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The Art Studio NY

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Love is a Verb: Start With Yourself 


Everyone wants to feel loved, heard, seen and understood. From a young age, every person turns to immediate family for this ongoing daily dose of care. If you were lucky, love flowed steadily and was generously given to you by others. 

As you grew into an adult, even in the best of family upbringings, you likely discovered ways that you needed and longed to be loved yet did not ever receive. Shadows and wounds crept up and in when you realized that, at times, your emotional needs didn’t feel important. Or, maybe you were made to feel invisible now and then. Whatever your wound looks like, likely, a parental figure didn’t give you the love you fully needed to thrive.  

Hurts and disappointments were tucked away, only to be discovered years later as you became an adult. Even if your parents were Mother Theresa and Ghandi, they, too, are imperfect, and likely couldn’t have given you every ounce of love you needed and deserved. 

As an adult, you have the opportunity to create your “love committee”. Love is not only a feeling, love is a verb. It is expression in action. While another human is likely incapable of meeting EVERY single one of your needs, the one person who IS available for that level of active love is your own self. 

How do you speak to yourself when you make a mistake? Are you forgiving and understanding, or do you call yourself “stupid” with frustration? How do you treat yourself in times of failure? Do you speak to yourself like a loving parent would to their young child, or do you criticize yourself and engage in self beat-up? Do you look at yourself in the mirror and see your beauty or criticize your imperfections, wishing for a different reflection in return? Do you give space to nurture your dreams, or do you belittle your heart’s desires?

Self-love is possibly one of the most transformative spiritual practices you can create in your life. It starts with you taking a stand with and for yourself. This daily practice leads you to become your biggest fan, most reliable friend and greatest hero. 

As an exercise, look at yourself in the mirror for just two minutes every day. Tell yourself, out loud, the things you wish you had heard as a child, but didn’t. “I’m here with you. I love you. I see you. Let me care for you. You’ve got this. You are deserving. Your needs matter. You are so, so beautiful.”

Speak to yourself in a way that fills you with care. It may feel awkward at first (anything new feels awkward or scary, so don’t let that be an excuse), but just like falling in love with another person takes time, give yourself time to nurture a love story that will carry you through for the rest of your life. Love is a verb, and giving love to yourself is perhaps the most impactful and sustaining love you’ll ever know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Tracey Vorus 
I came to painting accidentally. I didn’t expect to love painting as much as I do, but it has become the best part of my week. As a teenager, I spent time drawing and exploring crochet and needlework… but I stopped all of it when I went to college. 

Over the decades, I’ve dabbled in other creative activities like cooking and knitting, yet none were entirely fulfilling. Recently, I needed something new to channel a sudden (middle-age?) intensification of a creative juices. 
Between the demands of work and children, there is so little time to clear my head and have time for my own experience. As a mother of two boys, a psychotherapist with a full-time practice, and a wife, I have one big crazy schedule. When I spotted the 11 am Oil Painting Class at The Art Studio NY, I jumped on it! That was three years ago, and there hasn’t been a semester I’ve missed yet.
Besides a way to express my creativity, painting has become an escape and a form of meditation.  That is what painting provides: time to slow down, focus on what is in front of me, and reflect on shape, color, movement, stillness, composition, materials, and anything else I can think up.
I can commit to something, and then completely change my mind; it is entirely up to meIt’s soothing and energizing and relaxing and exciting, all at the same time.
I feel quite proud of the work I do and I can’t believe how much I’ve developed in such a short period of time. I also didn’t expect the way in which the class has developed into its own little community. We are all such different people, of divergent backgrounds and personalities, with skill levels and artistic bents all over the map. But we all provide great support, friendship and honest feedback for each other, and The Art Studio NY has become real artistic home for me.

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By Tracey Vorus 
I came to painting accidentally. I didn’t expect to love painting as much as I do, but it has become the best part of my week. As a teenager, I spent time drawing and exploring crochet and needlework… but I stopped all of it when I went to college. 

Over the decades, I’ve dabbled in other creative activities like cooking and knitting, yet none were entirely fulfilling. Recently, I needed something new to channel a sudden (middle-age?) intensification of a creative juices. 
Between the demands of work and children, there is so little time to clear my head and have time for my own experience. As a mother of two boys, a psychotherapist with a full-time practice, and a wife, I have one big crazy schedule. When I spotted the 11 am Oil Painting Class at The Art Studio NY, I jumped on it! That was three years ago, and there hasn’t been a semester I’ve missed yet.
Besides a way to express my creativity, painting has become an escape and a form of meditation.  That is what painting provides: time to slow down, focus on what is in front of me, and reflect on shape, color, movement, stillness, composition, materials, and anything else I can think up.
I can commit to something, and then completely change my mind; it is entirely up to meIt’s soothing and energizing and relaxing and exciting, all at the same time.
I feel quite proud of the work I do and I can’t believe how much I’ve developed in such a short period of time. I also didn’t expect the way in which the class has developed into its own little community. We are all such different people, of divergent backgrounds and personalities, with skill levels and artistic bents all over the map. But we all provide great support, friendship and honest feedback for each other, and The Art Studio NY has become real artistic home for me.


School systems left and right are making decisions that are hurting our children. Throughout the United States, schools are cutting art programs for all the wrong reasons. Why replace the arts with “more important” subjects such as math and science? In fact, studies now PROVE that art classes LEAD to greater academic achievement!

