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Meet Next Level Artist Judy Steffens

anl community Dec 31, 2020

One-on-One with Judy Steffens, Illinois

What is your work about?

I’m a figurative artist.   I paint people in everyday life situations.   My current focus is my ongoing Beach series celebrating people enjoying the sand and the sea.  I was inspired by a year of living in Florida and also by many visits there.   On the beach I observed women and men of all ages, shapes, sizes and colors simply enjoying themselves without body shame or worry of their appearance.  Their peacefulness and relaxed confidence in that setting made an impression on me.   My admiration of these beach-goers led to this series of paintings.

Do you have a studio routine, strategy or ritual that helps you get in the creative zone?

I work Monday through Friday starting at 9:00 am till about 3:00pm.   I get up by 6:30 and have a cup of coffee, usually sitting in front of my easel, while I catch up on email and social media and review my to-do list.  By the time...

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Meet Next Level Artist Leslie Alfin

anl community Dec 31, 2020

One-on-one with Leslie Alfin, London, UK/ Egremont, Massachusetts USA

What is your work about?

My recent work explores literal contradictions presented by the use of physical boundaries (walls) as paradoxical metaphors for current socio-political ideologies (eg. build walls to achieve freedom from this or that) and the use of “walls” to confine/separate/lockdown perceived threats (are “we” locked in or are “they/it” locked out?). Ironic in that walls have been employed for millennium not only as boundaries, but as delivery systems for the communication and documentation of ideas, history, identity, ideologies, art and dissent that are typically associated with perceived “freedoms” rather than the restrictions that walls inherently imply.The choice of painting as a delivery system is meaningful as paintings can be seen as either a metaphorical “wall” or “window” driven by the individual viewer’s...

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Meet Next Level Artist Greta Olivas

anl community Dec 31, 2020

Austin, Texas, USA

What is your work about?

I believe my paintings are stories, energy or emotions that come through to the canvas. Some may resemble celestial bodies, but to me, they are a bigger understanding of the universe & our place within it. When someone states they felt a painting, or it provokes emotion, I know I successfully transmitted the energy. I tell people that I don’t know if my personal growth helped me with my art or if my art helped me with my personal growth. I think the answer is yes to both!

Do you have a studio routine, strategy or ritual that helps you get in the creative zone?

Since I transmit energy on to my paintings it’s hard to just go and paint. I feel I need to be in the true creative flow. Sometimes just allowing myself to “play” with materials helps. When I am ready to paint I smudge the studio and the materials I will be working with before I start a painting. I also work on numerous pieces at one time. When my...

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It’s OK to say No!

wellness Jan 02, 2018

By Dr. Yanina Gomez, Mindset/Emotional Wellness Coach

Lately, it seems to me that “being busy” is an act that’s glorified and accepted as the norm. Everyone is so busy.

“There aren’t enough hours in a day!” Some may say.
We want to be productive contributors to society, stay involved, and make a difference. But, boy oh boy, our schedules are so filled up with… STUFF that not much time is left to refuel yourself. And frankly, if we’re honest with ourselves, half of the stuff filling up our schedules aren’t even things we want to do.

We all get invitations to social events, family get-togethers, corporate events, donations, volunteer work, you name it. Sometimes, there aren’t enough hours or days to keep up with all the commitments we get ourselves into. We complain that we are extremely busy and have no time to do what we really want to do which leads me to wonder…

Why do...

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The Introvert in Me & My Art [Part II]

wellness Jan 02, 2018

By Dr. Yanina Gomez

In my previous post titled The Introvert in Me & My Art [Part 1], I shared with you a few suggestions to effectively navigate through social situations (networking, openings, etc.). If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you check it out before you read this post. In this second post, I’m sharing 4 tips to help you prepare yourself for Artist Talks. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

You’re probably excited about your solo or group show. Yet, you’re not that excited about facilitating an Artist Talk. Let’s go over a few suggestions that you can consider to help you ease the stress associated with speaking in public.

1. Prepare your talk before hand.
If you want to present yourself as a professional artist, try not to “wing it.” Instead, prepare for your talk! Some artists may have the ability to improvise, but preparation often leads to...

