The Artist Within – A Guide


This blog has moved….

We are NOW on the new & improved www.creativelyfit.com.

Please visit us there to learn how to become Creatively Fit so that you can create the change you desire in YOUR world!

~Whitney



My Visit: American Museum Art.

"being inexhaustible, life & nature r a constant stmulus 4 a creative mind."

art by Grace Hartigan

“Where there is an open  mind, there will always be a frontier”.  Charles Kettering

Arthur Dove

“I look at nature I see myself. Paintings r mirrors, so is nature.” -Arthur Dove



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 www.creativelyfit.com.  Spread the word!  We are CREATING Change!  woo-hoo!



Your Artist Within Shows you how to SEE!
April 8, 2009, 1:04 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'

Red Dogwood in my Front YardAt The Creative Fitness Center we taught several drawing classes.  One of my favorite memories from that era was when one of the adult students arrived for her drawing class and exclaimed, “Drawing class is really teaching me how to SEE!”  Wow!  That is huge.  Once you get your right brain limbered up a bit with the Creativity Workouts (from my book, The Artist Within…) you will notice that you “notice” more as you are driving to work, catch the view out the window, etc.  It is such a better way to maneuver through life, noticing the beauty, the way a tree branch frames the view, the light shining on the trees as it sets, the sky with its palette of clouds, colors and sunlight. 

This type of awareness heightens your awareness in all situations.  In Dan Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind, Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, he suggests keeping a little notebook to document your DESIGN observations.  He is also illustrating how you can develop your right brain ability in order to keep pace with our new economy as it makes its shift from the Information Age (as more left-brain, task oriented jobs are sent to Asia).  Design is one of the resources America has to offer in this new age–he calls the Conceptual Age.  

If you are interested in seeing more examples of the Creativity Workouts, go to the GALLERY page of my website www.creativelyfit.com and click on the tab at the top of the page.  Creatively yours, Whitney



Creativelyfit in the Corporate World
April 4, 2009, 1:04 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'
Creatively Fit in the Corporate World!

Creatively Fit in the Corporate World!

 “If I can show the business world how the arts and creativity can help their bottom line, then they will be that much more likely to support the arts and art education in their communitities.”  This thought first entered my mind in 1996 as I was opening The Creative Fitness Center.  Since then I have worked with businesses such as American Express, the YMCA, Columbia HCA, Bank of America, US Hospitality, Gaylord Entertainment and many more. 

The image above is an example of our Group Mural Project.  Participants are given a laminated 3″ x 4″ square with a number on the back and a design on the front.  If all the laminated squares were put together in the proper order, it would be like a puzzle.  The image is either created by myself or another artist for the occasion or one of our images from the “library” is used.  During the exercise the participants copy the design on their little laminated square onto a larger paper or canvas board.  The anticipation builds as they circle around to see what they have created (I do not show them the original piece until after theirs is done–so they have no idea what they just created).

In the end, is this magnificent, large mural that has a cubist quality to it since each square was created by a different person.  You can see from the image above (more on my site’s GALLERY page) how miraculously the design fits together!  WHAT THEY LEARN is this:  FIRST, most adults would have said at the beginning, “I can’t paint.  I’m not artistic.”  Well, if they did one or two squares, they could have done 6-10 squares; they could have copied ALL of the squares.  They ARE creative and artisitic!  They think, “What else have I been telling myself that I can’t do?’  What are YOUR limiting beliefs?  Challenge them!  They are nothing but a smoke screen keeping you from your dreams!

SECOND, one of those sqaures on their own is nothing fabulous, but put them all together and it is truly a masterpiece!  The Sommet Group is not one person.  It needs everyone working together to make it successful.  The more that is accomplished, the more success will be experienced!  Likewise, just like the different colors and brushstrokes, each “team member” brings a different skill set to the table.  The more effectively an organization can harness the individual talents the more they will be able to inpact their industry.  This mural is hanging in their training room.  They reference it at almost every meeting because of its symbolism.  What about your training room?

Please contact me if you have an organization that could us a little creative team building.  There is not an organization or business out there right now that can afford not to nurture and develop their corporate creativity.  Your ability to change in these changing times is vital to your existence. 

Creatively Fit Corporate Creativity Workshops:

Group Mural, Painting Made Easy (see Paint Kit tab on GALLERY page for an example of my step-by-step), or my INTERACTIVE Keynote Presentation for your next annual meeting or convention. (send this link to your friends in the corporate world–we need them to get to know their “Artist Within”.)

Creativity is ELEMENTAL and INFINITE.  It is the foundation of everything and within it are infinite possibilities.  If your organization is not creative it is stagnant and it will die.  If your organization is creative the sky is the limit!

Creatively yours, Whitney



Barnes & Noble-Painting Made Easy
March 25, 2009, 4:10 pm
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'

There is truly a shift!  I have just connected with some amazing people who have been creating inspired work in the field of creativity for years!  I spoke with Sarah Caldicott-Miller on the phone, co-author of How to Innovate Like Edison.  She is Thomas Edison’s granddaughter and such a generous person.  She introduced me to John Cimino of Creative Leaps in New York who has been empowering educators, students, and major corporations for years through music and his “Concert of Ideas”!  (see links)  I am looking forward to collaborating with both of these amazing people in the future!

What we are all motivated by right now is the national need to empower ourselves to create change.  Art and creativity have been, ironically enough, put in a box for too long and we are suffering for it.  The reason to develop your creative ability is to access the part of your mind that enables you to envision change in ANY type of situtation and, then, to empower you to create that change.  This mental capacity lives in your right brain (Dan Pink-A Whole New Mind, Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future).  The more you access your right brain, the stronger it gets and the more inspired, hopeful and productive you are, your business, your employees, etc.  It is really quite simple.  That is the good news! (Goi to www.southwestblend.com and click on my book cover to listen to my latest radio interview) So…

I need Barnes & Noble to see bigger sales numbers!  My book, The Artist Within, is in 126 B&N’s all over the country!  If you all can recommend my book to friends and family anywhere and suggest that they contact their local B&N first–that would be GREAT!

I taught my Painting Made Easy class last night and we had FUN!  My DVD, Painting Made Easy, is shipping today from Chicago, so stay tuned for that!  Now anyone, anywhere can experience this no-fail, very relaxing, inspiring class!

So, today, as you go through your day in our very left-brain world, remember that your right brain is where you can go to escape the stress, to turn a recent job loss into a fabulous opportunity, to access ideas and wisdom just waiting for you in your subconscious, and where your “inner critic” transforms into  your “inner cheerleader”.  My book gives you simple, simple ways to make that mental shift.

Last thing, if you have a group (any size) that would like to hear an empowering, positive message that will inspire change–please let me know.  Create change!  ~Whitney



Dr. Jill
March 12, 2009, 1:52 am
Filed under: Whitney Ferre'

I sent Dr. Jill, author of My Stroke of Insight, an e-mail asking if we could meet to collaborate to some extent in the interest of the right brain.  If you have not read her book, you really should.  First, you can go to www.ted.com and watch her speech.  You will see why I got so excited last October when I watched it for the first time.  In her response to my e-mail, Dr. Jill eloquently explains her “whole brain” advocacy.  She is very wise and so appreciate her response and the time she took to do so.  Truly, the goal is for all of us to be using as much of our mental capacity as possible in order to live our lives as happily, truthfully, and productively as possible.  Thank you, Dr. Jill!  Whitney