Posts tagged Creativity
Minding Your Business | Podcast Episode with Ilana Griffo
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On this episode, Kat learns all about creative business management from Ilana Griffo! Ilana's book "Mind Your Business" is a beautifully designed workbook that can help artists and creatives take charge of their career.

Our conversation includes:

  • Ilana's story and how she got to where she is today

  • Time management

  • Balancing personal life and business 

  • Leaving day jobs and more!

Ilana Griffo is an illustrator with typographic tendencies. She has taught many craft and creative workshops, and is an adjunct professor. In 2011, Ilana launched a stationery line, Sugar & Type, which includes the Rule the World Planner, a weekly planner designed for creative go-getters. She turned her side hustle into a six-figure design studio after leaving her full-time job as an art director in 2015. Ilana lives in Rochester, New York, with her husband, son, and dog.

It's Groundhog Day! Podcast with Austin Kleon
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Artist and author Austin Kleon shares behind the scenes of his daily routine, the secret sauce to a successful career, and an inside look at his new book.


Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of a trilogy of illustrated books about creativity in the digital age: Steal Like An ArtistShow Your Work!, and Keep Going. He’s also the author of Newspaper Blackout, a collection of poems made by redacting the newspaper with a permanent marker. His books have over a million copies in print and have been translated into over two dozen languages. He’s been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS Newshour, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street JournalNew York Magazine called his work “brilliant,” The Atlantic called him “positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet,” and The New Yorker said his poems “resurrect the newspaper when everybody else is declaring it dead.” He speaks for organizations such as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist. In previous lives, he worked as a librarian, a web designer, and an advertising copywriter. He grew up in the cornfields of Ohio, but now he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and sons. Visit him online at www.austinkleon.com

Artistacon 2019
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ARTISTACON 2019
MARCH 22–24, MOORE COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN

Artistacon is the only art conference designed specifically to bring established artists together with emerging artists in an intimate gathering to celebrate the creative process and mentor a new generation. We pull back the curtain on the path of art as a career with workshops, educational symposia, portfolio reviews, demos, and displays from featured artists, illustrators and writers; all willing to share their expertise with those looking to build and expand professional networks or pursue a career in the arts. You’ll leave energized, inspired, and empowered!

A limited Registration Event

1.609.232.2645

info@artistacon.net

Guests of Honor

Lauren Panepinto
Mark Morales
Dani Hedlund
Neilson CarliN
Carl Potts
Chris Oatley
Dave Palumbo
John Sideriadis

Mental Health For Artists: Podcast Interview with TJ Walsh

On this episode of Art & Cocktails, artist and psychotherapist TJ Walsh shares his story, how he found his way back to painting and the moment that inspired him to help others through therapy. TJ talks about overcoming emotional difficulty, depression, creative burnout and offers practical insight for creatives going through a hard time. We discuss his approach to painting and recent exhibition as well.

Bio

TJ Walsh, BFA, MA is a Counselor/Psychotherapist, Painter, Art and Higher Education Administrator. Prior to receiving his M.A. in Clinical Counseling Psychology from Eastern University in Saint Davids, PA, TJ received his BFA in Graphic Design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

TJ has deep experience working with young adults, university students and young couples with a focus on artistic and creative personalities. He typically works with young couples who are struggling to connect with one another and individuals who find themselves stuck in place. In addition to his work in group and private practice, TJ is a seasoned Student Affairs/Student Life professional with foci in the areas of Counseling, Conduct/Judicial Affairs, Title IX.

Originally trained psychodynamically, TJ has since obtained or is working toward certification in Emotionally Focused Therapy, as well as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). No matter the therapeutic theory that may be running through his mind, the primary focus is to build a strong, therapeutic alliance and to instill hope in the person(s) who sits across from him so that they may live a life worth living.

TJ writes and speaks about topics of art, culture, faith & mental health. His work has been exhibited and published internationally. He is on faculty at Eastern University in the graduate school's Counseling Psychology department teaching Personality and Psychosocial Assessment and Psychopathology.

