Category: Creative Living Podcast

Three Ways to Welcome Creative Flow: Creative Living with Jamie (eps 294)

Creative Living with Jamie Episode 294:
3 Ways to Welcome Creative Flow

As creatives, we long for creative flow. In this episode I share some thoughts on how we impede it, how to work with it if you are an intuitive or intentional artist and three concrete ways to welcome it in art-making.

Resources & Mentions

BONUS Content

I’ve made an accompanying ezine to go with this episode – complete transcripts, an accompanying exercise and links to all! Download the full transcript ezine here.

Transcript Excerpt

Today I want to talk to you about the relationship of intention and intuition when it comes to you as an artist and you and your creative magic. Let’s go!

This weekend in my newsletter, I shared a little bit about how some of us tend to be more intuitive artists and some of us tend to be more intentional artists.

Intuitive artists are people who really love to pursue the mystery, who love to have lots of spaciousness, who need a lot of freedom in order to express themselves. They like to be in the process. They like to watch it happen. They like to pay attention as it goes and let the work lead.

Now, the other thing they do is they can get really shut down if things get too tight and too rigid. If the demands are too harsh, if the consequences are heavy, there’s just a way all that energy goes kaput. “I am not showing up. I’m not putting myself in that position. It’s too uncomfortable.”

Also sometimes they can feel a little insecure about whether they’re actually getting anywhere. They can feel a little bit like they’re just playing around and they worry that they’ll never reach a level of achievement that makes them be able to say confidently, “I am an artist.”

Intentional artists are sort of on the other side of the scale. They love to do research. They love to make plans. They love to make schedules. They like to plot things out and problem solve. Making plans and doing all that research is half the fun!

Now, their challenge can be when they don’t have some form of structure, they can feel a little lost. If things get a little loose, that’s when their energy dissipates. Whereas with an intuitive, if it gets too tight, their energy shuts down, with an intentional artist, when things get too loose, they get globby. They’re like, “I don’t get it. I don’t know what to do. I feel lost.”

Then they can start feeling like, “Oh, there must be something wrong with me. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go. I must not be a creative because when it gets into all this intuitive stuff, I just get lost.”

One of the things I’m here to say is that we, as artists, as creative souls, as creative spirits, we have access to and need of both of these energies.

Download BONUS CONTENT complete transcript ezine here.

A World of Creative Magic: Creative Living with Jamie (eps 293)

Creative Living with Jamie Episode 293:
A World of Creative Magic

Turning creative ideas into living things is the work of a creative magician! It means finding inspiration, learning to wrangle time and so much more. I learned that (again) as I found my way to making the biggest venture I have ever created – and I hope you’re going to love it!

Resources & Mentions

BONUS Content

I’ve made an accompanying ezine to go with this episode – complete transcripts, an accompanying exercise and links to all! Download the full transcript ezine here.

Transcript Excerpt

I want to share with you something about the way my creativity works and how that’s sometimes reflected by the things that come out in the world. I tend to see all the things that want to be created through me all at once. Like, they just arrive and I know, “Oh, okay, we’re going to do that.” And what needs to take place in the material world is then I need to figure out time.

For those of you who’ve done Planning Day and for those of you who’ve done Devotion, you know this is something I talk about all the time. As artists, as creatives, we take this energy that shows up, something that wants to be created, and we move it from the ethereal realm, from the realm of air and imagination and ideas, and we move it bit by bit down into the material world, into the creative world, into the hands or the physical world where other people can see it and understand it and engage with it.

That’s a part of our job. I always think of it like the Magician card, one hand up, receiving and then one hand down, creating. We’re that kind of channel for creative energy.
There are some people that really love this idea phase, this airy phase. It’s so comfortable up there. Everything feels possible. There are a million ideas. It’s fun. It’s light. And then some people up there in the ethers feel like, “Whoa, this is confusing! I feel so ungrounded. I don’t know what to do. There are too many choices.”

