21 SECRETS Tell Your Story


Art by 21 SECRETS teachers: Cathy Nichols, Connie Solera, & Carissa Paige.

21 SECRETS Tell Your Story

Getting back to the essence of art journaling… 

Connie Solera, Founder & Director of 21 SECRETS

Art journaling has always been a tool I use to personally express the parts of myself where words tend to fall short.

A color, a pattern, or even a line created with the gentlest of touch becomes a direct message from my heart.

Over the years there have been numerous moments where I failed to say what I wanted to, but let it all flow out freely in my art journal later on.

My life would be quite different without art journaling and that is why in 2010 I launched the very first 21 SECRETS — to share this powerful, heart nourishing, creative practice with others.

Now, twelve editions and seven years later, 21 SECRETS is still going strong.

As a way of honoring the essence of art journaling, this 21 SECRETS is called Tell Your Story.

I and 20 other talented, inspiring artists share how we use art journaling and mixed media to express, celebrate, and explore the parts of our own life story that no words can explain.

I feel this is the essence of art journaling — this is why we come back to this practice again and again: to tell our story.

Art by 21 SECRETS teachers: Wendy Pepyat, Torrie Lynn, Mindy Tsonas, & Kristiann Bonn.

What Is 21 SECRETS Tell Your Story?

21 SECRETS Tell Your Story is a 150+ page downloadable eBook with 25+ hours of videos, full colored photos, templates, and clear instruction that will guide you through various mixed media lessons and art journaling adventures — AND ALL CONTENT IS YOURS TO KEEP!

You will receive:

  • A downloadable 150+ page eBook that contains 21 art journaling workshops packed with 25+ hours of videos, full color photos, templates, and clear instructional content that is yours to keep. 
  • Unlimited access to all workshops at once! You pick and choose which ones you do and when. There is no time limit or deadlines to meet — these workshops are yours to keep! (Comes out Monday, October 3oth!)
  • Membership to the private 21 SECRETS Facebook community where you can share, be inspired, and receive warm, supportive feedback. 
  • The opportunity to learn a variety of mixed media techniques and approaches from the comfort of your home/studio. Belong to a supportive online artist community that has been growing strong since 2010! At 21 SECRETS we celebrate everyone’s unique expression and support artists in becoming confident and courageous while creating from the heart!

21 SECRETS Tell Your Story Is Available Now!

Buy now and you will receive immediate access to 21 SECRETS Tell Your Story eBook! 

Art by 21 SECRETS teachers: Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd & Rakefet Hadar.

Here Are The 21 Workshops & Teachers In 21 SECRETS Tell Your Story



with Carissa Paige

In this empowering workshop you’ll be guided on a journey to retrieve a piece of an old story (or belief) that you once held and are ready to recreate, or retell, from an enlightened perspective. Come find the deep down gems that await you, and emerge anew, with a beautiful journal piece that declares who you Truly are.

One Day My Soul Spoke …

with Catherine Anderson

The soul speaks to us through images and uses the world we live in as its messenger. There are messages everywhere we look, signs and symbols that speak directly to our unconscious. When we cannot find the words to express our feelings, we can often find an image that conveys the emotion we are feeling and uncovers the secret story we are telling ourselves.

In this workshop we’ll use photography as a way to reveal what our soul wants to say to us. Before printing out our photographs, we’ll play with them using Photo Apps so that they express more fully how our senses felt when we created the image. And then we will quietly listen to the stories they have been waiting to tell us.

Taking Flight: Let Your Spirit Animal Guide Your Inner Vision

with Cathy Nichols

Become the hero of your own story, and join me as I show you how to paint a self-portrait by tapping into the energy of your spirit animal. Together we’ll create a different kind of self-portrait — one that relies on inner vision as its cues and develops patterns, figures and colors using your favorite animal as a guide. We’ll explore mixed media techniques like collage, painting, inking and drawing with paint pens. When you’re finished, you’ll have an empowering portrait to hang in your studio or home that will remind you of the power and wisdom you contain within.

