TRANSCRIPT Ep. 286: Artpreneur Affirmations


Miriam Schulman: One of my Artist Incubator coaching sessions, one of the clients was saying, “My art only matters to me.” And I called her out on that. I said, “Listen, that’s just a thought, and that is not even necessarily true. Your art doesn’t just matter to you. Art has the power to transform lives. Art has the power to transform hearts. And if your art can light somebody up—just one person has an emotional response from your art—changing one heart can change the world. So your art matters in so many ways beyond what it does for you personally.”

Speaker 2: It’s the Inspiration Place podcast with artist Miriam Schulman. Welcome to the Inspiration Place Podcast, an art world insider 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.

Miriam Schulman: Well, hey there, Artpreneur. This is episode number 286 of The Inspiration Place podcast, and I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration. So, my inspiration for today’s podcast is one of the biggest benefits of both my Artist Incubator program, reading the book Artpreneur or anybody who works with me is just the reframing of your mind. And so much of that is in Artpreneur. So what I wanted to focus on today is the reframing that is included in the book.

So what I’m going to be doing, if you have a copy of the book, I will be calling out certain page numbers throughout this episode to let you know where you can find these charts. If you have the audible version, the audiobook version, you definitely want to get the physical copy. And it’s not just because of these thought work charts, but throughout the book, I do have like charts, for example, overcoming objection charts or charts of words to use on your website, and I want to make sure you get value of all of those things, alright?

So one of the things that’s been very important for me throughout my art journey, writing the book, being an artist is really my own self-belief. And one of the ways that I do that, when I do have a belief that I want to change, is by practicing affirmations. So I’ve talked about this before on the podcast, but it’s certainly worth revisiting and really giving you some very specific examples of how I do this.

So, what a belief is, is really a habit—a habit, a thought. So the way that you can turn a thought into a belief is to keep practicing that thought. And the way to do that is through affirmations. However, a lot of people do affirmations the wrong way, and that really screws them up.

For example, if you wanted to lose weight, saying “I am skinny” when you are not skinny is not going to help you. Now, recently I’ve used affirmations to lose weight because I realized I actually lost 5 pounds, which is kind of a big deal because I had been struggling for so long to lose weight. Maybe you’ve heard me talk about it on the podcast. I had pretty much given up on it, and I had chalked it up to menopause. And hell, I just like to eat more. “So I like to eat more” is an affirmation. It’s a thought that was a belief that I had to change, and I realized that what I was doing was saying negative affirmations.

So when you say something like, “I can’t lose weight,” “I can’t eat less,” “I’m struggling to lose weight,” those are actually all thoughts. And when you say it as a negative like that, it’s a negative affirmation that becomes a deeply ingrained belief.

So, I’m going to tell you how I did it for weight, and then I’m going to go ahead and tell you what you need to do to reframe your mindset to sell art. But I know people are probably super curious how I lost weight, and I plan on losing another 5 pounds exactly the same way.

So what I did with the weight loss is once I realized that I was saying, “I can’t lose weight,” I started practicing thoughts like “I can lose weight.” I didn’t jump all the way to “I am skinny” because what happens if you say something like that? Your brain’s going to say, “No, you’re not. No, you’re not.” It’s not going to believe anything you say, and it’s going to completely shut down. So you’re not going to be able to turn that thought into reality.

But once I started practicing things like, “I can lose weight,” “I can eat less,” I’m going to just flip through my actual journal. For those of you who know, what I love to do is inside my day planner, on the top portion of it, I use it to put in the affirmation. So as I’m planning the week, I actually see the affirmations. But in addition, when I make these big affirmations in bubble letters and color them in, it gives me an opportunity to meditate on them, to let that affirmation seep into my subconscious.

So one thing I talked about the last time I talked about affirmations is that most of our conscious part, is 2 to 3%, while our non-conscious brain is 97%. So it’s those non-conscious thoughts and beliefs that are really going to drive you. It’s almost better that I’m not completely paying attention to what I’m doing when I’m coloring in the affirmations because I really want it to seep into my non-conscious, into my subconscious brain. Okay. So I’m just flipping through, and I have all kinds of different affirmations. “I am beautiful, and everybody loves me.” “I am greeted by love wherever I go.” That’s been a very important one right now with the war going on in Israel, my son being in Israel, and the anxiety I’m facing and the rise of anti-Semitism. I’m finding practicing affirmations on love has been very helpful in somewhat helping with that anxiety.

