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How To Be Perfect by Branden Barnett

15 Jul


How to be perfect

When I sat down to write this blog post for Artipeeps, I had a hard time coming up with something to write about. My mind started churning on how important it was to write amazing, informative, valuable posts when you’re introducing yourself to someone else’s audience. I wanted to give the perfect introduction that would sum up who I am and what I do. I wanted to help as many people as possible with this one post.

As I sat there, my shoulders started to feel tight and my heart rate sped up. In my mind, ideas turned to thoughts about how I had nothing to say. I felt anxiety jump and my self worth plummet.

Hello Perfectionism!

As an artist (and a human being), perfectionism is something you have to learn to disarm again and again if you want to be happy. Read on if you want to know how I keep perfectionism out of my and my art’s way.


When it first creeps into your mind, perfectionism seems to make sense. It seems to be rational. You find yourself thinking things like:

  • This album has to be amazing. It has to be better than the last one we made

  • If this book isn’t as good as (insert the title of the book you love here) then why bother putting it out.

  • If this isn’t flawless then people will think I suck…that I’m mediocre as an artist

It makes sense because we want our art to be good. Perfectionism seems like a force that keeps us on track, reminding us that this must be our best work.

But here’s the thing…


Perfectionism is born when you over-identify your worth as a person with the art you make. Your mind starts perceiving the impending judgment and appraisal that your art receives when it’s released for judgements and appraisals of who you are.

When you believe these thoughts, the whole process of creativity grinds to a halt. It feels impossible to start and impossible to finish. Nothing seems right. It’s feels terrible. You start avoiding making your art.

So what can you do to put perfectionism in it’s place?

Mindful Awareness

Now that you know to be on the lookout for perfectionistic thinking, you can use mindful awareness to allow the thoughts to rise, hang out in your mind and then pass without believing them.

When you feel those “this must be my best work ever” feelings and thoughts start churning, mentally label them as simply “perfectionism” and then just watch. When you momentarily become a dispassionate observer of these feelings, they lose their bite and then they quickly fade from your mind.

The moment when you’re watching your own perfectionistic thoughts come and go in your mind, try to generate some compassion for yourself.

Just think…you’re an artist, trying to make the world a more beautiful place, and your brain is trying to sabotage you every step of the way. What you’re doing is brave and authentic. It is an act of true vulnerability. So when your thoughts start telling you why you suck and you have to be perfect, give yourself some well deserved compassion.

The fight against perfectionism is a daily battle. These thoughts will come up over and over again. Just bring mindful awareness to them, let them pass, extend some compassion to yourself and get to work.


Branden Barnett Ms. Ed., PC
Professional Counselor and Mental Health Blogger
You can find out more about Branden and his work here:
or follow Branden here:

Weekend Showcase: Lisa Risbec (Artist)

5 Apr


Every Friday, 1 artist/painter/poet/writer, letting their work speak for itself.

nb. This week we are doing something slightly different in as much as Lisa has chosen more than one piece to represent herself. This is a direct reflection of her present state in transition as an artist


Lisa Risbec


I am an artist (it has taken me a while to say that and I still struggle to say it out loud!) and my work flows between textiles, crafted piece, photography, collage, drawing, printmaking and animation. I create surreal worlds, dreamlike images and handmade oddities and objects. Using vivid colours and rough textures I like to explore the unseen and the hidden.

I studied Photography and filmmaking at university 6 years ago, and I have been searching for another way to express my creativity, and keep coming back to making things by hand. I have made films using images and textures and taken photographs of musicians incorporating handmade elements.



Still image from The Moss Witch


Image of musician Gwendolen


I’m experimenting with printmaking and art journaling and taking photographs of things that inspire me and I also sing and have begun to experiment with music and writing, mainly stream of consciousness and poems to try to work into songs.


Art Journal page3


I am currently part of Islington Mill Art Academy, which is a ‘a peer-led experiment into alternative modes of art education.’

Using this group as support, and learning from them, I am attempting to school myself in fine art, and develop my artistic practice into something that fits with the kind of artist I am. As part of this I am working on a project at the moment and have begun documenting some wasteland near to my studio, mainly the nature that persists there. I’m still working out how to express my thoughts and findings in a visual way. I’m also designing and making work to sell in my online shop ‘Thinking of Foxes’ I love making something out of nothing and finding inspiration in many places especially new places.



