We Were Asked to Move Back To DC…

Van Gogh

 

About five weeks ago we were told (out of the blue) that Kelly’s agency was bringing all field agents back to DC.  This would be a mandatory reassignment. We would have until mid-September to be back in DC to still have a job.  We met in DC and our Jack was born there but we have been in Colorado for the past 16+ years and this has truly been home to us.

I had just had a group of 17 teenagers come to the studio to play for the day and as the kids were getting on the bus Kelly met me to tell me he had a bombshell.  We went back to my studio and he started to tell me about the phone call he had just received. We proceeded to spend the next 7 hours talking, praying, making pro and con lists, looking at real estate in DC, hearing the hearts of the kids and each other. We talked (and drank wine) until we could talk no more. I felt like we talked until we had our answer that very first night.

17 years ago I quit my job in DC to stay home with Jack and Kelly was the sole provider of our family. About 10 years ago I unintentionally started a small home based business making journals, paper covered letters, frames, kid’s clothes and bags. During our marriage, every place we have lived, every home we have purchased, every vacation we have gone on has been based upon distance from Kelly’s job and what works with his 9-5 schedule.  As that unintentionally started business grew over the years we always looked at Kelly’s job as safe and reliable and secure. We were always holding onto the belief that his job was there “just in case” or as a “backup”. Even if the words were not spoken it was true in my heart. I never wanted to be responsible for our family financially.  Not solely. It felt like too much.

The funny thing about that call five weeks ago is that none of us knew at the time how much we needed that call. Do you remember when I asked the Lord to help us pray for BIG THINGS?  I wanted to pray for such big things in our life, marriage, family, and business that when things started to change that only the Lord would get the credit? Well, let me tell you…be careful what you ask for! Ha!

It wasn’t long after that when we went through our home journey HERE, HERE and HERE.  We also starting hiring more help that we desperately needed and then we hired more.

Five weeks ago that call felt like something that we could go along with or we could choose differently and it would be alright. No matter what happened. I felt like if we chose to go to DC that our business would grow and change but we would figure it out. That The Living Studio could become something based out of the art and culture right here in the US.  That we could give our kids a life very different from Colorado and that it would be beautiful and good. BUT was DC how we wanted our lives and business to FEEL right now? As wonderful as DC is was it where our hearts were guiding us?

If we did not go to DC we would be scared (for sure) but we could keep this gift of land, home and studio that we feel was divinely brought to us. In letting go of what we had told ourselves was “just in case” and our “backup” was maybe keeping us from what was next for us.  We could become a true team for the first time with this business that we created together but have never been able to 100% grow together.

So, after so much talking, praying, crying and wine drinking we have decided that Kelly will be retiring from his job of 24 years.  As of this summer, Kelly will be working beside me full time to love on our family, marriage, home, land, and business.  There is a huge unknown but we are also giddy with excitement about the freedom of making decisions each day based upon what feels right for our family, marriage, and business. We are choosing again how we want our life to feel and this time we are choosing to not have a “just in case” or a “backup” plan.

We are stepping out again and expectant of beautiful things. We are scared to death. We have so many unknowns but we are doing it together and we will see where it takes us.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of what we are creating. There are so many big and beautiful things coming and they are being created for you too!

 

 

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Building a Creatively Made Business | The Art of Practice

artofpractice

I was volunteering at a local high school enrichment program and I had the students all day.  We were going to start with sketching and then create sculptures based on our sketches.

I had my supplies out, sketches taped to the wall and supplies at each of their spaces to begin.

As they started filtering into the room I started to notice the mumbling of some of the students. There were words coming past their lips like, “I can’t even draw a stick person”, “Mine is going to suck”, “I don’t do art” or “I am not an artist”.  I was a bit surprised at first but then after listening to them for a bit, I knew what they were doing. They were protecting themselves and announcing to the whole class that they would fail just in case they later felt like they failed. They were announcing to themselves and the class that they were afraid of doing something new.

As I looked around the room, their squiggly bodies and unsure expressions I asked them to raise their hand if they had NEVER played the piano. Hands went up over most of the class.  There was an old upright piano in the corner of the room that I had noticed earlier and it would serve me well over the next moments. I pointed to one of the boys that had his hand raised and he confirmed that he had never played the piano. I then asked him to come over to the old piano and play a little Cold Play for all of us. He looked at me a little perplexed but with this new position as the teacher for a day, I was surprised that he slowly got up from his seat and made his way to the piano. He reluctantly sat down at the bench and just stared at me.

