Just got back from the annual art therapy conference and it was amazing! Felt inspired and rejuvenated. Seattle is an amazing city and It was fun to catch up with everyone. I didn't present this year, but had my book on sale. I was able to speak to a lot of different people about what was in the book and how it might help them in their lives. It was both an exciting and humbling experience to hear what everyone is doing. We are such a diverse group of people that it constantly amazes me how rich the world of creative arts therapy is when I hear each person's stories, challenges, and achievements.
I have a chapter in the book that is other people's stories. I felt it was so important to show how many ways this work can be approached and I know it is more inspiring than hearing from just one voice. Anyone who would like to guest post on this blog please email me and we will set it up.
Transitioning from one set of jobs to another because of a move.
How to combine self employment with part or full time employment.
Balancing life and work when they feel like the same thing.
Have a great 4th of July!!!
Thank You Everyone for Your Support and Understanding!
After these past few months the final push is over and my book is out in the UK! In May it will come to the US. Now that The Art of Business can flourish on its own I am getting back to my blog and work in general. Very excited about everything and looking forward to a calmer summer ahead. Thank you everyone for your patience and I hope the book and following posts will be helpful and inspire you to strike out on your own.
Self Portrait 2011
How do you start? When I first began I would become overwhelmed by the sheer number of things it seemed like I had to do all at once. As soon as I broke it down and gave myself some time to do the fun things, like create business cards, it became more manageable.
Find Your Niche
Who do you like to work with? Is there a population you are excited to do groups with?
What kinds of projects do you enjoy doing? What materials are interesting and fun to work with?
A great way to start is to answer these questions and then look at Google maps and type in key words. (retirement homes, mental health, women's center, etc.) Find out what organizations are in your area and if there are any therapists already doing work with specific groups of people. If there are, great! You have contacts you can make and resources to tap into. If there are not, great! You have an untapped niche to start working in. Both require hard work just in different ways.
Compile a list of all the facilities, community resources, and people that have to do with your interests. If you can find them make sure to include the name of a contact or head of department, so when you send them a letter later on you will be able to be specific about who should read it. Also, note what the titles of the people or departments are and any specific information you can use to individualize the letter or include key words that will trigger the reader's interest. This list will be ongoing and a place you can make notes or record observations.
- Create a business card with your own art as a logo.
-Write down your dream job. Don't be too realistic and just let yourself daydream on the paper!
-Create two art pieces. The first explores any anxiety, fear, uncertainty, etc. The second explores your excitement, joy, confidence, etc. Use various art materials and let it be abstract or representative. Add words if it feels right. When you have finished look at the art side by side and notice similarities and differences. This is a great way to gain a new perspective and I would suggest looking at these every couple months or doing this exercise again later on in the process.
The important part of the creative break is to give yourself a chance to see things differently and to just have fun! Just because it's enjoyable doesn't mean it's not important and it is still working towards your goals and ambitions.
Next post will be about sending information out to perspective places/people and preparing to offer a free group as an interview tool.
Enjoy the process!!
Starting today I am going to be doing a three month series of posts that touch on the beginnings, middle, and endings that come with contract work. While I hope this is informative and inspiring I also would love to hear what questions come up for you. In May I will spend the month answering reader's questions, so please comment on the posts or email me!
Create the work you love!
Only a few more months until my book is in print. I still have to make it through the publisher's editing and proofs, but it is clearly moving forward. I recently found the link on Amazon and posted it on Facebook. The amazing part to me is that people immediately started pre-ordering it! What a shock!
The dawning realization that people, other then my immediate family, are actually going to read and are in fact excited about this is both amazing and scary. I feel the added pressure of making sure it's absolutely amazing along with the surge of excitement and adrenaline that I hope will carry me through the rest of this process.
Continuing to look toward the future while experiencing the present as fully as possible!
There are so many inspiring blogs out there. Gretchen Miller's Creativity in Motion is one of them. You should definitely check it out.
Here is something she opened up to her readers and I would like to do the same. Have fun creating!
The first 5 people to comment on this blog posting will receive an artful surprise from me sometime in 2013. It might be a paper stash collection, a quilt square, or even a felted bag! There will likely be no warning & it will happen whenever the mood strikes me over the next 12 months. The catch? Those 5 people must make the same offer on their blog to pay forward the creative goodness…
Happy New Year's Eve!!
A new start, new commitments, new adventures, new challenges, and it is all up to you. It could be daunting or it could be exciting. Will you make a new year's resolution to stay curious?
I always make a resolution to take the good and not so good in stride by learning from whatever may come up over the next year. Stay curious. It will make the incredible moments even more incredible and will give the hard to handle a little less power over your life.
Embrace the change and know you will come out the other side a different person.
It has been a crazy time since Thanksgiving and I honestly wasn't sure everything would get done, but hard work has once again prevailed. My book is in to Jessica Kingsley Publishers, the accompanying art is in, I have permission from all contributors to use their stories, and my apartment no longer looks like a kind of insane obstacle course.
Setting a deadline is hard. Meeting it is harder. How do you know when something is finished? The answer is that it will never be finished, never be perfect. The question should be: When is it good enough to let go of?
When are the ideas articulated and researched well enough to start the conversation? My book is about one approach to self employment. I can not possibly give all the answers to every question or cover every angle. I can give readers a framework from which to proceed, ask questions, and draw their own conclusions. So, aside from being a terrifying end to something, I used the deadline as a point of letting go. Not the final letting go that will happen when it goes to print, but the beginning of the end.
The first point of letting go was when the contract was signed. I commited to there being an end and could no longer pretend I had infinite time to add information. Next came the deadline when I had to turn everything in and could no longer make changes without telling the publisher. Now a lull before the last round of edits and indexing. Then it is done and goes to print.
If I want to change anything after that it will have to be for a reprint, new edition, or a completely new book.
Scary, but in a good, personal growth kind of way. There has been a lot of letting go in my life this year and I can't wait to see the amazing outcome of this particular adventure.
Now to take my own advice from my last post and take a break over the holidays. Enjoy your celebrations, cherish the small things, and take some moments to just breathe and relax.
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!
Taking a break brings energy and perspective back to your life and work. It is so important to get away now and then. It doesn't matter if it is a walk to a nearby park, a lunch with friends, or a week long vacation. Get out there and revitalize yourself!
I just spent a few days over Thanksgiving with my family in upstate New York. It was beautiful and relaxing. I still worked on the final rewrites for my book, but the time I spent away from my computer was rejuvenating. Board games, knife throwing, walks in the woods, frisbee with my brother, and the daily work on a 1,500 piece jigsaw puzzle are a completely different routine then I'm use to and it woke my mind up. I also took the train up and back. My car dying may have been a blessing in disguise because I was able to work, nap, read, and just stare out the window listening to music for hours.
After this week I have new perspective on my life and my book. Looking forward to jumping in and seeing what happens next! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!
How many times in your life do you get to start over or begin anew? I'm guessing not many. What would you do? How would you act or relate to those in your life differently? How would you treat yourself differently?
I am on the precipice of such a moment in my life. My safe, responsible side that wants order and to know what is coming suggests I step away from the edge of the abyss and fall back on reliable resources and prospects. I usually listen.
This time I am choosing to jump and trusting that amazing things will come out of this. I am moving to Brooklyn. :)
When you get the chance will you jump and throw yourself in with abandon?
Emery is excited that Water & Stone is becoming a reality and hopes this blog will inspire others and be a place to share challenges, success, and exciting moments.