The myth that art is a luxury must be corrected. Scientific research shows that creative exploration and artistic activities spark the foundation of a child’s brain development, their emotional intelligence and boosts social skills. If that’s not proof enough of why children need art, evidence shows that a child’s ongoing engagement in art classes leads to improved academic performance, enhanced life skills (that translate into more successful lives later in life), and increased self-esteem. 

ART IMPROVES ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT BY 4X
A recent article on PBS.org shared the results of studies that show a correlation between art and academic achievements. The impact of regular exposure to creativity results in higher test scores, as the article stated, “A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts are FOUR TIMES more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.”

NOT JUST A PRETTY PICTURE: KIDS BECOME SUCCESSFUL ADULTS BECAUSE OF ART
While kids love to get their hands dirty with paint, the benefits of art classes for kids extend far beyond the creation of a pretty picture. Many studies now show that children regularly engaged in creativity, such as painting and drawing classes, develop a greater capacity for problem solving, risk taking, visual understanding, out-of-the-box thinking, and communication skills. These are vital life skills that allow a child to grow and develop into successful and healthy adult.

INCREASED SELF-ESTEEM: ART INCREASES YOUR CHILD’S HAPPINESS
Most importantly, psychologists report that when children are encouraged to express themselves creatively, they develop a sense of confidence and healthy self-esteem about who they are in the world as well as how to make critical decisions throughout their lives. Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design at Northern Illinois University, is committed to spreading this very message. “Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual informational, and how to make choices based on it.” A child that believes in themselves while also learning how to make healthy choices and critical decisions ultimately grows into a successful adult that will feel empowered to navigate life’s challenges and successes with a sense of self-worth, clarity and healthy self-empowerment.

What do you think about art education for children? How has art influenced YOUR life? Share in the comments below! 


School systems left and right are making decisions that are hurting our children. Throughout the United States, schools are cutting art programs for all the wrong reasons. Why replace the arts with “more important” subjects such as math and science? In fact, studies now PROVE that art classes LEAD to greater academic achievement!



The myth that art is a luxury must be corrected. Scientific research shows that creative exploration and artistic activities spark the foundation of a child’s brain development, their emotional intelligence and boosts social skills. If that’s not proof enough of why children need art, evidence shows that a child’s ongoing engagement in art classes leads to improved academic performance, enhanced life skills (that translate into more successful lives later in life), and increased self-esteem. 



ART IMPROVES ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT BY 4X

A recent article on PBS.org shared the results of studies that show a correlation between art and academic achievements. The impact of regular exposure to creativity results in higher test scores, as the article stated, “A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts are FOUR TIMES more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.”



NOT JUST A PRETTY PICTURE: KIDS BECOME SUCCESSFUL ADULTS BECAUSE OF ART

While kids love to get their hands dirty with paint, the benefits of art classes for kids extend far beyond the creation of a pretty picture. Many studies now show that children regularly engaged in creativity, such as painting and drawing classes, develop a greater capacity for problem solving, risk taking, visual understanding, out-of-the-box thinking, and communication skills. These are vital life skills that allow a child to grow and develop into successful and healthy adult.



INCREASED SELF-ESTEEM: ART INCREASES YOUR CHILD’S HAPPINESS

Most importantly, psychologists report that when children are encouraged to express themselves creatively, they develop a sense of confidence and healthy self-esteem about who they are in the world as well as how to make critical decisions throughout their lives. Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design at Northern Illinois University, is committed to spreading this very message. “Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual informational, and how to make choices based on it.” A child that believes in themselves while also learning how to make healthy choices and critical decisions ultimately grows into a successful adult that will feel empowered to navigate life’s challenges and successes with a sense of self-worth, clarity and healthy self-empowerment.



What do you think about art education for children? How has art influenced YOUR life? Share in the comments below! 

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Committed baby steps and consistent small actions, brushstroke by brushstroke, eventually evolve to become your life masterpieces. Let go of the “final product”, let go of the pressure to rush, achieve and arrive. Instead, enjoy the process, live the journey! Be present for the little moments that are often the most meaningful in your days. Whether it’s doing the dishes, watching your kids in the pool, walking outdoors or painting artwork 10 minutes at a time, these ARE the special moments. Put them all together, and in time, they become the big moments to celebrate. Creativity can ultimately become your greatest spiritual teacher.


Sign up for an upcoming watercolor painting class! 


Artwork by Rebecca Schweiger.

 

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Committed baby steps and consistent small actions, brushstroke by brushstroke, eventually evolve to become your life masterpieces. Let go of the “final product”, let go of the pressure to rush, achieve and arrive. Instead, enjoy the process, live the journey! Be present for the little moments that are often the most meaningful in your days. Whether it’s doing the dishes, watching your kids in the pool, walking outdoors or painting artwork 10 minutes at a time, these ARE the special moments. Put them all together, and in time, they become the big moments to celebrate. Creativity can ultimately become your greatest spiritual teacher.


Sign up for an upcoming watercolor painting class! 


Artwork by Rebecca Schweiger.

 

Kids away at camp? Get creative with the letters you write them! When I went to sleep away camp as a child, receiving mail was a highlight. These days, with email and texts, we have forgotten the art of writing letters. Pull out your colored pencils and tap into your creativity while writing letters to your loved ones this summer. It’s not only fun for them, it’s fun for YOU.



If your child is staying in New York City for any part of the summer, check out The Art Studio NY‘s Summer Art Camps for kids & teens. Your child will receive an exciting experience while creating. Also, we offer full and half day options to accommodate your schedule. 