“Go ahead and play something”, I said.

“I can’t. I don’t know how”, he responded.

“What do you mean? Why can’t you play something?”, I asked.

“Because I have never taken lessons”.

“Exactly”, I said as I smiled and told him he could go back to his seat.

The next moments of our class were as much of a lesson for me as they were for all of those teenagers.

Do you remember when you were little you used to run up to those that loved you in your life and proudly displayed your art? Those simple marks you made on the page but you couldn’t wait to share? Around the time we become more self-aware (7-9) you may have found yourself creating one day and casually looking over at your classmate, friend or sibling making art.  It may have been the first time that you noticed that someone was better than you. You looked back at your work possibly ashamed and embarrassed. It wasn’t as good. You crumpled it up, threw it in the garbage and for many people that would be the last time they freely made art.  Maybe this didn’t happen for you until you were in high school or even college. You saw someone better and assumed they just had more talent than you. Maybe they did. BUT maybe were doing something you weren’t. Practicing.

For someone to ask you to play an instrument well when you have never played, taken lessons or practiced would be ridiculous but we expect perfection, excellence and quality in ourselves every day in different areas of our lives without ever showing up and putting the time in. And often when we don’t instantly see the results we want we give up too soon.   When it comes to gardening, cooking, painting, dancing, sketching, photography, running, singing, running a business and so many other examples…we think if you are not naturally gifted in these areas that we are not good in these areas and we give up.  What we are missing is comparing our nonpractice with those that practice.

So what happened with all of those students in my art class? Well, once they were told it was OK not to be amazing the very first time they tried something they all let out a collective sigh of relief and practiced. They sketched, they learned and then most of them made sculptures for the very first time in their lives. They had FUN.  They were even surprised in themselves and proud of what they created.

Maybe you have no interest in sketching, painting or sculpting but this is not about the area of practice but about practice. Don’t give up on a skill or yourself when you haven’t even begun to show up and practice. Don’t let fear push you away from the places in yourself that you want to discover. I won’t lie. It is hard work. It is choosing the uncomfortable over and over again. BUT with practice the uncomfortable starts to become comfortable, freeing and beautiful. Dare I say…fulfilling.  Imagine that! A life that feels fulfilling because you did hard things to learn hard things. Not everything you try will be for you but just think about the areas in your life that will change with PRACTICE! Kind of exciting isn’t it?!

coursedividers

 

inspirationisforamateurs

 

If you are interested in building or growing your business I would love to talk with you. I have a small amount of consulting openings each month and would love to share my rates with you and help you build your own creative business. You can contact me at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com.

You may want to schedule a business consultation if…

*You have been dreaming about a business idea and don’t know where to begin

*You are feeling stuck in your current business and want to brainstorm how to revive your creative business

*You feel overwhelmed by your current business and need to say no to some things so you can say yes to your true passions

*You want direction with blogging, your website or social media

*You want help creating a consistent look and feel within your brand

*You are not sure what your brand is and how to define it

*You just need fresh eyes on your business

*You have questions about collaborations

*You want to find out how to get published and how to get your work seen

*You need another creative who has been there and is there to bounce ideas off of

coursedividers

If you are interested in reading more in our Building a Creatively Made Business Series:

Your Business And The New Year

Celebrate Milestones

The Big Picture

Q & A

Say No To Say Yes

Creative Business Consulting

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

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Building a Creatively Made Business | The Art of Practicing

I was volunteering at a local high school enrichment program and I had the students all day.  We were going to start with sketching and then create sculptures based upon our sketches.

I had my supplies out, sketches taped to the wall and supplies at each of their spaces to begin.

As they started filtering into the room I started to notice the mumbling of some of the students. There were words coming past their lips like, “I can’t even draw a stick person”, “Mine is going to suck”, “I don’t do art” or “I am not an artist”.  I was a bit surprised at first but then after listening to them for a bit I knew what they were doing. They were protecting themselves and announcing to the whole class that they would fail just in case they later felt like they failed. They were announcing to themselves and the class that they were afraid of doing something new.

