Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Project 101010 Wrap Up and All the Answers!

Today's the last day of our 101010 Project: 10 Women, 10 Businesses, 10 Questions. I've had a great time participating and getting to know the other women involved in the project. The questions were very thought-provoking, and our fearless leader, Robin Norgren, did a great job pulling all this together.  In case you didn't get a chance to hop around to the other blogs to see the other questions and my answers, I've included them here below (yes, long post, but I hope you'll read it!). And guess what? There will be two more rounds of this project coming up this summer!  Check out the video below and hop on over to the Project 101010 website for all the details (after you read my answers below!).


Collaborations: A good idea ?...My experience with collaborations has been fairly limited, and I’m not sure the experience I did have would be considered a true collaboration, but I’ll share it and let you decide!  In 2008, I did a large Fat Book Swap. There were ten women involved and ten themes. The idea was to create 10 cards of each theme (basically the same 4 x 4 card 10 times), meaning we each created 100 total 4 x 4 cards. We then sent everything to the person doing the organizing, the wonderful Roni. I was amazed at how quickly Roni gathered each participants’ work and sent us back out a 100-card package of wonderfulness! I had a special box custom crafted to keep my full set in and enjoy looking back through them often.   This collaboration was a challenge for me as I’d just gotten started in mixed media, but it really pushed me to try new things and I found that I really enjoyed the 4 x 4 format. The deadlines pushed me a little bit, but only having to come up with one design for each theme (even though I had to create 10 of each design) helped some. Would I do it again? Absolutely. I learned tons of new techniques, made some great blog friends, and have a beautiful box chock full of 100 pieces of original art to show for it! You can see my entries in the collaboration here. {hosted by Stephanie Samos}
Success in business is defined as… I think this is a very interesting topic, and I think it all depends on your goals and your outlook. For me, my art business is not my main source of income.  I have a pretty demanding full-time career in higher education on top of my art. So for me, success in my art business is simply finding the time to put a little bit of me out into the world for others to enjoy.  Would I love to be able to “quit the day job” and devote more time to my art? Absolutely, but I know that’s simply not a possible reality at this point in my life. So maybe for me, success in business is defined as knowing what my limitations are (time!) and embracing them rather than fighting them. Fighting them takes an awful lot of energy that could be better spent on enjoying the process instead. {hosted by Nolwenn Petitbois}

The hardest part about pursuing a dream is…I think the hardest part about pursuing a dream, first and foremost, is taking that first step and putting it out there! And then the second hardest part about pursuing that dream is remaining realistic about your situation and what’s doable at whatever point you are in your life. That means accepting that the dream may not happen tomorrow, or the next day, or the next month, or even the next year. But as long as you keep it out there and keep trying, even if it’s just inch by inch, hope springs eternal.  That said, I think another aspect of that, which sticks with the reality theme, is accepting when you need to take a step back and reevaluate. One of my dreams is to have a retreat center and offer art retreats. I found the perfect spot a couple years ago…if only I had 1.3 million dollars lying around! So that’s when I had to reevaluate! I’ve still moved forward with facilitating art retreats, but I had to reevaluate and figure out how I could make it happen on a smaller scale, and that’s when Mermaids and Mamas Artful Adventure was born: Purple Cottage Retreats. I still haven’t given up on the big dream, just seeing what I can do in the meantime to get me there. {hosted by Leanne Wargowsky}

The hardest part at year two of your business is…Year two for me was in 2007, so this was before the U.S. economy tanked. My girls were going on four years old and I was traveling to about eight juried arts festivals a year. I can’t say that the hardest part of year two was growing my business. My business itself was actually doing very well. My shows were very successful. Given that, I think that hardest part of that year for me was actually the growth. I was not at the point that I could (or even was willing, frankly) to “give up the day job” for my creative business. I’m very much a people person, and the interaction I have with those I work with in my day job keeps me young. I work with college students all day! The greater challenge for me at that point was the juggle: working full-time, being a wife and a mother to four year old twins, AND creating artwork for and running a creative business. To this day, the juggle is still my greatest challenge. I think many creatives at year two might be getting to the point of asking themselves the “Will I be able to quit my day job and devote my time fully to my creative business soon?” question. But I wasn’t at that point. I wasn’t asking that question because I knew that I wasn’t ready for that, mentally or financially.  For me, the most important part of year two, year one, year eight, year twenty, year whatever, is simply knowing yourself and what you truly want out of what you are doing. Am I getting to the point at which I’d feel more comfortable walking away from the day job and devoting my “work-time” fully to my creative business? Maybe now, at year seven...maybe. Yet, I’m a very realistic person and know that the changes that would have to take place to make that happen aren’t quite ready to change yet. There are dreams, and I have them, but I also keep a healthy grip on reality. To me, I believe that healthy grip is the most important thing to have when building and growing a creative business. {hosted by Alease Michelle McClenningham}

