The Artist Within – A Guide

The FEAR of Change…
April 30, 2009, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre' | Tags: , , , ,

04-30-1-2Meet your “Artist Within”.

This past weekend I had the pleasure to hold an Artist Within Workshop at our Downtown Library in Nashville.  First of all, the space is gorgeous!  Amazing that it was just built 6 or so years ago when it looks like it has been there forever.  Not a detail was missed!  It reflects true artistry.

Anyway, I had a blast sharing stories about my creative journey and my insights into our national need for some serious right brain workouts.

I reassured my audience with the story of how I ordered all the wrong color paints when I first opened The Creative Fitness Center back in 1996!  I mean, really!  I was so confused looking through my wholesale catalog of paints that I truly guessed and ended up with colors like mauve and ochre for the Oil Painting Class.  When I showed the teacher what she had to work with she almost choked!  I was no “Picasso”!!!  That is how little I knew when I opened my art center.  That should give you hope! 

At the end of the workshop, a woman came up to me and explained how much she hated her job of ten years, but how afraid she was to quit right now.  “Will your book help me with this?” she asked.  “YES!”  With each flexing of your right brain muscle, you will feel more confident in your ability to create change.  I reassured her that it did not mean that she had to turn in her notice the next day.  What it did mean is that she could start opening up to the concept of changing jobs.  Instead of saying “I am afraid to leave…,” why not say, “I am excited for what new opportunities come my way so that I can leave my current job.”  I told her to reach out to some people.  Stay tuned to the little voice in your head as it brings someone to your mind it knows you should contact.  Take a class.  Google something online.  Take actions, brush strokes, if you will, to start to create subtle change.  One after another, these small steps will lead to something bigger.

I am currently working on new designs for my CREATE Change Paint Kits.  I am considering using the above design to symbolize our ability to CREATE Connection.  If you want something to change in your life; if you have an idea you would like see come to frutition, reach out to others to help you.  Don’t become an island.  Connect with others with similar interestes.  Pick their brains.  Collaborate with them.  Help them.  Then, they will help you.

I have currently reached out to a coaching group for women entrepreneurs called Big Fish Nation.  Check it out.  I also met with a friend who works at our National Public Television (NPT) station about the “Creatively Fit Minute”.  You never know what is going to lead to something else. 

My SHOP is almost online as I type this.  Hopefully, by the time you are reading this you can check it out at  Spread the word!  We are CREATING Change!  woo-hoo!

My Answer to the Question….
April 28, 2009, 2:25 am
Filed under: Daily Entries

What part has creativity played in your life?  (As asked by Wayne of Creative Skills Training Council in New Zealand.)

In the two houses in which I grew up, my mother and I created an “Art Center” under the stairways going down to the basement.  We painted the first one all yellow and the second one was all red.  Both times we bought stencils and spray painted the words, “Art Center” on the small triangle of wall under the stairs.  There were shelves and all kinds of art supplies.  Only really advanced and fancy projects were encouraged!  Favorites were covering bottles with masking tape and staining them with shoe polish (to look like leather I guess?  It was the 70’s…) and dripping old crayons onto salad dressing bottles to use as candle sticks.  Instead of lemonade, I sold tooth pillows on the corner that I had sewn from fabric scraps.  I STILL grew up saying that I could not draw and that I was not artistic.  But, I was always told that I was creative.  Maybe that is why I have been drawn to a bit of a pioneer existence.  I have thrived on blazing new trails, even if they were just new for me personally.  Don’t tell me I “can’t do” something.  That will get my wheels spinning! 

For me, my creative spirit means that I will have no regrets when I look back on my life because I have never/at least rarely said “that can’t be done” or “I can’t make that work”.  I have climbed mountains, sold books door to door, opened 4 small businesses (including an art center and a restaurant), and gotten off to a stellar start raising three little kids!  When I visit with others who did not receive the creative encouragement that I did, they are often frustrated in their current situation and don’t seem to realize that they have the power to create change in their lives.  It makes me sad and wish I could sprinkle some creativity dust over them so they would strike out into the unknown to create the life they desire.

To that end, I am doing the best I can.  I am the author of a newly published book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.  The “Artist Within” is what I call our right brain voice.  It is the voice that is focused on the big picture, unconcerned with your past failures or any fear of future worries.  Becoming “Creatively Fit” is about our physiological ability to strengthen our mental capabilities, specifically our right brain/creative muscles.  The book is a future best seller and readers are energized and inspired by what they read and their own personal experience as they brave the blank canvas and the canvas that is their lives!

