Work Life

In which I think about my day job and where I want to be, and come up with a ton of metaphors. (And wordy, grab your tea, this is a real-life mirror biggie.)

It feels like a wobbly balance beam a lot, the play between working a day job, and working a joy job.

Having a life outside of the office, spending hours away from home to pay the bills in a short cubicle.  

Short cubicles are not my favorite thing.

Making in my studio is one of my favorite things.

 

I have a day job. It’s where I am right now (not physically, but life-cycle wise- you know what I mean.)

I have a night and weekend job too- creating in my studio. Leather bags, woven scarves, sparkling cocoons, this is the place that makes my heart sing.

There’s also this thing I like to call a social life.  I’m an introvert by nature, but I do love my people. I like spending time with my family and friends near and far, and take what chances I have to do so. 

The studio is where I recharge.  Where I am mostly alone. (I find one is never truly alone with cats in the house.)

So how do I find time to recharge when I get home, have to make dinner, talk with and enjoy my husband and kitties? Sometimes it’s the choice between drinks with a friend and time in the studio.  Others, my husband tells me sweetly to go work in there already.  Sometimes I stay on the couch and we watch movies together instead of me listening to them from the studio.

I miss that room every moment I’m in the office.

 

I take photos on weekends and late at night with crappy lighting.

 

Cocoons are stitched on during lunch hours, scarves dyed and woven in slips of time here and there. A little tap-tap of my maul on leather after dinner, painting early on a Saturday.

 

It’s hard.

 

I’m working to be more. More myself, more of a maker, more of an independent artist.

 

Applying to shows and galleries. Connecting with other artists online (hi guys!). Trading notes with local makers. Writing, drawing, working, photographing, posting shop updates.

Then I wake up, and drive to work.

My bills are paid, our home is secure, and I don’t have to worry about it so much. That part is nice.

The time away from what I love on the other hand… It’s getting harder.  It motivates me to work on my art more. To hone my skills, to take that leap and send the scary-exciting emails. I’ve made some rock solid big and small steps this year to move closer to becoming an independent artist.  It’s a long slog in low gear. I know I can do it, and I have help and support from my friends and my patrons. This slow roll is building momentum, and I am ready to move when the time is right.

And oh, when it is right!  

Sometimes when things are extra draggy in the office, I’ll spend a weekend working like it is what I do every day. Wake up. Tea. Paint. Tool. Weave. Dye. Stitch. Felt. Whatever needs to be done, is done.

Those days are the best type. Fun, soul-filling, it’s a rehearsal for the coming show. The steps are still being practiced.

I’ll be ready when the day to change gears is here. I hope you’re along for the long haul with me. 

A Year to Come

I start thinking about the end of the year just before Solstice, on my birthday, as we all do. It seemed especially labyrinthine (new word!) this year, with my new year, the Solstice, the Christmas holiday-travel and the New Year feeling like they all happened at once.

It's a time for reflection, self care, beginnings and endings.  Excitement, shedding of the old and well known, nurturing of the mysterious new... This year how I create changed in strong, spark-starting ways.  This year was perhaps, about finding myself within my art. This year, my goal is to take what I've learned and run with it, scattering it like seeds into the world.

I'm ready to trip over scary things, leap with joy with new skills and connections. I want to hone my craft, to tool, stitch, and weave with confidence and share what I create with you, the world.

It's going to be huge.

These are the things I hope to accomplish in this new calendar year, in addition to continuing to do what I've found this past year. I split them up between art and self, but we all know it's really the same list.

for my Work

  • Be in the Studio every day. Even if it's just sitting in the quiet in my grandmother's chair.
  • Write more about my real world of creating. The balance of creating what makes my soul sing vs. having a day job, paying bills, learning new methods of moving through my art, sleeping enough while trying to make enough art.
  • Explore different options of photographing my work
  • Make the clogs
  • Paint more, on leather and paper
  • Practice for practice's sake
  • Collaborate with patrons to make belts & bags
  • Weave more custom scarves (this is going to be exciting!)
  • Explore wet felting as a cocoon making option
  • Teach those who want to learn

for my Heart

  • Move my body more often. Be it at the gym, yoga class, or on the living room floor, I found myself missing the quiet of physical, blood-pumping movement this year.
  • Bake bread, eat it with cultured butter
  • Cook more dinners, and try new recipes
  • Keep my heart open
  • Remember to breathe
  • Drink hot tea (and whiskey) slowly, savor the moment
  • Putter about the yard
  • Take trips
  • Nap in the hammock
  • Visit with friends, near and far (dessert dates, letters, phone calls)

I'll continue to explore my mediums, work with intent. I'll snuggle the kitties and humans I adore, drink lots of water, and bake cookies.  I will continue to learn to listen to my true-self, and to ask for help when it's needed. 

This is just the base of the mountain.  I am ready.

What will you do this year?