Avenue of Taking Your Art Into The Fine Art Galleries and Shows

There are many galleries that have original artworks for sale to their clients and the public. In every city, there are galleries with a variety of focused styles and themes along with those that have a varied selection.

In order to approach these galleries with artwork, you need to do a few simple things and it is possible that you could find one or more that would carry your original artworks.


CricketDiane 2018 Portfolio and Frames for Fine Artt DSC04514_cr
Portfolio and Frames for Fine Art

Aside from it being helpful to go to an art school or take your art education from a college or university art department program, it is also possible to attend classes and get instruction from a number of other sources and still be an appropriate match to fine art galleries.

Prepare Artwork for Galleries

First, you will need about 20 – 25 art pieces in the same style regardless of the medium used to create them. It helps to enter juried art shows and group fine art shows to add that information to the about your work sheet and bio.

That means, create a body of work such that you can create 20 or more pieces in the same style that is part of it with a theme that is easily recognizable and marketable in the fine art market. It also means to get into group shows with your work and especially, to enter juried shows with some of these pieces or artworks in this style and hopefully win some place ribbons or awards for them.

Write a Bio and About Your Work Page

If any collectors are collecting your work, if there are any prizes you’ve won in juried art shows, if you have been a part of invitation-only art shows – these will be great information to add to your list of credits about your work, as well and go a long way to encourage a fine art gallery to host your work.

Today, the bio and about your work sheet should reflect the most current information about your artwork, the shows where you’ve shown, professional associations where you are a member, collectors who’ve bought your work, ongoing professional development and classes you’ve taken. The artist’s bio and about your work information need to appear on your website, blog and online portfolios.

Photograph Your Work

It takes a lot of work to create the 20 – 25 pieces that form the portfolio elements that you will present to the galleries. These need to be in the same style, even if your body of work also includes other styles that you consider your own and like a lot.

The 20 – 25 pieces that you offer to fine art galleries must be photographed with as true to life colors as possible in as high a resolution as you can get – even 20mpx is available on some point and shoot cameras that are not inhibitively expensive.

Mount and Frame Artworks

Then, these pieces need to be mounted on foam core or bristol board with a neutral ph using archival tape and a framing mat over each one. Typically, these mats are the same color when used for this purpose – all white mats across the 25 pieces or all black.

Each piece of artwork is placed in a clear plastic sleeve that is purchased which is made for this purpose – for portfolios, for large pieces of artworks, or for packaging such as crystal clear packaging envelopes sold in nearly every size.

This set of artworks are placed in a portfolio case which are sold in various sizes and configurations including those for smaller works on paper that look like a very large black bound notebook sized to the artworks’ largest piece.

For watercolor papers that are 22″ x 30″, be sure to get a book or portfolio sized slightly larger and the same is true for the plastic sleeves to hold the work with its mount. An exact fit sized at 22″ x 30″ will not fit and have the extra 1/4″ depth that is taken up dimensionally by the mount and mat.

For canvas artworks, unless they are huge – over 4′ x 4′ or on canvases that are stretched across larger stretchers with the foldover edges painted as part of the work, they need to be framed. That is its own dilemna, since framing is as expensive as it is. Even artworks on paper that you have mounted as described, need to have framing and glass available for each one before the gallery will hang them when they say yes to you. It will be up to you to get that framing done for all of the pieces they accept.

Make an Online Portfolio

After writing the bio and about your work pages, building them into a website for your work, a contact page and portfolio online, get physical print copies of them to hand out with your work at shows, when approaching a gallery owner or curator, or to send by snail mail as needed. Make sure an keep updated copies of these handy in a google doc to grab quickly for emails to galleries and juried fine art shows, too.

The artist’s bio should read more like a quick endpaper description of an author that is commonly used on books, rather than a serious interpretation of why you are an artist. Part of what this bio should do, is be the kind of thing you would want said to others when the gallery owner tells them about who you are and how your work is special and so wonderful that they just need to see it right now.

Things to Include About Your Work

On the “about your work” page you write, it should include –

  • places your work has been shown
  • prizes you’ve won at juried shows
  • education in art and classes you’ve taken
  • professional associations you belong to in art
  • community organizations you belong to socially, such as Rotary, Lions’ Club, etc.
  • collectors and large collections who purchased your artworks
  • special uses of your artworks for newsletters, magazine covers or stories, posters
  • any purchase of your artworks / sculptures for the public – site specific installations, etc.
  • any special groups of artists to which you belong for group shows or studio space
  • classes you’ve given in art, sculpture, talks and podcasts

Note – remember to always put your name, contact info, email address, cellphone number and website address on every single page of every single paper that any show or gallery staff or art publisher might handle. These pages do end up separated and it will do no good to have a page of your brilliance being seen by someone if they can’t find out who belongs to it and how to get ahold of you easily when it matters.

Know the Galleries You Want to Approach

Once all these pieces are assembled, there are two other critical and important requirements you need to fulfill, both of which are fairly time-consuming – but they are, must-dos.

One must-do, is to check through information about the galleries that are available in the city where you live or the largest city near where you live, or the largest city in your state, as the case may be. And, to check through information about fine art galleries in your genre that are known to be selling those kinds of works frequently and successfully hosting gallery openings and shows dedicated to the kinds of work you do – more or less.

Two – or the second must-do, is to write down and memorize how you will bring an audience to these galleries which they otherwise do not enjoy or want access to getting and have every reason for wanting a way to attract those specific audiences of art buyers or potential art buyers.

Know What Gallery Pays For and What You Pay To Do

Galleries charge a percentage of every sale which can range from a low of 20% that is rare, to 60% for anyone whose work is completely unknown. Any gallery, agent or other avenue that charges to review your work for possible inclusion, is a sure sign that it is not a valid entry point into the marketing of your work to the fine art communities.

There are other costs too, that artists are commonly asked to cover, including the costs of hosting an opening night gala showing the works, posters or prints for the artist to sign that are part of the show of your work, promotional materials printing and mailing costs, and any other promotional costs of letting the public know about your work being at this gallery, (these usually extend beyond the show of your work, if the gallery continues carrying your works).