What color best describes your business?... “I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice in the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.” Sir Winston Churchill.  Did you know that Winston Churchill was also an artist? And his quote sums up my love of color. What color describes my business? Bright, happy colors! The name of my business I think clearly reflects my outlook on life and my love of color. When you think of a “happy shack,” what color do you picture it to be? I certainly don’t think of brown. I think of bright Caribbean blue, with pink porch ceilings and aqua doors. Every room inside this little shack is painted a different color, each just as happy. And in this, my friends, I have truly described for you what my own home looks like to a T. And that love of color is reflected in my work. My jewelry designs are filled with brightly colored handmade glass beads and gemstones, my photography is juicy with saturated color, and my mixed media work is spilling in color as well. I can’t pick a favorite. I love every color on God’s beautiful rainbow. {hosted by Kelly Thiel}

In rapid fire fashion, write down 10 words that describe your business, and share your thoughts on these words…This was the toughest question of the bunch! My ten words and what they mean to me:

Happy: This was easily the first thought that popped in my head, and not just because of the name of my business. I know that my business is a “business,” but for me, it’s also something that just makes me happy. Perhaps not all parts of it make me happy, some parts are certainly more “work” than others, but the simple act of sitting down and creating something, whether it’s a piece of jewelry, a new book, or a new series of photos, makes me happy.

Scattered: I think this word describes me in general, so it naturally translates to my business. I have a friend in town who is a very talented painter. She works full-time as I do, but she’s able to produce a massive amount of paintings on top of her full-time job. The advice she gave me was to “not be so scattered,” and I know she was referring to the variety of media I work in. I thought about that a lot, but then decided that I was okay with being scattered. I like having the ability to sit down and make jewelry one weekend, go on a photography shoot another weekend, and mess around with artist books the next weekend. It may sound crazy, but it works.

Messy: However, scattered definitely leads to messy. Because I work in so many different media, my studio is crammed full of entirely too many supplies and therefore tends to be pretty messy. My studio space is pretty small, so I have boxes of supplies and shipping materials stashed in various places around the house. Not very organized, I realize, but the best I can do at this point! Oh to have a nice, large, open studio space that would hold all my stuff!

Diverse: See “scattered” above. So I guess the good way to look at “scattered” is that that scatteredness (I think I just made up a word) brings about a diversity of creative work. I participate in our local arts market once a month, rotating between jewelry and photography, and it seems to work well for me. I haven’t started selling my artist books yet; I still get too attached to them.

Crowded: See “messy” above! Sometimes I truly can’t walk around my space.

Relaxing: You would think that all that scattered, messy craziness would be stressful, but most of the time it’s the opposite. When my studio gets to where I can’t find anything, I spend some time cleaning up, getting everything back in its place so I can start creating a new mess all over again. That cleanup process is very relaxing for me, as is the process of creating itself. My job can be pretty high stress and the juggle that is my life can also be pretty stressful at times, so my creative time is a great stress reliever.

Fulfulling: Simply put, I love what I do. I’ve loved creating things, in whatever iteration they’ve taken at the time, since I was a child. Putting little pieces of me out into the world is very fulfilling.

Challenging: The challenge is in the juggle. I’m long past the point where I could have stopped this crazy train. There comes a point in the growth of a business where you realize, no matter how crazy your world is, you can’t turn back now. You’ve invested too much time and effort and money to stop. That’s the challenge. I hit that point about three years ago, so my challenge now is always finding a way to keep all the balls in the air.

