Speaker 0 00:00:00 <silence>
Speaker 1 00:00:09
Hi sweet friend. Welcome to the Come and Creative podcast. This is a podcast for artists and creatives of all backgrounds who seek to build a resilient mindset. Together we’ll dive into all things mindfulness and mental health as they relate to a creative journey. We’ll explore different tools and tips that can help us cultivate a more resilient and positive perspective on life. I’m Volta. I’m an author, a watercolor and animation artist, and the founder of Color Snack. I’m so happy that you’re here feeling stressed. I got you sweet friend. I created a free resource just for you. It’s five creative exercises that you can do anytime, anywhere. To tap into a moment of calm, you can access the resource on my website, color snack.com/calm. And again, that’s color snack.com/calm, c a l m.
Speaker 2 00:01:11
All right, Jennifer, welcome to the Calm and Creative Podcast. Thank you so much for being here.
Speaker 3 00:01:18
Oh, thank you for having me. I am thrilled to be joining you and your listeners.
Speaker 2 00:01:23
So to get us started, I was wondering if you could share with us what are some daily habits that you practice that help you cultivate a sense of calm and maybe focus while you’re doing your creative work?
Speaker 3 00:01:39
Yeah, I, first of all, I love this question so much. So there’s a variety of things that I do and depending on the day, they may shift a little bit. But meditation is a really important practice for me. And some days that may look like a five minute thing and some days it may look like an hour thing depending on how much I have going on in my schedule. I find journaling to be super helpful and spending time outside in nature. And one of my most favorite things to do too is really appreciate the little moments. And I think that’s part of self-care too. And what I mean by that is when you can go outside and appreciate the sunshine sparkling off of the do and just take a moment to breathe and take that in, I feel like that’s very centering and really brings in, brings us into a great space to get into that creative flow.
Speaker 2 00:02:43
Oh my gosh. And I love that you, you painted such a vivid image with your words ’cause that can like instantly picture it. And sometimes we get so busy with our day to day that we just forget to look at those small like little moments that can make such a big impact if we’re just like taking that small moment to be present and like fully intentional with, with wherever we’re at. And since you mentioned self-care, I also was wondering if there’s a practice or something that you do for yourself. Maybe it’s not like a part of your daily routine, but something that you do every now and then that helps you kind of tap into that self-love and where you, you know, kind of do an activity that just makes you feel fulfilled with and like kind of celebrating and tapping into the self-love and as part of the self-care routine or,
Speaker 3 00:03:35
Yeah. I love this question. So I do and I, I try to make sure that I do things for myself, whether it’s, you know, weekly or monthly. So weekly I belong to a group where we get together every Friday and we do a meditation and energy session. And that’s really important. Self-care for me. I love being able to go to the beach. I have a really awesome salt cave near me, manmade salt cave where you can go and hang out in surrounded by salt and breathe in all of the salt, which is great for us. And it’s super relaxing and very meditative. And I also like to go do fun things. So if you’re familiar with, or if anybody’s familiar with Julia Cameras, the artist’s way going out on artist play dates. So I try to make an effort to do that whether I’m going by myself or I go with friends and that could look like going to a museum or a local show tomorrow I’m actually going roller skating with a friend to like really bring in that like childlike joy, fun and play. So anything in that realm is perfect for me and I will go seek out.
Speaker 2 00:04:42
Oh that’s so wonderful. I’m a huge fan of Julia Cameron and I love, uh, going on artist dates myself. I know I need to be more
intentional, like schedule it more often, but every time I do it I’m like, wow, I’m so glad that I took the time. It’s just, there’s something so special about keeping that promise to yourself. So staying in that integrity of what I need also matters also is important. And we shouldn’t just push it to the side because there’s, I know it’s hard sometimes ’cause we have obligations, you know, we’re, we live in a world where there’s other people and they need things from us. So it’s, I think it’s very important to kind of try to make that happen as much as possible because keeping that promise to yourself, it’s just, uh, it’s such a beautiful thing because it, it like reinforces that idea that we matter and taking the time for ourselves is important and then it helps us feel better and as the result show up for other people in a much better way.
Speaker 3 00:05:41
A hundred percent. And I, I think you said something so important in there, which is making the time. And so it’s so it could be so easy for me to just push myself aside, right? So I make sure I put it in my calendar and typically I like to go do those things with a buddy or a couple of buddies because then I’m accountable to them too. Right. And it’s, it’s more fun in a group sometimes too. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:06:09
Yeah. I love that you mentioned that. ’cause accountability is massive. And I remember one way that I was trying to get back into like a morning pages type of routine with a friend and all we did was like, we would just text each other. I did my pages very simple text sometimes like it’s great if you can meet up with someone, but if you just can also kind of check in via text or something very simple but like kind of keeps you accountable. I agree. Like I love that you brought that up ’cause it’s, it’s such a powerful way to, well first of all stay on track and do do the thing that you wanna do, but also like you get to connect with someone else and kind of participate in that journey together.
