Transcript: Finding Your Inner Power with Ana Sneeringer

by Volta

Speaker 0 00:00:00
Hi, sweet friend. Welcome back to another episode of the Common Creative Podcast. In today’s episode, I interview the artist Anna Inger, who focuses primarily on the female form in her body of work. And together we dive into the concept of practicing standing in your power by engaging in a creative activity as well as building self-confidence through art. Hi, sweet friend. Welcome to the Calm and Creative Podcast. This is a podcast for artists and creatives of all backgrounds who seek to build a resilient mindset. Together we’ll dive into all things mindfulness and mental health as they relate to a creative journey. We’ll explore different tools and tips that can help us cultivate a more resilient and positive perspective on life. I’m Volta. I’m an author, a watercolor and animation artist, and the founder of Color Snack. I’m so happy that you’re here feeling stressed. I got you, sweet friend. I created a free resource just for you. It’s five creative exercises that you can do anytime, anywhere. To tap into a moment of calm. You can access the resource on my website, color And again, that’s color, CALM. All right, Ana, thank you so much for being on the Common Creative Podcast. I am so, so happy that you’re here.

Speaker 2 00:01:52
Well, thank you so much, Walter. This is my ultimate pleasure to be here with you. I’ve been your fan, like silent fan and friend <laugh> on social media and through Art Queens, and it’s a really good pleasure to be here with you. Oh,

Speaker 0 00:02:07
Thank you so much. And it does feel like we, even though this is kind of the first time we’re connecting and chatting, it does feel like I’m just, I’m chatting with a friend that I’ve known for a long time.

Speaker 2 00:02:18
Right? It is. And I mean, it’s so, it’s such a benefit for this, uh, this community that happened through the art queens or just like, you know, whatever it is, not just through the art queens. I met a lot of people through internet, just that you feel like you’re so close to them. Like yeah. You dunno what them in person, but like, you do feel like some really good energy between people.

Speaker 0 00:02:38
Yeah. Like that kindred spirit, that connection. Ugh. I love it. <laugh>. Well, Ana, I’m, I’m so excited to be chatting with you, and I know that a lot of your work focuses on the idea of power and like tapping into that power that we have within ourselves. And could you share with our listeners a little bit about what inspired you to explore this theme and any, any kind of, yeah. Any kind of inspiration that, like what, what made you kind of delve into this particular topic?

Speaker 2 00:03:12
Sure. Yeah. So I think this exploration of self, you know, power started sometimes when I left my home country, which was in 2010. I met my husband, uh, he’s American, but we met, met in Bosnia, and I’m from Sylvania, so we were both in different countries. We met and then kind of took off and I decided to leave my country. And then when I was being living with him around the world, I found myself a lot of time being alone. Even though you have somebody, there are two different cultures and you know, you are in, again in a different country. So, and he would work and I would stay home, and I found myself searching for certain, certain answers, right. Because I was like very confused what’s going on. My life just suddenly turns around. And as much as I was very independent before I became dependent, and I didn’t like that thought that like, why am I now depending on, on somebody?

Speaker 2 00:04:11
Like, and I felt like urge that I need to explore this more. And during all this, our lives around the world, I was needing different women that I would learn through the stories, their success, and which would kind of reflect on myself. And I would start searching these answers about the personal success within myself. And that’s how everything kind of sparked into projecting this through my art, because I found this power within myself when I started delving into the art. You know, you as well, you know how it is when you are an artist, you’re a lot of alone time by yourself. Oh, yeah. Right. And you’ve got Yeah, right. And you’ve got time to question and seek for the answers. Mm-Hmm. Yeah. That’s how my journey basically started with self-exploration.

Speaker 0 00:05:06

Oh my gosh. And I love that you specifically use art as a way to tap into that because, well, for one thing, I feel like the subject is not very much talked about. Like, what does it mean to be, to stand in your power and to tap into that self-reliance and like self resourcefulness, and then also to do it through art or like how art can help, can help you really work through those things that we have inside ourselves.

Speaker 2 00:05:35 Yeah.

Speaker 0 00:05:36
Do you have any tips for someone who’s just maybe at the beginning of their journey? Like what, is there a particular like prompt, art prompt that you may be engaged with? Or how, how did that come about?