Inspirational: When this word popped in my head, I really thought of it in terms of my girls. I’ve realized that I’m not only an inspiration to them as their Mama, but I’m also an inspiration to them as an artist. I’ve learn that they tell all their friends and their teachers about my creative business, and they are so proud of me. I just received an email from one of their teachers wishing me well on my recent knee surgery. I asked my girls if they told their teacher about my surgery and they both said, “Mama! Mrs. Morrison reads your blog!” That’s when I knew they had been bragging on me. Made me smile.

Me: Lastly, just me. I think my business truly reflects me. My personality (I’m typically a pretty happy girl), my love of color, my love of cars (have you SEEN how many photos I’ve taken of cars!?), and my love of just “doing.” But not doing what everyone else is doing. I don’t follow trends. I simply do my own thing. I’m simply me. {hosted by Robin Norgren}

What would you consider the “favorite” mistake of your business?... Sheryl Crow’s “My Favorite Mistake” just popped in my head. Wow, this is a tough question. I think I’ll take a different twist on this. It’s not the mistakes I’ve made that have been those “happy accidents” that pop in my head. It’s the mistakes I’ve made for which I’ve come up with ingenious solutions that come to mind. These usually involve injury. It’s rare that I get through an arts festival without an injury or two. I’m usually traveling by myself, so anyone who has done shows can tell you that setting up and breaking down your booth by yourself is a huge challenge (and many would say a mistake). I am very accident prone, so my favorite mistakes have been the wacky solutions I come up with to tend to my injuries, usually smashed, cut or pinched fingers earned when setting up or breaking down my tent, specifically. I’ve found that in lieu of a bandage, which I never seem to have on hand, a napkin stuffed in my glove box after my last trip to Burger King and a strip of duck tape make a great stand in. Having that ingenuity transfers well to running a creative business. You have to learn to quickly think on your feet and determine how to quickly overcome setbacks. Mistakes become “favorite mistakes” when you view them through a different lens and really think about what you can learn from them. “Who needs bandaids when you have napkins and duct tape?” can easily translate to “Who needs all those extra fancy supplies when I can create wonderful outcomes with what I have on hand?” Food for thought. We all have what we need. We just need to look at another way to use it. {hosted by Sonya MacClough}

The balance question: what does this mean and how it is working for you?...I’ve enjoyed reading everyone else’s response to this question, and it’s further affirmed my belief that there is no such thing as balance. Our days ebb and flow based on what’s currently most important. That desire to work on a new jewelry piece can quickly be pushed aside by a child with a scraped knee, the book that you wanted to work on can be pushed aside by a hug from a sweet little girl who wants to snuggle on the couch for a little while, and those photos you’ve been needing to edit can quickly be sidetracked by the latest dance routine presented to you right next to your desk. Add a full-time job, a very sick cat, and knee surgery to that mix, and balance goes out the window.  So for me, some days things just “work.” Other says they just don’t, and that's okay. I’ve often heard people say that they haven’t been able to work on their art because “life just gets in the way.” I tend to look at the reverse of that. Those every day “life” moments are the most important parts of our journey. (And my answer here is partly inspired by this post where I talked about the importance of not taking yourself too seriously.) I think when we make the most of those precious moments, the art will come in its time and on its schedule. It's taken me a while to accept that, and I'm sure it's a far different type of life balancing act that those who work at their art full-time juggle, but realizing that those everyday moments are the most important piece of any given day has brought me a focus and a peace that was missing.  At the end of one of my all-time favorite movies, Field of Dreams, James Earl Jones as Terrance Mann says, "People will come, Ray. People will most definitely come." That's how I feel about my art and my time to do it and finding that mysterious, non-existent balance. "Time will come, Kelly. Time will most definitely come..." And when it does, I'll grab it. But for now, I'll take whatever little snippets I can take while enjoying what's number one on my list, my family, because Lord knows, the day will soon come when my girls will be teenagers and think they are far too cool to hang out with Mama. {hosted by me!}