I just found that while I was flipping through but let me make sure I give you the health ones, because that’s what we’re talking about. And then I’m going to give you the ones about building abundance in your art business that come from Artpreneur. Okay. So here we have a beautiful one for my health. “I can eat less and make healthy choices.” Do you see how that’s very helpful to me? “I am grateful for my healthy body.” “I can eat less and lose weight.” So that was when I first started saying to myself, “I can’t lose weight,” I realized, oh no, no, no, that’s a negative affirmation. Change that to positive. “I can eat less and lose weight.” “I can be my perfect size.” And I do want you to notice that I said “my perfect size” because that perfect—I don’t equate being skinny with perfect. My perfect size is going to be something that’s ideal for me, and everyone’s going to have their own perfect size.

I had received an email recently from somebody who said that I was equating thinness with goodness. And I don’t want you to think that that’s true. You can actually be overweight and still be healthy. But if some, this is something you want to do, just know that you can use the power of your mind to make some changes in your life. And that’s the whole point of this episode. Another affirmation that has been very powerful for me in terms of my health and getting to my ideal shape is I love myself exactly how I am. So self-love is very important. You can’t get to a different place when you’re beating yourself up over where you are at right now.

So whether that’s changing your body or changing your business, you have to love yourself. You have to love your baby business where it is right now. I do talk about that in Artpreneur about loving your baby. Love your baby, love your baby business. I’m going to find one more health affirmation, and then we’re going to move on, as I promised, to the Artpreneur affirmations that are in the book that you really need to practice believing to reach that next stage.

“My happy thoughts create my healthy body. I make healthy choices. I have respect for myself.” And then one of my favorite ones is “Water is my favorite beverage. I exercise my body in ways that are fun.” I think I promised one more and I gave you three more instead, but I’m flipping through my journal, and I still feel that there’s just one more that I can gift you with that will be helpful. And if that one extra affirmation just helps one person, it will be worth it. And this the last health affirmation because this is not a weight loss podcast. So my last affirmation for you is “I take in the breath of life and I am nourished.” All right. Now, when we come back, we’re going to talk about the Artpreneur affirmations. But first these words…

***Artist Accelerator Program commercial***

Miriam Schulman: All right. Welcome back. We are ready to begin some really powerful Artpreneur affirmations. And I’ll just remind you, yes, these are all inside your book, Artpreneur. So if you have your copy right now, I’m on page 28, and I think this is the first thought work chapter that I put into the book, Artpreneur, because I don’t think there’s any thought work in chapter one. Yeah. There’s none. Okay, so the thought work begins in chapter two. So if you’re thinking the thought, “I’m not ready yet,” which, by the way, is so common, one of my girlfriends came over for lunch. She’s not an artist. She just got a coaching certificate, and she had an opportunity to be on someone’s podcast. And she was saying how she doesn’t want to take this opportunity yet because she doesn’t have a website and she doesn’t have this and she doesn’t have that. And I was like, “Wow, you sound just like my client,” because that was coming from a scarcity place, that this would be the only opportunity she would ever have to be on a podcast. Just do this podcast now. Do it now, and you’ll have a website in the future. The podcast will be ready. Your website will be ready eventually, and by then you’ll be invited to another podcast.

So if you’re thinking, “I’m not ready yet,” a better affirmation is “I’m ready for the next step.” Another common one I get is, “It’s not a good time.” I hear that so often. “Oh, it’s not a good time for me to focus on my business. I’m about to move or… I don’t know, it’s the holidays or whatever.” So starving artists think, “It’s not a good time.” Artpreneurs believe, “It’s my time.”

Here’s one I hear a lot, and you can catch yourself thinking it. I put it in the book, “This won’t work for me because…” But the way I often hear this expressed, and my daughter does this one often, she’ll say, “But the problem is.” So what she really means is, “This won’t work for me.” Because now, if you remember my talking about how your brain works in the past, any time you have fear, especially fear that you don’t even recognize—fear that lies below the awareness line in your non-conscious brain—any time you have any of that fear, your brain’s going to come up with all the reasons why something that I’m suggesting, somebody else is suggesting, giving you advice, that your brain will come up with all kinds of reasons why it’s a bad idea because it doesn’t want to take a risk. And the smarter you are, and the more creative you are, the better you’ll be at coming up with reasons why something won’t work for you.

