Friday, May 13, 2011

Artist Interview: Whitney Ferre

Following on yesterdays book review and giveaway (there is still time to leave a comment for a chance to win!), I’d like to introduce you to Whitne Ferre, the author of  “the artist within: A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit.” I think you'll enjoy getting to know her a little better.

Tell me your story. What is your background? 

My story gives others hope! I grew up as a “wanna be” artist. I did not think I had inherited “that gene”. I was envious of my friends who could draw or paint. I stuck to “safe” crafts and pined to paint. It literally wasn’t until I was in the process of opening my first art center, The Creative Fitness Center, that I started to paint. 
I was reading a book called Zen and the Art of Making a Living and the author insisted throughout the book that one has to develop an “Artist Mentality” in order to create the life of their dreams. I was sold, but had only experienced fear and difficulty trying to sign up for an art class as an adult. So right there I had the classic light bulb moment—to open a right brain gym so people could do their creativity workouts and strengthen their Artist Within so that they could go back out into their world and CREATE the change they desired.

What do you love about being an artist?

What I love is the natural curiosity and enthusiasm that comes with the “artist mentality”. When you make art, you cultivate an open mind that is receptive to spirit and to “Pure Potentiality” (from Deepak Chopra). I love noticing colors in the sky and how the light is illuminating the view out of my window differently each day. I love that wave of inspiration that seeps through you when you see something you want to paint, or a color combination you want to use. 
I want my paintings to make people want to paint themselves. We have put art making on this pedestal and, in essence, only given permission to those with “talent” to create. We ALL can share this gift that makes us human. 

Why do you teach/coach/write?

My whole career FOUND me. I so love connecting with other people. In “left brain mode” we each see ourselves a separate from the whole. I just re-read an Einstein quote that said, “A human being is part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings as something separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and too affection for  few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison…” 

What are your realistic goals and pie in the sky dreams?

Here it is…I want to world leaders to PAINT TOGETHER and THEN go into the United Nations to negotiate world peace. That would be tremendous.
(And from Whitney) As a  THANK YOU for reading this article, please email me at to receive a coupon code for a 2-for-1 offer for the entire 3 Step Program so that you can join with a friends and support each other’s creative dreams! 


Anonymous said...

Whitney sounds like a delightful person. Making art together is so much fun. At one workshop I attended, we all agreed it was "summer camp for grownups."

Anne said...

Whitney's infectious "joie de vivre" entices me. I can't wait to read her book and make it to one of her workshops one day. Lyric, thank for the wonderful interview!

Diana Louie, The Village Fabric Shoppe said...

Whitney has a great way of looking at and fostering creative activity. The quote she shared from Einstein hit a strong chord with me today. Just what I needed.

Linda M said...

I read this book about a year ago - it is wonderful, Thanks for the interview.

Ali said...

It always fascinates me how many of us go through even part of our life believing we can't do art! As a teacher it worries me that this is the legacy we leave many of our children. I love Whitney's comments.

Rachel said...

Oh my gosh I love this woman and her Right Brain Gym idea! I have definitely been in the same Artist Mentality that she is speaking of, and feel the same way about color combinations that I see and want to go paint them! I love the Einstein quote as well, and have been really feeling so connected to others, more than usual lately. I am a social butterfly/networker type person, but lately I have really been widening my net of connections as I have been more aware of our unity and connectedness.

I really hope to win the book! But if I don't, I really want to buy it!

Thanks so much for sharing! I just happened upon this blog today and love it! :) (Loved the questions from yesterday's post, by the way!)

Rachel Campbell

Sandra said...

I want to be Whitney when I grow up. Rock on !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Julie-Anne McDonald said...

the comment that most resonates with me is wanting others to make art when they see your art. I find when I am sharing my art I immediately launch into an explanation of how to do it, which is sometimes not appropriate, but it reflects my joy in the process and the belief that everyone can enjoy making art.


Lizzie Bo said...

I thought I left a comment on the previous post and this one, but they don't appear in the comments section. How curious.

I loved the interview and her Einstein quote. I am working on seeing how new artistic expressions can support a transition time in my life. I love exploring this new avenue and know it's helping me. Relaxing and letting myself make mistakes and push to try new mediums is good in itself and so clearly a life lesson I need to keep relearning. Thank you for your blog and this interview.

Ellen Lindner said...

I definitely want to read her book!

Heather Mietz Egli said...

I think her blue-handed pix says it all. What an awesome sounding book! Go Whitney!

Dotti said...

Whitney has such a free wheelin' style with color which is demonstrated in the photo of her class!

HollyM said...

Coincidence I just looked at this book via another blog and I added the book to my amazon favorites. I'd love to win it!

71square said...

I'm thinking it's time to get a little messy and do some painting with my hands! Awesome colors and style!

Ali said...

Looks like my previous comment was one the gremlins got to! Thanks for the interview it was a fascinating read.