TRANSCRIPT: Ep. 071 – Set Your Intention for 2020


Hey there. It’s Miriam Schulman. And you’re listening to episode number 71 of the Inspiration Place podcast. Today we’re talking about art journaling and setting your intentions for 2020. So for that, stay tuned.

Today’s episode is sponsored by my Free Art Journaling Workshop. For 2020 I’ve put together a set of videos and a live free training. This free training and videos will help you discover the magic of art journaling. Want to join me? It’s 100 percent free. Just go to And if you want to join me live for the free training, save your spot over

It’s the Inspiration Place podcast with artist Miriam Schulman. Welcome to the Inspiration Place podcast. An art world inside a podcast for artists, by an artist, where each week we go behind the scenes to uncover the perspiration and inspiration behind the art. And now your host Miriam Schulman.

Well, hello, this is the Inspiration Place podcast. And I’m your host, Miriam Schulman. This is episode number seventy one. How crazy is that?

I am so thrilled that you’re here today. We’re talking all about art journaling, but really more importantly, we’re talking about setting an intention for 2020. I just use art journaling as a tool to do that. And so that’s why in today’s episode, I’m going to be going back and forth between talking about how I use an art journal to set intention and giving you my advice on how to do that yourself. It’s been a tradition of mine to art journal at the start of every new year. And I’ve been doing this for about the last seven years or so. And I want to share this magic with you. In this episode, you’ll discover why I art journal, what it is in case you don’t know and the benefits. I’m also going to share with you how to squeeze in time for working in an art journal. And I’m even at a share with you my five step goal setting framework. And that is something I do in my art journal. You can do it in any journal, though, really. It’s really a thought process of how to approach setting your goals and your intentions for the year.

Now, before we dive into today, I want to share a cute story about my cat. I know that all the crazy cat lady friends out there are really excited. And the rest of you. Well, don’t worry. There’s a moral of this story. I’m not just telling it for fun. So just humor me. Here is a story. And this is a true story. By the way, I’m not making this up. About the end of August or September, our cat stopped coming into our room at night. She really is a sweet cat, but I wouldn’t call her a lap cat. She’s more like a room cat. But even though she ignores us most of the day, I would look forward to having this warm, snuggly cat at night purring next to us. But like I said, at the end of the summer, she stopped. She started spending long hours camped out in our den. I call it our den. That probably tells you how old I am. Our TV room, most of time she was either on the couch there, but usually she started hanging out on the step between the den and the kitchen.

So the den is basically a step up from the rest of the house. It’s pretty much built on like a crawl space. At first, we thought it was because we had cut back on her food, because we took her to the vet in August. She weighed in at a whopping fifteen pounds. So my husband and I started cutting back on her dry food, which is basically carbs for cats. So she was kind of on like more of a Keto diet, just having the canned food. Don’t worry, we’re not starving our cat. She gets two cans a day. She still looks very well-fed. But we thought that her change in behavior was because she was mad at us. Or maybe we thought she was making up for the calorie deficit by moving as little as possible and just staying in one room, the den, which was really close to where her food bowl is in the kitchen. And only a few steps away from diet anymore.

She was just hanging out in the den all day. Now we had this cat for a long time. I think she’s about nine years old. So this shift in behavior and personality did not seem normal. We even considered calling our vet to make sure that she was okay.

With this horrible cold that I have, I know you can hear me right now. And meanwhile, I know you’re listening to this in January and you’ve been hearing me talk about this cold for the last three weeks. But the truth is, I’ve been recording back to back episodes over the last few days. So it’s actually only been just a week that I’ve been suffering with this virus, I actually finally went to the doctor today and they told me that my cocktail of Mucinex was actually making me feel worse. So I switched it up. I’m on like an antihistamine and something else. I’m so desperate to feel better that I actually broke with my vegetarianism and I got some chicken soup at the diner that’s next to the pharmacist. I don’t know. I think it’s more like a habit loop that I associate being really sick and getting better with chicken soup. Since I’ve been coughing up a storm. And it’s definitely worse at night. I’ve been coming down to the den, which is something I do when I have trouble sleeping, even when I’m not sick. Just because, you know, I’m 50, you can imagine night sweats, the whole thing. So when I have trouble sleeping so as not to bother my husband, I come down to the couch and a lot of times if I pet the cat, that helps me fall asleep. Or sometimes I’ll just read a book and also sleep a little on the couch either until I feel like going back upstairs or sometimes I’m still there when my husband wakes up.

