Last year at this time I was in Paris, happily ensconced in my apartment with my pal Carl. Engrossed in my self-designed artist residency, the focus of my days was spent making commissioned paintings, exploring new creative avenues and wandering Paris, taking in all the inspiration there.
This was one of the best periods of my life, and I look back with deep fondness and nostalgia, as you can imagine! Because Colorado is my creative zone this summer, I wondered how I could recreate the experience at home.
To gain clarity on how to make the most creative summer for myself, I sprung a few coaching inquiries on myself.
So you fondly remember that artist residency in Paris. What do you deeply crave this year?
I really want to focus on my art. I crave days in the studio making and exploring.
How could you meet that desire this summer?
Two things help me: specific projects and clustering my time.
Like many people at the end of the school year, May was packed with a lot of work. I planned and drafted my newsletters for the summer. I launched and delivered the webinar Prioritize Your Passion Projects. I set up my summer coaching schedule on specific days so I have sweet, concentrated time with my clients alternating with time in my studio.
I spent a lot of time noodling about how I want to spend my creative time on this summer. My birthday is coming up and I feel a sense of my mortality. That was helpful to get clear on what I want to create in this precious time. Finally, a plan emerged from my many interests and desires.
There will be three main areas of focus, with one additional daily practice.
- Portraits: 100 watercolor portraits as part of the 100 Days Project (ends mid-July)
- Products: working with my coach to develop my voice and products – starting with an illustrated book that has been nudging me for years.
- Pattern Play – explore making patterns, using the info from a class I took in 2015 to guide me.
- Daily videos – this is something I love to do, but it’s also a challenge. I commit to doing a daily video for 45 days, just like I did in Paris. I started on May 13th. Most of the videos are on my Instagram channel and also on YouTube.
What I hope to gain from these projects:
- With the portrait project, I am gaining skills and confidence depicting people.
- For the product line, I am developing my visual voice and clarifying what I want to share with the world. Plus, it’s helping me put a book project on the front burner – one that has been simmering in the background for years!
- The pattern project also helps me do something that’s been on my list for a long time. That project is mostly for play and exploration with no expected outcome in mind.
- The videos are for me to continue to share my process and to scratch the performer itch that never goes away.
Instead of the vast inspiration from Paris, I’ll tap into the vast inspiration of Denver. Messing around in my garden – watching flowers, greens, vegetables and herbs grow will be sheer delight. Time spent in gorgeous Colorado – mountain camping, hot springs soaking, forest hiking as well as cultural treats like Cirque du Soleil, Wonderbound ballet, museum and gallery visits. A yard sale to clear out my closets. Time with my sweetie and friends. Space to absorb it all.
At the end of the summer, I want to have made progress on the book, a series of portraits and a sense of growth and satisfaction.
What would your summer artist or writer residency include? I hope this week’s Impulse’s has inspired you to structure your own creative focus for the summer. (A summer that includes play and fun!)
Share your thoughts and plans here.