Trust Yourself & Ignite Your Creativity
To Create Amazing Abstract Art

Whether you dream of loosening up and exploring creativity, expressing yourself, healing and becoming whole, experimenting with paints, colors, and techniques, or surprising yourself with your art, The Artist’s Journey® is your step-by-step guide to bold self-expression.


Editorial Book Reviews

Nancy Hillis has produced something rare in the cacophony of reads available for contemporary artists and creatives: A practical and inspiring call to create original, astonishing work. Highly recommend.
Ruth Crone, Artist

★★★★★ Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards Review

The Artist’s Journey is an impressive and comprehensive guide to all creative souls. Like the author writes: “You yearn to create – because creation is connection with the immortal and the divine.” This is a very useful, informative and inspirational guide for all creative minds.”

Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite

Taking on self doubt, fear and that nagging negative inner voice, author Nancy Hillis has created a guide for artists who need help finding their way.

Sara Barnes, My Modern Met

★★★★★ Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards Review

Finding Nancy Hillis’ self-help art book, The Artist’s Journey®, has me wondering yet again if perhaps there is a way to actually find one’s vision. The accompanying video course is marvelous. The Artist’s Journey® is most highly recommended.

Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

★★★★★ Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards Review

Nancy Hillis’ The Artist’s Journey® is an unforgettable, thought-provoking read, with an inspiring and determined tone. A one-of-a-kind guide and is an absolute must-read for any artists suffering from artist’s block or any sort of creative meltdown. Truly worth a read. 

Jessica Barbosa for Readers’ Favorite

Just when you think hope has left the building, someone like Nancy Hillis comes along and revives our purpose and place in the universe. The Artist’s Journey® is a game changer, a mind bender and true epiphany of purpose for every artist living in the challenges of the 21st century.

Janis Kirstein, Award winning artist & writer

A BRILLIANT BOOK …No Artist Should Be Without It….Full Of Inspired And Knowledgeable Information . Nancy Is Uniquely Able To Speak About Everything An Artist Experiences. The Good, The Sad , And The Wonders Of “The Ugly ” Paintings. READ IT … OFTEN! It’s life saving!
Danny Craig Cutting


“One of the best Creativity books of all time” – BookAuthority

5 Stars Readers Favorite Award for The Artists Journey by Nancy Hillis

A transformative guidebook that encourages readers to do away with self-doubt and dive deep into the world of abstract art as a method of fulfilment and self-expression

Silver Medal from Readers Favorite International Book Award for The Artists Journey by Dr. Nancy Hillis

Are you an artist tired of feeling blocked from expressing onto the canvas the art that lives deep within you?


There’s an old saying:

Find joy in your life. It’s later than you think.

You don’t want to come to your final moments regretting your un-lived dreams.

You’ve got paintings inside you waiting to be expressed.

You know that, while you could keep repeating what’s worked before in your art, this is a kind of soul death.

You want to experiment, take risks and explore your deepest self expression.

You want to wrestle down your self doubts and inner criticism and finally create the paintings of your dreams- paintings that wow and astonish you.

You want to express YOU in your art.

You don’t want to play it safe anymore.

The worst thing you could do as an artist is to avoid experimentation.

Art is about exploring wonder and the unknown, the terra incognita of the soul.

Painting is a mirror. It brings up everything, especially fear and yearning.

Slay self doubt and say YES to your artist’s journey.

Overcome your fears to live your deepest life.

Explore, experiment and create the art of your dreams on your inner journey of creation and self expression. Paint with confidence and finally express YOU in your art.

Having wanted to paint my whole life, I have 56 years of painting energy bottled up that must come out. Having only been painting a little over two years I have painted over 40 paintings to date. As an art spectator, I was always drawn to and connected with modern abstract expressionism.

I purchased The Artists Journey on Audible around the first of April 2020. I am on my third listen. The Artists Journey has been the best art experience and technique book I've come across because it did three main things, and many more:

  • Related exactly the range of thoughts and feelings I have experienced many times during the creative process, helped me recognize where they are from, how to handle them and re-focused me on the art, through me.
  • Helped me trust myself in the creative process and reveal "me" in my work.
  • Showed me specific technique steps in the creative process that have unleashed other elements of creativity.

Most importantly, The Artists Journey has helped me identify the boredom I was feeling by allowing the artists I love such as Frankenthaler, Krasner, Pollock, De Kooning, Klee, Kandinsky, and others to influence my process to replicate their styles of work instead of focusing on the art inside of me.