As I looked over the room, their squiggly bodies and unsure expressions I asked them to raise their hand if they had NEVER played the piano. Hands went up over most of the class.  There was an old upright piano in the corner of the room that I had noticed earlier and it would serve me well over the next moments. I pointed to one of the boys that had his hand raised and he confirmed that he had never played the piano. I then asked him to come over to the old piano and play a little Cold Play for all of us. He looked at me a little perplexed but with this new position as teacher for a day I was surprised that he slowly got up from his seat and made his way to the piano. He reluctantly sat down at the bench and just stared at me.

“Go ahead and play something”, I said.

“I can’t. I don’t know how”, he responded.

“What do you mean? Why can’t you play something?”, I asked.

“Because I have never taken lessons”.

“Exactly”, I said as I smiled and told him he could go back to his seat.

The next moments of our class were as much of a lesson for me as they were for all of those teenagers.

Do you remember when you were little you used to run up to those that loved you in your life and proudly displayed your art? Those simple marks you made on the page but you couldn’t wait to share? Around the time we become more self aware (7-9) you may have found yourself creating one day and casually looking over at your classmate, friend or sibling making art.  It may have been the first time that you noticed that someone was better than you. You looked back at your work possibly ashamed and embarrassed. It wasn’t as good. You crumpled it up, threw it in the garbage and for many people that would be the last time they freely made art.  Maybe this didn’t happen for you until you were in high school or even college. You saw someone better and assumed they just had more talent than you. Maybe they did. BUT maybe were doing something they you weren’t. Practicing.

For someone to ask you to play an instrument well when you have never played, taken lessons or practiced would be ridiculous but we expect perfection, excellence and quality in ourselves every day in different areas of our lives without ever showing up and putting the time in. And often when we don’t instantly see the results we want we give up too soon.   When it comes to gardening, cooking, painting, dancing, sketching, photography, running, singing, running a business and so many other examples…we think if you are not naturally gifted in these areas that we are not good in these areas and we give up.  What we are missing is comparing our non practice with those that practice.

So what happened with all of those students in my art class? Well, once they were told it was OK not to be amazing the very first time they tried something they all let out a collective sigh of relief and practiced. They sketched, they learned and then most of them made sculptures for the very first time in their lives. They had FUN.  They were even surprised in themselves and proud of what they created.

Maybe you have no interest in sketching, painting or sculpting but this is not about the area of practice but about practice. Don’t give up on a skill or yourself when you haven’t even begun to show up and practice. Don’t let fear push you away from the places in yourself that you want to discover. I won’t lie. It is hard work. It is choosing the uncomfortable over and over again. BUT with practice the uncomfortable starts to become comfortable, freeing and beautiful. Dare I say…fulfilling.  Imagine that! A life that feels fulfilling because you did hard things to learn hard things. Not everything you try will be for you but just think about the areas in your life that will change with PRACTICE! Kind of exciting isn’t it?!

coursedividers

If you are interested in building or growing your business I would love to talk with you. I have a small amount of consulting openings each month and would love to share my rates with you and help you build your own creative business. You can contact me at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com.

You may want to schedule a business consultation if…

*You have been dreaming about a business idea and don’t know where to begin

*You are feeling stuck in your current business and want to brainstorm how to revive your creative business

*You feel overwhelmed by your current business and need to say no to some things so you can say yes to your true passions

*You want direction with blogging, your website or social media

*You want help creating a consistent look and feel within your brand

*You are not sure what your brand is and how to define it

*You just need fresh eyes on your business

*You have questions about collaborations

*You want to find out how to get published and how to get your work seen

*You need another creative who has been there and is there to bounce ideas off of

coursedividers

If you are interested in reading more in our Building a Creatively Made Business Series:

Your Business And The New Year

Celebrate Milestones

The Big Picture

Q & A

Say No To Say Yes

Creative Business Consulting

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Building a Creatively Made Business | Your Business and the New Year

BCMByourbusinesandthenewyear

 

A brand new year is the perfect time to re-evaluate your business goals and to take the time to see what changes can be made to make THIS the year where your business and creativity grows like never before.

I am sharing 5 tips to get your business off to a beautiful start in the new year…

 

-Family First

The beginning of the year is the perfect time for my family to sit down and re-evaluate our schedule, what we want to change and how we can better hear and see each other. Since my first Building a Creatively Made Business online class I have been sharing that your business goals and family goals need to run parallel and build each other up. The hope and goal is that the strength in each helps to have success in each.   If they are fighting against each other one or both will fail. This takes honest conversations, compromise and sometimes getting help where you need it. If you have others in your life that are impacted by your business I encourage a family meeting to hear the pulse of what you hold the most dear.

