creative living

you have what you're ready to have

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You have what you're ready to have. These are the words that floated through my mind while working earlier today in my home studio. On the one hand, I'm like crap that's not nice. I want and deserve more for myself, my art practice and business. Why can't I have all that I want now, like right now. Why aren't the invitations to show my work near and far rolling in? Why isn't my studio bursting with the energy of happy artist assistants. Why am I not on a call right now with Ava talking art direction for her newest super secret film? Bih where's my check!?

On the other hand, I'm like oh yeah that sounds about right. Those are some of the truest words I've ever heard becuase If I'm being really honest with myself, I'm not quit ready. Am I getting ready? YES. But right now though, I'm content. I'm letting these words - you have what you're ready to have -  compel me to sink deeply into my art practice, my ideas, the genius within me, and be my companion as I ready myself for more. 

in love and art,
cd

image: june's collage of the month: "i will not give up ever"

harmony over balance

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Balance is a myth. Aiming for balance is a surefire way to feel like a perpetual loser because there just aren't that many hours in the day to check off all the life-domain boxes.

Every day (or evening prior to the day if I'm lucky) I make my schedule in hopes of striking the right balance of personal and art making/art business tasks and every day, I miss the mark. I end up either soaking up way too much self-care (mid-day masks on the 'gram) or falling back into my over-caffeinated workaholic ways (the effing nerve of me).

Most days, the intense hour-by-hour planning and scheduling is a fail and quite frankly not compatible with the life I want.

If balance is your mark. You will miss it. Every, Single. Time. 

Life is way too big, beautiful and messy for balance. 

Aim for harmony.

Harmony is better and it allows for way more mid-day skin-care masks.

in love and art, 

cd

I Left New York City for Atlanta

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Cats out the bag. I left New York City for Atlanta.

Although my move officially happened a couple of months ago, It still really feels a bit unreal. I still kind of feel like I’m away house-sitting for a friend of a friend and that I’ll be back in New York City complaining about alternate-side-of-the-street parking or the shit show that is the MTA any minute now.

Needless to say, I miss New York City. But, Atlanta is home for now.

I’m settling in and getting used to all the friggin’ amenities in my apartment complex (side note: these amenities - parking spot, salt water pool, gym, washer and dryer in my apartment - are really basic for Atlanta but for a New Yorker they equal UPGRADE BIH).

No, but seriously. I left New York City for Atlanta because math.

I quit my six-figure salary day job back in September 2016 and commenced living a wonderfully abundant and stress-free life full of traveling, collaborating, and making art. Things were good. But some days, I still found myself on edge and anxious about the money draining out of my bank account each month to cover my $1835 monthly rent plus other expenses totaling around $3000 a month (basically, I don’t make a full-time living selling art...someday...but not today). Thankfully, my public health research, evaluation, and planning reputation keeps a steady hum of clients and contracts in my inbox so had I chosen to stay in NYC I’m sure I would have been fine. But still, math and my sanity.

I honestly wanted more for myself and my art practice. I knew I needed more breathing room physically and metaphorically to expand my art practice and my thoughts about what’s possible for me in and through my art and my business. I didn’t want to waste my life minutes anxious about next month’s rent or falling back into my workaholic ways with all the public health client working coming my way.

I wanted simplicity, ease, and peace.

So I left New York City for Atlanta.

Atlanta isn’t perfect and truthfully, I probably won’t be here long but for now, it’s home. It’s peaceful. I have space (like 2 bedrooms + 2 bathrooms + a friggin’ laundry room! +  an outside of the home studio now). And, most importantly, it costs less to live here. There’s less financial burden and psychological burden. I’m no longer anxious about the rent. I have a manageable load of public health client work that takes up 10-15 hours a week and that covers my entire life and then some. I can make my art in peace and in community (more on my outside of the house studio later).

I have no idea what the future holds here in Atlanta, but I’m wide open and ready to see what unfolds.

Wanna see my new place? Come on over to Instagram. Hit the “home” circle in my Highlights.

In art and love,
cd

My 2017 Word Is Steady

Had you told me that 2016 would be the year I would burn out, take a month long vacation, spend part of said vacation in Santorini floating in the Aegean sea on my back so I could keep the salty water from stinging the stitches I would get after that near death motor bike accident, and quit my crazy but secure six figure salaried day job for my beautiful no-where-near-six-figure dream job, I would’ve said “GTFOH, who me?”

But then it all happened. Twenty sixteen will forever be known as my LEAP year!

 

Adjusting to my new normal - full-time artist and creative entrepreneur - hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been really hard especially managing my mood, being a team of one and dealing with inconsistent cash flow. No book or blog prepares you to leap from the known into the unknown. Sure these tools help with business basics - business models, marketing, and branding - but they do little to prepare you for the non stop emotional rollercoaster.  The constant anxiety, the loneliness, the always wanting to throw up, the sleepless nights, the 15-hour work days, the feelings of nothing being enough, and the never ending to do lists.

