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Get rid of the blues and recharge with a new hobby

By Aimee Lyons, Guest Blogger

Hobbies including everything from cardio classes to crocheting can increase people’s sense of mental well being and boost brain health. Such activities have additional advantages for people in addiction recovery who might be searching for productive ways to spend their time. And, whether your primary goal is socializing or sweating, experts agree hobbies help reduce stress while increasing your sense of satisfaction.


Need help picking a pastime? Consider taking a community college class to experiment with something you’ve always found interesting but never taken the time to try. Or, search the events calendar at your local library to find a sewing circle or sci-fi book club to join. Meanwhile, here are a few suggestions to get your search started.


Explore Art


Art therapy has been used to treat substance use disorders since the 1950s and has several documented benefits including providing people an outlet for communication and reducing resistance to alcohol treatment programs. But art doesn’t have to be created in a structured setting to be therapeutic. Research shows that activities including painting, sculpting, drawing, and photography can lower stress levels and leave people feeling more mentally focused, according to an article published by Be Brain Fit. In fact, amateur artists might find themselves so engrossed in an endeavor that they achieve a state of flow, a meditative-like mindset that temporarily pushes aside everything except what they’re working on at the moment -- a plus for anyone in today’s age of information overload.


Create Connections With Your Food


Growing your own food is a great way to get more in touch with what you put in your body. Gardening is also a fruitful form of outdoor exercise. And, if you don’t have a space of your own to sow seeds, consider community gardens, which are sprouting up all over the country. Investing some sweat equity at one could reap rewards including new friends and, of course, fresh fruits and vegetables.


Gardening could also inspire many to move to the next link in the food chain. Once you’ve harvested the results of your hard work, why not whip up something new and interesting with the fresh-picked produce? Doing your own cooking is an excellent recipe for improving your health.

Try Tai Chi and Yoga


Many recovering addicts find yoga and tai chi particularly helpful for bringing their minds and bodies into balance. Sessions are as meditative as they are physical because they encourage practitioners to focus their minds on their movements. Plus, both forms of exercise are easily adaptable depending on an individual’s fitness level and can be practiced almost anywhere with little or no equipment.


Volunteer


An article on the Rewire Me website recommends volunteering as a healthy habit to adopt during recovery. Helping others will boost your sense of empathy -- and empowerment -- by giving you an outlet to make a positive difference in the world. If logistics prevent you from volunteering in person, consider ways you can use the time and resources you have.  For instance, there are virtual volunteer activities that connect people with worthy causes nationwide. You could craft handmade blankets for homeless people in Dallas or review scholarship applications for a nonprofit educational foundation, just to name a few.


No matter what activities you enjoy, hobbies can help decrease stress and improve your mental and physical well-being. So whether you spend your free time painting portraits or striking yoga poses, these pleasant pursuits will help keep you happier, healthier, and focused on the future.  

To sign up for a relaxing art class visit

TheArtStudioNY.com 


 

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View Rebecca Schweiger's work at Walter Wickiser Gallery in Chelsea this fall from September 30th to October 25th. Enjoy an opening reception on Thursday, October 5th from 6pm-8pm. Also on view, are artists Aima Saint Hunon and Yu Zhang. 

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Alexis Fedor

I arrived in NYC at age 24 to attend grad school at NYU’s Gallatin School to study Cross-Cultural Dance and Theater with a focus on the Classical Indian performance styles of Bharatanatyam and Kathakali. Sitting in my first seminar titled “Performances of Magnitude” taught by the infamous Richard Schechner, I became acutely aware that I couldn’t have picked a more obscure focus for my degree if I tried (ok, maybe if I tried…).


In that moment, I knew I was going to have to get exceptionally creative if I didn’t want to graduate with an MA and find myself immersed in “day jobs” so I could come home at night and write about Krishna’s role in the landscape of Indian mythology (a favorite topic of mine to wax poetical about). I wanted to write and perform for a living my way, without the distraction of side jobs I wasn’t passionate about.


When I left NYU, I had two plays written, three shows in production, a web series written and produced with an invitation to join the Writers Guild, and not a clue as to how I was going to pay my bills past the next two months. The stress was blinding. I had faith and confidence in myself and my abilities to carve out a successful career as an artist, but was having serious doubt and anxiety about how I was going to make it financially for the long term. And I believed there had to be a way to bridge that gap once and for all.


That was when I realized as an artist I am a business owner by default- that, in fact, every artist who makes a living with their art owns their own business. We are taxed as freelancers at the very least, which is a business owned by a single person. But I didn’t understand how to run a business like a successful entrepreneur- I never acquired that skill set. I knew how to land certain jobs here and there, but I didn’t know how to create consistent and predictable income throughout the year.


So, I decided to figure that out by starting my own business. I spent a year taking marketing courses while developing my concept for an online t-shirt company with designs by artists from around the world. I sought advice from some of the top entrepreneurs, grew my community (literally thinking to myself, “this is going to be easy!”) and then launched the company.


And there were crickets.


Nothing happened- very few sales came in- and 12 months later I had to close the doors. I had no idea what I had done wrong, but I felt if I couldn’t get a simple t-shirt company up and running, I certainly was never going to make a consistent income as a writer and choreographer. I didn’t want to work for someone else, I didn’t want to apply for grants, I wanted to run a business as an artist, my way (stubborn, I know- ask my mom.)


