• Life,  Process,  Writing

    They’re Back!

    credit: RobinLK Studios
    Blackout Poetry, 2015

    The voices, that is. Finally!

     

    NOTE:  I started this blog post on February 7, 2016, but never shared it. Not sure why not(?), but here it is…. celebrating the return of the voices in my head. What an awesome feeling it was!

     

    Feb 2016:  If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know that I suffered through a long spell of silence in my head as I struggled through difficult personal and professional changes over the past year. The silver lining was finding other ways to express me, namely mixed-media art. But as I created art, I longed for the voices to return…

    While that may sound odd to some, to fellow writers and bloggers, probably not so odd, right?  Those insistent, questioning, creating, tweaking, questioning some more voices – you know the ones – they actually write posts, articles, poetry, novels, books, chapters, lines, dialogue – whatever they choose – right inside our heads.

    I’m excited, elated, ecstatic.

    P. S. ~ I like thesaurus.com  🙂   

    Join us as we play with words this month? We’re connecting virtually.

  • Creativity,  Process,  Tuesday Tip

    Read. Think. Sleep. Repeat.

    Do you read? A lot? A little? Not at all? Many people I know, do not. Or do very little. Or do only for daily tasks (e-mails, road signs, contracts, notes from kids’ school, etc…). But wait. You’re reading this. Just sayin’….

    According to Mr. Warren Buffett, reading a lot helps make us smarter. My takeaway when I read his advice is this: Reading often (and varied) gives us an advantage because we can oftentimes use that information in new ways as we piece different ideas, opinions, or facts together to form new ideas, opinions, or possibly – facts. This is the essence of creativity: making something new out of something that already exists.

    Now we’re not talking novels and beach-style summer reading (you know what I mean… muscled guys and bodacious gals). No… this is more like nonfiction, informational reading that elicits questions in your head, opinions backed by thoughtful response….. that sort of thing.

    Sidenote: As a Reading Specialist, I taught my high school and college students the same idea: Read often and ‘read widely’ (varied) to improve your vocabulary and general knowledge. Be ready to speak to many subjects – or at least, listen with a thoughtful perspective. Who knew Mr. Buffett and I would be on the same page? 🙂

    He says, “That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest.”

    He also says…. Sleep on it. Really. Let those ideas marinate. It’s like putting money in your knowledge bank, right?

    source: forbes.com

    So here’s my tip:

    Read often. Read widely. Think. Sleep. Repeat.

    Want to read the full article on Mr. Buffett’s thoughts on this? Check out this blog post over at Farnam Street.

  • Art,  Creativity,  Life,  Process,  Stories from the Art,  Writing

    i am. being vulnerable and loving with our whole hearts

    According to dictionary.com: vulnerable: an adjectivecapable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon: a vulnerable part of the body. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.

    Do you consider yourself vulnerable?

    Do you ever watch, read, or hear something that REALLY resonates with you? I mean… like… stop-you-in-your-tracks resonates?

    I find I’m often focused on things that bring me pause because I’m connecting the dots between ideas, but recently it happened in such a powerful way that I wanted to share it with you. I literally stopped what I was doing to process what I was hearing. Replay it. Process more.

    I was working through an online course and required to watch a TED Talk in which Dr. Brené Brown shares her research and resulting paradigm shift about vulnerability. Unexpectedly, twenty minutes provided me with so much clarity about my personal and professional lives and further confirmed my direction as I build my business – which was the point of the activity.

    I watched the video a third time the next morning. While watching each time, I discovered answers to questions that fill my head and heart. I found myself thinking each time I watched the video about specific people in my life and how we interact – or don’t – and why. I discovered that I fall into the ‘whole-hearted’ category of people defined by Dr. Brown’s research. I found that ‘wearing my heart on my sleeve’ is defined as vulnerability. And… it sure explains a LOT about my interactions with others.

    It seems, based on her research, that many most (?) of us are not willing to be vulnerable. Instead, we numb our vulnerabilities – with debt, substances, medications… I realized that understanding this will help me continue working on my own pitfalls because though I’m largely vulnerable, there are areas that I can definitely improve upon!

