Very Relaxed

In 2015, I sent out a monthly newsletter to past students and people who asked to keep updated on what I was creating in the studio. The newsletters consisted of tips on how to think about your own creativity and I used some of the things I have learned along the way as an example. Now that I have a website, I started thinking about writing articles on a weekly basis. So in a way, this is a really a continuation of those monthly newsletters.
My commitment to you is to make the content both useful and inspirational to help you connect with your creativity more in 2016.

So wish me luck in this new endeavor. Here's to consistency.

I have struggled under the pressure of what to write for this very first article of Studio Notes. I had a huge case of perfection paralysis where I was reluctant to write anything because it was not "good enough". Then I remembered the most helpful ideas for my students in my classes were from my personal experiences. This was enough to allow me to think rationally and remember I had a whopping big life lesson this past December that may be useful to you.


The Every Day Project Exhibit at Congregation Solel, January- February 2016

I knew I had many things to do to prepare for The Every Day Project Exhibit at Congregation Solel starting on January 6, 2016.  I told myself I wanted to prepare calmly and not like my hair was on fire at the last minute!!  Even though there were many moving parts, I promised myself I would enjoy (or at least not complain about) doing each of these tasks.  Well, I tried to remain calm and then the deadline got closer.  Let’s say I never felt "scorched" but I had some mild moments of panic.  And then I remembered to just relax.

The lesson I learned was to be very relaxed.

This helpful reminder to be very relaxed came from Bill Murray, the actor.

"The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything: the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself."  -from an interview with Bill Murray in the New York Times

It is hard to write about all the steps involved in getting ready for this show because there were so many. For each step, I tried to follow Bill Murray's words and just relax. I will write more on these steps in future articles, but here is a quick list.

  • Finish quilting the large pieces
  • Go to the local hardware store to get custom-cut wood and hanging supplies (Thanks to Craftwood in Highland Park, IL.)
  • Add the new installation design with wooden slats and hanging wire
  • DESIGN A WEBSITE…Yikes  It is done.
  • Design and order artist postcards for the show (Thanks to the helpful staff at Office Max in Deerfield, IL.)
  • Design and order new business cards (Same as above.)
  • Create 10 Blues Series with 13” fabric art based on daily squares throughout 2015
  • Wrap 13“ square fabric art around a 10” stretched canvas
  • Go to local frame shop to finish the back of the stretched canvas with mat board, mini-nails, sawtooth hangars and double sided framers tape
  • Also make wall labels using mat board and tissue adhesive for the exhibit for my bio, artist statement and artwork (Thanks to The Great Frame Up in Northbrook, IL because they are the BEST!)
  • Write my bio and artist statement (I used Alyson B. Stanfield’s ebook The Relatively Pain-Free Artist Statement.)
  • Design a logo (Thanks to my youngest son Matthew who designed several logos for me to choose.)
  • Design quilt labels and print on fabric, iron on fusible web then iron on quilt back
  • Avoid RESISTANCE as described in Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art
  • Last step…Hang the art and wall labels at the exhibit location Congregation Solel in Highland Park, IL.

One thing I particularly enjoyed was reaching out to local businesses for help in designing the postcards, business cards and professional-looking display materials for the wall labels. Creating art can be a solitary job sometimes. It felt great to have a supportive community of local business people at Craftwood, Office Max and especially The Great Frame Up.

I am exhausted looking back at all of these tasks but I can honestly say I did enjoy each task because I approached it from a standpoint of doing what felt authentic to me and being very, very relaxed. 

I find this simple reminder to relax and enjoy the moment has been invaluable during busy times.  

When you find yourself in a time crunch situation, think of Bill Murray and relax knowing it is the best thing you can do in the moment.