I wrote and published Conscious Curiosity in 2014. This year, 2021, I was interviewed in a Podcast of the same name.
I have 4 copies of the book available in my Etsy shop here.
I wrote and published Conscious Curiosity in 2014. This year, 2021, I was interviewed in a Podcast of the same name.
I have 4 copies of the book available in my Etsy shop here.
I work towards my version of excellence daily, but sometimes I haven’t taken enough time to realize the fun I have been having along the way.
This is what I know.
My version of excellence is softer and more to do with relationships—family, friends, and strangers that learn of me and from me through my work. Connection to others and to our planet/earth in quiet moments of contemplation and curiosity are a special unique gifts. A life well lived, for me, includes plenty of time for rest, writing, drawing, painting, and reading.
Today, I am publicly celebrating a beautiful accomplishment, even though typically I tend to resist celebrating my accomplishments. You see, I was taught that A grades, awards, and/or money are the things worth celebrating. So if I don’t reach the top, then the work doesn’t matter. Right? Only excellence counts! What? Who decides what excellence is? With a limited edition art book, the goal of excellence was never about the awards or money—the goal, the dream and vision, was about connection and growth.
I was, and still am, interested in what I could learn and what others could teach and share. I am curious as to how and if there can be change and evolution in how we value women’s experiences and voices. I am interested in building connections that can grow and nourish my future work.
Now I know. I know that I can celebrate.
There has not been an award, nor has there been a windfall of money from the first round of Shhh book sales. However, I am pleased to report that 50 Shhh books are out in the wild world being enjoyed by readers. Fifty out of a planned 100 limited edition copies are already circulating.
I will be doing my next book order in October (for a show I have in Los Angeles in November, more on that later). So, if you are “on the fence” or have thought about getting a copy, but you missed the first round, then please be sure to let me know that you are excited to have your copy.
I am creating an interest list. Please Please Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to have your name added. I will let you know as soon as I have ordered some more books!
You don’t want to miss out! 😉 Ahhh, true excellence! You, believing in me, thanks!
Okay! I am off now to have some fun. Also, I have had fun hearing from all the new readers of Shhh, thank you special people for helping me on my way to excellence. Namasté
Maybe you never noticed that they disappeared. But I did! How awful it was to do the work, and then no longer have the work exist. I worried I would never again be able to get copies printed. I worried the work no longer mattered.
So, I got to work. Here is what happened, the company Create Space, where I originally published the books, was bought by Amazon. Poof! The books no longer exist. I did not get notices of the change because an older email address was used to notify me of the changes. Unless I was willing to jump through hoops to re-establish them as my work, they would be forever … gone.
Two weeks, 4 phone calls, and 8 emails was all it took. My books are alive once again! And the prices have been reduced just a little…
Conscious Curiosity can be found here.
My Year of Separation is here.
Please help me celebrate. Conscious Curiosity was published 4 years ago and My Year of Separation was published one year ago!
In this video, I read a few pages from my illustrated journal: Dorky Doodle Darlings ^prepare to Visit NYC.
I encourage anyone visiting NYC to visit The Brooklyn Art Library. This is a place to sit down, get quiet and fall into the hearts and creative beings that shared their small slice of humanity in a shared sketchbook.
We sat at the tables, reading book after book. We found ourselves in awe of the stories on the pages of the sketchbooks. The act of holding the art, reading and viewing page after page, felt like an act of intimacy with strangers. I thought to myself, where else could I sit and be this close to the stories of others? People sharing the most lovely stories or giving us a glimpse of their daily activity. As I turned the pages of different books, the work of young and old alike touched my heart.
I found work of artists that went beyond the given sketchbook. Many made new books with stronger watercolor paper or used cloth and stitching. Every book giving away details of the life of the human that created the work.
I give The Brooklyn Art Library my full endorsement!
PS. The printed version of my sketchbook sold out. To view the digital version click here. Stay tuned in 2019 for more illustrated journals. I love making them—and sharing my work!
Dorky Doodle Darlings ^prepare to Visit NYC is an illustrated Journal by Suzanne Gibbs. This little book of illustrations with a silly story about doodle darlings that are going to NYC but don’t yet realize they will be living in in NYC! Now they go to visit Atlanta, GA—this part wasn’t even IN the story!!!!