Wasteland project


Swedish Forest Quilt

Swedish forest quilt


This is on top of running an art workshop and having a part time job! I definitely need to pace myself! I have my fingers in a lot of pies and my aim is to simplify everything down into an artistic practice where I can follow my current interests and express myself in whatever medium feels right at the time, without feeling the pressure of trying to do everything all at once. And I’m still trying to work out how! Any tips much appreciated  contains links to the films, blog and etsy shop



Do get in touch via the Comment box or @ArtiPeep if you would like to be showcased. You’d be welcomed!

Collaborative Charter and Housekeeping

31 Dec

Humility with StrengthBefore the year is out I wanted to to make sure that I put this charter out into the world, particularly as Transformations is coming up and with all the mini-collaborations and expansion we’ll be undertaking this coming year.

I wanted everything to be clear and straight before the year is out. So here it is:



which embodies the following:

  • CARE ArtiPeeps is founded upon care, consideration, communication, opportunity and heart. Therefore every contributor should treat the other collaborators with the respect that they would give to themselves and with the following other guiding principles in mind.
  • COMMUNICATION Once in a collaboration it is the intention of ArtiPeeps that pairings or groups should keep in regular contact with each other, to bring each side of the collaboration into the process (even if the physical act of creating is a solitary one). This is the responsibility of the collaborators involved. This does not need to be in a heavy handed, pervasive way but could be seen as a sign of respect within the collaboration. ArtiPeeps in return will try and find vehicles through which to facilitate this dialogue wherever possible.
  • ALIGNMENT AND INTENTIONS Contributors and collaborators need to be aware of the intentions behind what ArtiPeeps does and act accordingly. Please see the CreoKardia website for full details. ArtiPeeps is not about marketing or selling, or advertising in anyway at the moment unless it completely ties in with its principles as outlined in About CreoKardia or embodied in its principles in About ArtiPeeps. ArtiPeeps is a vehicle for expression. Any associations that  might come up within blogs or collaborations need to be passed through ArtiPeep first. In return for this alignment ArtiPeeps will always consult with contributors before any significant associations or alignments are made with like minded organisations.
  • OPEN LINES AND FEEDBACK As a Collaborator and or a Contributor to ArtiPeeps what you think and feel matters to us, so  feedback and open lines of communication are always welcomed on any level. Please feel free to communicate with honesty. ArtiPeeps is about openness and in response for yours ArtiPeeps will do its best to respond to user need similarly and to be as transparent as possible with its intent.


That’s it at the moment! It’s small but perfectly formed and  embodies huge principles and that’s what matters. 

I’m going to place a copy of this under the ArtiPeeps Tab in the site menu so it’s there as a reminder to us all, and you’ll also find it on the Transformations page.  As time goes by and things shape and shift I’m sure the charter will extend and grow accordingly, and if you think there is something else that needs to go in there do let me know.

Housekeeping….I don’t know whether it’s really been made explicit in ArtiPeeps but ArtiPeeps  is part of a more overarching concept that I have and just one part of a conscious business I would eventually like to run with ArtiPeeps under its wing: CreoKardia (a business which blends creativity with aspects of well being).  I have been writing a blog there for as long as ArtiPeeps has been fully in the world which charts my feelings about what is involved in trying to create something that matters.  

 Creativity 4 CreoKardia’s origins are profoundly rooted in a mixture of creativity and self-development (primarily because of my personal history and practice). The well-being aspect of this enterprise is not so overt in ArtiPeeps at the moment, and my thinking now is that that needs to alter a bit so that ArtiPeeps can embody and communicate more of CreoKardia’s intention of care so it can truly support the people within it.

The path of a creative person is a hard and twisty one. Good but twisty, and to be supportive of this is vital I feel to our development as a wholehearted organisation. I also have a lot of personal experience due to my journey that might be of use and  could be passed on via ArtiPeeps (in a small way…). This would not only be a pleasure and an honor but would be a means for me to give back and pass on my experience of self-care within a creative life.  So you can now expect that my creative blogs will also be sprinkled with a smattering of ArtiPeep wisdom. Nothing too in your face, but there just a little bit more. 

It feels very much like ArtiPeeps’ intention and roots are grounding and embedding firmly now. There’s a lot of work ahead of us, but we now have a fabulous, firm and ever-evolving  following that is supporting, grounding and feeding all of ArtiPeeps’ enterprises and for that I’m extremely and profoundly grateful. 

