The Artist Within – A Guide

Create Your Mission Statement…

Does this communicate INSPIRE?

I have recently been launched into the new world of “coaching”!  I am part of an amazing organization called Big Fish (  A huge theme is to get laser beam focused on the Who? What?  & How? of what you do.  I have been a “broad brushstroke girl” my entire life.  I graduated from University of Michigan with a Bachelor of General Studies.  I currently am a restaurateur, an artist, a teacher, and an author.  It goes against every bone in my body to “narrow things down”!  But the last couple of months I have been determined to identify my “niche”.  I wanted to share with you all today my “30 second commercial” that just flowed out of me (read the process below) today on the plane from Nashville to Chicago, on my way to Boston:

“I coach individuals and organizations who want to be INSPIRED!

By introducing them to their ARTIST WITHIN & the language of the RIGHT BRAIN, I expand their awareness of how right brain thinking completes our logical & linear left brain thinking.  As my clients become CREATIVELY FIT they are able to access an entirely new source of inspired & innovative ENERGY.”

I can’t tell you how right this feels!  How can you create you create your “30 second commercial”?  Follow the CPS method created by the founders of the Creativity Education Foundation (I am on my way to present at their annual CPSI Conference in Boston!).  Basically, make a list, a long list.  Do not judge or edit it.  Write whatever comes to mind about what and why and how you do what you do–or WANT to do.  As the list grows it will become clearer.  Most of us would sit down and want our thoughts to immediately produce the desired result.  We are not patient enough.  By taking the extra minutes to freely list your thoughts you will arrive at the best synthesis of words.

For more about this technique, I HIGHLY recommend a book written by Gregg Fraley entitled, Jack’s Notebook.  It is a “business novel” that is SO fun and easy to read, but that illustrates clearly and simply the technique to creating change in your life and creating focus so that you can achieve your dreams.  You will love it.  OK, off to Boston (where I am going to meet Gregg Fraley!).


Create a portal…

 ancient bird

I read an interesting notation under the image of an ancient sculpture of a water bird.  The shamans from whatever primitve civilization considered the water bird to provide access to a portal to the “other side” from which they could solve problems.

My biggest motivation in promoting your Artist Within, is in expanding people’s awareness about the power of our minds.  I believe the analogy of the “right/left brain” is “logical” enough for people to apply to their daily routine and can provide a PORTAL to an entirely different way of thinking.

One of my favorite comments that Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor made in her 2008 speech is that we are a completely different person in our right brain than we are in our left.  They have such distinct personalities, voices, perspectives and ideas that they could almost be considered two different people.

I know you know how it feels when you “lose it”.  Any of you moms out there know what I am talking about.  It is never a proud moment.  Usually I am overwhelmed by the tasks at hand and I experience a temporary emotional collapse.  This is when I need to access  that other side.  For me, my Artist Within has provided a portal through which I can access a peace of mind that is not always available to me in my left brain.

I have thought lately about that movie “Duplicity” with Michael Keaton.  I think, “how great would that be!?!?” Then, there would be one of me to take care of the kids and another to do my work!  As you recall, it did not work out so well in the movie.  Truth is, we have that other person waiting to help us and provide a well of patience, inspiration and vision.  Amazingly enough you can get to it by just scribbling color on paper.  Give your right brain something to do and your Artist Within comes to life and fills you up with new energy.

Go to the Creativity Workout section of this blog to see examples of these exercises.  What do you have to lose.

My book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, is available from this website, and online at or and in Barnes & Nobles all over the country.  Let me know your stories!

Your Ocean Potential!
June 8, 2009, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Daily Entries | Tags: , , , , ,

Your Potential is as Wide, as Deep....

I just spent a week at the beach after returning home from NYC the night before our FL departure!  I have the fullest next two months EVER and an entire week at the beach started to make me nervous as my inner to-do list swept over my consciousness as the waves lapped up on the shore on which I reclined.  I thought maybe some of you might feel this way at times.  This is how I manage….

I read a quote once about how when we are feeling overwhelmed that we can access our hidden well of potential that is as wide, as deep, and as expansive as the entire ocean.  It said we literally have THAT MUCH within us from which we can draw strength, inspiration, and energy.  Does that make sense?   Could you explain that to your accountant?  Can you take that to the bank?  No.  That means that you are in right brain territory.

To give you an idea:  on my to do list is re-vamp website, finish production of second paint kit, plan youth art camp being held next week, finalize my CPSI Conference presentation, follow up with NYC contacts, paint a commissioned painting, catch up on accounting since January, learn Quick Books, travel to CPSI in Boston, get ready for month long family West Coast tour (including speaking event, book signing, art workshop), kick off first Creatively Fit Marathon, promote October N. CA retreat…oh, and take care of 3 kids that are now on summer break, co-run a restaurant ( a husband, a house, pack, etc.