What do you need to STOP DOING in your business?...I learned what I needed to stop doing in my business about two years ago. I think the biggest mistake a creative business owner can make is comparing herself to other creatives. Because none of us is exactly alike, we all bring something a little different to the table. And what we each bring to the table is special in its own way and can’t be compared to anyone else.  I love all the Stampington publications…Somerset Studio, Art Journaling, Sew Somerset, etc, but for a while there I have to admit I started seeing the same types of art over and over again. And it really wasn’t the type of art I was attracted to. Was it art that was selling? Maybe it was, as it was certainly art that was getting published. But what I realized was that I had to stop comparing myself to what everyone else was doing and just do what made me happy instead. If a particular style of jewelry was taking off, I learned that it was important to me to NOT follow that trend. I needed to stay true to me. Or if I was seeing a similar theme in so many mixed media pieces, that didn’t mean that that was how I needed to style my work if I really didn’t care for that style. Sure, look to others for inspiration if you feel you must—I certainly do at times—but don’t compare yourself to others. Be true to you.  {hosted by Jan Avallena}

Who is your business muse?...Maybe this is a little old-fashioned and corny, but my muses are my children. Though I’ve been a creative person since I was a child myself, it was the birth of my twin girls that really pushed me to move forward to creating a formalized business. When my girls were born, I wanted one of those mother’s bracelets that included your children’s names. I looked online and saw several styles, none of which were less than $100. At that point I said, “I can do this.” While I’d dabbled in all sorts of arts and crafts up to that point, I had never made jewelry, so I headed down to my local bead shop, showed the wonderful ladies there what I wanted to do, and got started. That was just the beginning. As I was growing my jewelry design skills, I discovered the wonderful world of artists blogs, which led me to mixed media and reignited my love of photography. So here I am today, all mixed up creating in a variety of media and loving every minute of it. And even as my girls were that little muse of a kick start to get me moving, they are still what keeps me going. I love to create with them. I love to create for them. I love to see the little sparks in their eyes as they bring their creations to life. And all this comes together with our annual Mermaids and Mamas Artful Adventure, this year in its third year. My girls and I gather together with other mamas and daughters and spend a weekend in a fun little camp making art. It’s a wonderful thing! You can read more about it here. {hosted by Jean Simrose}

If you have gotten this far, thanks so much for sticking with me!  You deserve an award!  I hope you've enjoying rambling through this project with me. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming....

Monday, May 14, 2012

Project 101010 Day 10 ~ Little Old Me!

This is the picture I've been using as my "headshot" on the 101010 Project participants' blogs.  I first shared it with you, and my thoughts behind it, here when I talked about the importance of not taking yourself too seriously.  What led up to this picture speaks perfectly to my perspective on "The Balance Question: What does it mean to you and how is it working for you?" 

I’ve enjoyed reading everyone else’s response to this question, and it’s further affirmed my belief that there is no such thing as balance.  Our days ebb and flow based on what’s currently most important.  That desire to work on a new jewelry piece can quickly be pushed aside by a child with a scraped knee, the book that you wanted to work on can be pushed aside by a hug from a sweet little girl who wants to snuggle on the couch for a little while, and those photos you’ve been needing to edit can quickly be sidetracked by the latest dance routine presented to you right next to your desk.  Add a full-time job, a very sick cat, and knee surgery to that mix, and balance goes out the window.  

So for me, some days things just “work.”  Other says they just don’t, and that's okay.  I’ve often heard people say that they haven’t been able to work on their art because “life just gets in the way.”  I tend to look at the reverse of that.  Those every day “life” moments are the most important parts of our journey.  I think when we make the most of those precious moments, the art will come in its time and on its schedule.  It's taken me a while to accept that, and I'm sure it's a far different type of life balancing act that those who work at their art full-time juggle, but realizing that those everyday moments are the most important piece of any given day has brought me a focus and a peace that was missing.

At the end of one of my all-time favorite movies, Field of Dreams, James Earl Jones as Terrance Mann says, "People will come, Ray.  People will most definitely come."  That's how I feel about my art and my time to do it and finding that mysterious, non-existent balance.  "Time will come, Kelly.  Time will most definitely come..." And when it does, I'll grab it.  But for now, I'll take whatever little snippets I can take while enjoying what's number one on my list, my family, because Lord knows, the day will soon come when my girls will be teenagers and think they are far too cool to hang out with Mama.  I'll be back tomorrow with a wrap up of this project and my answers to all the other questions posed on everyone else's blogs.  Hope you come back to see me!    