FLOW & Disrupt

with Connie Solera

When a painting of mine is going smoothly and headed in a nice direction I tend to do something totally random to throw off the flow. Why? Well, because I simply want to see what’s waiting on the other side of chaos. (Usually it’s something delicious.)

In FLOW & Disrupt we’re going to use mixed media, our art journals, and elements of my beloved FEARLESS® Painting Process to tell the story of those moments when life itself threw us a curveball — when all of a sudden we found ourselves waist deep in the unexpected and uncomfortable patches of life and navigated our way to the other side.

So roll up your sleeves and join me in FLOW & Disrupt. We got some FEARLESS® Painting to do!


with EmK Wright

Roots is a mixed media workshop that combines found imagery and simple illustration to create a map of personal meaning. We will assign symbolism to collage fodder and ephemera in order to visually connect to the people, places, and things that have helped us grow into the beautiful individuals that we have become!

Wild & Precious

with Gemma Benton

I have always been intrigued by the idea of masks and mask making. Haven’t you?

African Masks. Masquerades. Carved Masks.

As I imagine each mask, my mind wanders and I am carried off to magical, far away places.

For me, the allure of the mask is not at all about hiding who I am, as much as it is about exploring other possibilities of who else I might be. “The who I might be if I wasn’t just me if I was somehow..more than me”. The mask is a way of moving deeper into our own story and exploring the outer edges of my identity.

Within Native American and indigenous cultures, masks are used in rituals and ceremonies as a way of bringing to life important figures from revered stories.

Wolf. Raven. Ancient Ones.

In cedar longhouses and on dusty, desert floors, their spirits dance and sing. Not to entertain us but to mirror life in a way that causes us see ourselves, perhaps for the first time ever.

In “Wild and Precious” we will explore mask-making, mixed media/cold wax with Native American story and song as a way of honoring that which is both wild and precious within us.

Finding My True Name: A portrait workshop

with Juna Biagioni

I love to draw and paint faces! Faces in art are a great way to communicate and to express emotions and soul. That’s why in this workshop we’re going to create a portrait as a way to tell a story. I can’t wait to get started with all of you!

Connected to Nature

with Katie Smith

I use art journaling as a way to connect deeper to myself and to my environment. Connected to Nature is a workshop showing you how to bring nature into your journal, and how to be inspired by the world around you. We’ll work with found elements and paint to bring a forest aesthetic to your work.

Discovering our own Magic

with Katrina Koltes

Do you sometimes battle with your inner critic and wonder if you are good enough or if others will understand your art? I know I do. I had battled with this for a long time, down to the point where I had stopped creating completely. I didn’t know how to express my own voice and personality through my art. I didn’t want to tell other people’s story, I longed to tell my own.
I wanted to discover my own magic. I began a journey of self-discovery, of letting go of those fears, of opening up in my art. And I discover new things every day as I show up and paint.

I want to share with you how I do this, and why it is so important to express our own unique personality and voice through our art. We will gather all those wonderfully unique aspects of ourselves, and use them in our art to tell our own story and discover our true magic.


with Kristiann Bonn

Imagine that if you were to turn around, you could see the whole of your life spooling out like a strong cord into the distance of your childhood. And if you were to follow along that cord, you would discover beautiful places where new colors and textures were gently entwined in a celebration of your joys, growth and achievements.

You would also find places where your cord was gnarled and tangled beyond belief. Places where hardship or difficult choices caused your cord to weaken and fray. Lacking support and the skills at the time, you grabbed any loose bits and strands and wove them in around your cord, trying to create some kind of stability to get you through the mess.

But now, you see how those knots and tangles put strain on the whole cord, preventing it – and you – from flexing and adapting to new changes and challenges. You wonder how you might remove the bits which no longer support your life, but it’s important to you to keep the beauty and lessons learned.

StoryLines is the process we will use to explore and untangle those hard places in our lives. Using written and visual journaling, we will learn to open our hearts to that which supports our lives, gently release that which holds us back, and then tie the old and the new together – literally – as we begin to mend our own lives.

The Postcard Journal

with Lisa Sonora

In The Postcard Journal, you’ll learn the secrets to making a travel journal that you will actually use. No more mostly-empty notebooks. No more lugging around a suitcase of unused art supplies. No more guilt.

