Monthly Archives: August 2018

Mini sabbatical report – making art the old school way

I took my mini sabbatical week the last week of July.

I’ve been taking every 7th week off since October 2015 to rest and recharge.

(This brilliant idea was created by Seanwes, one of my biz heroes.)

I swear having to turn off my hustle switch regularly is the biggest reason why I haven’t burnt out yet.

And burnout is the worst thing that can happen to you when you’re pursuing your passion (for a living or for fun.)

I often get asked what I actually do during my sabbaticals.

Short answer is, you can do whatever you want to recharge your energy!

For me, It’s a time to relax and do things I don’t normally get to do.

I might work on personal projects, read more, or focus on a big picture visioning for my business.

One rule I’ve set for myself is I don’t do any work for other people during sabbaticals.

This is not super relevant now as I don’t do custom or commission work any more.

But, I wouldn’t schedule my video making for Sakura of America during sabbaticals, for example.

See, that’s the beauty of having a regular time off – you can actually schedule things around it way in advance!

(I have every 7th week blocked off on my Google calendar. Forever.)

Anyway, I did some fun things like getting a facial, going to Fremont art walk, and taking myself out on a solo lunch and shopping date.

{Fish tacos at Poquitos, Capitol Hill. Yum!}

I also enjoyed making art the “old school” way.

a.k.a. making art without tech 😀

Here are some of the highlights!

1. Pottery class

I’m in my pottery class at South Seattle College every Tuesday whether I’m on a sabbatical or not.

It definitely felt more relaxing, though, when I didn’t have to mentally track what I needed to do afterwards.

I glazed these cuties last week.

Tuxedo kitties were very popular last time and sold out pretty quickly, so I made more!

(Go check it out today if you want them. There are only a few left at the time of writing this post.)

2. Watercolor painting

I’ve been drawing on my iPad Pro almost exclusively since I got it last Christmas.

I love how quick I can make and process art digitally, and my most favorite function of all, “undo.”

It’s been very exciting to learn a new way to create art, and I’ve been immersed in it for the last 7 months.

Lately, though, I’ve been missing drawing and painting on paper more and more.

So I played with watercolor and gouache (an opaque watercolor) and made a fun flower drawing.

There is just nothing like drawing and seeing the paint do its thing on paper.

Seeing the luminance of the paint and brush strokes made me so happy!

While I still love drawing on my iPad, I’ll be painting and drawing on paper more in the coming months.

3. Block Printing

I used to do a lot more block printing.

But since I stopped making block printed things to sell (got burnt out) and have been focusing more on teaching, I haven’t been block printing as consistently.

I saw a couple of my friends make beautiful block printed work on Instagram and got inspired, so I worked on a small piece on Sunday afternoon.

I created a design based on the flower watercolor drawing I made.

The whole process probably took me about 2.5 hours from sketching the idea to finish printing.

I really liked the end results a lot. I wanna make more of these small prints!

During my last sabbatical, I had a two-day festival at the end of the week. This time, I decided I wasn’t gonna do any fairs and just enjoy the entire week off.

It usually takes me a few days to come down from the hustle mode and get into a resting mode, so having the entire week and weekend off was great.

Oh, and Dave had just come home from a 2.5 week out-of-town work stint, so it was double awesome to get to spend some time with him, too!

My energy reservoir is full again, and I’m feeling more centered and grounded.

I’m ready to tackle the second half of my summer, my friend!

Don’t forget to do something to recharge your energy today 😘

xo

Artist Manifesto from 3 years ago

I wasn’t gonna publish a new post today because I’ve been taking this week off to rest and recharge.

I still took a time off and enjoyed it throughly, but I posted this on Instagram on Just 31st, which is my 3-year full-time artist anniversary and got so many encouraging responses.

So I thought you may enjoy it, too.

(Copying and pasting doesn’t count as work, does it? 😉)

***

3 years ago today, I left my 14+ year career in the non-profit domestic violence work to grow Honeyberry Studios full-time. I’d been working on my art biz for a few years on the side but I really wanted to give my 100% to my creative endeavor to see where it can go. So I took a week off from work, and Dave and I sat down to crunch some numbers and decided his income alone could support us for a foreseeable future. That following Monday, I gave my notice.

A day after I left the office for the last time, I went on a solo retreat at my friend’s studio on Whidbey Island. I sat there alone to really think about my intentions for the next chapter in my life. I ended up creating this manifesto during my solo retreat as a visual reminder of why I do what I do and how I’d like to act in my business.

3 years later, my business is finally feeling like a real business, not an expensive hobby 😀 Though I have many moments of self doubt and insecurities, I’m super grateful that I get to do what makes me so incredibly happy for a living and sharing what makes me happy brings you joy ✨ Everybody wins in this scenario 😉

Most of my intentions I set in the beginning still hold true (except for making art everyday – I don’t. But I don’t beat myself up about it any more 😜)

Thank you for your support and encouragement so far – without you, my loyal fans and amazing retail partners, I would not be here writing this message today. Running a profitable small business is not easy. I’m so grateful for you. I’m only just getting started and can’t wait to bring you more joyful creations for many years to come✨

***

Have a beautiful day!

xo