To find out more look here.
To see the book in digital format click here.
If you live in or near Atlanta big news! My sketchbook Dorky Doodle Darlings is on tour and stopping in Atlanta this weekend. September 21-23, 2018. Bonus! Read below!
What if, like me, your strong point of view is that all points of view have validity and worth. I have had many conversations that lead to a natural point of me taking a deep breath and wanting to honor both sides of an argument. Never wishing to take a side.
If I have any strong points-of-view they are:
I found myself writing a whole book on this topic a few years ago. Click on image below to purchase or learn more.
Cory Huff of Abundant Artist has put out a missive for artists. He has asked that artists go ahead and make art about, or discuss openly one’s strong point-of-view.
A “no middle ground allowed” goes in direct opposition to how I think, how I feel, and how I behave.
Very often, if not always, I find myself attempting to see things from every angle. Stepping into the shoes, mind, heart of each person I meet as best as I can. I value both ends of the ubiquitous u-shaped bell-curve of statistics. Research is my friend. Asking lots of questions is a means of declaring my point-of-view.
Politics: I would remove corporate dollars, even if this means smaller platforms and action through people not companies—this is obviously not possible within our current framework.
Religion/Spirituality: I was raised catholic, the doctrine will always be a part of who I am. Now I practice outdoor mindfulness, yoga, and meditation (alone and in community). I believe in God, but I also honor and use the words higher being, universal energy, spirit, goddess, and other equivalents.
Education: I strongly believe that education alone can heal people and the planet.
Money: Money is not the source of all evil. The current distribution of money is out of balance, but there will always be richer and less rich until the day we destroy the construct of money.
Guns: I wish it was infinitely harder to own them, especially in United States.
The premise of this post was to honor the missive of declaring my personal strong point-of-view. I know I have missed the mark. I will take solace from a yoga instructor I’d like to meet one day: we can have a strong point-of-view without minimizing others. Do I need to place a lower value on my work because I believe in the value of others and their opinions? I don’t think so. Why should I, my work is my own unique point-of-view, even if I am not an arguer or a bully.
A link to the little book. Whoot! Whoot!
Some of you might recognize her:
I filled this little book with tons of silliness. I was pretending that my doodle characters were talking about their first ever trip to NYC—only to realize that once they left my studio they would need to stay and live in NYC—forever.
I have moved so many times in my life that I have lost count of the number of places I have called home. In fact, I moved again last week and I am still getting used to my new “digs.”
You know what else? I LOVE NYC! LOVE LOVE LOVE! I often joke that if I had an unlimited budget I’d move to NYC and gobble up all that I could for two years. Like a kid in a candy store going to every single art museum, gallery, and paper goods or art store that I could find!
If the book looks exciting to you and you’d like a paper copy of your own, let me know! I have plenty in stock!
Here is a link to the purchase page.
This blog post is dedicated to the people who have shared their 100% kind words with me about my newest book: My Year of Separation. Testimonials are so sweet to receive as a creative! I cannot even tell you how happy they make me.
If you wrote a testimonial or a comment on social media and I did not include it here, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I did not go searching far and wide for the kind words, they are already in my heart. They matter. You count, even if your words aren’t shared here!
After I share testimonials below, there are images from my Instagram feed, giving my blog readers a chance to see what I wrote about the book after publishing the work.
So, without further comment, here are some testimonials on My Year of Separation.
Today I finished the book My Year of Separation by Suzanne Gibbs. I’ve been slowly reading it since it arrived because it’s a book to be savored. I’m so touched by Suzanne’s continuing journey of self discovery, some of which I’m doing personally but without moving, injury or pain. She is not only brave in her writing but also in her deeds. My hat is off to her. Do yourself a favor & order a copy for yourself! —Mary Ahern
I loved your raw honesty and the fact that you put into words what a lot of Mom’s feel but wouldn’t say. There is a lot about what a Mom does that feels very thankless and wears you out. It helped by putting into words that feeling that people have. I can’t however imagine everything you had to deal with with your son’s accident.
