Monday, April 14, 2014

Leaning back

We all experience ebb and flow in our life. Our lives are a constant cycle of rhythms - our circadian rhythms, our weekly activities, our cadences in work, family, health, etc. In the last six months, I experienced a more significant ebb in health that created this blog silence. As my life started to flow back into a natural rhythm, I also experienced a rejuvenation in my creativity. Nothing like a trip to Ireland to wake up hibernating creativity!

Cliffs of Moher
As I started writing about my favorite day in Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher, what I experienced that day really became a metaphor for the last six months of my life and the theme of this post: leaning back.


While I came back with nearly 500 photos of this lovely vacation, I don't have very many photos of my favorite day. And it's because I don't have those photos that it became my favorite day. I was able to snap a few pics to remind me of the day before I ran out of power.

At first I was tremendously disappointed because the day was nothing short of spectacular. However, I leaned back. I accepted the fact that my camera was out of juice and put it away. I simply embraced the opportunity to be at the Cliffs of Moher.

In the long run, it was a relief. I wasn't trying to plan the future by mentally framing every gorgeous view. I wasn't trying to preserve the experience in multiple digital shots.

I was simply there. 

I looked. I sat. I walked. I dreamed. I was silent and meditative. I played with words. I captured the images in metaphors:

a casual and messy game of Jinga

a Master Artist 
slathering large slabs of granite in thick layers
wind-blasting and water-blasting

blond-green tufts of grass constantly and heavily slicked down

sugar clouds spun up into frothy meringue
sifting fine silver

pale amber jewels of the Aran Islands

For me, those words evoke that day more fully than the pictures. Writing this post is bringing all of the sensations back with a pleasant sense of peace and calm that was caused by slowing down and savoring the moment.

County Wicklow

Marinating My Creative Stew

While I was going through the ebb of health, my creativity turned into a desert. I didn't knit, crochet, draw, play with clay, or even dream about glass. I leaned back. I let myself heal. I didn't intentionally neglect creativity (and therefore this blog). I just embraced where I was at that point.

What I am finding now, is that the creative storm is returning. Interestingly, the past seven years of my artistic journey have been marinating. Even more interestingly, my organized, business-y, project manager self got into the stew and is simmering with the art.

I am beginning to emerge from blog silence with an outline of a business and art strategy. My mind has knitted together my many and varied interests, my organization skills, and my entire art journey together into a cohesive, whole approach. I look forward to sharing what I have been working on in the upcoming weeks!

Your turn. Have you experienced creative ebbs in your life? Do you lean in or lean back? Have you taken both approaches at different times depending on the circumstances?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kanna Inspire

Congratulations, Amy Cavaness for suggesting the name that led me to choosing Kanna Inspire! Amy suggested Kanna Be Inspired, which I mulled over and shortened to Kanna Inspire. I like it from multiple angles. Amy, thank you so much for your ideas!

Also, I compiled a list of all of the suggestions. Blue Lapis and Gaga4Graphix suggested the 31st and 24th ideas. Your prizes are as follows:

Please email me to claim your prizes!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The new name for the e-zine will be announced

I had a little bit of a delay in announcing the new name of the magazine. I traveled for work this week and I forgot how draining work travel can be, even if it's relatively local and not across the world.

Most of the time I work from home (really, I'm appreciative of this opportunity), and most of the time these two creatures are my "co-workers." They are super cute in their work drawers.

I'm compiling the drawing for the winner and will post on Monday. Thanks so much for checking in!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What's the big deal about inspiration?

As I was thinking about what people might be googling that could cause them to stumble across this e-zine, these are the key questions that really got me thinking:

  • How do I define and/or create my art style?
  • How do I improve my style?
  • How do I transition my style?
  • How do I improve my art?
When I googled these ideas, I cam across a wealth of blog posts with standard ideas like practice, practice, practice. There were great blog posts and I will share the best posts in a future article. 

But that led me to thinking about why I think inspiration challenges are an important part of our journey to defining and improving our art. 

