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Are You in the Arena?

Persistence. Perseverance. Tenacity. Endurance. Resilience.

These are the character traits of a creative person who simply does not give up.

You may stumble. You may fall. You may win no artistic awards or personal accolades.

But you do not give up.

You are comfortable with being uncomfortable until your creative work finally bears fruit. You...

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The Enduring Artist - Developing Persistence & Perseverance During Challenging Times


By Joey O'Connor

The greatest threat to your life as an artist is not difficult circumstances, but a lack of persistence and perseverance to endure challenging times.

Difficulty. Hard times. Challenges.

These are what make you and I better. Faster. Stronger.

Squeezing a green lime into your Corona on the beach may provide you...

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I Want People, Not Pixels - The Importance of Artist Community

As I sat down to write this morning, I was flummoxed.

(Flummoxed: adjective, bewildered or perplexed, as in "he became flummoxed and speechless)

It's highly unusual for an Irishman to become flummoxed. 

Having received the gift of the gab from Ireland's Blarney Stone, an Irishman always has something to say, as in "I'm Irish,...

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Do You Know the Deepest Truth of Who You Are?

During the early days of The Grove, I wrote a book called The Longing: Embracing the Deepest Truth of Who You Are. The book emerged from "deep" inside of me during a 10 year battle with chronic pain and the resulting anxiety.

The Longing is about spiritual identity and embracing at our core what it truly means to live as a son or...

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Meet My Friend, Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton was a Trappist Monk. He was one of the greatest poets, writers, mystics and intellectual minds of the 20th Century.  

Merton offers you perfect words for these perilous you and I might live as children of light . . . as the sons and daughters of God. 

If we have the Spirit of God in our hearts, we...

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What is the Purpose of Procrastinating Perfectionism?

By Joey O'Connor

The twin evil stepsisters of making progress with your art are Procrastination and Perfectionism.

What is the purpose of these two nefarious Sirens?


Listening to the Siren Songs of Procrastination and Perfectionism reveals the lack of a clearly defined purpose and the specific results you want in your creative...

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I'm Not a Procrastinator or a Perfectionist. And I'm Not Defensive.

By Joey O'Connor

I'm not a procrastinator or perfectionist.

And I'm not defensive.

Did you heart me? I am not a procrastinator.

I am a "deadline" performer with swaths of last-minute brilliance.

No ego here...really.

I am also not a perfectionist.

I am one with an eye for detail and thoroughness.

I live in the Zen of kaizen...continuous...

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Art, Action or Anarchy?

By Joey O'Connor

"We are not in a period of confinement, but refinement."

These words came during a recent call with my friend, Esther Ntoto, who lives in Goma, Eastern Congo as a peacemaker and minister of justice with her husband, Camille. In the past twenty years, over six million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo due...

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Who Are Your Murder Hornets?

By Joey O'Connor

And as if a pandemic wasn't enough?

Washington State was recently hit with an invasion of murder hornets.

Way off course from their Southeast Asian homes, these two-inch F-15's of the insect world are attacking Washington's honeybee population. With vice-like pincers, the venomous hornets excel at decimating honeybee hives...

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The World Doesn't Need More Christian Artists - Part 3

By Joey O'Connor

Does your art move people to tears?

On a recent call with several artists, one woman stated, "We need art that moves people to tears."

I found her statement provocative and challenging, dismantling any notions of short-cuts and easey-peasey pathways to excelling in my craft.

So far, I've poked fun at Precious Moments figurines,...

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