Thanks once again for all your support of ArtiPeeps and myself.  I  truly wish you all a happy new year and may 2013 be a good one for us and our loved ones! 

Go gently!


All the very best!

ArtiPeep Signature 2


P.S. I’ve changed the menu tabs on the website to incorporate sub-menus. This will free us up for some new pages in the new year. If you feel this doesn’t work as well do let me know via the reply box or @ArtiPeep

Baby Steps, Procrastination & Practising

5 Sep

Putting difficult matters off, avoiding incidents and tasks that trigger us, setting aside difficult things (I’ll do that tomorrow) can prevent us from completing things and from creating things. Baby Steps are the key to managing fear and procrastination (indeed, they’ve literally saved me, and help me show up day-in, day-out and produce). When life looms large, and what you want seems way too big for you to cope with baby steps are the way to get things done. Doing small bite -sized tasks that build towards your outcome really keep you moving forward even if you’re not feeling like it. By concentrating on the bite- sized you can stay within the momentum of the process and the moment, manage your anxiety  and not vanish into the huge chasm of the outcome. We get too caught up in outcomes. Yes, they’re important for us to have as a guide but they should not be the thing that drives you. Then you miss the ride, you miss the moment and you can stop enjoying what’s right in front of you. You forget to enjoy the process.

Baby steps work. They really do. Break things down into bite-sized pieces: manageable and tailored to you. Then just move from one baby step to the next, day by day, persistently and steadfastly. Then lo-and-behold you’ve got to where you want to be; or, if not that, you’ve taken a different route and you’re somewhere even better!

Baby-steps are brilliant for procrastination. If there’s something large and looming that’s coming up. Rather than sitting there doing nothing, waiting for that moment to act; an  oh, yes, that’s right, it’s not quite the right time to do this ‘I’ll do it tomorrow, when I’m feeling more like it’ moment …running in your head…. Baby-steps can change that. They empower you and facilitate manageable action.

Say, if you’re putting off paying bills, or not opening certain letters. Start off by just putting the envelope on the table. Commit to putting it on the table every day, and Practice doing it until it feels right. Then, say, commit to opening the letter and sitting beside it. Practice that. Then move on to the next stage. Etc. etc. You catch my drift…. Slowly, slowly you are moving things along, not stressing yourself out and being in the moment (what could be better than that) , and AND moving towards your outcome at the very same time. Hurrah!

Try it and see.

Inspiration Point: a little cluster of inspiring things

21 Aug

A few diverse bits and bobs I’ve been collecting over the past fortnight. Finally gathered them together……………..

1. On Authenticity; some steps towards helping you feel ‘authentic’

a. Find what makes you feel good

b. Communicate

c. Be Creative

d. Visualise. Use Your Imagination………..

For more see the link below:

2. On Connection by the World Wildlife Fund

3. BE what you SEEK

4. The Meaning of Infinity:

5. *** On how to form good habits

Click on the link below:

6. A poem by Tara Mohr, The Rhythm:

In any creative feat
(by which I mean your work, your art, your life)
there will be downtimes.

Or so it seems.

Just as the earth is busy before the harvest

and a baby grows before its birth,

there is no silence in you.
There is no time of nothingness.

What if,

during the quiet times, when the idea flow is hushed and hard to find
you trusted (and yes I mean trusted)
that the well was filling, the waters moving?

What if you trusted

that for the rest of eternity,

without prodding, without self-discipline,

without getting over being yourself,

you would be gifted every ounce of productivity you need?

What would leave you? What would open?

And what if during the quiet times you ate great meals

and leaned back to smile at the stars,

and saw them there, as they always are,

nourishing you?

There are seasons and harvest is only a fraction of one of them.

We forget this.

There is the rhythm that made everything.

The next time you stand in the kitchen, leaning,

the next time a moment of silence catches you there,

hear it, that rhythm, and let it place a stone in your spine.
Let it bring you some place beautiful.

7. On Writing by Julia Cameron

Writing gives us a place to say what we need to say, but also to hear what we need to hear.