    The video also confirmed for me:

    making art that gives my soul its voice and teaching the Creative Process (using words + colors) to address what needs addressing – is a worthy mission because we all have things to address.

    Though most will define Creative Play as ‘time to socialize with others’ (true!), I will continue nurturing wellness for others through clarity, peace, and giving our soul its voice….

    RobinLK Studios workshop participants, group members, and retreat guests are attending for fun, but many of us – especially returning guests – are showing up to show up… We know the real value in creative play and our own wellness, don’t we?

    It is right with our soul.

    We are willing to address what’s inside – usually privately – as we create our art and writing – and give our soul its voice.

    so many serious faces as we focus on our art…

    If you’ve got a few minutes, I invite you to watch Dr. Brown’s TED Talk… Then, watch for future Creative Play workshops. They’re cheaper than therapy, less harmful than substances and medications (though I’m told – just as addictive), and definitely fun. 🙂

    Want to keep up with daily happenings in the art and writing studios? Join us on social media. You’ll find links below.

  • Life,  Process,  Writing

    Just. Write.

    I often listen to people thinking through things at work. As an Instructional Coach, it’s a large part of my role… to listen. Just this week, I listened as a fellow teacher who’s in a new teaching role this year shared how much she dislikes what she’s doing. Not the kiddos, but the challenges that are systemic and largely unchangeable right now. (I’ve said for years our traditional educational system in the U.S. continues to fall short of our societal needs.)

    As I listened, I could hear myself saying to her in my head, “Write it down. Work through it. I promise. It will help.” And yet, I didn’t say it because I knew it would fall on deaf ears. She needed to vent and trusts that she can be honest with me, which I’m keenly aware of. I listened.

    But still I kept thinking… if only she’d write it down…. let the frustrations, the questions, the a-ha thoughts, even the celebrations (there was one that day – that’s why she called) all have a place to Just Be.

    So here’s my tip….

    Write it down. I know. I hear you. Are you kidding, Robin? It’s not that simple. Actually, yes it is.

    Yet sooooooo difficult for many people. I think because we get caught up in the notion that we need to write comprehensible sentences. Not even comprehensible words… but full-on, grammar-correct, essay-ready sentences. And paragraphs. With proper indents. Transition words. A theme. Oh, dear god! We break out in a cold sweat as we remember those English class assignments. This is not English class, folks. We can do this! You can do this. Just. Write.

    Just pick up a pen. Or pencil. Or lipstick. Or crayon. You get the idea…. And write that shit down. Apologies for the folks who prefer g-rated material, but I cannot overstate the simplicity of what I’m suggesting:

    Write what you are feeling. One word. One hundred words. Just Write It Down.

    Then, put it away for now. You’ve given your feelings, your thoughts a place to rest. To simmer. To marinate. To yell. Scream. Cry. Wonder. Explore. Discover.

    I promise. You’ll be glad you did. Maybe not right away, but at some point, you will look back and see those words with a fresh set of eyes. And thoughts. And feelings.

    P.S. – A fancy notebook and/or pen? Nope. Not needed. A writing utensil and a scrap piece of paper will do. Want to keep all those thoughts? Drop them in a plastic baggie for safekeeping. Or a box, jar, even a book on a shelf…

    You get the idea.

    Go ahead. Just Write.

  • Art,  Creativity,  Instruction,  Life,  Process,  Stories from the Art

    Bit by Bit: Creative Elements and Life

    It’s been a while since I cobbled words into a blog post. Nine months give or take. Where does the time go? To be sure, I’ve been writing plenty since then – filling writing notebooks before sunrise, building words into my art, and making notes in the margins as I read books that fill me with answers and more questions about the reading/writing/creating process. Business ownership also became a central theme as I committed to moving in the direction I’ve intended the past four years.

    Less than 48 hours ago – after a month of planning, I enjoyed a Friday night Sip and Make Mixed-Media Art Workshop with friends – new and old. Afterward, I found myself – as I do each time I teach – reflecting on the process. What worked. What didn’t. What I could have done differently. If I’m lucky, I get organic feedback from workshop guests.

    Saturday morning began like this:

    Husband: Good morning!

