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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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If we’re called by God to be creative, doesn’t that mean we should never have trouble creating? There are times when the art is flowing out of us, the paint is leaping oto the canvas, the clay is taking shape at our slightest whims, and we can feel the Holy Spirit co-creating with us. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. Sometimes we enter the …
 
Have you ever stopped to think about how much of an impact an act of stepping out in faith can have on people? I don’t just mean for that person, either. God can use acts of faith to affect and bolster the lives of countless people in a cascade of blessings from that one initial act. But it has to start with an act of faith. Of obedience to God’s w…
 
As of the time of this video, the Powerball lottery is up to something like $1.9 BILLION dollars. Billion. With a B. Can you even fathom how much money that is? It is such a staggering amount of money for a person to have for themselves that it might as well be called a “gazillion” or a “bajillion.” It’s no wonder so many people are buying a ticket…
 
When you look at the world around you, it’s hard not to be discouraged by the seemingly endless contention between people. Politics have never been more divisive. The comments on practically any social media posts so often devolve into bickering, bullying, and worse. Even some hateful ideologies that seemed to have been stamped out decades ago are …
 
Stop doing things for God. “Matt, why would you say that? Aren’t we supposed to spend our lives doing things for God? Aren't we supposed to spend our whole lives doing things for God? Shouldn't we be doing all we can to advance the Kingdom and try to repay God for saving us? Why would you tell us to stop, Matt?” Don’t worry - I can explain! On this…
 
Never underestimate God's ability to find a place for you in advancing His Kingdom. When my friend Veronica Anzorena heard God calling her to missions, she wasn’t sure if her artistic skills and talents could be put to use. She thought being a painter, print-maker, graphic designer, and so on, might not be as useful to a community in need as, say, …
 
Today we celebrate 400 episodes of the Thriving Christian Artist podcast. Can you believe it? That’s almost as many episodes as Bob Ross made of “The Joy Of Painting” (403, according to Wikipedia)! When we first started this podcast back in 2018, I couldn’t possibly have foreseen the number of episodes we would go on to produce, all the amazing peo…
 
You know, being a Christian doesn’t mean every day is sunshine and lollipops. We have the same struggles in our lives as anyone else, and they can lead to heartbreak, anxiety, addiction, and all of the other negative outcomes you can think of. What separates the Christian from everybody else, however, is our faith and belief that we have a loving G…
 
There are a lot of things out there that we might find ourselves seeking in this world. Fame, fortune, comfort, power, pleasure, and so much more are idolized, obsessed over, and available to us right now, more than at any other time in history. But just like Yoda told Luke that a Jedi doesn’t crave adventure and excitement, we Christians have been…
 
When you look at all the difficulties facing the world today - like poverty, hunger, war, depression, and so on - it can be easy to think your calling to art doesn’t matter that much to the world. But don’t despair! Your calling to be an artist is a calling from God, and that’s never a small or insignificant thing. As my guest on this episode of th…
 
It can be easy to think that your role as an artist in this world is somehow unimportant when weighed against what else is going on. After all, it's easy to downplay the role of the arts in light of the heavier issues of life like injustice, poverty, famine and war. But as we see in the Bible, God has a way of using the most unexpected people and t…
 
Stanton Lanier grew up playing the piano and writing songs, but he never seriously considered it as something he could make his living doing. Instead, he went the more practical route, attending Georgia Tech and getting business degrees that led him to years of work in the financial industry. But his desire to make music never left him, and he neve…
 
Everybody has ups and downs in their lives and in their businesses. So how are some people seemingly more successful at navigating the downs than others? How do these people keep their eyes on the prize? Even when you’re at your highest peak creatively, you’re selling your art, you’re making your voice heard, it can be easy to get distracted. Emerg…
 
I believe God always puts people together for a reason. That sure seems to be the case with Janalyn Arnold and Henny Koonstra, my guests on this episode of the Thriving Christian Artist podcast. After different paths lead these two young artists to the same school, Jana and Henny are on the cusp of graduating from the art program at Redeemer Univer…
 
On this episode of the CIAS Podcast Ross King and I talk about the 4th ingredient in his formula for music industry success- raw talent. Ross says that we are not able to do anything about the amount of raw talent we are given, however we can lean on the other ingredients (work ethic, suck meter, and how are you in a room) to cultivate the raw tale…
 
Jesus told us that when we feel heavy-laden, we should just come to Him, give Him everything that’s weighing us down, and take up His light and easy yoke. “Just come to Me.” Come as you are. No judgment. Don’t try to fix yourself up before you see Him. Just come on. That can be a hard thing to remember at times when we’re really feeling the burden …
 
