Cutting out the Crap: Periscope, Redecorating, and Refreshing

How I've Been Decluttering My Home and My Brain

These last few weeks have been somewhat peculiar for me. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that I paint. And, I paint a lot. I share a lot of that, too.  And I'm blessed in that social media has been a crucial part in how I think I've been able to grow my art business and grow as an artist in such a short amount of time. I believe the magic happens in the work and doing lots of it and I'm happy to share my journey as I go along.

So these last few weeks, I've enjoyed a blissful break from my normal hands and hustle to spend more time on other matters. Like: 

  1. We launched our #ArtForSyria page for the month of October to raise money for Syrian refugee families. 
  2. Reviewing contracts and getting things in place to see my art in more corners of the world. Yay!
  3. Organizing all the bazillion painting files on my computer onto a very unsexy terabyte hard drive. Back, back, back back back it up!
  4. Major home redecorating. Some photos below :)
  5. And catching the sunrise occasionally with a warm cup of coffee in my hand and my love by my side.

It was a much needed pause, but like any creative, I'm starting to feel that itch in my hands, the anxiety in my steps, and a certain coyness about going to face my quiet studio after not being in the zone for far too long. I have a large abstract commission on my calendar, so that will keep me busy into the holiday season and push me to get back in the swing of things. But even more than a deadline is the feeling of knowing that I'm just not truly myself when I'm not creating.

I think too much. I spend time doing things that don't fuel me. I truly believe that I'm a better friend, a better partner, and a better person when I'm doing what I love on a regular basis. And so I am happy to cut out the crap, declutter my life and bring on the next series of paint flinging, stereo booming, pajama dancing sessions in the studio. 

Recently, I've been doing some work internally and also decided to let go of my oh-so-seductive love of Periscope. You may have heard of the latest app giving you the ability to broadcast live anywhere in the world with the tap of your smartphone. And yes, I have found tremendous value in the few short months that I've been on it. I hope I've provided value as well to the people kind enough to hang out with me. I've graced my face, my art, and my home more times than expected with the hopes of sharing and connecting with people that I may have otherwise wouldn't have been able to find.

Problem is, it's just not me. It's not who I am. I'm not a performer. I don't walk into a room of crowded people and feel a buzz. I feel a pit in my stomach and I start to look for a familiar face to connect with instantly. One of the benefits of taking time to work on yourself, as well as invest in the support you may need to help you do that (thank you, coaches out there), is that it provides you with the ability to listen to your small voice. The one that you can hear at 1am, when the curtains have been drawn, when you're friends to no one but your own thoughts. You can hear it then.

In a world of constant change and development, it's hard not to fall victim to the "shiny object syndrome". I know that for me, personally, I love social media because I love sharing and and I love connecting. It's one of the reasons why you can find me on Snapchat, Pinterest, Medium, Tumblr, you name it. But at the same time, I can control the level of intimacy and frequency of that connection as I see fit. And I can't tell you how relieved I felt when I deleted the app from my iPhone. I look forward to engaging in the workshops and small artist sessions I host occasionally here in Abu Dhabi, and in the meantime, I can focus on what's most important for me as an artist: the art. 

I hate the sense of overwhelm that can come up when you say yes to everything. Sometimes you do things without even realizing that you're subconsciously saying yes. Yesterday, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts "Being Boss" and on an episode with Paul Jarvis, he said how at first, he says no to everything. It seems like a bullish thing to do, but after listening to his explanation it was genius. When you're focused on your work and serving your rat people (aka tribe), most things that pop up are truly a distraction. By saying no initially, you get avoid spreading yourself to thin. 

Besides, how many coaches and savvy mavericks do I need to meet in a day? Everyone's got something to say, but what I've found is that I speak best with a brush in my hand and the canvas as my stage.

 

As promised, here are some photos of the new bits and pieces in my flat.

We simplified a lot in our living space. Cut out the big entertainment center for something more minimal and reflective of my personal style. (Trying to break in a new pair of Birks as well at home unsuccessfully)

We simplified a lot in our living space. Cut out the big entertainment center for something more minimal and reflective of my personal style. (Trying to break in a new pair of Birks as well at home unsuccessfully)

This pendant light captured me right away. I love the bamboo design and adds a bit of warmth to the home.

This pendant light captured me right away. I love the bamboo design and adds a bit of warmth to the home.

Having an official desk has been awesome! This is where I answer emails, engage, and brainstorm. 

Having an official desk has been awesome! This is where I answer emails, engage, and brainstorm. 

My favorite little splurge has been getting a console table. I can store my magazines neatly, it has a beautiful clean design, and provides a nice structure to a painting or large mirror, depending on the day.

My favorite little splurge has been getting a console table. I can store my magazines neatly, it has a beautiful clean design, and provides a nice structure to a painting or large mirror, depending on the day.

Short of fresh flowers, but I've been craving yellow so substituted with a bowl of fresh lemons. How do you add color to your home?

Short of fresh flowers, but I've been craving yellow so substituted with a bowl of fresh lemons. How do you add color to your home?

What have you been cutting out of your life to make the daily grind more dreamy?