Gorgeous hand-woven accessories from BANAGO crafted in the Pacific Islands. The colors and patterns are so lovely!
A week ago I had the honor to present a talk to the creative studio at Hallmark Cards. The opportunity still has me pinching myself and playing back all the sparkly moments during my time there.
Everyday, I am grateful for these experiences, these doors that open unexpectedly, and these points on the path that expand my vision and dream.
But I do want to share that my creative path has not been easy, or a seamless line of never-ending yeses (read more in other Creative Tips or here). For every yes there are a ton of noes, which many people don't get to see or hear about.
I have a vision for my life and a dream list of things that I would like to achieve, especially in my career as an artist and educator. In the last decade I've written various proposals for projects, books, and events. Connected, networked, and linked up with a lot of folks to discuss opportunities. Brands and organizations have also reached out in regards to cool collaborations that sound really fun and promising. This is always happening, which I'm so thankful for, but most times the answer has been no, the project cancelled, or a collaboration is put on hold indefinitely. Which often brings disappointment, especially when it seems this thing just might happen.
I try not to dwell in the space of disappointment, instead I try to remember that everything happens, or doesn't, for a reason and that what is for me is for me. We need the noes to appreciate the yeses, but what I appreciate most is that the yeses are often there to tell us to keep going.
Because when you believe in something so strongly and know with every corner of your soul and every molecule of your body that this is what you should be doing then to keep going is the only option.
In the last year there have been quite a few noes, but peppered with some really amazing yeses. The Hallmark talk was definitely a moment for me to reflect and remember that I love what I do and need to always keep going.
Have you ever had a moment whether you questioned the direction of your dream? Thought about stopping? Heard too many noes, or had a great yes? Please share!!
Kenya Miles' IG stream for her brand Traveling Miles Studio is a visual delight. I love seeing glimpses of her process from dyeing textiles to gathering goods during her many travels to sell on her online shop. Kenya has a great eye and I am totally loving her work.
This piece from the website says it best:
Kenya Miles is the artist & alchemist behind Traveling Miles Studio. From the valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico to the red clay roads of Ntonso, Ghana, Kenya's process is a ledger of years of wandering and apprenticing around the globe. Utilizing sustainable materials, her work honors ancient practices while harmoniously drawing on a distinctive contemporary voice.
A mirror, reflective, inspired, influential. Museful.
I think everyone should have art in their home. Especially art that is reflective of our world as well as our personal experiences and journeys. My intention and mission is to produce work that offers a different perspective and provides an option for the overlooked. With that, Museful is a free drawing available for you to download. Print her out on nice paper (the above is an acid free kraft paper from an old sketchbook) and hang her up in your private gallery. Make stickers. Or a pattern. Print her on an iron-on transfer and wear as a tee. Whatever you like! Download here (and please read the disclaimer below).
Disclaimer: Download of this item entitles the user to use for personal use only. Download of this item does not entitle the user to mass-reproduce the image (either digitally or in print) for resale. Please credit the artist when used.
When I saw these GORGEOUS rugs posted by AphroChic on Pinterest from their recent article on About.com I just had to share here. Each rug in this collection for ABC Carpet & Home is hand-woven from recycled cotton t-shirts by South African artisans. It would be awesome to add them all to my textile collection.
As an artist/designer I collect tons of books, papers, and magazines all with the hopes of using them for inspiration in some way in the near future. Therefore, it's super difficult for me to let these items go. Especially now that I've started collaging and every scrap of paper has the potential of becoming a piece of art. But the result of this collection leaves my space lacking in regards to storage. Every shelf and corner on the floor of my studio is stuffed with stuff. I don't like it, so I've been working on letting things go.
It's been a slow process because it takes me a long time to go through my magazines and papers to determine what I can let go (the "dump" pile is always smaller). But when I haul the goods to The Book Thing (a great place in Baltimore where you can unload your books and mags, or pick up stuff for free) it feels really good. And I never miss the items once I leave.
Purging clothes is on my list, too. Gladly, I don't have a problem letting clothes go. I tend to wear the same thing over and over, so my wardrobe is pretty small. If it's something I haven't worn in a while it's nothing for me to throw it in a plastic bag and give it to Goodwill.
Every other weekend I've been setting aside time to go through my stuff to see what might be a good candidate to donate or just throw away. Once the collection is hefty I make plans for a drop-off.
Freeing up our space is a great way to free up our psyche. This allows opportunities and good energy to flow in easily and effortlessly, which ultimately leads to more happiness (see this great TedTalk by Graham Hill, Less Stuff More Happiness).
As we start this new season (a great time to do inventory and get rid of summer stuff), I challenge you to get rid of some stuff this weekend. Spend an hour or two going through that junk mail pile covering your dining table, that closet of stuff you don't wear, or that art supply storage bin filled with dried up paint. You'll feel great letting go so you can let some other goodness in.
Tips for disposal:
• Getting rid of batteries or paint? Visit your county or city website and search for "disposal of hazardous/toxic materials." Like Baltimore City, they may have a monthly drop-off for your hazardous waste. Some of these drop-off locations take electronics as well. You never want to put those items in your regular garbage.
• That old TV tube or computer not working anymore? Some electronic stores, like Best Buy, take and recycle electronics. Be sure to call in advance to find out drop-off times and what items they accept.
• Getting rid of towels and bed clothing? Pet shelters love these items for their furry occupants. Call your local shelter to see what they need.
• Letting go of gently used clothing or household items? Homeless shelters, Goodwill, Salvation Army, churches, or temporary housing are great candidates for these.
• Don't need those books, office or art supplies? Baltimore has the The Book Thing, but some schools and libraries are thrilled to take books and supplies that are still in good shape.
• Getting rid of magazines? Go through them and tear out pages you like and recycle the rest of the publication. Store the clippings in a folder or binder.
Do you have tips for letting stuff go? Please share!
I've been wanting some funky masculine flats for fall and was thrilled when I stumbled upon these lovely options. My daily style is pretty basic and neutral (tees and jeans), so patterned shoes are perfect to add a little flair. Like these hand-crafted shoes made from Ankara fabric from Tawia Designs (above).
The Ten and Co. oxfords pictured above are hand-made in morocco using leather and rugs or woven blankets. I love how colors and print add punch to the classic silhouette .
I've always been a fan of the sneaks from Ohema Ohene. The gold ones are magical!