What's the strangest place you've found inspiration for your art? For Bert Ballou, my guest on this episode of the Thriving Christian Artist podcast, inspiration came from a wise-cracking donkey on an adventure with a grumpy, green ogre. On a rewatch of the animated children’s classic, Shrek, Bert was rather surprised to hear God telling him to wri…
 
Economy got you down? Nervous about the prospects for your art business at this particular time? Afraid you won’t be able to sell your art for what it’s actually worth because potential buyers may be tightening their belts to get through this downturn? I hear ya. Being a full-time artist can feel pretty uncertain even at the best of economic times,…
 
Sometimes it’s not the destination but the journey that matters. To say my guest on this episode of the Thriving Christian Artist podcast has had a winding road leading to his life as a full-time artist would be an understatement. Tist One - a name he took on in a graffiti-centric part of his journey - spent his elementary school days in South Kore…
 
Ever feel like there's just not enough time in the day to do the things you want to do? Is that feeling keeping you from pursuing your artistic dreams? Feeling like there's not enough time is a common concern for everybody. We’re all given the same 24 hours every day to accomplish what we want and need to do, but sometimes you feel like you could a…
 
If you're like basically everybody in the world today, you spend a good deal of each day interacting with people through social media. And if you're an artist trying to build a brand and a business, you are surely putting a huge portion of your time and energy towards building up your social media presence. So if all that work and all those connect…
 
This could be goodbye, - But don’t worry, it’s probably me, not you… There comes a time in every relationship where you have to ask the uncomfortable questions. And in our relationship, I often wonder “Am I really doing everything I can to help them thrive as an artist?” I know you might say “Oh sure Matt, you’re doing great” but I want to know wha…
 
On this episode of the CIAS podcast Ross King and I talk about the work ethic it takes to go pro. You might be thinking we talk about things like working 100 hour weeks and do whatever you need to to make it happen, but we don’t! We wanted to give you a practical look at how we manage and schedule our time as a professional in the music industry. S…
 
Have you ever felt like just when you're approaching mastery of one of your artistic pursuits, you become enamored of something else? We creatives have a natural tendency to want to try everything. And that's great! All sorts of art can be fulfilling and fun. But if you're trying to run a successful art business and you start dabbling in media or s…
 
I’m not exactly sure how, but my guest on this episode of the Thriving Christian Artist podcast, Rachel G. Scott, must have 30 hours in each of her days. It's the only logical explanation for how many creative areas she excels in. Rachel’s love of creativity was established at a very young age and grew with every new creative outlet she tried. Lear…
 
I believe there’s a key way to discern the truth of what you’re hearing, and it involves the tone and tenor of the message you’re receiving. The character of God is to give invitations, not accusations. If the voice you’re hearing is accusing you of not being good enough, or of not being deserving of success, or words like that, you know that’s not…
 
Have you ever met a kindred soul, someone who just gets you? That’s how I felt when I met my guest on the Thriving Christian Artist podcast, Chris Lumry. Chris and I share a love for Jesus, a love for creativity, and a passion for seeing people’s hearts unlocked. Chris grew up very achievement-oriented, and without much of a feeling of being a crea…
 
On this episode of the CIAS podcast, Ross King and I dive deep into the importance of how you are in a room. In a music career we will be in MANY different kinds of rooms, so having an understanding of how to be at our best in each situation is critical. We discuss many practical tips on what to do (and what not to do) Whether you are just getting …
 
If you're just starting out with your art business, or if you've been in business awhile and are experiencing a bit of a slow period, you're probably looking for a way to get some cashflow in a hurry. But what can you do? Luckily, as artists, we have a LOT that we can teach others! In this episode of 5-Minute Mentoring, I'm going to tell you how yo…
 
Have you ever felt like you were doing all the right things and were still not experiencing fulfillment? Like you are still struggling in everything? Kathy Roling, my guest on this episode of the Thriving Christian Artist podcast, had felt that struggle for a long time. She is a polymath, which means she loves to do a lot of different things, and s…
 
Do you live in a big city with a thriving art scene? Are there high-quality galleries on every street corner and throngs of enthusiasts lining up for every art show? Believe it or not, not everybody has easy access to what you would call a “good” art scene. Artists in smaller towns, rural locations, that sort of thing, may have a hard time getting …
 
When God inspires you to do something, do you do it no matter what? My guest on this episode of the Thriving Christian Artist podcast, Jessa Brantley, is a perfect example of what can happen when you go all in on following God’s inspiration for your life. Jessa was working as an accountant (“the least creative job a person can have,” she says) who …
 
On the latest episode of the CIAS Podcast I sat down with my good friend and 30 year music industry vet Ross King to discuss developing our personal quality control measure, a.k.a. our "Suck Meter" Knowing what is good, for the target you are aiming for, is critical for success in music. We develop our "suck meter" over time, but there are a few el…
 
