A Spiritual Artist with Christopher Miller is a podcast series that shares stories of enlightenment and growth from conversations with today’s spiritual artists and thought leaders. An artist is defined as anyone that is consciously connected, present and inspired while practicing their discipline. Conversations with guests explore how making art engages us in emotional, wholistic and spiritual growth. Christopher Miller is an artist, writer and speaker in Dallas, Texas.
Turn Away From Negative Emotions and Create Art With Love with Alex Cook
Podcast host CJMiller invites Muralist and Multi-disciplinary Artist Alex Cook to return to the show to discuss his "Your Are Loved" mural ministry and share his thoughts on empowering emotions.
Alex recently completed a newly commissioned 11' by 55' mural in Downtown Dallas' Thanksgiving Square with a slightly altered message of "Love People." The Thanksgiving Foundation's mission is to come together on common ground to negotiate differences and create understanding and appreciation of our diversity.
Alex shares his technique of geometric painting that explores color, line, and pattern on a large scale. He chooses to simplify letters into geometric shapes and notes that we, as a culture, agree that certain curves and lines have meaning. He explains that murals give a community a way to express their beliefs.
Alex doesn't choose to control the creative process; it's about letting in new ideas. He doesn't push himself out of his comfort zone but pursues what interests him passionately.
Alex has created a mural ministry to promote the concept of "You Are Loved." Alex believes that when people feel loved, it makes a difference. His murals are present in 24 states, and his goal is to have one in every state.
The artist shares how a passerby was affected by his message and tries to decide if she should forgive someone. The statement triggered her reflection. Alex believes it is the artist's job to be available and answer these questions.
According to Alex, we focus too much on negativity and don't notice the childlike positivity many people exhibit daily. He believes that we can create a culture where it is safe to love.
The podcast ends with CJ questioning the role of emotions in the creative process. According to Alex, we are more profound beings than our emotions. Feelings can lead us to a deeper place, but sometimes they can block us. Sometimes, he chooses to abandon what he feels is in service to his greater desire to make good art.
We navigate the wilderness with our eyes on Spirit, and the Northstar is love.
Alex Cook is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Boston, MA. Since 1997, he has created over 240 murals in 22 states and six countries. In 2014, he made the YOU ARE LOVED Mural Project. He has written and recorded six albums of original songs and performs around the US. He recently released a book, "You Are Loved, Spiritual and Creative Adventures, A Memoir". He is an avid basketball player and collector of art books. For more information, you can follow Alex on Instagram @stonebalanceart or visit his website https://stonebalancer.com
Gratitude and Creativity
CJ opens this podcast by pondering the concept of gratitude. He shares his appreciation for a great year, including multiple speaking engagements at several art groups and Artisan Santa Fe, his successful solo show "Emotional RollerCoaster," and his first Spiritual Artist Retreat at Lake Texoma, north of Dallas.
He mentions that the highlight of his Spiritual Artist Retreat was realizing the importance of finding an art community. He encourages the listeners to find a local group of artists in their community.
According to Chris, gratitude is shifting consciousness and aligning yourself with this higher power. Creativity occurs in a space of gratitude and love. Align yourself with the love of everything around you and put yourself in that space where you can receive divine intuition from Spirit.
He shares his Receptivity Chart and explains that Spirit speaks to us always, but when we are in love and gratitude, we hear the message most clearly. He describes a simple gratitude practice where you use your fingers to count up to 10 things you are grateful for and the importance of starting small. Slowly work yourself up to more substantial and decisive points of gratitude until you mention at least ten things. It will become easier and easier to feel gratitude.
We always have the choice to feel fear or see ease in any situation. Still, when we use a gratitude practice, we align with Divine Intelligence and open our receptivity channel to its guidance.
For more information, visit www.spiritualartistoday.com or purchase his book, "The Spiritual Artist" on Amazon.
Art Nurtures Our Soul: Print Maker Artist Julie Sola Creates Her Art from Joy
CJMiller podcaster sits down with Las Vegas, New Mexico, Print Maker and Artist Julie Sola to discuss the importance of working from within and focusing on what excites you. Julie sells her work at several markets, including the Santa Fe Railyard Artisan Market.
Drawing on early childhood memories of her grandparents and Mexican culture, she focuses on whimsical images of animals. Owner of Fat Crow Press, Julie Sola shares how her work tells a story. Her business, aptly named Fat Crow Press, is based on crows because she feels that crows are loud, noisy, and demanding. According to Julie, crows ask us to get a grip and move on.
CJ and Julie discuss the importance of creating what makes you happy and interest you. Julie doesn't worry about trends; she focuses on what comes from her heart. "If I like it and it brings me joy, there has to be others that resonate with it," she said.
Based on her Mexican heritage, Julie likes to use animals to convey a story, and it is up to the reader to determine what they are seeing. Julie enjoys creating a narrative with her work driven by imagery rather than words. She has two books available via most bookstores and Amazon, "Run Fast, Milo!" and "Possum Dreams."
Chris reminds the listeners to view abundance in many ways, not just financial. There's an abundance of time, flexibility, friends, health, choice, and more.
