Tia Sunshine Dye is an artist living in Ann Arbor, MI. This is her fourth installment in a 4-part series as Artist Strong’s Artist in Residence. You see the art as she creates on Instagram @tia.sunshine.studio. Visit her website and subscribe to monthly, quarterly, or annual Studio Updates at www.tiasunshine.art

This fall I am encouraging you to Practice Giving Yourself Permission. I’ve been using these stages to explain my artistic confidence:

  1. Commitment & Accountability to Myself
  2. Financial Commitment as an Excuse
  3. Online Learning Community
  4. In-Person Art Community
  5. Commitment & Accountability to Myself

If you have read my first three posts, have you taken the time to look at your own artistic confidence? Have you practiced giving yourself permission to be an artist?

38 Riv Paris, 6×18″ mounted watercolor by Tia Sunshine currently exhibiting with Huron River Art Collective’s Fall Juried Exhibit in Ann Arbor, MI

I gave myself permission first through self-reflection, and commitment. Then I held myself accountable by investing in my supplies and lessons. The investment was the excuse I needed to allow myself the time and space in my life. Soon, I was deeply involved in a couple of online learning communities.

Online communities were good for a time, but soon I had to decide which ones were helping me grow, and which ones weren’t. And, I stepped into the local in-person art community. I’ve really given a lot of myself in my art community, and I’ve gotten just as much back. It is amazing what I have learned in the last couple of years. But, now it is time to return back to the start. 

  1. Commitment & Accountability to Myself.

Mary’s Gold, 10×10″ mounted watercolor by Tia Sunshine soon exhibiting Northville Art House’s Juried Small Works Exhibit in Northville, MI

Change has always been a big part of my life, but a lot of that change was due to external forces. Now, I’ve made a commitment to myself, and I need to make some changes in order to be accountable. That is hard. But it is necessary for my creative journey. I am reflecting on who I am, what I love, and what I really want to be doing. 

Poppy Days, 8×24″ mixed water-media on canvas by Tia Sunshine currently exhibiting with Saline Painter’s Guild Fall Exhibit at Whitepine Studios in Saline, MI


So, what is this big change? Remember in my first post, where I just set aside the time for myself to create, and I wasn’t ready to share? I wasn’t posting online or exhibiting. I was taking the first steps to my artistic confidence. Well… the stages are a cycle, and I’m back in the first steps of a new level of artistic confidence, and I’m not ready to share all the details. 

“Friends are the Best Therapy” mounted watercolor by Tia Sunshine currently exhibiting with Saline Painter’s Guild Fall Exhibit at Whitepine Studios in Saline, MI

I will be sharing, eventually. So, if you are curious and want to know more, I recommend you join my Studio Update list. My subscribers are my favorite friends, and as a subscriber, you will find out all of my news first. Too many emails are a pain, so I have three subscription options; monthly or quarterly emails and annual physical mail. Join me at whatever level makes sense for you. 

Tia Sunshine invites you to join her at the receptions for these events around the Ann Arbor, Michigan area.

To close out my residency with Artist Strong, I want to thank Carrie Brummer for inviting me to participate. Carrie is an amazing coach, particularly for self-taught artists like me. I highly recommend her programs and gladly support her on Patreon and participate in her Circle Community. Matter of fact, I share a lot there as well. Join us!

Remember to practice not only your creative skills but to practice giving yourself permission.

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 with sincere thanks to Tia for sharing her journey right now. Sometimes we can be in places in our art where we are facing transitions and that is a super vulnerable time to show up. And yet, in doing so, that vulnerability is the place where we truly connect and build community with other creatives. I’m so thankful Tia shares all of that with us. May we all remember to give ourselves more permission.