This painting was painted by our younger daughter shortly after her hospitalization eight years ago. She was fifteen at the time. It is titled, “I Will Be Found“. (I’ve written about this painting and the benefits of art on several occasions…art is such an important aspect of self care and brain health recovery.) She has added […]Hold On — Out of a Great Need
Inspiration from the new book “The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis continues to move me to the studio each day. See Nancy’s new book on Amazon HERE.
Paintings by J. Kirstein
“I have always felt as though I come from some place very far away, and the only way I am able to sustain myself on this planet is through creating through painting and writing.” J. Kirstein
“The big idea is to work with the elegant solution of simplicity and constraint. Within a constraint you have an infinity of possibilities to explore.” Nancy Hillis in “The Artist’s Journey.”
“The Dark Night of the Soul happens over and over for every artist. The transformation of creating your deepest work lives at the edge of your struggle.” Nancy Hillis from “The Artist’s Journey.”
“I hadn’t painted in over six months. As a professional artist, I was depressed because I didn’t feel like I had adequate studio space. But after reading Nancy Hillis’ new book “The Artist’s Journey,” I created all of this in under two hours. No more excuses for me! I am a professional artist who has been painting for over 40 years, and I am certainly not about to give up now! ” Artist Jan Kirstein
Get “The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis HERE.
Book Review for
“The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis 01.27.19
Book Review By Janis Kirstein
In “The Artist’s Journey,” author Nancy Hillis has woven for us an intricate, structurally sound and radically uplifting tapestry of inspiration and guidance, not only for today’s creative artist, but for all seekers of truth who want to live, thrive and come alive and aware in the 21st Century.
Her magic carpet of structural threads stems from and includes her personal and direct knowledge and experience of 20 plus years as a Stanford trained existential psychiatrist. Combine this with her well of seemingly limitless understanding of the workings of the subconscious mind and explorations of the self.
Watch how she weaves her epistle with a myriad of powerful gossamer threads highlighting and illustrating her eloquently stated concepts and revelations. As you move through “The Artist’s Journey,” compendia of cultural knowledge and illustrative stories range from Biblical to Medieval to Modern Day writings and literature providing direct illustrations of her key concepts.
Also included with this book are links to Nancy’s “Studio Journey” lessons and exercises for painters at any level, from beginners to age old painting aficionados.
And finally, the ubiquitous warp and woof of her grand tapestry is undergirded and revealed by Nancy’s extensive background and real life experience as an abstract painter. Her direct art journey provides for all of her readers a sure footed guidance and understanding of how to incorporate all of the revelations of her magical tapestry into the unique life of each and every reader. She engages us with her truth, examples, stories and insight, whisking us away on a magic carpet of joy in the journey through enlightenment.
Facing into your fears, learning to trust yourself and embracing the abandoned self are the basic gold nuggets and key steps to take on the Artist’s Journey. Nancy explores and explains these monumental tasks of the Artist, complete with a weaving of stories from multiple cultures and times.
Trusting yourself is the holy grail of creating, she says. She gives the example of Jacob wrestling with the Angel by the Jabbok River in the Bible. She uses this story to illustrate the truth that to express yourself in art, you first have to master yourself.
Face into your fears, she says. She illustrates the exploration of the artist’s reliance in their own life struggles to enable creativity of inner voice and vision to emerge. She illustrates this importance of struggle as necessity with the story of Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” She shows us how this story reflects a journey into the subconscious mind and the paradox of finding strength and transformation even as you experience powerlessness.
She reminds us with an example from Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ “Women Who Run With the Wolves” that dying is as essential as birth in the creative process. Facing the dark night of the soul is essential.
Accept the parts of yourself that you have rejected and abandoned, she says. “Invite them back because they have something to teach you,” she says, encouraging us to employ talking to ourselves as a process to turn around Solomon’s Paradox, the age old observation that some are much better at giving advice to others than to themselves. The way you talk to yourself can help release emotional blockage by allowing insight to uncover and allow epiphany through inner dialogue.
Concrete maps and details for proceeding in the Artist’s Journey are the basis of this book, combined with enlightening advice and engaging stories from a myriad of times and cultures. As a professional artist for over 35 years, I will use “The Artist’s Journey” as requisite curriculum for the next 50 years of my creative life. “The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis is the new Required Reading and Bible of Creating for all Artists and Seekers of Truth in the 21st Century.
Get your “The Artist’s Journey” by Nancy Hillis HERE.
By Nancy Hillis will be released January 27, 2019. Reserve your copy today on Amazon HERE.