I go to Ireland each Fall and stay for 6 weeks. It started out being more for work and I still do all that but I have to say I love being alone and relying on myself for this period. I totally understood you wanting to be alone. Nice job! I plan to pass my copy along to someone else and request that they do the same. Hopefully they will read it and love it as I did and then recommend others to buy it. —Margaret Fischer Dukeman
A bold, impressive journey—the journey being the point.
Gibbs’ longtime craving, a hiatus from others’ needs and her own expectations, proved to be bumpy, courageous and raw. Deliberately exposing herself by her determination to journal through it, with candid honesty she revealed her extreme vulnerability, the strength to accept her own imperfections, and, perhaps the most difficult—to allow love in—of strangers, loved ones, and particularly of herself. She bravely stepped through her own looking glass. There’s a saying floating around, nowadays: What others think about you is none of your business. This was a gift of one person’s emergence. Kudos. —N. McBride
An small book, deceptively appearing to be a quick read, but instead drawing you in to really thinking about what is being told to you.
As you follow Suzanne through her honest and gutsy pursuit of who she is, and who she needs to be, you search for parallels, and find an echo, while admiring her courage to face the quest so head on. It has not been an easy journey. Circumstances made her face pain and fear, with no chance of avoidance, no choices but to find the coping skills to “get through to the other side”.
Suzanne clearly brings out that no matter where we are now, or where we are headed, the answers are within us, but we have to have the courage to look, and accept the uncertainty and the trepidation that comes with giving space to your inner chatter. Her art and need to write have become her survival skills, but at the same time have become her support and joy while she uses them as tools to clear the path she needs to follow. Insightful.
Take the time to read this. —A reader in Napa, CA
The next 10 orders of my book ? My Year of Separation will get a gift of Peace and Calming essential oil and the book shipped directly from my studio signed by me! Suzanne Gibbs. Ooooohhhh aaaahhhh! #essencialoils @younglivingeo thanks for your wonderful products. #book #bookauthor #author #selfpublished books for healing and healthy living.
I have had a wonderful time hearing everything people have had to say about My Year of Separation after reading the essays. #Touching #Vulnerable #Honest #Gutsy All I can say is, wow thanks! And I also hope I can reach more readers. I basically wrote from a place of pain and a need for growth. Then I decided to be brave and share the work that came from this place. The reward is hearing that my words matter to others! #book #author #bookauthor #selfhelp #bookofessays #growth #recalibration #selfpublish #family #pain #movingthroughpain #writing to #heal #etsyauthor #etsyseller Available from my Etsy shop and direct from my website! Signed copies.
Essay number 2 in My Year of Separation. A detail. Is there enough information here that you feel like you'd like to read more? You can. Order your copy. Links in profile. #book #author #bookauthor #selfhelp #bookofessays #growth #recalibration #selfpublish #family #pain #movingthroughpain #writing to #heal #etsyauthor #etsyseller #hibernate #insight #newdirection #quiet #alone #learn
My Year of Separation is authored AND illustrated by yours truly—Suzanne Gibbs! Shop owner of Silly Girl Factory. This chapter deals with the impossibility of separation from excess weight—so instead I sit and drink coffee and write. But honestly there is much more to it than that! You'll need to read the book to get more information. Not sure any book is written without coffee! Maybe, but not many! 🙂 #book #author #bookauthor #selfhelp #bookofessays #growth #recalibration #selfpublish #family #pain #movingthroughpain #writing to #heal #etsyauthor #etsyseller #illustratedbook #coffeedrinker #coffeelover #writeanddrink
Why not show you the back cover of my book! LOL Yes! Why not! OK you've seen it! Now does it make you interested in what is going on inside? LOL Maybe? Maybe you usually read the back cover first when you are in a book store! Well, here you go! I give you that option online. Reading pleasure. Like what you see? Go to my profile to order your copy of My Year of Separation. I ship daily! #book #author #bookauthor #selfhelp #bookofessays #growth #recalibration #selfpublish #family #pain #movingthroughpain #writing to #heal #etsyauthor #etsyseller #backcoverfirst #read #readbooks #supportauthors #findhappy #healingfromtrauma
Is a book bundle better than 1 book! Well, of course it is!!! #read #readbooks #enjoybooks #illustratedbooks #book #author #bookauthor #selfhelp #bookofessays #growth #recalibration #selfpublish #family #pain #movingthroughpain #writing to #heal #etsyauthor #etsyseller #doodlebook #dorkydoodle #illustrator #bookbundle #funbook
Book Bundle Available in Etsy Shop.
