Clearing the Way


“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Are you person who has always had an artistic calling, yet you have never pursued your passion in earnest? You are not alone. There are many people, for various reasons, who have had to travel down other career paths feeling they have not fulfilled their God-given talents.

Matt Tommey book1The book Unlocking the Heart of the Artist: Practical Guide to Fulfilling Your Creative Call as an Artist in the Kingdom speaks to this issue for the new generation of people who seek personal fulfillment as a priority in their lives. He invites others to live fully, doing what makes them happy, and to become “unstuck” by expressing themselves creatively.

The author, Matt Tommey, is a successful basket maker and art consultant from Asheville, North Carolina. His sensible messages to other artists, through his publications, helps clear the way of self-doubt by providing hope and insight to individuals who wish to thrive and become fulltime artists. His book Crafting your Brand: Simple Strategies for Cultivating a Successful Creative Career, is also a good resource for anyone who wants to pursue their calling.

A well-rounded artist, Matt Tommey,  makes a living in a combination of ways, also offering workshops on the craft of basketry. To learn more about his workshops,  how to order these publications and to see his website, .

Do return tomorrow for Film Friday, we will be featuring a film that is soon to be released that plays well into our recent topics of writing on All Things Fulfilling. This blog brought to you by

Artist Preserves Cowboy Film History

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A maverick hero during the wild west was… tough, independent, fearless. Characters of honor and principle.” ~ Unknown 

In 1980, artist Kerry Powell  helped to spearhead efforts to preserve the Western cinematic history of Lone Pine,California by organizing the Lone Pine Film Festival. The Alabama Hills and the Inyo Mountains, located only 170 miles from Hollywood, provided the scenic backdrops to some 400 western movies produced between the years 1920 to the 1970s. Some of the notables were: 

    • The Round Up (1920)
    • Gunga Din (1939)
    • High Sierra (1941)
    • Along the Great Divide (1951)
    • Thunder in the Sun (1959)
    • How the West Was Won (1962)
    • Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) 

    For many, “Westerns” congered up romantic notions of life on the American western front and independent living at its best. Artist Kerry Powell’s painted murals around the town of Lone Pine, California reflect the era of Western filmmaking. Her desire to protect this era in cinematography came from her fulfilling memories of the production crews arriving in town, movie sets being built and of the legendary actors, most of whom are now deceased, who stayed at her family’s motel. Big name Hollywood actors such as Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Gene Autry, John Wayne, Roy Rogers and Johnny Weismuller were just a few of the actors that frequented this area to produce movies.

Eleven years later, The Lone Pine Film Festival now draws audiences of 5,000 Western film enthusiasts from around the world. It is scheduled for October 7 – 9. For ticket information, please visit

The period of the cowboys and Indians is seldom captured in movies anymore, and the film production process will never be the same. Modern-day filmmaking has changed all that. So, saddle up and attend this year’s fest! The 100th birthday of Roy Rogers will be celebrated this year. It is guaranteed to be one of the best Western Film fests yet.

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Begin the Buzz

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“Gossip is just news running ahead of itself in a red satin dress.”  ~ Liz Smith 

Have you ever noticed that we hear about movies from Hollywood, long before they hit the movie screens? Smart marketing tactics! 

Independent publishers, you can become stars too by beginning the buzz before, not after, your books arrive from the printers or before your cds and DVDs have been duplicated.

E-marketing is the very best way to get the word out in advance of the release of a product. You can begin spreading a broadcast of information, far and wide. Every independent publisher should begin creating a community of fans and followers prior to the book, music or film’s release. 

Not only that, you can begin taking pre-sales, too.  Years ago, wise early pioneers of independent publishing began accepting pre-orders by keeping advance sale lists of customers on legal pads before the product even arrived. Today’s pre-ordering can be made available on-line, through websites and shopping carts. 

Just think how satisfying it will be that once the publication arrives from the printer or from the cd/DVD duplication company, you can begin fulfilling orders immediately and ship the products right back out the door! With good planning and advance e-marketing you can begin realizing your ROI without delay! 

It’s never too early to start pollinating your market!  Need help? There are companies that specialize in e-commerce and e-marketing for independent publishers. 

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A Way Around Nashville

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“If  Nashville wants to put up roadblocks, we’ll build a by-pass” ~ Alan Shephard, Sr. 

There are ways around everything in this day and age of independent publishing! Alan Shephard, Sr., has seen enough talented country western musicians to know that Nashville doesn’t have them all. This radio DJ, lyricist, light and sound man and radio co-host for WBTN  decided there needs to be other ways for gifted artists to be found. He is fulfilling that need through his newly formed Independent Country Music Association, LLC.  

Independent Country Music, LLC is helping to promote independent country western artists who have talent but need a break in getting started by setting up a database where musicians can be located, getting promotional CDs of it’s members out to other radio stations around the world and providing assistance with setting up concerts. 

All in the same spirit of how other independent publishing associations are helping writers, filmmakers, photographers, professionals and non-profits become visible in the marketplace. I support this idea! For more information on ICMA, please visit the website

Roadblocks are only roadblocks if we don’t work around them. With any independent publishing project  persistence,  courage and creativity will help you attain your goals. Alan Shephard seems to have found a helpful way to detour the traditional path.

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