Then down here in the earthly realm, some people are like, “Okay, good. Now I can do something. Now I can make a plan. Now I can use my hands. Now we’re dealing with some tangible things. I know how to do that.” And other people are like, “Oh God, here it feels so heavy. It feels so limiting. It feels crunchy. I feel so contained here in the earthly realm.”

And so each of us is looking for a sweet spot on the spectrum where we can actually bring those ideas into being. That’s a process. It’s something that we as artists learn over time and with practice. And I want to tell you that sometimes it’s really uncomfortable. There’s always going to be spots in the creative process that are uncomfortable. Often it’s that switching point. It’s that place where Air and Earth are meeting and they’re negotiating. They’re discussing with each other how much is air going to give up for something to come to earth and how spaciousness is earth going to give in order to hold what air wants to say?

And so, for me, that negotiation happens as I try to understand something in time, as I try to have a realistic view of how much can be done over what period of time.

Download BONUS CONTENT complete transcript ezine here.

How to Read a Dreamboard Like a Tarot Card: Creative Living with Jamie (eps 292)

Creative Living with Jamie Episode 292:
How to Read a Dreamboard Like a Tarot Card

I recently opened up the opportunity for Studio Yearbookers to submit their dreamboards for a ‘reading’. In this episode of Creative Living with Jamie, I go through four dreamboards, sharing what I see and offering techniques for how you can learn to read your dreamboard like a tarot card! I also share how backing out of a commitment kept me in integrity.

BONUS CONTENT: I’ve put together an ezine of the transcripts, includes a summary of strategies for interpreting your dreamboard like a tarot card!  Download here.

“WOW, Jamie. I’ve been doing SoulCollage©️ since 2012, and taken classes from a number of facilitators, and yet watching your process was amazingly inspirational for enriching my SoulCollage readings. Thank you so much for sharing your way of unearthing such richness, depth, and insight.” Carol R

Resources & Mentions

BONUS Content

I’ve put together a PDF of the transcripts in a  magazine style. It includes a summary of the strategies I shared for interpreting your dreamboard like a tarot card!  Download the full transcript ezine here.

Transcript Excerpt

: I promised something a little while ago and it’s taken me a while to get to it because I’ve had technical difficulties. Hopefully, fingers crossed, it will go well today. I’m trying to trust that there’s something in the energy of today that is ready to come through that maybe wasn’t before. So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

So what I’m doing today is I opened up the opportunity to people who participate in the Studio Yearbook to submit their Full Moon Dreamboards (it’s something we do in our yearbook every full moon) for a bit of a reading.

The reason I did that is in the studio we have a three-point process for creating dreamboards. The first is to do some reflection, and we do that with the inspiration of the energy of a particular full moon. Many of these are from the Full Worm Moon, so it was about what’s emerging, what dreams are trying to break through and be seen. It seemed a really good one to work on.

We do a bit of reflecting and then with that in our minds, all the thoughts that have been stirred, the question that’s been asked, we gather images that call to our heart. We glue them in our Studio Yearbook. Then when we are done, we go back and look and say, “What do I see here?”

The reason being is a dreamboard is really a two-way conversation. You know, out there in the world, when people talk about vision boards, they’re really often talking about one-way communication. “Here’s what I want, Universe. Let me show you what I want.” And that works. But here’s something that is so rich and deep, and I’m doing this so you can really explore this aspect of what’s available.

The richness that’s available in a vision board or a dreamboard is to go back and see what it’s telling you. What is it telling you? When we pick images, there’s something happening energetically. There’s something that’s calling to us. It’s in part rooted in what we know we desire, but it’s also rooted in the unknown, and that’s why I think this is such a crucial step and I wanted to share it with you today.

Now before we start. I want to do something that I do in all my classes, which is light a candle. This is a way of us bringing our intention and our energy present. It’s a way of calling back in all the parts of us that are somewhere else, that are listening to me but also scrolling on Instagram, that are listening to me but also worrying about what’s for dinner.

Instead to say, “Okay, hold on. I want to invite some magic in so let me signal that invitation to my heart, my spirit, my body and the powers that be by lighting this candle and inviting this moment to be full of magic.”