Friday, May 11, 2012

Project 101010 Day 9 ~ Nolwenn Petitbois

Happy Friday everyone!  Joining me today for our 101010 Project is Nolwenn Petitbois. Nolween's response to "The Balance Question: What does it mean to you and how it is working for you?" will be the last of our guests.  On Monday, I'll share with you my responses to all the questions, so I hope you'll stop back in!   

A little bit about Nolwenn: "I am a self-taught Mixed Media artist. Dreamer. Lover. Passionate. Gratitude Warrior. Bookaholic. Cook. Art Journaler...I would never have thought that painting and creativity would be in my daily life and even less my business until not so long ago. I believe that nothing happens by coincidence and so that I do have powerful messages to share through what I create. I am a Mixed Media artist because my heart and soul need to play and discover all the time and Mixed Media allows me to mix and match techniques and materials.

My artwork usually represents strong whimsical women (that I called «Nixies») who have a positive message to deliver to the world, to you. I believe in the important power of Positive Affirmations and of Gratitude, that both guide me in my creative process. I am a life-long learner, and love to unravel new ways to make my path lighter and stronger. Healing is a huge part of my life path, I am now also a Practical Reiki Master and noticed how it shifted the way it affects my creativity and the entire process of it.  I am also an art journaler and am currently a teacher in the art journaling collaborative playground 21 Secrets that opened its doors in April 2012.

Business Name : Inner Worlds
Years in business : 2
Blog: http://inner-voices.net

So, Nolwenn, how do you  handle balance?  For me, balance means I can dedicate equal attention and love to both my creative life and personal life. It means that none feels forgotten. And that I enjoy everything about it (being in my studio, playing with the kids, talking to my husband, cooking…).  Balance means I am at peace with myself, with what I do and how I do it.

Visit the 101010 Project website to view all the participants and all the questions we'll be covering over the next 15 days, and be sure to hop around to all participants' blogs each day since we are each hosting a different question! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Project 101010 Day 8 ~ Jean Simrose

Joining me today to tackle "The Balance Question: What does it mean to you and how is it working for you?" is the lovely Jean Simrose.


A little bit about Jean:  "I was born and raised in Canada in a very creative family. We were encouraged to work with our hands and pursue creative hobbies. My sisters and I were taught to sew, knit and crochet at a young age. I liked to design clothes and jewelry to go with them.
 
My careers were varied and diverse. I was a hairdresser. I worked as an administrative assistant for an oil company while my two sons were growing up. After they moved out on their own I went back to university and became a social worker. I worked with people with disabilities and mental illnesses for many years. Art and crafts became therapy and a way to connect with my clients. I facilitated support groups and encouraged my clients’ creativity and skills as well as developing my own.
 
In 2005 I remarried and moved to the Seattle area. I took a Silversmithing course offered at a local college. I made jewelry as gifts for family and friends and as I learned new techniques my inventory increased. I started my blog and an on-line Etsy shop in 2009. Since then I have enjoyed participating in art and craft fairs in the U.S. and Canada. I love connecting with new people and expanding my knowledge of this very diverse craft. I hope people enjoy my jewelry as much as I enjoy making it."
Blog: www.jeansimrose.typepad.com
Etsy shop: www.jeansimrose.etsy.com
So Jean, how do you handle balance? Working at home is difficult for me because it means separating my home from my business. I have trouble avoiding distractions that seem to take priority over my work. I always vow to be more disciplined in my work and to give it my “all” without feeling that I should be doing something else. My plan is to decide what proportions work for me (50% work, 50% home?) and to make up a schedule to follow. My goals in both my home life and my business are to be more productive and get more projects completed.
 
Visit the 101010 Project website to view all the participants and all the questions we'll be covering over the next 15 days, and be sure to hop around to all participants' blogs each day since we are each hosting a different question! 
 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Project 101010 Day 7 ~ Alease McClenningham

Three more days to go with our 101010 Project and then I'll have the opportunity to share my answers to all our questions, including the one I'm hosting: "The Balance Question: What does it mean to you and how is it working for you?"  Joining us today to share her answer is Alease McClenningham.


