Honour the Work

As a teenager, I studied dance with a teacher who became one of the most important mentors I have had in my creative life, Marjorie Keith. One of the powerful lessons that she taught me was that no matter where we were, no matter what we were doing, it was important to honour the work. We honoured the work when we gave her our full attention. We honoured the work when we gave the choreography our all. We honoured the work when we sewed the costumes with care, sold the tickets with diligence and taught the little ones with love.

Honouring the work is not about discipline. It’s about magic. It’s about letting the muses know that you are here and you are ready.  It’s about receiving them in a way that makes them want to come back. It’s about creating the conditions for inspiration and creativity to thrive.

Honouring the work is about creating a gateway for the magic of art to come into this world and light the way – for ourselves and for one another.

This sounds rather woo, doesn’t it? It’s all true – and it’s practical too.

When we honour the work, we get more done. When we honour the work, we progress in our skills. When we honour the work, others take us more seriously. When we honour the work, we take ourselves more seriously too.

What are some of the ways that we can honour the work?

Give the work your full attention. Be present.

Give the work the time it needs. Be patient.

Hone your craft. Be persistent.

Give your best effort. Be wholehearted.

Defend and champion the work. Be a hero.

Honouring the work is a part of the culture of the studio.

It lays and then strengthens the foundations on which our mighty creative energy can be unleashed into the world. The stronger this foundation, the more powerful the creative energy that can be channeled through us, the greater the light we’ll shine.

This week, in your efforts, great and small, lay the foundations for magic. Honour the work.

Inspiration Practice

Right now, behind the scenes, I am working on bringing you the new spring/summer season as well as beta-testing a printed “studio diary” to bring to you for the new year. One of the aspects of the diary is to notice and gather inspiration every day, a powerful practice for a creative life.

What has inspired you today?

Can you answer that question quickly and easily? As I have worked with my alpha and beta teams on this project, this has turned out to be a challenge area. What does it mean to be inspired? In our regular workaday life, where do we look for inspiration? And when we find it, what do we do with it?

Let’s start with developing an inspiration practice.

Remember when the concept of a gratitude practice was new? With the introduction of a simple practice of jotting down 5 things a day we are grateful for, our awareness expands and our energy shifts. We discover that a day lived in gratitude is a richer day.

What if we took that approach to inspiration, simply making note each day of what inspired us? Would our creative awareness expand? Would we broaden our horizons? Discover more? Create more? Would our days be different? Would we be? How would our creative lives be enriched?

Let’s find out.

Every day this week, keep a note of what inspires you.

What sparked an idea?

What caught your attention?

What stirred your emotions?

What made you think?

What got you into action?

What awakened your creative fire?

As you do, notice the impact of this practice on you and your creative life.

Find Inspiration: Agnes Martin, Studio Space & Honouring the Work

Paintbrushes

“You must clean and arrange your studio in a way that will forward a quiet state of mind. This cautious care of atmosphere is really needed to show respect for the work. Respect for art work and everything connected with it, one’s own and that of everyone else, must be maintained and forwarded. No disrespect, carelessness or ego [and] selfishness must be allowed to interfere if it can be prevented. Indifference and antagonism are easily detected — you should take such people out immediately. Just turning the paintings to the wall is not enough. You yourself should not go to your studio in an indifferent or fighting mood.”  Agnes Martin, Artist ( Click here for more and to discover one of my favourite sources for inspiration)

How do you feel about the atmosphere of your studio? What cautious care is needed to show respect for your work?


This month many of the regular offerings at the studio are on hold, particularly the BTS and Creative Living with Jamie. This is the time between seasons when I am tinkering away in the studio, working on classes and offerings for the season ahead. While I am hard at work working on spring/summer nourishment for your creative life, I thought I would fill the studio with inspiration for your creative heart!

Inspiration Well: Michelangelo Pistoletto

“You can, with art, change your vision but also, change the reality.” Michelangelo Pistoletto at Blenheim

Do you believe in the power of your art to change not only your vision but reality? Imagine for a moment that you do.  How would you use that power? What would you change?