So I’m lighting this on all of our behalf, an invitation to intuition, an invitation to inspiration, an invitation to one penny dropping, a moment when you realize something you never knew before. I’ll leave that there. Even though it’s such a bright day you can barely see it, it’s there to guide the way.

Okay, let us start. I am going to look at four dream boards, two in more depth, and two with a light touch. They just had a couple of themes I wanted to pull out for the people that submitted them.

Let’s start.

Download BONUS CONTENT complete transcript ezine here.

We Are Capable of Creative Magic: Creative Living with Jamie (eps 291) featuring artist Lola Yang

Creative Living with Jamie Episode 291:
We Are Capable of Creative Magic

In this episode of Creative Living with Jamie, I share how creating shows us what we’re capable of. Plus I interview mixed media artist and Devotion alumna Lola Yang about how she approached being an artist as a mom of a young child and also how she made her dream of a minivan art studio come true! We hope you’ll be inspired to pursue your dreams too.

BONUS CONTENT: I’ve put together a PDF of the transcripts in a bit of a magazine style. It even includes a little creative assignment for you to keep the inspiration going and the creativity flowing.  Download here.

FREE E-BOOK: The Dreams Do Come True – and Yours Can Too e-book is also available to studio members! Join the studio and you’ll find the book in the studio resource page.

About Lola Yang

Lola is a self taught mixed media artist inspired by nature, she enjoys living by the sea and working in her mini van art studio by the sea.
She makes collage art that reflects what a gift it is to be alive.
She journals to find her inner voice and sketches to capture the beautiful moments of everyday life.
She also leads creative workshops for those who believe in magic like she does.
Born in China, currently living with her husband and her 3 year old daughter by the sea in Israel.
Visit her and her mini van art studio journey on instagram @Lolayangstudio

Resources & Mentions

BONUS Content

I’ve put together a PDF of the transcripts in a  magazine style. It even includes a little creative assignment for you to keep the inspiration going and the creativity flowing.  Download the full transcript magazine here.

Transcript Excerpt

Jamie Ridler: Everybody, I just have to share, recently Lola and I celebrated 10 years of inspiration, connection. I’m so excited to bring her here on the podcast. Lola, why don’t you tell us all a little bit about you and about your creative life?

Lola Yang: Okay, so my name is Lola and I was born in China. And right now, I’m living in Israel with my husband and my three-year-old daughter. My creative life looks like every morning I wake up around the sunrise and I take a short walk by the sea to my minivan studio. And when I arrive there, I light a candle and then I start my morning routine. Usually, it takes about two hours and it’s movement and meditation and tarot card reading, plus journaling. If it’s a new moon or full moon I would do my new moon reflection practice and full moon connecting. All of this takes about two hours.

At 8:30 I will go back home to have breakfast with my husband. Then after that I come back to the studio again, spending time with myself until the lunchtime. Usually, these three hours I’ll be working on something I chose in Devotion, the projects that I chose in Devotion. And then the afternoon, I usually spend the time with my girl. And if that evening I have Devotion, I will be in the studio again a bit more. If not, I would just spend the rest of the day with my family.

Jamie Ridler: You’ve touched on a couple of things that I really want to dive more into. One is I for sure want to ask you more about what it’s like to have a minivan studio, but also, I want to mention for people who don’t know what it is, Devotion is a program that I have. It’s a three-month immersion into embracing yourself as an artist, into creating your artwork. I also have a mentorship program afterwards. Lola did Devotion and now is in the mentorship program so that’s what she’s talking about, setting a goal, a “something” you want to create for your season, and then spending intentional studio time for that. It’s been and continues to be a joy to have you in that program, Lola.

Lola Yang: For me, Devotion is my self-care. Once I joined it, I think, “Why, why don’t I take care of myself better?” It’s nourishing me. It’s just giving me energy. It really boost my immune system, I would say, to be with you, all of you.

Jamie Ridler: One of the things that makes me– Oh, I’m going to just have to go all over the place and follow all these threads because there’s so much inspiration here. I’m going to come back to the minivan studio, so don’t let me forget it. But one of the places I wanted to take you was, I know that when you came to Devotion, one of the challenges was, “How do I be my full creative self? How do I be an artist and also a mom of a young child?” And I know on this side of it, so much has changed for you. Tell us a little bit about that journey.