Julie lives by Abraham Maslow's phrase, "You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety."
We all have moments, like oh, it wasn't a good day at the market, but you have to be brave and keep moving. We are artists for the rest of our lives. Julie shares her new obsession, "RoadRunners," and explains that her process starts with an idea that she sketches, draws onto linoleum, and then prints. Her work seems to develop a touch of whimsy as her process evolves.
Julie and CJ discuss the PBS Series Craft in America. The show highlights the maker community throughout America and the importance of taking pride in your culture and learning a craft.
"I'm in love with what I'm doing, so I'm going to keep going," she said.
For more information or to purchase her work, visit https://fatcrowpress.com/. For more details of CJ’s work, visit www.spiritualartisttoday.com. His book, "The Spiritual Artist,” is available on Amazon.
Feeling Blue? Keep Painting
CJ Miller takes a break from painting to share his experience of feeling blue and depressed. He encourages the listener to feel the emotion and keep on painting. When we feel our emotions, they process through us and take us to a new place. He also discusses his childhood experience with Seasonal Depression Disorder and how he learned to walk through emotions he cites a recent interview with Dr. Jane Gardner who explains the Emotional Scale and how we must feel an emotion completely before moving on to the next step. Watch “How do Emotions Hold Us Back from Creativity with Dr. Jayne Gardner” for more information. CJ reminds us to keep painting.
A pdf of the emotional scale is listed on the Spiritual Artist Today website in the Practice Guides section. What sad song is CJ really into right now? "Dear Insecurity" by Brandi Clark featuring Brandi Carlisle.
https://open.spotify.com/album/5vLQakn5RIIinS715tqgjI Learn more about CJ, his podcast, book, and retreats by visiting www.spiritualartisttoday.com.
How to Get Art Gallery Representation and the Benefits of Quantity
CJ Miller invites Scottsdale, Arizona gallery owner and art blog educator Jason Horejs (pronounced Horsh) into his recording studio to challenge misconceptions about best artist practices. Jason’s recent blog titled, “Why Artists Should Focus On Quantity Over Quality,” caused an online stir.
Jason unpacks the benefits of focusing on quantity over quality and shares his experience on how galleries work, how to approach galleries and create long-lasting relationships with them.
According to Jason, some quality can only come through quantity. By focusing on output and striving to increase production we grow as artists. He notes a parallel between artists that are successful and prolific. The more work you put into the world, the larger your success. He declares that we should aim for both; quantity and quality.
Multiple benefits come from shifting into a quantity mindset. An artist should review their current level of production and increase it by 25%. Artists may labor over artwork longer than they should according to Jason. CJ and Jason discuss Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule. There is no substitute for being in the studio and creating.
CJ shares the importance of following your intuition; quantity makes you better and better at following that conversation and listening to that impulse.
He shares three key additional points; you deserve to be in a gallery, it’s a numbers game, and develop a consistent brand.
Jason encourages artists to know that they are good enough to get into galleries. There are many different galleries and there is a place for your work. The key is to align it with collector interests and demands. Start the process of locating galleries immediately.
What does a gallery consider when choosing an artist? An artist should focus on creating consistent and cohesive work. When a gallery sells a work they need to do marketing, promote your work, and sell it multiple times. If your work is completely different, that process has to be restarted each time.
When you find a passion in a style, dive deep into it. Find a common thread in your work that ties it all together and demonstrate consistency in at least five of these areas: subject matter, color palette, style, thematic elements, medium, and presentation.
Finally, once you start approaching galleries remember that it’s a number game; approach many, many galleries. You’ll go through many no’s before you get a yes’s. Use the mindset of approaching 100’s of galleries.
Jason claims Nike’s tagline, “Just do it,” when creating art, and keep in mind the logistics of building a successful art business.
Special Re-Release of Santa Fe Story originally published as Christopher Miller Learns to Drive Through Life While Releasing Control
My solo show closes this weekend, and I'm taking a short respite in Santa Fe. I decided to re-release one of my favorite story-telling episodes about friends, trust, and guidance. I hope you enjoy this early episode
Listen to this heartwarming story about Chris' recent trip to Santa Fe. After taking several weeks off from producing "The Spiritual Artist Podcast," host Christopher Miller shares his harrowing adventure through the hills of Santa Fe to visit a sick friend. Chris initially met artist Carolyn on his first journey to New Mexico and felt a deep desire to visit her during a time of need. A flat tire, an intermittent phone signal, and rocky terrain challenge him to understand the true meaning of control and Spiritual guidance. He is reminded to seek those moments of awe; look for beauty, release control, and trust his Spiritual guidance.
For more information, consider purchasing a copy of "The Spiritual Artist" on Amazon or visiting http://www.spiritualartisttoday.com.
On my favorites list!!
I love this podcast and Chris’s genuine approach to life and his guests! It’s a certain feel good every time I listen.
Inspiring and uplifting
I love this podcast! As a coach, inspiring writer, spiritual seeker and emerging artist, it speaks to my inner artist looking for inspiration.
Great insights into being present to what we do. Quite timely.