Speaker 2 00:05:50
Sure. Well, let me just go a little bit back when you is searching for yourself, right? And then I’ll go into the art. So as I mentioned, you sit down and I mean, you’re usually a lot of time forced to be sitting down by yourself. I mean, it’s just the life that brings it to you that you have to sit down and, or you start questioning yourself. And there are two personas that are in within you, right? One is calm and collected, and another one is like, oh, hyper. Let’s, and those are, I would say that those are like kind of your, how shall we call it? Higher self and then your ego, right? And then you really need to know how to play that game between these two, five, these two voices that are keep repeating in your head, right? And most of the time, ego’s the one that forces us to go forward because it’s afraid to go out of the comfort zone.

Speaker 2 00:06:42
And when I started painting, I started feeling this power between myself, because as an artist, you start creating something that nobody ever created before, right? It’s you, even if you do the copy of somebody, some work, it’s still not the same as somebody ever before created. It’s your unique work, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And that’s how I started feeling the power, okay, this is something that I can really do. And I would start like slowly dabbing into the art and coming back. And then, you know, I would start having this game with this ego saying, you go, this is just something. Or like, oh, you copied. Because at the beginning I would look as a reference to some other photos and try to like copy until I started developing my art. And I would like have these self-doubts. But more and more I was coming back to my art.

Speaker 2 00:07:36
I started finding this power in me saying, Hey, yeah, you can do this. And if you look at my art now, sometimes in like maybe five years into my art practice, I started making big circles on the face. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> of my portraits, right? And this is, this represents a unity, which means to me, a unity is like the whole power that you need for your own success is within you. You could have get, you could get like advices for other people, like some really big meaningful advices. And it’s good and look for the help, but for all the answers and for all the success, everything is within you. You just need to search and listen to yourself, which is really hard. But it’s so satisfying and it’s never ending game, right? It’s yeah. Continuous.

Speaker 0 00:08:26
Oh, oh my gosh. I just like got chills hearing that because it’s, it’s such an important message to to know that everything we ever need is already inside of us. We just need to kind of unlock it. And I love what you mentioned too about at the beginning of a creative journey. Sometimes you do find yourself emulating or copying other works. And I think there’s nothing wrong with that because it’s part of the learning process. Like you are learning and experimenting. And, and I think it’s, it’s such a good starting point because if you are a brand new artist or like someone who’s trying to tap into that self expressiveness, sometimes you need a guideline of like, oh, but like, I love this painting, but how could I like learn from it? And, and like, yeah, whenever you’re trying to copy some of those brush strokes, you kind of start learning. And you can also like use it as an opportunity of like, oh, this is how this artist did it and that’s cool, but maybe I like to do it in a different way. So that’s Yeah.

Speaker 2 00:09:26
Kind of like that. Exactly. I have a lot of people approaching me with not even telling me that they’re gonna do my work. They just send me the, the, the picture of what they did and that it was taken by my inspiration. And I, that’s kind of success for me, seeing that I had a power to encourage another person to dab into the art and create something like this. And a lot of

them is also just being non-artists, like people with a different interest in life, but loving the art. And it’s, it really amazes me. I had one, he was a, a boy, he’s a boy that painted a portrait, my style of portrait on his guitar. ’cause he plays a guitar. And it was like, it’s just so amazing to see that it’s really hard to push yourself into the, into the things to do them that you never did before. Like, let’s say the artist that’s just are in the beginning and it’s really nothing wrong when you do the copies. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> of somebody. And if you can, why just go ahead and hire somebody or like follow somebody to learn from them how to Yeah. How to do it. You know? And, and I love, I love working with young women are interested in arts, especially like some students that don’t have developed self-esteem. And with through the art, you can really develop that. Yeah.

Speaker 0 00:10:51
Oh my gosh. I love that idea too is like self-esteem and, and power too. Like, they all kind of like come together. And I love the power that art has to help us get that power back sometimes. Right. Because

Speaker 0 00:11:06
Yeah. Because there are experiences in life that we can, that can happen to us where we feel like we are losing a sense of power because Mm-Hmm. Because some things are totally outside of our control. Mm-Hmm. But it’s so important to have that space or creative outlet that helps you still harness or, and like practice that power, even if the world is crazy and it’s changing. Yeah. Things are happening. Yeah. Do you have like a piece of advice that you give to your younger female students to like, help them with their self-esteem? Is there something that you could share?

