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Explore the Science of Creativity
To Open Up Your Creative Channels

Learn the 5 foundational pillars of creativity + Access a full year of daily creativity prompts to break through creative blocks and unleash unfettered creativity.

Break through creative blocks and unleash unfettered creativity!

Explore The Adjacent Possible®, the science of creativity


I’m so excited to invite you to The Adjacent Possible® Creativity Immersion Program!

This is a self paced, comprehensive creativity program unlike anything out there.

Formulated by award winning and best selling author of The Artist’s Journey, artist, speaker and Stanford trained existential psychiatrist, Nancy Hillis, MD,  along with Stanford educated theoretical physicist and mathematician, Dr. Bruce Sawhill

This course explores the intersections of art, science, psychology, creativity, evolutionary biology, theoretical physics and mathematics. 

You will cultivate exploration and experimentation, embrace the unknown and discover the surprise benefits of embracing mistakes and “ugly” art. 

Express your imagination and your most alive & meaningful art! 

Abstract Art Workshop Nancy Hillis
When you Enroll in the Program:

  • You’ll receive 5 lessons to guide you through the 5 foundational pillars of creativity.
  • You’ll receive access to a full year of daily creativity prompts and daily affirmations to break through creative blocks and unleash unfettered creativity. 

Are you painting with aliveness and wonder?

Are you listening to the yearnings of your heart?

Do you long to create your deepest work?


Hey there, I'm Nancy

I'm an abstract artist, bestselling & award winning author of The Artist's Journey® and The Adjacent Possible® books as well as a Stanford educated psychiatrist.

I’ve been an artist and existential psychiatrist for over 20 years and I'm passionate about creativity, aliveness, and living your most meaningful life.

I've been an abstract painter for decades. Several years ago I created a television program "Creativity & Consciousness" where I interviewed artists on their creative process. I learned that artists in every genre grapple with fear and self-doubt and that the interior landscape affects everything!

I believe that abstract painting is a powerful way of getting at meaning and that art is a mirror that reflects our livesthe canvas reflects back our feelings, moods, interior states, and life.

I've guided thousands of artists in creating their deepest, most alive and meaningful work, and I would love to be your guide, too!

You have a dream But you don’t know how to bring it to life

It’s lain fallow for years Like a dormant seed

A seed, sleeping, deep in the cold earth

Yet HOPEFUL, waiting for sustenance.

Though it’s languished in slumber for years

It still waits for YOU For YOUR decision

To finally say YES to the un-lived dreams inside you



Your dreams ask you to believe in yourself

Even when you don’t

To take that next scary step

Even when everything in you says to give up


Everything depends upon saying YES.

Saying yes to the things that scare you.

Saying yes to the perils of creating.

Saying yes to the unknown.

Nancy shows you how to awaken your creative soul and find endless possibilities next to you in what she calls the adjacent possible.

She connects you to the eternal quest to be your authentic, self expressive, creative, alive, passionate,
joyful, productive. The transformation is endless, timeless and ongoing unique for each individual. No one could do your homework for you.

You can only learn to swim by getting into the water, not watching other people swim. Nancy’s book provides dozens of learning examples and guidelines to help you on your personal path to self discovery creativity into your true creative self.

Bob Reed

Creativity Reflection Journal Reader

And this is where The Adjacent Possible® comes in

The Adjacent Possible® is a concept from evolutionary biology that says that each step you take, each move you make Illuminates a number of possible paths forward that were not only invisible before, but didn’t exist before because your action changes the environment you’re in.

It’s co-evolution. It’s co-creation.

It’s akin to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle where your act of observing changes what is being observed-

Whereas, with the adjacent possible your act of creating affects existence itself.

The biggest hindrance to creativity is self doubt.

In this course, we explore 5 foundational pillars of creativity

And the Big Momma concept of The Adjacent Possible threads through all 5 pillars.

The Adjacent Possible is the science of creativity.

My Promise To You

You will begin your journey of saying YES to and embracing your creativity, journeying from facing self doubt, fear and the dark night of the soul towards quieting the critical inner voice and cultivating a sense of self acceptance, inner confidence, excitement and purpose.

First, you’ll access The Adjacent Possible Creativity Immersion Program where we explore the 5 foundational pillars of creating and then each day you’ll see a new Creativity Affirmation and Prompt to fuel your creative fire!

The 5 Pillars of Creativity

Pillar 1: Zero To One

Zero to one is a mathematical concept that says:

From nothing to something…from zero to one…is the largest interval mathematically.

The difference between zero and one mathematically is bigger than the difference between the interval between one to two, two to three and so forth.

So….zero to one…just start!

Learn the Implications Of Zero To One For Artists in this Lesson

Pillar 2: The Adjacent Possible®

The Adjacent Possible is a concept in evolutionary biology described by Drs. Bruce Sawhill and Stuart Kauffman at the Santa Fe Institute.

This scientific concept describes how each action you take in a dynamic, evolving environment changes not only your perspective but the environment you’re in. It creates new possibilities that didn’t exist before.

