Introducing: Gather + Create

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At the beginning of the summer, I sent out an email to my newsletter subscribers asking if they enjoy dabbling in other types of art/crafts mostly because I was curious and itching to try new things. At the same time, I had also started a Meetup group for crafters, and ended up having a blast at our first gathering learning about all different types of crafts! It made me nostalgic for my younger days, when I dabbled in any new crafty thing that caught my eye.

These days, teaching, and calligraphy use up most of my creative brain. In my down time, I peruse and pin DIY projects on Pinterest and rarely follow through on any of them. After the crafter meetup, it got me thinking…what if I could coordinate with local crafters and artists to teach workshops in the new gallery space? This way, I could learn new crafty things, support other creative women and at the same time, give myself a break from teaching calligraphy a couple weekends a month.

It was one of those light bulb moments like in cartoons; ding! I immediately hopped into planning mode, first things first - what do i call it? One night, literally as my head hit my pillow, it just came to me - Gather + Create!

This is the name I used for the Meetup group but why not expand on it and actually organize structured workshops just like I do with calligraphy?

So, here we are - more than half-way through the summer and I’m in the midst of coordinating some amazing workshops for the coming weeks and months. I haven't felt this level of excitement in a while...when I plan/teach my calligraphy workshops, most of the time I'm on my own throughout the entire process. With this new venture, I'm collaborating and communicating with fellow creatives; guiding them through the process, sharing their work and brainstorming ideas.

Community is something I've sought after most of my life, and whenever I couldn't find the right fit, I would create it. Whether it was organizing events for my church youth group in high school, fellowship in college; planning field trips as a summer day camp director, or planning food blogger fundraisers in NYC, I thrived in the behind-the-scenes admin stuff — putting the plans together to bring people together for a common purpose.

With Gather + Create, my hope is to inspire connection, community, courage, and creativity among women here in my local community.

If you're local, I invite you to join us as an attendee, instructor, or both! Check out the workshops we have so far - more to come soon!

Announcing: New Workshop Venue, Studio Hours, & Private Lessons!

As I hinted in my last blog post, some exciting changes are happening around here!

I FINALLY found a venue to partner with in my neighborhood of Nyack!

Since I started teaching workshops 2+ years ago, I've been like Goldilocks searching for a place in that was just right for me - I tried a co-working space, and a fun restaurant partnership, but both were lacking that bright and airy feel that I love. For that reason, I’ve traveled across the bridge to Westchester and NYC for the majority of my workshops.

While walking back from the Nyack farmer's market recently, I noticed a new art gallery with beautiful paintings in the window - the artist's style really spoke to me. The shop was closed so I could only peek in through the glass, but I literally gasped when I saw the bright, airy open space (setup was still in progress).

When I finally got to sit down with the talented artist and owner of the gallery, Shelly Luan, we spent hours chatting, and laughing... we became fast friends and Shelly was more than willing to host my classes at her space!

So, I went right to work in filling my calendar with new classes and events and my brain started swirling with lots of ideas, thinking about the world of possibilities in this new space.

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Studio Hours | Private Lessons

One idea that I'm testing is something which, I've dubbed, "studio hours".  Every Tuesday, I'll be in the gallery for those who'd like to schedule private calligraphy lessons with me!

As you can imagine, I’m super excited for what’s to come and I hope that you can join me (if you’re local)!

Check out all the new offerings below and feel free to get in touch with any questions:

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On listening to your heart and having the courage to let go

Real talk time -- 

Recently, I’ve been dealing with some internal struggles about my calligraphy workshops. As in, do I even want to teach anymore?

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Now, don't get me wrong - I love hosting events, teaching classes, and getting to meet people like you, who actually want to learn calligraphy! What I I don't enjoy is marketing myself, the anxiety associated with filling a class, lugging supplies all over the place, not having a venue to call my own, and the loneliness associated with being a solo entrepreneur, doing all of this on my own. It was starting to wear on me…

Last year, I had the opportunity to work with some amazing brands in NYC, which led me to hosting more workshops in the city. I admit, I was swept up by the excitement and “glamour” of it all. I felt validated, like I finally “made it”. But let’s be real. Taking gigs in NYC or anywhere else doesn’t make or break me as a calligrapher/teacher/business. The simple fact is that I was taking these jobs because it brought in funds that I needed to pay the bills. And yes, I will continue to take on gigs in the city as I see fit, but as far as workshops go - the anxiety of filling classes, plus expensive venue fees (and everything else mentioned above) was wreaking havoc on my physical and mental health. As much as I want to serve my NYC client base, I have to listen to my heart (and body) and let some things go.

Which, is why I’ve decided on the following:

City folks, going forward I will only be booking private workshops as the minimum number is guaranteed, eliminating some of the anxiety re: filling classes. So, if you live in NYC (or anywhere in the Tri-State area) and would like to learn modern calligraphy from me, invite a few friends and make it a girls’ night! I can travel to your home or you can book a Breather space of your choice (referral link).

I have also opened booking for private lessons in Westchester & Rockland counties - this is for anyone who’s looking to take their calligraphy to the next level, or whose schedule just doesn’t sync up with my workshop calendar.

Making changes in my business is always scary, and I know that I will be disappointing people (I’m sorry!). But these changes can lead to new and exciting things - which, I’m happy to share is on the horizon! Stay tuned! :)