Aside from those costs, other promotional efforts for your work and the initial showing of your work are commonly yours to do. Many artists have found ways to get their artwork reviewed by Art in America and ArtForum or other fine art magazines.

Other Ways to Promote Your Work Must Be Used Too

Some artists have found ways to get a feature story about their work and its debut in a gallery or in the marketplace covered by these and other fine art publications.

Wikipedia has a list of them, found here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_art_magazines which you can use to gather information about what is selling in the fine art markets, what is wanted as far as popular styles and themes, which galleries are having group shows where it may be possible to get an early entrance into the gallery’s show opportunities, and also to find many gallery addresses, info and contacts.

Regardless, promotion for your work today is almost totally yours to do and that includes sending press releases and doing other promotional types of work. It can be podcasts, write-ups in local papers or newsletters of community organizations and even those of art groups, hosting seminars or workshops, being on talk radio and tv shows – all of those things.

And, it is up to you to do things like sending postcards out to those who have bought your work or who have shown an interest in it, those who have supported your work with help or funding and those you want to interest in seeing your work to possibly buy it or support it.

Possibilities of Art Publishers / Limited Edition Prints

Fine art markets have art publishers specific to it which you can also pursue and that includes limited edition prints and illustrations, as well as other types of fine art publications. The costs of limited edition print runs can be difficult to cover unless an investor is found who will back part of the costs and you can show the popularity of your original fine art image you expect to be able to sell at a good price, if the run is made.

Many fine artists are engaging in these limited edition print runs for their works that have shown some popular demand and it has been a very normal part of doing fine art in a business-like way since about the 1980’s.

Remember, however, that fine art publishing houses that are legitimate – do not require the artists and illustrators to put up money for the limited edition run. The making a print as a limited edition independently of the fine art publishers, normally requires that the artist and possible a co-investor or partner, put up the money to print the edition, package and market it.

When an art publisher makes a deal with you to publish your work, they are negotiating for certain rights to profit from the work you created and to do so either with you – or to buy those rights in some measure for some period of time, from you. Suffice it to say, you should be getting money – not paying it out, because they are in the business of making their money from these images that were not created by them and do not belong to them.

One other note, aside from having your own website and possibly a blog about your art, there are portfolio platforms online that are amazing which will host your portfolio of artworks, so the public can see it and gallery owners can see it from there – long before you can get an appointment for the gallery to view your portfolio in person.

Gather as Much Information As Possible About Galleries for Your Artworks

However, that does bring up an important and last point – once you find a number of galleries that have work in the same neighborhood of focus as yours – then it is time to get online with their websites and get more information about them.

After that, it is time to do some phone calls, emails or response forms on their website to ask for them to see your portfolio. Some galleries have their requirements and process online – it used to be, send slides but now those can be sent as email attachments provided the photos of your work are as clear and color-true to the works as possible.

Every major city in the world have galleries as well as all the big US cities – but they are still selling to a demographic that is small and specific. Some galleries in certain US cities like Washington, D.C. may favor almost entirely 18th century work with only a few contemporary styles being acceptable within the market niche they are serving of political, law, lobbying and government offices.

Other places may want predominantly ocean paintings or nautical art, sailing yachts and big ships on stormy waves. And, remember that what was avant-garde a week ago, or a month ago, or a year ago now is far removed from what may be considered that way today and right this minute.

And, despite what anyone may tell you in the arts communities – most galleries don’t necessarily want the avant-garde anyway, unless that is specific to their business model and marketing plan – or if that is what their known customer base is hungry to see, to have and to own.

  • cricketdiane, 03-19-2018



Business of Art and the Money of Corporate Raiding – Why Create Anything

Ding – ding goes the cash register in the old stores from Five & Dime stores to old grocery stores every time there is a sale made. Even in today’s stores, as the register drawer opens and closes, there is a plastic swush that is is recognizable with every sale. In art, you don’t get that.

I’m thinking of putting a bell somewhere to note when someone buys one of my artworks or designs on the products being made through Zazzle – but it would probably be pretty annoying after awhile – both when it rings and when it doesn’t for awhile.

Sales in art is not based entirely on subjective criteria. However, it can be noted that in many cases, art is sold as part of something else (inclusively.) The designs and artwork put on products in big retail stores are already made into whatever you are buying and when you go to have a tshirt made or business cards – art is partly included in the price or charged for being done as part of the print job. Meaning, the art is not purchased separately in many cases, though it is there providing sellable visuals that make the product desirable.

Architecture firms pay artists to visually conceptualize the buildings, public spaces and homes they intend to build. Landscape designers either hire an artist to render their plans for landscaping so the customer can understand it or do that themselves. Magazing rely heavily on illustration and have both in-house artists work for them and hire illustrators specific to articles whose work they already know.

There are art publishers that publish limited edition prints and those who mass produce for the interior decor industry where most, if not all of the artwork seen in retail stores and local frame shops at the mall are bought for resale.

After a tremendous number of years making art, selling art and learning about selling art, it is something to be said that I am numb to it all now. I’ve watched brilliant sculptors of our time go into ice carving because the public wanted that and not big sculptures for their homes and businesses. I’ve watched ridiculous things being made using materials that are absurd to get the public’s attention whether sculpting in butter or hand-rendering famous works of art on tiny chocolate squares.

It is a strange time. Nothing surprises the public anymore to the extent that it has become a joke played upon by advertisers trying to find something more ridiculous than the last to get the audience to speak about it, remember it or repeat any of it on social media or around the water cooler.

At one time in the fine art world during the last forty years, artists have castrated themselves and filmed it, calling that performance art – only to be ignored anyway and their work denied by the apathy of the public and then committing suicide over it. That doesn’t even make the news at the time it was done and certainly wouldn’t today.

But, in the midst of this strange landscape, there is more creativity and imagination, wonderful artworks and artistic endeavors than ever with a vast array of amazing types and avenues of interpretation. It is staggering. And, the public is mostly not buying any of it regardless. Nor, supporting it. Nor desiring to be supportive of any of it, for that matter.

As Banksy came through New York City and made his secret tagging project with its social messages, he did everything right according to the public relations playbook and still barely had a couple sales of his work in person when he set up to sell it in Central Park before he went back home. The news coverage and social media, the public’s interest in it didn’t matter – they still didn’t want to buy it from the artist. That says a lot.

