The Artist Within – A Guide

Recent ARTIST WITHIN Events!
January 10, 2009, 2:41 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'

I have had a BLAST this week.  Thursday I drove to Chattanooga for a book signing at Rockpoint Books (an an appearance on the NBC TV news show “This & That”!  Friday morning I led a Mommy&Me event at the Nashville Downtown Library with “The Professor” and “Sigrid the Dragon”!  Read down for the “mom tips” that I did not get to share with you all amidst all the kiddos.

In Chattanooga, the group that gathered for my book signing was wonderful!  One couple had alread purchased The Artist Within a week ago and had already led many through the Universal Symbol exercise!  They were so excited about the book!  That is when I get excited.

I had the opportunity to speak to the group.  I told them about how I had opened The Creative Fitness Center with NO art background, just sales experience.  We talked about my students over the past 13 years who have left art class only to come back to report the changes they had made in the other areas of their lives.  They asked how they could convince their friends that are proud to say, “I AM a left brainer.”  HOW?  You have to explain it to them from the physiological/biological angle.  They do HAVE a right brain.  It is not just about flower arrangements and painting.  It is responsible for imagining ANYTHING being different and being able to create that change.

We ended the talk on a very patriotic/noble note.  In his acceptance speech, Obama asked all of us to help him to create change in our country.  He said, “I am going to do the best I can, but I need your help.”  He said that we all need to do things differently than we have done them before.  WE have to be “citizens” like we have never had to be before.  We need our Artist Within to speak up and enable us to take action to usher in a new economy and a new era that will ensure a stable and healthy country for our children!….(let that sink in….)….whew!  I can really get going. 

Our children….That leads me to my Friday morning event with the kiddos at the library.  Everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly, but those sweet angels would not let me get a word in edgewise!  I promised I would write some of the tips on this blog that I wanted to share.  (As soon as I find the cable that enables me to download the pics from both of these events!)

I have a 9, 7, and 5 year old currently.  I have been the “stay-at-home-mom” that works. It is a tricky juggling act. 

First, here is why MOMS need to work out their right brain muscles and tap into their Artist Within voice:  1. If you don’t, you may start to wonder where the “real you” has gone.  Yes, you did exist before dirty diapers and nap times.  There was a time in your life when you did not have every single sentence interrupted with “Mooooommmmyyyyyyyyyyyy.”  You do not simply exist to keep your offspring alive physically.  You also get to influence and guide their emotional and spiritual development.  SO, you have to take care of your own emotional and spiritual lives.  When you carve out even 5 minutes for a creativity workout, by minute 3 or 4 you are into your right brain.  You are not aware of your mommy role, you are just YOU–the core.  It is a mental spa break, a mini vacation.  It is all about YOU in your right brain.  That is where you need to go to recharge your batteries.  Read that sentence again.  Your right brain is where you need to go to recharge your batteries.  Creative activity and meditation produce the SAME  brain waves.  That means if you have a hard time meditating (me!) try scribbling on some paper.  Seriously.  It is that easy.  While watching a snippet of “Desperate Housewives” one night my husband asked be with trepidation and sarcasm if I was a “desperate housewife”.  I said, no, but if I did not paint and have my other projects I might be.  Motherhood and wifehood can completely consume you and you need to fight to keep a hold of your old self.  I use the word fight because of the struggle to find the time for yourself, but you NEED to.  Trust me.  Take an art class so that you ahve to get out of the house.  That is why I started teaching more at The Creative Fitness Center after I had my third.  I knew I had to find some time where my identity was not tied to the kids or I was going to go cuckoo!  Ok.  2.  If you are creatively fit, you will raise creatively fit kids.  You are the primary role model.  You will influence your child’s creative development as you experience your own.  That makes sense, right?  3.  Your Artist Within is GOOD at solving problems.  It is the voice that will keep going when your left brain voice (logical, but critical) tells you to give up.  4.  When you are familiar with how your mind works and what your right brain/Artist Within brings to the table, you can use that knowledge in raising your kids. In the book I talk about the day my 4 year old was throwing a HUGE tantrum because she did not want to take a nap.  I tried everything and then the lightbulb went off, “Let’s see what happens when I get her into her right brain.”  I gave her nothing more than some blank sheets of computer paper and a ballpoint pen and asked her to draw for me.  No more than 10 minutes later she peeked her head out and asked me to come to her art show.  (the drawings are in the book)  The second drawing was noticably drawn by a much calmer little artist.  Then, she asked me, “Can I rest before I draw some more?”  My jaw dropped.  Now, this is a child who knows how to be stubborn.  She was SO in her right brain (present) that she did not even REMEMBER her tantrum.  She was tired so she wanted to sleep.  It was brilliant!  I wanted a direct line to every mother of toddlers in the country! 

