Monthly Mentor

Natalie C. Jones (February)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Natalie C. Jones is an artist, small business owner, and the director of education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She has 10 years of experience working as an art teacher and teaching artist throughout the east coast and the Midwest. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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November 16, 2020

Unplugging to Reconnect

By Lark Keeler

Taking time to reconnect with things that support and cultivate wellness usually means unplugging from the things that do not.  Spend some time finding the flow and making.

Unplugging from the constant stream of news, emails, texts, chats, and calls gives us the space to reconnect with ourselves, family, and even our space and creative energy.  I find it can be challenging to sit still in a quiet space at times, yet I always find it comforting and easy to sit in a quiet space and make things.  How quickly time moves as we feel our creative bodies sinking into the flow state, making with our minds, spirits, and hands, unplugged from the rest of the world around us. 

Last year during our FAEA annual conference, Sky Kim, an artist that I admire for her dedication to the flow state, was our keynote speaker.  She channels patterning and line work into meditative and massive scrolls that ebb and flow like the energy you envision she pours into the work.  The repetitive quality of her artwork seems to mark time in interesting ways.  You cannot help but imagine the hours of deep flow she was in while making her scrolls.  I encourage you to explore her online gallery of images that I’m sure you will find inspiring and imaginative.  Spend a little time mark-making and breathing with some linework.  See where your breath takes you.

Try unplugging for just a little while at first and work toward expanding your moments of tech “time-outs.”  Curate experiences that will promote immersive focus and few distractions.  Give yourself the gift of enjoying the energizing work that you know you love to do.  Get in the habit of going with the flow and the renewed sense of gratitude for your tech tools when you plug back in. 



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