Experts call it the “gig economy” where it used to be called freelancing or making something and then selling it directly to the customer. And, today much of that is done online with large platforms delivering what seems like opportunity to those who make things, create things, craft, sculpt, do art, write, do music, invent, and have skills in those areas.

Well, okay – gig economy. And, building a brand. And, becoming an expert in your field by knowledge and skills marketed effectively online. Those can work despite the walls of competition coming at you every given moment.

But, when I wrote the post on my old blog the other day about Toys R Us going into bankruptcy when they enjoy a 15% share of the toy market – and how it happened, and as I keep watching people at the top of our government spending millions of dollars to go on a golf weekend or take trips at our expense or plan a $50 million dollar parade while my sales give me none of those things – it occurs to me that creating anything is not how money is being made necessarily. And, probably not for some time now – like years upon years.

Where someone like Thomas Kincaid was able to bring his art vision to the public marketplace successfully, millions of others did not and were not given the access to even take that road successfully at all. It is as if, for one to get in the door – 500,000 or more did not. The odds are worse than playing bingo.

So here is what I wrote a couple days ago after doing the research on why Toys R Us is being dismantled because of a private equity group who bought them in 2005 using “equity” from their portfolios of investing other people’s money and leveraging 80% of the price which was then charged to Toys R Us to pay off ultimately destroying them as they threw $400 million out the door every year to service loans which shouldn’t have belonged to them since they were made to purchase the company in the first place.

That is a long winded sentence and I was about to change it – but damn, that’s exactly what they did. It can’t be said in two or three word sentences.

So, rather than tell you all about how to make a great art business and share with you what all I’ve learned about it, from fine art to illustration, art publishing and surface design, showing in art festivals to showing in galleries, to the amazing online opportunities which are mostly work and not really opportunities – I’m going to share what I’ve learned about really making money – if you’re going to –



The Anatomy of Business in America –

  1. Open a firm. Make it an LLC and get a nice address for it, even if it is shared.
  2. Print a bunch of slick looking brochures and paperwork. Buy some nice desks and expensive chairs.
  3. Hire some men and dress them in very expensive suits.
  4. Get people to give you their money to invest. Borrow against the money they give you to invest more than you have available.
  5. Charge them for investing their money and every time the investments are handled, traded, bought or sold.
  6. Use their money and portfolios as collateral to buy up an existing company in the US – one that has been around for years.
  7. Borrow 80% – 100% of the price the company purchase would be by using these other people’s money and portfolios as you “equity”collateral on the loan promising the company will payoff the loan from its cash earnings inflow
  8. Pay yourself several million dollars for making the deal by taking it from the company you are buying.
  9. Put the entire purchase price of the company you are buying into debt owed by that company and not you and not your company even though you did the borrowing to get ownership of it.
  10. The collateral wasn’t yours, the equity stake put up never moved anywhere and is paid off by the company being bought plus paying for its own purchase by you without any of your money ever being used.
  11. Rob all the cash resources and assets that you can possibly liquidate from the company you now own without ever having to pay anything to get it.
  12. Charge management fees to the company you’ve bought while you dismantle its assets and cash diverting them into your pockets and those of your firm.
  13. Force the company you now own to borrow from you and from your firm some of its new loan money that will satisfy paying off your debt for having bought it, so they are effectively paying you interest on the money you did not actually borrow to buy the company in the first place which is now owed by the company you “bought” who is paying for its purchase price.
  14. After 2 – 5 years of bleeding all the cash possible from the company, either A.) sell it by taking it public and then finding a buyer for it to cash you out, or B.) going into bankruptcy as the company is then required to pay you again three times over in the bankruptcy process.
  15. Get payouts again from any credit default swaps you took out on the loans your firm made to the company that  you forced the company to take to pay the money off that you “borrowed” to “buy” them. Make sure you get hundreds of millions from the bankruptcy of the company while its vendors, landlords contractors and many other creditors get nothing.
  16. Make sure executives are given big fat bonuses by the bankruptcy court because they are your friends and any pension funds or other employee benefit funds are depleted so they get nothing but a layoff notice, (or not even that.)
  17. Enjoy the hundreds of millions of dollars that now are yours which you never built in the first place through hard work, gaining market share, challenging the competition or any other basic tenets of capitalism and market based economics.
  18. Do the same thing to as many companies as you can while continuing to run your firm convincing people to give you their money to invest and charging them while using their money and not yours to be the “equity” / collateral to buy these companies and do the same thing to them to bleed them of all cash resources which you didn’t earn.
  19. Tell everybody how great you are and how nobody else in the United States is worth anything unless they are like you.
  20. Deny you put tens of thousands of families in economic hardship by taking their jobs away, destroying their communities by shutting down large employers and cutting the income from contractors and landlords who had provided real services and goods to the company. And, run for public office.
  • cricketdiane, 03-13,18



Well, that’s it – that is how money has been being made in America since the 80’s and otherwise, you could –

Go to an art school, get a portfolio of work together in your own style however many years and dollars that will take, if a gallery will take you on because your work is already selling and has an audience it brings to the gallery.

Or become an illustrator – but first, go check those books in the library that are put out every year of illustrators and understand that the competition is well placed to already get the work where you would need to get those opportunities. And, spend the years and money to get really good at illustration with your own style that is distinctive but not too distinctive and that fits the marketplace but is different enough to be marketable.

Or, paint and craft a bunch of items, frame every piece and make packaging for it all, lug it out to the art fairs and festivals, pay them a bunch in fees, sit with the work for three days while watching people pass your booth to go buy something from a wholesaler that is in the booth three over from yours on their way to buy funnel cakes and watch clogging.

Or, find a way for your work to get in the big fine arts shows and be judged worthwhile – Basel in Florida, the Armory Show in New York – places like that, but know that it won’t guarantee even one more sale even if everything you show there does sell.