Lola Yang: I look back, really in the last 10 years, and I would say my biggest challenge is really three years ago that my time and my space was– All of a sudden, because I become a full-time mother, I’m wondering, “This full-time artist, where is she?” I mean, “Where is her time and her space?”

This is why I always believe challenge can bring me gift. The space that I lost, I got a minivan now. And the time, I didn’t know how to make it and now I have Devotion. So this is my two biggest gifts from the challenge.

Jamie Ridler: What do you think it’s like for your daughter? How is it different for her now that you’re saying, “I’m a mom and also, I am an artist”? What do you think the impact on her is?

Lola Yang: Hmm. I think when she was two, I really felt that I couldn’t fully spend time because whenever I have a moment, even if she’s sleeping, I can do my thing, but I’m around her and any moment somebody can tell me, “Stop.” I really never been interrupted like that before.

So, I came to Devotion and in the beginning it’s difficult for her because she didn’t understand how come you suddenly need to hide in a room for one hour, two hours? Also, I can still hear she’s crying. It takes time, but for her it was pretty fast. I feel like almost one month she’s starting to understand that I have a date with Jamie. It’s a bit before she go to bed because of the time difference. It’s around 8 to 10 o’clock. So she’ll wait me until I finish and then she’ll hug me and we’ll go to bed together. And I think that there is this one month that she need to get to understand.

But now for me, it’s such a blessing every time she remind me, “Hey,” (or even we have the breaks between Devotion, she would remind me) “Why you don’t meet Jamie?” It’s sweet. It’s just, I don’t know. I feel my heart is… Now with her and her support, I feel this is really a gift, all the challenges I felt.

Download BONUS CONTENT complete transcript magazine here.

When Everything’s About to Change: Creative Living with Jamie eps 290 featuring artist Sam Tucker

Creative Living with Jamie Episode 290:
When Everything’s about to Change

I am so excited to move forward with a vision I have had for a long time: a video version of the Creative Living with Jamie Podcast. It’s a work in progress and there’s a lot to learn but it is such a joy to make a start. Here’s the very first episode, which features an interview with artist Sam Tucker, who uses words and images to tell the stories of her life.

About Sam Tucker

Sam Tucker is a storyteller in words and images.  She is currently immersed in a long-term project, an illustrated memoir and storybook chronicling her journey through the grief of losing her partner while wandering the country on an epic road trip.

For years, Sam kept her creative dreams hidden in the shadows of her vibrant business consulting practice.  The journey to embracing her artistry, the essence of who she is, was a long and meaningful one that included journaling, visual journaling, book binding, collage and various forms of writing.

The turning point for Sam, that point where she finally stepped in and claimed her artistry was nearly two years ago.  Sam was part of the initial offering of the artist residency program, Devotion with Jamie Ridler.  That was a game changer!  Today, Sam divides her time between traveling the U.S. and finishing her memoir, Lost in Bentonia.

Connect with Sam at her website

Resources & Mentions

BONUS Content

I’ve put together a PDF of the transcripts in a  magazine style. It even includes a little creative assignment for you to keep the inspiration going and the creativity flowing.  Download the full transcript magazine here.

Transcript Excerpt

Jamie Ridler: Hey, there. It is Jamie Ridler and I am so excited to be here with you today. I am starting something new and I’m so excited about it and I hope you’re going to be excited about it too. For years, I have hosted the Creative Living with Jamie podcast and it has been a joy. I have interviewed some amazing people, including Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, Brené Brown, people that are lights on the creative path that really have inspired us all.

I’ve also always paid attention to artists at every stage of the journey, whether it was people starting their own creative business at home, people who are creative with their kids, people who are writing and publishing their own eBooks. Because one of the things I believe deeply is that we artists benefit so deeply from showing up for one another as artists, by engaging in creative conversation, by sharing strategies and tools. And so, I’m going to continue this process, but with a bit of a shift-a-roo. And that is I am making the show video and I am expanding its scope.

