Remainders of today’s work-play balance. Or is it just play-play??

Hello my dear friends!

It’s been a long while since I haven’t written to you.

After a long introspective month I have finally some things to tell you.

In June, I decided to take a “sabbatical” summer after some recent events that resulted in the closing of the studio I used to work at. You know, life happens! Since this forced break from the studio, the road has been nothing short of bumpy, and I’ve been feeling a little displaced and out of my natural creative habitat.

On a more auspicious note – I’ll have a new studio open and ready to work at by the end of September, if things work out as planned, which they will, as I’m a stubborn creature.

So, as you’re now used to, the path has been sprinkled with powerful teachings derived from The Unknown. Yeah folks, The Unknown is the fertile garden of Growth, and I’m ready to share what I’ve been learning.

In a helpless attempt to gracefully face the sudden precipitation of events, I had no choice but to give in to improvisation – which is always the best approach, especially if you’re a bit of a rehabilitating control freak like me.

Retiring to the North coast of Spain, where my family has a small house, looked like the best option. I desperately needed to escape from the unbearable high temperatures of Madrid, where time had seemed to freeze and the melting concrete and pollution were getting glued to my skin. So yeah, fresh air, nature and a bit of reshaping my reality through contemplation and vacation were on the menu.

I’m writing to you from my garden, under a cloudy sky and a cool temperature. Ahhhhhhhh. Now I can finally see things clearly and I feel like my head has been filled with so much space and emptiness, no matter how counterintuitive that might sound.

Empty to refill.

Ok, diverging here. Let’s go back to my story with morale.

Since I got here I’ve been working on several new series of artworks, experimenting with materials and taking some spare time to horseback ride, swim in the ocean and take long walks along the shore line.  You’ll find some beautiful pics of my surroundings in my Instagram feed.

In August, I’ll be traveling to NY for three weeks as it’s always a big source of inspiration.

As some of you might be familiar with what I share both in my personal and professional FB accounts, you’d already know that, despite all the fun and relaxation, it’s been challenging on the emotional side of things.

Why? Well here’s the story.

I’ve always been a hardworking person. Restlessly looking for the meaning of life and striving to know myself and the reason why I’m here in this world, I’ve used the artistic expression to develop and research the several aspects of the human nature that haunt me at night, but also when I look into the infinite horizon by the ocean, when I’m immersed in the ever-changing aspects of nature but also in the always shape-shifting concrete jungles I’m lucky enough to experience often, such as the streets of NYC, where I feel like an alien, or an ant, amongst the glorious, intense, magical and rich moments brought  by what I consider to be one of the most powerful places in the world, energetically speaking.

I know from experience that those travels and “sabbatical” experiences are highly inspiring. However, no matter how many moments I take to sketch, take pictures (both literally or in my mind’s eye), and how interesting the experiences, connections and feelings I live when wandering around this beautiful world of hours are, I always manage to feel extremely guilty.

Some of you might already know that the creative process is a tricky one. In my experience, 80% is just “nonsensical” experimentation and “frustrated” attempts to create something meaningful and “rounded”. Today I’m generously using all these quotation marks in my writing because reality always seems to prove me wrong in the end, and it never ceases to demonstrate me that all the leisure moments and all those “faulty” lines of work are much more “productive” and fulfilling than they seem to be in the beginning.

Today, for the second time this month, I produced some pieces of work that have highly surprised me. Even if they’re still in a very rough developing stage, I can clearly see the influences of my apparently unproductive times. Amongst other things, I can see fragments of NYC skyscrapers and Spanish coastal landscapes in those sketches and studio experiments.

Those visions and images are so deeply ingrained in my retina and lizard brain that I find myself taken by surprise when they finally make their appearance in my sketchbook or my “puddy experiments”, as I like to call them.

I do not only encourage you all, as always, to embrace the wasted times, the messy times, the dirty, the nonsensical and even the frustrating moments of your life and acknowledge them as the powerful creative forces they are, but to make a conscious effort to honor your spare time activities, “empty” moments and “doing nothing” times, as they can prove themselves to be the very basis and foundation of all your most creative endeavors and projects.

I strongly believe it’s high time for the human race to ditch the whip. Let’s break free and take big doses of you-time, leisure activities, travels and everything and anything that expands your spirit and makes you relish in your humanness and the simple joy of being alive. Whether that’s taking a walk in nature, go on an adventure or watch a film in the coziness of your home, your only work is to breathe and be happy.

Go, go explore your inner landscapes and the world, cuz there’s no such thing as HAVING TOO MUCH FUN. There’s nothing dirty, lazy or cheeky about just enjoying life.

Let’s all strive for play-play abandonment and go a step beyond the highly proclaimed work-play balance.

I promise high doses of fun and deep moments of creative enlightenment. If you want to be fully creative and successful, go PLAY NOW, and wait for the results while having fun. I state, highlight, and publicly advocate for play-time only.

Being happy and enjoying has never (or always) been more PRODUCTIVE.

Now, go embrace your adventures and spare time unapologetically, like there’s no tomorrow,- cuz there isn’t – and come report later. I bet you’ll soon find yourself creating from such an expanding, inspiring place you won’t even have time to think of what it took to take you there.

Big hugs from paradise.

Paula

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