The Words “Day Job” Takes Power Away From Your Work

Why do creatives continually refer to their other job as a “day job?” Are you aware that those words take power away from your real work?


I have never understood the phrase “my day job.” In fact, it’s feels like chalk screeching on a black board every time I hear it. Do artists say it without thinking what they are actually saying? Words have power – significant power. I would like to suggest that you be more consciously aware of the words you choose before you say words such as, “my real job,” or “my day job.”

When I started my art career (my third career) over 25 years ago, I quickly learned to tell people I was “working.” I did not say, “I am painting.” That made a huge difference in their minds as well as my own. I believe that they somehow thought I was playing or doing something trivial that did not require my full attention.

I had to, and continue to, educated friends and family that I had business hours and to please not call me about personal matters during my business hours. (My mother never liked this and never understood it even when I would mention to her that she didn’t call me at my other jobs.) When I was under contract as a consultant, meetings had to be scheduled. Whenever they asked for my availability on Thursday afternoons, I would say that I was booked at that time. They didn’t need to know that that was my time to go to painting class.

words day job take power awayChoosing to use words, such as, “When I get off from my day job,” “I have Wednesday off, then I can paint,” “At my day job, I….,” and “People wonder why I don’t have a real job,” impact what you experience. Most of us don’t realize that the words we use habitually have impact. The words “day job” takes power away from your work. By changing your habitual vocabulary—the words you consistently use to describe  your life and work—can change how you think, feel and how you live. It can change the direction of your art business and how you perceive and feel about it.

Also, notice when you say “day job,” how the energy in your voice changes. Yet, when you talk about your real workyour art makingyour energy goes back up. Can you hear how the words “day job” takes power away from your work? Energetically, negative feelings surround the other job you have as well as your work as an artist.

What other words can we use besides “day job” to stop taking power away from your work as an artist? How about, “At my second job, I….,” “I work in my studio on Wednesdays,” “I am available from my other job at…,” and for those who question you about your real work as an artist, consider this giving them this bumper sticker.

words day job takes power away

Other suggestions are welcome. I would love to hear other artist’s ideas because I know we can be creative with words as well as with clay, paint and metal.

Let’s debunk the myth that making art is not real work  because we all know that it is! Art changes and saves lives. We need to use words that convey the power of art and its impact on the world. Your job as an artist is very real and it requires more work than you probably thought possible when you started and, yet, you keep doing it.

Let’s celebrate your work as an artist with powerful words.

This quote serves as a good ending: “Words can inspire.  And words can destroy.  Choose yours wisely,” Robin Sharma

If you found this article interesting, please share it with others. Your comments are always welcome.

Time to Adorn the Sales Hat | It’s Art Fair Season

Street Art FairArtists, why do so many of us struggle with selling at art fairs? ‘Tis the art fair season and it’s time to adorn our sales hat with gusto! Isn’t this one of the best venues where we can engage with our collectors and meet new ones? I read tons of marketing articles about artists wanting to make sales. To do so we have to “reach out and touch someone.”

Art fairs are a prime venue to do just that.

For a moment, put yourself in the shoes – or sandals – of someone who has set out to experience real and live art on a warm sunny summer day. They have made special plans to spend a few hours seeing what the current art scene has to offer and to mix with creative people. They may be looking for a painting/photograph to fill a blank space in their homes or wanting to buy a gift for someone. Perhaps they want to be pleasantly surprised and decide, “I need to buy that!” or they are a tourist want to purchase a piece of jewelry or pottery to remember their visit. What are some other reasons why people attend art fairs?

As one who has been an art fair artist, I know it is not easy to think of the fair attendee after we have spent countless hours – blood, sweat and tears – preparing our art and setting up our booths. Sometimes we have battled traffic, parking hassles, the elements and other unexpected events to achieve just getting everything up and running! Do we have the energy to give ourselves the directive to think beyond ourselves? I know I often felt in need of support and compassion after the booth was ready. I was not able to see beyond my own needs.

A wake up call from a friend who got my rear-end in gear. He had me remind myself why I was an artist exhibiting at this art fair. I needed to do some serious self-coaching! So off went the tired energy that I replaced with invigoration. Out went the doubts — “Will I sell anything today?” — and in went the abundance affirmations. I tossed out those thoughts of “These people just don’t get it,” and in came the positive thoughts of knowing I will have some marvelous conversations about my art along with visualizaions of my paintings finding new homes.