“Just when you think hope has left the building, someone like Nancy Hillis comes along and revives our purpose and place in the universe. Her book “The Artist’s Journey” is a game changer, a mind bender and a true epiphany of purpose for every living artist living in the challenges of the 21st Century. Whether large or small, old or young, novice or profoundly proficient, this book will seal the artist’s path with purpose, passion and fortitude.” By Artist and Writer Jan Kirstein
“Best book ever on the entire process of painting. Gripping. Insightful. Authentic. How does the artist scale the heights of true creative expression? This book guides you through that journey.” Artist and Writer Jan Kirstein
Nancy Hillis | Artist | Author | Psychiatrist | Art Teacher. Book: The Artist’s Journey available on Amazon.
Painting by Nancy Hillis.
Pre order your book HERE.
PAINTINGS BY ABDELLAH EL HAITOUT, MOROCCO
” I quote from Paul Auster and I say: You find the painting where you work on it; that is the adventure. I love the challenge of collage, and the possibilities that are opened up in front of me, the work of the torn paper, crumpled or ripped and glued up piece of paper. Additionally, I like the intimate act. The superposition of different material and paint highlight the theme of concealment and transparency with mixed media like acrylic, ink and pens…
UNTITLED. 100 X 80 MIXED MEDIA ON CANVAS 2015
I add the necessities of drawing and graphics, I also meditate at length the nature and I try to learn more. I try to be as simple as I can, I like this movement on the surfaces of doors and walls, and I like to pass on my painting.
Inspiration is everywhere, and the artist must start from what is local to transcend it, travelling beyond and reaching what is global and universal. Like Naguib Mahfouz, one must start from “where I am.” The Urban scenery is a rich material that I exploit. A contemporary artist must draw on contemporary subjects.
IN THE STUDIO
Technical capability should guide the artist in the development of his work, pleasant warmth or a wild and sour chilliness. These elements are reminder of my childhood, which I spent in an open air. There, I learned to become familiar with the surroundings and tried to tame the wildness of this space. In my later works, I’ve chosen to intervene on pre-worked supports, fully or partially, like calendars, catalogs, or collage of paper and cardboard paper trying to go beyond what has already been created ».
ABDELLAH EL HAITOUT ,SALÉ (MOROCCO), 2016
ABDELLAH EL HAITOUT IS A SIGNIFICANT ABSTRACT PAINTER WHO IS CURRENTLY CREATING WORKS OF GREAT NOTE. HIS ENERGETIC ORGANIC SHAPES AND TEXTURES COLLIDE WITH EXUBERANCE AND DEPTH IN AN OCEAN OF LAYERS OF CASCADING PAINT.
Thinking about renovating or even restructuring your office, or office space? Check out this story about the restructure at Artsy, and check out the visual art suggested by Kirsteinfineart! Here are a few favorites to give you some inspiration for your staff.
Art to stimulate and inspire any work environment from the Kirsteinfineart Blog.
Writing By Sean Roland, Associate Director of Experience & Operations from Artsy Blog
At Artsy, the Experience team’s mission is to envision, build, and maintain the physical and operational infrastructure as an extension and manifestation of our online brand and product. Some might ask why investing resources into creating a high quality Experience matters. My general answer is that creating impactful environments is always worthwhile as an art form, because it moves people, creates the opportunity for shared experience, and helps galvanize community.
Creating artful, innovative, and positive Experience at Artsy matters because it’s essential to achieving our mission. In order to “make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an internet connection,” Artsy must become a powerful and positive force in the art world, which is no small feat in a highly competitive and critical landscape. The art, design, and hospitality worlds are closely aligned and constantly collaborating, so by demonstrating that we’re thinking and actively contributing to a creative discourse in all aspects of our brand, and not just our online presence, we will build trust and credibility within the world we hope to work and collaborate within.
Our company values state that that we value “Quality Worthy of Art,” we believe that “People are Paramount,” and we strive to embody “Openness” and “Positive Energy.” We’re also constantly exploring the nexus of “Art x Science.” I believe that our physical spaces can embody these values, in much the same way our products, organizational structure, and communication style should. Intentional spatial and aesthetic decisions made with a strong point of view can provide the literal, concrete example of what our company strives to achieve in the digital world. In the past, Artsy hasn’t prioritized these elements, which makes sense. As a startup we’ve had to prioritize and allocate resources and time to where they most mattered — into our core products. But as we grow in size and visibility, our actions across diverse parts of the company will increasingly inform our social capital, and therefore our success.
