For the past couple of years, I've been choosing a 'word of the year' as I reflect on the year that just passed and get ready for the year ahead. My family and I had some big challenges over the past few years and things are finally starting to settle down. It's so satisfying to just stop and enjoy each other's company. This is going to be a year of nurturing.
I started off by focusing on my physical health, which I haven't paid much attention to in a while. I'm on day 24 of my first Whole30 now and feeling great! Whole30 is a 30 day elimination diet, that focuses of nutrient dense whole foods. The diet eliminates grains, sugar, legumes, additives and alcohol. It turns out I love eating this way! I have a ton of energy, I went down two belt notches and it's helped me to evaluate some bad habits. Perhaps best of all is that the care and attention that I've brought to my relationship with food has had a domino effect into other areas of my life. I feel more patient, organized and focused. Yay!!
All this got me thinking about systems. Fun, right?! Actually it kind of is. I hate a messy workspace, whether it's the kitchen or the office. The French culinary phrase "mise en place" which means "putting in place" has inspired me to take a minimalist and ergonomic approach to work. Everything in it's place, single tasking. For business systems, I started using Asana, a free online project management program. The book Work Clean has been on my reading list for a while; it's about mise on place as it relates to work and life. When it comes to systems for life, I start to get a little overwhelmed. This post by Leo Babauta of zen habits does a great job of outlining how systems can bring simplicity and ease into the everyday.
Another area of my life that I really want to nurture this year is creativity. I have some projects planned that will be all about fun, experimentation and collaboration. (Sneak peaks to come!) I'm not going to be worrying about trends or what Pantone's color of the year is. I will be exploring new processes and techniques. Next month I'm going to sign up for this ecourse: Personal Mythmaking. I'm super excited about this course! I think the course material will tie in really well with a big, crazy art project I'm working on now. (You can take a peek at that project here.)I've taken a few of Janelle Hardy's online workshops and have loved each one. Her classes have become a sanctuary for me.
I've learned the hard way that if I don't take care of myself, being around me (or being me, for that matter) isn't much fun. I feel snippy, grumpy, frumpy and totally put upon. Fuck that! I get the sense that life is challenging me to be my best. If that means saying no to some opportunities I don't have time for or eliminating some energy draining habits, fine by me. I'm thinking less mindless Netflix watching in the evenings, more snuggling, giggling and conversation. At the end of the day, that's what it's really all about.
Textile design has been a passion of mine for a long time. I studied textile design in college, worked in textile restoration and exhibited my designs in a NY trade show a few years ago. Recently, I started sharing my designs on Society6, a print-on-demand website. I love the variety of products that they offer: home decor, stationery, tech cases and clothing. Everything is manufactured domestically and the quality is excellent.
This collection, Arabesque, was inspired by Eastern architecture and textile motifs. I kept the color palette simple, shades of peacock blue. The focus of this collection is the interplay of intricate design elements. You can see the whole collection here.
The dreamy wall art is a reproduction of a monoprint. I love monoprint techniques and the enormous variety of textures that can be created. It's also very process driven and experimentation is a big part of the process, which I find incredibly fun! This print is available in a variety of sizes, framed and unframed. Check it out here.
Thanks for looking! Let me know what you think of this collection in the comments:)
Where to begin? A lot has happened. I've been on the down-low for about a year and a half due to some pretty intense family stuff, which forced me to slow down and take stock of a lot of things. I've re-launched Odd Duck Press with focus on fine art and home decor. Since I'm just getting back to work after a really long break, I thought I'd share some of the resources that helped me get back into the groove.
Finding Balance and Connection
Being a solo business owner, mama and wife is tough; feeling pulled in a hundred directions at once. By practicing mindfulness, I've been able to spend more time in the moment rather than obsessing over all of the things not getting done, which has really improved my quality of life.
As a loner (and kind of a contrarian) by nature, the notion of finding a professional network that I really click with always struck me as pretty far-fetched. I was wrong! Just a few months before my re-launch, I discovered the Being Boss Clubhouse and it's been a huge help. Having a network of like-minded, super knowledgeable, wildly creative go-getters is indispensable.
Reconnecting With the Joy of the Creative Process
Shifting my focus to fine art and surface design has been a real game changer. A couple of books that helped to inspire that shift were Big Magic and The Desire Map. I'm picking up where I left off on a big project that's been waiting patiently for about a decade. Yikes! How does that kind of thing even happen? It's a bit surreal. Here's a peek at the work in progress. The final piece will be 50 8"x8" panels.
How do you find balance and connection in your busy life? Are you working on any projects that light you up? I'd love to hear; please share in the comments:)