Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Like many of you, I have been super busy working a lot and trying to have a balance between work and play.  With all the chaos going on around the world, personally I find it important to turn off the news and have some downtime to stop and go back to really enjoying life.  So I'm staying grounded by taking short breaks to take my dog Oliver for walks where I live and enjoying the change of seasons.  I'm giving myself permission to stop, be present, and really appreciate the beauty of life while the rest of the world is filled with so much fear, unrest, and instability. Take it from Oliver, life is a "balancing act".  So I hope you can also find time to spend time doing something in your life that also grounds you.  What the world needs is respect for  "Life, Love, Peace, and Beauty".


Celebrate Your Uniqueness!

 Cowboy in France

I have been having a lot of conversations about  the importance of "play" and "creativity" in our work.  I am always encouraged to never lose sight of my image as an American from Arizona who was influenced by living in Paris.  Unquestionably, the French influence is an integral part of my personal life experience.  That's why I love the juxtaposition of an American cowboy who became an artist in Paris.  So I agree.  Paris is an important part of what has made me who I am.  Being from Arizona and living in France is what lead to my own personal background and "uniqueness".  This colorful and unique background definitely works for me because people never seem to get enough of the French influence and my "American in Paris" collection.

However, it breaks my heart to hear so many stories from people getting stuck with criticism and completely losing sight of the "joy" in being able to fully express themselves in their work because they are thinking about criticism while trying to access their creativity.  So I thought I'd take the time to write an article for you. From my own experience, I find that some of my best work comes when "making mistakes".  These "mistakes" allow me to create something that is from a deeper place from the core of my "inner spirit" and much better than I originally planned.  In fact, when I'm creating a work of art often the color and texture of a destroyed painting ends up being an integral part of the "background" in my works of art.  Sometimes, if there's part of my work that is more innovative, I take what I learned from my mistake on a new canvas which actually turns into a turning point in my work and in my life.  So here's my quote for the week:

"Innovation  comes from having the courage to not give a damn about criticism!" 

What I really mean to say is that sometimes you have to have the courage to fully embrace failure in order to succeed.  Does this make sense?  So whenever I hear these stories, I recommend that people not create for any critics in their lives and go back to creating just for themselves.  I love inspiring people with my personal failures because I know they were absolutely essential to my personal growth.  For example, years ago, I remember when I was stuck in my work as a professional Arts Manager.  I had spent 7 years of my life there.  Don't get me wrong, it was meaningful work and I loved my work and the contribution I made there.  But after 7 years I knew I wasn't growing any more.  I knew it was time to grow but I failed to have the courage to leave the safety of my well established professional position.  Take it from me, if you're not growing, deep down you are probably dying inside...

That's when I finally had to courage to be completely honest with myself that it was time to force myself to grow.  So I resigned from my professional position without knowing what in the hell I was going to do.  Of course, from a "professional" point of view (and other people's standards)  this was a MISTAKE and not a wise thing to do.  But I knew it was the fastest way to light a fire under my butt to start a new life.  So that day I went home and started a new painting to see what I was made of.  I literally went through a metamorphosis in my art and in my life.   That's when I finally had a breakthrough in my work with this painting entitled: "Windmills of a Master's Mind".  After the painting was finally completed, somehow I started to really "value myself" because I learned what I was made of, not only as an artist but as a leader and a Master of the Arts.  So my mistake allowed me to gain confidence in myself and become EXCITED about stepping into my power and higher purpose in life to use my uniqueness as an artist to inspire others.

"Windmills of a Master's Mind"
(Very Large oil on canvas to be on exhibition for the public in the Zermeno Museum)

So afterwards I stared a new completely new life. Of course I was filled with fear in the beginning.  Imagine what it feels like to leave a professional position without knowing what was going to happen to you?  Suddenly I started taking high-paying art consulting jobs, travelling around the country giving workshops and inspiring large audiences with my short motivational speeches. That's when I finally realized that I was actually really "valuable".  My mistake opened the doors, including opportunities to travel the globe.  At that time I wanted to stay in Boston, however, so I decided to take an empty building and turn myself into an Executive Director of the Arts and created an organization from the ground up with Art Programs there.  Four years later when my organization could stand on it own, of course I was "criticized" for handing it over.  People just could not understand why I would leave the safety of  my professional position as an Executive Director.  But the organization could stand on it's own.  My work was done. So I no longer needed to be there, and I wanted to enter the next chapter of my life.  Today the organization continues to grow and is a part of my personal legacy.  Right now I'm really busy working on my homes and renovating the ZERMENO MUSEUM, but one of my ongoing projects is to complete my inspirational art book which will describe my journey through the arts with more detail.  One of the great things I've learned about myself is that even when I fail I always get back up.  So I want to be continue to be inspirational to others around the globe with my life experience, and that includes my failures. 

