I am not gonna lie. There are some crazy huge shifts happening here at UrbanGypZ. And I am not just talking about my move. I mean that is pretty big itself overall, but it seems as if my move has become a sort of creative catalyst for new directions. I have been reflection on the last 8 years that I have been doing UrbanGypZ full time, and it has been a crazy ride for sure. What I have been looking for is the best times and the worst times. What I want to move forward with, the things that feel just right and I want more of, versus the things I did not like that I feel comfortable shedding.
But there is also more. I have always felt that UrbanGypZ was more that just a yarn and fiber business. I have long abandoned the dream of building a small indie yarn factory in favor of more connection and personal relationships with you guys because I feel really strongly about building a supportive loving art community. The kind of community where conscious creatives feel safe to explore their own path without fear of being judged of having their ideas hijacked. I know, a tall order, all that changing the world. I had to start somewhere. Be the change you want to see in the world. Lead by example. Be the support that I have resonated with, or wish that I had had.
That is why I made those three tutorial videos (here, here, and here) in the last year. I realized through lots of contemplation, and a little bit of heartache, that I should not confuse my techniques with my art. My techniques are not my creative genius. But what is even more exciting, is to be in the presence of other creative geniuses who have used my techniques. To see someone else own and translate their vision using the same methods. It is more food for inspiration. I become inspired to push deeper into my work.
So in a nutshell, I know the yarns and fiber will take more of a back seat for now. I will always dye my own yarn and fiber, I just am not sure where that will fall in as part of UrbanGypZ. Maybe occasional special offerings. And I have loved traveling and seeing you guys. But not necessarily the big shows like Stitches or even SAFF. The big shows are such a drain both physically and mentally. But the smaller shows I have done, even the speaking and teaching gigs, have yielded the best memories for me.
I love making videos. I have loved the mastermind groups. I love putting together online courses. I also love exploring art journaling. Most of these have been because I love building the branding and organizing the course experience. It allows me to do the graphic design work I miss so much.
And that brings me to some of what I do that I don’t really share here. I am a professional graphic designer by trade. Yep, I have a BFA, somewhat ancient portfolio and crazy long resume. You may even have my work in your house in the form of logos, books, or even breakfast sausage packaging. Most recently I was a professional book designer, but I have a strong background in advertising and marketing. Design has always and will always be present in everything I do. It is the way I communicate– through color, type, composition, and flow. I am crazy fortunate to be able to use these skills to deliver my message of fearless creativity.
I am also an energy worker. It is so weird to actually type this. It is something I have kept on the down low, but I have been studying for the last 20 years (!!). I am a reiki master–attuned to the 3rd degree in 2 different branches. However I NEVER use my reiki skills. NEVER. The practice just did not stick for me. I did not resonate with the methods at all. I work daily with stones, tarot, and most recently essential oils. For the last 4 years I have studied energy clearing using a Nine Star Ki system. Nine Star Ki is related to feng shui and acupuncture, and uses a Chinese system of astrology working with the 5 Chinese elements. I am currently working an internship to dive deeper into this work and have been using it along side art journaling and emotional release with essential oils. I am not sure where this all fits into what I do, but it is something that is becoming more prominent in my day to day. It has been instrumental in sussing out my creative paths and has been working in tandem with what I can only identify as soul art.
Soul art… I can’t tell you how many time my inner snarky ex-GenXer has reared it’s ugly head at the mention of so much woo. But the reality is that is exactly what I am doing…soul art. I have been taking painting classes from fellow Ashevillager, and master Soul Artist, Alena Hennessey. Now granted, I am not resonating with literally adding “power words” to my work. And I still approach color and composition through my designer eyes. But otherwise, I am really feeling the painting thing and am excited to continue with it to see where it takes me. I am also excited to marry my design and marketing skills with this work through surface design and products.
So in the Nine Star Ki astrology, I am in a 1 year. What this means is this is a year for being in a kind of stillness that allows you to look within. To do the inner work taking inventory, yet being in a place of inactivity allowing the answers to arrive (dare I say divine answers? spiritual downloads…there is the snarky skeptic again…).
So yeah, all this to say, change is happening deeper than my move across state. Being without a studio for the last 6 months has shown me a lot about what I want and what I can let go of. I have no clue how this will shake out. Aside from the fact that I am slammed with all things involved with selling a house and moving across state, I also know you can’t push a river. I just am not in a place to think it completely through within a week and build a business plan accordingly. I am more in the place of sifting through all of the threads I feel pulling me forward and cutting loose all that do not feel right. Trusting it to all come together, and looking for the signs of which way to turn. And waiting to see what my new life in the Raleigh/Durham area will look like. That part is pretty huge. I am not even sure what part of town we will be living in much less what my space, or even my daily routines will look like. I have little glimpses of what I would love to have, but otherwise it is a huge unknown piece.
So for now, I pack, journal, weave, paint and work through the internship the best I can.