On sharing my oracle cards.

I recently returned from a Nia training in Portland, Oregon. There, I spent a wonderful week dancing, learning, and connecting with like-minded movers and dancers.

I also shared my oracle cards.

When my husband suggested I bring them with me, I wasn’t intending to share them. Well, maybe I would share them with my host or bring them out during a break. Maybe I would just use them for guidance in the mornings or evenings.

The cards had other ideas. One morning, as I was getting ready, I was checking in with myself: Is there anything else I need to bring? 

The answer came: Bring your oracle cards. 

I don’t have to share them, I thought. But then I pulled a card and got this:

truth card

The truth card. I had to laugh. It was the most appropriate card I could have picked. I was in the middle of the Nia Blue Belt training, which focuses on communication and intimacy. And one of the elements in the training is truth-telling, starting with telling myself the truth about myself.

I think I have to share them, I thought. And so, during our open sharing time that afternoon (about what we’ve learned that day, what has come up for us in general, anything goes), I told the story and shared this card, passing it around the circle. Several of my fellow trainees later asked to see more of the cards.

I felt incredibly vulnerable after sharing. These cards have become part of my story. They took over three years from start to finish, from the first line drawn to final printing. I initially created them as part of a personal growth program, but I finished them on my own terms.

I recognize that sharing them in a circle like that is a way of promoting them as a product, but that wasn’t my original intention. My intention was simply to share my art. My art and my creativity is part of who I am, part of my truth. I shared my art twice during the training: the first time was the vision board that I created before the training, and the second was the cards.

Blue Belt vision board
My Blue Belt vision board that I created a week before the training.

I did receive some orders as a result of sharing the cards, the first of which was the last set of my first printing from two years ago. So I ordered more sets. You can find them in my Etsy shop here.

I’m realizing how important sharing is in my own creative process. Yes, I share on social media and whatnot, but it’s also important I share in a variety of forums. So I’m setting an intention to share more of my cards and their stories and meanings here.

Yes, there is a vulnerability in sharing my work. But there is also this: by giving myself permission to share my own work and creativity, I also connected with other people about theirs. People came up to me afterward and shared about their art, how they hoped to get back into it. Art can be deeply personal, and it also has a universal language that can speak to the creativity within each person.

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Etsy update poll

Long time, no see.

If you have time (and have Facebook), I’d love for you to take my poll on what kinds of items you’d like to see in my shop. It’s been a while since I last did a full-fledged update, and I have some new inventory. So please, follow this link and vote!

Commenting on this post is also welcome.

What would you like to see? More necklaces or pendants? Ornaments and suncatchers? Earrings? Cards and prints? Bracelets? Something else?

You can also visit my Instagram or Facebook page to see some of my latest designs.

 

 

Processing progress.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m making enough new pieces of jewelry and art. After finishing my oracle cards, which was a huge undertaking, I’ve felt a little…well, anticlimactic about my artistic process and progress with the lack of a major project.

In reality, I have continued to create. I’ve made a variety of new things – cards, decorated hair clips, a few new pendants, etc. It’s been more that I’ve been making things a few at a time; it’s been very here and there.

abalone hair clips
Abalone hair clips
I have a decent inventory of items I can sell. I’ve been doing fewer craft fairs this year, although have been successful with selling items to friends, family, and a few Etsy customers. Some of that is because I’m busy doing other things (e.g. oracle cards, planning my wedding, preparing to move) and part of that is because I’m a little more discerning about what kinds of events I put my energy, time and money towards.

There’s also another factor: I’m an aspiring Nia Technique dance fitness teacher. I’ve been putting some of my creativity energy towards learning routines and finding my own sense of movement. I take several classes a week, and for the next two months, I’m teaching once a week. So, I’ve been putting more time into that than into my visual art. However, I also recognize that I’ve been doing art for most of my life; it comes more easily to me. Dance…much less so. I took a few modern dance classes when I was 12 or so, but didn’t have the time or patience at the time. I took improvisational dance and dance history classes in college and took expressive moment classes for a while when I lived in San Diego.  When I started Nia, it became about the body-mind-spirit connection and more. It became a regular activity I wanted to practice and improve at. I not only wanted to learn the technique, I also wanted to teach it. And learning to teach is a very intensive process.

I don’t see my Nia practice as replacing my visual art practice by any means; they definitely can exist side-by-side in my life. However, even as I write this, I’m realizing that I practice Nia regularly. I don’t currently have a consistent art practice. I see blogs that talk about sketching or making at least one thing a day. At the moment, I am not doing this. At one time, I was practicing wirewrapping on a regular basis, and my skills definitely improved dramatically. I don’t think I’m at a stagnant place with my art – but I might be at a place where things aren’t moving very quickly. And really, they don’t have to. I’ve been satisfied with the small supplemental of income I’ve earned, which mostly means some of what I create pays for itself. I also realize that I’ve felt vulnerable about the idea of getting feedback on what I can do next art-business-wise.

At some point in the relatively near future, I want to dedicate more time to it. I want to create goals for the act of creating – whether I’m doing it to create something for profit or just for myself. I want to get feedback on my Etsy shop, recommendations on what I could improve. I want to read books or take online classes about different aspects of running an art business. Ideally, I want to create enough time and space so my Nia and art can feed each other. Perhaps someday I’ll do a Nia and art workshop.

My time and attention is pretty divided right now, but perhaps once I settle into my post-wedding life, perhaps I will find more flow and ease in my visual art practice and business. It’s all a work in progress.

Oracle cards: Creating a sacred spiral

Inspired by a picture of oracle cards arranged in the shape of a spiral, I decided to try it with my cards. I thought it was appropriate, considering I call them Sacred Spiral Oracle cards.

Spiral of oracle cards

Since my cards are 4×6″, it took up a decent amount of space to include all 41. There was some meaning to how I laid out the cards: It tells a story that begins with confusion and resistance, leading to self-exploration and journeying, and ending in feeling powerful and at home.

Card Spiral from the side

I have to say: The drums and the rainstick that live in that corner of the living room look pretty good with the cards.

Artist Trading Card Exchange

In March, I participated in an Artist Trading Cards Exchange through Albuquerque’s Women & Creativity Month.

They sent me 10 small blank cards, which I turned into these:

artisttradingcards

(the picture is a little cut off at the bottom, but hopefully you get the idea)

I then sent these off, and they mixed them up with other people’s cards and sent them off to other people.

In April, I received this in the mail:

cardenvelope2

Which opened up like an accordion:

cardenvelope

I took out the individual cards…

other artist trading cards

…and got this lovely assortment of cards from 10 different artists!

I really enjoyed participating in this exchange, and hope to do it again next year. It was a great way to inspire and share my own creativity, and see what others created, too.

An overdue update

I apologize – I’ve been neglecting my website and business blog. Here’s some of what I’ve been doing:

Finishing my oracle cards! I just submitted an order to print the first sets of cards, which I should get in the next two weeks or so. My current plan is to start with a small number, and if there’s enough interest, I’ll get more printed. I also ordered a proof of my oracle card book. I’m planning on beginning to sell them this summer, so stay tuned!

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 3.18.37 PM

 

I’m still making some jewelry.  These are from a new collection I’m working on. I’m experimenting with playing with wire in an organic, free-form way and creating unique pieces that stand out.

new collection pieces

 

In April, I participated in Susannah Conway’s April Love month, and did quite a bit of art and writing based on those prompts. Here is one.

imagination

I also learned how to make ear cuffs!

ear cuff

 

I’ll post more updates soon! I’ll definitely send out a newsletter once my cards are ready, so if you aren’t already subscribed, sign up here.