I had secretly given up while trying to smile through the pain of figuring out my next move to a day job, when I met a man named Roger Webster who owned a successful PR company and was looking for a writer and marketing expert to run the online campaigns for his high-end clients. He liked my honesty (I told him I didn’t think he should hire me because I clearly didn’t know what I was doing and had just watched my own online business tank) and quickly became my mentor. He said, “I believe in you- so I want to look at your marketing plan to see where you went wrong.”


We sat down, he took one look and said, “when are you creative people going to learn??” And from there proceeded to show me the HUGE mistake I made that only creative people make in business (his words). And from there, I designed a campaign for his client, The American Cancer Society, that enabled them to exceed their fundraising goal, had a six-figure writing and consulting business within six months, and six months after that began teaching other writers and artists how to do the same.


I have now had the privilege of having over 5,000 artists join my community and tell me firsthand what their single biggest question is when it comes to selling their art: how to find and connect with their true ideal client.


This is, of course, the main question every business has in the beginning and the most important to solve. For fine artists, solving this has enabled them to create consistent and predictable streams of revenue in their businesses, which brings me to what I have to share with you today.

I have created a special free video training series that answers this question with the three main elements you have to put into action in order to discover, connect with and sell to your most ideal clients.


And that training starts Sept 27th, 2017. It’s highly interactive, with exercises designed to help you take action and see fast results, especially if you’re just starting on your business venture!


So be sure to click here to register.


I look forward to seeing you there!!









 

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Photo via Pixabay


The time has come to move your beloved artwork, and you couldn’t be more nervous.


There are a multitude of websites, articles, and how-to guides available to help prepare your artwork for a big move. Some examples include Life + Storage and Wheaton World Wide Moving. Both websites offer useful tips, such as considering the value of your art and choosing the right supplies for the task. Each guide offers unique tips and tricks, but few online resources make the process as simple as you’d like.


Whether you’re visiting an art show, changing homes, or moving your pieces to a studio, packing up artwork can be stressful and scary - even if you didn’t craft it yourself.


Follow these four tips for a simple, stress-free moving process.


  1. Use Cardboard and Tissue Paper


According to Moving.Tips, you should start with a large sheet of cardboard or packing paper. Lay the material on the floor or a table. Ensure the space you’ve set aside is large enough for your heftiest piece of artwork. Then, place the piece in the middle and begin wrapping carefully. Artwork can be touchy, and you don’t want to take any risks. If necessary, ask for assistance from a close friend or family member.


Once the piece is wrapped, secure the edges with packing tape. This should be done as tightly as possible, with your focus on safety - not presentation. Use extra sheets of cardboard or packing paper, if necessary. Continue this process until you can comfortably say a trip down the stairs won’t break your piece. Repeat until all of your artwork is wrapped.


  1. Add Bubble Wrap


Next, you’ll need to add a layer of bubble wrap around the initial paper or cardboard wrapping. Secure this layer with packing tape. This will be the outermost layer of protection, so consider multiple layers of bubble wrap if you feel uncomfortable. When it comes to wrapping artwork, money spent on supplies is far less important than losing an irreplaceable piece.


Finally, add corner protectors for paintings or artwork with sharp edges.


  1. Obtain Transportation Boxes and Packing Peanuts


Spend as much time as possible finding the right transportation boxes for your pieces. You don’t want to use an oversized box that will leave too much room for jostling around in the moving truck. Instead, measure your artwork and find boxes with dimensions just two or three inches larger than your measurements.


After you’ve found a suitable transportation box and wrapping is complete, slowly place your piece into the box. Fill any open spaces with packing peanuts. Remember, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for help if the piece is too heavy for you to transfer on your own.


  1. Remind Your Movers About Valuable Items


When moving day comes, remind your movers about valuable items - in addition to labeling the box with large and clear font. If you don’t feel comfortable allowing movers to handle your artwork, consider moving the piece(s) yourself with the assistance of a friend or family member. You can rent or borrow a van. You can also use your personal vehicle, if you have enough room in the backseat or trunk. Learn more about additional protection and supplies through The Spruce.


There are few things you can overdo when it comes to moving expensive or priceless artwork. Whether you made the piece yourself or purchased the piece from someone else, the value is far higher than your clothing or books. Work through the process carefully and take it step-by-step. You’ll have your artwork transported and safely unpacked before you know it.


Author

Ms. Lyons created DIYDarlin to share her DIY knowledge and serve as a forum to learn from other DIYers.


 

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Next time you want to host a creative and unique event, think of The Art Studio NY! Art is for every age, and we can accommodate a birthday party for children all the way to a senior citizen painting party! We even host Bachelorette Painting Parties, which are always a blast! In recent years, we've enjoyed bringing our art classes to many corporations in the Manhattan area. This fun activity helps coworkers bond and creates a different atmosphere from the regular office.  

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Rebecca Schweiger launches her NEW book, Release Your Creativity: Discover Your Inner Artist with 15 Simple Painting Projects this month. Each project is unique, easy, and rewarding! Schweiger is hosting a launch party for her book on Wednesday, May 10th from 7pm-9pm at The Art Studio NY. The evening will feature a book reading and signing by Rebecca, artwork, Q & A with the artist, and wine!  

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Aѕ сhildrеn, we wоuld often explore our budding worlds, goals and dreams through аrt. Art wаѕ considered аѕ something fun, playful or even magical. With art, there were no limits to what we could do; Better yet, there were hardly any rules.  

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Want to get better with a paint brush? If you do, then look no further! In this entry, you are going to learn about several techniques that will take your painting skills to the next level.  

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