I had the pleasure of attending the San Francisco Girl Crush Tea Party workshop this weekend. Organized by the über awesome The Jealous Curator, Girl Crush is an art creativity workshop run in partnership with a local artist…basically you get to spend a whole day finding out how they stay creative, what inspires them and basically learning a bunch of tips & tricks for fueling your own creative side. Sounds awesome right?
To be honest I didn’t really know exactly what we were in for until I got there – the opportunity to go came to me via work, and it sounded neat so I thought hellz yeah why not? I love tea parties and art so count me in! Plus (and lets face it this was a big plus) I got to spend a whole weekend-day doing something FOR MYSELF with no kids!!!! So bright and early Saturday morning I hopped along to SF artist & Illustrator Lisa Congdon’s studio to meet up with my fellow attendees.
I entered the studio and was immediately blown away – it was the most amazing bright, airy and inspiring space I have been in for a long time. There to welcome me was a group of happy and chatty fellow creatives and Lisa and Danielle (The Jealous Curator) herself.
In Lisa’s studio her artwork is everywhere. There’s all kinds of positive affirmations on her walls that make you feel amazing just by reading them. Lisa explained to us how she came to be in the space and how she had slowly moved into it over time and made it hers but that it was a slow process for her. As a working environment it was a real testament to how creating a space that you feel good and safe in can allow you the freedom to express yourself. It got me thinking – that’s what my home needs to be. I felt very inspired by her positioning of her prints and the color she injected into her surroundings.
We sat down – all 14 of us – and discussed how Lisa had made the leap to become a full-time artist who actually makes a living from her art and how she battled (and continues to battle) her inner critic to get there. We talked about our own fears and what stops us from making the time to let our inner artist rip (err hello 2 kids and a renovation I’m talking to you here!!).
Once we’d chatted for a couple of hours and eaten all the morning treats AND then a delicious lunch we decided to head out. We went on a tour of 3 local galleries including Gallery Hijinks that represent Lisa’s work and met with the gallery owner Jillian who, at the age of 27, decided she would open up her own gallery! If that’s not self-belief and passion right there then I don’t know what is!
After the tour we headed back to Lisa’s studio where we chatted some more over hot tea in gorgeous vintage teacups (graciously donated for the day by Victoria from sfgirlbybay) and yes there was even more sweet treats from the delicious Batter Bakery (a personal fave!). We spent a long time talking about how we could all help each other to stay positive and keep the creative fires burning.
And then to end the day Lisa did a mini raffle to give out some prizes and I won a fabulous art panel for my kids rooms!!
On the way home I got to thinking a lot about my own creativity which has been stifled by the demands of everyday life recently. I used to photograph all the time, and now I rarely pick up the camera other than to document the house. I even have to remind myself to snap pics of the kids when it used to be innate in me. And I almost NEVER take a camera out with me now when we go hiking whereas it used to be always hung around my neck.
And then I made a vow – that I will work harder to express myself creatively not only through this blog but also through my photography. I WILL make new art for our home. I wont be afraid to put it out there and share it.
So there. I said it – out loud and now it must be done. gulp.