Category Archives: Art and Business Practice

Happy New Year, 2018!

For me, 2017 was a year of new adventures and experiences. My hope for you is that, 2018 brings new growth, change, love, joy, and happiness to you and your loved ones.

Peace on earth! Ahoy to New Adventures!

Silly Girl Factory has opened for business! Yea! Find my art on Etsy! All original art ships in 1-2 business days!

Last year was a year of growth, change, and adventure for me, instead of working for myself, I took a full time job. I worked for for Angela Haseltine Pozzi at Washed Ashore in Bandon, Oregon making huge sculptures that travel the country to teach about the problems of plastic garbage in our oceans. The experience was terrific! In one year I built, restored, designed, and refurbished 18 sculptures. I even helped retire 2 out of the inventory of 70! I will be forever grateful for all that I learned while working for another artist, making work in her style.

Dorky Doodle Wind-Me-Up. Paper, Ink. 14 x 11 inches. $95

Moving on! New Adventures in 2018!

Silly Girl Factory is moving into a new dedicated studio space in Langlois, Oregon tomorrow—January 2! Pictures of the new studio and other art making processes and what it is like to start a new business will be unveiled on Instagram and in this blog. Stay tuned.

PS. I also have a new book in the works and I cannot wait to share it with you in 2018.

Most of all…

Happy New Year!

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Create Compassionate Goals

Do I create compassionate goals? Do you? For me the answer is: Um, heck no! I tend to create too many goals then beat myself up for not reaching them or any, due to lack of focus or “whatever.”

Yep, my truth.

I DO get stuff done, but never satisfied…

Here is a noodle of information or a “starter” idea towards creating compassionate goals:

One way to create compassionate goals, according to yogic wisdom, is to reframe them 
as an ongoing practice of sankalpa (resolve)—
san means “born from the heart,” while kalpa means “unfolding over time” — recommends Richard Miller, PhD, a clinical psychologist 
and author of Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart 
of Yoga.

So, to be compassionate to myself I would need to resolve to allow the goals I set to first, be from the heart and second to unfold over long periods of time. This I have done! This I can do! For example, I set goals for myself as a parent when my children were 4 and 2 years old. They are now 20 and 18. The five goals I set for myself, for them, have taken many years to unfold. In fact, in many ways I am still resolving to be the parent I set out to be.

Was I a perfect parent while reaching the goals I set for us? Did I follow the outlined goals (I had 5 concrete written down goals) all of the time? Of course not! And I am totally OK with how much I have done and how much I didn’t do. I know that for 95% of the time (maybe less) I did my best with the kids.

Then there is my art life.

Somehow, for my art life goals — like writing another book, making more fine art, making fun art postcards and note cards, sharing free art, creating coloring books from my drawings, and so many other things… I am not as compassionate with myself! I feel like I let myself down because I want to do so much and I only have so much time. And I have added a full time job to the mix – uh oh!

Small space has big rewards. LOVE, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

I want to do so much that I loose track of which project I am working on. This is real. This is the life of a creative. This is the me I have created. I hardly ever feel like I have met my best self in my creative pursuits. This is why the idea of creating compassionate goals caught my attention.

How would I create compassionate goals? How can you?

Seriously, I really am struggling with this. When I look back, raising kids did not happen alone. I had help! There were teachers, coaches, tutors, other parents, family, and others along the journey with me. I woke up each day and did the work, or as yogi’s say—the practice.

Creating compassionate goals for my creative life might mean being kinder to myself. If I go back to the quote above, that means two things, do work from the heart and practice. Practicing working towards goals—compassionately. OK, I get that.

In writing this reflection, I realize that I may also need a team, peers, mentors, and others to join me along the journey. To create compassion for self may require a network of people to help and support the goals along the journey. (I think of my readers as a part of this team, wink, wink…).

Compassion starts from the inside, but also needs to emanate from the outside.

SO lets hear it for NOT going it alone as creatives! Let’s also build compassionate goals not just for our creative lives, but also for life in general. The world needs our heart and practice towards compassion.

