A dream of a book

Last night before I went to bed, I finished Alyson Stanfield’s book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist’s No-excuse Guide to Self-promotion.  It’s written for working artists who want to grow, and full disclosure, Alyson and I work together.

It must have lingered in my consciousness as I slept because this is what I wrote in my dream journal this morning:

I’m at Alyson’s house for an event.  Cynthia and Kristen are there, but lots of others are there too.  It was pleasantly crowded. 

There are a lot of kitchens here, a lot of cooking going on, and laughter.  Alyson is serving a huge meal to the kids from the church.  She was so gracious and loving toward them.  But I needed to pee. (true)

When I went to find the bathroom, I saw that she had ingeniously rigged up a fun little potty for the kids.  It was a child-sized plastic toy car and when the little one sat at the wheel, water filled the inside up to their chin, then all drained away. 

The little girl inside looked really concerned as the water rose but laughed delightedly when it all drained away. 

She wanted to do it again.

Here’s how I interpret that, mostly because I do have an inside perspective on Alyson’s work:

Alyson is a master chef.  She has cooked up a sumptuous feast in this book.  She has many kitchens, many tools, and beautiful words of advice.  There is plenty of nutrition here for working artists.

The love she feels for professional artists is real. This has been her life’s work and she shows you many paths to your success if this is a path you’re willing to take.

But, here’s the deal, if you want your art, your creativity, to be seen in the world, you have to market yourself. 

No excuses. 

There is no other way. 

No one can represent your work with the authenticity that you bring to it. No one. 

This book articulates every excuse you have for not doing that, then tells you precisely how to overcome your own BS and get your art out there.  A few chapter titles (i.e. BS excuses) are:

  • My art speaks for itself
  • I don’t want to bother people
  • I’m an introvert
  • There aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all

Recognize them? There are more… Have you ever used any of these excuses to avoid marketing your art? Then get this book, read it, and follow her advice.

And remember, you gotta flush away the waste before you drown.  Those excuses are keeping the water level high and you small. 

That’s where the ArtBiz Success Inner Circle comes in.  As the coaches and pod leader that support you, my and Cynthia Morris’ and Kristen O’Neill’s work allows the artist to swim in the muck then helps them drain it away.

It’s SCARY

In many modalities, water represents your unconscious.  Facing what you’ve never faced before is terrifying, honestly.  You haven’t faced it because it is scary.  We all avoid asking the questions we need to ask.  But it isn’t fatal.

In this dream, the water comes up to your chin!  It’s beyond what you think you can tolerate!  You feel like you’re going to drown! But once you face that fear, once you start swimming, once you open your eyes, you realize new things about yourself, your work and your relationships.  You might even LOL!

Alyson’s loving presence and deep knowledge supports you.  The special interest pods led by Kristen give you an opportunity to plan and learn and execute with other artists just like you.

Then, when Cynthia and I, as the coaches, ask the questions you’ve been avoiding… there’s a flush, you finally “get” it, and you realize how fun it is to challenge yourself.  How fun it is to have your work seen.  How fun it is to have your art appreciated and PURCHASED by others who value your contribution.

You’ll want to do it again.


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