23 October 2009

the three-day cake

Process and product ... I've been writing a lot in my journal + morning pages about how both of those things fit into my life and my creativity. I tend to go back and forth between being product minded in my life and art, and being process minded. I still can't find a healthy balance between the two, but I'm finding that the more I think about it and dive into what it means to be a process-minded yet productive artist, I'm finding that there are situations put in front of me for me to choose which I'm going to give higher value [at least at that moment].

Then came the three-day cake. This cake, to be exact. I've had this recipe for years, and was waiting for an occasion [read: reason] to make it. My birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity! Birthday was on Monday, started making the cake Monday afternoon. Didn't get to actually finish and eat the cake until Wednesday night. Late.

Lets just say that it's hard to complete an insane Martha Stewart recipe when you work full time, are working overtime to make up for some unexpected time off, also do freelance AND have some semblance of a social life. It really did take me three days to finish this cake. BUT ... when it was done. Oh my gosh. Pictures are the only way to do it justice:

[click for biggie. highly recommended :]]

Lesson learned? It's okay to enjoy the journey [process] as much as you value the destination [product/cake]. And it's okay to anticipate the product and put energy into making it the best it can be. And it's okay to halt production to check in with your process. Is it healthy? Is it true to your art? Are you putting too much expectation on it?

Lesson learned: Process is something you trust in to get to a product that you enjoy [or eat].

14 October 2009


{quote (c) erwin mcmanus, design (c) quiet world creative }

11 October 2009

There is an episode of Gilmore Girls where Lorelai sits at her kitchen table with every flavor of Pop Tart in front of her. Why? "I don't know which one I like."

That's how I feel today. That's all.

09 October 2009


{i realize that this is a deep and wordy post to jump back into the blogging world after a long absence. i just wanted to recognize that!}

life + life = life

I decided something today: I want to be the person to ask business majors what their back-up plan for life is. I read a little Chelsea Talks Smack today {language caution, but she's brilliantly real and unfiltered, if that's your thing} and I love what she says here:

No one ever asks a med student, "So what are you going to do with your life?"

...because obviously, the answer is, be a Doctor.

Why should the answer be any different for an artist? If you create art, then you'll be an artist. If you want to be a teacher, you will teach. If you want to be a lawyer, you will go to school, you will be a lawyer. For some reason when it comes to a profession that has a shaky monetary value, at best, or lacks an outline- it makes people nervous. It makes people question your sanity, or scoff, or treat you like a child- like you're irresponsible and naive. You're the joke. Then comes the onslaught of questions...."So, what's your backup plan? What if it doesn't work out? How does your family feel about this? Well, don't you want health care?? Are you on drugs?" etc. etc.

Choosing to follow a passion that doesn't have a safety net, or a ladder to climb doesn't mean it's impossible - it simply means you'll find a way to make it work, or you'll give up. There is no grey area. And how you define "making it work" is up to you ... You will be laughed at, you will be jeered, you will be doubtful and you will then lick the wounds, and walk a bit taller.

My back up plan? I don't have a [expletive] back up plan, because when you things get hard, which they always do-in any profession, that "back up plan" BECOMES the plan. It's a cowardly way of giving up. Of surrendering under the pressure of other peoples ideals and expectations of your life.

Love her + her thoughts on this. I started thinking down this trail when I started working on a new website this week {an early birthday present from my dad - super awesome!} I told one of my best friends about this new project, and he replied, "So you're going to start selling your paintings?!" And he was REALLY excited about that idea {props to my awesome friends for being supportive.} I just thought ... do I wanna make my website about selling paintings? Do I wanna make my LIFE about selling paintings? And suddenly I was sucked into my usual vortex of insane over-thinking {we're talking ... laying awake at night after working a 12-hour day and then waking up at 4 am to think some more ...}

I feel like by defining my public image on my website, I'm defining myself - my values, my beliefs and my goals. Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? Do I want my life to be about more than selling paintings and prints? In asking myself questions about my upcoming website, I've been asking myself questions about my upcoming life, too.

{about paintings and selling them: i love painting. LOVE it. but when i look at what percentage of my time is ever, or has ever been, spent painting, it doesn't follow that the next portion of my life will be devoted to selling them. i mean, i probably will, but that's not going to be my focus. but really, the largest percentage of my time has been spent playing the piano in a room by myself, so what the heck does that mean??}

It seems really intense {my friends can laugh and understand that that's just part of who I am}, but I've been led up to this moment by so many events over recent months, and by people who have crossed my path.

What am I waiting on? I've got a life to live {and not a ladder to climb}.

PHEWSH - that was my diatribe from my last few weeks of life. Thanks for reading to the end {if you did!} If you made it to this point, I'd like to offer a lovely image as a reward. You guys are the best!

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