The Artists Journey is a must-read for anyone, anywhere in their art journey.

Mark Freeman

The Artist's Journey® Book Reader

Have you always dreamed of being an artist?

Why put off following your dreams?

Are you ready to set out on a journey of self-discovery? To develop strength, clarity, and skill as an artist?

The time to create your art is NOW.


Your mission should you choose to accept it is to dive deep and dedicate yourself to your art, to move past the fears and limiting beliefs that stop you from creating your deepest, most expressive art.


Learn to loosen up, explore, experiment and trust yourself on your artist’s journey so you can finally feel confident as an artist and create the art of your dreams.

When I started the online course Nancy Hillis was offering last year, I was looking for tips and directions but soon I found that what Nancy was providing the answer for all those questions, deep in the night, that all artists face when doing new creative work, and it was the lesson of reassurance...of ‘keep going and you’ll get there’. 

There were no answers about WHAT you were doing. But just to continue doing it because this was the way you wanted to go..and never mind the result because this would take care of itself. And it does.  

My journey continues but rather than limiting her reach only to those who take her course, Nancy has also produced a book, The Artist’s Journey, where you can read her guidelines and follow her direction in undertaking this inner journey. 

If you would like to further explore your creativity, I strongly recommend you read this, whatever your method of expression. It changed my life. I hope it may change yours.

Lupe Cunha

You’ve got paintings inside you waiting to be expressed.

You know that, while you could keep repeating what’s worked before in your art, this is a kind of soul death. You want to experiment, take risks and explore a deeper self expression.

The worst thing you could do as an artist is to not experiment. Art is about exploring wonder and the unknown, the terra incognita of the soul.

Painting is a mirror. It brings up everything, especially fear and yearning.
~ Nancy Hillis, M.D.
This is where The Artist’s Journey® written by artist, psychiatrist and author, Nancy Hillis, M.D., comes in to guide you to trusting and believing in yourself as an artist.
Art mirrors our inner state in ways that are meaningful and mysterious. Creativity is central to feeling alive.
~ Nancy Hillis, M.D.

A BRILLIANT BOOK ...No Artist Should Be Without It....Full Of Inspired And Knowledgeable Information . Nancy Is Uniquely Able To Speak About Everything An Artist Experiences. The Good, The Sad , And The Wonders Of "The Ugly " Paintings. READ IT ... OFTEN! It's life saving!

Danny Craig Cutting

The Artist's Journey® Book Reader


Dr. Nancy Hillis is a Stanford-trained existential psychiatrist, abstract artist, and founder of The Artist’s Journey® workshops.

In The Artist’s Journey®, Dr. Hillis expertly guides you to experiment with mark making, color, and brush strokes, to explore ways of igniting inspiration—and finally, to express you in your paintings.

Invest in The Artist’s Journey® today to activate your artistic breakthrough.

Book Excellence Award Winner

The Artist’s Journey by Nancy Hillis is a transformative guidebook that encourages readers to do away with self-doubt and dive deep into the world of abstract art as a method of fulfilment and self-expression. 

This book encapsulates the entire step-by-step process of becoming an artist in four informative sections: preparing and determining your ‘Why’ for creating, embarking on the journey, trusting yourself and taking the plunge.

It examines some of the most common dilemmas faced by artists including creative blocks, avoidance, inner criticism as well as practical tips one can implement to overcome them.

Hillis mixes personal anecdotes, examples and journaling tasks with practical exercises for developing one’s artistic skills, all of which make this book an essential resource for both new and developing artists.

Apart from that, Hillis displays a writing style that is so authentic and supportive that her voice shines through the text, assuaging readers’ fears and encouraging them to create from the heart. Readers will also gain a new perspective on art from a psychological standpoint as the book alludes to many fascinating concepts such as Solomon’s Paradox and Jungian psychology.
Overall, The Artist’s Journey is the perfect book beginner or undecided artists can use to inspire them to start their creative journey.

Review by the Book Excellence Awards

What The Artist’s Journey® teaches you

The Artist’s Journey® is a self-help guidebook using psychological principles to help artists create their deepest work. If you want a comprehensive, clearly explained, psychologically sophisticated map for your creative self- expression, start here with Nancy Hillis’ book.