So a great replacement thought that I love when you find yourself coming up with a reason why something won’t work, or you’re afraid to take a risk, remind yourself that the universe has my back. That actually is the title of Gaby Bernstein’s book. The best part about that book was definitely the title. I love it, “The universe has my back,” and I say it to my daughter all the time. “The universe has your back.”

Okay, here’s another starving artist thought you need to replace. “But.” It usually starts with a but. “But I don’t know how to *fill in the blank*.” So how about practicing this affirmation instead? “I’m figuring this out. I can’t wait to figure this out.” Another common starving artist thought, “But I’ve never done this before.” How about instead you practice thinking, “I’m just beginning.” Or if you find yourself thinking to yourself, “This is hard,” know that it’s okay for something to be hard. A great affirmation to practice is “I like to accomplish things even when they’re hard.”

All right. The next time you will find thought work is on page 44 of Artpreneur, which is “Start before you’re ready.” And one thing you’ll notice about the book Artpreneur is every single chapter title is also an affirmation. So before I even get into the thought work that’s in chapter three, I just want to read to you these chapter titles again because I want you to notice how each one of these is an affirmation.

You need to believe either to sell your art or to evolve yourself as a person. So, chapter 1: choose to believe. Chapter 2: Break Free of the Golden Handcuffs. Chapter 3: Start Before You’re Ready. 4: Take the First Step. 5: Focus on What Matters Most. 6: Embrace Your Inner Weirdo. 7: Think Like an Abundant Artist. 8: Love Your Buyer. 9: Sell Happy Endings. 10: Listen to Understand. 11: Stay Inspired. And 12: Keep Marching Forward.


All right, so going on with the “Start Before You’re Ready” chapter, the thought work that appears here. This time I do repeat some of the same thoughts that I gave you in the last section. But this time, because I’ve already taught you about thought distortions, not only do I give you what starving artists think, I tell you what kind of thought distortion it is. So I’m going to go through some of these now so you can understand it. But don’t forget, if you want this chart, it is on page 44 and 45 of Artpreneur. Whether you get the Kindle or the paperback, it’s a really great resource for you to help transform your thinking from starving artist thinking to abundant Artpreneur thinking. So if you’re thinking the thought, “I’m not ready.”

That’s all-or-nothing thinking—all or nothing thinking. So either you’re ready or you’re not ready. That’s why it’s all-or-nothing thinking. And that’s why you need to replace that thought with something like, “I am ready for the next step. I’m ready for the next step.”

So if you’re thinking the thought, “They don’t want to pay,” you’re fortune-telling. You’re thinking about what other people are thinking. You don’t know. Well, actually, it could be mind-reading too. “They don’t want to pay.” Or in the future, you know, I’m actually reading a version of the book that was pre-copyright editing. I’m not, don’t you’ll have to tell me if I or I’ll have to double-check if I change this. I think “They don’t want to pay” is actually mind-reading, not fortune-telling. But maybe I got that wrong. So it could be predicting the future that somebody doesn’t want to pay. But it also could be mind-reading, so it’s probably a little bit of both. But the types of affirmations you need to practice is, “They are willing to pay me for my art.” You should even practice thinking this silently in your head when you’re in a selling situation, when you’re standing in front of your art talking to a prospective customer. Or you can even think, “They want to collect my art now.” Those are thoughts that you can practice thinking when you’re standing in front of somebody.

If you find yourself thinking, “They don’t want to pay,” that’s a negative affirmation that’s not going to serve you. Yes, they can’t read your mind, but they can pick up on your energy. They can pick up on your energy, and you will be projecting the emotions of not wanting to take money for your art. If you are thinking that they shouldn’t buy your art, that they shouldn’t pay for your art, do you see that?

