Health & Wellness Reminders from Work It Brooklyn Panel

Last Wednesday Aja, Briana and I hosted another Work it Brooklyn panel, this time centered around health & wellness for the freelance creative. Aja is a natural food chef and organizes North Brooklyn Runners so naturally she moderated the event with panelists including Dishan Elise, a certified personal trainer and the founder/owner of Human At Ease, Kim Ann Curtin, a life coach who is founder and CEO of The Wall Street Coach and Andrea Moss, Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach of Moss Wellness.

It was a very casual and informal setting, hosted inside a yoga room at Human at Ease (it is the ONLY gym that successfully integrates a gym and yoga studio without falling off the tacky ditch) and was unsurprisingly attended mostly by women. This led to that danger zone where guests start talking about hormones and periods and how it affects their work flow and exercising routine. It was a bit self-helpy and life coachy but I learned some pretty basic but helpful reminders on how and WHY I should maintain regular exercise for a healthy state of being.

Some quotes & notes:

– Increase your degree of effort and cut back on hours both at work and exercise. 30 minutes once a week is TOTALLY possible if you push yourself.

– Schedule the time on your calendar as motivational reminders and tasks to go to that damn yoga class.

– Catch yourself off guard and ask What’s happening to my body now? Can I be with it? Tune in with your body and be present, connected.

– Stock up on quick cooking, buy in bulk and focus on in season vegetables which are local and more affordable.

– Create pillars for emotional and physical well being. Eat well and find balance between work and personal.

– You can’t FIND discipline. You have to create it.

– Jump rope.

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Baby Art & My Hysterical Pregnancy

I’m not sure how I ran into petitcollage but it sure does reflect my new obsession with babymaking. Yep, you heard it right. Babymaking.

I’ve been struggling with what one would call hysterical pregnancy. Between new babies poppin’ out every other day in our family and being surrounded by breast feeding stroller mamas at Dekalb Market, I’ve been feigning to fill my empty vessel with one of our own. It’s a crazy transformation and some tricked up self-discovery process as my sexuality wanes from that of a single petite Asian girl with a wanted sign blazon across my forehead to that of a female penguin who has found her mate and is preparing her weight-gaining body for motherhood, storing up all that winter fat not suitable for bikinis. My belly has been so bloated lately (overeating, not exercising, eating whilst stressed) that I got all sorts of paranoid and took a pregnancy test, convinced I was preggy when rationally it wasn’t possible. It’s freakish and we’re nowhere near being ready to sacrifice our lives to a child but I can’t help but think if not NOW, then when?

I rationalize it this way: I’m just at the brink of starting my own company under updownacross. It’ll be a cultural website and event production company. I’m so new and still so broke but I’ve come as far as working on my branding, hiring an assistant, and taking up a desk at a coworking space. I figure it’s best to sacrifice a few years to a newborn NOW when I’m still figuring shit out than LATER when I’ve already figured shit out and have to stop my life in its success track for a detour on suburban housewifing. I don’t mind raising a baby whilst broke. I don’t mind raising a baby whilst struggling to manage a 24 hour work day. I don’t mind raising a baby whilst working and playing. However I WILL mind when it keeps me from making 6 figures at the point that I am. I WILL mind when it keeps me from making million dollar deals when that time comes. I WILL mind when it keeps me from recovering to a sexy body form which as you all know is harder when you’re older.

I’m nowhere near rushing. I’m just a bit hysterical. As all things do, I’m sure this will pass. Until then I’ll continue to awwwww over things like craft & design friendly wallpaper and art suitable for my future baby’s decked out room.

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Dekalb Market Lauch // Spring Weekender / / April 7 – 8

Did you hear? Dekalb Market is launching as a multi-purpose cultural destination featuring a new outdoor event space with a full season of free, curated music, art, food, film and eclectic experiences in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn.

Dekalb Market 2012 will include: Dance parties, free open-air markets, unique foodie events, bike in movie nights, lobster boils, roller derbies and an ongoing series of special live music performances. All of this alongside the new permanent Dekalb Market Beer & Wine Garden, featuring local craft beer, wine and sangria, the ideal spot to hang out with friends, relax in the sun and take a break from shopping, set against the gritty-cool urban backdrop of downtown Brooklyn.

Open seven days a week, locals and visitors can now spend a leisurely morning, afternoon or evening while enjoying a Robicelli’s Cupcake along with a cup of Joe or partake in Maharlika’s Filipino street food while browsing among the additional 45 retail shops including Etsy Collective, YakBlak, Hank & JoJo, Harriet’s Alter Ego and Pip & Estella.