 

-Let Something Go

Building and running a business is a hard and tiring job. It takes an honest (and healthy) person to admit where they are falling short and could use some help. Sometimes this can be big things that you are not experienced or strong in and other times it is the jobs that not only you can do.   Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.   I know that when you are still building your business it can be hard to pay others to do some of the things where you are not skilled. We have paid someone from the very beginning to help with our blog and website design and our branding. We couldn’t afford NOT to have someone help us in this area. It has made all of the difference. Over the years we have needed help with household things that we were not getting to. We have also had contractors and artisans create for us, help with shipping, design work and admin work. We need them and if we want to create the family that we want we have to let something’s go.

 

-Honor Your Word

We have all said yes to things that we didn’t want to do and it kept us from doing the things we really desired. It kept us from doing the things that we were made for. This is big stuff. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Meaning, that if you say yes make sure you give it your all. To do that, you have to say no to most other things. What did you say yes to in 2016 that you should have said no to? What did you say yes to that you wanted to do but because you said yes to too many other things you did a poor job? If you are going to grow your business you have to know where to put your energy and when you do it it should be with your whole heart. Saying no just may set you free in 2017.

 

-Collaborate

Do you have a person in your business world (or outside of it) that you have been dying to work with? What do you have to lose? They can say no and you try another person. What if they say yes! Some of my most joyful and creatively expanding work has been collaborating with other artists and business men and women I admire. Working with others has brought financial and creative success again and again. I have also learned business lessons that I would have missed without the collaboration. Collaborations also get you out of your head and out of your comfort zone. Priceless.

 

-Do Something Scary

It is never perfect when you start, there is never enough money to do everything and you have to make the time to pursue your calling. These are just truths to life and business. I know you have something scary that you want to do this year BUT….No, jump in. It won’t be perfect, you won’t have it all together, if you want it bad enough you will find the money and you will make the time. Do something scary this year. Guess what? You then learn by doing that scary things are only scary for a short time and you walk through them and do the next scary thing. When you look back you will see years of walking through scary things that turned into collaborations, expansion, big art, travel, being vulnerable, authentic relationships, adventure….the list goes on. Just one thing. Pick just one thing this year and see the beauty that comes out of doing scary things.

 

coursedividers

 

If you are interested in building or growing your business I would love to talk with you. I have a small amount of consulting openings each month and would love to share my rates with you and help you build your own creative business. You can contact me at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com.

You may want to schedule a business consultation if…

*You have been dreaming about a business idea and don’t know where to begin

*You are feeling stuck in your current business and want to brainstorm how to revive your creative business

*You feel overwhelmed by your current business and need to say no to some things so you can say yes to your true passions

*You want direction with blogging, your website or social media

*You want help creating a consistent look and feel within your brand

*You are not sure what your brand is and how to define it

*You just need fresh eyes on your business

*You have questions about collaborations

*You want to find out how to get published and how to get your work seen

*You need another creative who has been there and is there to bounce ideas off of

coursedividers

If you are interested in reading more in our Building a Creatively Made Business Series:

Celebrate Milestones

The Big Picture

Q & A

Say No To Say Yes

Creative Business Consulting

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Q & A All About Business, Home and Family | We Want To Hear Your Questions!

We get so many emails each day asking about our home/land/studio/business/family and we haven’t done a blog Q&A for a long time and thought NOW is the perfect time!

What questions do you have?

It can be about anything (almost anything:-))!

You can ask it in the comments of this post or email us at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com.

Next week I will do a video answer all of the questions!

I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Business Consulting and Private Art Instructions Openings for 2017

We are opening up our calendar to start scheduling business consults and private art instruction in 2017.

This has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the new studio because it has allowed us to connect in brand new ways.

Over the past year I have consulted with businesses owners from all over the world and have helped them make a plan to grow their business, get back on track or get off the ground.

Running your own business is one of the hardest things you will ever do but it is also one of the most rewarding.  If you feel stuck in your business, not sure how to navigate social media, don’t know how to focus and move forward or you just need another creative to brainstorm with you then I would love to talk with you. You can choose a one hour session or meet weekly/monthly. We will talk through Skype so we see each other and create a genuine relationship as we work together.

There are few things I do that give me as much joy as connecting with other creative business owners and sharing what we have learned.

If you would like to schedule a consult please email us at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com.

***

I love teaching online and also in live workshops but sometimes the best use of your time and resources can be private one on one instruction.