So I was sitting on the couch petting the cat, when suddenly she jumped off and headed for her favorite step. However, this time, instead of immediately jumping to the conclusion that she was rejecting me. In other words, the circumstance that the cat jumped off the couch. My thought, instead of making it mean, that she’s rejecting me, I decided to listen and get curious. To get curious about my cat. It sounds like I’m doing life coaching with my cat. And what I heard was something that the cat had been hearing for months.

I heard a scratching sound. There was obviously some kind of rodent who had taken up residence just under that step. Maybe it’s a mouse. Hopefully it’s not a rat. And the cat was just doing her job of guarding the house. Now, there are two lessons that I can pull away from this story.

The first one is I think about how many times I misjudge, how many times all of us, we’re all guilty, misjudge other people. But when we get quiet and we get curious and we try to think about what their intention might be. Sometimes their behavior does not mean what we’ve been making it mean. That it’s so important for us as artists. Also, there’s so many times when we have a commission and then we don’t hear from the person after we sent them a picture of our art. Like it’s quiet for a week and we make it mean that they don’t like it. When meanwhile, they have the flu or their husband has the flu or or their house is on fire or something else. So there’s so many times when we make things mean something that they don’t and that really can play with our heads.

But there’s also a lesson in it for us today with the theme for today. So my cat, my cat really knows her why she knows her intention. She knows her purpose. And as a cat, her purpose is to chase creatures like mice. And she is so focused on that intention that it drives her behavior. And she does this instinctively. This is the power of getting in touch with your intentions, with your why and your life purpose. And that is what we’re talking about today. For the last seven years or so, I’ve been perfecting a method of using my art journal for goal setting and personal development. I use the art journal to get clear on my intentions and my deepest, darkest desires. It’s how I coach myself. It’s a meditation practice for me and it’s a beautiful way for me to get in touch with my feelings and my life purpose and reconnect with it on an annual basis. And that’s the process that I want to share with you. So if you have an inner desire to create, an art journal definitely will fuel that desire. But art journals are not just for artists. Sure, art journals are a great way to experiment. If you choose to, you can use the art journal as a sketchbook, practice and experiment with new techniques. Whether you choose to create a journal with watercolors or markers or paint. The possibilities are endless. And if you’re interested in learning new lettering, then using an art journal as a form of personal practice is a great way to try out new lettering without the fear of trying to create a masterpiece.

That’s because the point of an art journal is that it’s private art. Art that only you have to see. So knowing that leaves a lot of the perfectionist tendencies that shut would-be-artists down. Now if you have no idea where to start or how to get started. Or maybe if you’re already in art journal enthusiast, I’ve got some great news for you. Like I mentioned at the top of the hour, I’ve got a free video series for you on art journaling and it’s finally ready to send your way. Let me explain how you can sign up. You just go to, enter your name and email and press the yellow button. I’m also going to be doing a live free training on how to use your art journal as a goal setting tool. I’ve made sure to have both afternoon and evening time, so hopefully you’ll be able to snag one of those that works for your time zone to sign up for the goals setting workshop go to And by the way, this is January 2020 that we’re talking about. If you’re listening to this podcast episode after that, like in February, it won’t be there anymore. The videos and workshop are only available in January, so please make sure you sign up and make time to watch them right away because those videos, those links to the videos, they do disappear. You’ll get video one immediately and then you’ll get a new video approximately every two days or so.

Now we’re gonna be talking a lot about journaling today and also over the next few weeks. So I’ll be sharing with you the why and the what. But if you want to see it in action, like all the pretty pictures and work in progress videos, then be sure to check out the video series and the free live training.

