[ Art ][ Gratitude ][ pottery ][ sgraffito ]

So I Had a Breakthrough

Spirit Sister Wall Sculpture in progress
A sneak peek: Spirit Sister wall sculpture in progress. ©2016 Carolyn Bernard Young

The first weekend of November, something close to 100 artists descended upon Golden, Colorado for three full days at Art Biz Breakthrough. Hosted each year by Alyson B. Stanfield, well-known and well-loved business coach for artists, it is truly a life-changing event for many who attend.

What was my Breakthough this year?

I came to grips with the fact I really want to move away from wheel-thrown work to make wall sculpture, figurative sculpture, totem poles, obelisks, who knows? I want to tell tribal stories, family stories, funny stories, MY stories in a way that has more impact than a simple turned pot.

My First Love

Don’t get me wrong, throwing is my first love and not likely to disappear completely, but you can expect to see fewer of those as this new body of work comes to life.  Sgraffito will always find its way into my work, we’ll see just how that happens. Ideas are flowing faster than I can get them into a sketchbook. I’m beyond excited…and slightly terrified, but determined.

“Don’t Be Afraid”

John D. Rockefeller once said, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”  That is my mantra for 2017, so look out world!

Alyson B. Stanfield is the author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio – The Artist’s No Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion now in its 3rd edition, and founder of Art Biz Coach.  She is a no-nonsense coach of the highest caliber and I have been privileged to work with her for the past two years. Through on-line classes, one-on-one coaching, and her Inner Circle of artists in all manner of media, we are laser focused on treating our art career as a small business and…dare I say it…making money as professional artists!

With deep gratitude for your support, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving,


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    1. Thank you so much Alyson. Your coaching has given me the tools and the confidence to take my art career to the next level.

  1. Carolyn – I’m also excited to see what wonderful new art you’ll create! A true blessing of Alyson’s Inner Circle has been having you as my art business partner! We’re gonna rock 2017!! Love your Spirit Sister wall art – congrats on your new journey!

    1. Claudia – you have been such a blessing to me this year and I’m so looking forward to our adventures together in 2017!

  2. Dear Carolyn…
    I am truly excited for you but I do have to say that I said to myself “Oh NO!!!!”. You see, I decided to click on your site after reading Alyson’s blog and I found myself so in love with your work and immediately signed up for your blog and the opportunity to purchase a mug of yours. You see, I live in Costa Rica and work like this doesn’t exist here and I so miss the exciting work of my fellow American craftspeople. I love to spend all day sipping out of an art mug and hopefully one of yours when they become available.
    I can also relate to the excitement of new work. I currently am working on a series of 52 Divas which explores my thoughts, my life, my visions and dreams….something very similar to you. So, go for it sister!!!! I am so happy for you.

    1. Aw Jan – your post made my heart smile. After spending the day photographing mugs your sweet words really lifted my spirit. Thank you so much for signing up. I should be ready to launch the Merry Mug Madness early in the week for my Studio Insiders. I would also love to see photos of your Divas too! Thanks for making my day!

  3. I am so excited for to see where your new artistic vision takes you, Carolyn. It’s been a pleasure watching you grow in the Inner Circle this year. I can’t WAIT for the mugs. Wishing you all the best in 2017.

    1. Thank you Adele – aren’t we lucky to be in IC with this awesome group of artists? I’m busily processing photos of the mugs and getting them on their own page for Merry Mug Madness…shouldn’t be much longer! Looking forward to sharing new adventures with you in 2017!

  4. Hey Carolyn…
    I just spotted this, and thought I’d say hi. .!!!!
    I too have been having a hard time making the switch, though at the moment I’m trying to do both, which is hard for there’s only so much time and space in the studio and my head! ! 😉
    I’ve been following Allison for years, though never have the money, nor really thought it would help a traveling artists like me? ?
    But after seeing you, maybe I’ll try. ..
    How’s the horse? ??
    Hope all is well. .merry Christmas

    1. Hi Tanya – I’ve been watching your wonderful giraffes develop with envy. My horse is still awaiting his tail, but I plan to get that done before the end of the year! I have learned so much from Alyson over the past several years and she has been a big help in finding my way to this new path. It’s going to be an exciting year – I hope it is for you too! Merry Christmas & Happy New year!

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