Cheers to Summer,


Rebecca Schweiger

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Ronnie was afraid of creating her first portrait painting, and she did not think she could do it. She was visibly nervous. 
With a handpicked recipe of encouragement, step-by-step art techniques, the sharing of a few of my favorite tricks, a caring community of friends, and most of all, Ronnie’s positive spirit, she didn’t only create a portrait, she created a meaningful mixed-media painting that she can’t wait to frame and hang in her home! And I’m quite sure she felt relaxed and enjoyed every step of the journey! 

What are you afraid of doing that deep down, you are longing for? 

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How have your art classes allowed you to relax and relieve stress?


I notice that when I’m in class, I forget all my other issues. I had an extremely stressful summer, with lots of personal sturm und drang, and during class I was able to unwind and let go of the anxiety. TRUE STORY!



What advice would you tell a total beginner who feels afraid of taking an art class or they feel they “have no talent”? 


The risk here is pretty non-existent!!! Tell yourself that the worst thing that will happen is you may be disappointed in your first few attempts. It’s more likely you’ll be pleasantly surprised and find it’s a starting point that will take you someplace you hadn’t dreamed!



When did you start taking art classes at The Art Studio NY, and why did you begin to take classes (what was going on in your life at the time)?


I started about three summers ago. I’d always loved art and sketched from childhood but had never had real training. I tried a few classes here and there, include one very intimidating class elsewhere which was NOT for me, everyone had MFA’s! I started seeing signs around my neighborhood for The Art Studio NY and thought it sounded perfect! I had been longing to develop my skills and find a community of amateur artists where the vibe would be relaxed.



What makes your experience at The Art Studio NY unique and memorable? 


I had always wanted to learn how to paint in oil but wasn’t sure I could transfer my drawing skills to the canvas. Mixing colors, using brushes….it all seemed a little difficult. At first, it WAS frustrating, but with Jake’s help, I relaxed about the process and figured I would just see where it took me! The risk was low, and I was enjoying being in the “zone” while I was in class.



I’ve been in Jake’s Thursday evening oil painting class for about a year and a half now.



What is something you have achieved because of your art classes that you never thought you could?


I never thought I could tackle figures and faces with oil paint. I started painting landscapes and then “graduated” to figures, including a portrait of my daughter. To my surprise, she was happy with it and has it hanging in her apartment!

 

What are you most proud of when it comes to your artistic journey? 


Continuing to try new things and taking a fearless approach to it. Although I want to take pride in the final result, I allow myself room to mess up and just keep trying. I began painting pets last fall, starting with my sister-in-law’s dogs. I was shocked at how natural it came to me. I’ve now started painting my friends’ pets and am building a portfolio of these paintings.





How have your art classes changed your life, either in your art or your everyday life? 


I’m starting to actually think of myself as an artist, or at least someone who has the potential to grow. My goal is to, at some point, actually get commissions for pet portraits (I couldn’t think of a better second career!). I must say that the sense of camaraderie and support we get in class (fellow artists are always interested in others’ work and warmly encouraging) fosters lots of growth and learning. Jake is also an amazing instructor and mentor, who nurtures everyone’s individual style and understands their goals.

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One of the top 20 (out of a gazillion) reasons I ❤️ my work at The Art Studio NY.
Everyday, I walk into the studio and see the most gorgeous artwork that it blows my mind. Everyday, the artwork is different, exciting and “wow”! As a professionally trained artist, I can promise you that I and my classmates were not THIS talented! Magic happens here…

Beginner’s mind + encouraging, non-judgement art instructors + students unleashing creativity + TASNY magic potion = these student paintings

Loving the vibrant colors in this piece made by one of our amazing students, Kerri Sprague, in James’ Beginner’s Dare to Oil class on Thursdays! 



Feeling so lucky to be inspired everyday by our amazing students! This beautiful piece made by Olga Kilm was no exception.



Stunning and colorful painting by one of our amazing students Shermina Ladak. 


A bride and her girls celebrated with an ART party! We loved hosting this special celebration!


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Create A Life You Love
Process, Not Product
Tip of the Week

What if the PROCESS, not the final product, IS what makes a creative life fulfilling? I constantly see students in my art studio, and friends in daily life “off the canvas”, in a race… a race to no where. There is no prize waiting for you when you finish a painting two hours faster or when you complete your to-do list one day earlier. 
There is, however, a consequence of your rush to the finish line. You lose out on enjoyment, connection to others, and the power of your own self-awareness. You are so busy getting to the end that you miss the deliciousness, the beauty and the wonder, of the entire meal. 



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Creative myth buster! “I don’t have space, I don’t have time, I don’t have the money.” What if you didn’t need much space, money nor time to express creativity, and yet you would still receive the wellness benefits? I painted this in an 11.5″ x 8″ notebook on a small glass table with $7 watercolors. No mess, no fuss, and VERY emotionally nurturing and satisfying.

 – Rebecca Schweiger

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What class/es did you take, and what classes are you currently taking?


I took one of Andy’s painting classes, and I took Drawing at the Met and in Central Park. Now I am in Jake’s acrylic class on Sundays. It’s the best part of my week.


What makes your experience at The Art Studio NY unique and memorable?


The people in class and the staff. It’s a very laid back environment that embraces everyone’s artistic abilities.


What is something you have achieved because of your art classes that you never thought you could?


I never thought I would actually get better at painting and I have! Jake has encouraged me to take risks and I do. He’s encouraged me to be more independent and I am. I never considered myself an artist, and I guess it’s safe to say that I am.