Now Creatively Living with Jamie is going to draw in other shows that I’ve done. The Creative Living Bookshelf, the Behind the Scenes, as well as these interviews and so much more are going to become segments of this show. I’m going to share it with you on video, and I’m going to share it with you as a podcast. Most importantly, I’m going to share it from my creative heart to yours.

This is new and there’s going to be a lot of growth involved, and that will mean crunchy bits and exciting bits and change and wonder and adventure, and that is what living a creative life is all about. So, I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

Today I’m going to share with you my very first interview in this format with the marvelous Sam Tucker…

Sam Tucker: Well, hi everyone. I’m so excited to be here with Jamie. I’m Sam Tucker. I have landed on the descriptor that I am a storyteller, and right now that’s in words and images. And who knows? It’s an ever-evolving thing for me.

My creative life right now is completely (and has been for a couple of years) immersed in a book, and that book is a memoir. It’s illustrated and it’s also a storybook. It’s from a, a very special time in my life where I was wandering the country for a year, effectively just landing in a spot for 30 days, moving on and collecting people’s stories, moving through the grief of losing my wonderful husband and working remotely and exploring.
It was an outer exploration and an inner exploration. I think that’s why this current creative project is taking a while because it’s tender. You know, it’s a tender time. It’s my story. And it’s trying to honor the stories of the people I met on the road who I fell in love with. So that’s kind of what’s happening with me.

Jamie Ridler: I know that, too, this year you have been doing some adventuring and moving through the world. I wonder for you, what’s the relationship between– I’m going to come back and ask you more because I know everybody wants to hear about what it was like doing that. What do you think for you is the relationship between that sense of movement or that sense of place and your artistic self?

Sam Tucker: Beautiful question. I’m a Sag too.

Jamie Ridler: Me too.

Sam Tucker: We have that horse energy. You know, for years I was stuck behind a desk and felt a piece of myself kind of dying inside and that was doing non-creative work. Movement for me– I don’t know where it came from, Jamie, but I intuitively knew I had to leave Los Angeles after Freddie died. When I have things that need to move through me that are so deep that go to the core of my being, I need physical movement too. And I’m quite aware it’s not about running away from anything. I take myself where I go. I’m very, very self-aware. But there’s something about new expansion, pushing boundaries.

I knew if I stayed. I could, I could really pretend that everything was okay and I could keep going with the things that weren’t working for me, and I just didn’t know where this was going to lead me. So physical movement in a strange way, it does ground me by uprooting me. It’s an enigma.

Jamie Ridler: Yeah, I get it. And I can see it. I can see it in your body too. When you express yourself, it’s through that whole body movement. And that’s what they talk about when we’re talking about embodiment. It’s like you’re embodying your journey, your feelings, your truth. I wonder, I get that piece of both that it was expansive and I imagine challenging at the same time as it was nourishing

Sam Tucker: Every day.

Jamie Ridler: Yeah, tell us about that because I think a lot of people are like, “Wow, what would it be like to just get up and go for a year? To process my own experience for a year? To be in my own self for a year?” What was that like? Tell us.

Sam Tucker: I just read a chapter about one aspect that shocked me in here. You think it’s like freedom, you know? You think you’re a free spirit and you’re going off, like, I choose a city across the country and book an Airbnb for a month and immerse myself in it. But getting there, I wanted to control. I wanted to know where I was going. I wanted to know the end. And the whole purpose of this is to unfurl from that! (Thank you Meghan Genge for the word I use all the time!) And so that, that was at odds.

I don’t think I realized it until I was writing the book. It didn’t dawn on me that I was still trying to hang on to some semblance of who am I. What is my world? I purposefully ripped it all apart and started over in a totally new way, while holding the memories, the love, all of that with me. But I needed something new, absolutely.

Jamie Ridler: What do you think– I think that sense of control is a part of the way we manage that. We know that transformation is coming and there’s a part of us that wants to embrace it, but… Right?

What would you say to somebody who can feel they’re on that cusp of a whole body transformation, whole life transformation. What would you want to say to that person?