Or, put your work online with art on products made as they are ordered at one of the print-on-demand sites for art prints or products, like Zazzle – but remember that once it is online, no one will believe you are an artist or illustrator or anything except an affiliate marketer for the platform even though you are the one designing the product’s visually appealing elements or doing the artworks that are going on them. And, remember that most of the competition there will be using art they have purchased from a clip art service like shutterstock or istock, a freemium service or something that was illustrated by professionals over 75 years ago that they are allowed to use now in the public domain.

Or, try to get licensing deals for your work through the conventions at LIMA and Surtex for 2-d surface art and designs where for about $8,000 and several days paying to fly there and stay out of town with those expenses on top of it, a few artists and designers actually have been known to get licensing deals from the separate independent artist space they provide. Although, a couple years ago one of the big paper product and office supply companies had a licensing employee that noted, they rarely go over into that area except to see what they’ll be up against and the trends to take back to their in-house art department.

Or, go online with video content about painting and how-to / DIY. You might want to check what those look like right now. It would be surprising if anything hasn’t already been done well by 14,000 video content makers already but hey, it could happen.

Or, go into other absurd uses of materials that haven’t been done yet – Easter peeps have been made into arches and other sculptural art, clear packaging tape has been used to make sculptures of people life size, butter has been carved into life-sized pigs, already chewed chewing gum has become a palette for a visual artist to use to make “paintings” of an entire group of things and I think one artist from Asia came to New York and made a two or three story tall sugar sculpture in a warehouse. But, it can’t be that’s all the absurdity that can be created, I’m sure.

Or, you could plan, build and locate somewhere, kinetic art that moves and does things, light art sculptures for the light festivals, or 3D projection art that is put on buildings for the light festivals, do massive building sized murals like those being done all over the world, sidewalk art that looks like you could walk into the sidewalk, steampunk style art that uses all sorts of gizmo pieces put together – but recently, it was a virtual rose made on a blockchain platform that made a million dollars – not any of those other things.

Or, you could invent something – but I keep remembering this:

This man finally got $25 million for his invention but not till having fought for years in courts for it – and the company never had to steal it that way to begin with –

Home Depot Ordered To Pay $25 Million For Stealing Inventor’s Safety Gizmo

Before Michael Powell came along, Home Depot employees were slicing off fingers left and right, resulting in nearly $1 million a year in worker’s compensation claims. But Powell devised a simple guard for protecting workers’ digits and let the company test it out in eight stores in the area. The trial was a huge success—and cut worker’s compensation claims down to $7000 the following year—but instead of ponying up Powell’s proposed $2000 per device, Home Depot just went ahead and fabricated copies of the saw guards without Powell’s consent.



Nope, as much as I’ve told everyone including myself that the way to help America is to invent, to build, to create and to make things – that isn’t what has provided people the money in this country in my lifetime. Not even building a business offers that anymore, not unless it is the kind of firm described above in the Anatomy of Business in America that I wrote.

As many of the inventions made by Americans have ended up the property of foreign nations because companies sold them or corporate raiders sold them or through the bankruptcy process described above – the novelties of a company are taken, it is hard to say that building, inventing, creating, harnessing new things, or even creating new art – is at all worthwhile. I still do it, you may still do it, but the chances are – it will get none of the money that corporate raiders get through that corrupt process being done every single day.

And, it won’t get the kind of money that is given respect and freedom to live in this country. The United States does not honor its inventors and creatives as some other nations do, instead treating all of us with derision and contempt.

It never changes.

  • cricketdiane, 03-15-18


In the event that you do come up with something new, remember – you are up against SALY (Same As Last Year), before ever getting your foot in the door to sell or license any of it.

If it is new, it isn’t proven in sales and track record – so nobody wants to chance whether it will sell or not. That’s why 90% of the tshirts being sold and worn by most people have nothing on them – just a solid color. Strange isn’t it.


About CricketDiane –

I’ve been creating nearly every day since I was a kid and that is over 50 years. I’ve created in numerous ways in a range that moves from art to problem-solving to inventing, creating music, sculpting and painting to writing and doing various computer / online based projects.

“It is better to make the effort to move forward and release the flow of ideas to work with them and do things creatively, create things and invent and write and make – I definitely know that by experience.” – cricketdiane, 2018




You can find more of my art and designs here –

CricketDiane and Cricket House Studios Store on Zazzle


and other blog writings by me here –



On YouTube –

CricketDiane Phillips



The website for Cricket House Studios Art and Design is found here –


And see my current efforts on GoFundMe to make a board game I created into a video game that I’m working on right now –

The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game by CricketDiane on GoFundMe


Thanks for checking us out!

The Cricket House Studios Team and CricketDiane



5 Techniques to End Creative Block and Writers’ Block for Artists, Innovators, Inventors, Makers and Creatives

Every so often, it is obvious that the page in front of us, the canvas or the computer screen awaiting words, is blank and speaks blankly back to us without any flow at all. It is called, writers’ block or creativity block or artists’ block or inventors’ block. You get the idea – it is where nothing happens creatively and writing or creating if forced, simply isn’t even worth having made the effort – because it isn’t working.

CricketDiane 2018 Photography NYC Doors DSC01708-2-2
CricketDiane 2018 Photography NYC Doors to express what writers block and creative block is like for this article about unleashing creativity.

So, rather than have that creative block last on and on, here are seven techniques that can help end it and re-awaken the flow of creativity, innovating, inventing, making, writing and creating –

dirty the page

Well, it doesn’t happen as badly with a blank page that gets nearly anything painted on it or written on it. This is the old, start somewhere adage and the flow will start up again. So, write something down, put the date, signature the top of the page or bottom of the canvas, use the weather or sky as an excuse to start putting in something until the rest starts to flow.

Dirty the page or dirty the canvas, dirty the work area with some possible materials then shove them out of the way to the side and start something with a few pieces to play with how they fit together and what those pieces might do.

My favorite for writing is – It was a dark and stormy night, written on the page. Then it can be about anything but there is somewhere already something on the page or computer screen, so I might as well write something to go with it – usually about something else and then I take the dark and stormy night part out in editing.

