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About Samantha:

Samantha Sherry is a painter from Memphis, Tennessee. She specializes in Equine paintings. You can see her paintings at samanthasherry.com or connect with her on Instagram @samanthasherryfineart

How she used Mindset Mastery:

Even though Samantha is an accomplished painter, she struggled to silence the dismissive comments about her painting from past professors. Now when those issues come up, she uses tools and strategies from Mindset Mastery to move past her Inner Critic so that she can paint.

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Samantha Sherry is a painter from Memphis, Tennessee who has always had a love for animals. In fact, she originally studied to be a Vet, but switched majors after taking a painting class.

Has someone ever said something to you, that stuck in your head?

Samantha was told (by a professor no less), that the thing she loved to paint the most was “silly” and she should do something else. Imagine for a second what that rejection must have felt like. And imagine what it must have been like to be in a competitive environment where you just didn’t feel safe talking about it.

Not surprisingly, for years after graduating from college and getting her MFA, that tape continued to play in Samantha’s head. Her inner critic picked up on it and used her worst fears against her. Fears that her work was not valid, that the very thing that excited her about painting was cliché. And worse? That she had no skill and never would.

She had no tools to deal with the inner critic. She was convinced it was telling her the truth.

“I was looking for tools to take back the power.”

Samantha dismissed her painting and got another master’s degree in teaching. Even if teaching wasn’t her passion, she thought, at least it was “practical”.

But as the years slipped by, Samantha grew more and more uncomfortable. She wasn’t making her own art anymore.

That hurt.

“I can only blame my professors for so long.”

Eventually, the pain of not painting became unbearable. She knew she had to break free and start creating again.

She took responsibility for her painting and gave it a place in her life. She began to take herself seriously by “Making a commitment to it as an actual profession.” She took a good look in the mirror and was brutally honest. She recognized her own deficiencies and acknowledged some of the areas she knew she needed help with.

Samantha started listening to the Savvy Painter podcast and was encouraged by artists sharing their real world stories. She began to feel connected with a community again. Even if she hadn’t actually met any of the artists in real life, hearing their voices every week felt like a community.

By the time the Mindset Mastery program opened up, Samantha knew it was time to make some changes:

What They Don’t Teach You in School

In Mindset Mastery, Samantha realized that all those feelings of inadequacy are normal. At some point, all artists have them. In fact, those feelings we sometimes have that we don’t know what we are doing? They are symptoms of growth- they’re actually a good thing.

As Samantha discovered, the first step is realizing that everyone has their own version of the chattering voices that instill doubt in our heads. Everyone.

Once she stopped taking it personally and realized it’s real and a ‘thing’, she practiced the strategies she learned in Mindset Mastery to address the problem.

No Magic Bullet

Sorry. I hate to break it to you, I have lots of paint brushes, but no magic wand. Like Samantha learned, to make real progress, you have to do some work.

It’s just like painting. I can describe what you should do, I can make a thousand videos to show you exactly how to do it, but that only gets you partially there. The majority of your progress comes from standing in front of your easel and putting it all into practice.

You probably know that already. But most artists don’t realize that mastering your mindset is no different. You need the right tools and a safe environment to practice.

Samantha found a safe place to talk about the ‘demons’, and that’s when the real work began: Her feelings are natural, what she does with them is a choice.