What are you most proud of when it comes to your artistic journey?


I remember after my first painting, I asked Jake if I should paint a portrait, and he said I could but he also explained that portraits are really difficult because you really need to know your subject to be able to capture their personality. I decided to paint a portrait of my grandma and mom for a Mother’s Day gift and after completing it, I was SO PROUD!!! I was hooked on portraits and LOVING black and white!


What fears have you overcome, on and off the canvas, since starting to paint?


I’m not afraid of anything except cockroaches and ocean waves cause I can’t swim. Still afraid of both. As far as painting is concerned, I used to be afraid to mess up. I am not anymore. Because, I can paint over anything. And I have the BESTEST teacher in the world who can turn anyone into an artist.


How have your art classes allowed you to relax and relieve stress?


YES, but mostly they make me happy. The art studio is one of my happy places.


How have your art classes changed your life, either in your art or your everyday life?


Yesssssssss art is a great gift. It’s nice to be inspired by someone’s photo, another artist or a teacher, and it’s nice to be admired for something creative that you’ve done.


What advice would you tell a total beginner who feels afraid of taking an art class or they feel they “have no talent”?


Everyone has talent, you just can’t be afraid to express you ART and soul.


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Get rid of the blues and recharge with a new hobby

By Aimee Lyons, Guest Blogger

Hobbies including everything from cardio classes to crocheting can increase people’s sense of mental well being and boost brain health. Such activities have additional advantages for people in addiction recovery who might be searching for productive ways to spend their time. And, whether your primary goal is socializing or sweating, experts agree hobbies help reduce stress while increasing your sense of satisfaction.

Need help picking a pastime? Consider taking a community college class to experiment with something you’ve always found interesting but never taken the time to try. Or, search the events calendar at your local library to find a sewing circle or sci-fi book club to join. Meanwhile, here are a few suggestions to get your search started.

Explore Art

Art therapy has been used to treat substance use disorders since the 1950s and has several documented benefits including providing people an outlet for communication and reducing resistance to alcohol treatment programs. But art doesn’t have to be created in a structured setting to be therapeutic. Research shows that activities including painting, sculpting, drawing, and photography can lower stress levels and leave people feeling more mentally focused, according to an article published by Be Brain Fit. In fact, amateur artists might find themselves so engrossed in an endeavor that they achieve a state of flow, a meditative-like mindset that temporarily pushes aside everything except what they’re working on at the moment — a plus for anyone in today’s age of information overload.

Create Connections With Your Food

Growing your own food is a great way to get more in touch with what you put in your body. Gardening is also a fruitful form of outdoor exercise. And, if you don’t have a space of your own to sow seeds, consider community gardens, which are sprouting up all over the country. Investing some sweat equity at one could reap rewards including new friends and, of course, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Gardening could also inspire many to move to the next link in the food chain. Once you’ve harvested the results of your hard work, why not whip up something new and interesting with the fresh-picked produce? Doing your own cooking is an excellent recipe for improving your health.

Try Tai Chi and Yoga

Many recovering addicts find yoga and tai chi particularly helpful for bringing their minds and bodies into balance. Sessions are as meditative as they are physical because they encourage practitioners to focus their minds on their movements. Plus, both forms of exercise are easily adaptable depending on an individual’s fitness level and can be practiced almost anywhere with little or no equipment.

Volunteer

An article on the Rewire Me website recommends volunteering as a healthy habit to adopt during recovery. Helping others will boost your sense of empathy — and empowerment — by giving you an outlet to make a positive difference in the world. If logistics prevent you from volunteering in person, consider ways you can use the time and resources you have.  For instance, there are virtual volunteer activities that connect people with worthy causes nationwide. You could craft handmade blankets for homeless people in Dallas or review scholarship applications for a nonprofit educational foundation, just to name a few.

No matter what activities you enjoy, hobbies can help decrease stress and improve your mental and physical well-being. So whether you spend your free time painting portraits or striking yoga poses, these pleasant pursuits will help keep you happier, healthier, and focused on the future.  


To sign up for a relaxing art class visit


TheArtStudioNY.com 


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View Rebecca Schweiger’s work at Walter Wickiser Gallery in Chelsea this fall from September 30th to October 25th. Enjoy an opening reception on Thursday, October 5th from 6pm-8pm. Also on view, are artists Aima Saint Hunon and Yu Zhang.
Schweiger is the the Founder and CEO of The Art Studio NY, and often teaches mixed-media art classes and oil painting classes. She recently published a book of 15 fun and inspiring art projects in Release Your Creativity, which can be purchased on Amazon.

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Alexis Fedor

I arrived in NYC at age 24 to attend grad school at NYU’s Gallatin School to study Cross-Cultural Dance and Theater with a focus on the Classical Indian performance styles of Bharatanatyam and Kathakali. Sitting in my first seminar titled “Performances of Magnitude” taught by the infamous Richard Schechner, I became acutely aware that I couldn’t have picked a more obscure focus for my degree if I tried (ok, maybe if I tried…).

In that moment, I knew I was going to have to get exceptionally creative if I didn’t want to graduate with an MA and find myself immersed in “day jobs” so I could come home at night and write about Krishna’s role in the landscape of Indian mythology (a favorite topic of mine to wax poetical about). I wanted to write and perform for a living my way, without the distraction of side jobs I wasn’t passionate about.