    Me: You know, I was thinking about last night’s workshop….

    That poor guy. All these years later, he knows where my brain will go (and stay) until it has sufficiently chewed on whatever I’m processing. It began…

    Husband: What were you thinking, honey…?

    Me: Well, I was thinking…. I began to ramble through thoughts not yet completely formed…. (and before coffee)

    Husband: Have you considered…..

    As usual, his response gave me pause. Then as our day unfolded, he gave me space to process my thoughts…..

    Here I am. Sunday morning. 5:38 AM. It’s time to find those words and leave them on this screen. Share my thoughts. Share my questions….

    As I prepared for our workshop…..

    I gathered materials and supplies, considered the techniques I’d share and packed plastic boxes with each carefully labeled. Just as I have in the classroom for the past 25 years, I needed to work out my teaching plan: topic, teaching strategies, and takeaways.

    Topic (Project) established: Pocket Journals

    Teaching Strategies mostly clear:

    • Provide our workshop game plan: the what, why and how
    • Review basic ingredients
    • Show samples of the project and variations, along with techniques to attain those creative choices
    • Introduce tools and materials
    • Have guests get started while I monitor, ask questions, answer questions, and guide the process – assessing where each participant is in her own creative process and adjusting my teaching to meet her there
    • Ask guests to reflect on the process as we wrapped up

    Takeaways: What did I want guests to leave with? A pocket journal, but more than that – an understanding of the process we would spend 2+ hours exploring together….

    I also kept thinking about past art parties. Did guests leave with a greater understanding of the creative process? It continues to be my question as I develop creative events for folks: Do you understand the relationship between creating and mindfulness? Are you allowing Creativity to give your soul a voice? Do you make the connection between the tangible elements (the creative ingredients we use) and your life?

    If the answer is No to any of these questions, then my teaching goal has not been reached.

    Creating is a connection to ourselves…. to our innermost feelings and emotions. Our stories. My goal is to help people recognize that connection, understand its power, and be open to exploring it. When we do, we begin to discover our own creativity and its impact on our life.

    Fast-forward to the final 48 hours leading up to our workshop. That’s when it hit me! To help guests make the connection between our lives and our creating for this project, I needed to deliberately show how our lives are composed of pieces – of experiences and events, emotions and evolving thoughts. We are stitched together by the elements of who we become.

    And there it was: Bit by bit, we become us.

    To that end, each workshop guest received a small jar to place her bits into – each piece contained to the size of the jar. Use as many or as few and fill as many times as needed, but the “bits” needed to fit in the jar.

    Watching that process unfold was fascinating!

    I even received feedback the next day that made my heart sing…. milestones reached, breakthroughs made, creative interests defined… a joyful good time had.

    Awesome! 🙂

  • Art,  Creativity,  Life,  Process,  Writing

    Art, Visual, or Creative Journaling?

    Ready to do some artful journaling?  Wait. What? You can’t because you’re not a trained artist?  Well, that’s okay.  Me neither.  😉

    Commonly called Art Journaling, putting colors and words on a page to express what’s on our minds is a way to creatively say what we need to say – even when we don’t realize we need to say it.  Our ideas need a place to ‘be’ – especially in this noisy world that constantly pokes at us.

    I’d like to share something with you that I learned recently:

    “Artful” journaling isn’t just for trained artists who are working out project ideas or practicing new techniques. Turns out, journaling artfully can be for anyone wanting to express him/herself through colors, words and images. A few terms are often used interchangeably. Knowing which is the best fit depends on our intent. 

    • Art Journal
    • Visual Journal
    • Creative Journal

    Let’s break them down…..

    Art journals have a long history. Well known (and not so well known) artists have worked out their artistic ideas, pondered mechanical development through images and words (da Vinci), documented historic events as they unfolded, and described works in progress. Sometimes called notebook, sometimes diary, other times journal. Whatever the term used, artists have been sketching/drawing/painting and writing thoughts for centuries. They use art journals/notebooks to work out their first draft (kind of like writing, don’t you think?).  Some current artists say art journals are generally associated with creating a product that can be/will be shared with others.