Schedule Wild Idea, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

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A “Real” Job

In January of this year my plan was to rest, read, sleep, eat, draw, paint, do yoga, walk, meditate, and play with my dog. All in the comfort of our primitive cabin on a lake in Oregon. I wanted to begin the long process of healing from a traumatic family experience and begin to plan and reflect on what is next in my life once my youngest son goes off to college (next week).

Life, as it often does, had a different plan for me.

I had applied for a job as a three month Artist in Residence position for Washed Ashore on a whim — I basically wrote a quick e-mail and sent links to my website. Washed Ashore is a company in Bandon, Oregon (near our cabin on the lake). In Arcata, CA, I had applied to many jobs and received zero response from all the applications I filled out. I expected the same from this inquiry. Zero. Nothing. Nothing was not meant to be.

In February I began working with Washed Ashore. At first, provisionally. I told the owner I’d give her a month. You can do the math.

I have not had a “real” full-time job since… 1995. Oh lord! I found it so hard to type that number! By the way, who gets to decide what a real full-time job is anyway? But that is another story for another blog for another day!

For now, I am the Artist and Art Production Facility Manager at Washed Ashore. Mostly, I build sculptures and I do what needs to be done so that the team can keep building sculptures out of marine debris (read: dirty sandy wet smelly garbage) that comes to us from volunteers up and down the Oregon Coastline.

This is what I typically look like at work: see here. Click at your own risk! Ha ha!

I have a “real” job. Yep, that’s the story.

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Happy New Year, 2017

I have not written for my blog in over two months.

I have not known what to say, or how to say it. “It” being a story too big to tell.

On October 29, 2016, I had a phone call no mother ever wants to get:

Your son is in ICU, he had ___________ surgery, he is stable, etc. etc. etc.

I almost lost my eldest son to a bicycle accident. He was riding home from work on a Saturday afternoon. He was zipping down a hill. He was going too fast. He was preoccupied. He had the coming evening’s events on his mind. He had coffee in one hand. He had an earbud in one ear listening to music. He ran a stop sign. He rode at an estimated 30 miles per hour into the passenger side rear window of an SUV.

My life has been anything but normal since that fated day.

I flew to and lived in Boulder Colorado for two months. I became a nurse, cook, wound care specialist, chauffeur, coach, and more…

I did what any mother would do. I tried my best to do whatever needed to be done to help my son heal.

After a long hospital stay and countless appointments we were grateful to get the “all clear” to travel home for the Holiday’s.

Once home, we hibernated as a family. Ate nutritious meals. Played games. Slept often and late. Enjoyed nature. Laughed. Talked and told stories. Worked on puzzles.

The event created waves of change in our family, in life, and in my fledgling newly hatched business.

You might have noticed, I closed my Silly Girl Factory Etsy Shop. The shop I had opened for business in October 2016 was and is now closed. I stopped making new projects. I stopped writing. I stopped drawing. I stopped painting. I stopped regular life. Instead, I focused on him.

I did whatever I could to bring him to health and healing. Our hours, days, and schedules became completely intertwined. All for him.

As he gained some independence, I tried to move forward in my life as well.

After a while, I began going to few yoga classes. This was not an easy step forward. I was still to afraid to go into public because talking to strangers was too hard. How could I contain the hurt? How could I express the hurt? How could I act normal or be normal? Nothing was or is normal.

Not now. Not ever.

Slowly, I began to draw or create collages or write again, a little, each day. Allowing my work to feed me and ground me. I have so much hope for myself and my little business: Silly Girl Factory.

Self-Care Free, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

I have so much hope for his future and his “regular” life coming back to him.

His healing will take a year, maybe more, not less.

My healing might take longer than his. My spirit took a deep hit. I never wanted to see my child suffer, especially not so much.

I will continue to dive into making my art, my writing, my unique ways of expressing, and creating. I long to share.

Joy. Life. Love. Peace. Hope. Health. Silliness and fun!

I also know that my art will be a container for the hurt, the pain, and the expression of all I have inside that is too big to express.

Thank you for being a trusted reader. May your 2017 be filled with hope, love, peace, health, and everything else you desire. Now you know why the silence came so soon after the excitement of opening my Silly Girl Factory Etsy shop. I plan to re-open. When the time is right.

Happy New Year

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Getting Interrupted

Have you ever though about what it means to get interrupted?

I interrupt myself far too often!