So creativity has truly been the unifying force of my life and the magic I love to share!

by Whitney Ferre' (sold)

by Whitney Ferre' (sold)

CREATE What?!?!?!
April 23, 2009, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries | Tags: , , ,

What do you want to create in your life?  We are all familiar now with the concept of manifesting things in your life, “secret” style.  Do you have things you would like to change in your life?  Simply being exposed to a new concept only goes so far to preparing you to create that change.  What has changed inside of you that will now enable you to manifest that “thing” or “experience” that wasn’t there before?    We get inspired for a moment and then slip back into our routine thought patterns and interior dialogue.  In business, we can rally the team around a new goal, but when everyone goes back to their stations it is business as usual?  WHAT CAN YOU DO TO TRULY, PERMANENTLY CREATE CHANGE?

You have to become CREATIVELY FIT.  What this means is that you begin to physiologically strengthen your RIGHT BRAIN muscle.  Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future, just said to Oprah in his December interview with O Magazine, “I happen to be extremely left-brained; my instinct is to draw a chart rather than a picture.  I’m trying to get my right brain into shape.”  Here is what Dan Pink said about my book,

“Today’s world demands that individuals, families, and organizations tap their right brain skills in order to achieve professional success and personal fulfillment.  In The Artist Within, Whitney Ferre’ offers a first-rate guide to succeeding in this new world.”


If you want to truly create change in your life you SIMPLY have to work out your right brain muscle by giving it something to do.  The “Creativity Workouts” in my book do just that.  It is not about being “artsy” it is about providing yourself with the mental ability to think abstractly, envision a future goal, and have the confidence to take the necessary action.  It is about being able to suspend the “detail-mode” of thinking and to take action based on your vision of a future picture in your mind.


OK–So take action right now.  Grab a scrap piece of paper, the back of a memo or your child’s hand-out and a pen/pencil/crayon.  Now look at the clock…take 5 minutes and cover the page with marks.  Here is an example of this exercise that I did:

Drawing-is-Energy Creativity Workout


If you write down a goal that you have been meaning to do for ages and nothing else.  You have a chance of seeing that goal come to fruition.  If you ALSO take action to physiologically change the way you think and respond you will have a much GREATER CHANCE of creating that change.


It is about balancing the mind so that when we are faced with different situations we have both our left and right brain voices contributing to our conscience.  There was a recent article in a major business magazine about the value of doodling.  A lot of you sent me links to the article.  After a meeting they found some doodles on the table where the panel sat.  Turns out it was Bill Gates’ doodles.  It went on to say that if you are bored, stuck, etc. that if you doodle it keeps the mind engaged rather than checking out completely.  So, in other words, the mind shifts gears, as a result of the doodling, to keep working for you.


To become CREATIVELY FIT you have to suspend the left-brain voice that is saying, “You are not creative.  You can’t draw.”  It is not about that.  FEAR NO ART.  We are missing out on a priceless tool we all have within our minds that can propel us forward to enable us to create the change we need to see in the world.  So politely tell your left-brain voice to take a well-deserved rest and tap into your right brain voice, your ARTIST WITHIN.


(Then, go buy my book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit!  IT’s going to be a best-seller, you know!?!?  This “Right Brain Movement” as I refer to it is gaining momentum and is going to become a global topic of conversation.  Why?  Because we need to CREATE a platform for our right brain voice.  We need the voice of hope, change, and empowerment resonating in ALL sectors to transform any negative situation (you know of what I speak, but I do not say the “r-Word”–referring to economy) into a postive, formative, life-affirming force.


BUSINESS people…become Creatively Fit because you want to survive this economic evolution and serve your customer base to the best of your ability.

PARENTS…become Creatively Fit so that we can connect with our children in this complicated world & instill in them the “WE CAN” attitude.

GOVERNMENT…become Creatively Fit so that you can respond quickly, effectively and with noble intent to the challenges facing our country.

TEACHERS…become Creatively Fit so that you can teach our children how to innovate, grow into independent thinkers, & so that you can stay focused on your passion for knowledge and our youth as you wait for changes to trickle down from Washington.


I will be at the CPSI Conference this June in Boston.  Join me!  Check out the theme of this year’s conference….

CPSI Conference June 2009 . Boston


*Whitney Ferre’ is a dynamic speaker who can infuse her creative energy into your business or organization.  Contact her at to gather more information.

CPSI Conference-join us!
April 21, 2009, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries | Tags:

I will be presenting a PACE session at this year’s CPSI Conference, taking place in June 2009 in Boston.  Go to to check it out.


At the conference I will be presenting about the Principles of Design and problem solving.  The Principles of Design have been used by artists for centuries to create successful images.  These same principles can be applied to identify organizational strengths and weaknesses, to access right brain thinking and to provide direction for creative problem solving. While proportion, harmony, repetition, contrast and balance have long been identified as key elements of the visual arts, they have yet to be widely applied to the art that is our life and our life’s work. 


