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Anniversary thoughts

I have started this blog every day for a solid week.  It is unlike me to have words fail me. (I seem to always have plenty to say) I honestly didn’t know what to write. (Or maybe how to write what I needed to say) I certainly have pride in my business, pride and honor in having helped other artists show their work, gratitude in facilitating workshops and socially conscious events, gratitude in being able to pay it forward, pride in the art that has been “adopted”, and the spin-off adventures I have taken (Greetings4Good!)- and well, you get the idea, right? These are some of the good things I am celebrating today! 

In recent times I have discovered that balance is in order. I began this business shortly after losing my mother,  I was working full time, had a house full of young adults, and did my best to work almost full time at this business too. That was a whole lot of busy! I didn’t know how to slow down, there wasn’t time to! As I navigate my journey, I recognize the need for balance. 

Balance has always been a challenge for me. I think in some weird way that is a strength, I try not to do anything halfway. I am all in! Working hard has never been an issue. What I have learned is you don’t get any trophies for ignoring your personal and physical needs.  In fact, it ultimately interferes with your goals.

As I navigate this journey, I recognize that a full cup isn’t a luxury it is a necessity. Throw in a few health challenges,  and a few million commitments, and heck- you have a recipe for a completely new perspective. 

That said, today, I am celebrating my anniversary AND balance! I am going to share some of my favorite art and items on social media. If you want to bring them home, or even send them as a gift, please comment! I will invoice you, and send them out early next week! (or make arrangements to pick them up at my studio) There may be a surprise or two included! (Not to mention this fancy magnet I made just for this occasion!) 

Thank you for supporting me. I would have not been able to navigate the particularly hard times (covid etc) without you. You have been with me throughout the seasons of this business, and I am so darn grateful. 

Sending you so much love, 

Susan

 

 

 

 

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It’s small business week…

It’s small business week. I have so many things I want to share – but I will start with the beginning.
My business Create Art 4 Good began just about thirteen years ago. It was the spring after my mom had passed and frankly, I needed something to do with all that energy. I have had businesses in the past, mostly they fizzled out because of circumstances, or maybe lack of direction. With this one, I was determined. I even wrote a business plan!
In the beginning, CA4G was almost like a tupperware party for art. I was invited into homes and offices to share my work. It was scary and exciting and hard. Hard because, well, as a functional introvert, pushing into other spaces felt so vulnerable and difficult. The good news is I felt and am grateful for the incredible support I received. My goal of having a brick and mortar happened over two years sooner than was on my plan!
I moved into the Hungerford and then was not able to support my own big dreams, but then support other artists with monthly rotating exhibits, socially conscious events, workshops, and more. During my time at the Hungerford, I represented over a thousand artists. (Yes, you read that right) It was an honor and a joy!
In 2016 I opened a second business, because, well why not? Greetings 4 Good fulfilled so many of my dreams- thoughtfulness, art, and paper! Greeting cards and I have been good friends since I was able to hold a pencil. Happy mail is just the best! To date, I have about 1500 designs. Many have been retired, because honestly, as you grow, you can let go of the early efforts.
In 2020, just about five minutes before the pandemic hit, I moved to the Piano Works Mall to be a part of Central Creatives – A Co-Work of Art at the Piano Works. I felt it was time to focus on my own work and do all those things that have been waiting patiently in my notebooks and swirling in my head.
I have much to be grateful for. The support I have received for my small business has been astounding. My goal is and always has been to reach others and share my love through art.
I want to say thank you to every single human who has blessed me by supporting me with a kind word, purchasing art, attending a workshop, buying cards, and more. YOU are the reason I have been successful. I am so so blessed.
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Pricing Artwork

There are many theories on pricing artwork, it can be confusing to navigate. Historically artists undervalue themselves. The public cements this by suggesting that because we love what we do, it should be discounted. Make no mistake WE WORK HARD! I would argue that our work, like any other, deserves compensation.

So! Sharon Jeter who has worked with artists in the past is coming to Central Creatives (where my studio is located) to share her ideas on pricing and help artist price toward their greatest success! The workshop is a mere $20 – there is a bit of homework too!  More information can be found on Sharon’s site. (click on Sharon)

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Challenge Time!- Drawtober

October has been a time for many artists to find a way to draw daily. It seems like we have spent so much time doing businessy things over the summer that we need to shake the dust off and get back to creating. Since its beginning  Create Art 4 Good has facilitated workshops and other good things for all those creative, and this year I wanted to inspire a back-to-basics kind of challenge. Just like self-care, sometimes taking a moment to draw seems to happen too rarely. 