Ok, now back to the show. Ok, let’s dive into the magic of art journaling. First up, I want to share with you how I got started. I’m going to sum up with you also why art journaling is not a waste of time. Why do I say that? Because before I started, I thought it was a waste of time. But now I’m so addicted and I absolutely love it. And I just can’t imagine my life without it. Now, in case you don’t know me, I’m Miriam Schulman. Did I already introduce myself? I know that many of you have been listening since day one. Thank you so much, by the way. But if you’re one of my newer listeners, I just want to make sure you know who I am and what I do. So I am a painter. I’m very much still actively selling my art, both online and in person. And I’m also the founder of the Inspiration Place, which is this podcast. And it’s also the name of my online art class site where I teach people just like you how to unleash their inner artist. “You” means it’s for somebody who either you haven’t painted since you were in college or maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to it and you’ve always put yourself on the back burner. And finally, you have time to focus on it.

But I also help people who have been painting for a long time, but they want to take their art to the next level, whether that’s through learning new techniques to become a better artist or learning how to market their art. So that’s about me and what I do in a nutshell. So a couple of years ago and actually I say a couple, but it’s almost like seven now. I had no idea why anyone would waste their time. Art journaling and what the point was. I would see pictures of art journals on social media and on people’s blogs and in the magazines. But I didn’t understand what it could do for me. So that’s why I’m so passionate about explaining what it can do for you, because I admit that I thought it was a waste of time. I thought it was a waste of art supplies. My thoughts back then were if I were to sit down and do something creative, then it needed to be something that I could monetize. So that’s why I didn’t see the point of it. I didn’t see the point of the private art journal. Meanwhile, that is the whole point of it is because it’s not for sale and it’s not for other people. It’s something you do for yourself and you’re able to take the biggest risks when you know that.

So I finally decided to give it a go. So that’s why sometimes I call myself the reluctant art journalist. When I finally decided I wanted to try it, my daughter was in high school at the time and she was pretty intrigued by the whole idea. So she dove into it with me, which made it super fun to have a partner to do it with me. In fact, I really encourage y’all to do that too. Find a group of in-person people that you can do this with. Although there are plenty of online communities that you can join. We found that it was such a relaxing thing to do and it totally unlocked a deeper creativity within us. And it relieved stress. And who doesn’t need something that can relieve stress? Once I started, I was completely addicted. And since then, it has become one of my most favorite things to teach. My art journals have been published in numerous issues of Art Journaling magazine, which is a subsidiary or a part of Somerset Studio. Is it Somerset Studio or Stampington? It’s all the same thing. I think Somerset Studio is actually a magazine, and Art Journaling magazine is a magazine and they’re both owned by Stampington, if I’m wrong, send me a DM.

What I’m most proud of, though, is not that I create an art journal or that my art journal has been published, is that I get to share this process and give other people the joy of it. I love doing these trainings like this on the podcast and in my free video series on live trainings and I can’t wait to help you get started.

Now everyone has their own way of keeping an art journal or a journal. And both are completely valid. You do not have to make art in your journal, by the way. And my process does not need, you don’t need to create art. It can be just writing and not pictures. It could be all pictures, like a sketchbook. It could be something in-between. When I though, first started keeping my “art journal” and I’m using air quotes for that. This was the end of 2013, so six years ago. I actually started off by using my day planner. That was my first journal. And what I would do is I would write my tasks and as I completed them, instead of crossing them off, I would choose a piece of Washi tape to cover off the task. And then by the end of the day, I would have a page filled with Washi tape. Then sometimes I would even lightly gesso over that or gesso over other pages without Washi tape. And then I would create a layout.

My daughter also began art journaling at this time, and she actually still uses her day planner as a journal. I only use my day planner that first year and since then I do my art journaling separately. Now what she does is similar to what I first started doing. She likes Washi taping over any task on the planner or any to dos or events that she wants to cover. Sometimes she’ll leave it open if she wants to make it more like a memory keeping event. And then what she does as she fills all the white space that’s left over with inspirational quotes. Sometimes she’ll use the Washi tape to cover the entire page just to make patterns with it. With no art at all, she finds it really soothing to create these patterns. There’s absolutely no technical skill involved. It does, I believe, create. Use that creativity, though, to make a pattern. And as a musician, a lot of musician and music is about making patterns. So this is something that she really enjoys. She started journaling, like I said, six years ago when she was in high school and she still does it years later. I would even say that she has a more regular practice than I do.