When I left NYU, I had two plays written, three shows in production, a web series written and produced with an invitation to join the Writers Guild, and not a clue as to how I was going to pay my bills past the next two months. The stress was blinding. I had faith and confidence in myself and my abilities to carve out a successful career as an artist, but was having serious doubt and anxiety about how I was going to make it financially for the long term. And I believed there had to be a way to bridge that gap once and for all.

That was when I realized as an artist I am a business owner by default- that, in fact, every artist who makes a living with their art owns their own business. We are taxed as freelancers at the very least, which is a business owned by a single person. But I didn’t understand how to run a business like a successful entrepreneur- I never acquired that skill set. I knew how to land certain jobs here and there, but I didn’t know how to create consistent and predictable income throughout the year.

So, I decided to figure that out by starting my own business. I spent a year taking marketing courses while developing my concept for an online t-shirt company with designs by artists from around the world. I sought advice from some of the top entrepreneurs, grew my community (literally thinking to myself, “this is going to be easy!”) and then launched the company.

And there were crickets.

Nothing happened- very few sales came in- and 12 months later I had to close the doors. I had no idea what I had done wrong, but I felt if I couldn’t get a simple t-shirt company up and running, I certainly was never going to make a consistent income as a writer and choreographer. I didn’t want to work for someone else, I didn’t want to apply for grants, I wanted to run a business as an artist, my way (stubborn, I know- ask my mom.)

I had secretly given up while trying to smile through the pain of figuring out my next move to a day job, when I met a man named Roger Webster who owned a successful PR company and was looking for a writer and marketing expert to run the online campaigns for his high-end clients. He liked my honesty (I told him I didn’t think he should hire me because I clearly didn’t know what I was doing and had just watched my own online business tank) and quickly became my mentor. He said, “I believe in you- so I want to look at your marketing plan to see where you went wrong.”

We sat down, he took one look and said, “when are you creative people going to learn??” And from there proceeded to show me the HUGE mistake I made that only creative people make in business (his words). And from there, I designed a campaign for his client, The American Cancer Society, that enabled them to exceed their fundraising goal, had a six-figure writing and consulting business within six months, and six months after that began teaching other writers and artists how to do the same.

I have now had the privilege of having over 5,000 artists join my community and tell me firsthand what their single biggest question is when it comes to selling their art: how to find and connect with their true ideal client.

This is, of course, the main question every business has in the beginning and the most important to solve. For fine artists, solving this has enabled them to create consistent and predictable streams of revenue in their businesses, which brings me to what I have to share with you today.


I have created a special free video training series that answers this question with the three main elements you have to put into action in order to discover, connect with and sell to your most ideal clients.

And that training starts Sept 27th, 2017. It’s highly interactive, with exercises designed to help you take action and see fast results, especially if you’re just starting on your business venture!

So be sure to click here to register.

I look forward to seeing you there!!








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When did you start taking art classes at The Art Studio NY, and why did you begin to take classes (what was going on in your life at the time)?


I broke up with my long- term boyfriend on a Friday, and made a conscious decision that I didn’t want to be mopey and sad. I was looking for a class, for something new, to ensure I didn’t fall into a funk, and there was Fear-Free Drawing! I enrolled and started the following Monday. 

What class/es did you take, and what classes are you currently taking?

I have never really moved away from Fear-Free Drawing. I was an absolute beginner, so I appreciated repeating the course, working on solidifying my skills. I’ve continued taking the course, working in more of an independence study mode.

What makes your experience at The Art Studio NY unique and memorable?

The nurturing yet truthful environment makes the studio unique. Our teacher, Michelle, has a wonderful way of making you feel encouraged, while at the same time providing very constructive criticism.

What is something you have achieved because of your art classes that you never thought you could?

Honestly, I never thought of myself as creative when I was younger, but that changed as I got older. I never saw myself as an artist, but I’m growing and improving and beginning to claim that “creative” title.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your artistic journey?

Not being afraid to make mistakes. In so much of my life I see myself as a perfectionist, and not wanting to fail. With art, I feel that I’m freer and less self-critical.

What fears have you overcome, on and off the canvas, since starting to paint?

I haven’t begun to paint just yet. I’ve wanted to get better with drawing, but recently I’ve been working with pastels,  a medium that feels less than exact to me. I think I’ve really improved, and one of my favorite pieces is the pastel picture of the Japanese girl.

How have your art classes allowed you to relax and relieve stress?

Art has turned into another form of meditation for me. I leave class wishing it was longer, but all the same, relaxed and joyful. This wonderful feeling is due to our teacher, and fellow classmates who are also on a journey and are so generous.

How have your art classes changed your life, either in your art or your everyday life?

I find I see life differently. I think about how I would draw a scene in the subway, or how I would capture just one bit of the beauty in people.

What advice would you tell a total beginner who feels afraid of taking an art class or they feel they “have no talent”?

There is no thinking. There is just doing. The Art Studio NY wants everyone to succeed. So just do it!  

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Photo via Pixabay

The time has come to move your beloved artwork, and you couldn’t be more nervous.

There are a multitude of websites, articles, and how-to guides available to help prepare your artwork for a big move. Some examples include Life + Storage and Wheaton World Wide Moving. Both websites offer useful tips, such as considering the value of your art and choosing the right supplies for the task. Each guide offers unique tips and tricks, but few online resources make the process as simple as you’d like.

Whether you’re visiting an art show, changing homes, or moving your pieces to a studio, packing up artwork can be stressful and scary – even if you didn’t craft it yourself.

Follow these four tips for a simple, stress-free moving process.