    Visual journals also help us work out ideas, but have been historically associated with therapy. As a way to express one’s self, a visual journal acts as a safe place to work though personal ideas – thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc…. Colors, images and words help with healing. No harm in yelling at someone on a page, right? Visual journals are largely about the process for the person creating. Intention is more personal, less about sharing and more about processing quietly.

    Creative journals seems to be a newer term, a hybrid of the first two types(?) – another place to explore and record what’s happening in our lives using colors, images and words. Creative journals seem (to me) to be the most relaxed (undefined??) of the terms used… as if to say, “I want to play with colors and words. I’m not necessarily happy or sad. I don’t necessarily need to be healed. I may or may not be artistically trained. I just want to throw paint at a page, doodle a bit, maybe add some pictures. I might throw in some words – found or created – for good measure. If I feel like it.”  It’s a place to think creatively (as much or as little as we feel like on any given day).  A creative journal seems to function on both the sharing/product side and on the private/process side – depending on the person creating it. The choice to share may also change day to day, entry to entry. I think I like this term best for these reasons…

    Want to see a few creative journaling ideas? This fun one-minute clip will get you thinking….

     

    All this talk about artful journaling and I wondered:  Do people still scrapbook? How is art/visual/creative journaling different from scrapbooking? I’m reminded of Beverly Goldberg as she lovingly cuts, glues and sticks pictures of her ‘schmoopy’ kids.  Or, as you’ll see in this clip, her devoted husband gives it a go.   🙂

    To answer my question, I asked Google and here’s what I found (I’m paraphrasing):  Scrapbooking is defined as ‘recording family life events’ while journaling is associated with reflecting on and recording things we’re experiencing and/or trying to figure out.

    Bottom line? Artful journaling (similar to keeping writing journals) is about process. It’s about exploring life, learning, and creative curiosity. It’s about figuring things out, whether privately or publicly. Or both.  As you’ll see in this clip, five journal artists share their perspective:  “Which type of journal you choose is really about your intent for its purpose.”   (18 min clip)

     

    I’ve dabbled in “art journaling” over the past three years, trying different artistic techniques and materials as I’m learning, but realize I’ll probably call it “creative journaling” going forward – with my focus, my intent being on the process (as I do in my writing notebooks). Or, perhaps I’ll continue to keep multiple notebooks/journals to serve various purposes??

    Side Note:  Though I describe my art-making as process-oriented (read: slow and organic), I’ve recently realized as I’ve been spending more time in my art/creative journal that my ‘making’ is quicker and more clear there.  I understand now after reading about these types of journals and hearing various artists’ perspectives about intent that my art for the public impacts my process; I consider what others may or may not like. That’s in stark contrast to my art journaling, for my eyes only… all bets are off. I sometimes choose to share parts of the process along the way, but I am selective, which affords me privacy and unrestraint.

    My goal for 2019:

    Continue building Creative Community in the new year. I look forward to encouraging others to discover their own creativity through writing, ‘arting,’ and journaling.  🙂

    Do you keep a creative (art/writing/etc…) notebook or journal?

     

  • Art,  Creativity,  Process,  Stories from the Art,  Writing

    Writing Short(ly)

    How many words does it take to tell a story?

    One could argue that using fewer words conveys more meaning and requires more thinking.

    Brevity is king.

    In fact, many writers prefer to tell stories in short form, guiding the reader on a literary journey – in 100 or fewer, 50 or fewer, only six words, or even 140 characters. Writing shortly, often under the umbrella Flash Fiction, goes by many names. Here are a few:

    • microstory
    • short story
    • short-short story
    • flash fiction
    • six-word story
    • the 140-character story (also known as twitterature)
    • micropoetry

     

    cover of a book, how to write short, by roy peter clark

    No matter what it’s called, each short-form story has a similar quality:  the writer carefully selects and places words to tell a story. Similar to micropoetry, brevity is key.  Every. Word. Counts. 