Learn how one mindset shift will transform your experience of creating art
Learn how one secret studio practice will ignite your creativity
Learn how two technical game changers will take your art to the next level

One concept will help you create your deepest, most personal art

Hundreds of Artists Have Read The Artist’s Journey Book

Here’s what just a few of my students say about how the book transformed their art

Reading Nancy’s book The Artist Journey has given me the freedom to trust myself and make ugly paintings. Before I would cover my “ugly paintings” with gesso and start over. I didn’t realize that being an artist was about finding your way through these uncomfortable moments. I have learned so much about my inner self and knowing it’s all ok. Thank you!

Laura Gaylor

Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I am finding that this book shows me how to get new inspiration on how to move forward from representational workIt has shown me how to let go, how to give myself permission to just play and see what happens.

I have tried the tips in the videos got on really well. Felt very free. It is amazing that I for one needed to be told that it was OK to just paint like you did when a 4 year old. I have painted for 50 years. Sold quite a few but have always felt ‘not Good enough’. Now I don’t worry about it.

I am enjoying the painting process now and look forward to going into the studio to paint. Many thanks for the book. 

Barbara Harrild

West Coast of Scotland, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I am enjoying your book and working to incorporate the principles into my art making. I’m working through the “ugly” paintings. I had done the mind map for “ugly” and then painted four ugly paintings based on some of what I saw there.

Now I am up to the chapter where I need to reflect on the “ugly” paintings, and I have found that the paintings themselves are not so “ugly” in their execution as they are in their content.

I’m not sure how I feel about them right now. I think I need to sit with them longer and journal about them. Since they’re coming from a place of feeling such anxiety, sadness, and bitterness in 2020, it will be very interesting to look at them again in 2021 and see what has changed. I hope I (and the world) has moved forward toward something more beautiful by then!

Thank you again for your book. It was something I really needed right now.

Leslie McCrea

Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I like the Artist's Journey book very much. I especially like the connections and references to work by Carl Jung! Your book is inspirational!

I loved Activating The Canvas. It directly addressed some techniques I wanted to learn... layering, veils. I love the encouragement to keep working and producing works of art and the push to use any and all tools that help express what you feel and the suggestion to stop overthinking and judging.

Nancy Hillis' work has re-ignited my passion for art. I especially like the references to Carl Jung and the important role the unconscious mind plays in self-discovery and acts of self-expression. She inspires artists to keep move beyond criticism and judgement!

Audrey Sharon Taylor-Wood

Activating The Canvas Alumnus, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I am very excited about Nancy's book, The Artist’s Journey. Having started on her course I have been reading the book and I can verify that she knows the artist’s mind through and through.

Dawn Lim

Activating The Canvas™ Alumnus, The Artist's Journey® Book Reader

I have been a mixed media artist for 10 years. I have always been an extremely empathetic and creative person yet I have this “math and science” brain. After my health interfered with me working, I assumed that I could just turn that part of my brain off and get busy creating the mixed media art that I loved so much. I created fast and loose.

I identify with your student you use as an example in your book. Some of my best work was created in less that an hour. Within the first year of painting I had two pieces accepted in a juried show, one sold. That started my downward spiral. I tried to recreate what I had done. I tried new styles when I was told my style was linear. I took that as a bad thing? I tried doing what other artists were doing. I truly sucked at everything I tried which, in hindsight, gave me even more reason to not trust myself.

I maxed out my credit card getting the supplies that I thought would help. I thought if I could just get it right, maybe I could make money with my art. My time creating was already limited by my health. I figured I missed my window of opportunity. Depression and emptiness started taking over and I stopped creating all together.

The desire to create never went away. It was like a toddler pulling on my pant leg, trying to get my attention.  I nervously gave in and set up my art table. I tried finding creative groups where I live without any luck.

Then COVID19 came and everything is shut down. I knew I had the desire to create. I knew I had the ability to create. I knew I had done some pieces I actually loved so much. I also knew I needed help. So I started searching Amazon for books on creativity. I found The Artist’s Journey and took the leap and got it. It’s been a game changer for me.

I have taken notes, done the exercises, bookmarked pages, to say the least, I have taken it seriously. I believe the reason I can resonate so well with the book, besides that it speaks to my life as a creative, is that you Dr. Hillis talk in a language that I understand so well. The zero to one theory makes so much sense. When I read this book, my creative and logical mind blended somehow. I realized linear is okay, that’s me, as is creating quickly. I am back to getting messy and starting to play again, something I stopped doing for a long time.

Also, I have watched all your YouTube videos and enjoy each and every one.

I can tell you put your heart and soul into helping anyone with a creative journey find that path. I am forever grateful and dream of one day attending one of your retreats.

