Leah Nadeau, Abstract Artist
When I first began painting, my process was completely different. I used paint and canvas, and that was about it. Although I've always worked intuitively, the addition of paint markers has been a new and fun addition to my creative process.
What made me decide to add doodles and lines to my art? Well, I started drawing late at night while watching tv and fell in love with the feeling of a pen in my hand! Something about the smooth lines comforted me and I wanted to put that element in my art.
Listening to upbeat music while dancing along is a must while I create. I feel it puts me in a good mood, and when I'm in a good mood I'm more likely to create beautiful paintings!
My process begins with applying a base color over the canvas. This way I block in a color to then build layers upon. I play with brushstrokes and let the first layer completely dry. For the next layer I reinforce areas of the painting I like, and paint over the parts I don't like. I add layer after layer until I see a story I love.
Creating an abstract painting is like solving a puzzle. There are many variables that have to be perfect for the painting to come together.
A lot of people ask me how I know if a painting is done. Usually I just know. I feel proud and happy deep down, like I accomplished something great.
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Thanks for reading!
Earlier this month I released a free 2018 Instagram guide. In this guide, I laid out the basics of having a cohesive feed that tells a story to your viewers. The feedback I got from the free guide was so positive! Everyone encouraged me to continue helping you with your Instagram strategies! If you haven't downloaded my free guide, find it here:
After receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews for my free guide, I decided to sit down and really think about the most important, vital things I do on Instagram that have made me so successful. So I sat down, made a list of the 10 things- my recipe for success, and put it into a document.
I shared this document with a couple friends before putting it up for sale. I am charging less than $2 per vital secret- a terrific deal. I've done mountains of research on Instagram, so you don't have to!
These vital tips will help you not only become more visible on Instagram, connecting you to millions of potential customers, but it also helps your feed become a cohesive story.
Ready to take your Instagram to the next level? Here are your keys to success! Scroll down for reviews and testimonials from real people!
Sillie M - "This was sooo informative and such great info, easy to understand and I will continuously reference it to keep growing my engagement!! If you’re needing to get to the next level with your insta game, you NEED this in your life! Leah, you did it again!😎😎 "
Molly W- "I’ve been using Instagram as a business tool for over a year now, I’ve downloaded or bought dozens of how-to guides and thought that I knew almost all of the tricks. Turns out I didn’t! Leah’s guide is not only informative, but its easy to follow and most importantly, it turns a daunting task into an achievable one! "
Heather M - I have the guide & it was fantastic! I’ve downloaded at least a dozen, free & paid but I learned a lot of things not one of the other guides offered. It’s altered my entire outlook on Instagram! Thanks Leah!!
Jolie D- "You have helped me with my insta game so much!"
What are you waiting for? Instagram is the #1 social media platform for art. It's time for you to shine!
Smiling because it's worth it,
It didn't take me long to realize that artists have special souls. After connecting with countless artists across the various social media platforms, I realized I needed a creative hangout of my own. A place where artists can come and talk about things only they understand, a place to get advice but most importantly, a place to grow and help others grow as well.
ECC's mission statement is as follows: to provide a supportive community for artists to fulfill their dreams and squash their fears.
I also noticed that I have a natural talent for mentoring. This past Fall I began mentoring several artists by sharing information that I've learned during my career as an artist and the feedback I've received has been extremely positive. My friend Heather told me that just by following me on Instagram, it gave her the confidence to take a leap and record a DIY video for YouTube. I realized I was onto something!
After successfully helping 15 other women grow their Instagram for free and mentoring them on their businesses, I've taken the plunge into offering creative one-on-one consults for artists. The way it works is simple, I give you 30 minutes of my time and you can ask me anything. I share all of my resources and advice with you and together we create a plan for your career as a creative.
Anyone who has a dream of becoming a professional artist is welcome to join my group! My only rule is that all creatives must act first in kindness and acceptance. We are a kind community of special souls.
Join ECC now!
I’ve been selling artwork to collectors successfully since 2016 on multiple online platforms, in person at shows, exhibited my artwork in galleries and grown my online following to over 30,000 followers.
I want to help you meet your goals in your career. Let’s get together for a 30 min video chat where I can help you become a successful artist, evaluate your current business practices and help you follow your dreams of creative living!
We will hop on video chat and I can help you with the following and MORE:
Sharing your authentic story
How to grow your Instagram following
How to find your ideal client
Social media tips/tricks for maximum exposure
Clear negative blocks
Help you realize your strengths
or anything else you want to know!
We will use Zoom to video chat and before checkout I will ask you to send me all of your social media links and your website (if you have one) so I can look over your achievements before we talk! So that's 30 min of one on one time and 20 minutes of pre-evaluating your work/social media/website!
Feel free to email me if you have any questions: hello(AT) leahnadeau(dot) com
The way I understand it, my OCD is the way my brain distracts itself from the anxiety I feel. I do rituals over and over again to make myself feel safe, by doing these repetitive things I think are important, I forget that I'm anxious. I've been struggling with both ADD and OCD for most of my life.