  1. Use Cardboard and Tissue Paper

According to Moving.Tips, you should start with a large sheet of cardboard or packing paper. Lay the material on the floor or a table. Ensure the space you’ve set aside is large enough for your heftiest piece of artwork. Then, place the piece in the middle and begin wrapping carefully. Artwork can be touchy, and you don’t want to take any risks. If necessary, ask for assistance from a close friend or family member.

Once the piece is wrapped, secure the edges with packing tape. This should be done as tightly as possible, with your focus on safety – not presentation. Use extra sheets of cardboard or packing paper, if necessary. Continue this process until you can comfortably say a trip down the stairs won’t break your piece. Repeat until all of your artwork is wrapped.

  1. Add Bubble Wrap

Next, you’ll need to add a layer of bubble wrap around the initial paper or cardboard wrapping. Secure this layer with packing tape. This will be the outermost layer of protection, so consider multiple layers of bubble wrap if you feel uncomfortable. When it comes to wrapping artwork, money spent on supplies is far less important than losing an irreplaceable piece.

Finally, add corner protectors for paintings or artwork with sharp edges.

  1. Obtain Transportation Boxes and Packing Peanuts

Spend as much time as possible finding the right transportation boxes for your pieces. You don’t want to use an oversized box that will leave too much room for jostling around in the moving truck. Instead, measure your artwork and find boxes with dimensions just two or three inches larger than your measurements.

After you’ve found a suitable transportation box and wrapping is complete, slowly place your piece into the box. Fill any open spaces with packing peanuts. Remember, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for help if the piece is too heavy for you to transfer on your own.

  1. Remind Your Movers About Valuable Items

When moving day comes, remind your movers about valuable items – in addition to labeling the box with large and clear font. If you don’t feel comfortable allowing movers to handle your artwork, consider moving the piece(s) yourself with the assistance of a friend or family member. You can rent or borrow a van. You can also use your personal vehicle, if you have enough room in the backseat or trunk. Learn more about additional protection and supplies through The Spruce.

There are few things you can overdo when it comes to moving expensive or priceless artwork. Whether you made the piece yourself or purchased the piece from someone else, the value is far higher than your clothing or books. Work through the process carefully and take it step-by-step. You’ll have your artwork transported and safely unpacked before you know it.

Author

Ms. Lyons created DIYDarlin to share her DIY knowledge and serve as a forum to learn from other DIYers.



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Next time you want to host a creative and unique event, think of The Art Studio NY! Art is for every age, and we can accommodate a birthday party for children all the way to a senior citizen painting party! We even host Bachelorette Painting Parties, which are always a blast! In recent years, we’ve enjoyed bringing our art classes to many corporations in the Manhattan area. This fun activity helps coworkers bond and creates a different atmosphere from the regular office. 

Don’t miss out on our SPRING SPECIAL and enjoy major discounts on your next special event!

 

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Rebecca Schweiger launches her NEW book, Release Your Creativity: Discover Your Inner Artist with 15 Simple Painting Projects this month. Each project is unique, easy, and rewarding! Schweiger is hosting a launch party for her book on Wednesday, May 10th from 7pm-9pm at The Art Studio NY. The evening will feature a book reading and signing by Rebecca, artwork, Q & A with the artist, and wine! 

RSVP to [email protected] 


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Aѕ сhildrеn, we wоuld often explore our budding worlds, goals and dreams through аrt. Art wаѕ considered аѕ something fun, playful or even magical. With art, there were no limits to what we could do; Better yet, there were hardly any rules. 

Fast forward to today and you can’t remember the last time you doodled anything. What happened? It’s not that art stopped appealing to you, and if you’re honest, you’re still creative deep down… So why not bring your inner artist out to play? Nо mаttеr hоw busy our lives can get with work, our family, or other obligations, wе ѕhоuld never forget our сrеаtivitу. Instead, we ѕhоuld let it flоuriѕh аnd еnjоу every mоmеnt оf it. Hеrе iѕ hоw it саn bе done, in fivе easy ways:
 

1. Start making something, anything. 

Bу sitting idly and wаiting fоr motivation to strike, you won’t асhiеvе much. If you want to achieve anything, you’ll need tо put a little oomph into it! For example, if you wanted to be a painter, graphic designer оr ѕimilаr, ѕtаrt sketching. Buy a notebook аnd ѕtаrt creating outlines, studies and gesture drawings. Be sure to learn various techniques and experiment.

Evеn if you consider yourself a novice – just dо it. Fеаr nеvеr helped аnуоnе. Besides, everyone was a beginner once, including the greats. So buckle down and start creating!

Don’t let this limit you to just fine art. If уоu like writing, ѕtаrt writing ѕеntеnсеѕ, no matter how random they аrе. You could even ѕtаrt off with journaling by simply putting your thоughtѕ on рареr. Through time, this can еvоlvе into ѕоmеthing lоngеr аnd mоrе соmрlеx, like ѕhоrt ѕtоriеѕ or a poem. 
 

2. Find mоtivаtiоn and inѕрirаtiоn around уоu 

Stаrt exploring! Nothing рrоvidеѕ mоrе inѕрirаtiоn than diѕсоvеring or rediscovering the wоrld around you. Even if you don’t leave the country, уоu can еxрlоrе different parts of your city, revisit your hometown, or travel tо lаkеѕ, mоuntаinѕ and national parks. Thеrе are bеаutiful lосаtiоnѕ аrоund уоu аt every соrnеr.

