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Posts tagged ‘goals’

Project Update: Into the Unknown

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There are new things on the horizon, I can see it. New landscapes I’ve yet to explore – within my artistic career and myself. I’ve been feeling it for some time now… and as I sat down today to write week 37 of the series, I somehow ended up with THIS post inexplicably. So I’m deciding to pay attention… to listen to whatever stirrings have finally decided to come out….

Closing One Chapter:
Although I have not reached a full 52 weeks on the project, I have made it a full year of shooting the series. (A few weeks were missed for holidays and bad weather). And so I’ve decided that I will make the informal close of the first year be at week 35. The dates of my last 5 or 6 posts I think will reveal I’ve slowed down things a bit. It’s good, in a way… it is because so much life has been happening. Rushing in quickly since the beginning of the year. Still, Life is happening, indeed.

I never planned on Week 35 to be the closing image, but somehow looking at it now, it feels appropriate. It is about the point in which life truly begins again… the rushing in of life and the reaching out into it. It suddenly feels just right for this image to close one chapter and allow for the next chapter to begin.

I say the “close of the first year” because I’m intending to continue “Still, Life” indefinitely, but at a slower pace. Perhaps one image a month. Or perhaps just organically as life allows room for. I will be working that out out over the coming weeks and months. I’ve still many shots planned for this series and others still unknown that will come – so I’ve no doubt that this is now going to be a series I carry on for a very long time.

Into the Unknown:
As for what lies ahead… there are other things my ambitious heart is yearning to get itself into. It’s a bit terrifying, and I have no idea where it’s going yet, but I’ve got some ideas. I’ve just submitted my first proposal for a public speaking engagement on death and creativity. I want to begin speaking to people about the healing power of creativity, about everything this project has taught me in the past year. About everything I’ve learned over the course of my life about creativity and healing, and the power of death to help us live life more fully. There is so much to share from behind the scenes of this series, and I’m feeling like it’s time to begin making room for that.

Along with public speaking, workshops, articles, and the like… the even bigger project that is calling my name is the “Still, Life” book. I have dreamt of this since I first begin the series. Have held it in my mind and heart all this time. With every image and every word written… with every painstaking hour and uncomfortable position I put myself in for a shot… always, the book was there in the background whispering to me. A physical manifestation of one woman’s voyage… navigating the depths of herself as she lives through death, loss, fear, anger, and despair… coming out the other end more powerful and more alive than ever before.

This is the first time I’ve been so open about sharing of the book. I’m hoping it lands in supportive hearts… I’m having faith that it will be heard by just the right people out there who can help me to make it happen too. I believe in those connections… in opening the door and the right person walking in. I’ve got faith and things to share and I know the right publisher will be found. And the right speaking and writing opportunities will too. If you’re out there read this, and have any advice, ideas, or connections for me, feel free to leave a comment below or message me on my Facebook page. My heart is open, I’m ready for what’s ahead, and I’m all ears.

I want to thank everyone who has been on this journey with me thus far, whether you have been enduring your own journey with death or not. The growth and number of lives this project has touched could not have happened without every one of you. When it’s gotten hard to keep going, just knowing I had an obligation here – with you – kept me pushing ahead. And it will continue to do so as I take my first steps into the next phase of this journey… onward it goes. Thank you all!

Healing Milestones

photoI’m just a day away from selling at my first art festival… and my emotions are all over the place. I’m SO excited, this is something I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl. Every summer, I went to a myriad of art festivals and left each one with a calling in my heart. I watched artists at their booths and talked to them and stood in awe of their work.. listening all the while to the whispers in my own soul of how badly I wanted to be one of them. And tomorrow, I will finally be stepping behind the booth with my own creations.

I’ve been hard at work the past month to get ready – and as I’m getting the final touches done on my booth setup and inventory, I’m in awe. I’m looking down at all these lovelies and thinking “did this actually come out of me?” Really… they are not mine as much as they are gifts to me in my dark night. I’ve just been trying to survive my emotions this past year, and looking for hope wherever I could find it. I believe each thing I’ve made was given to me to help carry me through the loss of my fiancé – to give me hope and joy and courage. To help me tell our story – an artist and a pilot – two lovers of nature, adventure, flight, creativity and so much more. There are small things that tell this story in each thing I make. They restore me daily. What magic to be able to share them with others and hope that they find their own healing, courage, and hope in them!