I normally do the majority of my journaling in the December to January continuum. Talia, my daughter does it all year round. Now I know what you might be thinking. Well, that’s OK for you, Miriam. You learned it fast because you’re an artist or your daughter is a daughter of an artist. Or maybe she’s an artist. And there may be a little truth to that. But my daughter, she’s not an artist. She plays a cello. She’s a musician. She is creative. But I’m assuming if you’re listening to this podcast, then you’re creative somehow in your life, whether it’s cooking, gardening, photography, painting, whatever it is in your life, you are a creative person of one kind or another. When my daughter and I first started our journals, she was in the same place that you might be right now. She didn’t know what to write. She didn’t know how to write it. And together, we worked to develop a practice that she finds fulfilling. She would come to me for a journal prompt. I would help her with that. And as I would do that, I would fill my own journal pages. I definitely was keeping a journal all year round those first two years. The journal process helped relieve our stress when she was a senior in high school going through that whole college search process.

I also loved working in the journals when my son was in wrestling tournaments. He really didn’t like me bringing my knitting. I don’t know, I guess it’s too girly for the testosterone filled wrestling stands and he didn’t seem to mind if I had my, he called it my coloring project. And now my daughter still turns to her journal to relieve stress in college. And life is stressful no matter what age you are. We all have stress in our life. It’s great to have a creative outlet where you can decompress and use an art journal for that process. In addition to stress release, there are many benefits to art journaling. A few years ago I actually asked this of my blog readers and I want to share with you what they had to say.

First of all, and there are just to give you kind of a mental hook of how many there are. There are actually nine benefits to art journaling. Let’s start with number one. No rules. A lot of my blog readers said they loved that there were no rules. Pam said, “I love art journaling because there are no rules. You can make up your own and change them any time you choose. I love playing with my art supplies and my journals are my playground.” Now, for some people, that is a huge gift, not having any rules, but for others they do need a little structure and instruction to help their creativity thrive. So my framework can help you out with that.

Number two, freedom. The second reason many of my readers said they love our journaling is because of the freedom. Chris said, “Art journaling brings help my inner child. I feel free to try new things with art supplies without feeling so critical of my work. And after long days of working, it’s so fun to play. Art Journaling allows me the freedom to express myself without feeling the pressure of having to show my art to anyone. It allows me to be myself and I absolutely love it.”

Reason number three is definitely a reason that I can relate to. It’s meditation. This is another popular reason among my readers. I kind of feel like this is family feud when they say what are the nine reasons and you pull over. How about meditation and then it flips over on the chart number three. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Another reason many people love to art journal and this is my favorite reason as well, is because of its meditative qualities. Like Sheara says. “I love art journaling as self-expression. It’s also very meditative and a wonderful release of creativity.”

Number four is experimentation. This is one of my faves as well, because this is what is going to make you a better artist. For example, Kristen said, “I love experimenting with my art supplies. I feel I get better all the time. And since it’s only for me, there’s no pressure.” And Laura added, “Art journaling is freeing. It’s a way to explore options and techniques and ideas. So it’s the perfect way to try out a new technique without feeling like you’re wasting your art supplies and you don’t have the pressure to fill up a canvas.” Now, I’ve found that I’ve truly gotten better at art because I’m more willing to experiment in my art journal than I am in my artwork. When I come up with a new technique in my journal, I’m able to move that to my art. So if you want to learn to become a better artist or you want to learn to master lettering, then the best way to practice and get better as an artist is in an art journal. And this is the perfect place where you can swap out the word art journal, cross out art journal and say sketchbook.

All right. Number five, we come back to relieving stress. Of course, we talked about this before. It’s like free therapy. Here’s what Bernice said, “Art journaling is necessary to keep me sane. I work in my art journals on a daily basis, even if it’s as little as 10 minutes. It’s always time well spent. It’s my creative outlet, stress reliever, a place where I can reflect on my life, my thoughts and feelings. It’s a place where I can explore using new mediums and techniques. My art journal reflects not only my growth as an artist, but my growth as a person as well.” And right now I’m thinking about how gravelly my voice is. I remember when I was in high school and college and I would get sick and I’d be like psyched because it’d be like a sexier, deeper voice. And I recognize right now there’s absolutely nothing sexy about the way I sound. I just did not want to miss out on recording a podcast for you. So just take this is my commitment to showing up here every single week to give you a podcast. And I had to make sure that I got this in before Christmas because my team, my podcast editor and my assistants are all taking that Christmas week off. And I didn’t want anyone to have to work over Christmas and New Year’s week to get a podcast out. So that is why I am doing this, even though my voice is not 100 percent. Don’t worry about me. I am fine. This is a love project. Moving on. Back to the show.