Othеr thаn traveling, try еnjоуing company. Spend timе with good friеndѕ or go out and mееt nеw реорlе. Sharing thoughts with others соuld give уоu nеw inѕightѕ on diverse worldviews and interesting wауѕ оf thinking. From thiѕ, уоu соuld feel inspired to сrеаtе ѕо muсh. Aftеr аll, your аrt iѕ thе rеflесtiоn оf your lifе. 
 

3. Trу ѕоmеthing new bу attending соurѕеѕ аbоut it 

Hаvе уоu bееn intеrеѕtеd in ѕоmеthing for years but never hаd thе guts tо try it? Wеll, now is your timе! You can sign uр fоr various сlаѕѕеѕ about сооking, ѕеwing оr аnу other skill уоu can think оf. Whаtеvеr it iѕ, it will certainly hеlр with mаking уоur creative juices flоw. 

Attеnd photography classes or writing wоrkѕhорs. Take painting lessons. Go to a lecture! Nо matter what skills you аlrеаdу роѕѕеѕѕ, gоing tо thеѕе сlаѕѕеѕ соuld help уоu lеаrn something new or awaken ѕоmе оld, lоng-fоrgоttеn ѕkillѕ. Moreover, it givеѕ you a starting point as a rejuvenated artist. 

Unlеѕѕ уоu рuѕh tоwаrdѕ it, creativity will never соmе tо уоu. Don’t bе аfrаid tо try new things and learn more аbоut thе subjects уоu’re аlrеаdу familiar with. Whо knоwѕ? You mау find nеw and improved wауѕ of expressing yourself and ѕtаrt ѕоmеthing frеѕh!
 

4. Stаrt doodling 

 Yоu might bе аlrеаdу dоing this! Catch yourself next time you’re tаlking оn the phone, waiting for time to pass, or in a work meeting, even (we won’t tell). Thе action iѕ оftеntimеѕ involuntary, but it can result in ѕоmе pretty аmаzing ѕkеtсhеѕ. Nоt оnlу iѕ doodling a good distraction, it’s grеаt exercise in motivating your inner аrtiѕt

Yоur ѕmаll drawing could turn into something bigger. Imаginе thаt you dооdlе the same thing оvеr аnd оvеr again, еvеrу time? Evеntuаllу, you wоuld become аn еxреrt in that particular type of drаwing which соuld thеn bе turnеd into that landscape or portrait you always dreamed of making.
 

 5. Rеаd bооkѕ, listen tо muѕiс аnd kеер lеаrning 

Lastly, thе most tried-and-true way of motivating уоur inner artiѕt would have to be these three final things these: bооkѕ, muѕiс аnd еduсаtiоn. Not only iѕ there so much more knowledge уоu could gаthеr, уоu wоuld also bесоmе mоrе creative along thе way. Rеаding bооkѕ lеаdѕ уоu tо a vаriеtу оf different worlds, fiction аnd nonfiction – past, present and future.  In a way, reading lets you live a thоuѕаnd livеѕ аnd trаvеl a thоuѕаnd jоurnеуѕ. Frоm аll thаt, you can lеаrn, experience, and even grow.

Muѕiс hаѕ thе ѕаmе еffесt. Juѕt think about hоw muсh уоu liѕtеn to it in уоur еvеrуdау lifе – Some people cannot gо withоut music at аll. Thеу listen tо it whilе commuting, whilе working, whilе ѕitting at hоmе. Muѕiс provides inѕрirаtiоn and emotional release. It is said that music iѕ both a healer and a tеасhеr.

Finally, no mаttеr уоur аgе, оr hоw buѕу уоu аrе, уоu ѕhоuld never ѕtор lеаrning. Eduсаtiоn iѕ thе most imроrtаnt part of уоur lifе, and ѕhоuld always bе еnсоurаgеd. You could always read educational journals, attend сlаѕѕеѕ оnlinе or in person, attend workshops, or receive another diрlоmа.

Thе bеѕt thing аbоut education is that it саn come frоm any source imaginable. For example, you соuld lеаrn one new thing juѕt by talking tо a colleague. You could also gаin nеw knоwlеdgе by watching dосumеntаriеѕ. Knоwlеdgе is аll around uѕ; all уоu have tо dо iѕ bе willing tо tаkе it in. 
Crеаtivitу dоеѕn’t соmе with birth, it’s lеаrnеd аnd nurturеd throughout уоur whole lifе. Tо be аn аrtiѕt takes timе, practice, аnd mоѕt imроrtаntlу, it tаkеѕ love fоr what уоu dо. Fоrgеt аbоut thе nауѕауеrѕ, аnd obstacles; thеу саn bе ignored аnd fоrgоttеn about. Mоvе fоrwаrd, аnd do whаt уоu love… that’s all thаt matters whеn motivating your inner artist.

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Want to get better with a paint brush? If you do, then look no further! In this entry, you are going to learn about several techniques that will take your painting skills to the next level. 

Blocking-In

Blocking-in is one of the simplest painting techniques – it’s similar to painting by numbers.  To start, work up the canvas with a sketch of your composition and establish where the darkest colors will be. Next, fill in each “block” from darkest to lightest until your canvas is covered. Finally, refine the images and colors to come up with a truly inspired painting. 
The best thing about blocking-in is not needing to focus on tedious details. You just select a color and go with it. That means you can start with a broad idea and slowly refine it without ever having to change your painting. Blocking-in can also give you the peace of mind from making mistakes. With this technique, you’re not making any adjustments you cannot undo. 