A little about Alease: As an expert, Alease lends knowledge to the press, editorials and serves as a subject-matter expert. She is a sought-after presenter in the areas of creative marketing, personal image, branding and fashion. As a professor, Alease is committed to her student’s education, furthering their exposure and considers their success a direct reflection of herself. As a mixed-media artist, Alease participated in several exhibitions. Wishing to market her artistic endeavors, she found little advice available. This, coupled with her passion for education – she tracked her online marketing & branding journey and founded The School of Creative Business.  Some of Alease's current projects include: A 12 Week Sabbatical with video updates here101 Free Resources to Grow Your Creative Business here; Creative Entrepreneurs of the Month Interviews here; and Starting Points for Creative Entrepreneurs webinars here.


Name of Business:  The School of Creative Business
Blog: www.schoolofcreativebusiness.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AleaseMichelle
Twitter: Alease Michelle
Years in business: 4


So, Alease, how do you handle balance? It means saying No to activities that don’t increase my bottom line. It has really worked out well to have a business coach. He makes me elevate every new activity at a money item on my balance sheet.

Visit the 101010 Project website to view all the participants and all the questions we'll be covering over the next 15 days, and be sure to hop around to all participants' blogs each day since we are each hosting a different question! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

101010 Project Day 6 ~ Sonya McClough

Joining us today for the 101010 Project to answer "The Balance Question: What does it mean for you and how is it working for you?" is Sonya McClough.


A little bit about Sonya: I’m this crazy JESUS loving creative … with 2 children living smack in the middle of Tennessee. The seeds of my creativity were watered with knitting needles, yarn and nine kittens on a rock covered patio in the mid sixties. Today, we hold the fort down with a few less kittens (3) … and thankfully my creative edge remains in tact. I’m often inspired by some odd ball stuff & compelled to create by the sweet whispers of the HOLY Spirit. An idea generator am I. Creative collaboration is a sweet spot with me and many have locked creative hands with me to work on projects like The Bond & Respond Quilt project of 2010, Inspired Studios Magazine & The Creative Biz Marathon. My service to HIM in the body of the church currently is that of Women’s Ministry Coordinator, Southeast Baptist.   

Find Sonya here:
http://www.sonyamacdesigns.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sonyamacdesigns
https://twitter.com/#!/sonyamacdesigns
http://www.youtube.com/user/sonyamacdesigns
Years in Business: 12
So, Sonya, how do you handle balance? Recently I've decide for myself ... the only balance that truly works is that found in nature. So, I begin, again & again. Cause trying to do it in any other way, has yet to work for me. But, what works better for me is to openly admit to Winter, whenever winter comes. If winter comes in the mist of the heat of summer ... than Winter it is.

Visit the 101010 Project website to view all the participants and all the questions we'll be covering over the next 15 days, and be sure to hop around to all participants' blogs each day since we are each hosting a different question! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

101010 Project Day 5 ~ Stephanie Amos

Welcome to another week of the 101010 Project! Joining us today to take on "The Balance Question: What does it mean to you and how is it working for you?" is artist Stephanie Amos.

Stephanie Amos
A little bit about Stephanie: I live in the mountains of Colorado with my amazing husband, three loving dogs, two handsome horses, and the queen of all cats. When I'm not out riding, I am usually in one of the two studios at our home where I paint, throw, sculpt and shoot my camera. I am more or less a free spirit in the sense that I can never sit still and am easily distracted by my interest in trying something new. I am fascinated with color and texture which is not limited to just art, but architecture as well. I love to travel and have been to many beautiful places and look forward to seeing the rest of the world real soon.


Name of business: KoiStudios
So, Stephanie, how do you handle balance? The word balance means a great deal to me. It means finding that inner peace while actually living the life you were meant to live AND function in society as a good person. It also means that I have to make time to create every day in the midst of completing daily chores, caring for my family and being there for friends. There are days when it all falls into place and then there are other days when the word BALANCE hasn’t even made its way into my vocabulary. But for the most part, I am a very balanced person (or so I would like you to think!)

