Thursday, September 29, 2016

Paper Navigations-Amsterdam

Paper Navigations
The classroom at The Lloyd Hotel, Flow Magazines, stamps and a work in progress.

Ever since meeting Rachel Hazell at a a workshop at Les Soeurs Anglaises in France, I have wanted to take a class from her.
I am happy to say that I just returned from her Paper Navigations class in Amsterdam and it was everything (and more) that I thought it would be.

We folded paper, made books and maps, ate biscuits (cookies) and laughed a lot. There were field trips to some wonderful stationery and paper shops AND we met Irene and Astrid, the creators of FLOW Magazine. My suitcase was so laden with magazines that it was almost over the weight limit.

Flow Magazine
Flow Magazine and a work in progress.

Paper Navigations
Bits and Pieces of a work in progress.

Besides learning some new techniques, I met a great group of amazing and talented people who all shared the desire to create things. 

Paper Navigations
The class included talented ladies from the England, Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and the USA

I came home totally recharged (after recovering from the jet lag) and ready to create just for the fun of creating. It is also going to be fun incorporating some of my new skills into my commercial work.

Paper Navigations
I can't wait for my next creative adventure!

If you are a creative person, I can't stress enough how important it is to get out and go on some kind of creative retreat or to take a workshop. You don't have to travel 4000+ miles like I did. Just google classes in your area and sign up for a workshop. I would also encourage you to take a workshop that is a little outside of your everyday norm. The Paper Navigations workshop was all about mapmaking and book making, two things that I have never done.  It really helped me to step outside of the comfortable, little, creative box that I had created for myself.

As we approach the end of another year, maybe taking a creative workshop is a goal you can set for 2017.  

As for me, I have always wanted to take a Macaroon making class. Surely that will be beneficial to my creative path (wink). What class would you take?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Story Behind the Art-Going With Your Gut

Normally the first Wednesday of the month is dedicated to a fellow artist who shares the Story Behind Their Art
Well, this month I messed up the schedule and ended up without a story. Since I had a spot to fill I thought I would share a story of someone who has totally inspired me. 

There is a lot of talk about "Following Your Passion" but I prefer to call it "Following Your Gut" and that's exactly what Robin Davis, my therapist (lol), guru and bestie is doing.

About a year ago, she announced that she was no longer going to pursue licensing her art (which by the way, she was pretty darn successful with) and was instead, going to get back to making things. 

She turned down work that just didn't feel right and concentrated on the things that made her happy. In other words, she followed her gut. I like to imagine her leaping out of bed in the morning and running down the stairs to get to work. 

When we chat, she is so happy and excited about what she is working on that it makes me happy. And it's contagious.

Look at these awesome things she is creating!

Found Object Robot
Robin's found object Robots

Found Object Robot

Watching her follow her path has encouraged me to take a step back and examine the kind of work that makes me happy. I do still love working on licensing projects for clients but I miss making things with my hands. 

This past month, with no deadlines looming, I have been experimenting with different media and just making things for the fun of making them and it's been a real treat. The plan is to settle on a technique, stick with it, and see what happens. 

Hopefully while on this little creative adventure my gut will speak to me because I will be listening.

Thanks for stopping by!

Want to know more about Robin? Just follow the links.

Website-Robin Davis Studio

Follow her on Instagram

Check out her Blog

She has a Facebook page
Robin Tweets

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Giving Yourself a Permission Slip

As far as I can remember, this summer has been one of the more hectic ones. 
Between the 14 + houseguests (some were "checking out" as others were "checking in"), traveling and several unexpected work related projects, I  took a leave of absence from my blog.

In addition to that I also said no to a couple of projects, and more recently (yesterday as a matter of fact), I threw in the towel on a personal project that I had been working on for a couple of weeks.

None of these decisions came easy and some required extensive phone sessions with my friend Robin Davis. We are always able to talk each other down from the ledge.

I am not one to give up on something. I'm that person who sits all the way through a horrible movie and reads a book to the end even if it is boring me to tears. 

For me, giving up or turning work down comes with a lot of guilt and feelings of failure, but sometimes you just have to do it. And you know what? After you make that decision, it feels pretty good.

What I learned from all of this is this:

When I took the summer off from my blog the world didn't end and there were no people screaming in the streets in fits of hysteria. I doubt that anyone even noticed.

When I turned down work and worried that I was losing out on the income, something else more lucrative and creative came along.

When I pulled the plug on that personal project that I had been struggling with for a couple of weeks, it felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. I also figured out what it is that I would rather be working on. 

In short, I had to give myself a permission slip for each of these decisions. One to take time off and enjoy my summer, another to turn down work that just didn't "feel right" and one more to abandon a project that I had a good deal of time invested in. 

Is it hard for you to give yourself permission to say no? Feel free to share your story in the comments.

Thanks for reading!