This month many of the regular offerings at the studio are on hold, particularly the BTS and Creative Living with Jamie. This is the time between seasons when I am tinkering away in the studio, working on classes and offerings for the season ahead. While I am hard at work working on spring/summer nourishment for your creative life, I thought I would fill the studio with inspiration for your creative heart!

Find Inspiration: Quick, Draw

Quick Draw

Quick, Draw is a Google A.I. experiment that is a ton of fun. Here’s how Google describes it:

“This is a game built with machine learning. You draw, and a neural network tries to guess what you’re drawing. Of course, it doesn’t always work. But the more you play with it, the more it will learn. It’s just one example of how you can use machine learning in fun ways.”

Your drawing attempts help teach the network plus I found that playing helps me hone in on the core aspects of visual meaning making. What must be present in a doodle to transmit “bear” or “pizza” or “moon”? (I totally failed with broccoli!)

Give it a try here.


This month many of the regular offerings at the studio are on hold, particularly the BTS and Creative Living with Jamie. We’re between seasons and I am tinkering away in the studio, working on classes and offerings for the season ahead. While I am at work on spring/summer, I thought I would fill the studio with inspiration for your creative heart!

Find Inspiration: 20 Feet from Stardom

“My life has been all about trying to make a success of the gift that I have.” Darlene Love

Every two weeks I get together with my sisters, Suzie and Shannon, for Art & Netflix. We grab a sketchbook or our watercolours, some crochet or knitting, something to create while we dig in and watch a movie together. This week we watched 20 Feet from Stardom and it rocked my creative heart and mind. This Oscar-winning documentary shines the light on the gifts and struggles of backup singers who have contributed so much to the world of music.  This film invites us to explore many significant creative questions, from the nature of talent-driven industries to what it means to stick with your passion, no matter what.

I was moved by the extraordinary gifts and fortitude of these women and struck by the complexities of each of their stories. Go on a journey with these amazing women. See what their music, their passion, their truth have to teach you about living a creative life.

“I felt like if I just gave my heart to what I was doing, I would automatically be a star.” Merry Clayton

“I reject the notion that the job you excel at is somehow not enough to aspire to, that there has to be something more. I love supporting other artists.” She added: “Some people will do anything to be famous. I just wanted to sing.” Lisa Fischer

This month many of the regular offerings at the studio are on hold, particularly the BTS and Creative Living with Jamie. This is the time between seasons when I am tinkering away in the studio, working on classes and offerings for the season ahead. While I am hard at work working on spring/summer nourishment for your creative life, I thought I would fill the studio with inspiration for your creative heart!

Find Inspiration: The Conscious Booksmith Podcast

Christine Mason Miller has been inspiring me for over a decade, from the blogging days of Swirly Girl to her recent compelling memoir, Moving Water.  Since then I have had pleasure of calling her friend, the privilege of contributing to her book Desire to Inspire and the delight to have Christine as a guest on Creative Living with Jamie.

Recently, I have felt like I have had the pleasure of hanging out with Christine daily as I binge listened to her new podcast, The Conscious Booksmith Podcast. Here’s how she describes it:

Inspired by The Conscious Booksmith – Christine’s online course for aspiring authors – and the experience of writing Moving Water, her memoir, The Conscious Booksmith Podcast explores the question What does it mean to write your life story? Every week, Christine will explore a different aspect of her experience writing her memoir, a years-long journey with twists, turns and plenty of surprises. After covering the basics in The Conscious Booksmith, Christine will take an even deeper dive into one of the most daunting and fulfilling creative pursuits of her career.

If you are an established or aspiring writer, be sure to check The Conscious Booksmith podcast out. Christine shares both the practical and the philosophical aspects of her own journey writing a memoir and interviews creative gifts about their own experiences sharing their stories and finding healing through art.

Christine Mason Miller has a gift for combining vision and practice. I know she will inspire you too.

This month many of the regular offerings at the studio are on hold, particularly the BTS and Creative Living with Jamie. This is the time between seasons when I am tinkering away in the studio, working on classes and offerings for the season ahead. While I am hard at work working on spring/summer nourishment for your creative life, I thought I would fill the studio with inspiration for your creative heart!