Sometimes I forget that I am blessed with options and get caught up in self-imposed, rigid ways of doing and being.  To counter this, I have decided to be an “Artist-in-Residence” this month.

You may be familiar with these programs.  Imagine a set period of time staying at an inspiring institution with freedom to explore choreography, painting, or playing music in an environment conducive to your craft. Artist colonies exist apart from the distractions and obligations of every day life and provide a place to start or finish a creative project. 

An Artist’s retreat has long been my daydream, so I’m making and taking my own AIR (Artist-in Residency).   Who says you need to be a professional artist with an “established body of work” to explore your creativity removed from typical responsibilities? 

An AIR need not take place somewhere grand.  I’m not going anywhere since I’m fortunate to have a unique window of quiet solitude at home. Essentially my AIR is a matter of mindset; of my choice to dedicate time to artistic pursuits.  It is a space to challenge self-perceived limitations while being attentive to all my efforts, even things normally done rote. Choosing this for myself feels luxurious.

I’m grateful for the ability to set aside responsibilities for the pleasure of falling headlong into the creative process freed from my regular routine.  Of the creative projects I plan to explore, writing (this blog included) figures heavily, as does creating gardening videos with a friend, and fiddling with simple crafts when on a zoom calls. 

I have a feeling this time and space may become a regular gift I give myself. If you’ve taken your own AIR, I’d love to hear how you made it happen.

About Colleen Miko

Colleen Miko is a certified professional horticulturist with 20+ years experience in landscape design who has designed award winning gardens for the NW Flower & Garden Show as well as HGTV’s “Landscaper’s Challenge”. Colleen is freelance garden writer and speaker.
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