Statement

TJ Walsh explores the inner realm of the subconscious through abstract paintings. As he states, "This work focuses on the hidden conversations that course through the undercurrent of our minds, unconsciously giving form to who we are as human beings. I work fast letting my emotion and intuition drive the painting. It is through this process that I hope beauty reveals itself.

For other artists, beauty is revealed through striving for technical perfection. These artists desire to make any sign of the human creator disappear. For me, the opposite is true. I want my hand to be very evident in the work for it's the human experience, the struggle, the failures, the successes, which is most beautiful to me.

The process of creating is an intimate practice. Art making is a meditative, reflective, physical, emotional and spiritual practice. Creating something that comes out of ourselves, releasing part of us into the world to be experienced by others is something that many people in our culture do not experience. This intimate practice of pulling from within and connecting with the deepest parts of our beings is beautiful because it's natural, pure and uninhibited. It's being human on on of its most raw levels."

Links:

Instagram: @tjwalsh 

Private Practice: www.tjwalshtherapy.com

Art site: www.tjwalshartist.com

Exhibition:

TJ’s exhibition will open on December 8 at Darlington Arts Center

www.darlingtonarts.org




Overcoming Creative Burnout 

By Ekaterina Popova

Header image by Lauren Zaknoun

Creative burnout is real. Have you been struggling to start that new painting, or even show up to the studio? Does the thought of making new work drain you and fill you with dread? I recently went through a very intense burnout, which manifested itself as physical illness, emotional breakdown and just a general inability to work. I was out of commission for nearly two weeks.

You see, I have been running on empty for over two years without fully realizing it. From leaving my day job at a call center in 2016 to juggling my painting career and the magazine, I unknowingly replaced breaks, fun and time off with generating new ideas, networking and more to do's. I forgot what it means to be truly inspired, actually have fun and enjoy simple and free pleasures in life whether or not they contribute to my art practice or career. 

It's easy for creatives to feel guilty about taking breaks because we either feel extremely lucky to be able to do it as our job or are dying to make art after working a demanding day job 40+ hours a week. Art can be an escape, but in some cases, it becomes a burden and we need to give ourselves time to heal and replenish our energy and creativity. 

When art, the love of your life, becomes an impossible task, it's time for a little intervention with yourself. Of course, we want to design our lives in a way that would prevent these breakdowns by following a healthy schedule and practicing saying no, but when a burnout happens, here are some steps to help you get back on your feet and back to the flow of life and creativity. 

Slow down to speed up

When I first started experiencing my setback, I shared the situation with my mentor, Bridgette Mayer, who suggested scheduling time off, even for fun activities. Make your time off just as important as your assignments and projects. Try to incorporate a day a week where you indulge in guilt-free activities such as reading, spending time with loved ones or making art just for you (if you are up for it of course). 

Check your engine

Sometimes we forget that we are living, breathing humans and not machines pumping out ideas, art and inspiration. Even if you exercise and eat well, stress and fatigue may have devastating effects on your overall health. When I was going through my burnout, I felt like I had the flu and could not stop sleeping, even though my medical report was flawless. Make sure you are conscious of your breathing, are sleeping enough and taking the time to laugh and enjoy your day. 

On a recent episode of our podcast Art & Cocktails, I interviewed one of my favorite painters Andrew Salgado, an incredible and prolific figurative artist. Andrew shared that he takes a complete break after each exhibition and travels. Coming from such a successful figure, this made me realize how my nonstop schedule is probably hindering my growth in some ways. 

We simply cannot expect to make good art if we continue to abuse our body and mind. I am guilty of this and am learning to listen when enough is enough, no matter what is expected of me that day. 

Release the pressure

The good news is, if we take care of ourselves and temporarily stop making art, no-one is going to be severely affected. I remember, back when I worked at Macy's, my manager used to tell me on a particularly bad sales day "we are not saving lives, it's just lipstick.", and that little saying stuck with me. No matter what's going on, your health and mental well being are way more important than artwork. Plus your gallery and collector need you just as much as you need them and would totally understand if you needed an extra day, week or month (only you know how much time you need). If you are generally a responsible, reliable and pleasant person to work with, people will understand and will give you grace. Release the fear and take the time that you need to be the best artist and person you can be.

