When I moved into my tiny Magic Cottage in San Francisco with no money all those years ago, I began the writings and drawings of my dreams- inspired by Australian ferns, sparkly dragonflies and the calls of wild parrots surrounding the cottage. In a big black journal, with bright markers, I wrote a poem about how I lived my life, called “How To Be An Artist:”
“Stay loose. Learn to watch snails, plant impossible gardens, invite someone dangerous to tea…..”
And then I actually invited someone dangerous to tea, and he asked how I was living my life, and I read him the poem from my journal.
He said: “That should be a poster!” So I tore it out of my journal and put it up on the cottage wall, saying: “There. Now it’s a poster.”
To which he replied: “No. I mean a poster for the world!”
I said: “I wouldn’t have any idea how to do THAT.”
Luckily my young black cat Jupiter began peeling it off the cottage wall each morning, where it would go whoosh on the floor and wake me up. Finally, I took it to a store that I knew sold things kind of like it, and they had a catalog.
Now, I’ll speed up the story:
*Poster was made fun of and I was told it was crooked and strange and not to expect anything.
*Within 3 days there were 200 orders, which I made by hand.
*A week later there was an order for 500, which I made about half my hand and then invented a creative way to get them done without handwriting every word
*I created 11,000 posters that way!
*At the same time, I wrote and created 18 other posters on different life topics.
*I created a business and How To Be An Artist went on to be printed millions of times, be in major motion pictures, had stage plays from it produced, and was in Time magazine. It was also beloved in dorm rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, art rooms, rooms where people live and create.
It was, and is, my statement that we are all artists of LIFE, and after 30 + years in my creative business, I love mentoring other people to live more of their real dream lives.