So when it comes to navigating your life in your work and play, so what if your work is not recognized by any museum, organization, or any"well-established" institution.  I can't tell you how many times I've created what other people consider "failed paintings".   That's okay.  What they don't know is that many times these paintings are "gems to me" because they reveal hidden meanings and discoveries that are important to ME!!!  So there!  I give you permission to make mistakes.  That's how we learn.  In the future, I also plan to write more in detail about this important subject to help and inspire others...  One of the great things about being a creative artist is that I don't think like everyone else.  In fact, I even want to have an exhibition of my original failed paintings entitled: "ZERMENO: The Failed Works of Art".  Why?  Because I think it's important for people to understand the importance of having the COURAGE to embrace the necessary failures in the beautiful road of success.

That goes to show you.  So what if no one appreciates your work!  Just say: "Thank you for sharing.  I'll take that into consideration".  I always try to remember how HAPPY I was creating and having a GREAT TIME!" Criticism can be very useful.  So if you think the criticism is warranted, by all means, go ahead and take the criticism into consideration, as long as you don't let it paralyze you.  But it's more important to have the courage to MAKE YOUR OWN MISTAKES and to learn from them.  At least I find that to be true for me.  Also, don't forget who is criticizing you?  Who gave them the right to judge you?  What is their interest in you and your work?  Why do they even care?   What have they accomplished in their life as an artist?  See what I mean?  Don't you love critics?  That's why they are not called "artists".  Need I say more? You get the idea... And even if it is well intentioned, learn to accept criticism as a "compliment". That's why I usually think to myself: "Okay, I'll take that into consideration.  Now will you kindly excuse me because I want to go back to really enjoying my life."  Believe me, I've been there...As an artist I have been been criticized to DEATH!  However, I find that when I go back to creating art for myself this "freedom" allows me to overcome being stuck in my art and in my life.  And that is absolutely PRICELESS to me.  Besides, whether you are an artist or not, here's my personal quote of inspiration for you:

"Creativity should not be about seeking approval." -Zermeno

For me, creativity is about being excited enjoying life creating something new, solving problems, learning, and discovering something about myself and growing as a person.   Besides, I'm wise enough to know that failure is not a bad thing, at least not in my book.  It only builds character and makes you stronger.  This is a metaphor for life. Anyway, back to the subect of play and creativity.  Now that the summer is officially over I thought I would go ahead and repost this photo taken while enjoying drawing barefoot on a balcony during the summer in the south of France in my cowboy hat.  Here's something to think about: You are unique and there will never be another you in this world ever, EVER again!   So don't forget to celebrate your own uniqueness.   When I'm dead at least I will leave this world knowing that the uniqueness of Zermeno was inspirational.  "Inspiration" is who I am and what I stand for!  I hope my words of wisdom were useful to you.

Celebrate Your Uniqueness!


Value yourself!

I know some people think who in the hell does this Zermeno think he is creating his own museum?  I don’t care.  I don't need to be "approved"... Don't get me wrong.  I know I'm not exactly the most talented artist in the world.  That’s not my purpose.  My purpose is to INSPIRE people!!!!  So when it comes to the criticism this only motivates me.  Why?  Because there are SO MANY people in the world, not just artists, who spend their lives not being appreciated.  Thinking about this really motivates me.   Yes, I make mistakes just like everyone else, but at least I am doing my best to be an inspiration to others.

During my free time, I’ve been studying art history.  Right now I’m studying the life of Vincent Van Gogh.  It’s so sad but can you imagine how many multi-millions museums and the commercial world have been profiting from selling reproductions of his work?  You can't even walk into a store, museum, cafe, or bookstore, without  seeing his life's work.  Poor Van Gogh.  He spent his life literally "starving" and never even profited from any of his hard work.  And yes, believe it or not being an artist is very hard and "legitimate work".  So it really bothers me how our culture takes advantage of artists.  Do you know that people never valued Van Gogh's work during his lifetime? Is it any wonder why he went mad and cut off his ear?   Ever notice how museums are responsible for giving the world the impression that the most valuable artist is a DEAD one!   Well, I am out to change all that!

