You may have noticed over the years a shift in the things I am talking about in my emails and podcasts and programs. I have undergone a dramatic shift in my identity, in my values, in what it means to truly follow my intuition and live my most authentic life. To live and work in congruence with who I am at my core and what I believe I am here on this planet to do.
I have made a big shift…
From Business Owner to Artist.
Copywriter to Writer.
Client to Coach.
For those of you followed me to get resources for art teachers may be confused by this switch, so I thought I’d explain a few things for you, and tell you how you can work with me moving forward!
So here I am. In one of my three favorite sweatshirts that are worn at home everyday over whatever I am wearing. With my unruly, graying hair. Without makeup or filters.
I’m not trying to be perfect for you, even if I tried in the past. I don’t care if you see me as unprofessional or overly emotional or an over-sharer or a little bit too much. I’m going to be 100% of myself with you.
I’m Cindy Ingram.
I’m a creator. I’m a connector, a seer of patterns and meaning. I’m deeply emotional. I have anxiety and ADHD. To be honest, I’ve always felt a bit like an alien.
I take charge and I have always stormed my way through life. The librarian at one of my teaching jobs once called me a “take-charge gal.” I’m pretty sure she found me terribly annoying.
I get an idea and I run with it.
I created Art Class Curator like that. I had the idea, and I charged forward. I had a website built in a matter of days. I did this out of a deep desire to help others connect with art in meaningful ways. To stop lecturing about artists and art history and actually start engaging and connecting. And, it has done that. The stories you all have told me about how your teaching has changed and about the depth of your students’ art connections are part of my legacy, and I cannot be more proud of this work.
The only problem came when my work took me farther and farther from the work of connecting with people, connecting with myself, and connecting with art. It became too much about strategy and management and hiring and delegation and convincing and scaling. It was more about systems and sustainability and branding and less about charging forward with energetic abandon.
(And I loooove to charge forward with energetic abandon! There’s nothing better than taking an idea and making something brand new come to life.)
The creator inside me got buried and stifled. This part of me started to scream louder and louder to be heard. It screamed through avoidance, writer’s block, perfectionism; it screamed through pain, headaches, itching; it screamed through anxiety, insomnia, depression, burn out.
I had to start listening to that voice inside me even if it meant changing everything about my work and my business. Even if it meant letting go of dreams that once drove me.
Even if it meant less money or success or accolades, because what good is any of that to me if I feel like what makes me who I am and what makes me feel most fulfilled in life is being stuffed into a suffocating box.
When I started listening, I realized that my connection with art and my overall message for my entrepreneurship was not about art education for just students and teachers, but about art CONNECTION for anyone and everyone. Art is a place to get in touch with your humanity.
I realized that my lifelong affinity for self development and my connection to art were actually one and the same. I have always used art as a tool for my own self development and my own wellbeing. The thing to help me care for my nervous system, the thing to meditate on, the thing to show me what I value, the thing that gives me a safe space to feel my feelings.
I realized that my connection to art and self has been the story all along, and I had started to lose sight of that.
So I started slowly aligning my work to fit this new paradigm—introducing the Art Connection Circle, shifting my book to be a memoir rather than an instructional book, getting an education and certification in life coaching (AND LEARNING I FREAKING LOVE COACHING), making art again, claiming my identity as an artist and as a writer. Owning my alien-ness. Breaking out of the box I had tried to fit myself in.
And side note: All of this happened alongside the extenuation of the pandemic which we all thought would be way shorter than it ended up being. I’m seeing now how the field of education is in a state of emergency. Teachers are leaving the classroom in droves, and I can see clearly that the best way to support teachers right now is not through more lesson plans. It’s through helping them care for their energy, their own growth, their own wellbeing and peace, their connection with their purpose.
So my content in my emails, on my social media, in my podcast. It will be about all of this. About art, self, and the ways they intersect.
While the Curated Connections Library and the Art Class Curator blog aren’t going anywhere, I have to follow my inner guidance that leads me into a deeper connection with you as a person, not just you as a teacher, so don’t be surprised if you start getting emails and posts from me about feeling your feelings, following your passions, or whatever I feel called to share.
Here’s a few ways you can work with me if you are interested in connecting further:
- Your Artist Identity: Interactive Online Workshop for Soulful Creatives – Workshop tomorrow, March 14 at 5pm Central! You can register here artandself.com/identity
- Creativity Cocoon – Join me for artmaking in community a few times per week as well as monthly art connection workshops. – artandself.com/cocoon
- Do the Damn Thing: Creative Action Incubator – A 6-month coaching and mastermind program dedicated to helping you run towards the thing you want with energetic yet compassionate abandon. (starts in June) artandself.com/do-the-thing
- One-on-One Coaching – Interested to see what coaching is all about? Book a call with me to chat about it. artandself.com/discovery
Love to you and thanks for allowing me this space to open my heart.