I’m reminded of this over and over again…
What matters most are the people in your life, the people you surround yourself with, the people that you serve.
This thought alone has the power to completely transform creative practice. Instead of simply making something cool or making something just because we want the pleasure of making it, we can ask “how can I bring my passion to the world in a way that will help others?” Instead of thinking “how can I make money from this?”, we can shift the focus to “how can I deliver real change, make a real difference, impact people and help them live a better life?”
I’ve just completed eight intensive weeks of BSchool, with loads of ideas to implement over the coming months. Even though the high-impact course is very much about empowering our business brain and ramping up our marketing to create a truly successful business and a life we love, one of the greatest things we learned had nothing to do with making more money, but instead remembering to always ask ourselves “how can we best serve others?”
This is what really excites me about JEANBAG™. This is where I can make real difference in the world. In fact, it’s not even really about JEANBAG™, but JEANBAG™ as a vehicle through which I can help the environment and help others.
Thinking like this becomes a truly inspired way to live…
What things do you do in your business or in your life that honours the people who surround you and the people that you meet?
Photography by Troy Hansen, styling by Tahn Scoon and many thanks to our models, Keren and little Ilan!
You may have seen my post last week about JEANBAG™. The coolest beanbag made from denim jeans, my entry in the Brisbane City Council’s Tip Shop Art Competition. Now you can vote for it and go into the running for some great prizes!
If you are a Brisbane resident, you can either vote via Facebook or in person at the exhibition on show at the Brisbane Square Library. If voting via Facebook, you don’t need to have a Facebook account, just enter your details and select the entry you would like to win. By voting, you automatically go into the running to win one of ten $50 gift vouchers to use at Brisbane’s Tip Shops. How cool is that!
The winner of the competition will be decided by people’s choice vote. That means, the entry with the most votes will win a $1,000 cash prize! So, if you love JEANBAG™ or any of the other entries, please cast your vote now!
If you like JEANBAG™ and this post, share it with your friends and remember, you can only vote once, so take your time and consider carefully. Good luck!
Voting is open to Brisbane Residents only
Vote via Facebook HERE
Vote in person at the Tip Shop Art Competition: Ground Floor and Level 2, Brisbane Square Library, 266 George St, Brisbane
Voting ends 4pm, Sunday 30 June 2013
For more information visit the Tip Shop Art Competition page on the Brisbane City Council’s website
Photography by Troy Hansen and styling by Tahn Scoon
JEANBAG™ is my entry in the Brisbane City Council’s Tip Shop Art Competition now on show at the Brisbane Square Library.
18 artists were selected to develop artworks from recycled furniture, home wares and textiles found at Brisbane’s Tip Shops for a competition designed to bring awareness to recycling by using a little creativity to breathe new life into everyday items and help divert tonnes of waste from landfill. Something I am passionate about!
I decided to let inspiration hit me on my visit to Brisbane’s two Tip Shops and see what materials were available. During the week the Tip Shops are topped up with all sorts of amazing treasure from the key refuse centres. Stuff that is seriously too good to throw into landfill and you never know what you’re going to find!
I wanted to use my design skills and textile knowledge to create something that could live on well after the competition and when I saw a pile of pre-loved and well-worn denim jeans, I immediately gravitated to them. There’s something about denim that’s so familiar and nostalgic. Almost everyone has a pair of jeans…
For this project, like any other project, I had a budget and timeframe to consider, but I decided to give myself an extra parameter. I thought it would be great fun if people could interact with my piece. Use it. Experience it…
I thought how jeans are relaxed, cool and comfortable, just like the beanbag. Pairing denim with the beanbag seemed like a totally natural fit. And then, as if I’d asked for it, the universe provided an entire suite of beanbag furniture for $15 at the Geebung Tip Shop, so I was also able to recycle my beanbag filling!
As much fun as it has been to create JEANBAG™ for this competition, the most amazing part is that I am now developing an entire business around transforming discarded jeans into a range of well-designed products for the home. I’m so excited, I could burst! So, stay tuned as I work hard to bring JEANBAG™ to you.
Meanwhile, if you’re in Brisbane, you can visit the exhibition and see the amazing works by all the artists. Details below. Online voting for your favourite piece will open shortly so, follow along and I’ll bring you all that information soon.
Exhibition Title: Tip Shop Art Competition 2013
Exhibition Dates: 1 May – 30 June 2013
Location: Ground Floor and Level 2, Brisbane Square Library, 266 George St, Brisbane Queensland 4000
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu 9am-6pm, Fri 9am-7pm, Sat+Sun 10am-3pm
For more information visit the Brisbane City Council website online
Photography by Troy Hansen and styling by Tahn Scoon
Mother’s Day in Australia is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, and as it draws closer I’m reminded of all the amazing things mother’s do. If you’re lucky like me, she listens and advises and simply holds you when you need it most. She shares your joys and your struggles and supports your crazy dreams. She wants to know everything and in return, shares all she is with you. She knows when something’s awry and hopefully when not to pry. Your memories of childhood are full of her. And, you’re grateful for all she has done for you, for all she has given up so that you might have everything.
How do you plan to celebrate your mum this Mother’s Day?
Will you buy flowers? Will you make a beautiful lunch? Will you spoil your mum with a little gift? Will you write your thoughts on a lovely, handmade card? Or, will you simply tell her how much she means to you?