     

    book cover: 140 CharactersThough I was introduced to wordplay at a very young age (and always encouraged to write and tinker with language), it was not until 2009 when I discovered Twitter and short-form writing (beyond poetry) for the first time. I blogged about it in 2010 and again a few years later {here}. Turns out, short-form writing has a long history! Consider Telegraph messages… stop.  😉

    Fast-forward to 2015, when I discovered an interest in visual art – an answer to writer’s block. As I tinkered with colors to heal my heart and head, my writing voice returned and I discovered that ‘writing short’ played a key role in my art pieces.

    Carefully selected and places words are often seen, but just as often not seen – buried under layers of color and texture. When you purchase my art, there’s a good chance you’re purchasing my words, too, even if you never see them!

    Now in my third year creating visual art, I am reflecting on my journey and continue to think about the process. I am seeing how my earliest pieces are simplistic, childlike – the efforts of a newbie artist, and I’m okay with that. Because I’m also discovering how ‘writing short’ fits into my own artistic style.

    I see a growing collection of my words – many blended with colors, some standing strongly in stark black and white, while others hover quietly on brown patina’d book pages and the private pages of my writing journals.

    Still, others stick quietly to our fridge and tap me on the shoulder when I walk by, or are pulled from my word notebooks and added to my photographs. Then there are the carefully chosen quotes by others that convey my deepest feelings…

    All tell my story.

     

    What would your story say?
  • Art,  Creativity,  Life,  Process,  Stories from the Art

    Drawing Them Out: Faces Reveal Artist’s Growth

    As 2018 unfolds, I’ve been reflecting on my creative journey.

    What began as art discovery (a form of therapy, if you will) during a difficult time in my life – personally and professionally – has developed into a way of living that is as necessary to me as breathing and eating. My head often feels like it will burst to let the ideas out!

    When everything in art was brand new to me three years ago, I was taking it all in and sampling techniques, tools, and materials – but not choosing anything specific. Window shopping.  I suppose that’s how I discovered ‘mixed media’ – I tinkered in a little bit of everything. Now, while I still prefer using a variety of media, there are certain things I prefer.  Drawing and faces make my short list.

    I’m absolutely fascinated by people’s faces, taking in the lines, curves, shapes, colors, tones, textures, how light hits high places and recedes in low spots, the crevices, scars, freckles, moles, placement of features, how the features move when the person speaks, the color of the iris, the white reflection in the pupil, the shape of the lips – up or down, a big toothy grin or a closed, smiling mouth…. the list is endless.

    I’ve noticed as long as I can remember, but more in the past few years. Often when I’m looking at someone, I get distracted by what I see, and worry that I’ll miss what’s being said. When I look at photographs, I am mesmerized. I study the details.

    credit: RobinLK Studios. 24×24 mixed media on art board

    In 2015-16, I began curating faces from online images in Pinterest and Google, to use as reference tools as I developed my drawing skills. I didn’t draw too many faces those first years, but the first photo in my curated collection became a reference for an early piece I created in a workshop I attended. The 24 x 24 art now hangs in our home. It’s one of my favorite pieces, but I didn’t focus on drawing faces. Yet.

    I was still dabbling.

    Looking at a face is like looking at art for me.  I am infinitely curious when I look at someone’s face…

    In Pam Carriker’s book, Mixed Media Portraits: Techniques for Drawing and Painting Faces, she says, “You’ll find when you begin sketching and using faces in your work that you notice the tilt of someone’s head when you’re talking to them or how the light is shadowing their face.” When I read this, I thought, “I do that all the time!”

    My focus is narrowing. No longer just window shopping as I did in 2015, I’m figuring out which subjects interest me most, which mediums feel ‘right’ in my hands, how compositions, combinations, and colors convey what’s in my heart and my head.

    Pam goes on to say, “Each face that emerges is like meeting a new person. They are who they are, and they don’t have to be perfect… Let them become who they become.”  I love this!

    I am literally ‘drawing them out’ – new people who have (apparently) been hanging out in my head and are now emerging. Their faces are the evidence of my own growth as an artist…..

    Here are a few new friends I’d like to introduce, because as I develop my drawing skills, these ladies will become fondly remembered as the faces who appeared first in 2018, willing to emerge with all their quirkiness and imperfections.   🙂

    Where will the process take me next?  Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest: @RobinLK Studios

  • Art,  Creativity,  Lists,  Process

    Ten Tips: Keeping Art Brushes, Sponges, and Stamps Usable

    One of the things I learned from our first Creative by Discovery Mixed-Media Art Party was that sharing tips I’ve learned about the process in the past three years is a “how-to” I can gladly contribute. Here are a few things learned along the way….