Visit the 101010 Project website to view all the participants and all the questions we'll be covering over the next 15 days, and be sure to hop around to all participants' blogs each day since we are each hosting a different question! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

101010 Project Day 4 ~ Kelly Thiel

Welcome to day four of the 101010 Project!  Visiting with us today and tackling "The Balance Question: What does it mean for you and how is it working for you?" is sculptor Kelly Thiel.

A little bit about Kelly: An artist and a mother of two young girls, Kelly Thiel lives in South Carolina, USA creating award-winning clay and bronze sculptures, as well as doing art journaling and mixed media paintings. She just finished building a new studio at her home, and is dying to log some real hours in there! Kelly is doing her best to live life to the fullest and enjoy each day, with her art and her family.


Name of Business: Kelly Thiel Studio
Website ~ www.kellythielstudio.com
Blog ~ http://kellythielpottery.blogspot.com
Twitter ~ www.twitter.com/kellyTpottery
Facebook ~ www.facebook.com/KellyThielSculpture
Years in Business: 10

So Kelly, how do you handle balance?  "This is a HUGE issue for me. Balance, in my small world, means having quality time for my art and for my family. My family comes first, but a near second is my art. I have realized that I am BY FAR a happier person, thus a better mom, when I have creative time. This is a daily struggle for me. Some days I get it just right, and other days I don’t. I am always, always, interested in how other artist parents juggle the day-to-day life with kids and art.

It’s amazing to me what a good couple of hours in the studio can do for my mood. If I feel like I’ve gotten a decent amount of work done in the studio, then I can be so much happier in my role as Mom. My soul is happier and I have achieved Balance! Success!!"

Visit the 101010 Project website to view all the participants and all the questions we'll be covering over the next 15 days, and be sure to hop around to all participants' blogs each day since we are each hosting a different question! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

101010 Project Day 3 ~ Robin Norgren

Welcome to day three of the 101010 Project!  Tackling "The Balance Question: What does it mean for you and how is it working for you?" today is Robin Norgren, the lovely lady who put this whole project together! 

Robin Norgren

A little bit about Robin:  I strive to live life to the fullest. No matter what. I have grown into myself through my love for Jesus and HIS LOVE FOR ME. Art, motherhood, business, creativity and yoga are the cherished vehicles for this deepening. Life can be FULL, JUICY, MEANINGFUL, PURPOSE FILLED, LOVELY. I want to help you come to your fullest life. I create workbooks, ecourses and workshops that chronicle my change and growth and offer you ways to find out what YOUR FULLEST life will be.

Name of business: Robin Norgren Studios
Years in business: 4 years

So Robin, how do you handle balance?  "I am finally ready to admit it: I do not believe there is such a thing as balance. I think that there are times in your life that CERTAIN AREAS of your life are calling for focused attention. And by listening to that inner knowing about where your attention needs to be placed, you ultimately are tending to what you need to and you will have a sense of peace even if your to-dos are not being completed.

Case in point: as a military wife, I have had to stay very clear about how much energy I can put into my business. When my hubby is deployed I shift the time I work on my business to early morning or late nights. I feel like I would be doing a disservice to my little one to not have access to both parents because I am trying to reach a business goal. I have even put my business on vacation mode in the most stressful time. But now that she has gone to school, I can then prioritize my business to rise higher on the list.

Then there are times where my creative juices are in overload and I KNOW I must make room for those new ideas. So I make dinners in advance or we do cold cuts for a few days because I have to tend to the muse.

Guilt I think is just a part of this thing called life. We would love to do it all and do it well. But I believe peace of mind calls for something different. And at the end of the day, this is what helps me to prioritize my life."

