Sip & Sketch is going digital in 2016.
We will no longer be organizing in person events.
Next year, we’ve decided to take our creative energy digitally. To Facebook and Instagram, yes right here as a place to inspire each other.
We have put on over a dozen events the past eight months. Our goal is still and has always been to inspire and share our love for the arts with others. We have learned and met so many incredibly creative people from all walks of life through these events and we are so grateful to have had this time to share with you guys. We have tried so hard to organize and get people to come to the events, and sometimes it’s not that people don’t want to come – it’s people just have such full schedules that they are unable to come.
There are many learnings for me, but one of the key learnings that sparked this change is that people feel inspired from seeing what can be done and then taking their free time to make. I’ve had more people come up to me in person about how they’ve enjoyed watching people make on Instagram or on Facebook, and then go on to telling me about their new creative project. That is what keeps me going, to be able to see people come alive and see their creative energies lift themselves.
It’s definitely sad to know that we won’t have the capacity to host Sip & Sketch next year, but I think that we will be able to still inspire people through different channels.
I thought about this decision for a long time, and at the end of the day, I asked myself this: Did I try my best? And in my head the answer is, yes I did.
I have a full time job, and on the evenings and weekends I would be working on Sip & Sketch, planning, creating activities, updating on social media, talking to people, creating new connections, finding new place to host events, going to new events to learn from them, connecting with artists in the city, then hosting the events, buying the supplies, practicing the art activities, then there are a whole bunch of other things that come after the event that we need to do as well, such as post on social media, write reports to send to our hosts. I’m also part of an arts fellowship learning about the various challenges the arts face in the city and planning new art events. Most importantly, I try to squeeze time to make in order to foster my own creativity so that I have that creative spirit to give to other people. It’s impossible to tell people “Hey you! Get creative!” When I are not practicing creativity myself. That would be a bit crazy. I reached this point about a month ago when Ann and I were both feeling it was overwhelming. Ann bless her heart, also has a lot of other initiatives going on as well including helping out at the Impact Hub and other volunteer iniatives with fostering resue animals. We just couldn’t find that spot where we could do everything – be creative and also have time to commit to organizing these events to help inspire other people.
- Creativity is contagious. When one person feels it in the room or even in this case digitally – something comes alive and others who are sharing the space also light up. It’s been amazing witnessing and sharing creative energy with people in the city.
- Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes. I think many people feel that creativity means we all need to be Picasso. We are conditioned to think that way. We do not need to be Picasso. Creativity is a muscle that is just a practice. We’ve had so many people show up and their first thing to say is “I’m terrible at this! I’m not an artist!” and my response is always the same. Neither am I. And if you sat there and suddenly painted like Monet that would actually be, quite scary. Instead, we encourage people to be themselves and just make to their hearts’ content. That is what it means to work out, practice our creative muscles. Just like going to the gym once a month won’t get you abs. Neither would drawing once a month. You are what you practice no matter what the activity is. And in this case, it’s making. So the more you make, the better you get at it!
- Curiosity leads people to a creative outlet. Curiosity is what has brought people to the events. We learned that many showed up without any knowledge of what the event is about. But they’re open to trying something new and flexing their creative muscles as long as it’s something creative.
- Making needs to be in a safe space. My mentor Shane Austin told me this before the first event. He told me, firstly to do it even if one person shows up. To show up, show up, show up. But on top of that, to make sure that the space provided is an enclosed space. The act of making and creating, even when it’s for fun is considered a sacred activity. We as humans need that safe space to expose that part of ourselves that we believe to be so vulnerable. When we make art and draw, in our brains there is no difference between that and telling someone a secret. So, in order for people to make together it needs to be in a safe confined space. There’s been many opportunities given to host the event with an office happy hour. Even when it’s been with large tech companies, we’ve declined very politely because it just won’t be efficient in that environment. Just like you won’t practice group yoga during happy hour, people won’t feel safe making in a non-confined space.
- When people say no, it doesn’t mean no forever. It just means “not right now”. I’ve had to pitch Sip & Sketch to so many venues. I’ve pitched the idea in person to: the DeYoung, Starbucks and I even pitched the idea via Twitter to large tech companies in the city to host in their spaces. I once sent a message to the CPO of a large tech company in the city and never heard back. Well, it turns out he was just busy because a few weeks ago, guess what. I heard back from him.So, it’s not a – no. It’s just not right now.
- That I Can’t Do, Everything All The Time. This one is a no-brainer for everyone, but for me it was difficult to accept. I truly didn’t accept this until my body gave out a few weeks ago. I didn’t feel that it was right to be not 100% creative during our events when I physically didn’t have any energy left to inspire others. It’s like the act of putting on the oxygen mask on a plane. I had no air left to give to others.
With that being said. My goal for 2016 is to attend more creative and art events in the city, and then posting them here on Facebook. I hope that we could share our creative projects and activities here. To use this space that we’ve worked so hard to build to it’s advantage. Let’s use this space to inspire and share creativity.
Creativity doesn’t have to be the massive project that you’re working on for 2016. It can be both big or small. It can be homemade cookies that you decorated over the weekend. A collage that you’ve been working on with old magazines. Drawing with pastels on a Saturday afternoon listening to your favorite album on Spotify. This time to make, is a time dedicated to yourself – to rest and to allow yourself to practice creativity and feed your imagination, freeing it so it has a space to grow.
I cannot believe it’s December already! I hope that you guys are taking time to rejuvenate and be with loved ones.
Let this space be a space for us to encourage and support each other in our creative journeys, no matter where we are. I know that Ann and I both have friends on here from Canada and the US. Enjoy and happy making! Thank you for being with us through all the events in 2015. Here’s to more creative explorations in 2016. Onward!