Whatever you choose to do, I hope this is a meaningful time for you…
If you think you’d like to spoil her with a little gift, you might just like to dedicate a handmade print to her art collection from my Collectibles store… And, if you order before Saturday 11 May 2013, your gift will be beautifully and lovingly gift wrapped for free!
Patterns are everywhere. In nature. In architecture. In language. In relationships. In processes and methodologies. In mathematics. In music. There are climatic patterns and universal behavioural patterns. And of course, my favourite, patterns in surface design…
While working on my Brisbane City Council Tip Shop Art Competition entry (soon to be revealed), I started to find patterns in not only my methodical process, but also in the construction of the work itself.
The image above was taken halfway through the making process. I looked at the assemblage of recycled denim fabric pinned together and was struck by the lovely, organic pattern of not only the fabric pieces but the almost rhythmic arrangement of dressmaking pins, which was not intentional, merely a result of securing the denim to the under-fabric. Sometimes the most beautiful things reveal themselves through process and it’s quite magical when we become aware of them.
This made me think of the beauty in random and asymmetrical patterns. In organic designs, this balance is often created through movement, encouraging the eye to dart around, linking colours and shapes and sending us on a journey, connecting the dots. I enjoy developing work like this, work which has a definite rhythm to it. It’s alive, dynamic and about as far removed from contrived as you can get.
What visual patterns can you see in your immediate environment? Have you noticed certain patterns in your life? Do you find balance within the patterns of your day?
Have you ever gotten half-way through something and felt a sense of overwhelm?
Half-way through a project, have you stopped in your tracks and said, “this is much bigger than I thought it would be.” Or half-way through making something have you thought, “this is taking much longer than I planned – I’m on to my next idea already!”
I’m half-way through my BSchool course and I’m thinking, “this is much harder than I expected it to be!” It is much, much harder than I thought. But, it’s also so much more rewarding than I anticipated…
The great thing about BSchool is that it’s making me do some really difficult work on my business. Right from module one, I’ve had to go deep within myself and ask some really hard questions that sit right at the core of my practice. I’ve had to ask myself, why do I do what I do (no, not just because I love it), why do I want to keep doing it and who really wants to engage with it.
Reaching the half-way point in this course is tough. There is so much work to still cover off and so much more yet to learn. It’s easy to get caught up in this feeling of overwhelm and either give up or shelve it for a while and think “I’ll go back to that later.” But, when is ‘later’? Later often never comes. Especially when it comes to doing the really hard work we need to do in our business and on ourselves.
The alternative, however, brings so many rewards and at the end, an unbeatable sense of satisfaction. The alternative is to stick with it, to hunker down, to get on with it, to schedule the time, and commit to having the resolve to know that what you are doing is going to change everything. It’s like running a marathon and being able to see the finish line – you’re sweating your guts out, you’re thirsty, your legs are burning, but you want to cross that line so badly that you narrow your vision down, block out any distractions and go for it.
I’m at the half-way mark… and I’m going for it.
How do you get through these feelings of overwhelm half-way through something? How do you move forward and beat that feeling that there is so much to do, will you ever get there?
Image: Another flash back! At the Brisbane Powerhouse 2008, by Troy Hansen
My beautiful cat Chigger loves to hang out in the studio. He’s just a peach and I really enjoy the company.
And lately, I’ve been thinking how he is a reflection of my working methodology. Equal parts routine + flexibility.
He is a total creature of habit with an almost mind-nubbingly, repetitive daily routine:
Wake up. Cuddle. Eat. Morning outing on the rooftop terrace. Eat some cat grass. Back inside. Eat some more. Self-clean. In the studio by 8am. Sleep. Stretch. Sleep. Stretch. Eat. Sleep. Repeat until 5pm. Back to the rooftop terrace. Then, inside. Eat. Out on the balcony for some nightlife. Back inside. Lie on my feet on the couch. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Come to bed. Repeat the next day…
I have to say though, that like Chigger I maintain a solid routine to get across the diverse range of projects that come into my studio. I start and finish in the studio at the same time every day and take a regular lunch break. I use my iCal to the max and schedule everything in, even personal commitments. Regular tasks like writing my blog or attending to emails, and working on time-based projects all go into my calendar. Blocking out time in this way encourages a kind of ‘super-efficiency’. As long as you stick to it. No checking emails during time set aside for project work or the entire game plan will come unstuck!
It’s this ‘batching’ and committing to particular tasks on certain days that develops a ‘mind-muscle memory’ and helps maintain flow throughout the week. Mondays are project days. Wednesdays at present are study days. Friday mornings are for all things financial – invoicing, filing, updating tax records etc. There is no energy wasted in figuring out what to do when. And, writing to do lists the night before becomes a breeze because my brain is already keyed in to the flow.
However, life doesn’t work on a rigorous routine all the time. It’s just not possible. Often clients’ schedules won’t align with mine and if I want to see them, I need to be flexible and renegotiate my calendar. Or, sometimes I just need a day where I take myself out of my routine and see an exhibition, read a book or visit a friend. Chigger’s hyper-extendable little body reminds me of this need to be open and adaptable, to be flexible and make things work. He also reminds me to get up from my computer or work bench regularly and stretch, and there’s a whole other post just in that!
Having said that, this post must come to an end here as I need to move on to my next task. My iCal is beeping at me!
How do you like to set yourself up to get the most out of every day? Do you subscribe to a routine? Saturday morning markets? Sunday morning newspaper? What helps you in your business with your workflow?