13 Aug

🙂 Since the last ArtiPeep session I’ve been thinking a lot about INTENTION, which has been further enhanced by my acquistition of Wayne Dyer’s The Power of Intention.  Here he sites Carlos Castanada’s (a great lover of Shamanism) definition:

‘Intent is a force that exists in the universe. When sorcerers (those who live of the source) beckon intent it comes to them and sets up a path of attainment which means that a sorcerer always accomplish what they set out to do’. 

This past week I’ve been very  busy stretching my hand upwards reaching high for intent to help me crack my issues with Gentleness ( teeth issues a-go-go, causing me gyp…I’ll say no more…except it pushes all my buttons). But my intent has been oh-so strong.  This is one of the last few issues I have but it’s a big one: one that goes right to my core and my heart,  and every day when I brush my teeth old, cruel ArtiPeep (perfection and cruelty-love it) bashes up against ArtiPeep (who knows gentleness and imperfection are A  ok) and for the space of the brushing there’s a bloody battle , and ArtiPeep looks at herself in the mirror and says with great vehemency :’  ArtiPeep doesn’t have to listen to old ArtiPeep!’. ‘No, no, no. You don’t need to listen to her anymore’. My intent,  in this regard you see,  is strong, rock solid. There is no need for cruelty and sharding to still be in my life. I deserve better. My intention is to learn gentleness and kindness towards myself( and this is the opportunity through which I can do so; and I don’t mean something half-hearted but something root-strong that spreads its tendrils throughout my life.  Gentleness and kindness throughout-not just for me but spread out to all those I meet. And I know, oh yes I know, that it will be this that will transform me and let me truly flourish into my future (near-apparent) and into my life right now (apparent). It’s one of the biggest battles I’ve ever had, and this is where my warriorship is coming in handy. There I stand sword and shield in hand. and I do, I d o, most certainly, do,  feel solid, like there is a true centre to me that stretches down through me into the brown earth. It’s there (and I can hardly believe it ). It really is. and I can close my eyes and feel it, really, really feel it. and it is my intent that is holding me there however I am feeling.

And as each day passes I am feeling like I’m getting closer to my source, to the force which I feel, more and more is giving me all these opportunities and ideas. It is this knowledge and the feeling,  when I close my eyes,  that makes me know I’m on my path.  So I’m truely grateful that this opportunity has come for me to set and challenge  my intent in such a rigorous way, and I shall raise my shield, cup my face in my hand (should I need comfort) and continue to move forward. Step by Step. I will accomplish what I have set out to do.

Inspirational Quotes

9 Aug

 Keep a green tree in your heart & perhaps a singing bird will come. -Chinese Proverb

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. Joseph Campbell

Who would you be if you weren’t believing the thoughts that harm you?

Right now, you can make a different choice. What choice would you make?

More Thoughts A Comin’….

8 Aug

🙂 I‘ve been going to the country park a lot in the late afternoon this week:  taking my journal and pen, sitting on the back edge of a bench on a little hillock and planning and brainstorming and thinking, thinking creative thoughts. Also looking out across the green and watching  the beautiful delicate trees swaying in the wind, I’ve thought how lucky I am, and how it’s all before me, if I just keep baby-stepping along, the way I am. Just saying yes to what life is calling me to do, and trusting, trusting, trusting…I’ve thought a lot about what I wrote about in my last blog. More thoughts about what this all could turn into, and making sure it uses all my talents, and benefits, provides a service.  Out of this, out of all this pondering , I think, there’s going to be a shift in relation to ArtiPeeps and  the course I’m producing with the creativity aspect of it driving the self-development aspect much more. The focus will be on the creativity, and the individual changes and developments will be subtly driven underneath (the 121 course will, of course, be finely focused…it’s a different kettle of fish…) . I say this because I’ve been really focusing on what I’m good at, and what I’m good at is: 1. embodying large amounts of information and knowledge, applying it creatively, and then creating something out of it (this is my unique creative genius) and 2.  unlocking people’s creative potential and providing innovative pursuits and activities that allow that to happen.  I’ve been looking at the Hedgehog Concept (a way you can work out how your greatest gifts, passion, and business ideas (and what drives the business economically) can connect profoundly, and in so doing create something that is unique, needed and profoundly fulfilling because you’re doing what you love). Hence the shift of my focus.

