Having enjoyed very much putting my life on hold whilst being ill recently, I returned to the studio this week with an infinitely clearer mind.
One of the best things about being sick, is having to slow down. I have a tendency to have 10 projects on the burner at the same time, and am often frustrated by how slowly they evolve but still want them all to be priority.
…And made to a pernickety-perfect standard. The past decade has seen me spend literally hundreds of hours, printing, cutting, formatting, making publicity, to get my popular postcard calendars out before the new year.
They were always handmade, kitchen table published, hand bound, on recycled card. Very time consuming, plus add to this the additional challenges of finding the right card in rural Italy (even more hours of wild goose chasing), the unwillingness of Italian clients to buy online, and so on. It became more hard slog than happy pleasure.
This year I’ve been systematically taking all the things out of my schedule which drain more energy than they inspire, and focussing on the things which bring energy and joy into my everyday.
Rather than focussing on what isn’t working, I like to be flexible enough to look at what can be loosened up, or neatened, in order to make the actual goal attainable.
With this open mind, I was uploading a draft copy of the Guardia Sanframondi Insider’s Guide to Lulu (a fabulous online publishing platform), and saw that they have a calendars template – wow – talk about problem solved instantly!
It still took a few days of choosing the very best photos, fiddling with them, aligning and formatting the calendar, putting it through the publishing process, and waiting for proof copies to arrive. But not hundreds of hours 😉
It’s a compromise, but not an agonising one: this way I get to share the beauty of Guardia’s stupendous landscape – and a vibrant selection of paintings, with a much wider audience than I could have if I was slaving away at the kitchen table.
It feels great to step out of the tunnel-vision, and to be able to see wider and further: so important if we want to be fulfilled and free as creatives!
Here are the arthouse’s two beautiful calendars for 2016:
a high-colour inspired collection of images of this gem of a town, and its surrounding landscape.
My very favourite photos throughout the seasons!