10 Original Limited Edition Prints by 10 Artists to celebrate 1,000 Days of #HeyCreateDailyRead More
Birthing something while losing someone & how creativity can help you through.
The same day my aunt was admitted to the hospital with an intestinal blockage from complications of ovarian cancer I got the call about the grim prognosis of what that meant. Apparently, blockages are the “beginning of the end,” and after 8 months of fighting valiantly against this advanced disease, it seemed like the final chapter was here. My aunt was my second mother. She raised me in my early years and was the center of my universe at every holiday. ...Read my full post on Medium.
The fact that Aunt Pat left us within hours of me pressing publish on this "Safest Space" album felt sort of magical. She knew this was for her. For those of you who don't know, it's simply been me recording one song a day in my aunt's living room while caring for her at the end stages of ovarian cancer. My heart has been breaking watching the person I love fight so valiantly, but creating for her became my outlet. I was so excited to be able to play the album for her two days ago and she woke to say, "Sounds great". I said, "It's All For You". We thought we had a few more days with her to be honest.
BUT! Something synergetic happened. Last night I stayed up until 1:30am working on the finishing touches and published the songs all ready to launch today. I had been putting it off and almost didn't do it...but something in me felt like I should just get it done.
I finished everything and headed to bed at 2. At 2:30, my Uncle woke me up and told me my aunt was breathing heavy. We all got up, sat with her, held her hand, told her we loved her and I sang lightly in her ear. She peacefully left us at 5:00am. Then it began to snow and hasn't stopped since. She knew.
So. Here's the music for Aunt Pat and for you. Feel free to share AND if you feel in a giving mood there's a button to donate & all proceeds will be going to ovarian cancer research in her honor. It's imperfect - it was me in the living room. But it captures this precious moment in time - and it can never be taken away. If anything it taught me that birthing something alongside losing someone can do wonders. It was an accidental discovery that I will hold on to.
Thank you for all your love, well wishes and support. I'll miss you so much Aunt Pat.
For the past three weeks I have been by my beautiful aunt's side, watching Stage 4 ovarian cancer win. Watching her body being defeated against her resolute strength is the most traumatic/hardest thing I've ever experienced. My heart is literally breaking.
As I sat weary from crying one night I looked at the piano in the living room. The same piano I taught myself on in the room that held so many of my favorite memories. I began to play, and decided in that moment to write and record one song a day in the hour of free time I had. It became the only way I could charge myself up from the realities of the day. I learned creating and losing work so well together.
The songs are raw and imperfect - just like this chapter of my life. It just felt fitting. Because everything around me can and will disappear. This house. The people I love in it. But, the music won't...and I find that reassuring. I'm going to launch the album in her honor next week but in the meantime, here's one of the perfectly imperfect tunes
My 1,000th creation from #HeyCreateDaily will happen on March 20. To celebrate, I've asked ten amazing artist friends to take a stab at illuminating one creation per each batch of 100 and will have beautiful high quality prints available for a limited time. I am honored to be working with each of them. Mark your calendar for March 17!
Also, there will be a couple made just for kids! Recently, while reading The Artist Way, the part that really resonated with me was about how as children we are not encouraged to be creative. I know that I spent most of my twenties finding my full fledge creative self - and it was a tough sludge. I lost my voice somewhere in childhood and then got it back. So, I've partnered with an illustrator to bring unique prints to life to hang on children's walls & encourage creativity every day. (10% of proceeds will go to Giving The Gift of Music)
Here's a sneak peak !
As you practice following your intuition, it may lead you in many directions. You may express yourself in a variety of areas, all of which will begin to synthesize in some surprising, interesting, and very new, creative ways. You'll be doing what you love, what you're good at, what comes easily to you and has an element of challenge and excitement to it. Whatever you do will feel satisfying and fulfilling to you. Everything you do becomes a contribution." -Shakti Gawain
* Thank you for sharing & inspiring Jenny Feinberg.
Humin is an amazing app, and on it's blog it likes to feature people they believe are builders of community. I was super honored to have Ashley Batz stop by with these questions and then take such adorable photos. She is an amazing photographer.
