Working with me – the best way

I am here to support your creative journey in the best way I can.  Like most people, I do this better with clear boundaries.  In fact, I am particularly fond of boundaries and thrive within them, as do many people.

What I show up on this site for, is to support people in getting more creative and to work with artists who want to make a living from their art.  This is my mission and this is what I am offering you here.  I do this by drawing on my experience and professional training, and I do know what I’m on about (or, if I don’t, I will say so!).

To help me be the best support possible to you, and to create a safe space for you to work with me, here are some gentle boundaries and guidelines:-

1) I expect you to do the work

My eCourses, playshops and programmes work, this I know from the hundreds of people who have done them and told me so.

But, you have to actually do the exercises and engage with the materials 🙂

If you work with me, I assume you are ready to do the work, to watch the videos, scribble on the playsheets and try out new things.  You will like it!

A common blockmonster I see is people joining a course and then behaving in a way which undermines their own success, and sometimes the progress of others in a group – often by not doing the work, resisting the challenges, getting involved in personal tension, and many other things besides.

I recognise this blockmonster and I don’t play with it at all!

My teaching methods are honest, fair and frank.  I do not play mind games, manipulation horrifies me, and I have a parrot – I know how not to respond to negative attention-seeking (parrots are very, very good at negative attention seeking behaviours!).

I’m trained at post graduate level specifically to teach adults, I’ve been doing it for over 10 years and recognise a lot of these behaviours for the self-sabotage they represent.

2) If the way I do things isn’t for you, that’s OK

I work from a place of authenticity.  Feedback on accessibility of materials and so on is very handy, however sometimes it’ll just be a case of my way not ‘clicking’ with your way of doing and seeing things.  Perhaps you are at a stage in your life where you don’t need what I offer, or it’s a blockmonster thing (see above!).

That’s fine.  There is no need to tell me that!

I am led by my sense of what I should be doing here, my intuition and my own experience and expertise.  Some of the ways I work may not suit you, and that’s totally not a problem.  You may not need some or all of what I offer, that’s also OK.

Please resist the urge to tell me how what I’m offering isn’t for you, or to advise me to do things in a different way to suit your preferences, beliefs or lifestyle.  I don’t do things how you would do them, I do them how I do them. 

I am good at being Jani and I’m good at serving Jani’s tribe, so that’s what do and that’s where I put my efforts!

4) What I cannot offer

As we get to know each other, please resist the urge to ask me to do more than is reasonable.

I am not: a counsellor, IT expert, life coach, vegetarian diet advice giver, legal adviser, gardening expert or a guide to all the cultural offerings in Southampton, or any other things that aren’t about your creative journey.

Like everyone, I have just the 168 hours a week and the normal amount of energy for a busy woman in her 40s!   Like you, I can offer intense, personal 1-1 support to just a few close people in my life so please don’t be disappointed if I can’t give this to you.

5) I do not offer refunds

I create the best products I can and I know that, if you stick to point (1), they will be incredibly helpful to you in your creative life.  They are also digital products which means you can download, keep and use them as many times as you want to.

I therefore cannot offer refunds on any of my stuff.  Once you have made a commitment to join in with one of my courses or programmes, the fee is non-refundable.  

6) Speaking of which – please do not forward digital products to other people

Even freebies!  I share a lot of myself and my family life in those materials, I have a right to know who is seeing them.  I also have a right to be paid for paid stuff by everyone who uses them

Please do not share or distribute any digital materials or passwords I send you, they are for your private use only (you can repost free video tutorials as much as you like, of course – I will usually say quite clearly when it is OK to share!). 

7) The best way to contact me and how long I may take to get back

The best way to contact me is always by email to or the contact form on this site – for anything related to my eCourses, workshops or coaching. – for anything related to The Art House

If you mix the two up, it’s not a train smash, but be aware that my Art House emails may be read by other people I work with there.

I can and frequently do miss Facebook messages, posts, tweets etc so please, if it’s important, send me an email.

