There has been a LOT happening at Teahouse and one of the things I'm most excited about it my brand new website!
To celebrate the launch, I've teamed up with some of my favorite creative bloggers and artists to answer the Big Questions, and in conjunction with the Awesome, I'm also giving away 2 Big Question sessions over on my blog.
Won't you check it out? This could be the game-changer you're looking for.
With Laurie's permission we're sharing a story that she has written and it totally fits into the class her and Rachel Cole are teaching here at Teahouse in September. Laurie is a brave beautiful woman ~ we hope you can join us!
Like a lot of people, I got caught up in my share of the summer Olympics. I watched a man with one leg sprint like a gazelle around a soft, clay track. I saw beefy guys in little kayaks slaloming down big water obstacle courses. I saw lithe, teenage swimmers pop out of pools with winning smiles and Russian ballerinas toss balls in the air with the tips of their toes. But the one thing I could not get enough of was volleyball star Misty May- Treanor’s lovely, ample derriere.
As a woman who has lived her whole life rejecting her body for one reason or another - my thighs were too fat, too muscular, my calves too big, and my tush too plentiful – the sight on network T.V. of a strong, athletic, full bodied woman in a tiny red bikini was absolutely eye-popping. Possibly even a game changer. Suddenly large, muscular thighs and curvy, full behinds were the new beautiful and Misty was leading the way.
While other fans might have been blown away by Misty’s digs and dives, I was examining every inch of her body like an ornithologist peering at an exotic, never before seen bird. Cocking my head at the T.V., I took in every inch of her: those smallish breasts, the tan, muscled tummy – paying particular attention when she sat down at a break to see if there was any hint of flab toppling over her bathing suit bottoms.
I turned to my husband on the couch and asked, “Do I look like that?”
I can tell you what I wish I looked like and what I’m terrified I look like. I can tell you about the friend who, trying to be helpful, told me not to wear shorts because my calves were too big. I can tell you about how my father made my sister and I stand at the dinner table with our legs together to see if there was light between our thighs and which would permit us to have dessert. I can tell you about protein drinks that fill you up and help you forget about lunch, about 100 calorie popcorn, and turkey meatballs that are 2 Weight Watcher’s points each. I can tell you which cold medicines will squelch your appetite, and about how good it feels to wake up empty when you’ve had the will power to go to bed without dinner.
But after 52-years on this earth I cannot accurately tell you what my body looks like because I have no idea.
Which is why watching Misty in her red bikini jumping around that sand pit in front of millions of people around the world – Misty in her true body – not airbrushed, not hidden under clothes or angled for the best TV light - was like seeing a curious version of someone who might look like me, or who at least belonged in the family of people who looked like me, a girl some might call husky or stocky, but who looked absolutely gorgeous in my eyes.
And for the first time in my life I started to consider that I might look just fine.
I was reminded of something a boyfriend said to me once when I commented that I wouldn’t mind losing another 10 pounds. “But then you wouldn’t look like you,” he said. The thing was, I’ve never wanted to look like me. Even though I am not technically overweight, the one thing I’ve known since I was 15-years-old is that there is always more weight to lose – no matter what size I am. Smaller is always better and the minute I’m “there” I will catch a glimpse of my puckered ass in the mirror and be reminded that I can never, ever go soft on myself again, never forget the quest to stay ahead of weight gain.
I shared this blog post in process with my husband and a friend who loves me very much and they both encouraged me to dig deeper, get past the whole ego – my body – do I look good – skinny thing. Of course they’re right – I’m smart – I should know better – this is shallow – it doesn’t matter. But the truth is, this issue around food and my body plagues me every day. The friend I mention, she and I walked 192 miles across England one summer and I refused to eat a scone laden with fresh, rich cream at a mountain top café that specialized in them. This after a 15-mile hike. Somewhere along the line, between comments from messed up family members, media images and who knows what else, I stopped being able to see myself clearly, got lost in a funhouse full of nasty mirrors that showed a girl not right, grotesque, horrible looking. I’ve been running away from those mirrors for years, like a girl bring chased by a ghost.
Watching Misty stopped me in my tracks.
I Googled her. She’s 35-years-old, is 5’9’ and weighs 158lbs. You can watch videos of her playing volleyball, talking about exercise and nutrition, even hamming it up with her husband, Dodger’s baseball star Matt Treanor. In some of the videos her thighs look even bigger than they did at the Olympics, but to me, she looks shapely, womanly.
She also looked happy.
Happy to be on the beach, happy to be sharing her life, and happy to be talking to fans. Last I heard she’d be ending her competitive volleyball career and trying to get pregnant – something I did at 35 as well. I gained 50 lbs with that first baby, lost it in a year and gained 50 more a few years later with my second. I was completely horrified to gain that weight back and ended up dieting and heading back to the gym so often that I lost my breast milk, and my 5-month-old daughter started drinking formula. My biggest fear at this point in my life is that I’m going to be dieting at 70 – still questing for perfection.
I won’t lie and say that Misty has changed the entire game for me. I know that I can’t always trust myself to be gentle when I’m looking into a mirror. I know that I’m likely to choose green salad over pasta, and that on the days when I’m so busy I don’t have time to eat I’m going to feel silently victorious, excited at the prospect of dropping a pound. But Misty made a big impression on me.