The Postcard Journal is a portable, adaptable method for keeping a travel journal wherever you are. It works if you’ve arrived at your destination with absolutely no supplies. You can also use this method for recreating travel journals of past trips.

It’s all about keeping your supplies extremely simple and lightweight, and having a proven process that captures your most meaningful memories and experiences quickly.

The best part? You arrive home with your travel journal complete, filled with stories and experiences that you most want to remember.

Absolutely no writing or art experience is needed to create a beautiful Postcard Journal.

Heart Cartography | Make Your Own Story Map

with Mindy Tsonas

Using the foundational elements of LUSH Embodied Arts, together we will create our way through our own inner landscape. Letting paint, images and words be our guide, we will delve into personal narrative and our own places of belonging. We will visually explore context and subtext and make meaningful maps as we play in this unique form of Mixed Media Memoir.


with Natalie Mecham

Are there things in your life you approach with only a part of yourself? Do you keep a part of you hidden and protected? I think we all do that and it can be a healthy thing as long as we find a way to express that hidden part of ourselves. Together we will paint the part of us we keep protected; through art we can tell the story of our hidden selves.

Using watercolor and a few other supplies I will show you how to control the watercolor and make it do what we need. Then we will use watercolor in its more traditional way, letting it decide what to do.

Through all of this we will discuss how in our own lives we have control over certain things but we also deal with unexpected events. Just like in watercolor it can all come together to make a beautiful picture.

Memory Pockets: transforming our stories

with Rakefet Hadar

All our stories are connected to our memories and experiences with other significant people.

Sometimes we become so entangled in other people stories that we forget our own unique path.

In Memory Pockets we will explore how we can look into our memories and create a safe space for them, a “memory pocket”. This process will allow us to connect with our true story and authentic self.

In this workshop I will share with you my intuitive journaling process and the way I use images and colors to create vibrant pages that “connect” with each other on a visual journal.

I will teach you my way of “parallel journaling”- working on 3 spreads at once, creating parallel layers of color, images, text and doodling, creating your own unique, authentic story!

Inside Outside: Telling your story through landscape

with Tara Leaver

In this workshop, we’ll visit a favourite place of your choosing, and use mixed media to take it beyond simply painting a landscape. You’ll bring it to life as an expression of your experience of it, and the meaning it holds for you as part of the story of you.

At The Heart of You

with Toni Burt

We all have an outer story and an inner story. This sacred inner story is more than just the events and circumstances that make up our lives, it calls to the heart of us, who we truly are. But who is that inner you? And how do you coax your deepest hidden longings, desires, even fears, to pour forth into your creative process and onto those blank journal pages? Where does that voice come from? It comes from the heart of you.

But what if you are “no good at writing” …like me. I have struggled with the process to communicate onto the page my inner life, but I am finding my way. In this workshop I will share with you how I connect to my inner self, my divine higher self and how it shares it’s wisdom with me. We will use simple techniques to inquire within and nudge our inner self to begin to reveal our story…our inner story, the one at the heart of you.

Dear Me: Writing the Letters of Your Life

with Torrie Lynn

Letters are cathartic to write out, even if they are never sent. What if you could send a letter to yourself? Would you send it to your younger self, or future self? What about that fizzled-out friendship you can’t forget about?

So often words are left unspoken, unwritten, never sent. They linger in our hearts, and weigh on our minds without a dwelling outside of ourselves.

In Dear Me: Letters of Your Life, we’ll explore the art of incorporating letter writing in our journals and how to use this healing practice to connect deeper with yourself and others. We’ll be creating an envelope journal, your own art pocket envelopes, and explore themes of self-reflection and relationships. Through a series of prompts we will reflect on creating a space for these unwritten letters to live. Together we will spend some time sifting through the unspoken words we carry and find healing in honoring these pieces of ourselves.

