you haven’t yet, take those few seconds to do the exercise above and give it a try.

Little Kai isn't afraid of failure. Sure, he gets nervous sometimes -- he's just starting to take a few little steps while he's holding onto things, and yes, he's tentative. You can’t blame him considering he falls 100 times a day. :-) But the key is, when he falls down, he doesn't think it's a failure – he just gets up again. And usually, I can watch him and observe that he's actually trying something new each time; he'll make small adjustments or add a new little technique to see if it will work better. And if an 11 month old baby can do that, it inspires me to think what more is possible when us adults take on that same spirit of "Life Is Just A Daily Adventure."

Since our society is based very heavily on success and failure, the first thing many of us have to do is to "forget" what failure is like. We have to reclaim the spirit of curiosity – where everything is allowed, everything has an inherent gain, and every thing we do is a success on at least some level.

If you think about the "failures" in your life – the things that didn't work out like you wanted– and see the ways that they were actually successes, because of the things you learned, then you see that failure is actually a completely made-up concept. Kai doesn't even know WHAT it means to be a failure yet, but in this way he knows more than we do, and he inspires me. In fact, his favorite thing in the world is to congratulate himself on EVERYthing! Anytime he does something good or new and we praise him, he starts clapping and he smiles as bright as the sun!

Can you imagine how much more energy the entire world would receive if we all did just even a little more of that for ourselves, and each other, every day!

For those short on time, to simplify this week's Artellagram, here are some "quick links" to the highlights in this edition. You can simply follow the links that you're interested in and go directly to that section.

Creative Cartography Coaching in full swing!

Join the Complete Idealist's Blissness Action Camp!

April YOUpons...including $25 "Make the Change" Instant Rebate!

Are you an Affiliate, yet?

Daily Muse Renovations Still Underway!

Interested in Becoming Part of Artella's Team?

In the Studio with Diane Armstrong

Creativity Tip: Juxtaposing With Vintage Photos

Quotz Crystal™

1. Creative Cartography Coaching in full swing! After taking some time off from individual consulting to be with Kai, I’m once again offering consulting for individual project development. Have you ever just wished someone could hand you a literal map...with all the steps and paths mapped out to get directly to your creative dream? That’s what we do in Creative Cartography! Here are a few comments from people I’ve worked with:

"Marney is highly professional, brilliantly intuitive, a gifted business visionary and immensely skilled at distilling information and creating growth in every direction. I have the highest regard for her services and totally recommend her."
- SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy),

"My personal creative cartography map is jam packed with all of my dreams, action steps and resources. Being a very visual person, I find it incredibly helpful to see my dreams in a map format! Marney went above and beyond the call of duty during her phone call with me. Her enthusiasm was positively infectious. I truly felt as though she was on "my team" and had my best interests at heart. During the phone call I sensed that Marney intuitively "knew" what i wanted. Like an alchemist of old, she has the ability to mine through all of the jumble of ideas and desires in order to extract the "gold". Thank you Marney for giving me some clarity around my artsy business!"
- Violette, artist and author of Journal Bliss

After hearing from you about your dreams and goals, I work with you to create a map for how to get from here to there while keeping you really inspired and creatively passionate as you do it! Since creative folks are generally very visually oriented, I also follow up your session by designing just for you a Customized Creative Cartography ActionMap, based on your own journey, and completely customized for your personal goals. This is fun and artsy on the outside, but ultimately a very valuable and resourceful visual map that you can print out to guide you on your journey and keep you inspired along the way!

If you take a look at the links above and feel that Creative Cartography Coaching is something that could help you, you can email me directly at, I'd love to work with you! :-)

2. Join the Complete Idealist's Blissness Action Camp! You can still join the awesome group of creative folks who are taking part in The Complete Idealist's Blissness Action Camp! When you sign up, you instantly receive recordings of the teleclasses, instructions to join the online forum, and access to download all the materials, you haven't missed a thing! Here are a few comments we've gotten from Happy Campers :-)

Thank you so much for all of your sharing and caring. The workshop last evening was spectacular. This is all so wonderful. I love the forum posts too, just so filled with inspiration.Thank you for this opportunity and for sharing your wonder. I am working a lot in the Action Guide and the extreme and beautiful positive outlooks you share. You are a truly magical soul and I am so very grateful I have this opportunity to learn from you!
- Midge

Thanks for putting your great advice and information out for us all. For the first time, I really feel like this time I will be successful.
- Beth

WOW, Marney – the Action Guide is fabulous and way more than I expected! This is an absolute gift at this time in my life and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. I have a head brimming with ideas, now. Thank you for being such a great inspiration in my life.
- Darcy

In the Blissness Camp, Marney inspires and motivates me to take action. She inspires me in so many ways that she is potentially unaware of. Her wit, charm, caring, course work, action-oriented, follow through, love, fun, ideas
- Ashley

Everything in the Blissness Camp speaks to Me and where I am. at last, I feel connected in to a place where I might fit in somehow.
– Sue

So if you read through the series description and the power-packed FreeBees list, and you get that deep-down excited feeling about what is truly possible, then I hope you’ll join us. Payment plans are available, and this Program is eligible for the $25 "Make the Change" Instant Rebate. Get more info, here.

