Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Blogtoberfest 2013 - Talkative Tuesday

Hello Dear Blog Readers,
Today, I'm continuing my story of how my Office Art Book came into being. You can read the beginning of the story in last weeks post...NOTE: this is a long blog post, so you might want to brew a cup of your favorite beverage and settle in for the story...

I ended last weeks post with the fact that I was now in an isolated office environment, where I had very little social interaction, but I found some ways around it, which I will share with you today...

In Another World, Far From HOME...
Something I forgot to mention about my new work environment is the location. I did mention that my commute was farther, but I did not tell you the area I was now working in:

The new office I was now driving to was located in Leimert Park, which is part of the Crenshaw District, in the larger region better known as South Central Los Angeles.

I'm sure I don't have to share the history of this region with you all...but I will share the goodness of the neighbors I met in this area, who were all friendly and kind to me, as I began to explore the area I was working in. I actually began my first blog because of the neighborhood of Leimert Park, because that is how wonderful the area I worked in really was...

Filled with beautiful Nature I could see on my daily walks in the neighborhood...

Filled with vibrant and colorful art...


The local park with one of the largest bird baths I have ever seen...


And a community of chess players...

A community of snappy dressers and hat wearers...

A community of happy dancers...

Being Neighborly...
It was this wonderful community that I began to become acquainted with from daily walks around the neighborhood. I got to know the local business owners and they were so kind to me. Their kindness and friendliness was a godsend - I was SO ISOLATED in my office and I found kindred spirits in the environment outside the office doors...

Remembering this kindness as I write this post brings tears to my eyes. I can not thank these wonderful people enough for the open-hearted welcome they gave me as I began to explore this neighborhood filled with rich culture and history.

I took my little camera with me on every walk and found much to capture on film. I met wonderful storytellers and gathered business cards, all of which eventually went into my Office Art Book...


Now, you might be asking: How did the idea of the Office Art Book come into my head?

Well, after attending my very first Artful Journey Retreat, which was the very first art retreat I had attended EVER, I came home bursting with book making and art journaling ideas...

I also came home determined to leave this toxic work environment!

At my desk, I had an "inspiration board" filled with visual inspiration, meaningful quotes and some artful images gleaned from artful blogs I was reading at the time...


I wanted to be able to take these inspirations with me when I was able to find a new job that would get me out of the toxic work environment and I wanted to be able to grab them quickly, to have them all in one compact place, but how do to this??

Why, create an artful book with these inspirations of course!!


The Office Art Book Begins...
I had set myself some parameters for the creation of this art book:

I would only use whatever materials were on hand to create the book covers and book pages

Due to working for an after-school program, there were some supplies and materials I had access to; there was some pretty scrap book paper I had taken a few sheets of to use in the office and I decided that using them for the covers of my Office Art Book was appropriate! I used them to cover some cardboard from used notepads...


I would only use any supplies or materials in the office to create and decorate the book pages

There were some special rubber stamps made, that had been approved by my fabulous old boss, that remained in the office and I used them for my book. I also had access to color paper and there were colors that matched the covers of the book...


I would include the items from my visual inspiration board, photographs taken around the neighborhood, and relevant information gathered from some work blogs

I had discovered the Work Happy Now blog and The Chief Happiness Officer with his great book Happy Hour is 9 to 5, which has great ideas for encouraging a happy workplace. There were many articles about how a bad work environment negatively affects your mental and physical health and many of these went into my book.

As time went on and I was no closer to finding a better job, I began to bring a few of my own artful supplies to embellish my book. It was pretty on the outside, but some of the contents were not always so pretty...

You can read the story about this page in this old blog post...

So, I found two ways to cope with the toxic work environment I found myself in - I used my creativity to find solutions to a big problem I faced and though the solutions could alleviate the difficulty for only so long, it helped a LOT...

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Talking about this time in my life is one way I am cleaning and clearing old 'trash' in my life. Re-visiting the memories is helping me to release them so I can make room for something bigger and better...it is also helping to remind me of the issues I had to grapple with, which I now need since I have recently taken on a part-time job where many of these unpleasant memories are starting to be triggered...

I will be sure to share about this in my next installation of Talkative Tuesday, so stay tuned!

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