Nothing really prepares you for all of that. Knowing why you made the leap in the first place and keeping your WHY squarely before your eyes helps tremendously though.

As I start this new year and my fourth month of making art full-time, I need an anchor, something that I can wrap my whole self around as I chart these new to me waters. I can’t remember the last time I chose a word to ground my year, but it’s time to resurrect the practice. And after lots of prayer, mediation and stillness, my word arrived. 

My 2017 word is STEADY.

Steady adjective | \’ste-dē\

1 a: direct or sure in movement
   b: firm in position
   c: keeping nearly upright in a seaway

2: showing little variation or fluctuation

3 a: not early disturbed or upset
   b: constant in feeling, principle, purpose, or attachment

   c: not given to dissipation

And yes, I’ll take ALL of the definitions. Thank you Merriam-Webster. I love that my word isn't pretentious or full of great expectations. Sure, I'm expecting to thrive in my art practice and business this year but I'm not putting any unrealistic pressures on myself. None of this six-figures in six-weeks non-sense.

When I started my public health practice after getting my MPH in 2006, I earned $51,500 dollars a year as an analyst. When I left my job four months ago, I left as a Senior Director supering growing teams of Directors and junior staff. I earned $112,000 dollars doing so. I say it not to boast, but to remind myself that at the beginning of every new career there's a starting point, a bottom of sorts.  I'm ok with that. I'm OK with the fact that at age 36, I decided to start over, to start a new career as a professional artist pimping her wares and services in-person and online.

My ultimate goal in a nutshell is to have a thriving, prolific and profitable art career and business where I lead a small team of creatives that make fine and commercial art goods that inspire and instigate social change. 

Right now though, I just want to settle into a grove where I’m present in each moment, focused on my own artwork and business, and not comparing myself or my work to anyone else’s. In this new year, I want to be clear about what I’m aiming my art and art practice at, open to new partnerships and opportunities to hone my skills and grow my business, and steady, come what may.

in love and art,
cd

p.s. the art print shop launches on 1/15 with new collages alike the one above. yay #fineartforeveryone and every budget ;)

30 Days of Printing by Hand

30 Days of Printing by Hand Artwork Blog

For 2016, one of my goals is to complete six 30-days creative challenges learning new things and improving other things. In January, I spent 30 days drawing because rendering objects and people realistically confounds me. I wanted the practice. I needed the practice. And after 30 days, I still need the practice LOL.  My resistance to drawing, however, is gone and I have 30 days of showing up to the blank page and sharing my marks to thank for it.

In March, I reconnected with and rekindled an old flame. Collage propelled me down a whole new road of storytelling, taking my art practice in a new and exciting direction. More on that later. In the meantime, you can view all the collages here and purchase a few soon. Got any favorites? I would love to know what you think. 

May starts in a few days and so does the next 30 Days Creative Challenge. YAY!!
I'm looking forward to exploring with all types of stamping objects - food, found objects and of course stamps carved from linoleum blocks! The beautiful thing about challenges and play, nothing is off limits. The freedom to explore and see what happens is what I love about these 30 days creative challenges the most. No rules, and only one expectation - to grow.

I would love for you to join me for all or part of the 30 Days of Painting by Hand challenge. You can do all the days, some of the days or even just one of the days. Your inner kid will love you for it.

To help get you started and keep you motivated to keep making, I made an artsy little guide, a daily tracker and a handy dandy checklist of all the supplies you'll need. If you've signed up to take the FREE Gratitude Daily Course or are a member of the Artwork Community then check your in-box for the goods.  If you want your 30 Days of Printing by Hands Challenge Guide and Tracker, click the button.

Have you ever tried your hand at stamping by hand (HA)? Tell me all about it.

In Art and Love,
CD

Friday Favorites

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It's Fridaaaaaaayyyy. Yasss! You made it. Don't think about Monday, stay in the moment and let the weekend wash over you.

This weekend I will be taking in all the gorgeous sun that is fixin' to hit New York City. I plan to take longs walks, snaps some pictures, get a pedicure, and hang some art in my newly configured living room.  Oh, and yes, make art! Last weekend's trip to the museum still has me reeling and my creative juices flowing. 

How about you? What's on deck for your beautiful weekend?

Here are my Friday Favorites found round-the-Internets. I hope they inspire you to create or at least take a walk! 

painterly, printable jam labels // super cute and no paint required.
diy abstract painted ring holder // a simple painterly diy to try.
: illustrated cities // i'm planning my vacation now!
: painterly picture frames // a simple way to level-up any gallery wall.
: make some pop art // so much FUN! here's my take on it. 
: artsy + art for your ear // my two FAVORITE art podcasts. 

In Art and Love,
CD

p.s. If you haven't signed up already, the Gratitude Daily course is getting rav reviews! This is the one practice that has changed everything for me. It's a FREE course. Sign up today!