I was chatting last night with a colleague about diing live broadcasts on social media. I told her that I had done a few previously but it wasn't my favourite thing to do as evidenced by the fact that "do a live broadcast has been down in my planner since January and I have yet to tick it off (insert 'meh' emoji here) She asked what it was I didn't like about the platforms and I said the talking. It got me thinking about comfort zones and how they relate to being creative and starting a business.
My conclusion is that comfort zones are the places that businesses and dreams go to die. I have never read of any business person who started their business from a place of comfort. So far staying in my comfort zone has not yielded any positive results except that I am comfortably in one place. So then how do I change that? How do I get over the fear of exposing myself to strangers or making converstaion; finding things to say? There are two methods you can use: one step at a time- I have started out with doing videos- how tos, etc; taking baby steps. The other option is ripping the bandaid right off; taking a breath and diving in head first; no testing the water to see the temperature. Which version do you recommend? What do you do when you have to step out of your comfort zone? What kind of rewards/successes have you reaped from the experience? I'm still testing.
As February bids adieu and March approaches, I hope you are buckled in. Join me for my first daily challenge: "Thirty Days Thirty Tea Things" Here I'll be exploring each day one item (or more) related to tea and the principle/ spirit of tea. Tea holds a special place for me because it is where my mother and I spent some of our most intimate moments until I went off to University and boys distracted me. So look out on my social media platforms for more info on this. I'm defiinitely going to be out of my comfort zone but the nice thing will be the opportunity to hone my craft and develop muscle memory and hopefully, we will both learn and grow or you will see something you really like and want to have in your home (wink, wink)
Every morning we would wake before anyone else and sit at the table, sipping tea and talking. I learned a lot in those moments spent with her. Rewind to the seventies, growing up in the country during a rainy night. my grandmother would make us creole cocoa and bakes and tell us stories. Tea was and is a symbol family and intimacy and informs my work. What inspires you this week?
You know those chances you get to do something or get something that you never had before or that you have wanted for a really long time but thought would never happen? Yes those. Well, they are called opportunity and you are supposed to use them- grab them actually. They don't show themselves often and sometimes they are disguised as inconveniences or something entirely new but when we take the time; when we make that first step, the possibilities can be endless. We just need to take that first step.
I have learnt this the hard way. Many times I have looked back (not always the best thing to do) and thought "if only I had..." and what stopped me? Fear of the unknown? fear of failure? Yes. fear can be a powerful deterrent to doing. I have been putting in my content planning going live since January and I have chickened out every single time. But what if that is an opportunity I'm missing out because I'm afraid of facing strangers or making mistakes in front of them? I won't know because I'm not doing it. The irony is I take chances in the kitchen. There I'm fearless. Made soursop cheesecake from scratch no recipe. In the studio I love to do "I wonder what would happen if..." but to do a live I'm hiding behind the kiln.
This week is "Grab 'Em" (Please be judicious. No grabbing people) We are going to look for those opportunities to learn a new technique, meet new people, pitch an idea to your boss, or yes, go live. Let's not give fear the win this week.
I was asked after a post on Facebook and also while I do markets about the objects on the surface of my pots. I use sprigs a lot in my work, which are low-relief additions to the surface of pottery. Today I'll take you through a video tutorial on the what and how of sprigs. I hope it gives you inspiration to try making some for yourself and please comment if this video is helpful to you or if you have any question about what I do. Thanks for watching.
I came across this quote today from Jane Powell, an author and web designer it said:
"I am open and willing to learn from my surroundings"
I thought it very appropriate to my thoughts that I shared with you so I offer it as our inspiration for this week; to be open to our surroundings- from nature as well as from nurture and that we are never afraid to learn from them. I learn from my studio time everyday. I have learnt humility: that what I do is not about me cause every time I get ahead of myself the clay shuts me down and sends me back to my corner and I have learnt that beauty can be found in the most mundane of things if we take the time to look. So take the time this week to stop, look and learn. Stay creative and stay muddy!
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The moral of the tortoise and the hare cannot be lost especially when growing a brand: "Slow and steady wins the race." I find it particularly comforting when looking at stats on website clicks and sales and internet ranking and when I notice that the number of followers on my IG doesn't reflect the number of follow notifications I received. It is here I must dig down deep and remind myself that I am still a fledgling; that I am still in the holding on and walking stage; that I am still learning to navigate the idea of branding.
I have taken this year to writing messages of reminder at the top of my planner page as a way of helping to maintain my focus on the ultimate goal and not the side trips. This week it's "Stay the Course" The message here is that when I feel most discouraged and I wonder if I'm wasting my time and money; when I wonder if I write these words for me alone or plan clay projects for me alone, that's the time I should dig deep and plod forward. It's endgame that should be the focus. And what is the endgame? to develop a quality brand of pottery, to have a site with qualtiy content. that does not happen in a day. So even though I hesitated to write or plan, I do it still because I must stay the course.
Have you ever experienced similar doubts? How do you overcome those feelings?
What kinds of self-speak do you use if at all? Do share below with us. I would love to hear from you.
While our pinch pots from last two weeks are drying, I'll share with you some video footage of how I create- jewel boxes for a special project that I'll share later on in the month. Hope you enjoy.
I have been looking forward to getting this book since December and at long last it came this week. o far it is living up to all expectations. If you are a newbie potter or someone who has been at it for a long time and want to make the transition to handbuilding or even if you just want to mix things up or you're just curious, I highly recommend this book to you. Mastering Handbuilding by Sunshine Cobb will not disappoint. I can't wait to try some of the projects in there.
Hi I am an artist and potter here in Trinidad and Tobago, in the Caribbean. This is my blog and I hope you come along with me as I share pieces of my pottery world with you.