The Countdown is On!

Only sixteen more days until the first official blog post goes live, here, on REAL TALK.

If I were a visual artist (or, organized enough to have asked one to help out) I would have created an enticing trailer for the posts you are about to read. But, since I am neither of the above, what I can offer is a bit of a teaser in the art form I am most comfortable with: Words …

The first topic we’re going to tackle is Art and Fear. You’ll get real talk from Bev Katz, Kate Blair, Anna Humphrey, and Ishta Mercurio on their experiences with facing their fears with, about, and through their art. I’m betting there will be many “me too,” moments as you read their stories.

Next up will be Leah Bobet, Josiah DeWit, Cheryl Rainfield, and Jo Karaplis sharing their personal experiences with Rejection. Each perspective is real, vulnerable, and relatable. Jo will share a different angle on this topic, as one who has been on the receiving end of the dreaded “slush pile.” She’ll give you a peek behind the curtain; a perspective we don’t often get the chance to see.

Then Bev Katz, Andrew Tolson, Andrea Mack, Kari Maaren, and Melanie Fishbane will get real about Dry Spells; what it’s like to be in the middle of one, what they’ve done about it, and what their times in the creative desert have taught them.

Later topics will include: Switching Gears, The Creative Process, The Inner Critic, Imposter Syndrome, and Art and Faith. You won’t want to miss any of them! See the Contributors tab, in the menu above, for a full list of Creatives who’ve volunteered to share their stories.

Tons of REAL TALK by real people coming up, offering opportunities to connect and relate on matters that affect us all, as we carve out our creative paths. Hope you’ll join our virtual meeting space, to find community and relationship among like-spirited people.

Looking forward to linking arms,


The REAL TALK Begins

Hey, Creatives! Have you ever felt like no one gets you? Like you’re alone in what you think/do/experience/feel/perceive? Like all the non-creatives in your life just don’t understand — just. don’t. get it?

On the flip-side, have you ever felt like someone gets you? Like, really gets you? Have you ever had that, “me, too!” moment? That moment when you realize you’re not alone in whatever it is that you’re thinking/doing/experiencing/feeling/perceiving? Well, that’s the purpose of this blog. It’s designed to be a space where you can feel like you’re not alone in this thing we call the creative life. It’s designed to offer REAL TALK on issues that affect a great number of artists.

REAL TALK. It’s something we want. It’s something we need. It’s something we crave.

I’m fortunate to be part of two amazing groups: One is specifically a Toronto area middle-grade/YA writers and illustrators group; the other is a mixed artists’ collective. Both of these groups are built on REAL TALK and offer opportunities to give and receive support, encouragement, solidarity, commiseration, understanding, camaraderie, advice, feedback, friendship … the list goes on. My interactions with these people prove to me that we’re not meant to do life alone, let alone try to navigate a creative life alone! There is much to learn (and much comfort to be had) from others’ experiences, so I want to share some of their voices with you.

This blog is being built from a compilation of real-life stories, dealing specifically with issues regarding the creative life. You’ll hear from writers, actors, visual artists, singer/songwriters, and performing artists. Topics that will be covered include:


creative block

the inner critic

day job/art balance

family life/art balance

the creative process

dry spells/replenishing yourself

art and fear

art and faith

finding/making time to create

making a living as an artist

creative bliss/when things actually go right

and many more …

The plan is to hear different perspectives from different people on each of the topics, creating a bit of a mini-series for each one. Some perspectives might be in opposition, some might echo one another. Either way, all perspectives are valuable and offer greater opportunity for understanding, personal growth, and connection. New posts will generally appear once a week, and will allow you to comment and interact with the author. It’s my hope that we can make our vast artists’ world feel a bit smaller, tighter, and more connected.

Being an artist is hard work. Sometimes, simply reminding ourselves that we are artists is hard work. It’s true that we all have our individual journeys to take, but it’s always good to know there are fellow travellers on the road beside us.

photo credit: Silk Kaya Photography

I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort where we overlap. — Ani DiFranco

Hope you join us! Looking forward to linking arms with you.


*Blog content launching May, 2018*

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