My museum will show people that you don’t have to be dead or wait for someone to “approve” and “discover” you.  As an artist my message is this: the best person to discover you is YOU!  You can step into your own power and DISCOVER YOURSELF right now while you are "Happy" “Awake” and “Alive”!!!.  I guess there’s a part of me that is a psychologist using my image as an artist to INSPIRE people to “love" and “value” themselves.

Right now the Zermeno Museum has just begun the year-long renovation process, but in the meantime here's a small glimpse into my private home and museum.  I hope it inspires all of you in the world who can relate to what I’m talking about...  Eventually I plan to host art and creativity workshops teaching people how to step into our power.  I want my private home and museum to be a sanctuary for art and inspiration.  In the meantime, don't forget to LOVE and VALUE YOURSELF!

Glimpse into ZERMENO MUSEUM with "Bolero Girl"

If you'd like your own high quality reproduction of Bolero Girl, click here.
Bolero Girl


Napoleon Complex

During breaks from all my work and creative projects I really love having fun with Graphic Design.  My dog Oliver is a miniature dachshund, but like any small dog he has a bit of a "Napoleon Complex".  He loves to be in charge as the pack leader.  He's a very independent thinker, so I designed this comical Graphic Art Design for myself to wear while I am walking him.  Anyone who owns a dachshund knows all-too-well why I called this Graphic Art design: "Napoleon Complex".  I had fun designing it and it makes me laugh.  I hope it makes you laugh too.    I also made one available for anyone who can relate to a small dog who thinks he's "King" of the household.  Based on your feedback, I went ahead and  made several versions to choose from:  "Napoleon Complex, Dachshund Lover, or Dog Lover".

Tshirts come in your choice of many colors.


Bring Awareness!

"Oliver" is a little dachshund I adopted from the animal shelter.  He's so adorable, so I turned him into a Graphic Art logo to bring awareness to dachshunds in need of being adopted into loving families.  Please help me to bring awareness to the cause of helping animals in need of being adopted.  

I am creating several versions.  For example, Oliver is a brown short-haired dachsund with cute little black feet, so  this version has a BROWN Dachsund and little black feet.  


Zermeno Museum

My God,  I've been getting so many questions about my background in art, graphic and interior design.  It's such a small world after all... I thought I had to answer these questions once and for all.  First of all, as you know I am an artist.  In fact, my background as a successful artist eventually lead to my becoming an Executive Director of the Arts.  I created an organization with art programs to inspire others.  But I have never been one to sit still.  So when my organization could stand on its own, I handed it over so I could spend more time creating art, working on creative projects, enjoying life, and inspiring the entire world to see that "Life is Beautiful!".

My Planter

Owning several large homes comes with a lot of responsibility, so I just sold one of my homes and recently purchased a large Italianate mansion on an estate owned by a former New England Governor.  The grounds of my estate are filled with trees, flower gardens, a gazebo, and surrounded with horses.

My Gazebo: Where I like to paint outdoors

As a member of Historic New England I am inspired by how so many New Englanders converted their mansions into museums.   Likewise, my mansion is now home of the Zermeno Museum to house my "An American in Paris" collection, my art studio, and Zermeno galleries.

"American in Paris" Gallery

I strongly believe in the power of artists to inspire the world.  As an artist, my mission is to inspire the world with art, love, and self expression.  Eventually, I'd also like to invite others to use my home and museum for creativity workshops and inspire them to use their imagination, and as a sanctuary and place of inspiration.

My Flower Garden

So for the next year the Zermeno Museum will be "under construction".  I am also working on many other creative projects, so I'm sorry I cannot answer all your questions individually, but I  hope this answers most of them.  In the meantime,  I hope my image as an artist enjoying life has also inspired you to see that "Life is Beautiful!".  For me personally, "Life is Beautiful" whenever I am being present, enjoying the beauty of life, and having fun "living in the moment".  I invite you to join my global art movement to spread this message around the globe.  Join the growing movement of people spreading this message.  Together we can send this important message for the world: "Life is Beautiful!".  So I hope you'll join us!


Leasing Zermenos

Regarding my "Romantic and Realist" post, I own the copyrights to all of my images.  But I am now being asked about reproductions and leasing Zermeno images. So I went ahead and posted how they can be used for commercial products for book covers and other commercial products.  Below are some examples of wine labels, including "Romantic and Realist".