Open Studios this past Saturday night was an unexpected gift. I say unexpected, because I was supposed to be on a retreat this past weekend but a series of unfortunate events interrupted those plans. So though I had planned to get away this weekend to Camp Allen & not show up to Open Studios Saturday, some decisions made months ago made it impossible for me to leave.
I'm not going to lie. Thursday I was pretty bent, discouraged & drained. All I wanted to do pull up netflix and wrap up in the bed all weekend. The struggle is real every now and then. Like an artist I follow on instagram captioned a week ago, "this journey is not as easy as it seems in all the pretty pictures posted to social media." There are days when you doubt, fear speaks louder than creativity and you just can't seem to find your way.
The key is not to allow those days to have the last say; you muster up all of the courage, support and hope you need to keep showing up to your craft... keep showing up to life. Before I decided to resign from my job and embark upon this unknown path of being a creative entrepreneur, I created a "Survivor's List." I wrote down 7 things I would do to survive the days that could have the power of making you quit if you let them. I pulled on 4 of the 7 last week and honestly, they were game changers. My situation did not change, but I did and I decided if I was going to be in Houston this weekend I needed to continue to show up and fight for the life I want.
So Saturday night I was at Hardy & Nance Studios for our monthly Open Studios, even though I did not feel like it and was a bit distracted by life as I settled at my desk to work. But I showed up and I am so glad that I did because I got to....
connect with friends whom I love,
sip on a delicious Tout Suite chai latte (YUM!) gifted to me by my friend,
run the studio halls with Zion (one of the coolest 4 year olds I know!),
meet some lovely new people whom I will see again,
sell a few art works,
as well as add some more layers to my first #100ArtWorksChallenge piece (100 Stories of Her).
Needless to say it all was a perfect recipe for a great night at the studio.
Not all nights or days living in the studio are going to be great, externally affirming or even without some real drama going on outside of the studio. It's just how life goes. The struggle... the fight is real.
The gifts are just as real too-- when you keep going and doing what you know you were born to do.
Studio life is teaching me more & more, every single, day that a major part of my work as a creative entrepreneur is showing up. This work requires staying focused on the path that I'm being drawn towards & surrender fully to every imperfect, at times lonely, messy, stretching, life-giving & beautiful second of it. See I am just foolish enough to believe that if we do that... if we can show up and live authentically from our core... we will get to where you are wanting to go & so much further.
"When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that’s celebrating."
“And suddenly you just know…it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”
When it is time for a new season, you can just feel it to your core. No matter how hard you try to ignore it or put it on pause, there comes a time when you have to say "yes." It is the time when the choice of not walking towards the new is more frightening than the choice to take the steps of faith towards your dreams.
That moment happened for me about 2 months ago. It was a moment when I decided it was time to turn my "cant's into cans, dreams into plans." The awakening has been happening for a while now, the journey towards "becoming" has be one I am grateful for. There were a few losses and pains I could have definitely done without, but the journey has truly awaken my soul. For that, I am thankful.
Excited, happy, anxious, alive, uncertain and grateful- I step towards this new season in life where I live fully into my life as a creative. As I go, I must say I am thankful I do not have to go it alone. One important part of this transition is partnering with local artists to cultivate spaces for creativity and beauty. Community is a gift.
One of my first collaborations is with my studio mate and friend, Abbie Preston of Boxsparrow Studio. On Saturday, September 27, we are hosting a mixed media workshops, where we will guide participants in creating art using stamps and stencils they create. Both of us utilize stencils and stamps in our creating, and we are looking forward to helping others figure out ways to express themselves using some of the techniques we have learned along the way.
If you are going to be in the area September 27, definitely register to join us.
If you know people in Houston who would find life in this experience, do share. The space is limited, so the sooner you register the better. To register click HERE. A good time should be had by all.
Also, keep me in prayer. First time in my life when I was choosing to step into a season of so many unknowns, without the security of a job or paycheck. I am trusting the One who has been nudging me to start living fully from my core, and I do believe all matters of things shall be well.
Lanecia A. Rouse Tinsley