Connie Solera

Welcome to Dirty Footprints Studio!

My name is Connie Solera and I believe that art is a journey of the soul. An important facet of my own creative process has always been sharing with others. So for the last 20+ years I have poured my passion for art and creativity into teaching professionally, supporting the arts in various ways,  and pursuing my own dreams as an artist wholeheartedly.

I started my career by teaching in art museums, art organizations, summer camps, after school programs, intimate gatherings, as well as public, private, and parochial schools.  Basically anywhere I could find work.  But in 2010 I left a full time art teacher gig (with benefits, paid vacation, and my summers off) to devote myself fully to Dirty Footprints Studio — best damn decision I ever made!

Here at Dirty Footprints Studio I offer tools, mentoring, and sacred space for artists to dive deep and experience the transformative work of owning their creative gifts, discovering their greatness, and expressing their truth as an artist— all while sharing an honest peek into my own life as a heart guided artist, teacher, and creative entrepreneur.

Connie Solera

So I know I don’t need to tell you this, but artists experience the world differently.

We connect with our heart space more intimately.  We bathe in color, embody line, think in shape and forms.  We believe in magic, dreams, the Divine and are certainly no strangers to embracing the unknown again and again.  We’re passionate.  We’re sensitive.  We’re introverts, extroverts, and everything in between.  We believe art heals. We love money. We got issues with money and we’re freaking masters at juggling a million things all at once.

Personally, I have been on the artist journey my entire life and have steadily blazed a path filled with creativity, love, and abundance by listening to the guidance of my heart.  Though believe me, it’s NOT always easy!

That’s why I’m passionate about supporting the artist journey of others and celebrating the unique gifts that each artist is here to bring — no matter what your skill level or background is!

At Dirty Footprints Studio, here’s what I offer from my heart to yours…

  • In IGNITE I mentor women who are ready, ripe, and willing to navigate the uncharted territory of their hearts, creativity, and ways of showing up in the world sustainably and powerfully as artists, teachers, and leaders.  My IGNITE programs go deep and invoke women to discover and own their innate greatness, passions, and creativity.
  • FEARLESS® Painting eCourses & retreats will invite you to embody the truth of who you are as an artist and gain a solid understanding of the mystical and practical mechanics of your unique creative process. Expect to be challenged as well as held tenderly.
  • One of the best tools for the artist journey is the art journal and in my 21 SECRETS programs I, with a diverse and talented team of artists share our art journaling secrets with you. 21 SECRETS comes out twice a year and is available right now with instant, unlimited access and inspiration!
Connie Solera
Connie Solera

Just for fun here’s 10 random nuggets about moi!

  • I answered the call to be an artist when I was just an itty bitty and was blessed to have a family that supported my decision.  I was lucky to go to a high school where I could major in art — then  I went on to graduate with a BA  in art and art history.  Years later I returned to college to receive my art education degree.  I’ve been making art since as early as I can remember and I’ve been teaching art professionally for 20+ years now.
  • I gave birth to my son Phoenix in April 0f 2012.  Months before I even knew I was pregnant  I was FEARLESS® Painting pregnant women intuitively — and a very auspicious mother son painting as well. That’s why I love the FEARLESS® Painting process so much!!!
  • I’m  so honored to say that there’s a whole section (and more) about me and my entrepreneurial spirit in Marianne Cantwell’s amazing book Be A Free Range Human.  This is a must have resource for any creative heart wanting to craft a life on their own terms!
  • I’ve had just about every arts job imaginable during my 20s! From gallery assistant at Spaces, to art handler at MOCA, to resource assistant for an art history professor, to years of working in the costume and wardrobe department of the Hanna theater in Cleveland, Ohio,  to mural artist, to project assistant for this art legend, to creating custom work for high-end interior designers, to serving drinks in a bar located in the heart of the arts district in Cleveland! I’ve done it all!
  • With only a few hundred dollars to my name, I backpacked solo through Italy for a whole entire month. I was  hungry for adventure and had a burning desire to  see the Sistine Chapel in the flesh.  I believe that Italy is where I truly decided that my artist journey was mine for the making and there has been no turning back ever since!
  • Definitely one of THE best experiences of my life was hitchhiking around Costa Rica with my then boyfriend/now husband Hansel. I’ll never forget the thrill of  staring up at the stars in the back of a farmer’s pick-up truck while riding through the jungle! The whole adventure taught me to trust deeper, rely on magic more, and tune in to the signs that are always present and guiding us! Oh, I guess I should also add that Hansel is “Tico” — meaning he was born and raised in that beautiful country of Costa Rica! Pura Vida!
  • I am a devoted yogini. I first was introduced to the practice when I was just five years old and ever since it has been a constant thread in my life. In 2011 I graduated from the Yoga Pura 500 hour Teacher Training and I have followed the path of Bhakti ever since.
  • I am in LOVE with my beloved bike that I affectionately call “Artemis”.  You can follow our adventures HERE.  My big dream  is to ride the Camino de Santiago in Spain one day!
  • I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 2005 Hansel and I sold all our stuff (except for our art supplies of course) and took a roadtrip across the USofA,  settling in Phoenix, Arizona, where we’ve been ever since.

Connie Solera painting

Here’s a few juicy tid-bits about Dirty Footprints Studio…

  • I started blogging at Dirty Footprints Studio in April 2008, but Dirty Footprints Studio existed before it was a blog as my own personal ceramics business. When we first moved to Arizona I was making large ceramic vessels and selling them at craft shows and local galleries.  In 2008 I took a break from ceramics and returned to painting. I started this blog to share my process and connect with other artists. Even though Dirty Footprints Studio has evolved tons since those first days, my intention still is the same — sharing, connection, and celebrating the artist journey.
  • The name Dirty Footprints Studio came from my years creating at the ceramics studio barefoot. One afternoon, during a studio meeting, one of the artists said they always knew when I was in the studio because they could see my “dirty footprints” in the clay dust on the floor! Voila–Dirty Footprints Studio was born. But this too has evolved over the years and the one constant has been my commitment to embracing each of my own dirty footprints on this blessed artist journey I am on!
  • In 2010 I quit my full time, public school art teaching gig to pour my heart 100% into Dirty Footprints Studio. What was my secret to being able to walk away from a “secure” paying job with loads of benefits and my summer’s off? I had to fall in love with it before I could leave — that’s my secret. I spent many years working in the public school system hating the system and miserable. Then one day  I realized that this is my life and I could either love it or hate it — I decided to chose love. It wasn’t until I actually fell in love with my job that the doors to leave it and begin something new started to open for me.
  • I’m blessed to state that Dirty Footprints Studio supports my family financially, creatively, and spiritually. Because of Dirty Footprints Studio, Hansel and I are both home full time and raise our son in an environment of creativity, consciousness, slow cooked meals, adventure, service, and LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Photos by Darrah Parker Photography.