Our next live call is on Monday, where we'll be working on business strategy and panning, especially for creatives! (If you can’t make the call live, don’t worry - they are all recorded for you to enjoy at any time!) If you think that the Blissness Action Camp is what you need to finally make a living doing what you love, I’d be so happy to work you and your wonderful creative “blissness”!

3. April YOUpons are here! Artella YOUpons work like regular coupons, only instead of US choosing which one coupon to offer each month, we give YOU several and the power to decide which one is best for YOU. The April YOUpons include some great deals, including:

4. Are you an Affiliate, yet? Have you been wanting to bring in some additional income? If so, you'll be very happy to know that Artella's New Affiliate Program is finally here! After many of your requests and over a year in the making, Artella's Affiliate Program is ready to help you start earning income, just by spreading the word about Artella. The Artella Affiliate Program is free, and within a few minutes, you can be ready to actually start earning real income, receiving 25% commissions, one of the highest commissions available online. Get all the details about Artella's exciting Affiliate Program, here!

5. Daily Muse Renovations Still Underway! Thanks to all who have written to ask about The Artella Daily Muse! We're still working on some very exciting renovations, including implementing many of new requests from our loyal Daily Muse readers! If you would like to receive an email message when the all-new Artella Daily Muse is ready, sign up for our free Daily Muse Teaser!

6. Interested in Becoming Part of Artella's Team? If you're interested in becoming part of the amazing Artella Team, check out this post in the Artella Cafe for details. We're rolling out some exciting new features in the coming months and would love to bring a few more wonderful, creative souls on board!

Since Spring is official here, many folks are doing - or at least thinking about - spring cleaning. I knew that Diane Armstrong was the perfect Shoppes of Artella artist to feature today, since she is a professional organizer with whom I collaborated on the popular Artella program, "DeCluttering for Creatives". I think the world of her and her work, and I'm so happy to have the chance to share her insights with you, here!

I hope you enjoy this interview with Diane!

Artella: What do you find most rewarding in your life as an artist? What is most challenging?

Diane: The most rewarding aspect is I can take things that don’t seem to go together and make something beautiful.  The most challenging?  I can take things that don’t seem to go together and make something beautiful.  This truly gives me lots of practice at letting go of “things” that I know are blocking the flow of Life through me.

You can read the rest of Diane's interview, here

See Diane's products in The Shoppes of Artella, here.

If you want more artist interviews from Artella, take a look at our eBooks Artist Profiles Assembled and Artist Profiles Assembled, Vol 2.

ART TIP OF THE WEEK: One of the projects in the Artella e-course, Mixed Media ME-flections: 30 Art Projects To Change Your Life, is to create a self-portrait in which you juxtapose your own image with a vintage portrait to create a mixed-media piece with a meaningful statement or theme, such as the example shown here. Simply find a vintage photo that piques your curiosity and combine it with a modern photo of yourself to tell a story or present a theme, such as the example shown here. Click the image to see it in full size.

Old photos inhabit such mystery, and are ideal for this project! You may want to start this process by finding an image of another person, and then using that as your basic inspiration. Allow that image to inspire the themes or concepts that your piece could represent. For example, I found a wonderful vintage photo of an eccentric woman with a paint brush and palette, lunging in front of a canvas. That photograph inspired my self-portrait, which is a simple celebration of my love for art.

Here's one more inspiring technique to try which can be really fun: if you get stuck as you're working, ask for advice from figure in the vintage portrait with you. This may sound silly, but it really works! For example, you could "ask" this image questions, like ...

  • What do you think I should do now?
  • What colors would you like to be around you?
  • Any suggestions as to what I should do for the border?
  • What am I not seeing?
  • What could I add to make this piece more meaningful?
In this way, this person - whomever it is - becomes an imaginary Muse for you, whispering words of wisdom and inspiration. Of course, all the answers will come from within you. But sometimes our imaginations need a little push! By pretending that this other figure can "speak", you're opening up your imagination to a new kind of dialogue that can be quite powerful and satisfying. Give it a try!

If you’re looking for vintage photos you might want to take a look at Artella Mae's Vintage Photo Shoppe. You can can save 35% off your choice of photos with one of this month's Artella YOUpons.

WRITING TIP OF THE WEEK: Vintage photos are full of ideas for stories, poems, and essays. You only need to be willing to listen. For a unique creative writing exercise, allow yourself to engage in a dialogue with the person in the photo. Ask questions that will trigger creative writing, such as:

  • What is this person's secret wish?
  • Who is this person's lost love?
  • What did this person dream last night?
  • What is this person's biggest regret?
  • What advice does this person have for YOU, in your life today?
Allowing your imagination to take a journey into the past, through the eyes of a vintage photograph, is a fulfilling and interesting exercise. Give it a try!

This Quotz Crystal™ is a high-resolution jpeg image, suitable for printing. Print it out and hang it up to remind you of the most important question you can ask yourself!

~Dancing with spring tulips,
Artella Founder, Mango Lover, Hula Dancer

Artella Land ~ the creative isles of words, art, and spirit

Artella PO Box 6211 Kamuela HI 96743

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