CSW 195: Art Is Connection for Mike BrennanMike Brennan shares experiences through art & design.

Some of his work includes custom “Rockstar” pet portraits, pop culture art, yoga art, live event sketching, original paintings, and graphic design. He recently authored & illustrated the books Dear Snow: One Man’s Angry Rant Against Winter, The Art of Yoga, and Dear Human: What Your Dog is Really Thinking. While the media and subject matter may vary, he creates art that shares experiences to form connections with his audience.

His art has been featured on AMC’s Talking Dead, and the Syfy channel’s artist spotlight.

In this episode we talked about:

  • What lead to a season where Mike was not creating and then what changed and brought him back to his art
  • The lie that Mike believed about his art
  • His desire to connect with people through his art
  • How he used Instagram on his journey back to art
  • Looking at your work through other people’s lenses
  • The value of using your dark experiences to help and connect with others
  • Embracing the unique things that make your art yours
  • Mike’s course, Your Artist Journey

Mentioned In This Episode

Dear Snow: One Man’s Angry Rant Against Winter by Mike Brennan (aff link; or click here for a non-aff link)

The Art of Yoga by Mike Brennan (aff link; or click here for a non-aff link)

Dear Human: What Your Dog is Really Thinking by Mike Brennan (aff link; or click here for a non-aff link)

The Creative License by Danny Gregory (aff link; or click here for a non-aff link)

Something Cool

Melissa’s Something Cool: The Eczema Detox: The Low-Chemical Diet for Eliminating Skin Inflammation, by Karen Fischer (aff link; or click here for a non-aff link) & eczemalife.com

Mike’s Something Cool: Procreate

Connect with Mike Brennan

Website | Website | Your Artist Journey | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


“All I had the strength to do was to show up for that next day.” – Mike Brennan

“I want to get back in touch with this place of art for me, not for clients, not for somebody else’s project.” – Mike Brennan

“There’s always room for improvement and growth and to try to grow as an artist but sometimes you also need to embrace those imperfections because those are the things that make something really unique and you.” – Mike Brennan

“My art isn’t complete until there’s a connection.” – Mike Brennan

“It brought me back to the days when I was a kid, creating art and giving it to somebody else, seeing their face light up, bringing them joy, knowing that something I made can have an impact on somebody else’s life, even if it’s just for a moment to make them smile.” – Mike Brennan

“When I can look at my work as if it is somebody else’s work I’m so much less critical and so much more compassionate.” – Melissa Dinwiddie

“Sometimes you need to be broken and bruised in order to be put back together again and made whole.” – Mike Brennan

“For me, a creative daily habit was the thing that really made the difference. That’s the thing that taught me what my voice was, what my style was. That’s the thing that developed confidence in me.” – Mike Brennan


Listeners Wanted!

Has the Creative Sandbox Way™ podcast made a difference in your life? Would you like to be featured on the podcast?

I love sharing listener stories, so if you have a story of how listening to the podcast has changed your life for the better in some way — big or small — I want to feature you in a Listener Spotlight.

Here’s how it works:

1. Just log into iTunes and leave a rating and review. (If you don’t know how to do that, you’ll find step-by-step instructions at creativesandboxway.com/itunes-review).

2. Then copy and paste what you wrote in your review into an email, and send it to me, along with why you want to be featured in a Listener Spotlight, and how the podcast has made a difference in your life. You can email me at melissadinwiddie.com/contact.

That’s it!

If I pick you for a Listener Spotlight, we’ll have a relaxed, fun conversation, and the recording of our conversation will be part of a future episode! How cool is that?

Want a creative kick start?
Check out my book!

The Creative Sandbox Way: Your Path to a Full-Color Life, by Melissa Dinwiddie

What would change for you if you could totally revel in the joy of creating? You CAN, with The Creative Sandbox Way™!

You’ll learn:

  • Melissa’s 10 fool-proof guideposts that have helped thousands get joyfully creating.
  • 5 reasons why creative play is good for you, AND for the world (it’s neuroscience, baby!)
  • Why “I’m not creative” is always a lie, and how to bust it.
  • How to turn creative blocks into friends.

AND you’ll get creating right in the book itself. 

ChrisGuillebeau“It’s one part field guide, one part creative practice—and I loved it. The Creative Sandbox Way™ is an adventure packaged as a book.”

~Chris Guillebeau
NYT best-selling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup

Buy The Creative Sandbox Way by Melissa Dinwiddie - checkout with Amazon


Hear ye, hear ye! This is to serve as official notice that all links to anything for sale, be it books or courses, are likely to be affiliate links. What this means is that if you click through said links and make a purchase, although it won’t affect the price that you pay, a few coins will jangle into my coffers, enabling me to buy a packet of hard gluten-free biscuits to feed myself and my husband for another day, or perhaps a pen with which to create some artwork. Or perhaps they will contribute toward paying a fraction of my web hosting bill, so that this blog and podcast can continue to exist. Thank you kindly for your attention.

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for the Creative Sandbox Way™ on iTunes!

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And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.

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Now go get creating!

xo, Melissa <3

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