Artist Life Flashback

My adventure into online courses began last year when I got crystal clear on my strengths, passions, and purpose.

I realized that EVERYTHING I've done in my life so far has prepared me to combine my love of art-making, process, self-discovery, and inspired living into teaching creativity courses.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me rewind to give you a better picture.

Collection of paintings, sculptures, illustrations, and fabric wall hanging by artist Alex Mitchell of the Twinki-Winki brand.

Finding my own way.
A quick flashback takes us to my mid-twenties when I was exploring a whole rainbow of creative opportunities. Working as an interior designer led to making theater props. That in turn, led to painting full-time. Followed by making wood sculptures and wood automata. Then sewing got the best of me and I made soft sculptures and fabric dolls. When my studio space got smaller, I focused more on watercolor drawings and writing.

There have also been monster puppets, paper theaters, murals, installations, scrolls, and boxes. Twenty-plus years is a long time.

There was no order to any of this. No strategy behind it. It was more about overlapping projects, involving a lot of experimentation. Working on one project would always lead to the next.

And I know that from the outside it looks like I’ve never been able to make up my mind about what medium to work in.

But this could NOT be further from the truth. My mind has always been very much made up.


With every project, I’ve been following my joy.


It just so happens that my joy comes from working in many different mediums.

Collection of paintings, sculptures, illustrations, and dolls by artist Alex Mitchell of the Twinki-Winki brand.

The side jobs I’ve loved (and loved to hate).

To find my place in the world, I did a lot of weird stuff. Sometimes the work lasted only a day like wrapping Christmas presents. Sometimes I did the work on the weekends like waiting tables. I didn’t always like it, but it gave me the income that supported my dream to make art. And now looking back, I can see that it taught me to trust myself.

Namely, I learned that my desire to make art would not lead me straight off a cliff. Keep in mind that leaving a well-paying job like interior design to make art never seemed like a very good idea to anyone but me.


With every side job, I’ve been building my confidence.


Side jobs I’ve had:
- waiting tables
- wrapping Christmas presents
- making table decorations for events
- making candles
- making theater props
- organizing libraries
- painting murals
- teaching German
- teaching English
- teaching art

Collection of paintings, sculptures, illustrations, and monster puppet by artist Alex Mitchell of the Twinki-Winki brand.

The yearning to keep on learning.
I can only explain my hunger to keep experimenting with different kinds of art projects as a deep yearning to keep learning.

Because let’s face it, the other choice I could have made is to become an EXPERT in one kind of art-making. I mean. it’s sooooo much easier to show up in the world saying, THIS is what I do. Instead of saying, THIS is what I do. AND this. AND this. AND this. AND this.

But forever true to who I am, I’ve spent over 20 years learning how to use software to create and run my projects.


With every new skill, I’ve been growing my toolbox.


In a nutshell, I’ve been messing around with making videos and audios for years. And then came book-making. Then I figured out how to have an online shop. And this meant learning how to create products that can be printed on demand (POD) to sell in my shop. Even sending out a weekly newsletter and keeping a blog are skills I’m still honing.

Collection of fabric panels, sculptures, illustrations, and worry dolls by artist Alex Mitchell of the Twinki-Winki brand.

The teaching creativity.
Okay so, I wanna be totally honest here. None of my experimentation nor learning has brought me consistent income. Yikes.

And I'm sure it looks like I’ve never been able to figure out what I’m doing with my life.

I mean, I know I’m following my joy. But my biggest fear is that somehow, in spite of my eternal optimism, I'm managing to wreck my life.

Ya see being a rebel comes naturally to me. It’s practically impossible for me to not let my desires guide me through life. But it’s an entirely different thing to own my desires. Because that requires huge leaps of faith.

When I finally owned up to teaching creativity as my purpose, I had a revelatory matrix-style experience. No lie.

I could see that what I’ve been doing all these years has not been wrecking my life. Au contraire. I’ve been preparing myself.


With every leap of faith, I’ve been preparing myself.


Lo and behold I need to know all about making audios, videos, demos, worksheets, eBooks, and all kinds of software to put together an online course. Yep, it’s been illuminating.

Over 20 years of making art and over 12 years of teaching kids have gone by. I’m a teacher, damn it.

And this teaching creativity thing is my biggest dream ever. Oh, yeah.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
- Maya Angelou

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