It's not transformation. I know I have much work to do, but it's a start. There’s a toe in the door jam of my self perception – maybe a slight pause when I look at myself in the mirror – just a tiny moment when I remember Misty in her tiny red bikini – her infectious smile and bright eyes – how happy she was to be playing her game and living so big. That could be me, I think. That could be me.
Editor's Note: And it could be you too. If any part of this post speaks to you, join coach Rachel Cole and myself for Hunger Stories: Writing Our Way Toward What we Crave, What we Need & What we Want. Sunday, September 23rd at Teahouse Studio in Berkeley, 9 - 4pm.
~ thank you Laurie!!
So many of you have emailed us over the last year asking how we created this beautiful space where teachers come to share their talents in a small intimate setting. Now you too can create something like this where you live.
I can tell you everything we did and what we’ve learned in the process. And yes, we’ve learned a lot! I’m opening up some time and space to gather over phone or skype to answer all your questions, give you the nuggets you are wanting and be honest with you about the amount of work it takes to endure this kind of adventure.
If this interests you please get in touch ~ we’re taking appointments now.
Katrina is going to be teaching later this month ~ Application Nation: Grants, Residencies, and Fellowships for Artists
We're so interested in this topic and in learning more about how to go about these applications that we interviewed Katrina to get more in depth before the workshop. We hope you can join us.
Hello Tiffany, Stef, and Mati!
Thanks for inviting me to teach this upcoming workshop at Teahouse Studios. I’m so excited to work with you to offer Application Nation: Grants, Residencies and Fellowships for Artists. Having written and received grants and also been awarded residencies and fellowships, I’m thrilled to offer this information to other artists.
I worked in nonprofit arts organizations for over twelve years, most recently as the Program Director of Artists Resources at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. I’ve helped hundreds of artists write, edit, submit, and receive funding, residencies, and fellowships. I firmly believe that all working artists should have access to this information to allow for greater support and a larger community in pursuing their creative work. In addition to selling our artwork we can also receive funding for creating work that might not be viable in a commercial market.
Meaning, we can access support (financial and otherwise) for work that we cannot sell such as installations, collaborations, performances, publications, social practice, street art, public art, and any community-based projects we might envision. We can access funding and other support for more traditional practices like drawing and painting too, of course.
1. What exactly do you mean when you talk about grants and funding?
There are two types of income sources for most artists: contributed and earned. Earned income is money that results when goods or services are exchanged. Meaning, we receive earned income when we sell a painting, a book, a class, tickets to a show, or anything that can be considered “earned” income.
Contributed income is money that is exchanged without involving goods or services. This is a large income source for nonprofit organizations. As individual artists we can partner with nonprofit organizations (more formally through what’s called, “fiscal sponsorship”) to receive contributed income. This means we can receive funds from grants, foundations, corporations, city/ state/ national sources, or individuals like our family members or friends. And, these individuals can take the donation as a tax write-off once we have a sponsor.
In Application Nation, we’ll cover the various forms of contributed income but we’ll focus on those sources that require an application. Mostly grants through foundations and corporations and also non-income applications that provide support through time or community—like residencies and fellowships.
2. How has access to this information changed your work and the work of your artist friends?
Access to this information is important for working artists anywhere! Once you’ve secured a fiscal sponsor (or in some cases you don’t need a fiscal sponsor as some foundations—like the Puffin Foundation [hint, hint]—grant directly to an individual artist) you can receive funding for the creation of your work, the support of your community, and for creative projects that might fall outside of traditional mediums.
It’s changed my own practice as I’ve been able to secure time to attend residencies to create new work and grow my community, successfully received fellowships to pay for my training and teaching, and also received grants to offset the costs of installations, photography shoots, and the creation of community-based work like large-scale collaborations. It’s a great way to diversify your art practice and your income stream.
Of course, you can sell a painting but maybe you can’t sell a mural to your neighborhood school. Or maybe you want to create a support group of artists in your practice but you want to be paid for your coordinating efforts. There’s an infinite list of creative projects that could benefit from this support. The list of projects is limitless.
3. What's important about this for individual artists to know?
Everything. Truly, I want individual artists to know everything about applying for this support. Because I want them to feel like they have the resources they need to create their work. And “resources” might mean funding and learning about applications and budgets but it also means community building and skill-sharing and securing the time and the support to create the best work.
Of course, I can’t teach individual artists everything about grants, residencies, and fellowships but I’m confident I can meet them where they are in their career and I can help them identify goals, prospect support/ funding, and create a strong application to gain the support they need. I’m passionate about artists’ resources and I want to share that passion with my fellow artists. Yes, I do.
4. What's the most surprising thing you've learned about applying for funding as an artist?
It’s available to everyone. That can be surprising because we often think, “Oh, that’s great for so-and-so artist but my artwork doesn’t fit within that context”. Not true. With the right tools and information anyone can create a compelling application for funding, residencies, or other forms of artist support. Truly.
Artists who receive this type of support come from various levels of experience and expertise. They have various backgrounds and interests and income levels and educations. It’s really about making a strong pitch, having good work samples, and being familiar with the application and guidelines. Of course, there are some tips and tricks you learn along the way and that’s what I’ll share in the workshop. Come join! It promises to be informative and, I dare say, fun.
Thank you Katrina! This was so awesome and informative, can't wait to learn more in class!