And another little note about Robin. She is is currently completing her life coaching certification and would LOVE to offer you a FREE 15 minute mini session – sign up for her mailing list here: http://www.robinnorgrenstudios.blogspot.com/p/life-coaching.html

Visit the 101010 Project website to view all the participants and all the questions we'll be covering over the next 15 days, and be sure to hop around to all participants' blogs each day since we are each hosting a different question! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

101010 Project Day 2: The Balance Question ~ Leanne Wargowsky

Next up in our 101010 Project to tackle "The Balance Question: What does it mean for you and how it is working for you?" is Leanne Wargowsky!
  Leanne Wargowsky-101010 Project

A little bit about Leanne: Born, raised, and living in the Chicago land area, this happily chaotic soul is definitely a newbie in the universe of creative businesses. Last August, after 25 years in healthcare, I was released from days of insurance and hospitals and I started listening to my inner artist. My dream, From Chaos Comes Happiness, was born. I'm not doing it alone, though, as my support system is wide and deep with a husband who encourages me and two beautiful daughters who inspire me. While I have a long way to go in this business of mine, I'm determined to remain true to who I am, and stopping just long enough to smell the roses along the way.

Name of Business: From Chaos Comes Happiness
Social Media Links:
Years in Business: Approaching 1

So Leanne, how do you approach balance? Balance . . . Augh. Does that answer how it is working for me? In all seriousness, balance is a challenge for the people who want it all- a family, their own business, a soul filled life. And me? I'm one of those people. I worked for over 25 years in healthcare, the last eight of those years were spent as a mother, too. During my time as both a full-time employee and a mom, I felt like I was not meeting the needs of either roles (my job and my children). Now that I am no longer in healthcare, I have had much more time to devote to my children during these early years when I feel they need it most. However, finding time for my new creative business is a challenge. Having a supportive partner in life is huge, and learning to accept help from others is another key (I gave up trying to be Wonder Woman long ago. I mean, I love the outfit, but it never looked quite right on me.) So, I say 'no' to things when I have to. I say 'yes' to help when I really need it. And I'm learning more and more the importance of having a schedule and sticking to it. Family time is family time. Business time is business time. And God willing, I'll continue to be right there in the middle of them both.

Visit the 101010 Project website to view all the participants and all the questions we'll be covering over the next 15 days, and be sure to hop around to all participants' blogs each day since we are each hosting a different question! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

101010 Project: The Balance Question ~ Jan Avellana

Welcome to the 101010 Project!  We are ten creative business owners who met through Kelly Rae Roberts Flying Lessons E-Course.  We've come together to share our answers to ten questions pertinent to all creative business owners. Each of us is hosting one of the ten questions, and here on Artful Happiness, we'll be tackling "The Balance Question: What does it mean for you and how it is working for you?"  First up, the lovely Jan Avellana from Hazelnut Cottage!


Jan Avellana

A little bit about Jan:  Jan Avellana is a mixed-media artist with a passion for art making, books, deep conversations, and seaside adventures with her three favorite men (ages 5, 8 and 42). Jan spent the better part of her adult life trying very hard to be a grown-up with a traditional job. The birth of her two sons released her to follow her heart and reclaim the artist she has always been. In 2007, Jan created a line of silver hand stamped jewelry under the Hazelnut Cottage brand. Today, she revels in mixed-media messes, making heartfelt connections with others through art and words.
 

In print, you can find Jan in “The Pulse of Mixed Media,” “Inside the Creative Studio,” “Artful Blogging, Winter 2011” and “ClothPaperScissors Studios.” In life, you can find her immersed in the studio or at the beach (with paint in her hair). Online, you can find Jan here:

{etsy shop} http://www.hazelnutcottage.etsy.com
{blog} http://www.hazelnutcottage.typepad.com
{twitter} https://twitter.com/#!/hazelnutcottage
{facebook} http://www.facebook.com/hazelnutcottage

So Jan, how do you approach balance?:  “Next question please! Hah. I am so bad about being a balanced individual. For a long time, I have let my business consume most of my waking hours. I do not recommend this to anyone! However, the truth is, when you are building a business—especially when you have no business background and are learning everything for the first time—there is a huge learning curve. If you add to this the need to immediately produce an income as well as care for young children, it can be a very overwhelming venture. Balance for me means that work is done during reasonably sane work hours and that it does not bleed over into all the other aspects of my life. Balance means being able to attend to my family and enjoy them, without feeling the need or guilt to work all the time. Balance means being able to practice self-care, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.”     

Visit the 101010 Project website to view all the participants and all the questions we'll be covering over the next 15 days, and be sure to hop around to all participants' blogs each day since we are each hosting a different question!