Number six. I feel like this is kind of the same as number four. We said experimentation, but experimentation is trying new techniques. Number six is practice. So it’s about getting better at art.

Number seven is community. This is something you can share in a community. There’s lots of Facebook groups that support art journaling or the courses. I have my own Facebook group that comes with the Painting With Words course. It’s the Mixed Media Mastermind group. So whether you take my class Mixed Media Madness, Garden Party or Painting With Words, all of those artists are invited to join the same Facebook group and share their pages too. It’s really fun to use the same prompts and see the pages that people come up with. Now you also don’t have to do it online. You can do this with a friend, a daughter, a granddaughter. Like I do with my daughter. And there’s also meetups. So you can find people in your area who also like to journal, it’s very social.

OK. Number eight is busy hands. I think this is a really great reason to art journal. Instead of, I used to knit a lot and instead of knitting, I find art journaling takes that same kind of place in certain situations and sometimes can be a little bit easier to pull out. So like I said, I did it when when I was watching my son in wrestling tournaments, of course, when he was actually wrestling. I wasn’t journaling then, but he would only wrestle for like six minutes. And the rest of the time we’re sitting in a gym all day. So that’s when I would fill my art journal pages and keeping your hands busy for anyone who has other behaviors that they want to stop, whether that’s snacking or too much social media, smoking or any of those things. Doing something positive is always a good thing.

And finally, we’re up to number nine. An art journal is great because it fits on your lap, perfect for the plane, the car, the train, sitting in front of the TV. All of those places. OK, so now that I’ve given you a taste of the why of and the benefits of art trolling, I’m actually going to share with you my favorite art journaling exercise with you. It’s called Mixed Media Mantras and sometimes I actually call it Miriam’s Mantra making formula. This is actually a unit inside my online class Painting With Words and it is part of the video series. So if you want to see it in action. Don’t forget that’s, but I’m going to share it with you a little bit right now, so you can actually create an inspirational phrase in literally minutes. All you have to do is start with a mantra starter and then a mantra ender. So this is kind of like Chinese menu. Choose something from column A and then add something from column B. So column A, the starter, is something like “be open to” or “breathe in” or “release.” Those would be mantra starters. A mantra ender could be “your dreams”, “positivity”, “strength”, “fear.” So let me give you a couple of examples of how when you put these things together, how this works.

Be open to your dreams. Be open to positivity.

Breathe in strength. Breathe in your dreams.

And then the flip side:

Release your fear, release negativity, release doubt. Do you see how that works?

Ok, so now I have an assignment for you. I want you to come up with a quick mantra and post it in the Free Inspiration Place Facebook Group. If you haven’t found it yet, it’s Or you can search for the Inspiration Place on Facebook. For extra credit, post a link or post your photo of your art journal page using this new mantra. So like I said, those of you on Facebook, look for my free Inspiration Place Facebook community. There are always threads in there for you to share your art. And that’s where you can share your mantras or your art journal pages or any artwork you want to share. I can’t wait to see you inside that community.

All right. Now that you’re all juiced up and ready to try art journaling, you may be worried how you’re going to squeeze in just one more thing into your busy life. We’re going to focus on secrets for squeezing an art journaling into your busy life, because we’re all busy. I think the older we get, the busier we actually get because they’re more fun things to do and family we want to spend time with. There’s four tips for squeezing in more time. Number one, first of all, choose an art journal that fits in your purse. That’s really tip number one. Don’t pick one that’s too big for your purse or your bag. Whatever it is that you carry. Make sure it fits.

