2015 part three / taraleaver.com

This is the third and final part of my look back at my life and work over the past year. For part one click here, and for part two, click here.

Today I’m sharing places I’ve been featured around the interwebs, paintings I made, successes and disappointments, and some thoughts on what inspired me over the year. It might introduce you to some interesting new people or at the very least reassure you that not everything is a wild success. 🙂 There is also a little peek into what’s coming in 2016 {that I know about!}, and, if you would be so kind, a request to answer a few questions for me. {If you do, I’ve invented something I rather love for three winners!}


Writing around the web

Staying home is lovely and cosy, and sometimes it’s nice to venture further afield too. I started writing guest posts initially as a way to spread the word about what I do and help people find me, mainly because that’s what so many courses and entrepreneurial types teach. I have to say that for me that is not the most fun or rewarding angle from which to come at it.

This year I shifted my personal perspective on it slightly and now I do it only because and when I have something to say, because I love to write, and because it’s a challenge. Perhaps it does bring new people in front of my work, but that is no longer my reason for doing it; more like a happy side effect. I should add too that not all my submissions were accepted, as you’ll see. 🙂

So here are the places I was seen this year:

skinnyartist.com :: 3 steps to spark your creativity. Not the title I would have chosen – I’m not so much a fan of ‘step’ posts, but when you write for different platforms you have to accept that they are going to make edits. It’s a good practice in letting go of outcomes!}

The Intentional Creative :: a lovely interview with my friend Lauren Lapointe whom I met while we were both studying with Eric Maisel. I’m really happy with this interview; it feels good to be able to stand by everything I said a year ago!

I was also featured on a couple of blog round ups:

alwayswellwithin.com :: Sandra Pawula’s beautiful and thoughtfully written blog included a post about dealing with creative stress, and I was delighted to be asked to contribute. Not least because I’m in some amazing company!

becomingwhoyouare.net :: Lovely Hannah Braime asked me to contribute to a post about how to nourish your creativity, another fun collaborative piece with some great people.



This collage was fun to make as I didn’t realise I’d done this many – managed to average more than one a month despite weeks of no painting! There were more but just smaller studies, unfinished pieces etc.

paintings 2015 // tara leaver


>> Being asked to contribute to Color for Clarity, a colouring book for adults, came completely out of left field for me. It was interesting to note how connections and collaboration requests started to flow in after I took a step back from putting so much effort into ‘growing my business’. {Which is a silly phrase for me to use really, since it’s not what I actually want, exactly! << clarity right there.} You can download six free sample pages here.

>> Selling two large paintings.

>> Being asked to join an online art workshop series – more on this in the new year!

>> I was also invited to run in person workshops by a company I love, but turned it down {see hermit comment below!}.


>> Having an article rejected by Mabel magazine. It happens. It’d be lovely to be in it, but I’m not sure I have the right ‘vibe’ or aesthetic. Still, you have to sometimes just try and see! Plus I can try sending the article I wrote elsewhere.

>> Other rejections: Empty Easel, Mind Body Green and ArtsyShark {which was also paid for. Not my best idea}. The major lesson in all this was not to do things because it ‘seems like a good idea’, but to do them because I really really want to. Although Mabel would’ve been cool. 🙂

>> I showed my work in a couple of cafés this year, since a friend offered to organise the whole thing. Historically it’s never been worth the effort for me, and nothing sold, but I’m also not going to turn down effort-free showings. 😉 And you never know. I sold my last flat to someone who’d seen my work in an exhibition and liked it.

What inspired me this year

>> Finally owning that I am by nature a hermit, instead of joking about it and feeling a bit defensive, and starting to really investigate what that means for me and what my life can become now I’ve given myself permission to be what I am. Not an obvious source of inspiration perhaps, but it’s opened up a huge space in me and in my life.

>> This post by Jamie from Ink and Adventure really speaks to that, and gave me courage in my own life. {The last line is awesome.}

>> This post from Hali Karla about the kind of open, honest sharing we really want to be doing. {Well, I do.} “I’m not after six figures [gasp] or starting movements of followers who hang on my every word [that can actually get a little creepy] – just the magic junction of integrity, peace of mind, true connection and creative energy. YES.

>> This interview with Cynthia Morris. I love how she talks about creative living and process. She is full of integrity and so inspiring. It was reading her annual review that prompted me to do this one.

What’s coming in 2016

>> Practical Intuition – two weeks of guidance in making your own oracle cards, coming in February. Very excited about this, not least because it came about very serendipitously, which is always a good sign.

>> Almost certainly Abstractify will be back in the game. I feel a little uncomfortable doing a U turn after saying last time was probably the final session, but sometimes we do change direction. And it’s a bloody good course. 😉

>> I’m planning to put together a book of my best poems and sea photos; a personal project I really look forward to sharing with you.

>> I’m aiming to travel more {I always aim for that, it just doesn’t always work out that way}. Travelling is one of my great loves that doesn’t get fed enough, mainly because the past few years have been very inward focused. I’ll be a hermit who travels. Alone. Quietly. 🙂


One last thing

I’ve created a survey about what I offer here and would be supremely grateful if you would take a few minutes to fill it in. And because supreme gratitude is lovely, but not that exciting, I would also love to offer three people a bespoke oracle card with your word of the year for 2016 {or any word of your choice}, which I will create specially for you if your name is drawn on January 7th. Click >>here<< for the survey. Big thank you hugs!


Ok this is really the last thing now

May 2016 be a year of blessings and abundance for you. May you discover new and wonderful things about what you’re capable of. May you create and learn and explore and experiment. May you find support and encouragement on your journey. May you know for sure that everything you need is indeed inside you, and may you bring to life the gifts you are here to bring.

Much love and see you next year,