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The Thriving Christian Artist

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The Thriving Christian Artist

Matt Tommey: Artist, Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur and Artist Mentor

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The official podcast of internationally recognized artist, speaker, author and mentor Matt Tommey. The Thriving Christian Artist Podcast is for artists who want to bust through roadblocks that have held them back for years, create the art they love and live the life the they know God created them to live as an artist in His Kingdom.
 
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show series
 
It’s a question that almost every business owner has to face - should you incorporate your business? It feels so…official. Adult. 😬 But if you’ve hesitated because you fear that incorporating your art business will take away from your creativity or make you "corporate" (in the sense of being dull and milquetoast), don’t! You still get to be you, an…
 
One of the biggest struggles that creatives have is finding the time in our lives to be creative. With all the pressures of the day, we’re lucky if we can let our creative energies flow for an hour on any given day. Dan McCollam, my guest on this episode of the Thriving Christian Artist podcast, has heard this from people all around the world, but …
 
What’s the one question I hear most frequently? (Other than “Would you like fries with that?” What can I say - we’ve been traveling a lot lately! 😆) It’s probably some form of: "How do you go from being a hobby or part-time artist to being able to do art full-time?" This can definitely feel like a massive leap, especially for folks who are currentl…
 
What it is like to go from feeling like you’ve lost your creativity and giving up on art, to creating art that moves and inspires everyone who sees it? Ask Jeanette Sthamann. Jeanette didn’t grow up a Christian, but she did grow up loving art. That is…until a short-sighted art teacher discouraged her art and made her think she wasn’t creative. It w…
 
When you come to a roadblock while driving, what do you do? You backtrack, pull out the GPS, and navigate around it to get back on course. But what about when you hit a creative roadblock in your artistic life? It’s something we all experience from time to time, and it can feel very daunting. And unfortunately, your GPS won’t be of much help. You’r…
 
Sometimes, as a Christian, it’s hard to know exactly what God is telling you. For my friend Tan-Yah Jackson, the messages she was receiving from God were really confusing…God’s voice was telling her to not quit creating art because that’s who she is meant to be…and yet He was also telling her to quit art for Him. So how did she know which voice to …
 
If I told you I could teach you how to grow your art business with 5 simple tips, would you believe me? I know…sounds like it’s too good be true, doesn’t it? Well, in this episode of 5-Minute Mentoring, I really am going to teach you how to grow your business with 5 simple tips… …but just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. These co…
 
They say that change doesn’t happen overnight…but my friend Anne Ashton would respectfully disagree! Anne’s introduction to the art world is unlike almost anybody else’s I’ve ever encountered. No spoilers…but let’s just say that the Lord transformed her into an artist basically overnight! Everything in Anne’s artistic life comes from following what…
 
I have a confession to make. When I first started building my art business, I had no idea what I was doing at first. 😳 Okay, maybe that isn’t that big of a confession - I think a lot of business owners feel this same way! Trying to turn your creative life into a successful art business creates a whole host of challenges, frustrations, and uncertain…
 
One of my favorite things about this podcast is connecting with amazing people doing amazing things, and it’s so much fun to check back in with previous guests to see what they’ve been up to and to see how God is moving in their lives today. My guest on this episode of the Thriving Christian Artist podcast is Rebecca Friedlander, who joined me way …
 
Plugins are one of the most talked about aspects of recording music. There are so many to choose from and SO many companies who make them. Which ones do you need to make pro music? The questions and possibilities are truly endless. I wanted to walk through the top plugins I use on a daily basis. These are helpful tools and are also versatile and ca…
 
I remember how I felt when I first started thinking about turning my art into a business. Excited, nervous, scared, hopeful… All the emotions were fighting for space in my mind and it was hard to concentrate on anything else. And maybe that’s what you’re feeling right now. When you start any kind of business, there’s so much to consider and weigh o…
 
You know those people who are so busy and prolific that you wonder how on earth they manage to get everything done? That’s my friend, Joshua Mills. Joshua and his wife, Janet, have been in ministry for 25 years, sharing their personal compassion and message of the hope, healing and restoration of Jesus Christ to countless people worldwide through t…
 
Have you ever got a troll comment? There are so many positive parts about the internet. It helps us stay connected, share our lives and even create new relationships. But of course there are many negative sides to it as well. Whether virtually or in "real life" there are going to be people out there who may try to discourage us from chasing after o…
 
Profit and loss statements. Shipping and insurance. Website updates. Taxes. Marketing strategies. 😳 The never-ending to-do list of business is enough to make you want to tear your hair out (or lock yourself in your studio and never come out!) The truth is, building a business is a whole new set of skills that a lot of us haven’t mastered yet! But i…
 
Have you ever experienced a tug-of-war between your art and other aspects of your life - as if the two can’t exist simultaneously? Chad Atkins had art inside him from a very early age. He grew up in a family of artists, and he never let a day of his childhood go by without drawing. But he also had a strong desire to live his life for the Lord. His …
 