Speaker 3 00:06:50
Yeah, it’s fun. And I do that too with the text messaging too. Like I have some friends who are like, this is what I’m doing this week or this is what I’m doing today and it’s, there’s just a different energy about it. Right. It, it kind of just makes it more fun and it, it does definitely holds me more accountable than me keeping it just to myself <laugh>.
Speaker 2 00:07:12
Yeah. Oh I love it. So to take a bit of a detour from like the feel good things, I was wondering, have you experienced burnout as you’re working through your creative career creative journey? And what are some ways that you have maybe dealt with it or maybe I guess some practices that you do to help prevent it?
Speaker 3 00:07:34
This is such a fantastic question and oh my gosh, yes of course I have definitely experienced the burnout. I have definitely experienced the getting stuck in like not being in that creative flow and it’s not a great feeling. And what I would say to people is, it’s easier for me now and it doesn’t really happen very often now, it’s very rare that it will happen now ’cause of the preventative thing. But when it would happen, it was ’cause like I didn’t know any better and I didn’t know to put myself first and I didn’t know to prioritize things. I didn’t necessarily know what my boundaries were. Right. This is all things that you learn and I think if it happens to you at the time it felt terrible and I felt, oh my gosh, what did I do wrong? And now I realize that part of that is sometimes just part of our journey and it’s part of the learning process and it really, really is how we evolve.
Speaker 3 00:08:30
So when I’ve gotten into that before in the past, and this is why prevention is so great, when I’ve gotten into that before in the past, I wind up needing a ton of time to recharge, right? And like actually like fill my battery back up and fill my cup back up so I can go back to being creative and running my business and doing all these things. But what I’ve learned now is that if we take the time ahead of time, that beautiful what you said, preventative, right? If we take time to rest now we don’t have to rest a hundred times more when we hit the burnout, right? So by resting now and whether that’s actually resting and taking a nap, taking a break, or being like, okay, these are the hours that I work or taking time for that self-care and journaling or going on a little adventure. By doing that now I actually wind up being much more in creative flow and much more productive because I’m coming to it with a full charged battery. If that makes sense. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:09:40
Oh I love the, all those things that you touched on because you know, it’s kind of like investing in yourself before it gets really bad and, but I think the common kind of default way of thinking is like, no, I have to keep working. I have to keep going. There’s no way, there’s no time. I don’t have time to take a nap or rest or meditate, none of that. And then eventually it really does catch up with us and I, I’ve been there, it’s not fun, it’s not a fun place to be. It’s, I remember just during those times it feels like, is this like my life now? It just feels so this is it. I’m gonna just forever feel this way. And I think it’s important to also remember as much as possible. I know it’s hard when you’re in the moment, but remembering that that feeling too is not permanent. So it will be there for a bit, but if you are taking the steps you can help kind of get yourself out of it and doing the preventative work, it’s like, yeah, I huge fan of that <laugh>,
Speaker 3 00:10:37
It took me a really long time to learn that lesson. And there are still times now that although I know the lesson, I’ve learned the lesson and part of this is mindset work, right? We’re kind of taught like, oh you have to keep working harder, harder, harder. But when we can actually rest, we can actually be more productive. I will still slip sometimes into old patterns, but the key is I’ve gotten much quicker and faster about recognizing that and I’m like, oh that’s showing up again. Hang on a second. I need to like take a step back and take care of myself so I can actually be productive.
Speaker 2 00:11:13
Yeah. Oh I love that you brought that up. And can you tell us what are you thinking whenever you are recognizing that pattern? Because I, I feel like very often we’re working on something and we like do the thing we’re not supposed to and we’re just continue to like berate ourselves, like beat ourselves up and all that, all that stuff. So I was wondering if there’s anything that goes through your mind and how do you deal with that when you’re recognizing that pattern?
Speaker 3 00:11:41
Well that’s such a good question. So for me sometimes like I can actually feel it in my body, like I’ll feel like tightness, right? So some people may feel that and some people may not. But that’s part of what it feels like. Like for me and in my mind I will just know I start getting that like monkey mind that the thoughts like running like crazy and running the show. And I will notice that this is the big one for me. I will notice that even if I block in time, in my morning schedule, for me time, it will be a little hard for me to sink into that me time. And I’m like, oh well let me just go get some stuff done off my to-do list. Well let me go get some stuff done off my to-do list. And I’m like, oh no, no, no, no, no I don’t. No back it up. And that’s when it can actually, for me personally, can be the hardest to do the self-care, practice the hardest, do the meditation practice. And when that happens, I’ve learned to have compassion for myself. And sometimes I go, okay, you know what? I can do 10 minutes and 10 minutes is gonna be what I can give right now. And then I might go back to it again later after I get a couple things done. Mm-hmm. But that’s typically what it looks like for me.
