Maarit reached out to me recently to see if I would be interested in collaborating and I instantly fell for her work and had to say yes. She's a linocut printmaking based in Amsterdam and had a similar struggle as mine with not getting started on her artistic journey until her mid-twenties. Now she produces stunning drawings and prints and has made this gorgeous video documenting her process.
Mindfulness is all about observation, and so is drawing. Both require you to slow down and pay close attention to what’s in front of you. Drawing is a great way to practice mindfulness because it allows you to be focused in the present moment - in what is happening right in front of you. And mindfulness can help people who think they can't draw (like me!) because it helps to release the judgement and harsh criticism that keeps people feeling stuck.
To me, proper fun requires four things: being with other people; being present and engaged; being open - to newness, challenge, failure, or looking dumb; and large amounts of laughter. I’m fortunate to have a partner and a group of friends who don’t shy away from playful activities. I’m also lucky to be living in a time when play is becoming more and more accessible to adults. Gone are the days when we had to settle for bowling, mini-golf or billiards - leaving the actual fun stuff to the kids. Now we have more options than ever.
When I’m hurtling down a mountain at 40km/h I really need my mind to be on my side. The same is true when I’m flying down the highway on a motorcycle, or navigating a series of rapids in a kayak (though I’ve traded kayaking for white-water rafting). In learning to ride and paddle, I’ve picked up some powerful lessons that carry through to the rest of my life. Here are my favourites.
I realized that while I accomplished a lot more than I had expected in the past 12 months, the overarching theme for the year was constriction -- a feeling of being caught in a prison of my own making. I weighed myself down heavily with unnecessary obligations, adding more and more tasks to an unstable pile. While this definitely helped me take my art business further than it’s ever been before, it also left me with a sour taste in my mouth. This - burned out, worried, stressed, exhausted - is NOT how I want to feel.
She asked me how I stay hopeful, even when things don’t turn out, and I was sad to not have a concrete answer. The only thing I could say is that it’s something I choose day after day, because if I don’t there would be no reason to take another breath. I have to believe that there is a solution that I haven’t found yet and I have to believe that what I want is possible and is out there waiting for me.
Has this ever happened to you? You have grand plans but then they get pushed aside as days, then months, then years disappear. Have you let something slide because you figured it was too late to do it? The truth is, it's never to late to do something that matters to you. Here are six reasons to believe that it’s never too late.
Receiving feedback is hard. We need to open ourselves up to the potential of being hurt and of facing things we’d rather ignore. But I also think it’s essential. If you’re struggling with how to receive feedback without shutting down, lashing out, or feeling like a piece of garbage, here are my suggestions based on things I’ve read and my own experience.
Normally I'm too frazzled at this time of year to do any Christmas promotions but somehow this year - though I am still frazzled - I've also managed to put together some new products just in time for early Christmas shopping. Yes, I do consider November "early" in the Christmas shopping department. I've assembled a handy-dandy shopping list for you to peruse, along with deadlines to order so your gifts arrive in time! If you're looking for unique gifts that no one else will be giving, you're in the right place!