The Adjacent Possible is the essence of creativity & we’ll explore it in this lesson.

Pillar 3: The Power Of Constraint

There’s a Latin phrase multum non multa which translates to much, not many. In employing much, not many we’re going deep rather than wide. We’re exploring a few things thoroughly rather than many things superficially.

One of the most important foundational concepts for artists and innovators is constraint. Indeed, I love to think of painting as employing simplicity and constraint.

The topic of constraint is paradoxically limitless and we’ll explore it deeply in this lesson.

Pillar 4: Experimentation

It’s the willingness to step into the terra incognita- the unknown territory.

This is where discoveries happen. This is where the surprises are. This is where new work emerges.

Stepping into the unknown is how we evolve our art.

In this lesson we explore Trust, Experimentation & The surprise benefits of ugly art.

Pillar 5: The Inner Landscape

As an artist you’re facing the perils of creating on a daily basis: self doubt, vulnerability, inner criticism, second guessing, overthinking and procrastination to name a few.

As an artist you know you’ve got to be willing to face the dark night of the soul every time you step into your studio.

In this lesson we’ll go deep into the one inner shift that is essential for creating deep and personal art.

365 Creativity Prompts & Affirmations

In the Adjacent Possible Creativity Immersion Program you’ll receive daily Creativity Prompts & affirmations for an entire year that explores different creativity concepts and exercises to help you amp up your creative mind!


Here you will find the first week of Daily Creativity Prompts & Affirmations 


DAY 1: Seeing with New Eyes

DAY 2: Listen To Your Dreams

DAY 3: Imagine a Room …


DAY 5: What if you were trapped?

DAY 6: You Can’t …

DAY 7: Patterns of Your Own

Here’s what just a few of my students say

Nancy's workshop was phenomenol! I have always had a hard time getting started with a painting project as I would stare at the blank canvas. What will I paint? Will it look like what it should look like? These insecurities often led to passing up on the opportunity to paint for another day. What I've learned from Nancy's workshop is that I don't need to necessarily know what I want to paint. Simply activating the canvas makes starting much less intimidating. The abstract pieces I created in the workshop will serve as a reminder and inspiration to me that I can paint with confidence.

Julie Huang

Scientist, Stanford, CA

Chrissy now understands the path to her best work

Nancy gives the gift of soul work with intuitive abstract art, moving through fear and into the present moment with joyful experimentation. I now understand the path to my best work, to be able to paint with an expressive aliveness, and am deeply grateful for Nancy’s genuine care and individual attention. The content is presented sincerely and simply, and is deeply motivating.

~ Christine Scurr, Australia, Artist’s Journey® Course Alumna

Christine Scurr

Australia, The Artist’s Journey Alumnus

Tammy got magical insights as she began to believe she could paint

Dr. Nancy Hillis combines a deep professional experience in psychiatry with an intuitive, creative approach to painting. Magical insights come out of this wonderful mix. Through her own personal art journey, she has thought and lived deeply the process of painting through fear and self doubt.

~ Tammy Pittenger, Santa Cruz, CA

Tammy Pittenger

Santa Cruz, CA

Vera took her painting to a new level

Nancy, you are full of life and have a deep understanding of the “other.” You are a fantastic teacher. Your lessons are so intelligently put together! You not only provided invaluable information, you opened doors to a new level in painting and led us through with your encouragement & belief that we can do it. You made it possible for us to venture in new territory & helped us through it!

Vera V. Tchikovani, San Francisco, CA, Artist’s Journey® Course Alumna

Vera V. Tchikovani

San Francisco, CA, The Artist’s Journey® Alumnus

Betty found her own style

Nancy's course allowed me to experience for the first time an acceptance and love for my art through my mark making and my own style. Not only did I learn about the fundamentals of creating abstract art, but I learned them in a way that was deeper and easy to understand. The weekly lesons, videos, and assignments helped me hone in on techniques through practice. The FB form was an amazing group of supportive artists and Nancy's feedback, guidance, and support were invaluable. It's been the best online course I have taken and completed!

Betty Franks Krause, San Jose, California, Artist’s Journey® Course Alumna

Betty Franks Krause

San Jose, California, The Artist’s Journey® Alumnus


Learn the 5 foundational pillars of creativity + Access a full year of daily creativity prompts and affirmations to break through creative blocks and unleash unfettered creativity


Choose the payment option that’s right for you.

This course is a value of $997 but you can enroll for an investment of only $297 for a limited time


$99/3 Monthly Payments

7 Day Money-Back Guarantee

I’m confident you’re going to love the material, just like the artists in our community. But if you’re not happy for any reason at all, please email my team within 7 days of joining, and we’ll issue you a prompt and courteous refund. No questions asked!

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The Artist's Journey ®: Trust. Play. Love. Paint.                    Copyright © 2023 Nancy Hillis Studio, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Artist's Journey ® and The Adjacent Possible® are registered trademarks of Nancy Hillis Studio, LLC