Second of all, you want to fill like a cosmetic bag. Something about that shape with your favorite pens and perhaps some washi tape. Again, the goal is that you want all your supplies to fit in one place. This is trick number three. I actually don’t do this one myself. My friend Laurie does this and what she does is she’ll prepare cardstock with collage on it. Instead of carrying around a whole art journal, she’ll carry around just the cardstock pages. And she puts that into her purse and that’s what she writes on when she’s away from home. But either way, it fits into your purse. And I’m not excluding that. Your man purse is fine, too.

Number four. Another trick for fitting it into your life is to use your day planner. Use your current day planner as an art journal, because that’s always going to go with you anyway. And unless you don’t use a day planner. Now, you can always use the extra pages to doodle on and journal on. And that’s what my daughter does and that is what my initial art journal was as well. And that is actually what has kept my daughter so consistent with her art journaling practice is that she has the practice of keeping a planner and using it as an art journal, and she’s folded both of those things in together beautifully.

Finally, I just want to say, I don’t know if I want to say this is tip number five. OK, let’s call it tip number five. OK. There’s actually five tips. You’re going to find. The time is going to find you. Instead of playing on your phone when you’re at the doctor’s office or where you’ll find me a lot of the time now, which is coloring my hair or you’re waiting for a subway or you’re at the airport or maybe somebody is watching a football game. Any of those times, suddenly you’ll realize, hey, this is a good time to be also, art journaling because you have free hands and you want to keep your hands busy. So now instead of eating in front of the TV, you can use your art journal in front of the TV. It’s a win win and not doing social media in front of the TV either, because I think social media tends to lead to all kinds of comparison, despair things. It’s not necessarily the best thing for our mental state. So I truly believe it’s not about finding extra time for our journaling. It’s about allowing the process to be available to you when you find yourself in those situations when you’re already bored and about to waste time anyway. So like I said, instead of playing with your phone or knitting, I mean, knitting is great. I wouldn’t knock knitting or any of those soft crafts. I think they’re beautiful, but you don’t always have it with you. So if you have something that you can fit in your purse and you can pull it out and start doodling and art journaling immediately, that is so satisfying.

I’m most active in my art journaling. Like I said, during December and January. And that’s why I like offering this training at this time of the year. It’s a perfect time to reset our minds and for the renewal of the year ahead and to set our intentions. Now, I also wanted to give you a little bit of a framework to help you get started. The first thing that I always do every year and my family actually does this to even my mother does it, although she tends to use the same word year after year. Her favorite word is restorative. By the way, my son’s been doing this since he was a teenager. He’s 19 now. My daughter does it. My husband does it. We all choose a word for the year. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you also know that I sometimes will encourage you to choose a word for the week or even for the day. That’s something you can also do. Actually in 2019, I did not have a word for the year, but I would choose words for the day. And that’s what I did last year. I do have a word for 2020, but I do believe that choosing a word to kind of give you a theme for the year is ideal and to create your sole intention.

This would be step one in the goal setting process in order to arrive at a word. Sometimes people overthink it. You don’t need to overthink it. Really any positive word you choose that you focus on for an entire year will serve you. If you’re having trouble coming up with one, you can make a list of things you want more of in your life and things you want less of in your life. And this will help you arrive at a word that can help represent 2020, your theme and your intention. I do this in my art journal and I do this in my art journal to create my goals and my intentions for the year. It’s actually a five step process. And since I’ve already done a podcast episode on this and it is the subject of the upcoming masterclass, I’m going to go over the five steps very briefly. So I’m going to link to that podcast episode in the show notes. It was a bonus episode that I did, which was the creative goal setting blueprint. So that’s linked in the show notes. You can find the show notes, which will have all the links we’ve talked about here today. We talked about step one is choose a word. Step two is soul goals.

So my second step, my goal setting process is to set what I call soul goals. The main objective is to make sure your goals are balanced in various areas of your life. They can’t all be health goals or business goals. They’ve got to be balanced. And you do not want to have too many goals. You don’t want too many goals in one area and you don’t want to have too many overall goals at the same time, because otherwise you’ll end up accomplishing nothing. Step three is sole intention, sole intentions. Intentions are definitely different than a goal. An intention can help you drive what your goal is. Like my cat. Her goal might be to catch that mouse, but her intention was to guard the house, not to ignore me or reject me. Do you see the difference there? So it’s a little different than goals. Goals are basically what you want the end result to have. Whereas your intentions are how you want to feel and what is driving you through that process. And if you’re very clear about what your intention is, then that will help you drive your actions and get you the results that you want.