Sam Tucker: Oh, I’m so excited for you. Breathe. Please breathe. And truly know– I’ve been on this planet a few decades and I know at this point it’s all going to be okay. You know, we think the world is ending. We think that we can’t push one more boundary, open one more door to the unknown. We can and it’s beautiful and expansive. You will never have those experiences, that growth, those relationships, sometimes even that careers, you know, life-altering experiences, unless we keep moving. It doesn’t have to be big and grandiose. It can be one baby step at a time, but don’t give up. Don’t give up, just keep moving. If I can do it, you can do it. Trust me.

Download BONUS CONTENT complete transcript magazine here.

Artists of Devotion: Creative Living with Jamie eps 289

Creative Living with Jamie Episode 289:
Artists of Devotion

What happens when you decide to embrace yourself as an artist? What is different when you make your creativity the centre of your life. These are just a few of the questions answered by an inspiring panel of creative artists, all of whom are graduates of my program, Devotion. We also talk about dispelling old beliefs, moving through the world as an artist, growing self-trust and self-confidence as an artist and the power and problem of creative dabbling.

Resources & Mentions


Making Art Friends: Creative Living with Jamie eps 288

Creative Living with Jamie Episode 288:
How to Make Art Friends

As adults, it can be challenging to make new friends but finding others who share your love of art is worth the effort.  Having art friends that not only ‘get it’ but who are are also ‘in it’ is incredibly important on the creative journey. The thing is, these art friends are not commonplace; they’re precious.  It can take a while to find them! That’s why today I’m sharing six strategies for cultivating friendships over the shared love of art-making.

Resources & Mentions



Welcome to Creative Living with Jamie. I’m your guide Jamie Ridler and on this podcast you and I are going to go on a great many adventures together. We’ll explore all aspects of what it means to live a creative life and we’ll embrace ourselves as artists. We’ll get curious, we’ll wonder and we’ll follow inspiration. We’ll wrestle with tough questions and we’ll brave challenges and sometimes will ask our friends for help. Along the way we will discover our courage, our confidence, ourselves and one another. We’ll come to know our artistic hearts and from there we will create. And that’s when the magic happens.

Episode 288: 6 Ways to Make Art Friends

Hey there,

You know, we all have little ‘tells’, little ways we know that there is something in a moment for us to pay attention to. For me, one of my primary tells is tears. So much so that the first show I ever directed the cast and crew called me the ‘crying director.’ I always knew that when tears welled up, we were on to something. That’s still one of my top signals that there is something here.

Years ago I stumbled across a music video that had me bursting into tears. The song was called Pandora’s Box and the artist David Francey. I’ll leave a link in the show notes but the truth is it wasn’t really the music that made me cry. It wasn’t the song. It was the scene. It was the scene of a bunch of artists playing music together around a kitchen table. Coffees picked up on the way. Dishes on the counter. A shared creative experience. It awakened such a longing in my heart, a longing for creative community.

In response I started hosting what I called Journal Jams at my place. I was honestly a little sensitive about the shabbiness of my space but I finally came to realize (it was a bit of work) I did come to realize that ultimately it wouldn’t matter. People wouldn’t remember my cat-clawed carpet as much as they would remember the camaraderie of creating together. So, I pulled some tables together and I tacked up some twinkie lights. I put out containers of crayons and markers and gel pens and scissors. I put on some chili and I invited over some friends, telling them to bring their journals. Sometimes there were three of us. Sometimes there were more.

We’d spend time doodling and we’d spend time cutting and gluing and chatting. We’d laugh and we’d wonder and we’d share. We’d talk about books and resources. We’d have a bite and a cup of tea or maybe a glass of wine. Sometimes we had some pretty spectacular desserts. The most important thing we made were the memories.