My Story

I started my creative journey in 2007. A quick scan through my year 2008 posts will show you the key points of my journey in glass and experimentation in a number of different jewelry techniques such as stringing, wire-wrapping, and chain maille. My initial style was quite colorful and crazy (and got lots of feedback). My emerging style started settling down.

In 2009 when I was able to focus on my jewelry business, I started creating themes for each monthly newsletter and designing my jewelry to go with the theme. I ended up being very surprised with the result of fencing in my creativity and designing around a theme. In stead of confining and restraining my creativity, I actually focused and thereby stretched, refined, and honed my skills and artistic style. I came out of these themes with a defined artistic style and jewelry collections.

Your turn: what about you? What was your journey to defining your artistic style?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Naming Contest

I have a little wrinkle in the launch of my new e-zine. I originally started this process last November / December. I think I googled the name Inspiration Adventures and had not found anyone that had staked a claim to the name. During the delay in launching the first issue, the domain name was obtained up by a photographer who just launched a blog this June. 

I decided to look at this as a great opportunity to come up with a smashing new name for the zine. So I am holding a naming contest. 

The Prizes

I am currently working on a prize. Part of it will be a print copy of the first issue of Inspiration Adventures  (soon to be re-named). I am working out the details of the other parts of the prize and will update the post when I know more. 

Updated prize package:

Oh, yes! These are definitely books you want in your art library!

Two Winners

There will be two winners
  • Everyone who suggests a name will be put into a drawing for a prize package for each name suggested
  • The person who suggests the winning name will also receive a prize package
If I have a hard time choosing the name, I will put my final choices out for a vote. 

My brainstorms so far

I have been brainstorming on my own, but none of what I am starting with has been resonating with me. I'll throw out some of the ideas I have below to hopefully spark some fab names from you. I have been learning Mandarin Chinese for 10 years. My studio name, Kanna, is from the term Look! 
  • "Jili" is one I am playing with. It's not quite the definition of inspire that I wanted - this one means encourage and motivate. The other word "guwu" didn't look as comfortable in English. The other issue with Jili is that if you say it with the wrong tone, you could mean something very different.
  • I ran a newsletter for a few months called The Kanna Spark
  • I've been playing around with Art Inspiration or Art Inspired
  • My brain works like fireworks when I have ideas going on
So, can you help me out? Thank you so much in advance!

The Winner

The winner of the latest giveaway is Linda Barutha!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Contributor Profile: Amy Cavaness and another giveaway

I have more goodies for you today! Stay tuned to the end of this post.

First, I wanted to spotlight one of the first issue's contributors, Amy Cavaness. She makes gorgeous art quilts and you can find out more about her at her website, Amy Cavaness Designs

How did you get started in your art?

I got started sewing in Home Ec in 8th grade, though my mother and grandmother sewed dresses for me. I came from very creative stock!

How long have you been creating?

I've been creating since I learned to sew--I've pretty much always had a sewing project going. I've subscribed to sewing magazines since my early 20's and have made extensive use of the internet to keep up on new products and techniques related to sewing and quality arts.

Tell me three things about you:

  • In addition to my four sons and four dogs, I've "adopted" about 10 people over the years, living with me from periods of weeks to years. Making up for being an only child, I guess!
  • I have a Master's Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University. And I don't own a piano. (Oh, the things we do for our mothers!)
  • Favorite hobbies are dancing and trail riding. LOVE working with my horse using Natural Horsemanship techniques (horse whisperer stuff). Some people call me a dog whisperer, too.

What appealed to you about participating in Inspiration Adventures?

I wanted to participate in Inspiration Adventures because I love color and I love challenges. I really want to do another one and do a new piece of art!

Now for this week's giveaway:

Please start sharing the love and letting other people know about Inspiration Adventures! 

An idea for a quick link to share: 
New art e-zine featuring 8 artists and one theme. Free trial issue!
  • Share on your social media outlets (PInterest, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.)
  • Leave a comment below with the links to your shares.
For each social media share, you will be entered into a drawing. For example: if you Tweet, blog, and Pin the word about Inspiration Adventures, you will be entered 3 times.

What is the prize you ask? A print copy of Inspiration Adventures AND a $25 gift certificate to work with Amy on designing an art quilt for you!