    Ten tips for keeping brushes, sponges, and stamps usable… (because it gets expensive replacing them!):

    1. Do not leave brushes/sponge brushes in water for long periods of time.
    2. Do not let paint, ink, or adhesives dry on brushes, sponges, or stamps. Let them rest in a brush tub, to keep them moist. Use the scrubber in the bottom to gently loosen paint.
    3. Change water often when painting, especially with watercolors.
    4. Use paper towels, a fabric cloth, and/or baby wipes while working on a project – rinse and wipe tools when switching between tools during a project.
    5. Use the correct brush for acrylic vs. watercolor paint. Acrylics are too harsh for natural hair brushes and will damage them.
    6. Avoid pushing, jamming, or squishing brushes, sponges, or stamps into paint, ink, adhesives, or other mediums.
    7. When finished, clean brushes and sponges in warm soapy water and pat dry.
    8. Lay brushes horizontally to dry to avoid water running from bristles to ferrule (thing that looks like a collar).
    9. Store brushes upright once they are completely dry. *Never store brushes with bristles facing down.
    10. When finished with a stamp, use a product like StazOn to clean the excess ink, especially when using permanent ink. Gently pat the stamp with the cleaning product. Follow with a dry cloth or paper towel. Gently pat the stamp and let it air-dry.

    Want to learn more tips and tricks for playing with colors?  Follow RobinLK Studios on Facebook for the latest information.

  • arti supplies and custom postcard featuring artist RobinLK's orginal art
    Art,  Creativity,  Life,  Process

    Our First Art Party is in the Books: Feedback + Lessons Learned

    Sunday, February 25, 2018, RobinLK Studios hosted our first-ever Creative by Discovery Mixed-Media Art Party.

    Our project:   Mail Art

    Our party experience:   Wow, it was a LOT of fun!

     

    My party experience: Wow, it was a LOT of fun and a LOT of work before and after, but very much worth it(!).

    Like any good party, details matter. This event was no different. Three weeks of intense planning and preparation led to wonderful feedback from guests. Here’s what they shared with me in text messages, Facebook comments, and before leaving that day:

    • “It was sooooooo much fun!”
    • “…a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon with friends”
    • “…such an enjoyable time… making stuff and meeting new people”
    • “…a wonderful day of creating!… cannot wait ’til the next time!” 

    I was thrilled to see guests playing with art supplies and making messes like a Kindergarten class. It was absolutely as I envisioned it:  loosely structured, creatively encouraging and inspiring, an opportunity for folks to leave their inhibitions (and To Do lists) at the door, and focus on Just.Having.Fun.

    With more than 10 different types of art supplies to work with, everyone had plenty of options. When invited to ‘pick what spoke to them,’ they quickly surrounded the tables of supplies and began looking, touching, and selecting things they liked. I stood back and smiled.

    Armed with their colorful selections, guests headed back to their seats.

    They placed drink and food orders and began thinking about how each piece might fit together. They moved pieces of scrap paper, images, fabric, text, and organic materials (twigs, sand, seashells) around, tested color combinations, and shared ideas with friends – old and new.

    Before long, any chance I had of sharing tips and samples with them was long gone! As one guest (a teacher friend) said, “Your students are so engaged, they’re ignoring you!”  🙂  She was absolutely right!

    I remember the ‘teacher’ part of me feeling a little concern…. knowing after 24 years in my chosen profession, that giving no instruction can lead to all sorts of outcomes – desired or not. At this point, I had to just go with it… and make mental notes about what to do differently next time. The fun, creative atmosphere outweighed my concerns for the rest of the afternoon… mostly.

    I walked around and answered questions. I watched how guests used the art supplies, how they pondered their choices, and how they interacted (or not) with those around them.

    For a gal who enjoys the process more than the product, this was an amazing afternoon of watching, listening, and learning!