Now, step 4 is what I call release the past. That is because when you are setting your intentions and your goals and you want to make the most use of your time, you don’t want to waste time in regret. So a very important step in getting your goals is not to be spinning in that kind of regret of what you did in the past. You really have to forgive yourself for the past. So you’ve chosen your theme. You’ve set your goals. You’ve set your intentions. You let go of anything that’s holding you back. At least the past. And then you need to create some momentum. So Step 5 is all about using affirmations and mantras to create momentum to help you get motivated towards reaching your goals. So Step 5 is all about choosing an affirmation or a mantra. Now, if you’re stuck on this, I actually would suggest that you go back to Miriam’s mantra of making formula.

And again, you’ll get more detail about that in the Art Journal Workshop that is in video number one. So that’s my five step goal setting formula. And I do it in my art journal. I’ve been doing this every year for the past six or seven years. Just a quick confession. The reason I didn’t do it in 2019, my daughter had a massive seizure on December 17th of last year. I’m actually recording this on the anniversary date of her seizure. I’m actually recording this December 17th. Just an unhappy coincidence. So she had a massive seizure. We went to the hospital and she was actually in the ICU for an entire week. I didn’t leave the hospital until December 24th. Thank God she is one hundred percent fine. But that period of time, that period of time that I called the time between the years and I talked about that in my Christmas Eve episode, my birthday episode, which was episode number 69. I didn’t have the luxury of the time between the years and I was so focused in early 2019 on her recovery that I really missed out on that process. And I really felt a difference last year on setting my intentions for the year, I really did. I felt at a loss. So I’m definitely going to be doing it this year. If you’re part of my Inspired Insiders’ Club, I will be sharing with you a few of those pages.

Also, people who join my Painting With Words course will also get some new bonus videos with my new 2020 art journal pages. So can’t wait to share that with you. Hope you’re as juiced up as I am about art journaling. But we are not done here today. Because one more thing that I want to share with you are the supplies you need. Now, you actually don’t need a heck of a lot of supplies. In fact, most of them can be found at the art supply store. But if shopping for art supplies is one of your hobbies, you can knock yourself out. I do have a link to my art journal supplies I’ll include that in the show notes as well. The kind of art journaling that I do in my art journal really does not need to be the same kind of professional hand lettering that those kinds of experts teach and do because it’s private and anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been painting 1 year, 0 years, 10 years. It really doesn’t matter if you are a professional letterer or you want to get that kind of hand lettering illustration jobs, working in an art journal will definitely help you get better at lettering, but that does not have to be your intention for doing it. You could just be doing this for your own self-development.

So the creative lettering I do, it’s very expressive. In fact, the more imperfect the better. It’s the imperfection that makes it uniquely your voice. Now, if you practice this kind of lettering in a journal, you can add it to your canvases or your cards. If you get really good at it, you can actually develop your signature style as letter. Absolutely. But that does not need to be the intention or purpose. OK, so art supplies. Here’s the funny thing about art supplies. People really do get stuck and they obsess and you just have to pick something and go with it. You don’t need 50 pens. Meanwhile, I have actually hundreds of pens. That is not what makes me a better artist, by the way. I just have a lot because I’m obsessed. I honestly think that buying art supplies is like a second hobby to me. And that joke was actually a meme that one of my students posted in one of our Facebook groups. At her first hobby is painting and her second hobby is buying art supplies. And buying books, that’s too easy to buy the way. And now that I discovered that I can link my American Express rewards points in Amazon, it’s like hell. It’s like Merry Christmas to me every day with those art supplies because I feel like it’s free.

I have all these backed up American Express points I haven’t used in years. I’ve just invested in a new set of Posca Pens. I’m not exactly sure why, because I do have a love hate relationship with those pens, because when they work, they’re gorgeous and when they don’t, I don’t know if any of you’ve experienced this but the spill ink all over your page and absolutely ruin it. Meanwhile, don’t forget, if you really want to have a regular art journaling practice, you don’t want to have to schlep around a thousand pens with you. You’re just going to have to pick a couple of pens. That’s it. It has to be able to be portable and go with you. So here’s what you need at a bare minimum. You need to be able to write things down, erase your mistakes if you want to, and add color. And that’s really it. So here are the four things you need. You need writing tools like a pen, a pencil, maybe an eraser, maybe not, because if you make a mistake, you can also washi tape right over it or rip the page out. Nobody really even cares.