Prioritize

Of course, sometimes we have projects and deadlines that determine the course of our career or if we will be able to pay for our bills that month. Highlight the immediate tasks at hand and complete them as well as you can and practice saying no to anything that comes after. If you have things due in the future but are not pressing at the moment, use this time to recover fully. Don't look at, think about or talk about upcoming deadlines that aren't an emergency and focus on your health as much as possible. If you need help saying no, here is a great resource by Marie Forleo to help you get started, another great book I read on this subject is Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.


Say it out loud

Sometimes, we get stuck in our own head and need to someone to give us permission to take the break we desperately need. Calling a friend or someone you trust and expressing your condition can help you view yourself from a third party perspective and give you compassion. If you don't have someone to call, here is your permission slip. You are worthy of feeling your best, no matter how much time you need. 

When you are ready to start creating again, start slow and shorten your workday from what you are used to, in order to not fall back into the trap of overwhelming. Work on multiple projects at a time in bite-size pieces. Set a timer and take a five-minute break for every 30 you work. Make sure to step outside once in a while and breathe. 

Our art is about expressing our true selves, and if we are completely worn out it is difficult to share our passion with others. After my recent experience, I want to still be painting and feeling great when I am in my 80's, therefore I will treat my life and career as a marathon and not a sprint.

Give yourself permission to rest. I promise you and your work will be better for it. I can't wait to see what you create when you come out on the other side!

Share your thoughts below or send us an email at info@createmagazine.com

Like what we do? Support us by subscribing to the print magazine.

Protecting Your Creative Energy: Podcast Interview with Marc Scheff

On this episode of Art and Cocktails, artist Marc Scheff openly shares his personal story and creative journey. Kat and Marc discuss the importance of curating your schedule, protecting your energy and filling your life with people and activities that inspire.

"Marc Scheff is an award-winning artist based in New York City known for his unique dimensional conceptual portraits in layers of resin."

About

Marc Scheff is best known using a method he developed to create figurative-based work, made sculptural in layers of epoxy resin. Beautiful Bizarre Magazine has called his work “emotionally touching, intellectually stimulating, and imaginative portraiture.” He works with materials on hand, making each body of work uniquely emotionally reflective.

Statement

"I obsess over materials, and seek to use familiar stuff in unfamiliar ways. In my work (and my life) I seek to reveal unseen layers. Contrary to our subconscious, my layers in resin are fully exposed and vulnerable. I work to reveal the authenticity of what we all hide. Each work in a new set of risks and potential rewards.

I live and work in Brooklyn."

Links:

Website

https://www.marcscheff.com/about/

Upcoming Exhibition at Corey Helford Gallery

http://www.coreyhelfordgallery.com/shows/frankenstein-200th-anniversary/info-press/

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Marc in his studio

Interview with Kate Young: Hosting Inspiring Events at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
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Tell us about the PAFA venue space. When did this program open up and what types of events do you host?
 
PAFA has been inviting special events in its spaces for decades, but it’s really taken off in the past five years. Businesses and couples are interested in shedding off the traditional banquet hall for something unique. By using spaces that inspire guests right when they walk in allows for hosts to set a mood from the start of their event! About half of our clients are couples getting married, and the other half are non-profit and corporate clients hosting events to honor their employees or their business partners.

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Share a little bit of history behind the building. 
 
There are two buildings adjacent to each other that are available for guests to use. The Historic Landmark Building is the oldest museum in the country and has displayed a collection of American art from 1871. This space is an architectural masterpiece and reflects aspects of the Gothic revival movement in the US as well as Venetian designs, Eastern ornaments, and cast-iron work.
 
The Samuel Hamilton Building was actually built to be a car storage facility and showroom in 1916. The first two floors are now a modern gallery space that are shared by our event guests. Architecturally, the space is grand with expansive ceiling heights and a grand stair case that seems to float in the space. The interior structure of the massive building is supported by a triangular grid of interior concrete columns; once a practical way for cars to pass through the space, and now a wonderful way to allow for wide open gallery and event spaces.
 
Both buildings offer incredible spaces that serve a purpose other than events. In that way, they feel to me like they are more inviting and exciting!

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What are some exciting attributes and bonuses to having an event at PAFA?
 
