Tuesday, February 28, 2017

SHINE : Share

Last night I shone - in the sense of the word of my year Shine : 
S stands for SHARE 
Engage meaningfully with others
Develop relationships
Teach more mixed media classes
Shine so others believe they can too
I spoke at our club night to over 100 members about my mixed media work since 2010. Not only did I share some of my favourite projects
Read more about my banner HERE and this Indian-inspired wall-hanging HERE
 I also talked about how I fit art into my day - and how giving myself time for creativity is a big part of my self-care practice. I challenged them to think about the choices they make in their day, and whether they could find time to create more art. 
I have had lots of very positive feedback about my talk - very happy to say many were inspired and it sounds like I will have more opportunities to teach locally as a result of this ♥ And I received a lovely mixed media card made by our club president (Chrissy Sheed) - you know that's going to be showing up in one of my art journals very soon :-)
I've decided to finish this post with my words and slides from the last part of my talk about finding time and making creativity a priority for your well-being : 
I’m often asked how I create as much as I do – at the end of the day I think there are a few simple things that are the secret of my success and you could do them too. I do have a studio where I can leave things set up – that is awesome – if you can’t manage a room, try and manage a corner of a room – a table – a tray…
1. I make sure ART (quilting, art journaling, card making, whatever) is given priority in my day – I think about when I’m going to have time to art, and sometimes other things (housework) don’t happen! I HAVE to create – it’s part of my self-care and makes me a nicer person to live with!
2. Get off screens. I don’t watch much TV and I try and minimize my time looking at FB and blogs. I have a Pinterest account but I barely use it. Set a timer – do your online jobs or have a limited time to search for inspiration  – get off when the timer tells you to and make your own art instead of looking at someone elses!
3. Micro-movements – create daily, but you don’t have to create all day (although if you can manage it sometimes that’s bliss!) This idea comes from SARK and is explained in my original blogpost about finding time to create HEREMicro-movements is about utilizing 5 minutes where you can. So at night – choose your project - next day gather your fabrics/art supplies - thread up your machine when you get home/lay down a first layer of paint - drop the kids at practice, get home – sew a seam/add another layer of paint or collage – Put the potatoes on to boil, and then go sew another seam/add another layer. Of course – I have to use the timer to make sure the potatoes don’t boil dry as well! 
That's how every art journal page happens - a bit at a time. Set a manageable goal every day. I decided I would sew one of those triangle spiked borders a day – that meant in 7 days I almost had 2 blocks made! And that inspired me to make more…That’s how I got my Wild Women quilt done. Even if you only find 5 minutes in a day = over half an hour in a week. And often we can find 2 or 3 segments of 5 minutes. Another effect is that if I don’t really feel motivated I can trick myself into thinking I’ll only do 5 minutes and then I’m hooked….
4.   Find a project that makes you want to show up – do something you love – not because you should. Choose a project by writing down your options on pieces of paper and draw one out of the bowl – if you are disappointed with what comes out, you know what you were hoping for – do that! Get organised in the evening so you know what you’re going to do the next day.
Don’t be scared about creating – try a new project. If you try mixed media, nothing is un-usable – layer layer layer – think about your mixed media language and you will start to create pieces that look like you – you will develop your own style over time (colours you use over and over, symbols – mine include hearts/butterflies – my mixed media language includes using found text/stitch/ stencils)
5. I know I am VERY lucky in my situation - I am supported by my husband and boys to be able to take classes and spend time in my studio, and I have some disposable time in my days. But we all have choices about how we spend our time. I could have a perfect weed-free garden and a spotless house...but I don't choose that. I want to challenge you to think : What choices are you willing to make so you can create more art? 

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