This is an example of the Group Mural Project I facilitate with corporate clients.  This one was created by the team at The Sommet Group.  Each square was created by a different memeber of the team.  All they saw was the little square I gave them.  They had no idea of the finished image and, of course, most of them has zero confidence in their artistic ability!  Isn’t it gorgeous!?!?  How do you think they feel now?  They learned that they can’t put limits on their beliefs and that, as a team, they can create amazing change!  It is now hanging in their training room and they refer to it at the beginning of almost every meeting to get into their right brains so that they can innovate change!

Check out the blogs below for other creative approaches to problem solving and to meet some incredible people that will also be at CPSI this year! 

Entrepreneur The Arts
April 15, 2009, 5:15 am
Filed under: Daily Entries

I just posted this on the Entrepreneur The Arts blog of which I have just been added as an official “author”.  Please visit.  Enjoy!

I read in a book years ago, at the beginning of my creative journey, “The question is not, ‘Why do some people make art?’  The question is, ‘Why not?'”  To me this expressed the primitive need we all posess to create, to make our mark, to publicly declare, “We are here!”  For me, creativity all begins by getting in the correct frame of mind.  I call it the right brain and it’s voice is “The Artist Within”.  Your left brain voice is physiologically responsible for the past and the future.  In practical terms, it reminds you that if you stick your hand in the fire it will burn and that if you do not have enough wood stored for the winter you will die.  It is the “benefit of hindsight” and “thinking ahead”.  It is ALSO the inner critic (reminding you of past mistakes) and STRESS (worrying about something that maybe, possibly, might happen in the future)!!!  As your left brain is task-oriented, logical, and verbal it is most consistently the voice at our conscience, scrolling through our mental to-do list, staying on the right side of the road, texting, twittering, e-mailing….  While our left brain voice is SO valuable, if it is the ONLY voice to which we are connecting, we are missing out on infinite optimism, hope, creativity, intuition, and centeredness unique to our right brain thinking.  Your right brain is completely PRESENT.  It could care less about your past or what might, possibly happen in the future.  Lose your job?  Your left brain says, “Loser!” and your right brain/Artist Within says, “Great opportunity!  Let’s create some change!”


I have had the privilege to spend time recently talking with John Cimino and Sarah Caldicott-Miller (which has led to this blog)!  What we ALL seem to be sensing is that the time is NOW!  The opportunity to launch our perspective on creativity into the national/global consciousness is NOW!  There is not a person on the planet  who is not aware of the need for CHANGE!  But what is going to be different this time?  We have to CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK! 

I am so honored to be among this group of contributors who have been building the foundation, block by block, for what is about to be heralded as the Creative Age (or, as Dan Pink says, The Conceptual Age).  I celebrate the opportunity we have to collaborate at this unique point in history. 

WOw!  It is late and I could keep going & going & going.  I look forward to hearing from you.  And I would not be “me” if I did not ask, humbly, yet with conviction, for you to buy my book and spread the word.  Creatively yours, Whitney/The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit

Meet Whitney
April 8, 2009, 2:58 pm
Filed under: Spiritual Life & Artist Within
Hello, everyone!

Hello, everyone!

Here is an amzing quote I wanted to share with you all!  I picked up a brochure when I was in Encinitas, CA at the Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens.  I JUST read the brochure yesterday.  This was my favorite quote (get in your right brain for this one):

It is not your passint thoughts or brilliant ideas so much as yout plain everyday habits that control your life….Live simply.  Don’t get caught in the machine of the world (left brain thinking–my note)–it is too exacting.  By the time you get what you are seeking your nerves are gone, your heart is damaged, and the bones are aching.  Resolve to develop your spiritual (right brain–me again) powers more earnestly from now on.  Learn the art of right living (they said it, not me).  If you have joy you have everything, so learn to be glad and contented….Have happiness now.

Enjoy that nugget of wisdom….WOW!

Creativity Workout #3
April 8, 2009, 2:37 pm
Filed under: Creativity Workouts
Just grab your old magazines!

Just grab your old magazines!

This is one of my favorite Creativity Workouts these days because it is so easy to do on the fly!  I find this one particularly helpful when we are all just getting home.  The kids are buzzing around, all talking to me at once, and asking for snacks, etc.  I can stand at the kitchen counter and work through my desire to shout, “Give me a SECOND!” by looking at the pretty pictures and tearing or cutting them out.  Sometimes even that is enough to make the transition to being home and being completely present. 

Just look for images that catch your eye, make you happy, or suggest something that you would like in your life.  For me, it is not fancy cars or beach houses (well, maybe a trip to a beach and a favorite beach house rental), but it is images of natural beauty, items that suggest peach and tranquility, and anything that conjures up images of a large, open, well-lit painting studio.  Aaaaahhhhhhhhh.  I feel better just typing about it.  Enjoy! 

Remember, working out your right brain muscle is all we are doing with these workouts.  You can toss them in the trash as soon as you are done.  It is the act of doing that physiologically connects you to your right brain/your Artist Within.  E-mail me images of your dream collages so I can post them here to inspire others!  Whitney