Robin Souza Rodriguez

Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I just wanted to reach out and thank you personally for writing the Artist's Journey. I had been in a funk with my work and when friends would ask about it I would have to say I haven't painted at all.

Since finishing the book and then tonight watching the workshop I feel like I am more in touch with myself and inner knowing than ever. This is the "permission" I needed to make my own work. I am exploring and feeling and trusting myself and letting go of my academic art training.

I have been doing the starts daily. And I have accidentally developed a few small experimental series. I really liked the part in the workshop about not feeling like we need to explain or apologize for our work. I needed to hear that.

I am hopeful that I will be able to develop my own artistic "voice" in the coming months and allow it to transform over the years. It is a refreshing feeling to believe that I don't have to know what I am going to make and that in fact that is often a barrier to making my most true work. 

Melissa Noriego, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

Your book, which I’m listening to, has been a very strong stimulus to my painting practice. I’m a rather myopic painter and must admit that I struggle with your overall premise. What you’re suggesting has the potential to totally change my practice but, so far, it just reinforces it.

Recently my creative practice quickly becomes quite controlled. For example, after doing your six-starter exercise the other day, I chose one and worked it over and over until I got it right ?. When you say, trust yourself, that’s me in my currently evolved daily practice. I agree with you that more free works display more energy in the end. I have experienced the power of pieces I’ve done quickly and with flow.

I created many ugly paintings, but these days most don’t remain that way. Like in my writing talent, I think it’s due to my being a great editor. Reviewing my painting experience, I’ve become convinced that my painting talent is in my ability to see what a work in progress needs next and that’s what I enjoy, creatively fixing problems, fixing ugly paintings.

That’s what I trust now, that I could make it look better. I’m a damn good painting engineer. So now, perhaps, you can see what I mean. In my creative tension, which you accentuate, I’m looking for an affirmation of my evolved practice. I thought your book, based on your psychological experience, might encourage me, as I am. And sometimes your words do that. I use your words to back me up, but not as you intend, I’m sure. I trust myself more than you.

Today, as usual -- and boosted by you -- I was painting again as I never have. I’m surprised by results almost every few minutes. Your words encourage me as I’m fixing things. Try this, wow; try this, yes. That’s how your words help me. At the same time, I could picture you vigorously shaking me in one of your classes.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say. Maybe: thank you for your encouraging me as you do, but don’t dismiss the fun and satisfaction painting engineers have. Include a chapter for us guys. 

Dan Siemasko

Artist’s Journey® Book Listener

I’ve just finished reading through your book: ‘The Artist’s Journey’. The book is everything I hoped it would be and more.

I’ve dabbled in the human psyche for a few decades now, so I loved that this journey involves working with me! I expected the book might contain a series of steps to follow to break out of the limitations of fear and to find my own artistic message, but instead, I find, once again, that this journey, like every other journey I have taken in my life, begins & ends with me! I have been completely unconscious of how ‘what other’s think’, & ‘seeing myself through the eyes of my inner critic’ have been impacting my artistic journey.

I took up my artistic journey, just ten months ago. I am 59 years of age. I have been teaching myself, through a series of books, how to draw the images I would so love to be able to paint. So far, flowers, faces & scenery, though my grasp of perspective is not at all realistic. I started working in an A5 visual art diary, and have progressed onto an A5 watercolour art journal, so my drawings & paintings are quite small. And there is still a lot of stress and tension in my work. I’m gathering this would be my inner critic, trying to control each mark, each brush stroke.

I have decided to purchase an easel, some large cardboard sheets & some acrylic paints to explore and commence the artists journey you suggest in this book.

I’m so glad you found the courage to create this book! I think it is a very special book! I’m glad I purchased it.

Wendy Parfrey

Australia, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

You’re an inspiration, Nancy! My dream is evolving every day, as I move from improving my mastery of technique to creating more authentic, more original art. This applies to my painting and also to my silver-work. One feeds off the other. In the past year, I felt that I have undertaken some very deep learning and I thank you for triggering that process in me and for guiding me still.

Geraldine Darlington

Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

Your book really inspired me and it’s definitely one I will re-read. I especially liked the parts about trusting yourself and about the “ugly” paintings being nascent forms of our future work. I’m a beginning painter but I have a lot of blocks to self-expression, like my inner critic that tells me “You suck, you can’t paint.”