Messages & hand delivered items left at The Art House are lovely, however the cafe staff are busy and can – and do sometimes – lose/forget these, so please don’t leave me anything precious or important there!   

I adore snail mail!  If you want to send me a physical item rather than an email, just post it c/o The Art House, 178 Above Bar Street, Southampton, UK SO14 7DW

I may take up to three days to get back to emails to me, and Art House emails generally take longer as there are lots of them and I spend less computer time there.

Sundays and Mondays are my days off, so don’t expect a response on those days.

8) Visiting me at The Art House

It is delicious that some of you pop into The Art House from time to time, but please be aware it is my place of business & work, and I am rarely able drop what I am doing to spend time with visitors.

Also I am not always there (I do go home!) and rarely work in the cafe itself.

You may see me, but it is very likely you may not.  

If I am in the public areas with a cup of tea, or at an event with a glass of wine in my hand, you can safely assume I’m up for a chat but do respect I may be taking a short break from work, too, so a friendly hello and chat is fine, but asking advice on your art/business/course you are doing probably won’t be.

If you see me and I don’t recognise you from your Facebook pic, just tell me who you are, don’t be shy!  

Please accept, though, that I may be in the middle of something, distracted or even in a crappy mood (it happens!) and don’t take things personally if I am not able to give you the time and attention you’d like.

If you do pop in and I am not in the public areas anywhere, please do not ask the crew to go and look for me so that you can say hi.  If I am upstairs, I am working, they are working too – most of our crew know not to fetch me unless they know I have an appointment with somebody.

9) Impromptu/free coaching sessions

I don’t do them.

People often come up to me, or ask to book a meeting with me to discuss a creative or nonprofit business idea, or their art, with me and get advice.  This is lovely, but it is not something I can do ‘on the spot’ or for free.  There will always be a charge either to me, or to The Art House, for this service.

Coaching is very intensive, as well as being a big responsibility – so I like to do it properly.  At the moment, I am not taking on any new coaching clients.

10) Politeness and other personal boundaries

I will be polite to you, please be polite back!  Any rudeness, spamming, overly frequent contact, wildly inappropriate expectations on my time and energy are not OK.

I generally regard public criticism, rudeness, angry swearwords, or negativity via social media to be the equivalent of shouting at me in a room full of people and I will to allow it in my space.

11) Money

I understand that some of my products may currently feel out of your price range, but they are super competitively priced and that’s a fact.  Please, please refrain from comments about the affordability of my stuff as it triggers my money blocks and makes me feel uncomfortable, which I could do without!

Public posts on Facebook about not being able to afford my stuff will generally be deleted, as I recognise the ‘poverty story’ as a blockmonster and I don’t want it spreading to others who may feel ready!

12) My personal relationships, ethics, spirituality, diet, pet care methods etc do not require unsolicited advice or judgement

Blogging and sharing about my personal ‘stuff’ is important so that you get to know me, however it isn’t an open invitation for advice or personal comments or give me advice.

Despite having quite a public persona in both my ‘jobs’, I am a very private person and am particularly uncomfortable with un-asked-for advice.  Like everyone, I don’t much enjoy being judged either.  I won’t judge you, either.

I am super happy with who I am, so generally am not trying to change in any major way, or if I am it is through trusted friends and teachers.

Any personal sharing you do, I will approach in a non-judgemental, accepting way without expecting you to be just like me.  Please do the same for me 🙂

13) Men

Hello Men!  You are awesome, and what I offer is totally for you as well. It makes me tres happy when chaps get the glitter out and join in.

Sadly, there are those among the male folks who cross personal boundaries in a super, super scary way.  As a result, I may not accept friend requests on Facebook from men I don’t know.  This is because I have had one too many men assume it’s OK to make comments about my looks and suggest we ‘get to know each other better’ which is super desperate and rather creepy.  Gah.