PAFA events naturally feel like you’re gaining secret access to the museum after hours – because you are! We are one of the only museums in the area that allow you to dine in the galleries rather than an offshoot event space. That makes for an incredible backdrop for your event space!
 
We work to provide a really seamless experience for guests for easy planning– with convenient parking garages or valet, coat checks, dance floors, lighting and A/V packages, and in-house tables and chiavari chairs. We take a lot of the guesswork out of throwing an event by having a team of experienced planners and event hosts!
 

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What role does PAFA play in the Philadelphia arts and culture community?
 
Through our spectacular galleries, our internationally known school of fine arts, and our public programs, PAFA strives to provide students and visitors alike with a unique and thrilling experience. We’re always striving to be a source of inspiration for the Philadelphia community and grow our offerings to our students and the public. For example, PAFA was just awarded $500,000 from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) for the institution’s Campus Master Plan. Partnerships with local groups like Mural Arts – who’s office is in our Hamilton Building – allows us to stay involved in the art and culture scene outside of our galleries!

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How can those interested learn more and get in touch?
 
If you’d like to rent one of these incredible spaces, email Venue Sales Manager, Kate Young kyoung@pafa.org. If you’d like to know about other programs, exhibit schedules, or the school, visit our website at www.pafa.org!

Interview: Heather and Marissa from Carve Out Time For Art

“Our mission is to empower people to stop dreaming and start doing, especially when it comes to carving out time for art. 

We are passionate about building community, encouraging others (especially women), and connecting people.

We want to cultivate a positive and nurturing community for creatives who want to find time to satisfy this part of their identity. We do this by fostering conversations, connecting creatives with resources, and showing people they are not alone.”

— Marissa + Heather

http://www.carveouttimeforart.com/

https://marissahuber.com/

http://www.heatherkirtland.com/

Marissa Huber

Marissa Huber

We are really inspired by your message to make time for art, no matter what your life looks like. When did you originally come up with the idea to start your community? 

Heather: After the birth of my first child, I floundered a bit in trying to define what a mother artist looked like and was disheartened by the lack of examples. A few years later serendipity put Marissa in my path and once we joined forces and created an Instagram account it just all happened so organically. I think I can speak for both of us when I say that the community itself is a force to be reckoned with in terms of its positivity and creativity. We were lucky enough to take that drive and focus it the best we can. 

Marissa: I think the true answer is that I have a rebellious streak in me and was aggravated that so many people tell women (and also men) how they will never be able to do anything for themselves once they have children. There was an inherent suggestion if you wanted to do something for yourself, you were selfish. I took many of these comments as good natured because that’s what people say. But it bothered me because that is what many people truly believe. How many women don’t have alternative examples? Of course life will shift and yes, the early days of motherhood can be tough, but let’s encourage each other instead!

There was a moment that the message and idea of COTFA formed for me. I was asked by a designer to do watercolor illustrations of her interiors, but they had to be done right after my son was born. I was on maternity leave from my day job, and had my mom in town. I decided to go for it. I had to break up my process into 20 minute blocks, but I got it done. I will never forget the relief of sitting down that first time to paint. I felt like myself. I was not just a person with the slightly scary responsibility of keeping another human alive, but I was still me. And it gave me the thread to my life before motherhood and gave me hope that I could do things my way. I wanted to find others, and share their stories and had a secret goal to write a book on this one day. 

Heather Kirtland

Heather Kirtland

How did you meet each other? 

Heather: We haven't met. Ha! True story. We are virtual friends. I found Marissa when someone I followed on Instagram was featured in her mother interview series. I thought, "Where have you been all my life?" this was just the thing I was hoping would of existed in my first year as a new mom. So I said just that in a comment and from there became an interviewee...the rest is history. I am amazed at what a great relationship we have formed never meeting face to face. 

Marissa: I have to remind myself often that I have never met Heather in real life yet! I have a clear memory of our first phone call. I suggested we talk because we were both interested in writing a book on the same topic. I knew in 10 seconds that we would be a great fit and remember blurting out, “Let’s do it! Let’s figure out how to write a book on this together.” There was instant chemistry, nonstop talking, and such a deep personal interest in helping other artist mothers find their own way. Oddly, we don’t speak often, but when we do it is always epic.

