Dream a little dream of… an art studio

One day (soon I hope) I would love to have a my own space to create, paint and hang out (close friends would have an open invitation to share and play with me too). Right now my space is located in my bedroom. It’s nothing fancy but suits my need for now. I have a large bedroom so it’s not that bad but *sigh* I (and always have) longed for my own and “real” studio and yes, with an sink!

In the meantime, get my fill of inspiration and great ideas from Houzz. I have had my account for many years now and love hoarding away images in my Ideabooks. These images make me smile, dream and hope.

Here’s my curated “Studios” Ideabook. If you aren’t already on www.houzz.com, you should be. It’s wonderful.

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modern quilting, graphic design, podcasts and a new life path

josyan-mcgregor-quilt-top-don-quixote
My absolute first quilt top with fabric I had available. Negative space, as far as I am concerned, can be anything you want.

I have fallen in total love with modern quilting – there I wrote it. Prior to this and to my own embarrassment, I was a quilt snob. I certainly appreciated their place in fabric and textile history but in no way did  I consider this traditional form of craft in my design or aesthetic vocabulary.

After all, I am a lover of colourful graphic patterns and scandinavian design. I love Marimekko’s bold flowers and simple lines. I drool at thought of Charles and Ray Eames’ body of work. I have watched Helvetica and Objectify many more times than I care to admit. I am fascinated by architecture, specifically Brutalist Architecture! There was no way that quilting fit within all that. I mean, right?

Some background

A few months back, I was an avid tech podcast listener and had been since 2002, but I was looking for something new. I was simply burned out on technology.

Something more… me

I am in my late forties, I am at the stage in my life where I need something that will re-ignite and inspire me to get back on the right path. I want to rejuvenate the next part of my own creative journey.

Enter Sandi

One day on my commute to work, I simply searched for two keywords: creative and podcast, and there it appeared. I listened to my first Crafty Planner Podcast on Google Play Music and was instantly hooked and the rest, as they say, is history. I would literally never be the same again.

Through Sandi Hazelwood’s Crafty Planner Podcasts, I have been introduced to quilters / makers / artists like Jacquie Gering, Heather Jones, Frank Palmer, Libs Elliott, Karen McTavish; fabric designers like Tula Pink, Heather Ross, Amy Butler and finally, sewists / designers like Cal Patch and Annabel Wrigley and much much more.

The world of modern quilting was totally new to me and I loved it. It awakened the sleeping artist inside of me. As a research maniac, I could not get enough of the images and creative vision I was seeing. The endless possibilities that this medium can open is mind-blowing. I can now see how architecture could be interpreted through modern quilting and textile art. There you have it, I have finally found a way to combine my love of architecture, graphic design, fine art, textile art, fibre arts, bold colours, line art, simple patterns, negative space exploration and conceptual art.

Over the last 3-4 months, I have listened with enormous focus and intent and I have laughed and openly wept at my many “ah ha” moments while listening to Sandi’s sensitive, honest and intelligent conversation-style interviews.

The other important reason I am writing this post today is because I’d like to thank Sandi. I’d like to let her know, that she has played a huge part in my soul search and my ultimate reconnection.

As a graphic designer, I have had many opportunities to create but in the end, I have realised that my style of “creation” is definitely more hands-on. Creating texture will now be my focus.

josyan-mcgregor-zesty-pi
This was an improv piece (zesty pi) with colours I love. The flowery pattern fabric is from a 70’s bed sheet which I have held on to for years. I have lots but I am being super selective as to when I use it.

It’s been a turbulent but enlightening couple of months for me personally, professionally and creatively and I now find myself with the time to develop my thoughts and my art.

I am promising myself a long and thoughtful meander along a largely unknown path filled with new hope and energy. Let’s see where it leads.

9/11 Still Looking for the Good Guys

On September 11, 2001, I was at work at the Chambre de commerce du Mtl métro as usual. It started off as any other Monday morning at work, but by 9:15 a.m. the world had changed and time had stopped.

As we all witnessed the horrific images and endless news coverage, we all knew this would alter our perception of the world and would expose us to the real fragility of humans.

They evacuated Place Ville Marie by 11 a.m., so I picked up Evan early from daycare that day.

As we were walking home, I tried to explain what had happened using only general terms like “the bad guys” and the thing I’ll never forget is that Evan all of 5 years old at the time, said this to me exactly: “but Mommy where were the good guys”.

I often wonder still where (and who) the “good guys” are. (updated)

Summer = More Facebook and Twitter Updates = Less Blog Posts

Whoa, I haven’t blogged anything in quite a few weeks (ehm months) and I’m feeling a bit neglectful.  It’s not like I’m not online because I am – almost every week night.  I post many links I find interesting on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

I’m trying to figure out why. Maybe it’s just easier to share a link and a short opinion there than it is on a blog – especially in the Summer months.

What do you think?  Do you find yourself stepping back during the busy Summer months?

Creative Humans Require One Important Thing

Turns out it’s Solitude.

I found this post on www.zenhabits.net today.  This well thought out post clearly demonstrated that being alone IS indeed a valuable and very necessary part of being a creative human being.

Personally, I need “alone” time to recharge my spiritual / creative batteries.  Without it – I would be a wreck!

Here’s a portion of the post I wanted to outline in particular:

Just a few of the benefits I’ve found from solitude:

* time for thought
* in being alone, we get to know ourselves
* we face our demons, and deal with them
* space to create
* space to unwind, and find peace
* time to reflect on what we’ve done, and learn from it
* isolation from the influences of other helps us to find our own voice
* quiet helps us to appreciate the smaller things that get lost in the roar

What else does solitude bring to your life?

Where did my walled-garden go?

Here’s a thought

When Facebook dares to change it’s design (not features) but its physical design, millions of people get in a twist about it.

People organize by setting up Facebook Pages dedicated to expressing their disgust and hatred because Facebook dare move a button.  Not to mention the thousands of Status Updates where users publicly threaten to delete their accounts if Facebook doesn’t put the site back to the previous design.

Reality check please

BUT when Facebook fundamentally changes its privacy policy (or what’s left of it) no one cares and worse, no one even knows what the big deal is.

My “Facebook Fail” moment

Note to “unlike” and stay away from the groups with funny names where you get to see the mystery image only if you “Like” the page.  Come on, are you really that naive?

Your personal information and surfing habits are being observed, calculated and quantified AND they are being sold to strangers.

The whole new search-able you

If you don’t put the correct privacy settings on those 900 Facebook photos; you know, those pictures of you drinking and making a fool of yourself at the various parties around campus, well, they are probably being seen by people outside of Facebook and worse; they are (or will become) search-able.

Now I know, that might not mean much right now because you probably have the usual “I don’t care what people think” attitude but remember this post in a few years from now when you suddenly don’t get that “dream job” even though you were completely qualified for it.

Let’s face it, the “Facebook Walled-Garden” is dead.

I know why I need Facebook in my life so I won’t be deactivating my account however, I have made changes to my privacy settings that suit my personal needs.  I do not accept Facebook gifts, game invitations or anything else that needs me to “Like” it in order to see it.

I suggest you do the same.

UPDATE: There are a few posts out there saying that it’s the “older folks” who are having a problem with the new Facebook privacy policy.  I ask you this: What do you think is the average age of today’s Facebook user?  If Facebook looses their trust – then they are history.

More food for thought: Recent stats indicate the Gen Y users are most likely to falsify their personal info on Facebook. What will Facebook do with a bunch of unusable information?