Anyway, I will not rant too much on this subject.  Men who I have met or interacted with to a point where I feel comfortable, I will be happy to accept friend requests from.  Strangers not so much.  Any men – or women – who approach me romantically via the internet will be so very blocked and reported.  In real life you’ll just get turned down, even Johnny Depp (sorry Johnny) as I am not in the market for a relationship.

PS It’s generally better to compliment my creative skills or personality, as I’m not actually very fussed about my looks, and had nothing to do with how those turned out!

14)  Racists & other bigots

I have a zero tolerance on intolerance.  I reserve the right to sack clients without refund, unfriend, remove from mailing lists and general eliminate from my life anyone who spreads racism, homo-intolerance (it’s not homophobia, they’re not scared!), or other intolerance.  I like the world to be full of a glorious variety of people and I will defend anyone’s right to be different.

Rants on immigrants and immigration will get you removed from all interaction with me so fast your head will spin – I am an immigrant.

15) Negativity generally

I believe that happiness means being careful who and what you allow in your life.  Anyone who I feel is bringing negativity into my life will be asked to leave it.

Realness, rawness and honesty is fine, projecting negative crap is not.

16) Glitter is optional, as are most things!

I like glitter, you may notice.  You may like it too, but you are not required to get glittery in order to work with me!

I very much respect and enjoy people’s own styles and ways of working, so please don’t feel you have to be like me to work with me – you don’t.  I am delighted if you decide to turn an exercise upside down and do it your own way, use leaves instead of glitter (I do that a lot, actually) or take things in your own direction.

Questioning whether something works for you and being honest about your process is delicious.  Finding your own way is perfect.  Never feel you have to do things in the ‘Jani way’ to be accepted in my tribe, ’tis not so.

This is a place for creativity, after all!

Did you like this post? Then please comment below and share it along!   Sharing and connection are so delicious.   Don’t forget to check out my free goodies to help you with your creative journey.  You can also link up with me on Facebook and Twitter.   If you liked this post, please join my mailing list, hunny bunny! Gosh, it’s so easy.


Working with me – the best way — 17 Comments

  1. Thank you for saying we don’t have to like glitter. Apart from the glitter thing which makes me feel embarrassed and I recognise as being my problem I love everything you do.

  2. Oh, I should think I use enough glitter for quite a lot of people’s share to be used up – and I have a split-art-materials-personality anyway, as I mostly favour natural materials 🙂

  3. Hello beautiful,
    I am doing the rounds this morning, visiting old friends and making new ones, inviting dear kindreds to join us for August Moon.
    I know you are juggling so many things right now, but it would be so special if you joined us. Actually, it wouldn’t be the same without you. (So, er, no pressure!!)
    Kat xx

  4. Very well said dear lady – I think it is a manifesto that I might use to make my own “Cheryl-ness” clear as I gear up my teaching and presentations. I absolutely am thumbs up for every word. Timely.

  5. I would recommend it – it felt a little odd to do, but the response has been positive and I feel better, safer, more empowered!

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  7. Jani….

    Love your post and I am with you on the boundaries thing…I work much better when I have them…ps ive not started my coursework yet as ive been distracted by a few pictures I needed to do…planning to do my exercises at the weekend . Thank you for being such an inspiration 🙂

  8. I am still inspired to join up to a course. Even more so for the “not even you johnny depp” comment 😀 I am terrible with boundary’s and deadlines. I was bad before having a kid so can’t blame it on him. I think I need a bit more time before starting. But reading this has made me want to start again 🙂

  9. No. 10 should read “will NOT allow” You don’t want people yelling abuse at you 😉

  10. Boundaries are a beautiful thing Uh, if Johnny Depp stops by, feel free to send him my way should you still not have interest.

  11. Well now I know where to stand about the ‘declaring my love for you’ thing. And if I can replace the glitter with Cows for my own likey likey (although, granted, its not so easy to throw around Cows in such a dainty fashion) then it all of what you wrote works for me. 😉