For art and drawing, get a stack of paper or small canvases or aceo sized cards and start putting some paint on them. Unremarkable or valuable – doesn’t matter, stick some paint on it. My favorite is to start with the sky or do paint or draw a rose to see if I can do it better than last time until the creative ideas start flowing naturally again. It works.

play in the paint – play with the words

Let go of what other people think and whether it will sell or what might be salable (sell-able) or marketable and simply play with it awhile.

Dripping paint on a surface is one way of starting to play in the paint and it is easy to direct once there is something to work with to move around. But, it doesn’t have to be worth a damn or something worth anything to someone else.

Occasionally, it is more valuable to experience the joy of playing in the paint again, playing with the act of inventing and making again, playing with the words to enjoy the art of writing again. Maybe it is always important to do that and to say this is renewing, is an understatement, especially once marketing and sales become part of it all.

let the emotions fly

Give voice and artistic expression to the anger, frustration, disappointment, sadness, boredom, grief, sorrow, love, hate, hope, joy, pettiness, annoyance – whatever it may be and put them into a written dialogue, or into the paint of the painting, or into the music as you create it (try to record it by the way), or into the words for a song. Make comedy material with the feelings, sculpt them into the clay or invent them into something that expresses it.

Letting the emotions fly into these creative formats is done without judgment or hindrance and the most amazing things are created with those emotions. Do another painting or another writing until it is done, or half-way or two-thirds – it doesn’t matter. Letting the emotions go into the work is what helps unblock writers’ block and artists’ block.

Just keep making another painting or music or invention or writing until the emotions are gone or have changed, become relieved or the feeling of satisfaction comes that makes it obvious that the feelings and emotions have been fully expressed.

what could be done with it – if

Start with a flower or something, (nearly anything), and what could be done with a flower or any other basic everyday item or group of items. This is the magic question, IF. If the flower were in a field of flowers, if it were a painting of a still life, if it was a flower in someone’s hand, if the wind has blown the flower’s petals off except for one, etc.

IF – is powerful tool to awaken the arsenal of possibilities, creativity and the flow of creating. So, start with something and write or paint or draw quick sketches of what could be done with that flower or that thing or those things. Whatever the theme, the mind can dance in and out of the possibilities without anything but playfulness about it, IF it is allowed to do so and called upon. That is what this does.

There is no way to see how this works except to try it. For me, when I was writing this, I started with a flower because I like flowers. There are a lot of them in my art. So, I wrote something to put here as an example, The flower stands tall in the soft nestled grasses sparkling with the bright drops from the summer rain. But, I can also see that flower in a bright kitchen window behind the sink where someone, probably me – is washing dishes and humming a bit of a song. Well, those could be leads to other places for writing – but not required.

It is only important to write down, paint, draw or speak into some video or recording of some kind for this to yield a flow where it had been blocked before. The same is true of inventing and making – start with a flower or something. What could it be made from? What if it’s like this? What if an entire gizmo were to be shaped like a flower to catch the sun or to catch rain from the roof to dispense it later across the yard? or whatever the theme or item or group of things you’ve chosen. It doesn’t have to be a flower.

what could be the story – idea cards

One handy thing to use for going around writers’ block and creative block are story idea cards that you can make yourself and some are available every so often in the marketplace for writers or designers or kids. These are used by famous authors according to some books about writing. I don’t know which ones used them but I’ve used them and they are the handiest tool to change writers block or artistic block into a flowing river of story avenues and worthwhile ideas while awakening the excitement of pursuing them.

Idea story cards are 3 x 5 cards or slips of paper, post-it notes or pieces of business card sized cardstock with ideas written on them that generate elements of possibilities for a story, a piece of art, a song, a piece of music, a craft piece, a sculpture or an invention. They can have problems to solve for the world or scenes and characters, riffs for a song or dynamic action sequences.

Using the idea story cards is easy, making them is fun and they offer questions as well as ideas like – who planted the flower, what is the scene around it, what part could it play in the story, does someone interact with the flower and use it, is it part of a bigger story about the garden where the flower is planted?- as in the flower example I used above.

You can make the scenes, the ideas on the story cards in different ways depending on the kinds of writing you do or the kind of inventing and innovating you want to do. These are a great way to end writers’ block, creative block and artistic / inventors’ block. The idea story cards give a place to start and a way to move the pieces of a story or invention around to play with it and that’s its whole purpose to ending writers’ block.

  • cricketdiane, 03-05-2018


About CricketDiane –

I’ve been creating nearly every day since I was a kid and that is over 50 years. I’ve created in numerous ways in a range that moves from art to problem-solving to inventing, creating music, sculpting and painting to writing and doing various computer / online based projects.

I’ve created and created and created, been blocked creatively on occasion and come through it to create and create and create again. I’d say that makes me an expert in this – and some of these techniques for ending creative block and writers’ block will likely work better for you than others, but what I can say about it is this – getting creativity to flow unhindered is well worth the effort.

Writers’ block and creativity being blocked, hurts and makes everything else harder too. It is better to make the effort to move forward and release the flow of ideas to work with them and do things creatively, create things and invent and write and make – I definitely know that by experience.


You can find more of my art and designs here –

CricketDiane and Cricket House Studios Store on Zazze

and other blog writings by me here –


And see my current efforts on GoFundMe to make a board game I created into a video game that I’m working on right now –

The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game by CricketDiane on GoFundMe





8 Ways Creativity Makes Life Pop

Creativity is a powerful force. It is present ===========

CricketDiane 2018 Creativity - My Art at ArtLab SI 2017 DSC00297
Creativity Makes Everything Better – Shown: One of my drawings of a still life with a wine glass, wine bottle and grapes being done in pastels at ArtLab / Snug Harbor, Staten Island, NY 2017



The Advantages of Creativity –

Increased Flexibility –

Creativity increases flexibility in thinking, goal setting, planning and sense of the possibilities.

Innovative Approaches –

Creativity opens the ways of considering innovative approaches, problem-solving and in applications of possibilities and solutions.

Faster Ability to Respond –

Creativity makes a faster ability to respond to situations, analyze possibilities and make good judgments to use in responding to these situations.

Improves Memory –

Because creativity calls upon remembered experiences, tried solutions, people’s suggestions and things seen or read about, that might help in the current creative effort, project or goals, creativity enhances and improves memory and recall.