I think your book will help me silence the inner critic and dive into my paintings with enthusiasm and the wonderful not-knowing. Thank you for your book and online course!

Michelle Vaughan, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I'm enjoying your book and am grateful for the videos, it's good to have written reference but it's also helpful to hear and see the actual person 'performing' their art. I'll admit I didn't follow every exercise to the T but did follow the guidance and guidelines. I have been applying your freedom and guilt free painting to my abstract watercolor painting. I like the feeling and I don't care if others don't like it - I am painting for me. There's a lot of professional artists whose work doesn't attract me at all, yet they don't care and they still create what they want. You've taught me that art is in the eye of the beholder.

Olga Roesch

Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I love your book! There have been so many points of intersection between my thoughts/needs/experience and your thinking on these things that I am astonished and gratified and excited about finishing the book and progressing in my art.

I have seen your videos as well and am absorbing things as fast as I can feast on them. In so many ways I just didn’t know what was happening with my art and creativity, and your book is helping me to make sense of so much, to relax with it, to feel stronger in relation to my art and what I can and cannot do.

Thank you for writing the book and making the videos, and for tackling the problems of creativity. 

Lera Smith

San Diego, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

Thank you for the wonderful resources in The Artist's Journey. Trying to jump start your life with art (again at 65) is not easy. I am an avid reader and stumbled upon your book during an art book quest. I have repeatedly tried to pursue art as a hobby, as opposed to therapy. Your book and videos changed my direction. I have always tried to play around with technique instead of allowing myself to be free.

I have also purchased your journal. I have already recommended your book once, and will continue to do so. Thanks.

Joy Berentes, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I do love your book and the path to reaching deeper and getting to know myself and thus express in my art. Love everything you send me as well and the Facebook groups.

I love how they all come together… book, email, Facebook ? thank you for all that you share, your passion and your generosity.

~ Nora Masters, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

Brilliant, love both your books, The Artist Journey: Bold Strokes to Spark Creativity and The Artist Journey Creativity Reflection Journal. Just what I needed during these social distancing days. We all need to give ourselves permission to explore and reclaim child-like wonder and the Art that comes forth from the freedom when we say "yes" to create. I am looking forward to what unfolds. Would love to take a workshop with you being a guide.

Susan Sabahi, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

Thank you for your book. I purchased it on Audible, and after listening to it yesterday at work, I came home and painted differently last night. Although I do illustrations and I am not an abstract painter, your advice allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and get out of my own way. What you wrote and speak is giving me more freedom and confidence.

Pamela Agin

Artist’s Journey® Book Listener

The Artist’s Journey is best book for artists that I’ve ever read. You provide the perfect amount of guidance, and I will recommend this to my artist friends. Your videos are terrific as well. Filled with practical thoughts, and not a minute too long. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share your wisdom.

Elizabeth Agresta, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I enjoyed your book and it’s great that you created the videos to go with it. I write poetry as well as playing with art and it fascinated me to see how closely each follows the other in the creative process. At first I was disappointed in the book because I don’t have a problem with worrying about making a mess on my canvas. Lol. Where I am now is moving towards completing something I want to place on a wall. Getting there. The videos are helpful with this. Thank you!

Linda Hughes

Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I like it very much. Still reading and exploring. I love your approach to unleash the artist inside the individual and not expect people to paint like you. Thanks for all you do in the world to help people become truly creative from their own source!

Donna Blachford, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I like the book and videos very much. I'm having fun exploring, playing, and experimenting with paint in ways I haven't before. Producing ugly art, but am ok with it. Still finding my way and my voice but enjoying the process.

~ Becky Gunderson, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

I loved the book - it made me think of things I normally wouldn't have thought of (mostly haven’t by to do with the courage to paint/create. The instructional videos were extremely helpful as well. Very happy that I bought the book.

Carol Whitney

Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

Although I have been making art for many years, I enjoyed your book and took away several fresh ideas and tips. Your videos are a very generous supplement to the exercises in the book. Thank you!

Pat Kilburg, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader

Nancy Hillis has done something few humans do with The Artist’s Journey. In this book she shares the Dorothy-and-the-red-shoes secret: the best art is already inside you. But her method of coaxing that out of the artist is unique and powerful and worth multiple readings.

I have painted for more than 15 years, and with Hillis’ method, I am able to tap into the source more frequently and more powerfully than ever before. If you like The War of Art (Pressfield) you will appreciate and enjoy The Artist’s Journey.

~ Elaine Kehew, Artist’s Journey® Book Reader


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