    I made mental notes as I moved around the room – things I’ll share at the start of every party from now on:

    • use tools lightly: no jamming, squishing, or smashing
    • use supplies sparingly: paints, adhesives, and other media dry fast. Ink glumps.
    • basic purpose of tools/supplies: adhesives, paints, gesso, and ink + various tools for applying all those good things
    • use clean-up supplies while making art (not just after):  water jars, brush buckets, trash cans, ink removers, paper towels and baby wipes
    • the location of our water source + time to fill water jars and brush buckets
    • samples of the project and time for everyone to look at samples and ask questions before jumping in

    I also noticed that while most guests were quite happy being left to figure things out (the nature of our art parties: why-to vs. how-to), a few might have preferred more How-To, which left them feeling a bit dissatisfied (I think).

    I believe I can address that in two ways:

    1. Be even more clear in my art party description that our events are more why-to than how-to.  Hopefully, this will help everyone make an informed decision about joining us. I felt it was clear in the first party invite but I’ll review the wording.
    2. Ensure we go over the topics listed above before everyone gets started.

    When we neared our final 30 minutes together, I mentioned how much I enjoyed the afternoon and hoped everyone did, too. Guests began collecting up their new projects… in most cases, several pieces. They told me how much fun they had, and a few even offered to help clean up. As any good host would do, I assured them that was not necessary, and wished them a safe journey home.

    source: pxhere.com

    Then came the clean-up. It was then, really then, that I realized what no directions or expectations could lead to… guests took my  invitation to “come make a mess!” literally (which was great), but I was faced with huge clean-up and many damaged or thrown-away art supplies and tools. Oh, nooo!

    Two hours later, after cleaning matted brushes and sponges – several rescued from the trash, and seeing how many broken tools there were, the remaining 7+ boxes and crates of art supplies were finally packed in my car and I was heading home.

    So, what will I do differently for future art parties, now that I’ve had time to self-assess?

    • Organize more thoroughly – less fluff and more function in containers and packing – save the vintage containers (no lids, really heavy/really fragile, or awkward shapes) for other art events
    • Streamline set-up so everything is ready on time
    • Use the first 20 + last 20 to get everyone set up and cleaned up, collectively
    • Talk about how-to and why-to keep our work area clean as we make a mess – just as I do in my own studio
    • Include more How-To and Why-To (tips and techniques) at key points along the creative way – a “creative pause” maybe… ??

    Our first Creative by Discovery Mixed-Media Art Party is in the books, and I’m over-the-moon thrilled!! A HUGE thank you to everyone who joined us for the first party. Many are friends and brought friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting {and more importantly} being a part of my (now: our) creative adventure. I appreciate each of you so very much and look forward to more Sunday afternoons together.  🙂

    A special thank you to Bob, for asking me back in 2015 what I was going to do with this interest in art.  I know you’re watching over me and I know you’re proud. I wish you were still here so we could talk about it, but I know you’re guiding me. Please – keep leaving me signs. I’m listening with a heavy heart.

    Sharing the joy of creating and inspiring others to discover their own creativity is what it’s been about for me since the beginning. Finally, I’m figuring out how to share that message and get others involved. I have finally discovered how to make magic…..

    Want to know when our next art event is happening? Join my mailing list for updates and twice-monthly newsletters with all the details. 

  • Life,  Lists,  Process,  Writing

    The Counting Game….

    Snippet of a Grocery Receipt
    Things That Begin With C

     

    • chicken
    • Crystal Light
    • cat food
    • coffee creamer

    Creating my list for a quick stop at the grocery store is a mental game for me:

    1. Make a mental list.
    2. Repeat it a few times out loud.
    3. Count the items.
    4. Keep the numbered items in my head.
    5. Enter the store.
    6. Go to it!

    I’m sure people wonder why I have a quizzical look on my face as I stand between aisles. Actually, who am I fooling? They aren’t paying any attention to me. They’ve got their own lists and looks.  I wonder:  Are they playing the counting game, too?

    Yesterday I added Chobani yogurt, celery, and cheddar popcorn to the cart {bonus!}.

    Seemed to be a C sort of day….  😉  How do you keep your brain sharp?

     

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