Improves Communication Skills –

As creativity seeks to be an expression of what is imagined or considered as possibilities, in nailing down the problem needing to be solved and in using communications to convey the possibilities of what is created, the skills of communicating are improving each time through each of these and other aspects of creativity.

More Relaxed and Confident –

Creativity increases the positive feelings of capability and options thereby relieving some degree of stress and giving a more relaxed and confident internal landscape the more it is used and exercised, whether fully successfully or not. The capacity to create as an action that is possible does this and means that it improves self-esteem and confidence allowing a person to operate in a more relaxed, at ease manner while feeling more comfortable in their own skin, so to speak.

More Capable in General –

Since creativity expands thinking, capabilities, memory, applied reasoning and brings together various skills operationally, it serves to make the person doing it, more capable in general. Creativity works out the intellect, the emotions, the psyche, the knowledge and skills of the person, the memories and the expansiveness of possibilities in such a way, that greater capabilities emerge each time it is used.

Better Able to Create Solutions When, and As Needed –

Because creativity is being utilized during times that are not critical in nature, the basic use of creativity for problem-solving when it is much needed is ready at hand as an option to use in any situation, and especially when needed in critical situations as they are occurring or in the immediacy of them. Creativity becomes another skill set that is available to use seamlessly, easily and with more viable results, the more it is done.

Conclusion – 

The creativity inherent in the human species has been the game changer that has allowed us to adapt, flex, build, change, grow, problem–solve and survive.

With creativity, life is rich and varied, productive and satisfying in wild, beautiful ways. Without it, life is only whatever is given without the capacity to change any of it.

Creativity nourishes the mind and the spirit while enhancing the feeling that efforts are being substantially made toward something. It is a healthy and powerful aspect of being human as it draws together applied knowledge, know-how and intangible lines of what might be possible into a full-fledged real form that can be used to problem-solve, innovate, invent and make the world and everyday life, a much better place.

  • cricketdiane, 03-01-2018


About CricketDiane –

I’ve been creating nearly every day since I was a kid and that is over 50 years. I’ve created in numerous ways in a range that moves from art to problem-solving to inventing, creating music, sculpting and painting to writing and doing various computer / online based projects.

“It is better to make the effort to move forward and release the flow of ideas to work with them and do things creatively, create things and invent and write and make – I definitely know that by experience.” – cricketdiane, 2018




You can find more of my art and designs here –

CricketDiane and Cricket House Studios Store on Zazzle


and other blog writings by me here –



On YouTube –

CricketDiane Phillips



The website for Cricket House Studios Art and Design is found here –


And see my current efforts on GoFundMe to make a board game I created into a video game that I’m working on right now –

The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game by CricketDiane on GoFundMe


Thanks for checking us out!

The Cricket House Studios Team and CricketDiane





Working on The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game and Making My Designs Into CricketDiane Products on Zazzle Today

Today, I made this NYC Architecture tote bag on my CricketDiane store / Cricket House Studios and posted it at Zazzle.

The characters that I’m going to create on the Scared Donkey Mine Game were hand drawn by me yesterday early in the a.m. / they were designed by me, with one for Granny D, King Pindick, No Help Hannah, a gem cluster and a chunk of raw ore for the mines. Today, I will be using those drawings to construct them in Photoshop and use them directly on the game development platform to make a little snippet of action with them hopefully.

Here is the tote bag I made today – (you’ll have to wait to see the other things I’m working on, including the game characters but I am working on creating them right now.)


I might make a couple more things over on Zazzle from my saved designs today so my store’s catalog will update and there will be some new designs there.

Will probably use Godot to make the game or Panda3D, both open source. Need to check a couple more things about them first though, like tutorials about them and game developers’ commenting on them in general.

If I can just get a little of this game to show as a video, it will make The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game come to life and start having some of the elements needed for pitching it properly to some companies, if I have a chance to do that.

Have one of the formats for the Game Design Development Document – from a template on the internet which I’m going to use to put the hand-written GDD that I’ve already made about 15 pages of (by hand), into. That will help too.

Checked on a lot of game development blogs and articles that cover how to calculate the costs of developing a game within a more focused and exact set of costs. Tomorrow, or later today, I’m expecting to take those pieces of information and start putting them into a genuine cost-projection for developing the game, hiring some fluent game coders, and putting the equipment together and licenses for software that will be needed, among other things.

That’s it for right now. Painted a little on the oil painting of a still life that I’ve been fiddling with every so often – did that already for a little while today. Might come back and do a video of it – just something short to add to twitter and youtube.

  • cricketdiane, 02-23-18


The current GoFundMe campaign to turn my board game called, The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game into a video game is here, check it out when you get a chance if you haven’t already, and please share it. Thanks so much!



If you haven’t seen my store yet on Zazzle, it is found here – Believe it or not, I designed all of that stuff using my artworks and designs, except for about a dozen things on the store that I designed with others (like grandchildren, or daughters, or friends).




10 Weirdest Things Anybody Ever Said To Me About Creating Art While I Was Creating It

People have a strange sense of what to say when they see someone, like me – doing art, sculpting, painting, designing and creating something new. It seems like maybe – (maybe, hah-hah) that people don’t know quite what to say.

So, I wrote down some good ones and here are the best 10 weirdest things people said to me about doing art when they saw me doing it –

      1. Cricket, are you still coloring?” – watching me doing a commissioned portrait.
      2. Can I get that in blue?” – looking at a painting that took me three months to finish.
      3. Is that paint by numbers?” – watching me paint a deer in a large landscape.
      4. Go check the box for the directions.” – there isn’t any box it comes in – my paintings, artworks and designs don’t come from a box or a book with directions and there aren’t instructions showing what color goes next or how to get it to look “right”.
      5. If you want to have a business making pillows, you have to go buy fabric – you can’t do it online.” – it was funnier at the time than it is now that I think about it.