You’re a hard worker. You’re persistent. You’re determined. You’re going to make your art business as successful as it can possibly be and live the abundant life as an artist that you’ve been dreaming of. Nothing can stop you as long as you never stop! 💪🏻 Burn that midnight oil! Toil relentlessly for your art! No rest for the weary, right? Actually…
 
Sometimes no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get ahead. My friend Maria Morris has had to fight through this for quite a long time. She has followed God’s call to be an artist and a teacher, but she could never seem to break through on the financial side of things. Selling her art and classes on her own website and trying her luck on Ski…
 
Do you feel like you've really mastered your chosen art medium? Have you sunk time, money, and effort into your goal to be the best artist you can be? Does it frustrate you that somehow your mastery of your craft hasn't translated into increased sales? There's more to thriving in the art business than being a great artist. The hard truth is that th…
 
We all feel heavy burdens in our lives from time to time. It can come in many forms, and from many places. It can be disruptive to your life and your pursuit of happiness. In these times, we all feel a need for healing that’s hard to come by. Lynnette Horn, my guest on this episode of the Thriving Christian Artist podcast, has felt that burden weig…
 
Painting with acrylics…wood-carving…clay sculptures…oil painting…making baskets…cake decorating. There are so many awesome art media that it can be hard to just pick one! We have so many ways to express ourselves creatively that it can be hard to "settle" for one creative outlet when you are excited about so many others. And that's great when you'r…
 
New trends, techniques, and technology have always had an effect on how art is created. We’ve gone from painting on the walls of caves to painting the ceilings of cathedrals. From canvas and oils to all-digital masterpieces. Progress marches on, and art marches right along with it. On this episode of the Thriving Christian Artist podcast, my guest,…
 
“Making it” in the art business isn’t easy. Every day, somebody decides that they’re going to make a go of living off of their art, and every day somebody else gives up on their dream. For every artist who “makes it,” there are probably ten more who don’t. I don’t say that to discourage you - because it doesn’t have to be that way! So what’s the di…
 
What would you do if the Lord told you to get up in the middle of the night and paint the Holy Spirit? No pressure, right? 😬 In 2004, Amy Rylander, my guest on this episode of the Thriving Christian Artist, decided to paint just a little something for herself as an outlet and release for her creativity. She got some paints and canvases for Mother's…
 
Change is never easy. And the bigger the change, the tougher it can be. 😬 Whether you're moving to a new place, starting a new relationship, or quitting that desk job so you can be a full-time artist, you’re bound to feel uncomfortable with the uncertainty ahead. If you're like me, you're probably asking God to show you the exact right steps to tak…
 
One of the biggest challenges any artist faces is getting their art out in front of the people so they can get paid for their work. Galleries and exhibitions are hard to come by, especially for artists who may live outside of the big cities. Promoting your work on your own website or Instagram can lead to sales, but you have to put in a lot of work…
 
On this episode I had a great conversation with my friend Kevin Winebarger of Courage Studios. Kevin is a marketer, artist, songwriter, producer and an all around guru in social media and making big impact in the music industry. Kevin has been working in the industry for nearly a decade and has been serving many artists along the way. Kevin took a …
 
When we were expecting our son, Cameron, we went through every baby name book out there, trying to figure out the perfect name for our little bundle of joy. It felt like such a HUGE decision, and we didn’t want to mess it up! Naming your business feels kind of like that. It’s not just a name - it’s a brand, a representation of what you and your art…
 
On my first trip to Africa 20+ years ago, one of the things I looked forward to most was entering into the sounds of the real Africa - to learn from them, to feel the culture and rhythms of an ancient people. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. 😕 They had adopted almost exclusively U.S.-based worship music. The sound of their culture in worship was …
 
Sharing your creative work can be a very daunting task. What people are going to say? Will they like it? Is your art “good enough?” If they don’t like it, does that mean you’re not a "real artist?" If this sounds familiar, you’re in good company. Everybody feels some trepidation about sharing their work from time to time. It's a normal reaction to …
 
In the entertainment world, someone who can sing, dance, and act is referred to as a “triple threat.” Scribes were the triple threats of Bible times. They were artists, writers, historians, and archivists. They were a bit of everything under the sun - polymaths in the truest sense of the word. That’s why I love that my guest on the Thriving Christi…
 
There are people out there, especially on the internet, who will tell you that they can show you how to quadruple your art sales and make millions of dollars from selling your art...if you will just follow their super-special marketing techniques. But here's the truth: I don’t care how great of a marketer you are. If your art isn’t up to snuff, it …
 
I don’t believe that the Lord wants us to live lives of misery, scraping by and struggling. Instead, He wants us to live abundantly and beautifully in this world He has created for us. That’s why it’s great to see a couple like Jonathan and Sarah Howe, living that life together as a prime example of God’s kingdom here on Earth. Jonathan and Sarah h…
 
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