Tomorrow at 9AM PST I will read a chapter from the book on Facebook. Be there to hear the author read her words.
Certain thoughts can still bring up pain. Moments later my thoughts bring overwhelming joy. The image below was drawn in the hospital ICU 2 days after my son’s accident.
When I think back I am amazed that I thought to bring a sketchbook and pen, but not a change of pants!
I remember that while in the ICU, I sat with him for hours coaching him to breathe using the knowledge I had learned during yoga teacher training. We did not know if he could hear us, but I could see that he was breathing with me. Using the squeeze of my hand in his to indicate inhales and exhales we breathed together. He was with me, and yet he has zero memory of these hours. At one point the nurse came in and was amazed that he was still breathing on his own without oxygen less than 24 hours from having his breathing tube removed. She walked away, happy for him and for me.
I also recall simply sitting. The hospital room had a window seat. So I sat. I breathed. I relied on every moment of meditation practice that I could summon. Being frantic, upset, crying uncontrollably was not going to help him heal. Being there was all that mattered, for him and for myself.
The sounds of an ambulance made my heart rush for many months post-accident, even though I was no were near his ambulance and there was no way I could have a real memory of the sound of his ambulance. What I had was empathy for the other families about to go though what inevitably happens along with the sound of an ambulance.
Sometimes I still jump when the phone rings. The phone brought me the information about his accident.
When I walk, breathe deeply, and spend time outside I can easily find myself overflowing with gratitude for the beauty in my life.
When I looked at the calendar today and realized that he is almost 21 years old! How exciting! He will get to celebrate this birthday! He lived.
In my book, My Year of Separation, I did not share the image above. I did not share these tougher memories. I spent the year writing and looking for hope and healing.
If these thoughts and details stir something in you, consider buying my book. Or share this email, story, blog post with someone that you think could be helped by what I’ve shared.
Soon, I will have moved past these memories. In their place will be new adventures and most likely further pain. The yucky moments are a part of a life lived fully. How we deal with our emotions is what creates either more pain or opens us up for further joy than we ever thought possible.
I choose joy. When I hit send/publish on this post I will go outside. Breathe deeply and know that I can share moments of meaning. Ideas that helped me, and that might help another fellow human.
I would love to sell you a book, but more than that I’d love to share the idea that even in pain we can look for and notice moments of joy. I believe it IS OK to be silly even at inappropriate times, but also to be reverent. A constant balance of good and bad. Happy and sad.
I’d like to explain where the name Silly Girl Factory came from. Even though you may not have wondered!
I am a factory worker rather than an artist in a studio or atelier because this just “feels right.” I tend to work often and diligently. Like any good factory there is a fair amount of output.
OK and let’s get to the nitty gritty here: I am silly—I love to laugh, I tend to interrupt, dance, skip, and color with crayons! At Silly Girl Factory not all art needs to be fuddy-duddy and precious. Some art work is done to process feelings and emotions or to practice new techniques and styles (this stuff stays in the factory, usually). A lot of work is me dumping onto the page ways in which I see the world or ways in which I wish to combine stuff that intrigues me.
And here goes…the elephant in the room! I am a girl! You know, I live life with curiosity and I question everything, similar to how young children approach life. Here is a book I wrote about being consciously curious (click on the link and scroll to the bottom of the page)!
One more fact: I create, draw, write, and make stuff every single day! Every-single-day, for real! I am my own silly girl factory, literally!
The news is: I am continuing to work on it! I spent a full studio day last week making patterned paper. I have no new art to show, but the factory IS in gear. Obviously, the factory has been busy! See list above. 🙂
Hey! You know what? Thanks for reading my blog! If you have continued to enjoy the information I present, feel free to forward this post or any of my ideas to a friend or many friends! To support the work I do, please buy a book or my art!