One Grid at a Time

Most people like to approach oil painting in an orderly fashion. If you prefer to paint one section at a time, then this is the perfect technique for you. Concentrating on one section has the advantage of making it easy to merge the foreground with the background. However, it’s just as easy to get caught up in perfecting each section, so be sure to step back and check how your composition looks as a whole. 

Student Artwork - The Art Studio NY

Draw, Then Paint

Some artists like to have a fully developed drawing before painting. That means they have to perfectly translate their sketching techniques into a painting. The best thing about drawing is that you can do it on a piece of paper or a piece of canvas. However, not everyone enjoys this particular technique. You must be meticulous with your drawing/sketching if you want it to look exactly the same on a canvas. This can be found stressful and aggravating which is something art should never be! Remember that a paintbrush is not just a tool used to simply color in shapes, how a brush’s shape, size and motion can also determine how your completed painting looks.

Underpainting: Delayed Color 

If you are not in a hurry to complete a final work of art, then this painting technique this might be your best option. Underpainting is essentially creating a monochromatic version of your painting. It acts as a foundation for your painting and is a great way to start your painting off with some built-in contrast and tonal values. After this, you then start glazing colors over the monochromatic version until you get your final painting. The only thing to be mindful of is where you place opaque colors, since you can’t always lighten the dark tones. 

While not every technique may work for each painter, they all require a bit of practice, even for the experienced hand! We encourage you to choose one technique and work on it every chance you get to paint. In a few short months, you’ll not have only added a new skill set to your impressive resume, but you’ll have gained a new tool to conquer your artistic ambitions!

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When was the last time you picked up a paintbrush? If it’s been a while, and you’re hesitating to take an art class with other students, a private lesson is a great way to get passed some of the anxiety of taking an art class. All the classes at The Art Studio NY are nurturing and our private art lessons are very flexible. We can accommodate your schedule, but we can also come to your home! Yes, paint and create in the comfort of your kitchen table or office. 
Our instructors can help you pick the best medium to start with if you’re a total beginner. We have tons of project ideas, but you can always pick something that inspires you. 
Learn more about our private art lessons. 

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Last month we had a very exciting week as we welcomed children ages 4-11 to our Winter Art Camp! Children created beautiful mixed-media tropical parrots, and still life fruit bowls. Everyone had a great time and went home with multiple pieces of artwork to hang up at home. Our nurturing environment gave all of our students a safe environment to express themselves and create special friendships. 

We are excited for spring & summer camps this year. View a full schedule. 

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Art is a guarantee to sanity.” – Louise Bourgeois, French-American artist

Artwork by Jenny Casey

Creating art can have many benefits, many being studied only in the past couple of decades, but we know that art has many healing powers. Art can also be a wonderful tool to meditate. Many of us picture meditating by sitting on the floor, legs crossed, eyes closed, silence, and hands face-up and rested on each leg, but imagine if meditation was a canvas and brush in hand? We think it’s an incredible idea, and we don’t even need science to prove it, because at The Art Studio NY, we see it all the time. Our students and instructors feel the wonderful impact art has in their life, and how it helps them meditate and escape daily stresses and overwhelming emotions. 

How does ART creates a sense of meditation? 

1. Self- Connect

When you create you are actively using doing something physical and using your hands and also a different part of your brain. Other worries start to be set aside and your “busy” mind is cleared up and open to connecting to deeper feelings and seeing things in a new perspective. 

2. State of Flow

When you create your mind clears up and you have a sense of inner stillness. This stillness can help an artist experience a state of consciousness of being with no judgment, and suddenly body and mind feel free. 

3. Self- Expression

Art is its own language. By expressing the inner core, you are putting pages of a diary on paper, putting all the raw feelings that are past the chatter in the mind on a canvas. 

Do you make time to meditate? What methods do you use? Do you paint? Draw? Listen to music? 

Our weekly art classes will help you create a time and space for artful meditation. 

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FEED YOUR BRAIN WITH ART.

We love art, not only does art take you to new places and transforms your thinking, but it’s also fun and relaxing! Well now, we have even more reasons to LOVE art… it’s good for your brain. More and more, scientists have discovered the benefits of art on the brain, it’s not wonder that adult coloring books are all the rage the last couple of years. We all want a healthy brain, and as much as eating healthy and exercise are vital, ART is also an important component for a healthy brain. 

1. ART boosts your self-esteem.

Hanging your art up can instill a boost of self-esteem – think of when kids have their art up on the fridge and the delight it brings them. In addition, the process of creating increases the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine jolts drive, focus, and concentration.  The process of making art also helps you to learn tools like planning ahead, which are critical in reaching your goals. 

2. CREATIVE THINKING.

Art is a great way to solve problems without the fear of being wrong. Unlike math, there is no absolute solution, so you can come up with answers in new and innovative way. Basically, art is a like a brain puzzle, but without the boxes and numbers of a sudoku. Plus, you get to use both sides of your brain, which is pretty much like learning a new language aka “the language of art.” 

3. BRAIN PLASTICITY & CONNECTIVITY

Creating is an exciting experience. You’re diving into a new project, trying to plan and solve problems that arise while trying to create something new and meaningful. By doing this, you brain is creating new connections between brain cells helping your brain grow and create new connections. Meaning you’re getting smart while you create! Also, it’s been proven that creating art improves psychological resilience and helps reduce stress.

It’s time to feed your brain with art! What art class will you take to improve your brain health? 

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