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The Introvert in Me & My Art [Part I]

wellness Jan 02, 2018

By Dr. Yanina Gomez

“Yes, I know that networking and making connections are important in the art world! Guess what? I’m an introvert person and social situations can easily overwhelm me. I prefer quietness and minimally stimulating environments.”

Does this resonate with you?

Are you more reflective, observant, cautious and highly in tune with your internal dynamics? Do you prefer quietness, minimally stimulating environments and perhaps social events are really not your preference?

Drive comes in various ways and one way isn’t better than the other. To some, drive emerges during solitude and self-reflection whereas others prefer a go-getter approach. You might prefer to work alone because you can focus better whereas others perform better when they share ideas and collaborate with others.

If you consider yourself a driven introvert artist, let me share with you a few suggestions to effectively navigate through social situations (networking, openings,...

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Enough is Enough: I’m Reclaiming Myself!

wellness Jan 02, 2018

By Dr. Yanina Gomez, Mindset/Emotional Wellness Expert

We all want to feel loved, appreciated and respected. Some people fill this need through effort, investing time in healthy relationships, caring for others and giving back. Others, think that they have to pretend to be someone else to earn it.

They think that, if they’re themselves and show their true colors, they will not be able to fulfill these basic needs. In their effort to be loved, accepted and respected, they find themselves constantly trying to impress others or simply surround themselves with the wrong people.

Sometimes, in our effort to be accepted by certain people, we begin to wear masks.


I’m independent mask

I know it all mask

I’m crushing you mask

I’m better than you mask

I’m fun to hang out with mask

I’m very successful mask

My reputation precedes me mask, and the list goes on.

As a result, we find ourselves pretending to be someone we are not.

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The Life/Work Balance: Is that Really Possible?

wellness Jan 02, 2018

By A. Yanina Gomez, PhD

“I want to dedicate more time to my art career, but, it’s complicated! Between keeping up with the needs of those around me, trying to figure out how to run my art career and making art, I just don’t have enough hours in a day to do this.”
Does this sound familiar?

We hear over and over about balancing our life and career. But, what on earth does that mean? Are we talking about dedicating 50% of our time to live our life and 50% to make art? Is that possible… Is that realistic?
Perhaps some artists can wing it, but, for the rest of us, the 50/50 approach is unreal! Let’s start by clarifying what I don’t mean when I refer to a healthy balance. This is not about adding your life’s circumstances on one weighing pan of a scale of justice and your art career on the other so they’re equally distributed in both sides. The truth is both areas actually...

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All the stuff to do and now Art NXT Level? Overwhelming!

wellness Jan 02, 2018

By Dr. Yanina Gomez

Is this you…?

“There’s so much to do. I’m trying to keep up with my art and Art NXT Level, but I feel like I’m falling behind or missing out!”

Are you feeling that there’s too much stuff in the membership site, you don’t know where to start or you simply don’t want to miss on something important? Are you feeling as if you have to post everywhere, make sure you go over each forum, training video, accountability exercises in order to get the best of your membership? Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Next leveler, if this is you, I have one sentence for you…

“Take a deep breath, relax and keep reading this post!”

When Sergio and I developed Art NXT Level, our main goal was to put together in one place valuable information to help artists grow their art career at their own pace. So if you’re feeling as if you’re experiencing information overload, let me share...

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Even da Vinci couldn’t paint a perfect smile! [Perfectionist this is for you!]

wellness Jan 02, 2018

By A. Yanina Gomez, PhD

Could you imagine Madam Lisa del Giocondo (Gherardini) suing Leonardo da Vinci for not painting a perfect smile on her portrait? We all know that Lisa’s smile on the painting is not necessarily “perfect.” Even da Vinci couldn’t paint a perfect smile! Yet, his painting, Mona Lisa,is one of the most famous portraits in the world!

The more I work with driven people, the more I notice how they tend to put A LOT of pressure on themselves. They believe that things have to be perfect! My art must be perfect before it comes out or my presentation must be beyond perfect before I share it with others.

“There no time to fix mistakes! Everything must be PERFECT!”

But, why do we put so much pressure on ourselves wanting to be PERFECT? What happens when we fall short on our quest for perfection? Sometimes, I hear artists say that they will find happiness only...

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