Now one of my greatest joys is how creative community shows up in my Devotion program and in the mentorship circle that follows. Together as artists we dance with creative questions, realizing we are not the only ones wondering, “How do I get past self-doubt?” or “How do I know when a piece is finished (or if I’m just afraid of wrecking it)?” We work side by side in co-working afternoons. I just love it! Creatives of different mediums starting by declaring how they’re going to spend the time and then diving into the work. We have viewing parties, followed by great conversations that expand our horizons and deepen our learning. The highs are celebrated, the lows are commiserated, and over and over each artist is reminded, “You are not alone.”

One of thing I’ve learned over many years – through theatre, through dance, through choir, through art days, through journal jams – is that friendships rooted in art are deeply nourishing. Having friends who not only ‘get it’ but who are in it too buoys the creative heart. So, how do we make art friends? I want to share a few tips with you today to make a good start. I originally shared this in the letter I send out from the Studio every Sunday. If you haven’t subscribed yet, come on over to and get on the list. You’ll be the first to know of any events or classes, and you’ll get a 10% discount on classes and also on the Studio Yearbook PDF. By the way, the fall yearbook will be coming out in just a couple of weeks. Right now you’ll receive a series of 5 Creative Practice lessons – such a good way to get your creative mojo going for this fall.

Okay, let’s talk about how to make art friends.

How To Make Art Friends

  1. Engage in Something Creative & Communal

Take a class. (Online classes absolutely count, as long as there’s an opportunity to connect with others.) Join a choir. Volunteer at a theatre. And when you do, remember the operative word here: engage. Don’t hang back or sit on the sidelines. You know what I’m talking about, right? Don’t sneak in quietly, do your thing and leave quickly. I have done that 5 million times and sometimes it is so necessary. If you are trying to do the thing and take care of your energy, it is 100% encouraged but if you are going because you want to make friends, let yourself be a little awkward. Yes, let it be uncomfortable. Trust that other people are also feeling awkward and uncomfortable. Take a deep breath. Meet someone’s eyes. Smile. Say hi.

2. Make No Assumptions.,

This is so important in so many ways. I hear people say it all the time, “There are no creative people around me”. That may be true but also nearby artists may simply be keeping their cards close to their chest just like you! This often happens because creative people don’t self-identify as artists, “Oh, sure, I only dabble in pottery… Oh, well, yes, I’ve been doing it since I was about 12.” “Oh, this? Yes, I made it myself. I’ve been designing my clothes for years. My kids’ clothes too. Oh, and all of the costumes for all the school plays for, like, ever.” “Well, I do love to write. I even have a blog but I don’t tell anyone about it. It’s just a little thing I do. It’s nothing really.” Do those voices sound familiar? So many of us think of our art in this way. You just might be surprised by how many hidden creatives there are in your sphere!

3. Be Yourself.

One of the reasons the artists of Devotion end up connecting so strongly is because in the circle, they risk being who they truly are. They express their feelings, their fears and their hopes. They share their stories and inevitably, no matter where they are in the world, no matter their age, their background, their medium, they start to see themselves in one another. Be brave enough to share who you really are and what you really love. It’s the surest way to connect with like-hearted souls.

4. Offer the Initiative

When you sense a spark with someone, maybe you’re curious about them or you like their energy or style, take a risk and reach out. Tell someone you appreciate their work. I’ve made so many friends that way. Share a resource the person might find helpful or interesting. If you find that turns into chatting easily and often, extend an invitation. Let’s have coffee or maybe a Zoom tea. Maybe we’ll walk together to the bus after class. Keep it light and stay unattached. Just keep creating opportunities for magic to happen.

5. Do Not Be in a Rush.

You may not make a connection right away. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean anything’s wrong. Art friends are not commonplace; they’re precious. It can take a while to find them. You may have tried a hundred things and then one day you’re in art class, you’re drawing leaves and mutter, “I am a leaf on the wind… watch how I soar” and the person next to you looks up and says, “Wait, what? You know Firefly?” and there you go. You’re off to the races.

6. Remember, Art Is Your Friend

No matter what happens, remember that art is always with you. Cultivate that relationship with love and care. You can always grab your camera, reach for your journal, sing to yourself and dance. When I used to go to choir, I mostly went by myself. The “regulars” knew each other well and it could be painful to be on the sidelines. But one thing I knew was that once we started singing, not a one of us was alone. Not one. The music and the shared experience brought us together just as it had those artists around the table in the music video that made me cry.

