Anne Shopp is an emerging artist living in Broomfield Colorado. She loves acrylic portrait painting and drawing, and creating handmade art journals. This is the second installment in her 4-part series as Artist Strong’s Resident Artist. You can find Anne on her instagram account @art4anne.

“How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives”.

Annie Dillard. The Writing Life.

I want to spend my life painting. The past seven months in both Happy Ever Artist and now Digital Artist Residency have deeply clarified that for me. The commitment to develop my artistic skill has significantly shifted my thinking about my life, responsibilities, and art making. I’ve tended to put others’ needs before mine, whether they asked or not. Within the last seven months, I invested in Happy Ever Artist. I gave myself structure and accountability for creating a body of artwork, which allowed me the opportunity to apply for the Digital Artist Residency.

First and foremost, Digital Artist Residency has made me feel confident enough to name myself an Artist; that’s a powerful learning for me. In making my art practice a priority in my life, I am investing both time and resources. I now see the value of showing up for myself simply for the joy of creating. The act of creating is vital to my life and my overall well-being. I am a happier person when I make art. 

By committing to Digital Artist Residency, I have developed a more consistent art practice that I want and need to keep in my life. My confidence as an artist has grown during my time in the Digital Artist Residency. Last week when I lined my sketches up to put online, I was shocked at how there was a feeling of the person in the reference photo. And I was thrilled to see the growth.

I was surprised by my enjoyment of the social media connection. I tend to avoid all social media, but interacting with other artists over our shared love of art has been lovely. My technology skills have grown immensely this past month. I am still not independently posting everything but making progress! 

Spending the time and energy preparing for the Digital Artist Residency enabled me to move towards completing my goals of 2 paintings and daily-ish sketches. I am close to having both paintings finished. I am interested in what the small touches will add to the painting, which is the final stage.

It’s always fascinating to see how paintings develop. One painting of the single girl flowed. I did put several backgrounds, but the girl simply emerged. The two laughing women were a struggle right from the start. But I am pleased with how they are coming together. I think I will do more interesting backgrounds before I draw out the image and see if that helps me with how to fit the background with the images. I want to continue to explore the relationship between two people in paintings. 


I am planning to continue with the daily sketches in the October Challenge. I might even go to the end of the year. No promises yet! I am also starting a second round of Happy Ever Artist. I highly recommend Carrie’s program. 

I want to thank my family and friends for the enormous support they have always given me, especially this month while I was participating in the Digital Artist Residency. Carrie, thank you for all the support and guidance in my wild ride into stepping into my artist Self. And thank you for coming on this journey with me as I continue to make the daily decisions that lead to a life of art making. 

Lastly, thank you to the art community for coming along on this journey with me! 

How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives.

Every month, 1-3 artists show up in our Artist Strong community to share their artistic process, journey, explorations with us over the course of a month.

The goal is to normalize the MANY, VARIED experiences of being an artist.

And if YOU  want to apply to be an Artist Strong Artist Resident, subscribe to our weekly updates to hear about the next time applications are open.

Carrie here. I want to take a minute to thank Anne for this wonderful month of honesty, process, and celebration of art. So many people have reached out to me this month to express how much they connected with her writing and art. That’s the goal of this residency – let us normalize the good and the bad and let people look behind the scenes in an artist’s life. I couldn’t have asked for a stronger start to the residency than the lovely humans that have joined us. Thank you Anne for taking a chance on me and this project <3

If you are interested in applying to become a resident, read more and access the application link here.