It is bittersweet of course, which is where my all-over-the-place emotions are coming from. I am both so excited and at the same time utterly heartbroken. To know that he should be here for this. To know how proud he would be and that he’d be by my side helping me out. There is absolutely no way around the deep sadness that this brings to the occasion. I’ve shed a lot of tears in the past few days… but felt a lot of excitement too. Tomorrow, I’m just going to focus on enjoying the moment with good friends and family around to support me. I know he’d kick my ass if I let his absence get in my way, after all! Here’s to a new adventures. Its going to be exciting. A little bit sad too, but mostly… exciting!!!

Learning To Fly

Many of you know of my fiancé’s passing 3 months ago in a crash while working as a helicopter pilot in Washington state. In no time in your life do you become more clear about what is important to you than a tragic loss of a partner and best friend. It strips away everything until all that is left are the vital things that can still make your heart soar in the middle of the darkness.

Finding Flying Lessons
Drew’s mom bought me this painting about a month ago by Kelly Rae Roberts. I happened upon a whole wall of her paintings in the shop we were at, and tucked away in the corner, hiding behind a sign was this one. It reads “she lived her heart’s glowing truth every single day”. It sits by my bed and serves as my mantra… my commitment to live my truth each day – no matter how joyful or sorrow-filled that truth might be.

Then I went onto Kelly Rae’s site and nearly fell out of my chair when I saw her online course titled “Flying Lessons: How to make your creative business soar” – Drew had just finished his rating to be a flight instructor, and had spent many nights giving me flight lessons to practice for his final exam this past year. If ever there was a sign! I purchased the course immediately, as an early birthday present to myself. And today it starts, just a week before my 30th birthday.

What Is My Passion?
In the midst of his loss, and with the help and support of many beautiful people in my life, I found my passion… the thing that is to help me heal and carry me forward into a brilliant shining life. It was there all along you see, it’s been there since I was a little girl, but its been hiding beneath all the clutter of everyday life until this loss stripped away everything else. I want to make things. I want to make things that excite me and make a difference in people’s lives. And I don’t want to have to fit that into a box anymore. I draw, paint, photograph, write, design, weld, sculpt and do whatever else I fall in love with. And that is what I want to build my life and career around.

The Journey Ahead…
So I don’t know much right now – but I know the most important thing. I know that I’m not going to play by the rules anymore – the old restrictions of fear and doubt that have kept me in a box most of my life. Done. My fiancé faced the biggest fear of all to achieve his dreams of flying and doing what he loved for a living, so being afraid just isn’t a good enough reason anymore. I’m going to pursue the life I want – and nothing is going to stop me. I’m going to follow my heart and soul, because now I truly believe in myself. It is mine to have, so I’m going to take it. And I am SO thrilled to have this course to help me get further on my journey. I’m also thrilled to share my journey with all of you here on my blog. So here’s to flying high my friends.. I hope to see you on a cloud somewhere up there!

Robocop Arm to the Rescue!

Thanks to everyone for the kind words and encouragement from my last post! It really means a lot to me and definitely encourages me that they will one day go off to new homes and be enjoyed each and every day by their owners – just as I enjoy some of the art toys I have from other artists. I’ve also have a few people interested in commissioned felties – and hoping that will pan out! I’ve still yet to have my first commissioned critter!

I confess I have not been very motivated to blog in the past few weeks – hence the lack of posts. My wrist injury has really been limiting what I can do creatively, so I’ve been a bit restless and spending a lot of time just sorta zoning out reading or watching TV. So this wrist thing – which I originally thought was a sprain from working out – turned out to instead be tendinitis in the thumb joint of my wrist… caused by – you guessed it – needle felting! So no, I don’t burn myself welding or pull muscles in pilates… instead I inflame tendons stabbing wool! Sheesh, who knew this was going to be such a dangerous hobby? =P

As per doctor’s orders, at night I get to wear this truly fabulous Robocop brace that immobilizes my thumb and wrist. During the day, thankfully I get to wear a smaller one that looks more like I got in a hardcore fight and punched someone’s lights out. Not gonna lie, I do pretend that’s the real story just to feel extra badass walking down the street or driving with it on. Hey might as well use some creativity to turn it into a positive, right?

So the past few weeks I’ve stopped felting pretty much entirely, trying to give myself a good chance to heal up. I cannot rock climb, I cannot kayak, and I’m insanely restless to do both! Thankfully, this week the pain has almost entirely subsided – Prednisone dosepack & Robocop arm to the rescue! I think I am only a week or two away from being able to do all of my favorite things again, and am even able to start doing little things this week like open bottles and cans and lift stuff. My god, I never realized how important thumbs are! I certainly have a new appreciation for these digits!