When I was in Second Grade (7 years old) I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. I had a learning disability that made it harder for me to retain information than my peers. Before my teachers knew I had this disability, they assumed I just didn't care about school. I was unable to pay attention and would ignore my teachers to talk to other students. I was often called to the principal's office for being too out of control in class, I remember three separate occasions where I was called to the principal's office for laughing so hard that I disrupted the entire class. My punishment was to sit quietly in a tiny room in the office for 30 minutes. After seeing a psychologist, I was given my formal diagnoses. The principal, my teacher, my parents, and myself sat down to formulate a plan as to how I would move forward by learning how to manage my outbursts. With ADD came many obstacles; for example sometimes it took me 3 hours to do my homework, I would have screaming tantrums because I was frustrated but didn't know how to communicate it to my family. A few years later, at around 9, OCD really started to creep into my life. I would only wear clothes with the tags removed, I would wash my hands until they were raw and bleeding, and the clothes I wore had to be cotton only because every other fabric was itchy.
Throughout my life, I've used different ways to cope with my OCD and anxiety, but the 2 game changers were art and horseback riding. From ages 7-21 I rode horses on a regular basis, my parents bought me Chip and then Sailor, a horse I had until my senior year of high school. I can’t recall a time in my life I haven't struggled with anxiety, but riding and taking care of horses occupied my mind enough to allow me to forget about my anxiety momentarily.
As you may already know, I started painting on a regular basis about three years ago, while I was in grad school. For a year I did watercolor paintings every single day. Painting let me forget, for an hour or two, just how much my dissertation was stressing me out. Although I struggled with a learning disability throughout my education, by the time I got to college, I knew how to manage my ADD so well that I was able to stop taking medication for it. I was able to finish all of my higher education without prescriptions drugs aiding my concentration.
I still struggle daily with my ADD, anxiety, and the depression that comes with mental illness, but I've learned how to live in harmony with them. I take Zoloft daily to help with my anxiety and depression as well as consulting with my friends and partner about my feelings on a regular basis.
For me, creating comes from a happy place, so it's important that I only paint when I'm feeling myself. If i'm sad or upset, my art suffers. Painting is a celebration of my life, a personal diary, and I don't like to dwell on the negative, so why write a dark story that will only continue to keep me feeling sad.
Every day I use different ways to cope with my OCD. However, when I paint it's just me and the story I'm painting. I don't think about wanting to wash my hands, or the germs that may or may not be in my bathroom. I'm thinking about the color, the brush strokes, the motions of my creative process, and nothing else.
Painting is my zen, and I'm so fortunate to have found my calling. Thanks for reading and learning more about me!
Smiling because it's worth it
If you’ve been following along with my story so far, you know that I haven’t been painting all that long. In 2015 I first started painting during the grueling summer that I was working on my dissertation for graduate school.
2016 is really when I came into being an artist. I began creating because it’s all I could think about doing, the serenity achieved from painting layer after layer couldn’t be matched. It was during this time that I realized that I had an addiction to food.
I wasn’t eating when I was hungry, I was eating because I was bored. Now that I was painting all the time and keeping myself occupied with creating, I no longer felt the need to feed myself when I wasn’t hungry. In fact, I could feel my body changing.
Suddenly, I started to listen to my body. I’m hungry, but I don’t want a hamburger, or something that sounded appealing before- greasy French fries, or even a sandwich. I started craving fruits and vegetables and I felt as I changed my diet my body was changing, too. I no longer felt extreme discomfort after every single meal from overeating.
It also helped that I cut out lactose and dairy completely from my diet. From trial and error, I’ve realized that my body is much happier when I don’t try and have it digest dairy. Armed with a newfound knowledge of my body, a new passion for creating, and well, the rest of my life ahead of me, I decided to make a change….
I was sick and tired of being overweight and all of the negatives that come with it (like being out of breath from walking) and I wanted to make a change. I knew that this change couldn’t just be temporary because so would my results. I talked to a few friends before deciding which “diet” I was going to try to lose all the weight. I was going to do carb free, but it didn’t make sense when there was no reason to go carb free for the rest of my life. Instead, what lead me down this healthier path was simply portion sizes and moderation.
The simple truth is, America is known for its giant portion sizes. Whether you’re at a restaurant, or you buy a frozen meal for two you heat up on a skillet, you’re going to have too much for one or two people. The suggestions for portion sizes on the container are the key to success. Oh, that and of course, My Fitness Pal, for tracking my calories. In August 2016 I weighed 45 pounds heavier than I do today. By this time next August, I aim to be 75 pounds lighter in total, which will be so much better for my health.
You may ask, why did you lose weight now? You’ve been overweight for the last 8 years. What finally made you do this? Well, it was a combination between my passion for art and my realization that heart disease and diabetes run in my family, and I don’t want to die young. I have a lot to offer the world with my new found talent of painting and I want to be around for years to come.
Thanks, art. You saved me.
Thanks for reading! -Leah