  1. Well, if you don’t like the knife held in the Indian girl’s hand, I can cut that part of the canvas off and then frame it for you.” – said by a framer to one of the collectors of my artworks who was having a disagreement with her husband because he didn’t like the knife in the hand of the girl in the painting and she did.
  2. I don’t have time to spend 30 minutes sitting for my portrait, just make it look like me.” – there are no words for this one but it takes weeks to produce the painting, many hours of work and the buyer can’t spend 30 minutes so I can get it right?
  3. We paid $5,000 for a portrait that wasn’t even close to this good – it didn’t even look like us, but my parents bought it for us in San Francisco.” – said to me by the buyers picking up their commissioned wedding portrait 36″ x 48″ in oils who only paid $200 for it because “nobody knows who you are, Cricket”.
  4. Well, if it was me, I’d do it like this” – from a multitude of people who had never painted a portrait, landscape, seascape, floral or with oil paints ever – or with artist pastels, or watercolors, or any of a thousand other mediums and techniques I’ve learned to use over the years. Gotta love em though.
  5. If you were any good, you’d have sold everything you ever painted, so you must not be any good.” – it isn’t pouring concrete, or automatically seen by anyone simply because I create something artistic, paint an artwork, design, sculpt or make a stained glass piece I designed. There are people who specialize in sales because it is an entire skill set, which I have learned and studied, practiced and practiced without becoming good at them.
  6. Can you paint that on my wall?” Of course they don’t want to pay you more than a few hundred (if you are lucky) for making that 24″ x 36″ oil painting into a 10′ x 11′ wall piece.

Okay, so it was 11 weirdest things people have said to me about art while I was creating art, (and designs). Although, if I thought about it a bit, there are hundreds of those weird things people have said considering I’ve worked in this field for (how long do I admit to?) – well, never mind.

  • cricketdiane, 01-31-2018


Dealing with Negativity from Others when Brainstorming, Creating and Inventing

At Christmas, I and my granddaughter who just turned 8 years old, set up our Christmas tree in the living room, placed the lights and then used every Matchbox and HotWheels car we could find in the house as its decorations. There are a lot of them from years of my seven children having lived here at various times in my parents’ house.

We put Christmas hangers on the underside from the front wheel on one side and carefully placed each miniature car and truck throughout the entire tree until it was covered in lights and cars. We added iridescent snowflakes of white acrylic and glitter that had been bought at the dollar store or WalMart at some point which we did find among the Christmas decorations.

Then, we added fan-folded skinny strips of red metallic wrapping paper and little curls of silver holographic and red metallic papers thrown on top of branches here and there. Eventually, I let my granddaughter completely drape the tree in tinsel and it was all amazing.

CricketDiane 2018 and Allia Christmas Tree with hotwheels and matchox cars decorating it s DSC02676 - 2

It turned out that the lights were blue that we had found and then we found another box of lights with multi-colors which we added as well. So, half the tree was blue (on the top half) and then it was all colors when all the lights were on. We set up the plug-ins for the lights, not in series accidentally, but separately, so that when one switch was turned on, only the blue lights lit up and it seemed the tree was lit in blue. When both switches were on, the tree lit up with its bottom branches predominantly multi-colored and the top two-thirds only blue. It was interesting and very fun.

The first person to see the tree like this and the person who had been steadily watching here and there on the sly, was my daughter and she didn’t want to hurt our feelings about using these cars on the tree or our making do with half a tree of blue lights and the other half multi-colored, so most of what she said to us about it was in the “well, that’s really kind of nice that way” variety of comments – a little held back, a little patronizing and very thoughtful, really.

The next person to see the tree was my oldest son when he came over a couple weeks before Christmas and just after we had everything on it except the tinsel. We had it all lit up for him to see it and I thought he would be thrilled to see many of his little cars on the damn thing  but no, I don’t know why I thought that. At least he was playful when the first words out of his mouth were, “What the hell is wrong with you? You can’t use those for that!” And, this only other comment about it after first seeing it was, “That is the worst use for HotWheels cars I’ve ever seen,” or something close to that.

My first feelings were – he thinks I’m crazy to use these little cars as Christmas ornaments on a Christmas tree and my feelings are hurt. I told him not to say any of that stuff in front of my granddaughter because she is really proud of it and then I saw his face and realized he was only partly being playful about what he said and partly didn’t really think it was an appropriate use of his little cars. Too funny.

Negative comments are easy to make and every one of us do it, including me. Being on the receiving end of those comments, it is hard to figure out if it is meant intentionally, if it is a playful barb, or if it is intended to convey something whether intentionally meaning to be negative or not.

How we deal with all that matters since the hurt feelings that can happen in those vulnerable moments when creating something, brainstorming something and inventing things will carry into future choices and current projects to get in the way and cause stumbling blocks.

The first thing I do is to think about what was said and try to understand what the overall moment was like between me and the person who made the comment. Sometimes that just isn’t possible, because I can’t see the playfulness that was intended or the light jovial interaction that way when it is a very negative barb that came from someone’s mouth and mind in the midst of that moment.

However, I’ve learned that regardless of how jovial or cute the moment was intended to be, what the person tells me about me in that moment and whatever negativity they convey can hurt my feelings just as if they meant to throw a blow at my self-esteem on purpose. Surely that is partly my own issues getting in my way at times, there is no doubt. And, each time I process those moments like this, I’m working through those issues and becoming emotionally and intellectually stronger.

The second thing I do, is to note what my own thinking is telling me about all that. Unfortunately, I can interpret meanings into things by what I’ve been taught that they  mean, when maybe that isn’t even what it means today with the people I’m around now and the situation where I live today. Sometimes, I write down this part until I can understand what was said and how my mind and subconscious translated it to mean something.

For me, this technique works and it isn’t journaling – it is writing what was said by the other person on a 3×5 card with a fat black Sharpie pen where I can see it good, then writing what my mind is telling me it means or thinks it meant using another color Sharpie marker and color post-it notes or 3×5 card backs without the lines. That was I can see them side by side when I pushtack them to a wall or piece of wood or board of some kind.

By seeing the two communications side by side, I can genuinely ask myself – well, if the person really meant that and what if it is true, how does it feel? Then, I write that down where I can see it separately from the communication and what my mind tells me about that communication.

Then, I work to feel those feelings and let the wash through me and accept them as my own. Usually, it doesn’t matter if the person meant any of it or not, in the way it conveyed to me since the feelings that were stirred by it are what I need to deal with effectively and process properly.

