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Your Best Life in the Arts

with Dr. Eric Maisel

Course Overview

Are you a novelist, painter, dancer, singer, filmmaker, weaver, performance artist, poet or some other creative or performing artist? If you are, you know exactly how many challenges confront you on a daily basis.

You know how hard it is to make art, to find success in the marketplace, to manage your relationships, and to keep your spirits up as a working artist. And you may doubt that there are any good answers to these very real problems.

Dr. Eric Maisel is America’s foremost creativity coach and the author of more than thirty books including Fearless Creating, Coaching the Artist Within, and The Van Gogh Blues. You will learn powerful answers that give you the best chance to succeed artistically, emotionally and practically as an artist.

Whether you’ve only dreamed of beginning to write, paint or play an instrument or whether you’ve logged in thousands of hours at your craft, YOUR BEST LIFE IN THE ARTS is the perfect class for you. Taught by America’s leading expert on the challenges of the creative life, Dr. Maisel has worked with thousands of artists in a multitude of settings. Take this opportunity to learn real answers to the challenges that confront you.

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Who Should Attend?

Fiction writers, memoirists, poets and nonfictions writers (including professionals contemplating writing a book); visual artists (painters, sculptors, fashion designers, glass artists, textile artists, cartoonists, graphic novelists, graphic artists, game creators); performers (actors, dancers, singers, musicians, performance artists, puppeteers, mimes); composers; stage and screen professionals (screenwriters, playwrights, filmmakers, directors, videographers, costume designers, set designers, cinematographers, production designers); craftspeople (weavers, knitters, potters, jewelry makers, furniture makers); individuals wanting to create more deeply and more regularly; blocked creatives; people who’ve abandoned the arts and want to return; coaches, therapists, and other professionals who want to learn about the challenges of the creative life; and anyone interested in the creative life.

What You'll Learn

Week 1. Your Life in the Arts
Get a clear picture of what it takes to deal with the emotional ups and downs and practical realities of a life in the arts. Learn how to make solid sense of the challenges of your own personality, the challenges inherent in the work of creating, and the challenges of culture and marketplace. Our starting point is the important frame of “person, work, and world.”

Week 2. The Meaning Key
If you can’t convince yourself that your creative efforts matter—if you aren’t “existentially decisive”—you’ll lose motivation, block, and avoid your creative work and your performance tasks. Learn how to “make meaning” on a daily basis using a simple “morning meaning practice” that will keep you focused and motivated.

Week 3. The Mind Key
Creating depends on having a mind quiet enough to allow ideas to bubble up. Living a successful, healthy life as an artist requires that your self-talk align with your goals and aspirations. Learn the important skills of quieting your mind and extinguishing negative self-talk.

Week 4. The Confidence Key
You may feel quite confident in some areas of your life—and then find yourself weaker than you would like when you get to the canvas or computer screen or when you need to talk to a gallery owner, literary agent or booking agent. General confidence isn’t enough—you need to feel confident as an artist in order to succeed as an artist. Learn how to increase your confidence generally and specifically as an artist.

Week 5. The Stress Key
Life produces stress, the artistic personality produces additional stress, creating produces even more stress, and living the artist’s life is the topper! Learn how to identify the stressors in your life and how to implement stress management techniques designed specifically for artists.

Week 6. The Freedom Key
Most people are unaware of how self-censorship and other self-imposed constraints hamper their ability to flourish as an artist. They’re also unaware of how cultural constraints add to that felt lack of freedom. Learn what you need to do to make the most of the freedom you possess so that you can create and perform deeply and in your own voice.

Week 7. The Passion Key
Passion—and synonyms like love, curiosity, enthusiasm, excitement and energy—is vital to the creative process. It is possible to create without passion but your art will suffer and the likelihood of you continuing over the long haul is greatly reduced. Learn how to rekindle passion and keep the flame of passion lit even on dark days and during dry spells.

Week 8. The Empathy Key
Some necessary traits of the creative personality include self-direction, self-trust, healthy narcissism, and other qualities that can incline a person toward self-centeredness and a lack of empathy. Learn why empathy is also a quality to be cultivated—for the sake of your art, your humanity, and marketplace success.

Week 9. The Identity Key
It is much harder to fashion a life in the arts if you do not strongly identify as an artist. At the same time a vast array of sub-identities are available to you—you may see yourself as a beautifier, activist, bohemian, problem-solver, shaman, and so on. Learn how this intricate issue of identity vexes artists—and what you can do to secure the identity that best serves you.

