Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shake it off

Let go and let loose. It's something I have been talking about to my art pals. When you "have" to do something a certain way, when you have to use a specific product, when you have to arrange flowers in a can get to be just plain stressful. And for me, the entire concept of being an artist is to have fun, to play, to let go of the stress in your life.

I'm in Kingman AZ this week and visited the little mountain town of Jerome today. Went into a bead and yarn shop and the owner asked me if I was a knitter. I said no, I'm an altered artist, but I pretty much just play! She got so excited. She said that people do not know how to play any more. They need their classes to be so structured and detailed. I invited her to come take one of my classes!! Very little structure....we just focus on playing!

When I teach a class and I notice that students are getting tense because they are trying too hard, I will take a time out. Everyone has to stand up and then just stand there and shake their bodies. Shake from your head down to your toes and back up. Yell. OK....I mean really yell. Scream from the top of your lungs. It is a total stress reliever. Of course, everyone around you thinks you have lost your last marble, but trust me it helps!

Of course, when I do this with an entire class filled with women, there is a whole lot of laughter going on. People don't believe that I will ask them to scream in a room filled with other artists! But I do!

I'm not sure what the psychological impact of this is...I just know that it works. We get ourselves so tense, so worked up, so stressed out trying to make the perfect layout, the perfect card, the perfect piece of art. We get so close to the project that we can't step back and look at it like someone else might. We are too involved with what we are doing.

So scream, shake out your body, and then allow yourself to release a huge sigh.

It truly amazes me each time I do this either alone in my studio, or in a class, how much better the ideas flow, how much easier my task becomes, and how satisfied I am with what I'm doing.

Shake it off....give it a try! My remedy to turning stress into play!!!

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