The InFocus Call for Submissions Opens August 1

InFocus is a celebration of the best in contemporary photography. It is an exhibition and celebration I am honoured to curate, bringing attention to noteworthy image-makers and their work. Last year, InFocus set out to showcase the top photographers from Edmonton. This year, we have expanded the region to include all of Alberta. The bar will be set high as we welcome images from across our diverse province this summer and fall during our call for submissions.

INFOCUS 2016 LOGO large Alexis Marie Chute Art line

The InFocus exhibition will run the month of February 2016 during Exposure Photography Festival. Photographs selected for InFocus will be exhibited in DC3 Art Projects, a commercial gallery in Edmonton. I am so glad DC3 Art Projects has come on board so our exhibition will run the whole month of February and display the photographers work in such a beautiful space.

InFocus is a great opportunity for photographers! The call for submissions opens on August 1, 2015. I hope you will submit.

Please click here for more information about InFocus.

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A Day in the Life of the Writer

I think people envision writers sitting around in over sized leather armchairs, writing in pen by a dim incandescent light, cigar smoke wafting around in lazy curls. Or maybe the idealized vision includes a reserved seat in a coffee shop where the writer gorges on lattes and people watching, clicking their laptop ferociously as inspiration strikes. Or maybe the writer is traveling in the Sahara. Or scratching notes on a pocket pad of paper as bullets whiz by and the thunder of tanks surround them.

Or the vision of the writer includes the best-seller status. I recently heard an aspiring writer say he wants to write the next Harry Potter series. I chuckled to myself, while wishing the writer all the luck in the world. I did wonder though, what is that person chasing? Is it the long hours of writing, the even longer hours editing and the painstaking process of bringing the book(s) to publication? Or is the writer hungry for the title, the gold stamped cover, the royalty cheques, and the fame?



What does the life of a writer really entail?

There are perks for sure, but the writing life is actually bursting with hard work, rejection and administrative chores that none of those daydreaming about the idealistic writer actually take into account.

I wake up by an alarm and get my kids to school. I make lists of things I need to accomplish – and typically writing is only the half of it. I answer emails and phone calls, and handle the business, legal and insurance needs for all my projects. In my daily life, I do an exorbitant amount of research, planning, strategizing, and networking – all so I can be a writer and do what I love. I work in the evenings. I am always collecting ideas. I dream about my characters or a speech I am to give – until my alarm wakes me up again.

It’s a fabulous life!

The life of the writer is not glamorous… at least not yet from my experience. I’ll let you know if that changes. Like any passion; there are good days and bad days, perks and pitfalls, and sacrifices that need to be made to get to the next level.

If you aspire to be the next J. K. Rowling, good luck to you! (I am not being sarcastic.) Roll up your sleeves and get to work! I look forward to reading your book one day – and sharing mine with you.

Happy writing!

Inspiring Quotes for Artists

Here are eleven quotes by great minds on the topic of creativity. These words encourage me and I hope they do the same for you. Below you will find the list, but over the next few months I will take each one of these quotes and write a little reflection on life as an artist inspired by the quote. I’m looking forward to it already! For now, just soak up the words:


“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced” – Vincent Van Gogh


“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it” – Salvador Dali


“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people” – Leo Burnett


“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club” – Jack London


“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will” – George Bernard Shaw


“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try” – Dr. Seuss


“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity” – Charles Mingus


“Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas” – Donatella Versace


“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things” – Ray Bradbury


“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while” – Steve Jobs


“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not’?” – George Bernard Shaw



I’m an MFA Graduate!

Graduations are bitter sweet. I loved my two years in the Masters of Fine Art program at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. I met many wonderful writers, both those that sat beside me in classes and those that taught us – but from all those creative individuals, I have learned a great deal.

I needed a wider-angle to get all the students and faculty into the picture!

I needed a wider-angle to get all the students and faculty into the picture!

It is sad to move on, leaving a fabulous cohort and regular residencies behind. Cambridge was a hub of creativity and vibrated with people and ideas. Yet, it’s the possibilities of the next horizon, so they say, which is wildly exciting.

I am an extremely planned person, so I know my next few steps, but at the same time the possibilities astound me. I’m open for whatever may come next. I’m thinking PhD, new writing assignments and my next memoir, which is already in the works.

Alexis Marie Chute MFA graduation Lesley University 2015

Waiting to give my graduation speech in which I told a story about two characters: Muse and Writer.


I’m the kind of person that thrives on activity. I may not be working hard for university classes after this, but I’ll be putting that same determination into whatever is to come. And don’t worry – I’ll keep you posted!

Graduation speech given. Degree received. Now on to the next adventure!

Happy writing, my friends!

Kevin Tuong Photography: Special Guest Post

Alexis Marie: I have loved sharing the stories and inspirations of some truly interesting individuals during the InFocus Alumni photography blog series. Are you excited about InFocus 2016? We will soon release the call for submissions and we would love to see your work. For now, I’m pleased to introduce Kevin Tuong.

Welcome Kevin!

Guest Post

Some people get their first camera at a young age from a significant family member, and that influence inspires them for the rest of their life to create beautiful photographs. My story is… not remotely close to that. I got my camera three days before my 19th Birthday not from a family member, but from Futureshop. It wasn’t because I’ve always been interested in photography and wanted to learn the art of creating beautiful imagery; instead.. it was simply because it was a “kit” with an extra battery and a bag and it was on sale. How inspirational – I know.

