Principles of Artist Strong by Carrie Brummer and Artist Emily CromwellI wanted to create a statement that encompasses how we function as a community. As usual, you guys found the perfect word to describe this statement: a pledge.

This pledge is for you. It explains what makes you, me, everyone Artist Strong.

Unleash your inner artist. Choose Art: it’s never too late to stART.

We have this idea sometimes that unless you stuck with drawing since you were little you can’t be any good at drawing. Ever. That’s completely false. Grandma Moses began painting when she was 78. Toni Morrison’s first book was published when she was 40. Maybe you need every experience in your life up to this point to make the art you need to make? It’s a choice you make today, right now: do you choose your creativity?

Don’t ask for permission: art is for everyone.

Elizabeth Gilbert makes this clear in Big Magic when she offers her readers a permission slip to be creative: we can often feel creativity is delegated only to “special” or “talented” people.

How do you think these people became skillful?! They give themselves room to make mistakes, to explore materials and ideas. Look at the Outsider Art Movement: if there is a will, there is a way. The only permission you need to get is YOUR own!

Practice makes progress; curiosity cultivates creativity.

When we have a black and white idea of what makes good art it holds us back from being curious. If there is a right and wrong answer, there is nothing else to investigate.

What if there is no right or wrong? What if every perceived mistake or error in the “bad” art you create informs the next step? What if all the bad art you made last year opens the door for the award winning/best selling/ you name it accolade this year?!

Play with your inner child. Art time is sacred time.

At some point society developed the foolish notion that we have to “grow up.” Thus, being an adult has such a wonderful list of positive connotation (serious, try it: what do you associate with adulthood?). It’s time to return to our childhood and reconnect with the activities we enjoyed most then.

Making time for this honors not only ourselves but our loved ones. We become models for others to live a full life, one of responsibility AND play. We show the world taking time for ourselves isn’t selfish, it’s necessary, valuable and key to our health. Creativity becomes the norm. It makes space for more living.

Perfect doesn’t exist. Vulnerability is the door to connection. Sharing is caring.

When we only show our shiny, brightest self, what message do we send to the world around us? What message do we send to our friends, family, or children?

Our mistakes mold us: life is art. It’s in the journey that we can find beauty, sometimes even in the darkest of times. If you expect everything you do to be perfect, you will never really finish anything. Nothing will ever feel good enough. That is the opposite of a full life, it’s empty.

Imagine living in a world where sharing our bumps and bruises along the way builds connection. Imagine celebrating in the journey that we are all moving through, together. Showing art in progress is showing heart in progress.

Discover your artistic voice: create a lot of art.

Flora Bowley offers great advice to her students searching for their voice/message/style: “paint 100 paintings then let’s talk.” The only way to find your niche is to explore, play and make a lot of art!

Explore: trial, error, mistakes, play, techniques, new discoveries, scale, media… Discover your voice one painting at a time. But make lots of paintings.

This is Artist Strong’s pledge to our community, to you. These ideas guide me in my decisions and describe the world I want for you. 

We create in a community.
We speak together with a single voice.
We stand Artist Strong.

With Creativity and Love,


P.S. You can meet the creative who designed our pledge graphic here: hello Emily Cromwell!

P.P.S. You can get a high quality 8 x 11.5 inch Giclee print of this artwork, seen above, to hang proudly in your home. A family run business, iPrintfromHome, who supports artists, prints them for me. Order one here.