To align the Experience of visiting or working at Artsy with our aesthetically and functionally mature online platform, our team is adopting an art- and hospitality-focused approach to Experience. We’ve partnered with design furniture company Hem to bring modern, fresh, and relevant design to our offices. We’ve begun designing and implementing a wellness-focused Food and Beverage program because we want to be part of a global dialog around healthy, ethical sustenance. And we’ve begun to add depth and variety to our internal events programming, so that we’re able to better create spaces and experiences that speak to the growing diversity of our team.
We decided on the above approach by first reflecting on the state of our affairs of operations and Experience at Artsy. We asked ourselves hard questions; what we were doing well, what could we do better, and where were we failing? We knew that Experience at Artsy wasn’t measuring up to the products we were putting out into the world, but we needed to tease out why. Our brainstorming yielded some big potential opportunities for improvement, so we built and ran a team-wide survey (with an 87% engagement rate), which helped us determine whether teammates agreed with our hypothesis and ultimately guided our priority setting process:
- Optimization of systems, spaces, vendors, and information
- Infrastructural improvements and interior design and curation
- Diversifying our social event planning and execution
- Building a wellness and ethically-focused Food & Beverage program
1. Optimization of systems, spaces, vendors, and information
PICK LOW-HANGING FRUIT
Our survey results showed that first and foremost, we needed to tighten our ship. Our small team (4) was barely staying above water managing the huge array of company-wide support responsibilities — from onboarding logistics, to company-wide procurement of supplies and IT resources, to managing facilities, to food and beverage sourcing and programming. So we divided and conquered the challenges we faced, systematically addressing the failures in communication or process that were costing us time and money and keeping us from more effectively supporting the team at large.
CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSETS
Throwing away unnecessary baggage can really help reboot an Operations team. Our closets were literally full of broken furniture and forgotten projects, because no one felt empowered to ditch them. So we did, and then we bought nice storage shelves and a ton of labeling tape. Now we have room to store supplies, which has allowed us to shift our buying habits to be more efficient and cost-effective. Figuratively, our team was also storing some skeletons of projects and proposals that hadn’t come to fruition, so there was a hint of “can’t do” instead of “let’s try it” in the air. We ditched our hangups, and reset expectations that any good idea is worth exploring and pitching to each other and leadership.
OPTIMIZE SYSTEMS, THEN GO VENDOR SHOPPING
We were constantly running out of office and food supplies. After we solved the storage issue, we built inventory and ordering systems. We trimmed the variety of things we buy, and created pars (standardized consumption data) based on observation of consumption over a period of weeks. Now that we’ve reached a steady state, meaning the basics are covered week after week, we’ve begun shopping for better vendors who will offer us wholesale relationships. This will help us simplify ordering and allow us to provide better amenities at the same cost. We no longer feel beholden to vendors who don’t want to work with us on pricing, because we now have the bandwidth to shop around. For example, we were working with a startup cleaning company with a cool interface that “spoke” our language. But our floors were filthy, so we traded them in for a more traditional company, with good results and great cost savings.
GET COZY WITH FINANCE
We spend the money, and Finance pays the bills, so it seems natural that we would constantly be in communication. But we weren’t, so important bills (like our internet!) weren’t getting paid. A little digging revealed that transitions on both our teams had put us at a distance, and we needed to reestablish clear processes by which to communicate effectively to ensure we were fulfilling our responsibilities. Now that we’ve repaired the broken communication, we’ve naturally begun collaborating on creating reporting tools to help us make smart budgeting and decisions, which is especially important given the volume of transactions that flow through our team.
LISTEN TO YOUR TEAM, AND GET CREATIVE WITH SOLUTIONS
One of the most notable results from our first survey was that team members felt unhappy about the lack of color and art in our office. We brainstormed an exciting long-term project called “Art at Artsy” with our Special Projects team. We’ve begun planning, but in the meantime we wanted to show immediate results. So we went out and bought plants. A ton of plants. A jungle. Overnight we went from a white box to a tropical haven. Everyday my team gets thanked for bringing color to the office. Never underestimate the power of affordable but impactful purchases.
We’ve taken our first steps on a long path to transform Experience at Artsy. We hope it will become something extraordinary that parallels the journey you might take in an amazing restaurant, or at an incredible art installation. It’s an approach that is challenging yet actually pretty simple; shift your team away from a reactive, need-filling mentality to an intuiting, experience-creating mindset. Cover the basic needs and automate them whenever possible, so you can spend more time creating impactful experiences that move beyond the everyday and push your team to engage in a collaborative discourse with other parts of the company and the creative disciplines.