I meet with artists in our studio and it can be a one time instruction, monthly or you can travel and we can schedule it for a full day or weekend.

If you are interested in scheduling private art instruction please email us at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com

***

Because of our own new beautiful studio here in Castle Rock, Colorado I am only traveling to one studio in 2017 and it is to teach in North Caroline at the Donna Downey Studios

The most beautiful and inspiring gift to yourself to start off 2017!

 

Coming together and creating one on one with other artists is one of my favorite things. I have three children at home and my heart is to be with them so it is only the most special studios and opportunities that bring me away from my own studio.

In person I am able to connect in a whole different way than online and we are able to work one on one on your art and even where you want your art to go. The intimacy that a live workshop offers is priceless to me and I hear that back from other artists also. It is always a growth experience for each artist teaching and the artists gathering together.

This coming February I will be traveling to North Carolina to teach at the Donna Downey Studios! This is such a treat for me to be at Donna’s studio but to also be teaching along the East Coast! I know I get asked often to make my way to the East Coast so I hope this makes many of you happy!

THREE DAYS of us sketching, laughing, connecting, sculpting and going away filled up and ready to take what we have learned and discovered about ourselves and investing it into our own work. I love this part of live workshops! I just walk away filled up and inspired in my own creativity! I hope you join me!

You can make payments (hello!) and start your 2017 with a creative gift for yourself!

The Details:

Product Description

ALL SUPPLIES INCLUDED. BREAKFAST, LUNCH, SNACKS, & DRINKS PROVIDED!!

Class size limited…

Workshop Description…

Join me for a three-day workshop all about finding your authentic style and incorporating your story into your work. Our first day together will be filled with some of my favorite sketching exercises and techniques. We will play with charcoal, inks, watercolor pencils, pastels, paints and more. At the end of the first day you will be surrounded by your portrait sketches and collages and your own story will start to be revealed.

With our other days together we will create sculptures based upon your sketches. You will build your own industrial armatures and I will share easy to follow steps to sculpting your own face. We will embellish our sculptures with plaster and wire to create works of art you will be proud of.

You will go home with sketches, collages, paintings and sculptures that will give you glimpses into your authentic hand in your creativity and where it is leading you.

 

Event Schedule……..

Friday Feb 17th 2017
12:00pm – 5:00PM workshop
12:00pm-1:00pm – Lunch provided at the studio

Saturday Feb 18th 2017
9:30am – students arrive at studio. Breakfast & coffee served.
10:00am – 5:00PM workshop
12:00-1:00pm – Lunch provided at the studio

Sunday Feb 19th 2017
9:30am – students arrive at studio. Breakfast & coffee served.
10:00am – 2:00pm workshop
12:00pm-1:00pm – Lunch provided at the studio

I would love to create with you North Carolina!

To read more or to register click HERE.

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leave me a comment.

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If Adventure, Creating and Travel Speak To You {I have something for you}

Sometimes we get to be wild explorers and travel far away, other times we can connect with other creatives not far from home and at other times we have the joy of hunkering down right where we live and creating among our day to day life.  Each one of these are life giving and creative building travels.

I love that my travels have allowed me to build beautiful new friendships, sketch among stained glass windows and old wooden pews, sip espresso as I watch the locals pass me by and learn to get out of my comfort zone and create wherever I go.

I also love that it has taught me to find the beauty in the ordinary and familiar.

Whether you are looking for adventure and creating near or far I wanted to share with you what I have coming up. I would sure love to have you join me!

June 2016

We have ONE spot that has just opened up for our sold out workshop at our new studio.

To register or read more click HERE.

***

August 2016

I am a speaker at HAVEN and I will be talking all about Product Launching.

To read more or to register click HERE.

***

August 2016

Danielle Donaldson is our first guest artist in our new studio.

There are a few spots left.

To register or read more click HERE.

***

October 2016

We have ONE spot that has just opened for our sold out The Living Studio Along the Danube.  The whole ship is sold out and this is the very last spot on the river cruise.

If you would like to read more or register click HERE.

Payment would be due in full shortly after registering and this is for a upper lever level room. You have an awesome roommate and room waiting for you!

***

February 2017

Join me at Donna Downey’s studio in North Carolina! What an awesome way to kick off the new year.

***

April 2017

I know it sounds crazy to be planning for 2017 but we only have a few spots left for The Living Studio Along the Seine!

To read more or to register click HERE.

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