The third part of what I do, is to talk to the person about it – usually, but not always. I can make a written or video commentary about it, talk to them about what they said and how I felt about it either on the phone or in person. Or, I can write a debated argument about why do people say that damn negative stuff anyway (but that helps a lot less than the other two). Or if I’m still heated up about it, I can work with a friend to take a walk with them and cuss about it at the top of my volume range until I’m calm enough to do something else, (which works very good.)

Really, it is easy to be the brunt of negativity and negative comments when the thrust of what I’m doing is to create or invent something new or different. People around me are often judgmental in very negative ways when I am working on ideas that might work, brainstorming solutions or new business ideas, or inventions, creating artworks or sculptures, making models and drawings of ANYTHING, or writing, blogging, making, video-ing and photographing things for online publication and broadcast.

Maybe it is just part of the package to have an assaultive barrage of negative, why it won’t work efforts come from the people around us when it is time to imagine solutions to a problem or invent new things and create diverse approaches to innovate new options. Maybe that process invites those around us to take time from their day to express vehemently why we should know better than to think any of it can work.

The most negativity that comes from others when I’m brainstorming and creating happens more often at the beginning of the project when it is easy for my subconscious to shutdown the process of generating any more ideas or options or creating any solutions at all.

That is the worst, because it aborts the entire process and then nothing goes forward from me at all. It just stops. And the thinking about, why bother to create new things and invent solutions when the world is filled with nothing but people like this anyway – let them fix the damn stuff their own selves – starts to fill my head instead of creating solutions or inventing of any kind.

But, what did the person gain who took the time to shut down, demean and deride my efforts to create solutions, invent something new, innovate and make those innovations apply to make our lives better? They gained nothing and cost me a lot considering the overly short amount of time in anyone’s life, including mine.

To deal with that kind of negativity, I do three simple things and ignoring them isn’t one of them. My subconscious isn’t going to ignore them whether I do intellectually or not.

One, I deal with the fact that the person is telling me certain things about myself that hurt my feelings whether they are right or wrong about those things. To deal with those, I use the processing my feelings method described in last few paragraphs above.

Two, I deal with whether or not the project and its possibilities, its solutions, its efforts required and its merits means something to me that is more important than the person who is shooting down those efforts. This is the most powerful tool I have about this.

Three, I deal with the negativity itself through rigorous and candid honesty with the person by speaking to them about honestly. For me, that means saying things like, it sounds like you are saying that nothing I might try is going to work. And, did you really mean to tell me that I have no right to try and create solutions for this problem or to invent something that might work to solve it?

I repeat back aloud some of what it sounded to me like they are REALLY SAYING – which in our family is rather a no-no to say aloud honestly, and then let the person tell me if that is what they meant or realized they were saying, which sometimes it isn’t. And, sometimes – it was what they were saying and did mean, but on hearing it out loud – the person who was deriding me for even thinking about things that I could never hope to ever create anything to solve for it, in their judgment of it – decides maybe that wasn’t real helpful and not appropriate to the person they want to be. Sometimes.

Often, and in most cases – believe it or not, people don’t want to help brainstorm or create solutions or something new because it isn’t worth their “valuable time and efforts” which could be used to play a video game or watch cable instead.

But, the same people feel compelled to get up once I’m brainstorming and writing down those ideas or talking with them about it if they let me or creating something with those ideas that I generated, and that person will tell me every single reason they can imagine that it won’t work, can’t work, doesn’t work, isn’t going to work, has never worked that way, has never been done that way, could never be done that way, doesn’t make sense to do it that way and isn’t done that way by anyone else.

And, my least favorite of all – the thirty minutes these same people always seem to use up to explain to me why historically it isn’t done that way and if it would’ve worked that way, somebody besides me would’ve already done it.

It is hard to want to create anything by the time I’ve heard all of that, and often screamed at me by those who choose to tell all that to me – including various family members, my grown children, best friends, friends and sometimes done by even acquaintances that don’t know me that well, when I’ve worked with others and teams in situations to brainstorm solutions with them.

Having read a lot about inventors, inventing, making, creativity, brainstorming, creating, doing art, writing new music, writing and about writers and other creatives – it is apparently part of people’s general reactions to things that are new or different that is affecting them when confronted with someone brainstorming new ideas or working to create solutions and invent things that either haven’t been done before or were done in some other way in order to innovate them. It must be dealt with effectively too, because this kind of negativity is damaging, mind-numbing, often cruel and a complete waste of time – it destroys and creates virtually NOTHING.

By the way, staying completely away from others is not a good answer either.

  • cricketdiane, 01-16-2018


This amazing article from The Guardian was on my twitter timeline and I went over to read it. Well worth checking it out. The article is about creativity, creating and inventing.

Creative thought has a pattern of its own, brain activity scans reveal


An Excerpt from the Article –

“One of the barriers to creative thinking is the ease with which common, unoriginal thoughts swamp the mind. Some people in the study could not get past these. For example, when asked for creative uses for a sock, soap and chewing gum wrapper, less creative people gave answers such as “covering the feet”, “making bubbles” and “containing gum” respectively. For the same items, more original thinkers suggested a water filtration system, a seal for envelopes, and an antenna wire.”

from – Ian Sample, Science Editor

The Guardian,  Science Section, 01-15-2018


About CricketDiane –

I’ve been creating nearly every day since I was a kid and that is over 50 years. I’ve created in numerous ways in a range that moves from art to problem-solving to inventing, creating music, sculpting and painting to writing and doing various computer / online based projects.

“It is better to make the effort to move forward and release the flow of ideas to work with them and do things creatively, create things and invent and write and make – I definitely know that by experience.” – cricketdiane, 2018




You can find more of my art and designs here –

CricketDiane and Cricket House Studios Store on Zazzle


and other blog writings by me here –



On YouTube –

CricketDiane Phillips



The website for Cricket House Studios Art and Design is found here –


And see my current efforts on GoFundMe to make a board game I created into a video game that I’m working on right now –

The Scared Donkey Mine Money Game by CricketDiane on GoFundMe


Thanks for checking us out!

The Cricket House Studios Team and CricketDiane