Whew!  I can access that overwhelming anxiety at the drop of a hat.  How do I keep my head above water?  I get into my right brain.  I paint.   I do the Creativity Workouts our of my book. I focus on what I can do right now.  I make lists to get them out of my head.  I expect miracles.  I remind myself that this crazy journey I am on has been somehow divinely led since 1995 when the idea for The Creative Fitness Center first entered my mind.

Your ocean is ebbing, flowing, waves breaking, depths deepening, all in the realm of your right brain.  It is not about logic, details, or practicalities.  It is ALL about the huge potential that we all have available at our fingertips IF we create the awareness for ourselves. 

Life is a mental game.  In order to excel, even survive, we have to learn some new tricks.  Your right brain voice, your ARTIST WITHIN (check out my book The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, on or my website has the key to learning more about how you can feel the peace of mind that comes with a larger understanding of your potential and creative power.  Oh, and work out those creative/right brain muscles of yours!  ~Whitney

Creativity Workout #4

Mandalas to MeditateMaking a Mandala is such an easy way to relax, access new ideas and become completely present.

Mandalas have been created for centuries by many, many different cultures as a spiritual centering practice.  Remember, as a species, human beings created art long before we created an alphabet or a monetary system!  And it wasn’t easy!  They didn’t have the “craft cave” where all the supplies were readily available.  They had to dig the minerals out of the earth to create pigment for paint or cut down a tree, dry the wood, carve it out…to create the mask.  Why was this such an important activity to our ancestors when their biggest job was simply survive?  They spent valuable energy, time and resources to create art.  Why was it important?

Creating art connects you to a voice, I call it The Artist Within, that is connected to your spirit, that is completely present, that is closer to your subconscious & intuition.  “Primitive” cultures understood the importance of nurturing and accessing this voice.  Do we?

Since we live in such a busy, detail oriented, task laden world our Artist Within has been relegated to the back corners of our mind.  The symptoms of a mind that have not given this voice a platform in awhile are apathy, hopelessness, depression, anxiety, worry, stress…need I go on?  I certainly deal with at least two of those emotions daily as I ride the emotional roller coaster of being a restaurateur, a mother of three, a wife, an author, and a woman.  I have found the wellspring inside of my mind where I can go to balance those emotions with feelings of hope, peace, connection, unity, balance, rhythm…need I go on? 

So, create a Mandala today to create inner peace, centering, calm.  Just draw a circle, or trace a bowl, put a dot in the middle and start doodling.  Let me know how you feel after you have filled the space.

Whitney Ferre’ is the author of the book, The Artist Within, A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.


Amazing Sculpture Install!

Ernesto Neto Sculpture at Park Avenue Armory, NYC

I just got back from a short, but incredible, trip to New York City!  The image above is from the Ernesto Neto Sculpture at the Park Avenue Armory.  It is a sight to hold!  The sculpture totally takes you in and transports you to another world!  Those pieces hanging down are filled with aromatic spices!  Some are red pepper, others are lavender or cumin!  Amazing!  Our Artist Within, right brain, registers scent along with visual images, so the combination is fabulous!  If you can get to the Park Avenue Armory in the next couple of weeks, do it!

I flew to NYC for the Book Expo of America (BEA) and to meet with new friends, John Cimino of Creative Leaps, Phil Alexander with the Lincoln Center for the Arts, Jennifer Hamady, and Paul Spencer Adkins.  We had the most increbile pow-wow at the Alice Tully Cafe’ in the Lincoln Center.  We each shared unique insight and approaches to personal creativity.  John and Paul have worked together for 20 years bringing their “Concert of Ideas” to educators and corporations!  Phil Alexander is Senior Director of outreach and education at the Lincoln Center for the Arts, bringing creative  experience to children in NYC.  Jennifer Hammady is a voice coach to singers and non-singers alike-showing them how to “find their voice”.  She also has a new book just published about the subject.  Bottom line:  our own personal creativity is elemental in everything we do, every element of our lives.  We have lost sight of that fact and all of us meeting there last Wednesday are committed to bringing that fact back into focus for everyone!

I had a BLAST at the Book Expo.  I wore my painted overalls and my grey blazer to illustrate the “right” and “left” brain side of all of us and handed out CREATE CHANGE stickers to everyone!  They loved it!  I was interviewed by Sirius Radio and met Greg Mortensen of Three Cups of Tea!  Talk about a man who has created CHANGE!  I passed out stickers to everyone waiting in line to meet him so by the time I got there he was curious about the CREATE CHANGE stickers!  I was able to give him a copy of my book and thank him for his work in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

Truly, the whole trip was an Artist Within experience.  I met amazing people, had so much fun, and reached out for insight and guidance.  I flew home Friday night and turned around to drive to Florida early Saturday morning with my business partner, 6 kids and 2 babysitters for our annual beach trip.  Aahhhhhhhhh, the beach.  I’ll send you all a picture of the ocean tomorrow.  I will be at the Borders in Panama City Beach Friday night for a book signing.  Right now I have to get my fussy 5 year old into his right brain!  Create FUN today!  Whitney