Week 10. The Addiction Key
Creative people squarely fall into the category of people at high risk for addiction, whether it’s a classic addiction to alcohol or drugs or one of the new distraction addictions involving email and the Internet. Learn why you are at greater risk than the next person—and what you can do to minimize those risks and deal with any addictions that may have taken hold already.

Week 11. The Obsession Key
Get a clear picture of the difference between unproductive obsessions to be avoided and productive obsessions that fuel the creative process. Obsession is one of the least understood and yet most important aspects of both the creative process and success in the arts. Learn how to use your brain’s natural desire to concentrate to your benefit as an artist.

Week 12. The Relationship Key
As independently and autonomously as artists might want to live, they must nevertheless pay attention to relationships. Intimacy is a key to emotional health and a career in the arts requires cultivating working relationships with industry professionals. Learn an artist’s most important relationship skills.

Week 13. The Societal Key
Artists are an integral part of their society—as witnesses, cultural observers, entrepreneurs, and sometimes as heroes and celebrities. Their relationship to their society is almost always complex. Learn how to implement strategies that can help you relate to society on your terms.

Week 14. Your Artist Plan
Learn how to create daily, three-month and long-term plans that keep you focused on your tasks as an artist. Without solid plans in place you can lose months and years that might have been devoted to building a satisfying life in the arts. Know what you’re going to do when the challenges we’ve been discussing arise—planning is the key!

What You’ll Get Out of the Course

You’ll learn to identify the challenges that confront you as an artist—and what to do about them. Whether you want to silence negative self-talk, create and cultivate productive obsessions, institute a regular creativity practice, more effectively meet the marketplace, strengthen your identity as an artist, deal more comfortably with non-artists and with other artists—no matter what your issues or goals, YOUR BEST LIFE IN THE ARTS will help!

Textbook for the Course

- Your Best Life in the Arts
- Course overview and syllabus
- Weekly lessons

- Creativity for Life

- Coaching the Artist Within

- The Van Gogh Blues

- Mastering Creative Anxiety

About Dr. Eric Maisel

Eric Maisel is America’s foremost creativity expert and the author of more than 30 books including Fearless Creating, The Van Gogh Blues, Coaching the Artist Within, The Creativity Book, Mastering Creative Anxiety, Creativity for Life, Deep Writing, Affirmations for Artists, Creative Recovery, Brainstorm, Sleep Thinking, Toxic Criticism, A Writer’s Paris and A Writer’s San Francisco.

Dr. Maisel provides workshops in San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, and other locations worldwide, presents at venues as diverse as the Paris Writers Workshop, the Savannah College of Arts and Crafts, and the American Conservatory Theater, and writes a weekly column for, a bi-weekly column for Art Bistro, and a monthly column for Professional Artist Magazine.

Dr. Maisel’s books have been translated into Korean, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Turkish and other languages and he has done hundreds of radio, television and print interviews on the subject of creativity. He trains creativity coaches and Noimetics practitioners, oversees the World Salon, a gathering place for creative and performing artists worldwide, and maintains an extensive individual creativity coaching practice.

Praise for Dr. Eric Maisel

"Eric Maisel has made a career out of helping artists, musicians, dancers and writers cope with the traumas and troubles that are the price of admission to a creative life."

— Intuition Magazine

"Eric Maisel has fused his empirical knowledge of the artistic life with true empathy and support for artists in each of the disciplines."

— New Age Journal

"Eric Maisel is a meticulous guide who knows the psychological landscape that artists inhabit."
— The Writer Magazine

"Eric Maisel's books should be required reading for anyone involved in the arts, especially students and their teachers. Maisel demystifies the process of creating art."

— Theatre Design and Technology Journal

Without Eric Maisel's guidance I would never have successfully negotiated the publishing process. With his help, I completed a substantial proposal, landed a good agent, and just signed my first book contract!”
— Nancy Pine, author and educator

It's been an unexpected joy to find someone as creatively supportive and encouraging as Eric. I didn't know what to expect out of our sessions and each one is fresh and interesting. Eric’s inspirational!” 

— Christine Collister, international recording artist

Eric's insights have helped me with every aspect of my painting career, from the evolution of my market vision to strategies for self-promotion. I also found his help invaluable in feeding my creator's soul!

— Jonathan Herbert, painter and photographer

I’m an executive coach and the author of Soul Purpose and Be Your Own Best Coach—and Eric Maisel is my coach. No one is better qualified to lead a creative person on his or her creative journey.” 

— Jackee Holder, Be Your Own Best Coach

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Eric Maisel, Ph.D., founded the profession of creativity coaching and the field of natural psychology. He is the author of more than 35 books and presents workshops nationally. Learn more about Eric »


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