Sunday, 12 August 2018


I am not a fan of bailing on plans. Especially plans I was excited + enthusiastic about. Especially plans which other people were looking forward to, and counting on.

In July, I hosted my third live online workshop—Magical Modern Calligraphy. Based on registration for my first two, I had high hopes that this one would be an easy sell-out. August rent? Covered! Little extra for a new bed because I’m sleeping in the double bed I had when I was a kid, with a cheap 15-year old mattress that leaves me feeling like I was flattened by a cement roller?? Easy!

Eight people registered.

Eight. Huit. Ocho.

Where the heck is everybody!? Y’all said you wanted to learn this stuff!? What did I miss? Why doesn’t anybody liiiiike meeeee?????

Chin up, JoeGirl.

I didn’t cancel. I was even excited for the eight gals who did register, as it meant more attention for them, instead of sharing the live time with 60 other participants.

I marched on and brought my A-game to the workshop.

Until my internet connection was lost. Yup. It crapped out right at the good part. Oh, it came back almost immediately, and 100% of the attendees were able to log back in to the call, BUT the connection wasn’t anywhere near strong enough to clearly demonstrate detailed techniques, as is required for fine handiwork.

Seriously, Internet? 

I was embarrassed and wanted to cry. I felt terrible for the participants who must have been even more frustrated than I was. They PAID for this, for Pete’s sake.

With choppy, blurry, erratic video, we pushed though, making the best of a brutal situation. I promised to record a clean tutorial and sort out a more reliable solution for the next class in the series.

About ten minutes ago, I hit CANCEL on the next class in the series.

Since posting about it over a week ago, I have received but one inquiry, and a grand total of zero registrations. I can’t pinpoint why. And, quite frankly, it upsets me too much to think about all the possible reasons these classes were a flop—price, marketing, I’m not “the calligraphy girl”, Summer vacation… Ugh.

So what gives me peace? What makes it completely A-okay that I cancelled?

Not every idea is going to be a winner. And if this one wasn’t, the next one might be. Or the one after that. Or maybe even the one after that.

Ideas flow to me like water from a hose. Sleep eludes me more often than not because I have SO. MANY. IDEAS. Friends ask me for ideas and then probably wish I would shut the heck up because they just don’t stop.

Not every idea is going to be a winner.

And you know what? My mission in life isn’t to be the online art teacher lady. My mission in life is to inspire joyful living through creative play. I haven’t figured out exactly how to execute that in terms of business offerings. Oh yeah, you’d better believe I have ideas! But ideas can be super scary—especially right after a flop or two… or bajillion.

Chin up, JoeGirl.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on this story. Feel free to leave a comment and let’s chat!

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Joyful Living through Creative Play

I’ve been sitting on my front step since 6:40am—and it’s Sunday.

There are two reasons I might wake up early: 1) the anxiety over money, relationships, work is too much to bear, and I need to distract myself from the rumination my brain forces upon me by hauling my ass out of bed and doing something—anything, or 2) none of the aforementioned condition exists and I am enthusiastic about the day and all it has to offer—especially if I have a new project or idea.

On July 10th, a very sweet lady passed away who impacted my life more than she ever knew. I only met Julie once. In September 2015, she attended my very first women’s art retreat weekend. Her energy was bright and buoyant, colourful and calm, happy and healing. She and I felt a kinship right away, as I know she did with many other guests that weekend, as did I. Julie and I remained in touch, albeit with decreasing frequency as her health was ailing.

In one of our earliest communications, Julie said to me, “Joanne, you are a healer.”

That single statement has affected me daily ever since, though it didn’t come as a complete surprise. People have been drawn to me for support, advice, respite, and cheering up since I was a child. I make people feel welcome, relaxed, listened to, comfortable.

What was most profound about Julie saying it to me, was that she, in fact, was a healer. Julie was an art therapist and teacher, and helped hundreds process pain and hurt through art and creative play. In Julie telling me I am a healer, she was encouraging me to give myself permission to keep doing what I was doing, and what I have felt for years is my purpose here on Earth.

Yesterday, I was inspired by another artist—Thank you, Universe—by way of Pinterest. You know artists, always wincing in anticipation of peoples’ reactions when they answer questions of, “What do you do for a living?” with “I’m an artist.” You may not always see the wince, but oh, it’s there.

I watched a few of Belinda’s videos, and WHAMMY, she hit the nail on the head for me a bunch of times. She speaks of having jobs to secure income (I have three, at last count). She speaks of friends and family encouraging her to get a real job. She speaks of feeling a complete lack of inspiration when she needs it most—for a commission, or an event, or to sell something, already! And when inspiration fails to ignite, she speaks of beating herself up, feeling inadequate, like a failure, like a fraud, like anything but an artist.

Belinda also speaks about healing though art, and she offers clients the space, time, and freedom to do so without judgement or fear.

It can cause such inner turmoil for us artists and creative healers. We often struggle to do for ourselves what we are meant to do for others. In my experience, it is in precisely those moments when I know I am affecting someone’s life, that I too heal. Seeing women around my studio table lighting up, and being inspired by my teachings, my experience, my story—heals me. It heals the wound that works so hard to convince me I’m not good enough.

Well, that’s garbage.

I am plenty good enough. Thank you, Julie and Belinda, for reminding me of that.

In the days ahead, I will be reworking and rewording my website to focus more on the healing powers of creative play, and the ways in which I will inspire joyful living though creative play. I will be more raw, more vulnerable, more forgiving, more open, more free.

Here I sit on my front step. The mid-Summer sun is warming my skin, even at this early hour. I’m sweating in all of my nooks and crannies, and am kinda wishing I had a Mojitio instead of this Matcha.

I am inspired.
This is why I was awake so early today.


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Day One.

I returned to the gym today for the first time in… well, let’s say two years.

I cried when I arrived.

Not sure why. Perhaps emotional because, even though it has seen many changes since I left in 2012, it was the place I helped build in 2010. Perhaps because I know what I had accomplished in the past and I am afraid of failing. Perhaps because I am, deep down, super proud of myself for making this commitment. For whatever reason, the tears flowed—and I allowed them.

I picked myself up, received my circuit details, and went at it. Not hard, but enough.

Leg press, alternating dumbbell presses, standing rows, and a hanging obliques exercise called “Ski Jumps”, named way back in 2009 just for me :)

The weights weren’t high, or even particularly difficult, but I felt every rep. When the self-doubt creeped in, I closed my eyes, and just felt my body moving. I love that feeling. Push… pull… contract… expand… BREATHE.

Three rounds was a wonderful start. I’ll be back Thursday for Day Two.

Yes, I will be tight tomorrow—a feeling I have always loved, and often craved.


With gratitude,

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