Speaker 2 00:12:50
Yeah. Well thank you for sharing. I think that’s super valuable too. ’cause sometimes yeah you are, you are in crunch mode meeting a high deadline. But if you just say, ’cause we all have 10 minutes, it’s like scroll less on your social media. Like oh scroll less on the phone or something <laugh>. But exactly. If you can just kind of take that time and be intentional and and kind of give in to yourself for a moment, I, I just, it can have such a big impact on the rest of your day and help you get through those challenging stressful things.
Speaker 3 00:13:23 For sure. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:13:24
So now that we talked about a little bit about burnout and in terms of stress, a lot of times kind of can mingle in with the burnout and I was wondering if you had any kind of tools or what is your process for dealing with a very like stressful situation or a stressful day? Yeah, if you could share a little bit about that.
Speaker 3 00:13:48
Sure. I mean, and, and part of my goal now is that preventative to help avoid that happening. But when it happens, there are several things that I do and I would encourage listeners to find what really works and resonates for you. And I personally have a whole stockpile of tools because depending on what’s going on is going to determine which tool I go for. So
sometimes that might be just going okay, I’m gonna just focus on my breath for a few minutes and I’m gonna listen to some relaxing, chill, instrumental music. Sometimes that could be me going outside in my yard and taking my dog outside for a walk and just really getting present to all of the things that are surrounding me. I have amazing nature around me so I get to enjoy that. One of my favorite, favorite things to do and this is something I do just in general, not just when I’m stressed but I love to do grounding techniques and there’s many ways to do this.
Speaker 3 00:14:52
So some people actually like to walk barefoot out in the ground. I don’t always get to do that, especially where I live. It gets very cold here in the wintertime. So I am definitely 100% not going to do that. So being an artist and being a visual person, I will just focus on my breath and then I will just place my feet on the ground. And I will imagine roots like a tree growing out from the bottoms of my feet and really anchoring me into the earth and like breathing in that earth energy. And it only takes a few minutes and if this is something new to anyone, there are plenty of things that you could go find on like YouTube and Insight Timer and on Instagram and like all over the places if you actually need some guidance. And I think also sharing with friends. So I have, I have a business bestie, I have an art bestie that we talk about all of these things and having a safe space to actually share, Hey you know what, I’m having a day right now, I need some support. Is really key as well.
Speaker 2 00:16:00
Yeah. Uh, it’s reaching out for help in those hard moments I think can also be challenging. But if we can stay with that reminder, but a friend, when a friend comes to us, we are always loving and compassionate towards them. So I think it’s just trying to remember that like you’re not a burden if you’re going through something difficult. Like there’s people hopefully like you can surround yourself with people that are, can provide that support as well. And I love that you mentioned the idea of someone picking a tool that works for them in terms of like dealing with trust. And part of the inspiration of this podcast is I want to learn of all these different ways that people manage stress and how they bring in more common to their lives. And I think I just wanna share it with, with the world so that someone out there can find something that fits for them because it’s true.
Speaker 2 00:16:56
Like we all hear this idea of, oh you should journal every day, you should meditate every day. But there are different ways you can journal if that doesn’t resonate with you. And similarly with meditations too, like I still, I’ve been meditating for a decade and I still need the guided meditation. I can’t just sit there first of all in silence, not gonna happen. And also I need some kind of soothing background music. Like that’s just my style. And sometimes I will also lay down and I know that’s probably a higher chance of me accidentally taking a nap. But you know what, that’s my style. Like I just like to lay down when I meditate. And I think it’s kind of showing people that there’s a wide range and you can kind of take an idea and maybe, um, meld it or like mold it to, to whatever it is that you kind of respond to is is very important.
Speaker 3 00:17:53
A hundred percent. And there, there are so many tools that are out there and I’ll just share a couple more. Yeah please. I can’t believe I left this one out. But sometimes I will go and just color it out with crayons, pencils, pens, may put music on, may not. And I just kind of color out the stress, right. And I start to wait until I start to feel some of the tension starting to lighten and loosen for my body. Another fun thing to do is if I’m kind of like feeling stressed is to actually like move your body and like dance it out. And sometimes that actually does wind up in my like creative scribbling sessions too, right? Putting on some great music that resonates for you in that moment and just actually like moving your body and and having a way to physically move some of that stress and start to alleviate it out is something else that I do as well.