So because the next one, a starving artist thought, is, “They don’t have the money. They don’t have the money.” So this is fortune-telling or mind-reading, and that’s not a helpful thought. So a different thought to practice is, “They value art.” I can tell you from personal experience that how much money somebody has doesn’t always determine whether or not they’re willing to pay for art. I know plenty of people who have lots of money, who would rather buy Chanel bags, and plenty of people who, like me, wear a belt bag that is not as expensive, not as a Chanel bag. But I value things like art and music and certain kinds of experiences. So there are certain things that I will pay for that others won’t pay for. And you can’t tell that by looking at me because I don’t dress in designer clothes. Another thought that I hear people thinking is because you tell me a lot of these come up in the either a lot of time my boot camps or when I do it live, when I do a live master class, people say to me, “I’m worried about people stealing images of my art.” Well, that’s a starving artist thought. You’re trying to hoard your art by not sharing it. So that’s not a good thought to practice. A better thought to practice is, “My art inspires others.”

A starving artist thought you might be thinking is, “I won’t be able to sell any art.” That’s definitely fortune-telling. A better Artpreneur thought is, “I am learning how to sell my art.” A starving artist thought could be, “They don’t like it. They don’t like my art.” And that’s definitely mind reading. Practice thinking, “They love my art.” That’s why I love the affirmation I gave you in the last section in the health section about, “I am beautiful and everyone loves me.” So sometimes you can tweak that. “My art is beautiful and everyone loves it.” And it’s okay if not everyone loves it, by the way. But not everyone’s going to love you either. But it’s a great thought to practice rather than, “They don’t like my art.” If you’re thinking the thought, “They don’t like me,” again, that’s mind reading. “They want to work with me.”

“They want to commission me.” People who practice the thought that they people don’t like me. Not a good thought to practice. Here’s something I hear a lot, and I know that it’s easier to slide into this type of thinking when there’s so much chaos in the world because the chaos in the world does throw us into an existential crisis. So the starving artist thought is, “It’s not worth the effort.” That is definitely all-or-nothing thinking. Well, is it totally not worth the effort? Is it somewhat worth the effort? So a better abundant thought to practice is, “My art is worth the effort.”

All right, I have more thought work when we return. But first, these words…

***Artpreneur commercial***

Miriam Schulman: Okay, so I am actually still in the same thought work chart, transforming thought distortions. Again, that’s page 44 and 45. If you’re following along with me inside your book. I hear the next three starving artists’ thoughts all the time. So it goes something like this: “Nobody buys art in my town. Nobody buys art in my area. There are too many artists in Australia. There are too many artists here. There are too many artists in Hawaii.” So those two thoughts, definitely all-or-nothing thinking, really. Nobody buys art in your town. Doesn’t matter if there’s too many artists. There are also many Mexican restaurants. Doesn’t keep people from opening a new restaurant and it being popular. So here are some better thoughts for you. “Art is sold all over the world, and there are enough customers for everyone.”

Here is my final starving artist thought from this section, “Which is no one is buying art because there’s….” There’s a couple of different things here that people say “because there’s a recession, because there’s a pandemic, because there’s a social justice movement, because there’s the tsunami in Indonesia. And it could be there’s a war in Ukraine or there’s a war in whatever.” And although it may be true that immediately following something horrific. So, for example, October 7th was a horrific day in Israel with the massacre of, is it 1300 people? It was really heartbreaking. And I do have a client who did an art show immediately after that. She says, oh my gosh, normally this art show is so good and I don’t understand. I didn’t make as much money. I said, well, people’s spirits were definitely dampened because of what just happened. So it’s not that no one is buying, but there will be some times where circumstances are going to dampen things. However, here’s what I want you to know. Art is needed in all times and the world needs art, and the world needs your art. One of the things that came up recently during one of my Artist Incubator coaching sessions is one of the clients was saying how usually she uses the weekends to do her artwork because she works full time, and then she found herself cleaning her house and thinking the thought, “My art only matters to me.”

And I called her out on that. I said, listen, that’s just a thought. And that is not even necessarily true. Your art doesn’t just matter to you. Art has the power to transform lives. Art has the power to transform hearts. And if your art can light somebody up, just one person has an emotional response from your art. Changing one heart can change the world. So your art matters in so many ways beyond what it does for you personally. And why market it? Because whether it sells or not, your art can’t help people if they don’t know about it. So you have to put it out into the world. So please, please. These are probably the three most important affirmations we’ve talked about today, which is “Art is needed in all times.” “The world needs art and the world needs your art.” and “Your art matters.” Your art matters.

