Have you ever had a dream project: a special series of works that you really want to create and put out into the universe? I think all of us have had something inside that is just waiting to come to fruition. But, for some reason, we put it off. We always find a way to put it off. Sometimes, we may even start the project but then allow ourselves to be sidetracked and distracted with other endeavors. Why? We give ourselves a million excuses as to why. Here are a few of mine. It’s not the right time. I have so much on my plate already. Too many family obligations to manuever. Then there are the self-doubt questions that come up like is there a market, will anyone even be interested in this work or am I able to accomplish the project in the way I want to? The list of excuses and the over-bearing questions that make one hesitate abound. Yet, the project is still there, deep inside of us, just waiting to be created. It’s not going away, no matter how many band-aid like excuses we place on top of it. In the end, it comes down to this simple question,

“When do you get to the point where you’re so frustrated and tired of waiting that you actually start that dream project that has been brewing in your mind for so long?”

The answer is NOW. You don’t have to quit everything else in your life to start something. Even little pieces of time add up to large accomplishments. Remember the story of the mustard seed. The smallest of seeds create the largest trees. It’s not about the big grand gesture of dramatic change that turns the tide. It’s the small choices done on a consistent basis that gives longlasting change. Also, once you start the process, you always seem to find more time for it. When we see things moving forward, we get momentum.

In mythology as well as many world religions, fire has been described as a divine presence in the creation story. From a burst of light that illuminates the universe, we hold within us a spark. It’s that spark that igntes the flame. Our creative energy, motivation and passion surge when the appropriate friction is applied: as friction creates heat and intense friction creates fire! As artists, let’s harness the magic of the fire that burns within us, igniting that inner passion to create something meaningful.

In my work, I often use metaphors, symbolism and allegory to convey an emotionally-charged, message-driven story, stimulating curiosity, provoking thought and encouraging deeper inspection to discover hidden messages that lie beneath the surface. In my mixed-media painting called Night Fury, shown below, I thematically created a highly tumultuous seascape where the earth opens like a raging beast, exposing hell’s wrath below. Through the smoke filled sky, a courageous ship sails through the flaming, turbulent waters in search of the light that resides above the horizon. Built to sail, we are much like ships. Our life’s journey is filled with great trials and tribulations that must be endured, having faith that we will eventually find our way through the night’s fury.

Check out my Rediscovering Your Creative Self podcast episode on venturing out to new ports over the horizon with our creative works, taking a leap of faith and being open to what is to come.



(Night Fury) Because the painting is grand in scale, 6′ x 4′ x 2”, I needed to adapt my tools and process to fit the scale. Large rollers, wide trowels and brushes with extended handles were needed to cover the large surface. While working, I also used a step stool to assist me in reaching the upper areas of the piece.

Beginning this Fall (starts tomorrow Sept 9 at 11:00am EST), I will be working with artists from around the globe, helping them to develop and release their dream projects into the world. My atelier-style endeavor is a unique approach to learning, where each artist works on their own projects: whether that be single standalone works or works in a series. Unlike a workshop or an assignment-driven class, this ongoing atelier supports each individual artist’s intent on creating works that they really want to pursue with the support of a coach in a group setting.

The Atelier Masterclass covers a variety of topics from artistic growth and development, nurturing the creative spirit, developing personal content, embracing a multidisciplinary mindset to creating, launching and promoting passion-driven art out into the culture. As the instructor, I  provide monthly assistance and guidance through process demonstrations on experimental and traditional painting techniques, lectures on best practices for your artistic business and live art feedback sessions during group chats. ​If you miss a session, you can watch the recording at a later date.

In addition, atelier patrons have access to the site’s full video and audio library, weekly behind-the-scenes posts and event recordings on the Navigating the Labyrinth of the Creative Mind patreon site. The month-to-month membership of $25/month (you can cancel at any time) also includes private access to the Community Discord Channel, where we have a monthly sketchbook challenge, book club and so much more! Check out my recent Rediscovering Your Creative Self podcast episode on the Sketchbook Challenge Endeavor.



As an instructor in several MFA programs (Hartford Art School MFA in Illustration and Marywood University Masters with the Masters), I work with many artists, illustrators, animators and designers, helping them develop and promote their dream projects. I see the power that comes when an artist starts a coveted project, announces it to their peers and works in a group setting to launch the project into the universe. Participating in a supportive community helps artists to stay committed to their dream project. Harnessing the creative energy and experience that a group can bring, an artist gains collective wisdom and insight, forging the work forward.

The Atelier Masterclass experience is an opportunity to interact with artists and enthusiasts from all around the world who have shared interests in art. Creating a broad-reaching, artistic community is a very important part of the creative process, broadening your horizons and assisting you on your own creative path.

Throughout the unique online experience, you will discover a multitude of ways to ignite your creativity, opening the door for the creative spirit to shine! Go forth and create from the heart.

copyright Lisa L. Cyr, Cyr Studio LLC