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It wasn’t like I wanted a camera because I was interested in photography either, I actually knew little to nothing about photography and didn’t actually care at the time. I just never owned anything more than a shoddy webcam that shot 2 megapixel images before in my life, and felt like having a DSLR was cool. But once I started taking pictures with it, and noticed that “blurry background” effect it had that point and shoots don’t have, it sparked my interest, and that’s when the life-long learning process for me began.

Kevin infocus_guestblog-2

From then on I read tutorials, watched videos, and played around with every effect in Photoshop just to learn what they did and how I could use them (and made some atrocious images because of this). Then one day when photographing a Chinese Opera performance, someone who was an actual photographer saw me struggling in the low-light environment and lent me his on-camera flash. I was hesitant as first because I felt like it was rude to just take someone’s flash, and the fact that I had no idea how to use it. I wasn’t even sure if it was compatible with my camera at the time, simply because I didn’t know how it went on the camera itself. But after playing around with that flash and seeing how it made a difference in the shot, a whole new door was opened for me. Camera gear and accessories… oh what a money draining door that would become.

Kevin infocus_guestblog-3

Of course, gear isn’t everything and a photographer still needs to know what they’re doing in order to maximize that piece of gears potential use. But with each piece of equipment that I acquired, it opened other doors with new techniques I could learn and apply to my photography. I find that photography is a never ending adventure of creative learning. I remember when I first started out, and I saw these images of beautifully done photographs, I wanted to learn how to do it. Then after years of practice and experience, I look back on some of those photographs that once inspired me, and I feel like I’ve caught up to them and can produce photographs of that level. But all that means is that I’ll find new photographs to inspire me, to push me, and to learn from to help better my own photography.


Photography to me is a never ending creative adventure filled with imaginative ideas and fantastical story telling designed to speak to and inspire the viewer. One can never stop learning in photography, there’s always something new and different that we can learn and try for ourselves. Further more, no photographer should ever sit at the top and be “the best”, because the very moment that any person does, that person is no longer learning, and no longer improving, and their art will no longer evolve.

To look at more of Kevin Tuongs awesome photography, click here to go to his website KTB Photography





Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July to all of you American writers! I wish you all a great day of celebrating the country you love to live in. I love to travel to the United States and I really enjoyed my time going to Lesley University in Cambridge Massachusetts. Although I’m going to be finished school this year, I’m sure I’ll be back in the United States a lot in the future.

“Only in America can someone start with nothing and achieve the American Dream. That’s the greatness of this country.”

-Rafael Cruz


I hope inspiration comes your way this Fourth of July!

Happy Writing!

Mentoring to take your creativity to the next level

I love people, business and creativity. When these three fuse together, I overflow with ideas, which I’m happy to share. I have been a professional writer and artist for almost fifteen years and one aspect of my job which I love is mentoring others to become more successful.

Mentorship Magic Alexis Marie Chute Artist Mentor art BLOG

I am currently mentoring a musician, a photographer, a writer, an artist… They are great minds and I am honoured to help them get where they want to go.

Here is a quote from one of my mentees:

“Being mentored. A wonderful experience of discovery and focus.


The best part about guidance from Alexis Marie Chute, professional artist, has been the inexhaustible amount of knowledge she can apply to your situation or seemingly unsolvable problem. Alexis Marie honestly and without judgement pointed out that in my case, spreading myself too thin with multiple projects and talents, would only result in a lack of finishing my projects and that I needed to find my focus or passion, and specialize.


After two weeks of intense thought on the homework she gave, I came up with precise lists of capabilities, skill levels and what I enjoyed the most. Alexis Marie used effective constructive criticism to then guide my focus as to how I would approach selling my products and gave suggestions for solving the problem in a positive and productive manner. As someone increasingly interested in the arts I would recommend her to anyone interested in putting in the time to seriously start their own artistic endeavours.


On that note, she is a kind and enthusiastic individual whose talent is beyond paint and portrait. Her life experience lends to her awareness of the sensitivity others may need and contributes to her knowledge that sometimes life doesn’t work out as planned so we all periodically need a little encouragement to seek out our hearts’ desires.”


  • Heather Groeller, Artisan


It is always rewarding for me to hear the positive feedback of clients – and these individuals are often an inspiration for me as well. Get in touch for more information about my mentoring services: I charge $50/one-hour session. It is a worthwhile investment.

Here are other posts about my mentoring:

Get Focused, Be Productive & Tap into your Creativity through Mentorship

Mentoring for the Modern Writer

Coaching, Mentoring & Consulting by Alexis Marie Chute

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day fellow Canadian writers! I wish you all a great day of celebrating this wonderful country we live in. I hope everybody’s ready to pick up some mini Canadian flags and wear your Canada hats! We really do live in an amazing country, and it deserves to be celebrated.

“It is wonderful to feel the grandness of Canada in the raw, not because she is Canada but because she’s something sublime that you were born into, some great rugged power that you are a part of.”

– Emily Carr


I hope Canada Day brings on inspiration!

Happy Writing!