Stone Doodle. Paper, Ink. 7 x 5 inches.

Stone Doodle. Paper, Ink. 7 x 5 inches.

I keep wondering if I should blame the internet. Unfortunately, outside stuff is not the problem. I am my own problem. I interrupt myself regularly.

I’ll work on… this…

no this…

oh, how about this…

The problem seems to be getting worse, with no end date in sight.

I guess I’ll roll with it and see what happens, after I get interrupted… once again!

Rectangle Doodle Pattern. Paper, Ink. 8 x 5 inches.

Rectangle Doodle Pattern. Paper, Ink. 8 x 5 inches.

The only time I seem to not interrupt myself is when I am making art, drawing in particular. That’s when I am fully absorbed. I found an article that stresses the 10 words every girl should learn — I was interrupting myself at the time I found this article. The article stresses that women need to keep boundaries around being interrupted.

Not me, I just need to keep making art!

You do not need to read the article, here are the 10 most important words:

“Stop interrupting me,”

“I just said that,” and

“No explanation needed.”

Now, go back to work! Or buy some art! 😉

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Why Silly Girl?

Lately you might have been seeing the name Silly Girl on and around my website, on my art, and on my social media posts. Why you might ask? Why Silly Girl?

Just because!

One morning I woke up and realized that Silly Girl has the same initials as Suzanne Gibbs, so why not Silly Girl. Any of you who have known me a while know there is a silly girl in there somewhere. She used to be more obvious!

final-web

That was before marriage, before kids, before owning a home and becoming a “responsible adult.” I’m wanting to shed my skin. I of course, will remain responsible, and a mom, and a wife – but why can’t I be silly too!

Silly Girl represents the child in me, the creative being who although I worked like crazy as an adult to shush her, she had her own ideas all along…

Silly Girls is:

  1. Playful
  2. Curious and inquisitive
  3. Adventurous
  4. Sensitive – about others, the environment, and with the self
  5. Most of all, she wants to develop close connections to people through her art, yoga, and in a perfect world a blend of the two!

 

Does Silly Girl Art mean the work will always make people laugh? No. Will there be cartoons? Maybe. Will the work be completely un-serious? No. How can yoga be silly? Try me, you might like it!

Do I lack judgement or common sense? I’ll let you be the judge of that, however will you please give me 3 months to a year before you judge? Silly Girl has more resilience than I ever knew, I am only now listening to her wisdom.

Am I crazy, ditzy, and childish to think that I can launch a company called Silly Girl and actually find success here? Well, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Right now, right here, this month, today – I feel compelled to listen closely to what Silly Girl has to offer. I hope you’ll stick with me/us as we uncover all the fun we wish to embark on! Ah Ho! Namaste.

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F-n Good Article

Amateur vs Professional. Can anyone really define the difference, the grey area, the line in the sand between these two categories bestowed on creative people? Artists? Authors? Well, maybe and maybe not.

What I like is that this article tried to draw the line and define the difference. At times the article is gut wrenching. At other parts, I find myself nodding my head in agreement. Yes, yes, so true…

Do you want to know for sure if you are an amateur or professional artist? Do you already know? Read the article here.

This is a fu–ing good article because each time I read it, and I’ve read it many times over the past three years I see more wisdom and I also recognize the lies I tell myself.

In my most recent reading, the advice in warning number 7 gave me prickles on my spine and at the base of my neck. Ugh, yes I tell myself… ugh. Number 7 – “Amateur artists never finish their work.” There are several projects I promised myself I’d complete this year (2016) and they are still on the table. A second Conscious Curiosity book for the self – yep, not yet started, but I said I would. A Dorkey Doodle coloring book that I created – yes, almost complete, yet stalled…. Then there is a set of postcard designs I made initial sketches for… another stall… and I could go on. and on.

I guess I’m still in amateur stage, but this saddens me to say, because on another level I feel like I AM a professional. I have given myself to making art and writing for so long that I cannot even imagine myself doing anything else anymore.

Enough lamenting. Professional vs Amateur. Who really cares? Why label? Why categorize?

Anyway, if you’re interested, it IS a very good article: 9 Warning signs

I dearly hope you are kinder to yourself than I am to myself.

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