That said, I know there are many challenges this month, not the least of which is Inktober. I certainly respect what they are doing, but I don’t always love the topics. The “Drawtober” challenge I created is an effort to explore some of the basics again. Think about textures, shapes, and color. Make the ordinary extraordinary! Make it yours! 

I would love for you to share your drawings! Feel free to use whatever media makes you happy. Work for thirty minutes or less, and then post on social media! I’d love to see! Please use the hashtags #drawtober and #createart4good

Let the creation begin!

 

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In a blink, twelve years…

It seems like a blink when I reflect on the past twelve years. As stated in a previous post, I have spent a great deal of time analyzing where I started, where I am, and where I want to be. The past twelve years have been under my personal microscope profoundly for the last few months. I felt that a decision needed to be made. Change was in the wind. While this is without question a heart lead business, I have also tried to make sound business decisions. With as objective of a view as I could muster, I would say that there are many moments to celebrate. There are also many challenges that I could have handled better. Many of those became lessons, some of which I had to learn more than once. (insert smirk here) Isn’t the image always clearer in the rear view mirror?

The Oxford dictionary has this to say about success:

suc·cess
noun
1.
the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
“there is a thin line between success and failure”
Oxford isn’t kidding, there is a very fine line between success and failure. 
 
Create Art 4 Good has grown into many things. I believe the logo being a tree seems to be perfect. (who knew?- I thought I just liked trees!) When I reflect on the growth of the past twelve years, that alone seems to be a reason to celebrate. Today, I believe there are more reasons than just my growth as a human, a businesswoman, and an artist to celebrate. 
 

They say that humans are drawn to their vocation. It is often what you love to do, what inspires you, or perhaps what you are curious about.  However, the road is not always clear. Sometimes there are detours, or the path is not linear as the road map for life is rarely easily found. Sometimes what you “thought” you should do, is just a vehicle for what you should actually do. This isn’t to say that your original goals (or business plan) were wrong, only that you have grown, and perhaps even accomplished what you set out to do.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 I have grown. I have loved the past twelve years. The adventure, the surprises, even the challenges, as well as the opportunities – these have become some of the greatest joys of my life.

I know that year thirteen will be an adventure. I know that even though I LOVE to plan things, this year might not have a strategic plan. I might just have to take one day at a time. I might just need to follow my heart. I need to explore my life and business with tenacious curiosity. Perhaps that is the real gift here. 

 Speaking of plans…As part of my anniversary celebration, I decided to create a mixed media heart every day.  There are multiple reasons for this. Some of which is the ability to spread love with my art. Hearts are love without the need to have a common language. Another reason has been to return to the practice of art every single day.  I have been in the practice of art for my entire life(or as long as I could hold a utensil of creation)

Oh, but life, gets in the way, doesn’t it? They say we make plans and God/the Universe laughs. As you may (or may not) know, I recently had a hospital stay for a heart issue. This took me by complete surprise. I have always felt as though one of my gifts was the ability to love and love fiercely. However, for the first time, I felt like my heart was literally broken. When this happens it is scary. I felt like couldn’t trust my body. I felt like I was not on steady footing any longer. 

Dragonflies are the symbol of healing-

The heart, both literal and figuratively has been a central theme in my life, and in my work. So, I decided to stick with “the plan”(even though I found it completely ironic) and create a heart (or more) a day. In the end, it has been just what I need. It has been a time to heal. Time with nothing too pressured, and time to prioritize.  (love begins at home, right?) Even though technology has not been my friend,(that’s another story) I am able to post a heart or two a day and share my love.

So yes, the last twelve years have felt like a blink. I look forward to the next year, two, or more and the adventures we will share. Thanks for your love, for sticking close, and for sharing my journey. 

The best is yet to be. 

Sending you so much love, 

Susan

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a mixed media art retreat?

a mixed media art retreat?

Have you ever thought of attending an art “retreat”? For me, this means going somewhere for a few days, enjoying a change of scenery, take advantage of an opportunity for me to work on a ____ (fill in the blank) or perhaps participate in a workshop or two to learn something new. It means my basic needs are met – I have a place to sleep, good food (perhaps by a trained chef), and freedom to just breathe for a bit.
2022 seems to be the year of realizing some of those dreams that are swimming in my head a bit. This one has been steeping for quite some time.
I have done quite a bit of research, planned, and pondered. Now I want to gauge if there is any interest besides my own! I have created a quick survey- I would love it if you would take a moment to fill it out, feel free to share it with anyone you think might be interested!
Thank you in advance!

Here is the survey!