We were sent into the world alive with beauty. As soon as we choose Beauty, unseen forces conspire to guide and encourage us towards unexpected forms of compassion, healing and creativity.
— John O’Donohue
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Hello, Artist and welcome. 

My name is Mandy Steward. I am an artist, writer, magician and teacher. I teach locally and here online. My family includes my husband, Tony and our fondest creations: our four children - two girls and two boys. 

On the way home from a road trip to meet up with a friend, I found myself repeating these words, as a summarized mantra of my passions: 

I want to read fiction.

I want to touch the earth.

I want to make things beautiful.

Fiction resides within the realms of imagination. It's why you will hear people say, "That movie was out of this world."

My life here on earth resides within the realms of reality. It's why you will hear people say, "Well that couldn't happen in real life."

Making a beautiful world is something I do by merging my love of fiction AND my love of reality. Fiction meets reality, I call it. (Or poetry meets reality. Or tarot meets reality. Or dreams meet reality). It is a way of tying the spiritual to the physical.  The people who can do this are exponentially more likely to enjoy their living. I am most passionate and curious about two kinds of such people: artists and magicians, or as Anais Nin once said, Artists AS Magicians. 

I have two main offerings here for you at Messy Canvas.

To the Artist I offer a membership in The Secret Message Society.

Or if you are just beginning to flirt with that name "Artist," I would love to gift you my free eBook called Messy Canvas - You Are an Artist. What Will You Create?

To the Magician I offer a place to develop, learn and accredit your own magic at The Magic School. (It is in its "laying the foundation stages," so please excuse the pixie dust. I am on the twenty year plan to develop and nurture these grounds.)

I feel I am both an artist and a magician. You may too! Or if you don't, stick around and I'll try my best to convince you.

You will find the two naturally go hand-in-hand, weaving in and out of each other. They do in my living, in my writing and in my creative offerings at Messy Canvas. While you're here in my spaces as my guest, feel free to follow your curiosity wherever it takes you. I call this "Following the White Rabbit," and HIGHLY recommend it as a life practice. 

Aside from my two main offerings, I have written (or co-written) several eBooks which you can find in my shop. In 2013 I released a spiritual memoir called Thrashing About With God: Finding Faith on the Other Side of Everything. What happened was, in the midst of exploring my own creative potential my wand got snagged on a spiritual crisis and I plummeted out of my Quidditch game and into a deep, dark night of the soul. I now attribute my creative freedom to the process of writing this book and other spiritual writings. Let me serve as your case study that you can create your way out of a hard, dark place and into the reality and the meaning you wish to be living. 

Messy Canvas is a space for daring to create YOUR own world (on that intimidating blank canvas called life) by utilizing YOUR very own magic and artistry. It requires a whole lot of vulnerable YOU and the parts of YOU that distinguish YOU as unique. In other words, you're going to need to stick out, with your chin held high of course, and you're going to need to keep moving forward, no matter what. I truly hope what I share here will unlock something within YOU. As my guest, make your time here ALL ABOUT YOU. There isn't any other way.

PS Want to get serious about finding and actually listening to your own artistic voice? I suggest reading these three books: Self-Reliance, The Fountainhead and The Little Prince (amazon affiliate links.) I want to know about it if you do.

I believe in artists as magicians. What will you create?