I hope something good happens to you today

THAT was on a bumper sticker today.

Not two assault rifles crossed together with an Assault Life tagline.

Not an insult hurled across the political aisle.

Not a statement For or Against.

Simply well wishes. For you. For whomever sidles up behind that bumper.

Refreshing, isn’t it?

…….

Speaking of refreshing, check out this alien dinosaur lizard chillaxing in a tree outside our front door . . .

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Why I need 7 Daily Practices: A highly irregular guy aims for consistency

The previous post — Wanted: Art maniacs — highlighted an art madman I’ve known for the 25 years we’ve been in the gallery business.

A takeaway was that he’s achieved the elusive goal so many creatives dream of — to make a living entirely from his art — by simply diving in every day.

These Notes For Creators are almost always meant for me. This message more than most. Because I live a highly irregular life.

Days are never the same. I travel multiple times a year for a week or more. I run across the state to help my vibrant but aging mom. We have a teenager. Business is fluid, unpredictable. The coronavirus rages.

So it’s rare two days look the same.

But really, it’s me. I’ve set up this everchanging ride of a life. No other art gallery owner hits the road like I do to visit artist studios. At least not by RV.

(Used to be by van.)

I’ve rarely been able to sit for long. I’m antsy. I’ve got to move or change focus.

I prayed when I hit my 30s that I’d subside.

Noooooooo——–

For sure when I hit my 40s.

Definitely by the time I hit my 50s.

Nope.

So that message about a daily commitment was for me. Because I fail at it so often.

For those of you like me — you eternally flitting creatures who can’t sit still — I thought I should pass along one other idea. From someone who thrives on change yet strives for routine.

The solution that has seemingly burbled up on its own accord is this: Modular core practices.

You could also call it variable time blocking.

Here’s how it looks.

— You sift through your experience to isolate the essential activities in your life that sustain you.

— You identify 5 or 7 areas

— You name them

— You estimate how long you require for each one each day

— Then you feed them into your daily planning structure

And even if each day is full of surprises and differing time frames, even if appointments and meetings and travel time and obligations tug at you in different ways on different days, you make sure each core practice is scheduled at some point in the day

I’m going to walk you through mine so you get a feel for how this works.

Years ago I honed in on 5 Daily Practices necessary for my sanity. And for my growth.

Spirit
Love-appreciation meditation
Plus expressing love energy in my efforts and my interactions

Vision
A short session for getting clear on what I really want, could be for any time frame — the next hour, the day, for my life

Body
Getting in motion. Excercise! I like to get at least an hour a day. It grounds and enlivens me

Creative
A daily creative practice, writing bookitos, writing to you here or via my email newsletter

Connection
Relationship time, connecting meaningfully and lightheartedly with people that matter to me

Then I had an epiphany — two important parts of my day weren’t covered — I really had 7 Daily Practices.

I added these two, because in reality these hours formed the bulk of my day and I was often engaging in them mindlessly:

Workfulness
I own an art gallery, it was important to dedicate the same level of thoughtfulness to those hours as the rest of my life

Homefulness
How did it take me so long to realize the homefront also needed that same high level of attentiveness! They may sound like chores to you, but now laundry and vacuuming and cleaning up are imbued with a deeper purpose for me — and what a difference that makes

So there it is — those are my 7 Daily Practices.

These daily practices are simply building blocks. I move them around each day in my planner to fit my changing schedule.

For an easy visual I draw a little triangle off to the left of each daily practice — it gets colored in when completed. It’s an easy scan down the page to see what daily practices remain.

For example, I try to get my first Body session in early, but it’s not always possible.

No matter, the empty triangle lets me know that particular practice still awaits my attention.

For an irregular guy like me, whose life gets thrown in different directions on different days, now all I need do is make sure I’m tackling each area for some portion of my day, and voila — my days are more fulfilling — life is engaging — heartier even — it is deeper and groovier —

And I don’t fall into bed every night like used to, with a nagging sense of incompleteness.

Even if inexpertly handled, even if a mountain of tasks still need to be tackled, I’ve lived core values that day. Which is surprisingly rewarding.

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Wanted: Art maniacs

Meet Paul Tamanian — or The Tamaniac as he’s been dubbed.

They say Don’t judge a book by its cover. But in this case you must trust your instinct.

What you see in this pic is exactly who The Tamaniac is:

A no-holds-barred artist who breathes a creative force like few others.

For example, this is not Paul’s artwork, that car. That car is a side project.

And yet here he is on a sweltering day after working outdoors in sun and heat and bugs and sweat on his artwork, jumping into his side project for the fun of it.

Zoom in a little on the background in the upper righthand side of the image. That’s Paul’s house. One he designed and helped build on a lake outside of Tallahassee.

Zoom in on the background in the upper lefthand side. That’s an open carport Paul uses for his studio.

Some of his work his tackled in that shelter, though much of it happens just outside on the gravel driveway.

We’ve represented Paul Tamanian at Studio E Gallery from our first exhibit 25 years ago.

If you click the link you’ll see Paul slightly cleaned up, only slightly — because this dude tackles life like he tackles his art. Full on. If he’s not attacking the aluminum surfaces he works on, he’s full tilt into a side project.

Or he’s swimming. Or hiking. Or golfing. Or in rant mode about the state of the country.

I bet even his dreams are action sequenced. No floating fairies and lightning bugs over a shimmering sylvan landscape for him.

We were the first gallery outside of his local area to pick him up. And it’s been a ride the whole way.

He started in ceramics and over time moved to two-dimensional surfaces before finding his ultimate home on aluminum.

He easily moves back and forth between the flat surface of wall art to curvilinear sculpture evoking sails or clouds, ancient totemic forms even.

My point is this: Art maniacs find a way.

When the Studio E team is looking for artists we look for committed zaniacs like Paul. People who commit to their art.

Because the committed always find a way.

You know this.

And you know this too. Commitment is merely showing up each day to do the work.

If you’re stuck, if you’re waffling, if you’re scrolling through your phone hours a day rather than doing what you claim is important to you, take a page from the Paul Tamanian playbook.

Jump in every day.

Commit.

You may not have a glorious air-conditioned workspace stocked with lattes.

Neither does Paul.

But he found a way decades ago to do the work around his full-time gig.

And he did it consistently enough till his art became his full-time gig.

Ladies and gentleman, if you’re looking for inspiration, scroll back to the top of this page.

Check out Paul in the photo.

There’s nothing glamorous here.

He’s not sipping from a brandy snifter. He’s not reclining in a plush fashionista armchair. He’s not surrounded by coffee table books or pretty assistants. He’s not toking exotic sinsemilla.

Not that he wouldn’t mind some of that at the right time — quitting time.

You can tell by the pants and shirt, by the hat and gloves and footwear. These are clothes a working artist wears every day.

That’s commitment.

That’s all you need.

Keep at it, and you too may be lucky enough to find yourself on a Florida heatlamp summer day enjoying the hell out of your side project.

Only after you’ve done the real work, of course.

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