Situated over an entire square block – voted best New York Architecture of 2011 by New York Observer – Dekalb Market is built from recycled shipping containers converted into over 60 food & retail shops which frame a distinct space for this year’s outdoor events and programs.

SPRING WEEKENDER // APRIL 7th & 8th // 10 – 6pmSPRING WEEKENDER will be held April 7 – 8 to celebrate the inaugural market in 2012. The two-day extravaganza will be host a myriad of activities including:

* 40 retail & food outdoor vendors showcasing arts & crafts, antiques, new & vintage clothing, jewelry, furniture, prints and more

* A curated flower and garden market

* Classes & workshops for adults and children centered around cooking, farming, gardening,  and crafting

* Easter activities including a market wide Easter egg hunt

* Live music from local bands & DJ sets

* Beer & wine garden featuring local brews

Other exciting programming we have planned for this year include:

EVENTS

With a capacity for 2000 revelers and a state of the art sound system, Dekalb Market will be a one of a kind Brooklyn destination for live music, festivals and parties alike. A taste of what’s in store:

Weekly

* Dance parties Sunday afternoons

* 60 open-air vendor markets adding to the roster of amazing local food & retail merchants

* Live concerts weekly both ticketed and free

Monthly

* Bike in movie nights

* Lobster boils hosted by Red Hook Lobster pound

* Roller derby hosted by Down & Derby

* Twilight Market

Special Events

* 718 Sessions // Dance party

* Good Room // Interior Design Show

* Vegan Shop Up // Vegan food & retail market

* Brooklyn Busk

* Rooftop Films

* Supperclubs

* Food Competitions & Festivals

* Contra Dance

FARM // PRODUCE PICK UP // INCUBATOR KITCHEN

Dekalb Farm is a collaborative project that unites members of the Urban Agricultural community to provide fresh produce and public workshops to market goers. Additionally, it is home to Food 360, a farm-to-table job-training program run by Family Cook Productions and housed in a brand-new incubator kitchen designed by Marketshare. The kitchen will eventually become a functional space for local makers, entrepreneurs and culinary professionals to prepare their products for sale at the market. Just another way Dekalb Market is bridging makers, artists, farmers, chefs and the community!

Weekly produce pick-ups will be organized by Plovgh and will have a weekly theme correlating with the crops available that week. There will also be monthly programming centered around farming.

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Reader: March 15, 2012

Managing your personal budget. Relieving to know Fred Wilson had a humble start and it’s possible to budget even at shingles per hour.

Worst moments in Romney’s interview.

– OMG why am I just finding out about this non addictive smokable herbal tea?

– I adore and love the work of Kelli Anderson and emailed her recently to help me with my branding and site but she didn’t respond. You can only ignore me for so long.

– Being an undocumented student ain’t easy. I can sympathize. Maybe I should produce a series of events and form an advocacy group. There should be a massive campaign to get the Dream Act passed. Why has it not gone viral yet, considering all the young talented folks out there struggling with this unfortunate state of affairs?? Hmmmm….

– Pretty spring clothes from Madewell.

– I want to go to SF just for this bookstore.

– Miike Snow’s new album review. You can listen to all the tracks now too.

Inner-City Arts is a non-profit providing art education to public school students. Can you imagine learning about graphic design in the 3rd grade? To be so lucky!

– The confounded meaning of contemporary art.

– Bushwick the next gallery district of New York. This makes me a bit sad. I’d root for LES before Bushwick. Sorry Brooklynites.

– Interview with Creative Time curator Nate Thompson.

Flying babies!

– Gallerist Jonathan Levine in a teletubby costume.

– A brief history of African stereotypes.

– On DISBAND, the conceptual art punk band of women artists from the ’70s and ’80s. Love!

– Wish I hadn’t missed Dependent Art Fair.

– Whole Foods is coming to Williamsburg. It’s all over folks.

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Creative Arts Program in March: Learn to Write, Develop Social Skills, Manipulate Images and More

In an ongoing effort to help Skillshare develop their growing Creative Arts Program some of teachers that taught in February are back this month to share their wise wisdoms on topics like art writing, networking, photoshopping, and managing grad school while working. In detail:

This THURSDAY Kyle of artinfo will provide tips on writing about art whether you’re an artist or an art writer. His background as an editor and writer will be super helpful in giving access to a private blog of writing materials and personal online feedback on a piece of writing. You can’t get more hands-on than that.

