7 real life happy artists
If you’ve been hanging around with me for the last six months or so, you’ll have heard me talk about the Happy Artist Movement. I’ve talked about how it came about, as well as my experience of what it means to be one, and I thought it was high time I shared some real life examples!

When I put the call out for contributions, I had not anticipated that the post might end up sounding like an advert for my work! I wanted it to be about the experience of each contributor, but in retrospect since they are all readers/students of my work it was perhaps inevitable that it might in part come across that way.

Of course it’s lovely that what I create is able to help people in all these diverse {and often entirely unknown to me} ways, but most of all I hope you’ll find this post an encouragement and permission giver, expressed through people just like you – with degrees and without, with a history of making art and without, with clarity and {initially} without.

What I love about the following artists is that they demonstrate the diversity of what it means to be a happy artist. There’s no formula {heaven forbid ;)} and you get to define your own version of happy artist status. For some it includes feeling more relaxed and confident, for others it’s about connection, or understanding of personal expression, and for others still it has to do with opening an online shop or entering a show. It’s always a combination unique to the artist. That’s the beauty; you get to choose.

Enjoy these happy artist stories! May they show you what’s possible and remind you that your way is the best way for you. 🙂 

{My emphasis.}

Linda Ursin

Linda Ursin
“In one of her videos, Tara introduced me to a new medium which I just had to try; water-soluble crayons. Since I love experimenting, it was a direct path to more happiness and I’ll be making more of these and send them out to some of my most loyal followers. I made a video of how I made it too, so I could inspire others to experiment as well.”

Linda’s website


Elizabeth Patterson

Elizabeth Patterson
“I started following you on Instagram recently, and I was immediately intrigued by the idea of painting on paper. You’ve also also talked a lot about experimenting and working through your art and allowing mistakes and/or growth.

So a couple weeks ago I gathered some extra paper and acrylic paints I had lying around (I always use oils, so I was a little apprehensive) and just started trying new techniques out! And I’m so glad I did — it reminded me how much I love just working with paint and letting myself get lost in my art! 🙂

Elizabeth’s website

Eleonora Medwell

Ellie Medwell
“Since I’ve finished Artist Inspired, I’ve become huge fan of Tara.  At the moment I study Expressive Charcoal. Tara is a sincere and very encouraging tutor. With her lessons and video, which are brilliant and fun to watch and follow, my painting’s become looser, spontaneous and I don’t feel unhappy with the result.   Actually, I feel proud of what I’ve created and consider myself as a proper artist.

The painting you can see here – Figs and Tomatoes – I’ve created after one of the exercises Tara introduced to us: Light and Dark.  This is one of my favourite paintings ever! The beauty of Tara’s tuition is: she gives you a direction and you take it and somehow, magically create something that belongs to you, that speaks to your audience in your language, not someone else’s.

Ellie’s Instagram


Jen Berlingo

Jen Berlingo
“As both a lifelong collector of oracle decks and as a transpersonal art therapist whose vocation is steeped in imagery and in the numinous, I had always intended to create a deck of my own. Last year, Tara provided the perfect sacred space and invitation with her two week ecourse called “Practical Intuition: Make your own oracle cards.” I joyfully enrolled and created an oracle deck that I initially intended for personal use, called the SoulSpace Oracle.

Once I began posting photos on Instagram of my personal rituals using my cards, to my surprise, many asked where they could purchase the deck. Largely because of my experience in Tara’s inspiring ecourse, I now have a successful Etsy shop where I sell my oracle deck, and I’ve connected with so many amazing people in the past year by sharing my art in this way.

Jen’s website


Luci Power

Luci Power
“Having been to Art college and worked as an exhibition and Theme Park designer I am not devoid of artistic knowledge but, stopping all work to have kids, I eventually found that 10 years had passed and I had done no art whatsoever. I had also lost direction and self esteem. Since this realisation I’ve picked up my pens and paintbrush again, and have been drawing and painting regularly ever since; it has been a calming and mindful experience 🙂 – however my work has stayed quite illustrative and representational until recently. I felt I needed to regain my imagination and it was at this point, when trying to get to grips with abstract painting and feeling like it just wasn’t for me, that I first came across your blog and discovered your ‘How to make an abstract painting’ post and checklist.

What great guidance it is, but then your recent ‘ways to be a happy artist’ post really hit home! It confirmed things I had been doing, and gave me more: in particular I hold on to ‘explore your fascinations‘ which I have been doing since I read it, and has helped me to finally shake off the feeling that my work has to be representational

My subject matter is now quite diverse, but the abstract work is really beginning to take off in a way I am pleased with and makes me feel imaginative again. At the moment I still like to add an element of illustrative comedy into my work, and that keeps me smiling and I entertains many customers; I know this from reviews and messages I have had. I now sell my work on Artfinder and Etsy and was even featured on an Artfinder email as ‘a Happy Artist’ so it must show in the work!”

Luci’s Instagram


Elizabeth Winters

“I’ve always read that art should be fun, but how do you paint something that you love to look at, and it still be fun? Watercolor classes were such hard work, and I thought it lacked pizzazz. Tara’s Abstractify course wandered into my life, and specifically gave me so many interesting things to try, that making art became fun, and the results as well as the whole process made me happy. Tara’s teaching is always about being true to your own creative sensibility, which encourages you to truly explore and enjoy the adventure.

Since beginning that course exactly one year ago in April, I have not only made art on a regular basis, but I have been in a juried show, sold 2 large acrylic canvases on commission, and am part of a 5-woman show in Union, SC for the month of May.  I have the confidence to try new things and although I may not actually make art every day, I find that I live a more free and creative life!”

Elizabeth’s Instagram

Kia Cannons

Kia Cannons
“I took part in Tara’s mini series challenge and it helped me enormously. I used to flit from idea to idea trying out different styles and the challenge helped me to focus on one style for 7 days. This naturally caused me to discover which aspects of my work I didn’t enjoy repeating and which ones I loved, and therefore helped me hone my style and learn to stick with one for a good amount of time before jumping to something new.

When I finished the challenge I knew which elements of my work I wanted to focus on and 8 months later I am still painting in that same style all thanks to joining in Tara’s challenge and listening to her brilliant guidance.”

Kia’s Instagram

{Sidenote: The 7 day challenge will run again in September 2017.}


One of the themes I notice here is that embracing an experimental mindset, something I do myself and always encourage my students to do, seems to be a fundamental component of being a happy artist. It really helps to soften those perfectionist tendencies and create the space for possibility.

Would you call yourself a happy artist? What do you think contributes to that? Tell me in the comments!


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