Speaker 2 00:18:49
Yeah. Well thank you so much for sharing. And I’m curious on the coloring aspect if, do you have, like do you use a coloring book? Like are there already preexisting lines or do you just kind of play with color? Like there you start with a blank page?
Speaker 3 00:19:04
Yeah, so that’s a great question. So I do both depending on how I’m feeling. Like if I really wanna just sink into relaxation, I may use a coloring book. If I want to really like move through some of that stress and those emotions, I just grab a blank page. I may grab paints, I may grab my crayons and I just scribble. And I don’t think about what colors I’m using, I kind of
just grab whatever I feel like. And the important thing when you do an exercise like that is to remember this is about, that’s about the journey and the process. It’s not actually about creating a piece of art might be something you keep, it might be something you throw in the trash. It might be something you choose to do a little journaling on after the, the key to that is that you’re not actually looking to create something to hang on the wall. It purely is just for you. And that kind of, that takes that pressure off. ’cause we’re already stressed, right? We don’t want that pressure of oh my gosh I have to create this amazing work of art now that’s actually not what that’s about at all. So go with whatever feels good. Like if it’s a coloring book, ’cause that makes you feel less stressed, awesome. If it’s a blank piece of paper ’cause that’s gonna help you more. That’s amazing.
Speaker 2 00:20:18
Yeah. And what would you say to someone that is maybe afraid to waste art supplies or paper? Especially, I’ve often heard that it’s like, oh, but I don’t wanna mess up this sketchbook or this journal ’cause it’s so pretty how to. Do you have any advice of how to deal with that?
Speaker 3 00:20:37
Yeah, that’s such a great question and I hear that too. So if you don’t wanna mess up your beautiful journal or anything like that with these, what I call explorations, grab a piece of printer paper from just a plain piece of loose leaf paper, printer paper from your printer and work on that use. If you don’t wanna use your paints, use just a regular old pen or pencil that you have sitting on your desk. Use highlighters. I’m a big fan of using crayons, crayon box. You can get those for like, I don’t know, two bucks, three bucks or something. Especially back to school time. They’re like all over the place, but easily accessible. And usually that will take that out of it. ’cause that’s very inexpensive stuff you’re not working on. I never ever do those explorations on my like really, really good watercolor paper or with my pro quality like art supplies. I never use that stuff for those explorations that gets saved. Crayons, paint, kids paints, kids paints. Yeah. Anything is manageable. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:21:39
Uh, I love that. And I, I have to say I am such a fan of the back to school season ’cause it’s just like, I’ve not been in school for so many years, but I just get so excited because I get to see all those art supplies and just like office supplies and highlighters and all the pens. It’s so fun.
Speaker 3 00:21:59 So much fun.
Speaker 2 00:22:00
Uh, all right Jen. Well I was wondering if you could let our listeners know what is the best way to connect with you, where can they find you and if you have any, any other things you’d like to share.
Speaker 3 00:22:13
Sure. So for those of you that would like to connect with me, I’m on Instagram all the time at Jen Fay Art, and I’m always on there sharing, not just behind the scenes but tips and tricks, although some of the things that we talked about here today. I also have a Facebook group that you can go find called Creative Explorers Club. And all of these you can also find on my website Jen Colombo. And that’s with three oss.com.
Speaker 2 00:22:44
Awesome. Well, thank you so much Jen, for being on the show and for sharing so many good nuggets of wisdom. I’m just so excited to share this with everyone and I’ll be sure to include the links to the Facebook group that you mentioned, your website and your Instagram. So again, thank you so much for being a guest.
Speaker 3 00:23:04
Thank you for having me. It was so much fun talking with you and I hope that listeners are inspired to take those little steps to start to get into that self-care and, and start to get into those creative practices and just know that like you’re not alone when stuff comes up, it happens to all of us.
Speaker 2 00:23:23
Yes. Uh, that’s so true. Well, thank you, Jen. I hope you have a common creative rest of your day. Thank
Speaker 3 00:23:30 You.
Speaker 1 00:23:33
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. Sweet Friend. I’ll close this out by mentioning the acronym calm. The C and CALM stands for community. Remember, you’re Not Alone. I invite you to join the Calm and Creative Community Group on Facebook. It’s a private and free group where we can share various supplemental resources to help us feel more creative and calm. The A in CALM stands for apply. I encourage you to apply some of these learnings from this episode so that you can integrate this knowledge better into your day-to-day life. The L in CALM stands for Leave a Review if you enjoy this episode. This will help our podcast reach a wider group of creatives that are seeking to feel more mindful and creative. The M in CALM stands for mindful, and that’s simply just being kind to our minds and remembering that it takes intention and practice. And no matter how you’re feeling today, I want you to know that we’re all doing the best that we can in a given moment of time. So keep going, sweet, friend. You got this.