Speaker 2 00:11:43
Um, ooh, I don’t know. I, it just always comes out of my mind. But last time I was participating at one charity and there was a young girl, which I’m not really known artist, but like for the town where I live, people started learning about me Right. And, and seeing where I’ve lived and where I exhibited. Right. So she was 12 years old and she’s a self-taught artist that creates at home. She would tell me the story about how she would just wake up in No, she wouldn’t tell me that. Her mom would tell me that. Oh. Because she was very silent. She would wake up in the middle of the night and like get this idea, like magic idea of painting something. And she would go and she would show me, I mean, amazing creations for 12 year old. And she would be like, yeah, you know, I’m not so good at it.

Speaker 2 00:12:32
But since we had just a conversation and I told her about my approach, like, look, art, there is no mistakes in art. Right? I mean, don’t you agree? Yes. I think, yeah, there is no mistakes. Whatever you make, it’s piece of art. And nobody’s gonna know that you made this on purpose mistake or you didn’t make it as a purpose. Maybe you purposely put it there. Right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. So, and we kinda had this conversation and you could see the total shift. She started talking to me, getting more like being open. And I think being surrounding yourself with artists, it’s one of the things that you could do. Like, you know, it, we are just people. We’re not gonna bite you. Yeah. You can make just easily approach us, you know? Yeah. Through the Instagram. And not everybody I guess, you know, but most of the people are gonna respond back and give you some boards of encouragement. Yeah.

Speaker 0 00:13:24
Oh my gosh. I love that. And also it just made me realize that someone as young as 12 can already start to experience those self-doubts and kind of that Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> fear of failure. ’cause she was probably afraid of making a mistake with her art and Right. It’s, I think it’s such an important message to kind of keep hearing throughout all of our lives, no matter the age, because it’s just kind of letting go of that perfectionism and embracing the flow of life as well as, yeah. We will all make mistakes because we’re human and it’s okay. And I

Speaker 2 00:14:02
Think Yeah. ’cause ’cause through mistakes, that’s how you learn. Yeah. That’s how you grow, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, who I don’t know for, I, for me, perfection does not exist. The word perfection does not exist. It just, it for me, I see every step I do further in my career or in my life, it’s just a progress in my life. Yeah. I only can get better, I can get worse if I keep on working on it, you know? Yeah. So,

Speaker 0 00:14:29

Oh my gosh, this reminds me of a quote, and I cannot remember, I saw it somewhere on Instagram and I can’t remember the, the, the author, but it was something like, if I don’t quit, I will get better. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> kind of speaking to the idea of if we just keep,

Speaker 2 00:14:45
But it’s true, isn’t it? Yeah. Right. I mean, you could see it through your own practice. Like if you look back, even if you look back a year Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> because you kept doing, working on your whatever it could be art or whatever you do in your life Yeah. That you love. Right? Yeah. So we have to distinguish this Yeah. The thing that you love to do or things that you are kind of forced to do, you know? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, you always progress if you keep showing up. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And you and I are professional artists now for real long years. Long time, right. And we still probably have self doubts. Yeah. But you know, every time you show up you’re like, okay, yeah, I did this better. And like I’m just keep on showing you don’t give up. Right. It’s Yeah. Yeah. I, it’s like a, you just don’t give up.

Speaker 0 00:15:30
It’s like a muscle, right? Like the more Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> we practice of showing up despite of the self-doubt, the easier it becomes to be like, okay, self-doubt, I can hear you <laugh>, but I’m still gonna like, continue to go in this direction.

