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

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Building a Creatively Made Business | Say No to Say Yes

JOsaynotosayyes

When you are building a new business or growing the business you have loved and expanded for awhile it can be hard to know what to give your physical, emotional and financial energy to.

You can read all of the books, take the business classes, talk to your peers etc. but when it comes down to it YOU have to make daily decisions that lead you into a creative life for your business.

I love that Elizabeth Gilbert states that a creative life is not if you are a gardener, painter, dancer, chef…a person that lives a creative life is a person that chooses “curiosity over fear” on a daily basis. Time and time again you choose to not let fear drive your decisions.

Have you ever thought about what fear looks like?  It can look different for each of us but it can be procrastination, perfection, settling, control, inability to make a decision, letting others decide for you and even saying yes to things you really want to say no to.

When you say yes to everything you are also saying no to YOUR gifts, dreams in your heart, goals for your life and creativity and time and energy for your family.  It can be a fear of missing out, the belief that because so many others are doing it that you should too or the desire to please everyone else around you.

I am contacted almost daily with beautiful offers and opportunities.  I have to say no to almost all of them.   Sometimes it can be hard but because I have some boundaries in place about how often I travel away from my family each year, how many online classes I will teach each year etc. the work and decisions are many times already decided for me. I have a very beautiful and full life that is rich with home, family, business, friends and creativity.  I do not say yes to many things I do not want to do. From little to big things I try to be honest with myself, family, friends and business.  I have learned what it feels like to resent saying yes, the energy that robs from me and the disservice that is to the other person.  I love and thrive with a full life but I do not like a busy life.

Sit down with the most important and trusted people in our life and come up with answers to simple questions like…How often do I want to travel each month?  What is my consulting fee? Teaching fee? etc.  You will be surprised with how much easier it is to say no to say yes when you have taken some time to already have answered some of these questions for yourself, business and family.  Once you have done that I would encourage you to take each offer and opportunity that comes your way and ask yourself some questions…

1. Do I even want to do this?Does this offer align itself with me and my brand? Is this collaboration authentic?

2. Do I have the time and energy to give my best?

3. How does this impact my family?

4. How does this impact my peace? Mental health? Physical health?

5. Will I resent saying yes?

6. Does it grow my brand, their brand or both?

7. Am I exposing my brand and business to whole new group of potential customers?  Is it worth the time and energy that this project/collaboration will take?

8. Am I doing this for others or is this the best decision for me, my creativity and business?

9. What can I say yes to if I say no to this?

****I try to never answer right away. Even when I want to jump up and down or when I have no interest I take the offer, go over the above questions and then make a sound decision and not just based upon emotions.****

What have you said yes to in business and in your personal life that you wish you would have say no to?  What can you do next time? What do you need to say no to in your life right now so you can say YES to what is coming?

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

 

 
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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

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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