Matters are shifting every day and evolving and my intention is that I’m going to let them because the more and more I explore the closer I’m going to get to what is going to be my future. All I have to do is keep baby-stepping, showing up each day, preparing my vegan notes, developing ArtiPeeps, writing my creativity lecture, doing my apps and working on my websites; and diligently, patiently,  persistently and playfully my life unfolds…

Here’s A link to some beautiful music…so inspiring:

Kate Rusby- Underneath the Stars

ArtiPeeps’ Inspiration Pointers

6 Aug
  • 😉
  • Follow Your Bliss- Bring Forth What Is Inside You
  • Be You-live for something
  • Connect to Source
  • Enthusiasm brings Creative Energy
  • Love, and do what you will
  • You Are Not the Roles You Play
  • Separate Your Thoughts from the Situation
  • Exercise Your Mind With Strong Determination: diligently, patiently persistently (and playfully). Choose with awareness, equanimity & Wisdom
  • The soul attracts what it loves and fears
  • Cherish Your Vision- Follow with Courage and Self-Reliance
  • Until You Face how You Feel Not What You Should Feel Healing Can’t Begin
  • Counter Your Negative Belief With A Positive One
  • Every thought matches what you give back
  • Creator or Victim/ Procrastinator or Creator?
  • Be-Do-Have- Happy With that Which We Are
  • Sit With Discomfort without trying to fix it
  • Flexibility and openness bring strength
  • Prefer the choice to not doing at all, then do it wholeheartedly
  • Have a safety net of compassion
  • Be kind. act like your ideal of your self: now
  • Connect to your intention-with discipline, wisdom, love and surrender
  • Say Yes To Life
  • How can you serve?
  • Use Your Signature strengths every day (see Authentic Happiness link in  the link list)
  • What one can be one must be
  • Embrace your imperfections
  • Count Your blessings
  • Plunge In, not to fear mistakes
  • Embrace Uncertainty
  • Live with Integrity Following your Source
  • Relate to your vision with deep knowing and not fear
  • Never let a negative thought complete itself
  • See only what you wish to experience

Session 9 ArtiPeep Update Wednesday 25th July 2012

26 Jul

Goodness me…session 9, eh?!

Many thanks to Sharon and Karin for their subtle, honest and interested contributions…much appreciated!! This was the first session with a direct self-development edge, and I have to admit I was slightly trepidatious about it. It’s all fine and good for me to find creative themes that we can explore with cardboard and glue, but linking it to themes and personal issues that mean something to the contributers, now that’s a responsibility!

I’ve put an outline of the session on our Session Page, and I’m going to insert a detailed  JPeg Mindmap of what we covered.  Just click on the link below and it pops up in your browser!

I shall also be producing a 1 page overview sheet for each session which can act as a back-up and a reminder of the themes we covered.

Session Mindmap Link

Overall, I found the session to be really productive, and a good mix of creativity and honest conversation about what we felt mattered to us/inspired us  and where we needed, perhaps, to focus as individuals in order to move us on in our lives. I’ll be sending out an email shortly outlining the specific areas we talked about individually.

Because we all weren’t together (for very good reasons, I hasten to add), I didn’t quite start the session off where I would have if we would have been together (does that make sense? ). But it gave me a really clear idea of how to move forward with the sessions structurally and thematically, which is great. It’s going to work really well! It’s quite exciting…Your input will be valued (and needed) all the way so we can develop this into something really special, fed and developed  by the ‘users’ themselves.

Our creative expressions of ‘what matters to us’ were really powerful;  and my goodness, did Sharon write a great poem!  which I hope she’ll be sharing via our blog. There’s a brilliant, clear voice there-really individual, cutting right to the nub of things. Fab! And Bard Karin produced another succinct and sensitive short poem, which I hope she’ll post as well when she’s mastered the WordPress login (Mrs Techno-Techno)…..

I also raised the idea of instigating an Admin meeting every so often so we could discuss the development of ArtiPeeps and any other more formal matters. We can perhaps combine it with a bit of a social.  We’ll discuss this when we’re all together.

We’re having the next Peep meeting on the Wednesday 29th August as per usual, and it was decided that we wont have a Dove Project meeting this month. We need an Amelia and a Vera

Once again, a  wholehearted  thank you to Karin and Sharon for their lovely presences (can you say that?)  and contribution (and Elaine and Gill, you were missed, but Paris must be fabulous. Many,many happy marriage anniversary wishes to you two).

Peeps United!


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