I learned that I needed a moment of transition to re-wind my brain and get ready to meet the public. It made me realize that we expect too much of ourselves to move abruptly from one mode – creating a booth space that takes physical and psychic energy – to one of selling and meeting new people, which also takes emotional and physical energy. people-texting

How do we remind ourselves that the art fair season is a rare opportunity to meet a huge cross section of the public? What better place is there to engage with art appreciators and potential buyers? Would you buy from this artist seen in this photo? (I saw this stance way too often at the Cherry Creek Art Fair in Denver this past weekend.) Does he have his sales hat on? Has he forgotten why he is exhibiting at this art fair? Does he want to learn how people react to his work? Perhaps if he had taken a moment to make the transition, he would be more alert to engaging with art fair attendees.

Here are a few suggestions to assist in making that all important mind-set transition: [Read more...]

How Healthy Art Your Bones? A Painting Concept

healthy bones art

When was the last time you asked yourself, “How healthy art my bones?” As I inch along into the middle of my sixth decade, this question has been showing up on my radar.

Peering into the future while experiencing my body’s changes – those creaks and little groans – has made me start thinking about how to take better care of my body. Then along comes my fellow online business friend, Irma Jennings, who suggests that I consider creating a painting with bones – broken bones if possible.

Irma is a recent fan and follower of my work, in particular my “Window Within a Window” series. I welcomed her suggestion and challenge. (Jennings coaches and teaches people on the importance of food in maintaining bone strength and health. You can learn more about her programs and recipes at Food4HealthyBones.)

In my own life, I grew up in a household that was way ahead of its time with regard to eating well. White bread was not permitted, hot breakfasts were required (I and my 3 siblings took turns making it for everyone), soda was only available on Sunday evenings, homemade bread was the norm, vegetables were served every dinner and pizza was eaten in friend’s homes. I am grateful for this education and the setting of eating habits I have continued throughout my life. I wonder how this approach to food has paid off for me in the long run…?

As I often do when exploring a new painting concept, I began researching healthy versus unhealthy bones.

The visual discoveries were enlightening as per the photo you see above.

First, I had to comprehend how fragile our bones can become if we do not take care of them. It was the first time I was able to comprehend what osteoporosis is and why our bones break easily as we get older and/or don’t eat and exercise. We hear this message, but to actually see it, rang an alarm.

Not only were these images educating, they also served as an inspiration for a painting concept and had me asking, “How could I assist in showing to others the importance of healthy bones? Could I do that via my paintings?”

  healthy bones art by Carol McIntyreArtistically, I have always been attracted to patterns found in nature, including cellular and molecular images. This new direction opened the door for me to start painting them.

My first bone painting, “Trabeculae,” a small 11×14 oil $495.00, shows how the internal structure (the spongy part of the bone or trabeculae) can develop from healthy to unhealthy. You can see this as you look at the painting from left to right. Notice how the density changes.

I then expanded this concept with “Bone Balance,” a 36×48 oil, $3,995.00. Why do you think I use the back lighting in these paintings? How do you react to these paintings? Did you find the surprise element in “Bone Balance?healthy bones art by Carol McIntyre

In addition to painting bones, two months ago I hired a personal trainer. Now Bob and I are getting our bodies – and our bones – in better shape. It took a few weeks for my body to adjust – Yo mama! - but already I have reeped the benefits.

Where will this new bone path take me? The more I paint, the more I am jazzed about the possibilities. Do you have any ideas to pass along?

Feel free to share this post with others by using the links below.


Who Was Your First Art Teacher? | Who Inspired You to Make Art?

Mrs. B asked me, “Which color and line conveys energy?” Followed by, “Which color and line expresses grief?” Followed by several related questions.

I was 13 years old and suddenly a door I did not know was there, sprung open.

My first paint boxMy closeted emotions were going to be released with paint, color and line. Immediately, I knew I had found a sanctuary and someone who was serious about making art. This was my first lesson in an after-school small group art class.  About 6 of us met in “Mrs. B’s,” cramped walkout basement so full of art, easels and stuff, you could not lean up against any part of a wall.

She was a loud, large, loving, buxom artist who wore enough jewelry for 3 women while exuding her passion for making art and teaching teenagers. We thrived in this chaos and love.

We were exposed to [Read more...]