The Mirrored Self

with Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd

Part of telling our story is knowing ourselves. Not only who we are, but the path we have followed and where it has lead us. In my workshop, we will explore self-portraiture and address both sides of an issue we have or are dealing with. First, I will show you how to take a self-portrait – not a selfie – using your phone or camera. We will briefly discuss notions of framing and lighting and we will conquer our fear of being the subject of our photograph. Second, we will use our self-portrait in our art journaling spread. We will be examining both sides of an issue: the negative and the positive aspects of our story. We will use the photograph as a catalyst to shed light on our story and to release it.

52 WEEKS::Heroes

with Veronica Funk

Even though I have been an exhibiting artist for many years, I have found that working in series helps me hone my skills and develop new techniques. For several years I have begun creating year-long series with a focus on a new theme each year in order to stretch my creative muscles and last year I chose to focus on portraits of women who have inspired me. By simplifying the process, I was able to enjoy the series and I hope to share a few of the things I learned while having fun with paint.

Soul Stories: Art as a Way of Healing

with VersAnnette Blackman-Bosia

Your experience and your story is the most powerful work of art you can create. We’ll read soul-stirring poetry, and write our own versions through guided writing prompts. In our art journals, Verse will share some techniques to create abstract intuitive art from a space of authenticity and honoring our unique stories, by drinking deeply from the wells of our life experiences, including the most painful ones. No experience needed. Just an open heart and a willingness to show up for yourself.

Painting Your True Essence

with Wendy Pepyat

This workshop is about painting yourself at your heart centre, your true essence and who you are at truth.

We are all beautiful souls connected to each other, but every soul has it’s own story, this workshop is about showing in a visual way, the beauty and truth inside you.

There will be a 3 minute audio meditation to show you how to connect your channel and state your intention for the painting. If you have never meditated, that’s ok, it’s the intention that counts.

Your intuition will guide the painting for you, you may end up with a completely abstract painting, or with symbols and complete images.

21 SECRETS Tell Your Story 

Immediate Access!

Buy now and you will receive immediate access to your 21 SECRETS Tell Your Story eBook!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is 21 SECRETS held? How does it work?

21 SECRETS is a 150+ page eBook that you must download and save to your computer/device for unlimited access.  Contained in this eBook are the 21 workshops that are listed above.  The workshops consist of videos, written text, full colored photos, templates, and printables. You can pick and choose which workshops you do and in what order — 21 SECRETS is completely self paced.

Are the videos downloadable too?

The videos are hosted on the Vimeo platform which is totally free to you and YES! The videos are completely downloadable and yours to keep.

Is there a supply list?

There is no master supply list for 21 SECRETS, but each teacher will present you with a supply list at the beginning of their workshop.

Art by 21 SECRETS teacher: Natalie Mecham.

What type of technology do I need to enjoy 21 SECRETS fully?

  • A computer or mobile device with connection to the internet. A high-speed connection will help reduce possible frustration.
  • All videos for 21 SECRETS are hosted on Vimeo. Visit HERE for an app designed specifically for viewing Vimeo videos with your device.
  • The videos are best supported by the up-to-date version of the following browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, & Internet Explorer.
  • You will need the most up-to-date version of Adobe Reader HERE to view the eBook properly.
  • You need to be comfortable with basic computer skills – primarily entering a password and accessing your email

Art by 21 SECRETS teacher: Tara Leaver.

Do I need previous art experience to feel comfortable in 21 SECRETS?

Nope! Noway! Nada! The beauty of art journaling is that it’s for everyone. All skill levels and backgrounds welcomed.

Are the teachers available to answer questions?

21 SECRETS comes with access to the private Facebook community where many of the teachers can be reached with a simple tag. The teachers are not required to be present in the Facebook group — but the majority of them are and always happy to connect with their students.

I’m an art journal fanatic — will there be new stuff for me to learn in 21 SECRETS?

Absolutely! The teachers in 21 SECRETS are sharing their secrets so you are bound to learn something new — and even if some of the stuff is old hat to you, it never hurts to revisit the basics as an artist!

How can I purchase 21 SECRETS as a gift?

Awww! We love that you want to pass on 21 SECRETS to a friend or loved one — please contact the Dirty Footprints Studio support team HERE and we will get you all set up.

Also On Sale Now By 21 SECRETS

Cancellation & Refund Policy

All sales final.