The Artists Way started in 1978 when Julia Cameron began teaching her first creativity workshop at the New York Feminist Art institute. Teaching privately for many years, Julia honed her techniques until 1986, when she met Mark Bryan who, experiencing the power of her work, became her collaborator and helped forge the first written version of her techniques. As their teaching reputation spread, they added the success stories of their students, often holding reunion seminars during which former students helped them refine and improve the course.
After a rejection from an agent and publisher, Julia and Mark began to circulate the first self-published copies of the book. Together, they would stand at the copy machine and press and bind each manuscript themselves. The book was originally titled, "Healing the Artist Within," and gained recognition as far away as Hollywood, Norway and Switzerland. When Jeremy Tarcher bought the book in 1992, Julia changed the name to, "The Artists Way."
After an initial printing of 7,500 copies, the book gained a widespread audience of people courageous enough to do the personal reflection the book requires, many of whom said, "This book changed my life," to which Mark and Julia always replied, "YOU changed your life, were glad we could help."
Without advertising or publicity, the book passed the million copy mark in 1997, and has been translated into many languages.
In 1993 after hearing from many students that The Artists Way not only helped them in accomplishing their artistic goals, but helped them in the work world, Mark began to experiment with the techniques within various business settings including software design, advertising, engineering, and finance. This research resulted in "The Artists Way at Work: Riding the Dragon," a collaboration between Mark, Julia, and Catherine Allen, a specialist in organizational behavior who joined the team in 1996 after the original Artists Way greatly improved the quality of her in her professional life.