The formula for designing a more art-filled life

Barb Toland Creative Sparks

Today's blog post may be aimed at makers, crafters, artists etc. but don't think for a minute that if you're purely an art collector (or want to be), that you won't get something out of it.

These creative tips can easily be applied to simply growing your life in a more art-filled direction, by discovering & allowing that awesome imagination to be a part of your everyday choices.

The decisions you need to make in order to navigate each day, if done from a more creative perspective, will change so much about how you live your life.

So when you read the word "creativity" and you just don't feel like it applies because you don't actually make art, think again my artsy friend ;-)

When you begin to apply these nuggets of wisdom by beloved author Elizabeth Gilbert, even in a more general way, you'll still find lots of opportunities to lead a more creatively designed life.

If you haven't read "Big Magic" written by the awesome sauce Liz Gilbert (author of "Eat, Pray, Love")  — then you must! It's all about getting past some mighty tough creative blocks, and into the land of a more joyful & sustainable life.

Here a few of Ms. Gilbert's quotes from the book to get you started...


Curiosity is one of the most important components to a living a creatively driven life. Want to know what's around the next corner? Then you must be brave enough to go there. And even if you're frightened by an unexpected goblin or troll, just give them  your toothiest smile, and they'll know you mean business ;-)

Don't let your fear of the unknown stifle your curiosity.


When following your curiosity, sometimes you'll find that you're also following your heart's calling. And THAT'S where the magic really starts to happen. That sweet, sweet place where following your nose leads you to your heart's desire is golden.

And again, that toothy grin will stop those silly gremlins in their tracks!


There are many incredible & rewarding ideas just waiting for you to see them. But it takes more than just your eyes to find these nuggets  — it also takes your heart.

Yes, it's really hard sometimes to discern the difference. But if you find that a particular idea keeps coming back & quietly tapping you on your shoulder, those are the ones worth exploring.

I've found that the truest creative voice comes in a whisper, gently nudging you to take the next step.


Being curious & brave can be intimidating! That's when I suggest you rely on the tiniest of baby steps. Break it down. Take the next step. Then the next.

Even climbing Mt. Everest begins with that very first one.


Yes, fear will be your trusty companion when you're chasing your dreams & desires. I know for a fact that it will never leave your side. Embrace it, learn to love it, and don't let it even for a second, get the best of you.

Fear is mostly in your mind, not your heart  — which is exactly where your dreams live just waiting for you to discover them.


Anything that doesn't go as expected is merely information for your next creative gig ;-)

Trust me, I know this all too well. I've screwed up many, many times, both in my life & in my creative endeavors. But then I try to forgive myself for the misstep, and hopefully learn something for the next attempt.

We're all beginners here, the operative phrase is 'to begin'.


Yes, sit down & cry or pout for a while if you must (I certainly have). Those goblins & monsters can seem so darn real. Pause & ponder for a bit if you're scared, but please don't run. If you stick with it enough, and show up over & over, I promise that you will be rewarded for your persistence.

Know your mind for what it is  — a great companion, but a lousy driver! Be tenaciously driven to follow your heart instead.


Ooooooh  — a treasure hunt!

If your back starts to hurt, take a rest ... but promise me you'll pick up that shovel & start digging again. Mine for that gold only you can find in your creative heart.


Hands down, yes you do. You may not feel like it at times, especially when it gets tough and your proverbial shovel is getting heavier & heavier. But there's one thing I know for sure...

You've got this! And believe it or not, the gold is in the process of digging itself.

So keep on keepin' on my friend.

Here's the formula in a nutshell for having a life that overflows with creativity:

  1. Show up fully present, and with tons of curiosity.
  2. Keep checking in with your compass, i.e. the whispers of your creative heart.
  3. Take time to sit & listen to what it has to say.
  4. Start with baby steps.
  5. If any fearful ghosts or goblins show up, give them your flashiest smile :D
  6. Keep digging with all of your imagination muscle & heart.

THIS is the key to living a happy & creative life. Will it be perfectly without obstacles, not a chance. Will it be fun? Well, that all depends on whether or not you're willing to dance along the way ;-)

Now it's your turn. By scrolling down to the comments below, tell me where you think you're getting hung up on pursuing your life in a creative way,  or where you're trying to make something & may be getting stuck.

I'm on this journey with you my friend, and I promise to hold your creative hand when you need it. I'll also smile really big when that goblin of fear stops by ... he seriously detests my toothy grin ;-D 

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