At this point its pretty obvious I won’t be making my June deadline for the art market, but you know what? That’s okay. Even if I don’t get selling at an actual market this year at all, this project has jump started some great stuff for my Etsy shop. I hope to start photographing everything soon so that I can get a bunch of it up in my otherwise barren shop in the next few months! Woo! Even if it’s not the outcome I originally desired, it’s progress! And it’s still making things I love and moving forward with my overall goals of making some money from doing what I love. =)

Weeks 3 & 4: I Hate Wool and All Wool Related Things

Yup… here I am, at the end of weeks 3 and 4 and completely off-schedule. The theme for the past two weeks has been “I hate wool and all wool related things and will find anything to distract myself from having to do any more of this!!!” Distractions of week 3 included early birthday celebrations for my boyfriend, since he was out of town for his birthday… as well as movies, facebook and Pocket Frogs – the most gloriously addictive game I have on my phone. It’s very clear that resistance has come to visit. By the end of week 3, I thought it might just move along and go bother someone else. Not so. Week 4 was more of the same. oof…

My goal for weeks 3 and 4 was to make five bodies each week, 10 total – including arms and legs and tails… yeah that may have been a bit too ambitious. I only got 6 torsos done, and a whale on accident. (I got a little carried away on a torso for a fox and decided I had to turn it into something else… and started to make it a weenie dog… which also wasn’t working, and so then it became a whale. Whale to save the day!)


Five of the completed torsos for various critters! Getting closer!


The accidental whale! Still needs some eyes, but he’s looking cute!

I jumped off into random land last week and started a dinosaur just do some different and interesting shapes – since another problem is that I’ve been getting really bored making the same shapes over and over. Also experimented with an ADORABLE tiny snail a while back that I never posted! How cute is he!

So even though I could have done more, I guess I didn’t do too bad considering the level of resistance to felting (It’s been pretty much code orange or red nonstop). I suppose the most important thing about these weeks is that I got SOMETHING done and explored a great deal about self motivation and what gets in the way of it.

A few notes on getting past Resistance and Stuckness and staying Motivated…

Keep a Creative Balance: Focus is good, but not if you go overboard!
I’m learning that striking a balance between your various creative outlets and interests is very important. I figured this out when I went on a little road trip to go photograph wildflowers Sunday afternoon. I came home from that trip totally energized and ready to felt. For a while now I haven’t been allowing myself to enjoy my other creative outlets as often as I’d like… I think after doing that for too long, part of me just lost motivation because I wasn’t giving my soul what it wanted. I learned these past few weeks that all that other stuff is actually very important in keeping me recharged and energized throughout this project. In the next few weeks, I’m going to try to keep a balance of felting and all the other things I enjoy – and hope that keeps the energy flowing a little better.

Do NOT play Pocket Frogs for hours!
I’m positively addicted to this game on my phone. If you are a collector of things, do yourself a favor and NEVER start playing this game! I suppose that goes for any addictive games out there ;) haha

Have all the materials you need
I never realized before how hard it can be to be motivated when you don’t have everything you need. I have a limited variety of colored wool on hand right now, and this has really added some frustration to my process! Some nights I may get to a point where I would rather switch from doing the base shapes in white to adding color to more finished pieces for example. Since I don’t have the colors that I want or need yet, so I just keep going with the plain base stuff… bored out of my MIND. So last week I finally ordered a big multi-pack with 40 different colors in it and it should be arriving any day now. Opening up that box I’m sure will just cause an explosion of inspired energy about which critters will be which colors!

Give Yourself a Break… And Schedules are Made to be Broken!
I’ve definitely been too hard on myself for not meeting my goals the past few weeks. And I’m learning that being unhappy with myself about this is only making things worse. It’s only making me less motivated to keep going. I need to stop being a perfectionist about staying on schedule. A schedule is great to have when it helps you get somewhere, but not when you attach yourself to it so tightly that it starts to make you struggle even more! Nope, that’s not what schedules are for!

Instead of beating myself up over the fact that I didn’t get everything done I wanted to, in weeks 5 and 6 I’m going to practice relaxing a little and giving myself a break. I’m going to remind myself that a schedule is just a loose framework to start from, and nothing more. And that this is not a rigid process, but an organic and flowing one in which I may not get to my end goal, but I WILL get somewhere I wasn’t before! I’m going to replace moments of berating myself and being attached to one specific outcome with moments of trust and openness about where this will go. I hope this will help flip things around… because I need to rid myself of this intense disdain for wool and get excited about this project again!

I hope you enjoyed this lesson-packed post! lol. I look forward to updating you guys in the next few weeks – hopefully with a lot more learning to share and a whole little hoard of felties that are complete or close to it! I would love to hear from you all about your experiences running into resistance or lack or motivation on creative projects. What always seems to get in your way? How have you approached it differently or mixed things up that has helped your process?

Thanks for stopping by!

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