What was the road to Airbnb like?
The road to Airbnb was magical. It’s a true example of how one moment can change your whole life. My best friend went to school with the founders, and introduced me to the company. I met them weeks later, and we all became fast friends. I had no idea what it was like to be in a tech company at the time, and I really didn’t know the adventure I was in for. I had studied film production, but I ended up being able to bring that skill to the company very early on. We started filming almost as soon as I got there.
In the early days it was like a family. We would all have lunch together, walk to get coffee, travel together and share hotel rooms. We were always on a budget, hustling, navigating the curve balls as a unit. It was such a beautiful and special time. Lots of laughter. Certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience I cherish.
Read the rest here: http://blog.humin.com/super-humins-venetia-pristavec/
I launched my books. I awaited a call from the editors-in-chief of the best selling lists (Okay, not sure who calls but still...) A social media explosion to impact my world. Millions of tweets. I'm still waiting. AND that's okay.
The books took 8 months of hard work. I didn't realize that creating projects is actually only 30%. Apparently, getting them out into the world is 70% and a long persistent road. It is CROWDED out there. Holy smokes.
That's why I encourage you to know that when you buy directly from the artist this season, you are directly supporting someone who is being bold, courageous, and going against the grain. If they are anything like me, they feel perhaps isolated sometimes, or wondering why they don't just do what is easy but choose to do what can feel hard. Trust me. It can be hard.
As I carve out on my own starting a business and being determined to bring creative projects into the world, more than anything I realize how important it is for community and to support those who are doing the same. Here are my friend's labor-of-love projects that I would highly recommend to make great gifts this season. (Consider writing a note with your gift to let the receiver know who they are in turn, supporting.) Please know that buy purchasing them that it means the world to that artist and that you are in turn bringing more creativity into this world. They inspire me to do more art and I hope they can inspire you, too.
1. Original Prints by Zhen Zeng. A product designer by day - her color monster series makes you relate to the playful character inside us all.
2. 52 Cups of Coffee by Megan Gebhart. She sat down with 52 different people to learn stellar advice on life and career.
4. Original prints and books by Laura Helen Winn. She beautifully captures the heart of the city she lives in and the world around her.
5. Urban Imagination by George Zisiadis. You will never look at a city the same way again. Gumball parking meters, overhang swing sets etc. Perfect for children.
6. NailSnaps by Angel Anderson. Just listed as one of the best new apps by Apple (WHAT? NBD) Angel came up with the idea to put your instagram photos on your nails and then she actually created the company. Your nails will never be the same.
7. The New About Me by Michael Margolis. This program is a 7 step video online course to creating and refining your personal and professional narrative to stand out from the crowd (and it def works).
8. Sketches and Illustrations by Madelin Woods. Nicolas Cage sketches, oil paintings and more.
9. Sketches and Illustrations by Michelle Morrison. Feisty, bold and beautiful - just like her.
10. Guided meditation recordings and original jewelry by Mer Zandifar. These make great gifts and I can vouch that there's a recording for every moment of your life.
11. The Quarter Life Breakthrough by Adam Smiley Poswolsky. An inspiring career guide for twentysomething's who are looking to get unstuck.
Well, life is ironic. For weeks I've been planning a big Chloe launch bash in the mission. That all came to a halt when the "pineapple express" rain storm moved in and took the power out of the event space. The event will now be rescheduled!
Chloe apologizes for bringing so much rain and causing the party to be delayed. BUT, she is also excited because she knows San Francisco needs it.
Details on the new date of the launch party coming soon! Stay dry!
KLM airlines asked me some questions about where to go and what to see in San Francisco! Here are a couple of my recommendations! Available now in seat pockets of airplanes.
Baked Apple Crumble! Easiest dessert for Thanksgiving EVER. You can still make this in time for today and be the hit of the party!Read More
Launching today and just in time for the holidays! Two original children's books laying the foundation of gratitude. Gratitude for the clouds and the rain they bring. Gratitude for our bodies that work so hard every day.
These books are a labor of love and self-published, so I fully appreciate any sharing to friends you think might enjoy these as well.
With so much thanks,