Number three is you need a journal. Now for my Painting With Words students, a composition book, the graph paper kind is perfectly fine. That was the year I taught Painting With Words, that was my art journal. I’ve also used mixed media journals. Those are the kind that have very heavy pages. And like I said, I do have a list of art supplies And I do talk about the supplies more in-depth in the free series. And then finally, like I said, number four, you want to be able to add color. So paint pens are great. Which is why I said Posca Pens. It could be Sharpie pens. It could be paint. That’s pretty much all you need.

Now, I want to caution you. You do not need to buy every single pen on my art supply list. My daughter. She doesn’t use all these pens. She uses a set of highlighter pens. She calls them her watermelon markers. And I did not put that on the list since I don’t use it. And by the way, let me just reiterate, my daughter is 100 percent fine now, thank God. So she did take last semester off. She did go back to school in the fall and she just finished her semester. No more incidences. She’s completely healed. We are so grateful that she is fine and had her in our life. And this is a whole nother episode, but that really did help me focus, though, in January about what’s important, because a lot of things came off the plate immediately when that thing happened.

It was very easy to say no to things I felt weren’t serving me or my business at that time. But what we’re talking about now is the pens. So Talia has a special set that she likes. But it really doesn’t matter which uses. And sometimes that changes from year to year and it doesn’t matter what you use either. The point is, all you really need are a pen, a paper, some sort of journal. You don’t need my pens. You don’t really need anything fancy. Now, in my online classes, Painting With Words and Mixed Media Madness, I do teach how to use some fancier supplies for creating special effects, but special effects are completely optional. Now, in the past I use loads of Washi tape. And if you have a huge Washi tape collection like I do, I’m a serious hoarder of Washi tape. Here is a chance for you to start using up your stash. But the way I currently art journal, I’m not using any Washi tape at all. I’m not using any paint. I’m not using any gesso. I’ve paired it down to the essentials of what I need to relax, which is words and color. And like I said, my daughter doesn’t use any traditional art supplies. That’s probably been one of her biggest secrets of sticking with this practice. Make it easy. The easier you make something, the easier it is to stick with it.

So just promise me, do not let art supply overwhelm hold you back. In fact, you’re not going to let anything hold you back. No fear. No doubt. Don’t let any of that hold you back. If you still want some help. I’m here to help you. Join me in the free workshop. You’ll get your hands on the complete supply list, the videos and more. It’s going to be so much fun. Remember, it’s 100 percent free. Just enter your name and email and the live class Thank you so much for listening. Finally to wrap this all up. I just wanted to invite you to send me a direct message over on Instagram. I’m @schulmanart over there. Share with me your intention for 2020. You can also tag me in a post. If you tag me in a picture of your art, I’ll share it. And I can’t wait to hear from you. A quick reminder, if you’re not subscribed to my podcast and do that right away like this minute, because you don’t want to miss out on what I’m brewing up for 2020. I’ve got the mother of email marketing herself, Laura Belgray is coming on to talk about copywriting. My friend and superstar Kimra Luna is coming on. We’re actually going to discuss her art journaling practice, it’s going to be so much fun. And I have the grand daddy of direct marketing, Brian Kurtz, and I even got a tapping expert coming. I know you’re not going to want to miss any of these. There are gonna be so awesome. So let’s not let your spam folder keep us apart. If you want to get notified every single time I have a new episode, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single one. And if you’re feeling extra loving, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. It’s the best way for others to find the show, and I love reading them. And if you drop your Instagram handle at the end, I’ll even tag you on Instagram.

All right, guys, thank you so much for being with me here today. I’m gonna go pour myself a big steaming cup of tea. I will see you at the same time, same place next week. Make it a great one. Bye for now.

Thank you for listening to the Inspiration Place Podcast. Connect with us on Facebook at, on Instagram, @schulmanart and of course, on

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