Speaker 2 00:15:45
I do have maybe a piece of advice. When you said that something came across my mind when I have a self-doubt, I switch it to the self-belief. Oh. I start talking to myself, Uhhuh, and let’s say example, oh, I’m such a bad artist, and I say, no, I’m good artist. And first at the beginning, you do not believe yourself is like, why are you telling yourself lies? But you keep doing this repetitive, it could, let’s say it’s an affirmation, right? Yeah. You keep saying that to yourself and a bad, like in a week you’ll be like, oh yeah, I believe this. Like, I’m good artist. Right? And like, it’s, but it’s ongoing process. You can’t, like, once you stop, then, then again that negative personality comes and says, oh no, you’re a bad artist. Right? Mm-Hmm. So,

Speaker 0 00:16:32
Oh my gosh, I love this. And I’m, I’m a huge fan of affirmations myself, so Mm-Hmm. I often will just write like full pages of pages and you’re, you’re absolutely right. At first it feels weird to even say it and you’re like, why am I even doing this? Right. But it like, the more you do it, the more like you

Speaker 2 00:16:50
Will believe you start believing. Exactly.

Speaker 0 00:16:52
And also also, like, I feel like it’s, it’s important to, you know, if you’re like making art and you are having these feelings of self-doubt, but you’re still doing the art, you’re still showing up. Like that alone is evidence, right. That you can do it. Maybe you can’t do it as well as you think yet. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> as you want to Yeah. But like, you are on that path

Speaker 2 00:17:14
And, and that path. Exactly. And you know, and, and, and we already mentioned that. It’s like when you, let’s say I’m not at the stage where I’m like, okay, I, I mastered something, but I wanna get better in it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> because it will naturally come that you wanna get better in it. Like, you know, you, you are just, that’s how you are wired. We wanna be better in something. And for me, it’s not to show it for the other people, it’s just for my own satisfaction to show myself that I can. Yeah. Because you can, you know, if you set your mind into it and you start believing it, you can do things.

Speaker 0 00:17:52
Yeah. Yeah. And Ana, do you think like practicing this idea of like stepping into your power through the art, will that, does that carry over into other areas of your life?

Speaker 2 00:18:03
Oh yeah. Absolutely. Like, I became so much more confident person just being an artist. And I know that, I know a lot of people that don’t because there is that stipulation that the artist cannot be successful. Which is, I mean, again, success for

each person is different. Right. And, um, but it’s mostly refers to the financial success. Right? Yeah. But I think that it’s so wrong because you can Right. And it, a art itself is so powerful. I mean, when I come into the houses, people don’t have art. I’m like, what’s wrong with people <laugh>? Why do they have like empty walls? And you know, I’m not saying now have art everywhere, but like, you know, it’s such a great stimulation. And if I, if I talk about my portraits or my ative work, there’s always some story behind that. You could stand in front of that art and just like, have a conversation with it. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> like, you know, or start guessing what it is. And power art has a lot of power and it really is powerful to like carry on into the other parts of the life for myself. Yeah.

Speaker 0 00:19:14
Yeah. Oh, I love that you shared that. Thank you so much. ’cause I, I am a huge believer that anything we do in art, all those things that we’re learning, like skills of letting go of perfectionism, you know? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> getting more confident and standing in that power can absolutely help us in other areas of your life. So what I’m trying to say is like, you don’t necessarily need to be a full-time professional artists to benefit from having Right. An art practice. And maybe it’s not, it doesn’t even have to be a visual art practice. It can be written or exactly auditor, whatever it is that kind of helps you and resonates with you that is like, oh yeah, I really dig this, that something that lights you up. And if you stick with it and kind of grow alongside of it, you can really like just tap into all those different benefits that we just received. Yeah,

Speaker 2 00:20:09
Absolutely. And, uh, the saying this, we had this weekend birthday party of my older daughter, and of course her friends came and some moms came and, and we went to my studio because we didn’t know what to do. She’s 11 and she was like, mommy, just have some workshop for us. I go, oh, like what? Okay, let’s do, so what I did, I pulled like a gigantic piece of paper out through the long table, staple it, and I put, I said, find your spaces around and we’re gonna make a big piece of art, like abstract art. Right. We are just gonna play with the color and with the paints. And I invited moms to join us. Yeah. Right. And they were like, oh, no, no, no, I, I’m really not good at it. Like, right, you have this perception. Oh no, I’m not good. But when they started creating, they were like, oh, this is so good. Right. And you could see them, they were like, just, they were really into it. Like, and I love seeing this what a transformation art can do to you. It kind of calms your nerve system and makes you proud. ’cause you did something that you were afraid of doing. Yes. My God. God, isn’t that awesome? I think that’s like super awesome.