On March 20th Margaret will teach you how to manage attending grad school while working full time. Now this is no small feat. Never underestimate the double task of reading stacks of art history books while reconciling your boss’ multiple bank accounts. It takes gumption to manage these demanding tasks and Margaret will tell you from her own experience how to keep your head straight AND score straight A’s.

Do you ever get frustrated with image cropping? It sounds so simple and you’ve got Photoshop to manipulate it but you JUST CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT? Well, on March 31st artist Micah Ganske will teach you 10 super useful things in Photoshop that you can use to find quality images, present your work that doesn’t look like it’s been shot by your baby cousin, and get Photoshop to crop that damn image.

Also on March 31st artist Colette Robbins will share productive networking skills without selling your soul. Artists have an ingrained crutch centered around “selling out” which is complete bullshit and counterproductive to gaining the success you’d want as a creative professional. Colette can rid these insecurities and false know-hows, teaching you strategies on effectively approaching people in this art world we love to hate.

There is so much to learn and so little time so whether you’re a recent graduate / aspiring artist or you’re an old timer with a garage filled with paintings dating back to the ’70s do yourself a favor and take a nab at these classes. You’d never know, you might have a thing or two to share yourself in no time.

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Art Fair Week Highlights

Despite having been determined and compulsively excited to catch the dozen art fairs that hit town this past weekend I only managed to catch a couple. Perhaps it was being insanely busy with work, perhaps I stopped caring a little bit, perhaps it’s just not worth the hype anymore. Whatever the case I walked away with some (un)sound thoughts:

The Armory Show sucked. Considering all the glitz and sheer volume of participating galleries there was literally NOTHING that interested me. Talk about disappointment!! OK, if I HAD to pick ONE artist that was in the slightest bit intriguing and not as easily dismissible it’d have to be duo Simmons & Burke who creates meta digital collages culled from hundreds of thousands of images from the interwebs. It’s chaotic, dirty, and representative of the state of my brain online.

Independent provided much relief and hope. That all is not lost in the art world, that good art (for lack of a better term) DOES exist and there certainly are people out there who know what they’re doing. The space was open and complimented by natural light with little compartmentalizing. There were sculptures and installations galore and there was no work going out of its way to garner attention. Except for maybe the giant swing made out of what looked like personal debris from an occupy wall street protester.

I found the above installation view of the old Dia building’s whitewashed brick wall & industrial window too fitting with a shaded white painting by Sam Windett.

Volta was mediocre at best. A lot of paintings and drawings, none of which really drew me in deep. The most niftiest booth prize goes to the folks who presented ipads on pedestals with sound inducing apps hooked on to old school boomboxes. It was playful, interactive, refreshing, and very new. It offered a nice change in scenery from the often stifling stillness of art.

The last few years I’ve listed all the images I took in a post. This year I’ll keep them all in a flickr set and not describe my reactions to them individually. Call me lazy but I think they’re all pretty self-explanatory and the ones I think were worthy to mention here I have done so…yea.

You can find a full set of images from the fairs on my flickr page.

I didn’t take any pictures from Fountain Art Fair because my eyes just about threw up and I couldn’t bare being in that space for too long. It was awful! I think it showcased the worst of the NY art world, especially the emerging art scene in Brooklyn. Otherwise the booths were outcasts from Kingston and Korea. There was a little Korea town set up in one corner of the Armory and it baffled me. The fair showcased the worst of the worst: gutterpunk spraypainted street art resembling paintings of half naked girls with pierced nipples, frivolous flimsy abstract paintings in pastel shades of blue and pink, walk in sculptures made of cardboard box cutouts with shot glasses and empty liquor bottles, live painting of a van, free beer in red plastic cups, walls lit in studio clamp lights hanging off a grid of 2×4’s. I’ve seen it all.

This year I’ve learned the importance of curating your roster of galleries and the people behind them when producing an art fair. I also learned how important presentation and viewing experience really is. I love that Volta provides printed material for all participating galleries. It creates uniformity. I hate that Fountain couldn’t do better with lighting, install, signage. I loved Independent’s use of vinyls along the vertical edges of walls. I loved their curation. I walk away this year taking notes in preparation of my own art fair. It’s coming.

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Reader: March 6, 2012

– The World according to the US.

– Is there an art scene in South Bronx now?

– Inside the home of Pinterest.

– Yvonne Rainer in conversation with RoseLee Goldberg on Performa.

– The story behind the “Keep Calm Carry On” poster.

– Cataloging lunch with rich people, including art dealers.

Super Morrissey Bros. Yes.

– Highs and lows of crowdsourced art criticism.

– On Jonathan Safran Foer on his 35th birthday.

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