There is so much noise and everyone seems to be trying to capture our attention these days. Social media is an incredible tool, but it can be difficult to figure out how to reach people with our music. Between endless scrolling and short attention spans, what is the secret sauce to finding people who are actually interested in being a part of your …
 
Whether you’re just starting out in your art business or you’ve been at it awhile, chances are once the excitement of stepping out in faith wears off, you are going to start wondering… How do I actually make this work? 😳 I was in the same boat myself when I started out - struggling to turn my art from a hobby to a business that could sustain me and…
 
Truth time: God doesn’t want you to be comfortable. He isn’t a La-Z-Boy salesman. If you’re too comfortable, you’re not moving forward…and God’s going to start poking you until you do. Allen Paul found that out in his life when he was secure in his jobs as a teacher and at a church…but God wouldn’t stop poking him. Allen had financial security, but…
 
What if all of your imperfections, insecurities, pain, trials and weaknesses are where your BEST songs come from? On this episode of the CIAS Podcast I discuss why I believe our weaknesses actually make us stronger and our music better, and share a little of my testimony too (which is something I have never shared on the podcast before) Would love …
 
Back in the day, when I was working on staff at churches, I was the “creative guy” - which meant that I was the default graphic designer of the group! Now, truth be told, this was NOT my area of expertise, but I dove into Adobe Photoshop and slogged my way through it. Let’s just say that it was…a challenge. 😆 Luckily, technology has come a long way…
 
Have you ever met somebody whose art is so fascinating and who is so enthusiastic about it that it makes you want to immediately run out and try it yourself? That’s exactly what happens when you talk to my friend Frances Syverson! Frances uses techniques from beading to metal-smithing to create jewelry that is just fabulous! And while she does sell…
 
Remember a few months ago when Facebook and Instagram went down for a full day? Panic ensued! While some users were upset they couldn’t share their Wordle results, others - especially business owners - suddenly realized that even though they may have a lot of followers on social media, their ability to communicate with those followers was out of th…
 
You know when two things (or people) come together unexpectedly and you think, “Wow…that makes so much sense!”? That’s kind of what has happened in my friend Robin Popp’s art life. She’s an artist to the core, an accomplished, award-winning painter as well as an experienced cabinet and furniture maker. Those two loves existed separately…until she f…
 
On the latest episode of the CIAS Podcast I had the privilege of interviewing Nashville based artist, singer, and songwriter Grace Graber. I felt called to reach out to Grace after hearing about her mission to bring attention to mental health issues in the Church and the Christian music industry. After experiencing both physical and verbal bullying…
 
When you think of a job that provides steady income and security, what do you think of? Toiling away in the offices of a big company? Maybe a bank or a retailer? That sort of thing? Well, in these days of economic upheaval, layoffs, and business closures, the traditional path to “job security” has turned into a whole lot of uncertainty. Besides, wh…
 
Christian art has always been a force for the Lord. Paintings, hymns, poetry, sculpture, drama… all the forms of art you can think of have been touched by God to call people to Him. And yet even today, some people don’t understand just how powerful the connection between art and faith really is. Terry Glaspey is not one of those people. Terry, my g…
 
Have you written an incredible song but every time you share it with people you don't get the response you were hoping for? I think this might be why… The best way to give your song a chance to make impact starts with a great demo. True, a great song is a great song no matter the quality of the demo, BUT a better sounding recording is always going …
 
When you create art for a living, there’s a lot more on the line than when you’re a hobbyist. You can have the same level of enthusiasm with an art business that you had in your hobby days - more, even. But if your family is counting on the income from you selling your art to put food on the table, that puts a different type of pressure on you and …
 
It’s always great to reconnect with old friends like Bryn Gillette. If you’re a longtime listener to the podcast, you may remember Bryn from way way back in episode 46. Bryn is a very talented painter in his own right, but his real calling is in teaching. His day job is teaching visual art and art history at Charlotte Christian School, where he is …
 
Have you ever felt like you are stuck on your music journey? Like you can't get the ball rolling because it feels too heavy? Well, I think I've got something to help you with that… On this video I discuss 5 ways to keep going on your music journey. Get our music production course "Logic Pro X for Artists and Songwriters" here: https://www.bryanboli…
 
What sort of garment are you wearing? No, I’m not asking whether you’re wearing shorts or a dress or jeans or a pocket t-shirt. If you’re wearing white after Labor Day or socks with Crocs…no judgment here. What I’m really asking is whether you’re wearing the Garment of Praise or the Garment of Shame. Shame is heavy. Shame drags us down. Shame is a …
 
There’s a big misconception that “prophetic art” has to depict crosses and doves and Scripture quotes. It causes a lot of artists to question if their art “qualifies” as prophetic. Well, prophetic art doesn’t HAVE to do all that - but it sure can! My friend Grace Bomer is an award-winning artist who uses her art to glorify the Lord. Her paintings, …
 
