How To Create an Art Retreat Week for One
These days I am juggling, BIG TIME. Besides running my business, Jypsea Leathergoods, I currently have a full-time day job PLUS I'm a mom to a 12-year old and I have other time-consuming projects happening as well such as earning my NJ art teacher's certification.
So when my day job went on spring break last week, I was DYING to run away to a far-flung destination to relax, relate, RELEASE. I was totally BURNED OUT. But due to other obligations (meetings and even a court date), I needed to remain local. Sooooo, I created a STAYCATION that helped me cut out the stress from the world and recharge...all from the comforts of home.
I know what you're thinking...."HOW SWAY?" LOL
This is how I created an Art Retreat for One.
Step One: Makeover
The first sign of a burnt out me is ratty hair. I was in a slump of frizzy, messy buns and I needed to move from boring winter hair to a look that says, "Hello Spring!"
(Day One of my new 'do.)
Step One and a Half: Create a Sacred Space
This isn't a "real" step for me because my home is a very soothing and calm sanctuary but for those who don't have a living space that relaxes them, this is a vital step! You can get your space together with this post.
Step Two: Internal Cleanses and facials
Nothing too serious. No spa dates or colonics. Just some home treatments like tonics, teas, sugar scrubs, clay masks and dead sea soaks to remove toxins and expose a fresher, healthier me. I replaced a meal a day with a fresh pressed juices or smoothies and ate really clean all week. You can check out my self-love rituals on NoireCare.com.
Step Three: Social Media and Texting Hiatus
Bye bye, Facebook! So long, Twitter! The only social media I contributed regularly during my retreat week was IG because I love IG. I don't have to read about anyone's offensive political views there or find out what some random quiz says about their personality.
Just pretty pictures and positive interactions! I love Instagram.
I also stopped texting. I'm a texting beast, preferring it to all other forms of communication except for face-to-face interactions but sometimes it's best to set a date to talk in person or even do the unfathomable: make a phone call! And that's what I did all week when I needed to say something.
Step Four: Refilled My Well, Spiritually.
Taking time for daily meditation was vital for me. I do pray daily before I start my day and again at the end of the day and throughout the day as needed. But for me, prayer is more about me talking to God than me being still and listening to God so the longer I go without meditation, the more disconnected I feel. Daily meditation gave me clarity by pushing out the brain clutter and it got me centered. Woooosah!
Besides daily meditation, I got my yoga on as much as possible.
(My guy and I crossed the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philly on bikes so I can do yoga on the pier.)
Easter Sunday occurred during this break and my daughter and I went to church together for the first time in a long time. She goes to church with her dad often so that compensates for my limited attendance. I'm not an avid church go-er now but I grew up in the Baptist church and love the gospel music, spring colors, and friendly energy of Easter Sunday. Therefore, I make it my business to find a church to visit each Easter. We chose one a few blocks away from home that I've always wanted to check out. Service was wonderful! I definitely plan to go back (eventually. lol).
Step Five: Create an Itinerary
Creating a week's worth of local activities was also a lot less challenging than I thought. I kept it light but never had a dull moment.
AIGA Philadelphia's Design Award Show where I hung out with my girl Beth, a brilliant creative and long-time friend. I'm a new member of AIGA so it was nice to see what they are up to.
Then, I went on a search for a new chair remix project because chair remixes are my FAVE! I found these babies on Craigslist. Solid wood and in excellent shape. They were with the same family for decades. I'm excited to beautify them soon. I got some inspiration from Pinterest.
I also knocked out an small interior styling project off of my to-do list by finally hanging my basket collection. Done and Done!
I was able to get several hours a day of uninterrupted time in my design studio to complete the new collection for Jypsea Leathergoods. It's called 'Sophisticated Funk' and it's so colorful, so fun, and pays homage to my heros: Prince, Jimi Hendrixx, and Diana Ross.
Having a day job right now definitely pulls me away from the work I love the most and if you know anything about creative people, we NEED our creative work or we begin to wither like a dead leaf. It's not cute.
Speaking of the 'Sophisticated Funk' Collection, one of the meetings scheduled during my Art Retreat Week with a boutique, Oxymoron Philly. The store picked up my line. (YAY!) And we are having a launch celebration on May 6th. You'll be able to shop the entire 'Sophisticated Funk' Collection there.
While in Philly for my meeting, my daughter and I did a little sight-seeing and vintage shopping, two of our favorite things. She discovered a CAT CAFE. (Yes, that's a thing) And I was happy hopping from vintage shops to thrift shops in South Philly. I had a bag of clothes and fabric in my trunk that I'd been meaning to donate to charity for weeks so it was good to hand it off to the AIDS Thrift Shop.
Later, I made time to do a little volunteering. I'm a giver. It's my thing. I love to teach, help, make, and provide for others but of course, it can be draining when I'm doing so on E. But once I was all filled up, I made my way over the The Neighborhood Center in Camden for an hour and taught teen girls how to make leather earrings. They loved it and I felt recharged to be surrounded by their magic!
(Want to take my Jewelry Design Workshop? Register here.)
Lastly, I went to celebrate my fiber art being selected for an exhibition at the Jewish Community Center in Bayonne, NJ. At the top of 2017, I decided that I needed a creative outlet that was STRICTLY for fun and not for consumption. Just art for art's sake. I made these 2 fiber art pieces from vintage frames, mudcloth from Mali, and a juxtaposition of leather, shells and jewelry. I had never seen them hung until I stepped into the opening reception at the JCC's gallery. It was such a cool experience. The feedback was SO positive and my friends near Bayonne came through to show love. It was a great day.
And what about that court date?
I emerged victoriously. God is my attorney.
That following Monday, I went back to my day job feeling READY FOR THE WORLD after a week of "doing me." Of course, I'm counting the days until summer break (LOL) but at least I feel so good, so grounded, happy, and moving in the right direction again.
What can you do for you to get back on track?
Leave me a comment and let me know how you would create an Art Retreat for One!
Treat yourself well. You're worth it. xo