The Courage to Embrace Your Creative Self—Announcing Our “Made to Make” Workshops
Heather and I recently wrapped up a wonderful trip to Spain. We visited Barcelona, where Pablo Picasso spent much of his life, and the small coastal town of Cadaques, where Salvador Dali called home.
You can’t help but stumble upon a great deal of their art while in Spain. What struck us, in particular, was the evolution of their work. Picasso, for example, was classically trained, and much of his early work was done in a true-to-life, realist style. Only later did he explore a range of other styles, including his revolutionary take on modernism. Also notable was the artists’ breadth of expertise. Dali was not only one of the world’s foremost surrealist painters, but he also successfully branched out to sculpture, printmaking, fashion, advertising, writing, and filmmaking.
At their core, they were creatives, and their art evolved with them. They gained mastery of their respective crafts, but rather than remaining in their comfort zones, they pushed the boundaries and developed styles all their own. Their approaches required patience—they perpetually experimented, explored, and examined. But also a sense of urgency—their insatiable creative appetites led them to produce prolific amounts of work.
As a result, they created indelible art for the ages, perhaps admired more—certainly valued more—than at any point during their lifetimes.
Picasso and Dali were, without a doubt, outliers, but they were no different than any of us in one important respect. We all have a yearning to create, no matter how faint, hidden, or otherwise suppressed it may be. For many of us, it’s a burning desire, but the pace of life today leaves little room for it to see the light of day.
For others, fear is the obstacle. Many want to create but are afraid of being judged for their imperfection. Social media makes it worse, of course, as it’s a gallery of curated perfection.
Imagine how much amazing work never reaches the canvas, the recording studio, or the blank page due to fear. It’s a tragedy of the digital age of judgmentalism.
And it need not be this way. We should ignore what others are doing and have the courage to be our creative selves. After all, much of what’s on offer online is a facade anyway.
By all accounts, prior to spring 2019, Brit + Co was a highflying lifestyle brand. Its products were on Target shelves. It was collaborating with major brands. Its Instagram was perfect. And its young, glamorous founder was all over the airwaves. It was a creative juggernaut. At least that’s what it seemed. And then it all fell apart. In April, the company announced that it was laying off most of its staff in a major restructuring due to heavy financial losses.
The lesson: Don’t hold yourself back from exercising your creative muscles based on a mistaken notion that you can’t reach the heights of others. The biggest benefit of creativity is not adoration and accolades from others, it’s the inner satisfaction of bringing into the world something that yearned to come out.
We’ve had our own creative struggles here at Life and Whim. If you’ve been a subscriber for a while (and if not, welcome!), you may have noticed a drop-off in the amount of content we’ve been creating. In some ways this has been due to external forces, in particular a bit of a frenzied pace associated with our other business, a small marketing agency.
But the more relevant cause has been internal, namely, grappling with the direction we want to head in with Life and Whim. It has been nearly three years since we launched our first line of products. And while we’ve gained great satisfaction from the creative process of designing goods, and have been thrilled by our customers’ positive response to them, something has been missing.
And that “something,” for Heather in particular, has been more direct interaction and experiences with members of our community—and the creative community more broadly. Creativity is not meant to be a solitary endeavor. It’s something to be pursued together.
Announcing Our New “Made to Make” Workshops
With this background in mind, we’re thrilled to announce an exciting new chapter for Life and Whim. This month, Heather will be hosting her first “Made to Make” workshop in our hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, at The Little Fleet. Our new workshops, which will be held monthly to start, will not displace the products we design and sell, the content we create, or other events we host. Rather, by introducing this new creative outlet—for us and others—we expect everything we do to become more energized...and better. We created Made to Make workshops so people can come together to make beautiful things, to meet people, to get inspired and to try something new.
Workshops will be guided by talented artisans from an array of creative disciplines—“makers” who are passionate about helping others learn a new creative skill.
At around 20 attendees per workshop, they will be small enough to provide for an intimate experience with individual instruction, yet big enough to foster community and lively conversation. Best of all, they’re an opportunity for attendees to engage in “first moment” creative experiences.
Our first Made to Make workshop takes place on November 19. It features talented fiber artist Gwen Lidan from Bella Filato Studio. Gwen will teach attendees how to learn to weave and how to create a beautiful woven tapestry—all tools and supplies will be provided.
To kick off the night, The Little Fleet will demonstrate how to make a seasonal cocktail called “The Lesson” made with Ransom Gin, burnt honey syrup, lemon and salt...it’s delicious and a fun new cocktail to make for your upcoming holiday gatherings.
Our first event is sold out. But don’t worry, we’ll be hosting new workshops on the third Tuesday of every month at The Little Fleet, including one on December 17 at which guests will learn how to make stunning floral arrangements for their holiday tables from Alissa Marie Thompson from IndieGrow Flower Farm. Click here for details and to register!