In the music industry there are not many sure things. It can take a long time to achieve anything great and there are so many unknowns. Every story of success you hear will be unique to the person telling it. But what if there are some general steps you could take to set you up for success in music? I wanted to share 6 steps I took on my music jour…
 
As a business owner, you know that marketing and advertising are vital to growing your business. You’ve got to be able to get out in front of your ideal client, show them what you can do, and get them excited to buy. But how far should you go? Should you invest in Facebook ads? Print advertising? Billboards? One of those airplanes that pulls the ba…
 
It’s always fascinating to hear how God works in the lives of artists and brings them out of bad situations so they can thrive. My friend Gabriel Stockton was unhappy, wasn’t creating art, and felt he was at his rock bottom. Suddenly, Gabriel began seeing the word “thrive” everywhere. Then God led him to the community of artists in the Created to T…
 
One of the most important pieces on our music journey is the relationships we have. Without relationships, success may not only be tough, but it's basically impossible. We need people to serve, and we need others to serve us to make impact. But how do we meet people? How do we build lasting relationships? Networking is a great way to build relation…
 
One of the biggest hardest truths about business is that sometimes you can do everything right, and people still won’t buy. It hurts. It’s frustrating. It makes you want to throw in the towel. It’s easy to look at other people and think, “It’s working for them - why isn’t it working for me???” On this episode of 5-Minute Mentoring, we’re talking ab…
 
You know those people who are so generous that they’ll drop everything to show you around their gorgeous city, inspire and move you, and then leave you wondering how you were so fortunate to meet them? Wendy Manzo is one of those people. Art has always been in Wendy, and she has always connected that art with God. But it wasn’t until she was invite…
 
Do you want to know the specific personality traits and habits that can help you go pro as a songwriter? I have had the privilege of collaborating with professional songwriters in my career. Outside of sheer talent I have noticed some common personality traits and habits of the pros. Yes, skill and craft is the key element that will get you in the …
 
As consumers, most of us enjoy getting a discount and saving a little money whenever we can. A free stack of pancakes at IHOP? Sign me up! I have a friend who is a big bargain-hunter - he hits up every thrift store in every town he visits in the hopes of finding a treasure. And he finds a lot of them! But as a business owner, discounts are a differ…
 
When does an “out-of-the-blue” Christmas gift turn into a gift to people all over the world? If you’re Jörn Lange, it’s when your wife’s seemingly random gift of pastel chalk and art paper turns into an outreach ministry based around prophetic art. But as is so often the case, Jörn’s ministry didn’t come easy. Jörn’s journey - from initially put…
 
Is it possible to stand out and is it even worth it if you can? What does it take to make your own space in the music industry? I wanted to talk through 3 points of why and how I believe you DO have a place in the music industry. Especially as a Christian indie artist, this is a calling, so not only should we work towards making impact with our mus…
 
They say the only certain things in life are death and taxes…but I would argue that “economic uncertainty” should be added to that list. 😳 If you’re worrying about the latest economic news, you’re in good company. But over my career, I’ve realized that there is one key to thriving during uncertain economic times: Being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneur…
 
The process of creativity can be a pretty solitary one. We often ideate, outline, sketch, create, and finish a piece completely on our own, without input or sharing the experience with anyone else. Being an artist can be lonely. And when that loneliness creeps into your marriage…it can cause significant pain, struggle, and grief for everyone involv…
 
One of the most popular ways to write songs is toplining. Toplining is writing lyrics and melodies to a track at its core. Whether working with a producer in session, or building from a pre-made track, top lining is common in today's songwriting culture. I wanted to walk through 3 tips for toplining that will help you write the best songs possible.…
 
Does the idea of raising your prices make your knees weak? Give you butterflies in your stomach? Make your palms sweat? I get it - a lot of artists worry that if they raise their prices, then nobody will buy their art! But what you’ll find is that raising your prices actually helps your business grow - because building profit into your pricing mean…
 
For many people who grew up in the church, shame is a constant companion. If we don’t fit into this perfect mold that is expected of us, we fear that we’re not good enough, that we’re not worthy of the love that God has promised us. So we try harder to be “perfect” - to feel like we are worthy of God’s favor. But in the wise words of Brené Brown, “…
 
On this episode I walk through 8 categories of gear you need to get started in your home studio, with different options depending on your budget and need. The term "home studio" can feel intimidating, but with just a few basic pieces of gear you can be making high quality, release-ready music in no time. It can be overwhelming and you may think you…
 
I talk a lot about prophetic art - the idea of creating art with God as a part of our creative process. But as wonderful as it sounds, sometimes it may be easier said than done, especially if the concept is new to you. We often get caught up in creating FOR God - in creating art that will glorify Him, that we hope will represent His goodness and Hi…
 
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