In This Issue
Note From Tonya
Happy July!
PMC Guild Conference
Blog Give-Away Winner: Ice Resin Set & Susan Lenart Kazmer Bezels
Feature Article
5 Concepts to Improve Your Design the Japanese Way

July 8, 2010

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Note From Tonya

Happy July!

I hope this finds you relaxed and rejuvenated from a fantastic weekend. I think the best thing about the holidays is the permission we give ourselves to relax and take time to enjoy family and friends. We certainly need this to refill our creative well.

Of course, I wish everyday was a day for gift-giving, fireworks, and gatherings with those we love. What if we could carry those feelings forward and use them everyday for fuel? Try this exercise to start your day. You'll need an hour from your schedule.

Close your eyes and imagine it's your favorite holiday or a past trip. Are you picturing yourself joyfully celebrating living?

What 10 things are you grateful for at that moment in time? Go ahead and jot them down in your journal. Next, list 10 words that describe how you feel.

Now write down the 3 priority action steps for today. Feel the fuel you now have to conquer your day. You feel so good you can accomplish anything.

Set aside the next 50 minutes, without interruption to tackle that first priority. Without time for delay or excuses, just do it. This might be exercising, writing a chapter in your book, or working on that piece for a show or etsy.

This has been your hour of power. A time to meditate, invigorate, and empower yourself to accomplish anything in your day.

I wish this for you everyday....true bliss!

Creative Blessings,


PMC Guild Conference

It's not too late for you to attend! It's just 3 weeks away! Sure hope you are going to make your way to Indiana. For you to be there is important and valuable to all of us as it enriches our experiences.

If you haven't been to a conference or taken a class this year, you owe it to yourself to invest in your growth. The conference is a valuable experience in networking, sharing, and learning!

Do you work in mixed media? I am seeking images of your work that combine metal clay and resin, concrete, polymer, natural stones, colored pencil, enamels, faux bone, etc. Please send them to me by July 10th. They need to be professionally photographed and high resolution tiff or jpeg images. Please include your name, the size, the materials used and anything else you'd like me to know.

It's a great way to be part of the community and also get your name in front of your peers, editors and those that can offer you opportunities. Don't be shy! We'd love to see your work! Plus you get an entry to win the new Sterling book by Joanna Gollberg!

Winner of Ice Resin Set and Objects & Elements Bezels by Susan Lenart Kazmer

Every month we give away free products and tools on our blog, All you have to do to have a chance to win, is to leave a comment. You can gain extra entries by linking to the blog as well!

The Master Muse Team A just completed a series of 5 challenge projects featuring Ice Resin. The lucky winner this month is Catherine Davies Paetz! Congrats Catherine! We can't wait to see what you make with your resin and bezels.


Each week we continue to add items to our Clearance Section. Check out the section this week to see what new items you can pick up while saving some money!

Feature Article

5 Concepts to Improve Your Design the Japanese Way

I've always been drawn to the Japanese culture. In fact, as I sit writing this article, I'm "watching" The Last Samurai, which wasn't even planned. Talk about inspiration!

The foundations of Japanese life are steeped in the tradition of values, attitudes and the skills that are passed down from their ancestors. No separation is made for art and life.

Japanese design plays a role in their everyday life as it is part of their philosophy and primary pillars of their culture.

Here are 5 conceptual terms that will improve your work:

  1. Kaizen: a deep-seated compulsion to strive for perfection in the quality of the design, its functionality and the quality of the piece itself. In order to achieve kaizen, the Japanese believed in the intensive master (Meisho)-apprentice (Deshi) approach in order to seek continuous improvement.
    Seek to continuously improve your work through a coach, teacher or mentor. Never stop studying your art.
  2. Shizenbi: the belief that all things in nature have spirits. All things are connected by energy including the materials used in your work and the tools with which they are created. To view each element of your work as holding and carrying energy can change the way you hold the tool, use the tool and the energy you pass along to your creations.
    Put your love and energy into your work. Make each mark deliberate and a tool of communication.
  3. Kanjo Ni Uttaeru: to appeal to the emotions. In the Japanese culture emotions are fostered even in grown men. To express your emotions is an honorable trait.
    Express your emotion through your work and it will make you a better artist. You'll connect with the viewer and your story will be heard.
  4. Kanso: keep things plain and simple. Reducing designs to their essence is seen as strength of character.
    Edit your work and create strong designs that don't require needless ornamentation. More is just more. It is distracting and causes confusion.
  5. Wabi Sabi: simplicity and tranquility combined with honor and respect for the process of life. Sabi is connected to the design concepts asymmetry and austerity. It suggests the viewer fill in the image and complete the surprise. Wabi is translated as rustic simplicity and an understated simplicity.
    Incorporate the art of imperfection and age in your work. Doing things imperfectly perfect, is as it should be.

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Tonya Davidson is an artist, entrepreneur, coach and mentor. She helps other artists better their techniques and business skills by empowering them to live creatively from the inside out. Her ezine goes out to over 11,000 subscribers. If you want to learn to create a life you love, sign up for a FREE subscription at Be sure to check out her blog at for more articles like this one.

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