In the end, art brings us together.

I hope you find these tips really helpful. I hope you put them into practice and make lots of wonderful art friends.

Let me tell you about one way that art can do just that in my three-month creative immersion program Devotion. I’ll tell you all about it in Studio News.

Studio News

There is a magical creative world that exists between the poles of art as “hobby” and “play” and art as “paid” and “professional”. Do you know it?

It’s a place of deep passion for colour, design, dance, music, poetry, textiles, film, book-making, sculpture, illustration, any and all of the arts.

It’s a place of reverence for the entire creative landscape: the tools, supplies, skills, secrets, books, works and artists in the field.

It’s a place where time moves around you while your whole being focuses on making.

It’s a place your heart longs for whenever you are not there.

You probably know this place if you have been hurt or offended by someone saying, “Oh, it’s good to have a hobby.” You’ve probably been there if you’ve ever felt guilty for wanting to spend so much time creating. You’ve been there for sure if you’ve lost a beloved art because it wasn’t going to make you a living. You’ve definitely been there if, despite limited time and energy, you have hauled yourself to rehearsals, stayed up late painting, woken up early to write or some version of the same.

This is the path of artistic devotion and it is valid, significant, meaningful and real.

In devotion, you embrace yourself as an artist and deeply commit to your art because you love it, because it is the way you understand yourself and the world. You commit to it because it calls to you and won’t let you go, because it is quite simply who you are.

It doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes muck about and play.

It doesn’t mean you will never be a pro.

It simply means that making art is essential to the well-being of your creative soul. For that reason, and that reason alone, it matters. It matters.

If this has resonance, if you recognized this place of devotion, if you feel called to that passion, that reference. I hope you’ll consider joining me for Devotion this fall. You will spend three months living, breathing and moving in the world as an artist immersed in your creative work. You’ll learn 12 principles of Devotion that will support you during this season and for many seasons to come. You will create art that is uniquely your own based on your own vision, not the fulfillment of a teacher’s – your own. And as you deepen your creative roots and spread your artistic wings, you will be transformed.

Here’s how artist Anne Hallcom describes it…

Hi, my name is Anne Hallcom. I’m a visual artist. I work in watercolour, pastel and oil. Boy, when I signed up for Devotion last year, as Jamie knows, I just felt stuck in my art. I just felt sort of ambivalent and stuck in my art.  I think part of it is because I had all these misconceptions about what makes an artist. I thought, it has to be technique. I have to learn to do more of this and that. What I really learned in Devotion is sure, I can always improve ( I mean, there’s so many things technique wise that I still want to work on) but what I really learned in Devotion is that being an artist is up here and in your heart.  It’s not just the work you do. It’s your way of being. It’s who you are. And when you honour that about yourself and see that, you’ve always been an artist. It’s not how someone else defines being an artist. A lot of my crazy ideas were really crazy about what I should be doing so.

In Devotion, with Jamie’s help, with the coaching and the prompts, and the discussion of this wonderful community, I really discovered and validated for myself why I’m already an artist. I gave myself permission to live in that space, and I do live in that space. It’s just how we’re wired. It’s what we love and what we love to do. This group has just been amazing. It’s a very supportive art community, non-competitive. It’s all about each individual transforming themselves with the help of the group.

Thanks so much, Anne!

When you join Devotion, you really do become a part of a community. Many of the artists who go through the program stay in touch with one another. Last season one of the members organized an amazing Mail Art exchange  – thank you, Gouri! You also have the opportunity to join an ongoing mentorship circle and I host events a few times a year for alumnae to keep us connected and inspired.  Come on over to and click on ‘offerings’ to find out about this intimate and immersive creative program.  I can tell you without doubt, when you spend three months devoted to your creative work, you cannot help but be transformed.

I hope I have planted some seeds of inspiration with you today. I want you to know that I am thinking about you all the time, imagining all the ways the work of the studio can support your creative life. There are so many good things to come. Here’s to your creative  unfurling.