The Inspiration Place Podcast logo featuring episode 277 with headshots of Miriam Schulman and Bel Mills

with host artist Miriam Schulman

Ready for a dose of creativity, inspiration, and a dash of upcycling magic? But wait, what’s upcycling, you ask? It’s all about taking ordinary, everyday materials and transforming them into exquisite handmade books and art. Our special guest, Bel Mills, is a remarkable book artist and an inspiring teacher who has crafted an incredible online class centered on the art of upcycling books. Bel’s passion for creating bespoke, one-of-a-kind books from salvaged paper is truly inspiring. We’ll also dive into the power of getting out of your own way and focusing on what truly matters: your audience and the value you can bring to their lives.

“When it’s time to go and sell, when it’s time to go and share our work and share our message, we have to reflect on the sacred aspects of our soul.”- Miriam Schulman

In this podcast, you will discover…

  • Not to underestimate the creative potential of everyday objects; upcycling can breathe new life into them.
  • When creating and sharing your art or knowledge, focus on how it can positively impact your audience rather than dwelling on your insecurities.
  • You can overcome obstacles and find support in your creative journey by seeking guidance, connecting with like-minded individuals, and collaborating to grow as an artist or educator.

“The idea with upcycling is that you’re taking something that would normally be throwing away, and you’re upgrading it. You’re making it into something that’s permanent and beautiful.”- Bel Mills

“Remember that it isn’t about you. And if you can, kind of get out of your own way, get the help that you need, and focus on the folks out there who stand to gain so much from your work and what you have to offer.”- Bel Mills

Links Mentioned

📑 [FREE GUIDE] Discover the 9 tools recommended by top artists to create stunning art videos…and attract collectors, followers, and art students.

🎨 Artist Incubator Coaching: Transform your art business by implementing the 5-part passion-to-profit framework so that you can finally earn a sustainable income from your art.

📒 FREE DOWNLOAD: Bel’s 9 Essential Bookbinding Tools: Discover the exact tools you need to explore bookbinding and embark on a creative adventure

📖 Artpreneur, by Miriam Schulman: The go-to handbook for artists aspiring to turn their passion into a sustainable and profitable career. This book offers inspiring stories and practical advice that empower artists to embrace a confident mindset and follow a clear path to creative and financial freedom.


Artpreneur book cover featuring various color block shapes in blue, green and yellow.

About Bel

A book artist living outside Washington DC, she is the owner of Scrap Paper Circus Upcycled Book Arts Studio and the founder of The Paper Alchemist Upcycled Book Arts School. Her passion is creating bespoke, one-of-a-kind handmade books out of salvaged paper and using online workshops to teach her students to do the same. Using cardboard boxes, envelopes, file folders and paper bags as raw materials, she’s sold over 200 handmade books on Etsy, and taught dozens of classes for art centers and museums, including the Nevada Museum of Art and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Her classes are featured on SkillShare and Creativebug, and her designs were recently spotlighted by PRINT magazine. Last year she closed her Etsy shop to focus exclusively on online teaching, and in May she opened The Paper Alchemist Upcycled Book Arts School where she is now offering pre-recorded classes on how to transform ordinary paper into extraordinary handmade books.

About the host, Miriam Schulman

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where I help other artists learn how to profit from their passion. Through online classes, business coaching programs, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. My signature coaching program, The Artist Incubator, helps artists go from so-so sales to sold-out collections.

After witnessing 9/11, I abandoned a lucrative hedge fund job to work on my art full time. Since then, my art and story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, What Women Create, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. Check out my best-selling book with HarperCollins Leadership, Artpreneur, how to make money from your creativity, wherever books are sold. When I’m not in the studio, I split my time between New York City and a farmhouse in the country. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for art lovers (of every passion level) at

Subscribe & Review in iTunes

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode. I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

Now if you’re feeling extra loving, I would be really grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in an read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you!

Listener shout out of the week!

Icon with green headphones with red heart behind on the right☆☆☆☆☆
Miriam practices what she preaches and her sermons are inspiring and a lot of fun. Great practical advice for making your living doing what you love.


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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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