Speaker 0 00:21:20
I honestly, like, I, this is the, the biggest joy I get from my creative career is hosting workshops. And I know exactly that feeling that I, I see people’s hesitation. ’cause sometimes I’ll do workshops for corporate teams, which means that not everyone, uh, you know, willingly agree to there, but they’re like, okay, like, we’re doing this. But then they open up, they like try it and it’s like, wow, I never knew I could do this. And

Speaker 2 00:21:49 Right.

Speaker 0 00:21:50
It just like, uh, it just like, the best,

Speaker 2 00:21:51
Isn’t that such a, let’s call it empowerment. Like you ate somebody’s day, day step out of the comfort zone. Yeah. Like having this curtain in front of their eyes, like, no, I can’t do it. Ne definitely I don’t wanna do it. I don’t wanna be here. Yeah. And then at the end they’re like, just like, wow, look at this. Right. Yeah. So, uh, I think it’s amazing though. Yeah. Oh my gosh. Power is super healing. I mean, power, the art is super healing and it’s super transformational as well.

Speaker 0 00:22:18
And like what a gift that you shared your space, you know, that your creative space where I bet the energy is just so amazing.

Speaker 2 00:22:28 Yeah. <laugh>,

Speaker 0 00:22:29
And then you shared that with the, the little girls, but also their moms. Mm-Hmm. I just, I love, thank you sh thank you so much for sharing that.

Speaker 2 00:22:37 Yeah, you’re welcome.

Speaker 0 00:22:39
So Ana, thank you for all your wisdom that you shared. And before we wrap up, I was wondering if you had any kind of resources that you wanted to mention or also where people can find and connect with you. Because first of all, anyone listening, you have to go check out Anna’s work is gorgeous. And just looking at it, you will feel so much power within yourself, so they have to check it out. So please share anything that you’d like to in terms of where people can connect with you.

Speaker 2 00:23:12
Yeah. Well I don’t have any specific program, but you can find me on Instagram under the anna underscore inger and anna That’s where I’m the most active. Yeah.

Speaker 0 00:23:27
Awesome. Yeah, and I, I love all your like, following along your stories, so be everyone, please be sure to connect with Anna and check out her. Amazing. Yeah.

Speaker 2 00:23:36
Well, if you do wanna hear about more about my art and the power within my art that’s happening, like I, I kind of write the newsletter every Tuesday, Tuesday out about the art connected to the power that I experienced living around the world, and how was I empowered or encouraged to do certain things in life through hearing the stories of other women. And yeah, that’s, oh,

Speaker 0 00:24:00
I love it. And I’ll be sure to, I’m guessing like people can sign up to your newsletter on your website, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>,

Speaker 2 00:24:06 Correct. Yeah.

Speaker 0 00:24:07
Yeah. And I’ll be, I’ll be sure to share all these links in the show notes. So to the listeners out there, be sure to check it out so that you can definitely get on Anna’s newsletter because it sounds amazing and so like inspiring, I just hearing about it makes me feel better. So I can’t wait. Can’t wait to dive in.

Speaker 2 00:24:26
Well, thank you so much Walter, this, this has been really a pleasure to speak with you.

Speaker 0 00:24:31
I really appreciate it. Thank you, Ana, and I hope you have a calm and creative day.

Speaker 2 00:24:35 Thank you. Bye-Bye bye.

Speaker 3 00:24:40
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. Sweet Friend. I’ll close this out by mentioning the acronym calm. The C and CALM stands for community. Remember, you’re Not Alone. I invite you to join the Calm and Creative Community group on

Facebook. It’s a private and free group where we can share various supplemental resources to help us feel more creative and calm. The A in CALM stands for apply. I encourage you to apply some of these learnings from this episode so that you can integrate this knowledge better into your day-to-day life. The L in CALM stands for Leave a Review. If you enjoy this episode, this will help our podcast reach a wider group of creatives that are seeking to feel more mindful and creative. The M in CALM stands for Mindful, and that’s simply just being kind to our minds and remembering that it takes intention and practice. And no matter how you’re feeling today, I want you to know that we’re all doing the best that we can in a given moment of time. So keep going. Sweet, friend, you got this.

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