What kind of influence has your website and community have on your own art making? What positive changes have you seen in your own lives because of COTFA?

Heather: The COFTA community has been such a positive place for me. It has made me simultaneously aware of the unrealistic pressure I put on myself and provided confidence to go after big goals. 

Marissa: It holds me accountable to practice what I preach. Our community makes me braver, kinder to myself and more confident with my work. In terms of positive changes, it made me realize that I’m a connector – whether that is ideas, resources or people. Connecting others lights me up, and feels like a fun problem to solve. (For example someone looking to do a meetup in Chicago and I can connect them with others). On a personal note, COTFA emerged during a lonely time in my life when I had moved back to Florida from and was spending much of my time at work or commuting. I missed my friends in Philly, and my family who I wasn’t getting to spend as much time with. Being able to take 5 minutes on a coffee break to “hang” with friends on Instagram was renewing during really tough months.

What is a common obstacle that's keeping artists from creating based on your observation and what are some tips to help overcome these blocks?

Heather: Doubt and fear top that list, followed closely by time. I think having a bit of grace with yourself is important. The "why" you create is something to continue to come back to. It helps to cancel out the noise and refocus on the joy you find in making art. As for time; I think adjusting the way you think about it can help. You don't need hours on end. Make it work for you within your day. I found that sometimes being force to walk away actually helps me not overwork a piece. 

Marissa: The damn comparison trap! Looking at someone else and thinking they have it all figured out without regarding their circumstances and own struggles. Feeling like there is no point to do anything because it has all been done before and nothing is original. Basically the recurring existential crisis that some of my friends and I have. I’m writing this with a smile, but it feels like crap when you’re in that valley. My advice is to just mix paint colors for fun or paint with some ink and make shapes. Don’t think at all, just enjoy the pure bliss of brush to paper. Arrange some leaves. Draw with your kid. Just do anything. We started a hashtag #CreativeCrankiness (https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/creativecrankiness/) because I get that way if I don’t create something with my hands for too long!

From your experience, is it possible to have a full-time career or raise a family and be an artist? What words of encouragement would you offer someone who is scared they can't do both?

Heather: Hell yes!!! It may be seasonal, and it is a juggle but no one is checking your time clock.  Your work speaks for itself and ultimately people will believe what you do about yourself. Make art, you're an artist. You may wear a lot of other hats too but that doesn't diminish your artistic endeavors. If you are scared that you cannot do both my advice would be visit our community.  You can check out examples of all the different ways artists make it work.  There isn't one way.  Remember to have confidence in your creative self. Artistic sensibility, more times than not comes with an amazing ability to think outside the box. Use that to your advantage and find a way to make it a part of your life. 

Marissa: What I want to tell everyone is this---I think you can have anything you damn well please, but you can’t please everyone, it may not look like you think it will, or what others think it should. (Not the catchiest motto for a t-shirt…) It took me a long time to call myself an artist again, and in many ways motherhood forced me to own it in a good way. When I was facing limited free time, a new baby, a full time job, and the casual side gig, I realized art was what I most wanted AND needed in my life. That must mean I was an artist after all. So I prioritized it in my free time or woke up early. I feel strongly that becoming a mother made me more efficient, decisive, and confident in my art work. I no longer wasted time procrastinating by rearranging my workspace if I was scared to mess up a project. I knew I literally had 20 minutes before Henry woke up and I better make it count. That is the part I want people to know that is not uncommon. This is why Heather and I are going to find a way to make a book for others on this, even if it’s all on our own. 

My advice is to find supportive people who understand your needs for both. I have so many artist mother friends from COTFA who understand that a need to create is in us, and if it doesn’t come out, we’re miserable. I’m also lucky to have a supportive partner in my husband, Mike East (www.mikeast.com). He’s an artist and former art professor who always encourages me to find time to create, and reminds me why it’s worth it when I’m feeling cranky. 

