Round and About

by Heather McQueen

Well it's getting to mid-year now and definitely swinging.  Again, a busy springtime full of studio work and teaching.  I always joke that my trail draws stars across the map!  A lively schedule is good.  Along with the hustle, I also enjoy the bursts of Spring appearing all around- the sun, leaves, and energy of regrowth.  Long bike rides along the lake are back! 

I wish to be outdoors enjoying it!  That time will soon be here, too.  I will take summer out and away from Chicago again- stay tuned for updates and travel shares.  Meanwhile, it's time to clear out the studio, complete some pretty awesome art projects with the kids, and enjoy time with friends before departing.

Here are a few releases I'm excited about, and a list of motivational cures I use on days when my feet are dragging.  Please help yourself to deals in my online store and thanks for the support!

Online Store Sale starts May 1 and goes all month; leave a comment or stay tuned to my Facebook page for discount codes.  Enjoy!

Heather's reading list:

Can't wait to get a copy of Bob Kling's new sketchbook guide, "How to Glue Your Face to the Carpet".  He was my highschool art teacher, whose early and very true advice was "draw something every day."  In the face of my current leaps, I am thankful for his encouragement to choose 'Artist' as a career, and remain an admirer of his work.  Artist website:

Check out the blog of Bell School's art department, where I was invited to speak earlier this year.  Students and teachers have been doing some interesting research and collaboration with artisans and students from Morocco, and I'm delighted to be featured in their blog!  Look for the superb geometric paper designs that students are making, and see student drum projects at the June 8th Arts Night.

And now a bit of fun.  Brain graphics, in non-reality rainbow colors.  Of course we're talking about artist's brains here, so maybe they're rainbow-colored after all.  You be the judge.  Here's a link to an article about artists and brain usage- breaking the myth of right vs. left brain, which I never really believed anyway.  I quite often say I do it because it makes my brain feel good! 

Heather's Motivational Cures... for the days when I run a little slow.

1. Did you just read the thing about artist's brains?  It makes your brain feel good!  

2. A little fresh air.  A walk or burst sunshine can really pick me up; the enjoyment of a nice view or other pleasantry can substitute.  I reward myself: small task, small bask.  Do an hour and get a bike ride.  Whatever, but I balance it out.

3. Put the ducks in a row.  Just organizing one simple thing, whether it's a schedule or a messy wallet, gives me the sense of accomplishment to keep going.  Hey, that was easy!

4. Fruit.  It's like water but it comes with color, fragrance, texture and flavor.

5.  Okay, water.  Somewhere I read that it increases performance by 10%.  I don't know who 'they' were or how they measured, but it's one more reason to take a sip.

6. Stretch.  Picture yourself as a runner at the start of a race.  Ready, set, go!

7.  Reassignment.  Some days I'm unrealistic and have too many goals. I'm learning to simplify: does it really have to happen today?  Thinning the to-do list can increase quality and output overall.  

8. Set an alarm.  Can't argue with time.  Set a limit and stick by it.

9. Take a research break.  Some days it's just so hard to do the work!  Make a cup of tea and read that marketing book.  Take notes and voila! You're working!

10. Pull off the Band-Aid.  When all else fails, just keep breathing and bear it.  There are days like that, too- when my struggle is the hardest part of it.  I can choose to put that mental block aside and do what needs to be done.  There, was that so bad?