How Does Albert Munsell Impact Your World?

 indexProfessor Albert Munsell Munsell’s Color SystemMunsell color wheel cleaned-jpeg (click image to enlarge)

Who was Albert Munsell? How does he impact your world? Did you know that he is the founder of the common color theory principles taught today?

Professor Albert Munsell (1858-1918 Boston), was an artist of distinction and a gifted teacher of art.

He developed the first widely-used color system to make the description of color accurate and convenient. Munsell created his system to facilitate the teaching of color. The Munsell color system (originally called the Munsell Color Order System) is accepted throughout the world and has served as the foundation for other color systems/theories.

Below is an example of one of his paintings.

crashing-waves-on-rocksIn 1917, Albert Munsell founded the Munsell Color Company. Later, in 1942, the Munsell Color Foundation was formed by the company to promote the advancement of the science of color. Ultimately, the Munsell Color Foundation led to the founding of this laboratory, the Munsell Color Science Laboratory, in 1983, at the Rochester Institute of Technology.The latter still exists today.


These are sample pages from Munsell’s book, the Atlas of Munsell Color System (1915).



Munsell-color atlas



The way you visually match color today is the result of Albert Munsell’s work of nearly a hundred years ago.

For years, scientists had studied the mechanics of color going as far back as Newton’s early color wheel. It was not until Munsell’s pioneering studies and teaching methods had anyone combined the art and science of color into a single color theory. His groundbreaking work laid the foundation for today’s understanding of color principles.

Imagine being a painter and not knowing and understanding the basic color vocabulary of: values, chroma (intensity) and hue? He gave us a language from which we benefit as each of us learns more about the complexities of color in our paintings. His descriptions of hue, value, and chroma gave us the three dimensional view of color.

An artist and an educator, Munsell developed his color theory to bring clarity in understanding color through an orderly system. One of his goals was to assist in accurately identifying every color that exists. Munsell based his system on what he defined as “perceived equidistance” — the human visual system’s perception of color. (Isn’t that a mouthful and something you rarely hear come out of an art teachers mouth?) He also wrote A Color Notation in 1905.

Professor Munsell stated, “Music is equipped with a system by which it defines each sound in terms of its pitch, intensity, and duration, without dragging in loose allusions to the endlessly varying sounds of nature. So should color be supplied with an appropriate system, based on the hue, value, and chroma of our sensations, and not attempting to describe them by the indefinite and varying colors of natural objects.” It would have been fascinating to speak with him now wouldn’t it?


Do you find Munsell’s color system easy or difficult to comprehend? Are you grateful for his contributions?

Munsell not only impacted the art world, he and his company have continued to influence all of us through continued study of color and offering products to assist artists as well as the digital world.

If you find this information helpful, please share it with others.

The way you visually match color today is the result of Albert H. Munsell’s work nearly a century ago. In fact, modern day color theory and mathematical color system is based on Munsell’s theory of color. For years, scientists had studied the mechanics of color going as far back as Newton’s early color wheel. But not until A.H. Munsell had anyone combined the art and science of color into a single color theory. His groundbreaking work laid the foundation for today’s computerized color matching systems and enabled a greater understanding of color principles for generations to come. An artist and an educator, Munsell developed his color theory to bring clarity to color communication by establishing an orderly system for accurately identifying every color that exists. Munsell based his system on what he defined as “perceived equidistance” — the human visual system’s perception of color. – See more at:

My Artistic Muse Hits a Crossroads

A few weeks ago, after completing “One Note,” OneNote-#F4-em I discovered that there wasn’t a painting in the queue anxiously awaiting to be released. My artistic muse had hit a crossroads. This was a new phenomenon for me because there has always been a visual idea sitting in my mind’s eye wanting to be expressed. It was not the classic ‘painter’s block,’ because it did not feel like that, yet I knew something was different.

I also did not want to push the river or just paint for the sake of painting. Listening, writing, observing, researching and reflecting became my mode of operation. The universe seemed to want to tell me something and I didn’t want to miss the message.

Has your artistic muse ever stumbled? What have you done?

To be more specific, here is a list of some of the things I have been doing:

  • Listening to ideas and questions from others;
  • Researching images on the internet;
  • Printing off some of these images and then spreading them out on a table like a deck of cards – noticing patterns, moving the images around, musing;
  • Painting a small study or two;
  • Journaling – writing down insights and ideas the pop up otherwise they fly away;
  • Talking to those who understand the artistic process and its evolution;

[Read more...]