I will say that it can be hard at times, as all life is. I’m sad that I’m with my coworkers more than my family, or that sometimes I get home from work and my son is asleep. There have been many tears. There is also a longing to have more free time for my own work, but guilt to not cut too much into my time with family or friends. But hell yes. It is possible. There are no rules. Make your own and just let other things take a backseat – preferably vacuuming.
Name a few of your favorite aspects of COTFA. 

Heather: Our followers tops that list. They are incredible and always inspire me.  I am grateful for the connections that I've made.  I also really love our Artist Takovers ( https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/artisttakeovercotfa/ ). It's so cool to see a day in the life of fellow creatives.  

Marissa: It gave me a home base when I was feeling adrift as stated above. And so many amazing people that I consider true friends. As in real friends – that mean something special to me. 

Heather Kirtland

Heather Kirtland

How can our readers get involved and support your organization?

Instagram is where we are the most. We always encourage people to join our newsletter too it's the best place to not miss when we do challenges and events. You can use our hash tag to tell your story and share your work. That is where we find the artist we feature too. We encourage your readers to spread the word and invite others to join us.  

Marissa: I absolutely love the #CreativeConvosCOTFA (https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/creativeconvoscotfa/ ). Each week or so we ask a question. Some deep, some light hearted, and we get the most vulnerable, wonderful, and thoughtful responses. Conversations are started, ideas spread. Come join in there first, it’s a great way to instantly feel part of the gang (and anyone who is a nice person is instantly part of the gang – that’s how we roll).

Marissa Huber

Marissa Huber

What do you hope to accomplish within the next year? 

Heather: Marissa and I would like to finish our book! We are also going to introduce a Creative Pinkie Swear challenge to help our community accomplish some of their goals with the accountability of the group.  

Personally I would like to expand my wholesale sales and make some room for more commission work as well.

Marissa: I first want to humbly celebrate a personal win for myself this year. My goal for 2017 was to license a pattern and create a fabric collection. Heather told me to enter a Minted.com competition earlier this year and I won several Editor’s choice awards there and now have 6 patterns in 5-10 colorways each for sale on fabric, lamps, pillows, etc. This has been a new direction for me and I put a lot of work in to learn Adobe Illustrator and the pattern processes (still learning). To balance that out I want to finish our book. We rehashed what we wanted to do and the new version makes me so excited that I can’t wait to get all of my other commitments over with so I can focus on it! We are going to make this happen, somehow!  https://www.minted.com/store/marissahuber

Heather’s Photos: Head shot credit is: Kirsten Smith Photography.

Marissa’s Photos – Marissa took them..

Interview: Portia Makoma/Silence is Accurate

Silence is Accurate transforms public and corporate spaces into tranquil havens which are referred to as ART ESCAPES. These innovative conversions create environments where communities gather to rejuvenate, connect with their inner creativity, improve mood, emotional intelligence and inspire critical thinking.

How did you come up with the idea for Silence Is Accurate? When did you start this project? 

It started as a passion project. A love for art, creating and storytelling inspired SIA. The idea was to create an artist interview archive filled with some of our generation’s most inspiring visual artists. It led to many magical studios where I interviewed incredible creators and shared that on the platform.

Those encounters left me feeling excited, yet clear-minded and calm. Needing to share these feelings with others offline, I started ‘art experiences,’ which led to more curating, consulting and growing with artists. 

What do you look for when you select artists for your "experiences?"

It depends on the concept of the experience. I’m usually drawn to unconventional, process driven work. Art that creates a dialogue about our generation’s identity and environment. With the ‘art escapes,’ the works are meditative, quiet, minimal and likely site-specific installations.

Describe what each event is like and what you hope visitors and viewers get from it. 

I aim to incorporate some form of silence to each experience. 

Art escapes almost always involve sound meditations. 

With Erik Otto’s recent opening, SIA hosted a Slow Silent Art Night to encourage a focus on the art of seeing. 

For the live painting experience, Sunrise, SIA supplied guests with art tools, and they were encouraged to create alongside Angelo Giokas. Guests expressed, through text and sketches, what keeps them going every day #WhatWakesYouUpInTheMorning.

I hope guests leave each experience or escape feeling different and wanting to explore that. Feeling connected, inspired and perhaps with a new piece of artwork that they want to live with forever.