For the kids:  We need to raise kids that grow into adults that can CREATE CHANGE!  None of us want to raise children that grow into adults who say, “It is not working for me.” or “I don’t how to make that happen, boss.”  We need kids to grow into the people that when they are given a task (at work or at home, etc.) they are they type to say, “No problem, I will take care of it.”  They will not need to have their hand held.  They will not need someone to take them step-by-step through the process.  Our CREATIVELY FIT kids will be innovating new business strategies, starting community programs, inventing new sources of energy….  They will not be getting prescriptions for anti-depressant medicine (the commercials!) because they will be filled every day with HOPE.  The degree to which we have HOPE is the degree to which we have confidence in our ability to create change.  The opposite is feeling helpless.  We don;t want our sweet babies to grow up feeling helpless.  So we need to teach them to help themselves.  That means FREE PLAY and paper and crayons at the ready for them to work out their right brain, their imagination, their artist within.  TV shows, video games…have it all figured out for them.  There little minds do not have to innovate at all.  They just need to follow the rules (conform) in order to win.  Of course we all know TV….GOOD NEWS:  It is easy to do.  Just let them scribble, cut, glue, paint at times (I keep watercolors in the kitchen).  My kids have never had anything fancy, but the stuff is in the kitchen and always available.  The teachers notice.  Last year my youngest made quite an impression on his preschool teacher.  She could not believe how he understood abstract concpets while the rest of the class was staring at her blankly.  And he is the third!  I am not saying this to brag.  I am saying this because if my third is still experiencing the benefits of regular creative workouts we all know it is not because he is getting a ton of one-on-one. 

SO, I hope you all read the book. I know it is hard to find time for yourself, but you HAVE TO in order to be all that you need to be for your kids (and your husband–even if he grumbles as you take your time).

It is available on and  For those of you who have been readin it, please go to those sites and review The Artist Within.  That makes a big difference.  Thank you!  OK, time to go get breakfast for the gang!  Creatively yours, Whitney (excuse any typos–I don’t have time to proof! )

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hi Whitney. Just a note to let you know my first mention of your book is up at Come see it.

You know, those points for moms could be made into a great magazine article, and that magazine article would be a great promotion for your book!

I am enjoying your book SO much. I am trying to pace myself so each lesson has time to soak in before I move to the next one. I am almost halfway through and I love it!

Comment by Anita

Anita, Thank you so much! I will cehck out your blog! I am so glad you are loving the book! That makes my day! You are right about the mom tips! Any insight into the best way to get that info. in an article? I have to learn that aspect of this! Whitney

Comment by creativelyfit

I will check out the blog. I have been reading through the book since meeting you at the
Rockpoint book signing in Chattanooga, TN. Already I have found a lot of inspiration just “breaking
away” for a few creative moments. Interestingly enough, it truly does
help when I return to thought processes that require more strategic thinking. Thanks so much for the motivation and insight. I am looking forward to the exercises in the book to stimulate additional activity. “Hala”

Comment by "Hala" Wells

Hala, Hi! I am going to be back in Chattanooga on Feb. 12th at Rockpoint Books at 6p! Hope you can make it and let your friends know! You all have been such an inspiration for me that I wanted to get back down there asap! Whitney

Comment by creativelyfit

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