There are a lot of thought work charts throughout the book. I realize now that I’m not gonna have time to get through all of them. But just to give you a little teaser, if you have the book, you’ll find one on page 70, page 73, page 79, page 80, page 83 has a version of it. I called it Marketing Malpractice. It’s when you misdiagnose what you’re doing wrong. So I basically tell you, well, you think you’re doing this wrong, but actually, it’s this. And I actually end every single chapter with what Artpreneurs need to believe. So these are like what you need to really get into your thoughts. I’m just flipping through it to see if I have any other thoughts, cause I’m pretty sure I put it throughout the book though. Obviously, I did not plan this podcast in advance. I’m just kind of going off the cuff because I had an idea for this podcast, and I knew that this content would help you, and that if I spent too much time planning it, I would never get to recording it. And I didn’t want it to be late.

Okay, so I’m sure there are more thought charts throughout. Let’s see if I can find specifically one more page so those of you who have the book can just flip to it directly. I don’t know if you would call this a thought chart, but on page 188 through 191, I have overcoming objections. So I have the scripts but what I also have in there is I really help you understand what’s in your customer’s mind when they are expressing an objection. So it’s a great way to help you reframe your thoughts when you understand what your customer’s actually thinking, so you can have compassion for them.

All right. So I don’t see any other thought charts specifically, but every single chapter ends with a section on what Artpreneurs need to believe. And I just want to end by reading a few sentences from my chapter. Actually, this is going to be from the very last chapter. I love this part of my book. This is about not blaming your boots and not blaming your boots, what that comes from is, and this is for those of you who have read the book, the last chapter, chapter 12, I talk about an experience where I had watched my drama teacher in Waiting for Godot. So the play Waiting for Godot is actually about three characters, and many times they do blame their boots. And the boots are a metaphor for people’s circumstances. So it’s about blaming your circumstances for your problems instead of taking accountability for yourself and reframing your own mind. So that’s a lot of what that play is about, and I don’t explicitly spell that out for you inside of the book, Artpreneur. I kind of let people who know Waiting for Godot and understand the symbolism kind of get it on their own so it’s like an Easter egg. But I’m telling you now as a podcast listener. So the way I wrap up that chapter and the entire book, it’s something I’ve already said before, but I’m just going to say it again when you’re doing everything you’re supposed to but not enjoying immediate success, you may wonder, is all this worth it? Is all this worth it? Now I’m interrupting my own book to give an extra commentary.

That’s what we were talking about before. That is that existential thought. Is all this worth it? Unfortunately, many people give up too soon. Now remember, at first your business is a baby and it demands a lot of attention. It can’t stand up on its own. But as your business grows. The adolescent years won’t be much easier. You know, you have braces and pimples and yes, you won’t have full control over every circumstance or even the speed of results from the actions that you take. But listen to me, you have full control of whether you continue to take those actions. You have control over what actions you take, and you have control of everything you’re thinking and believing in your mind. The artists who finally make it as Artpreneurs are the ones who don’t blame their boots. They continue putting one foot in front of the other, making forward progress and marching ahead. And I’m not talking about running in place. They’re marching ahead. So my friend, keep taking inspired action and positive results will follow. All right, my friend. So thank you so much for being with me here today. I would love to work with you in 2024. As of this recording, if you want my personal help, I do have spots inside my artist mastermind right now.

I call it the “Accelerator Program”. It’s perfect for artists who have some experience selling already, have a website, and want to take things up a notch. If you want my personal help, we can talk together about exactly which actionable steps you need to take and in what order. I would love to help you. So if you’re interested, here’s what I want you to do. You can either send me a DM and tell me, “Hey Miriam, I heard you talk about the mastermind on the podcast. Please tell me more.” I’m @SchulmanArt over on Instagram. I do answer most of my DMs personally. I would love to talk to you. If you don’t want to talk to me until you’ve checked out how much it costs and what’s involved, I get it—head on over to As in the letters B-I-Z. You can see everything that I’m currently offering, including the mastermind, which I call the accelerator program. If you’re having trouble seeing which one that is and everything else that I offer, so you can see exactly what’s involved and what it costs before you DM me. Either way, it’s all cool.

All right, my friend, thank you so much for joining me here today. I can’t wait to see you same time, same place next week. Until then, stay inspired.

Speaker 2: 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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