Carving my path: what I learned at my first artist residency

Carving my path: what I learned at my first artist residency

Last October, a friend posted on Instagram that she was having an amazing time at a place called Artscape Gibraltar Point. I looked it up, and found that they had all kinds of programmed residencies, where you pay a fee and go work on a specific project with a group and a facilitator. And one of the programs involved learning timber framing and collectively building a structure. One of my main goals this year was to learn more about building and materials so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I applied and was super excited to be accepted. 

Creative Living: Interview with Maarit Hänninen

Creative Living: Interview with Maarit Hänninen

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.

How to start a mindful drawing practice

How to start a mindful drawing practice

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. 

Ten ways to play more this year

Ten ways to play more this year

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. 

What snowboarding, kayaking and riding a motorcycle have taught me about life

What snowboarding, kayaking and riding a motorcycle have taught me about life

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.

My manifesto for 2018: searching for freedom

My manifesto for 2018: searching for freedom

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.

10 creative resolutions for a hopeful new year

10 creative resolutions for a hopeful new year

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.

Six reasons why it's never too late to do what matters

Six reasons why it's never too late to do what matters

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.

The art of receiving feedback: five steps to get through it unscathed

The art of receiving feedback: five steps to get through it unscathed

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.