The biggest and best opportunities I have ever had, have happened because we are a military family. The biggest steps of growth came from those painful times of leaving behind things I loved. Leaving the life you have established for yourself, leaving your fans and customers, leaving everything that is familiar- it is a painful process full of tears and heartache but I encourage you to change your attitude about it (as hard as it is) and view it as an opportunity.
Yes, it is hard, yes, your kids are crying and missing their friends, yes, you miss your own galls too. It is so hard to find people you really click and it is even harder to leave them behind and start the emotional roller-coaster of friendship again.
But, military moves force to experience and explore new areas, new people and new opportunities, especially when it comes to art. The good news- art is everywhere. The bad news- you might not like it or have hard time finding your voice among the already established artists. It’s ok, you can handle it. By far the most essential skill is adaptability in this business and guess what? You already have it!
There are couple ways to approach PCS season (Permanent Change of Status for my civilian friends):
1. Be positive! Keep positive attitude (that one is the hardest because it is so vague). What it really means is try to find positive things in every circumstance and stay positive even when everything seems gloomy. Your kids are looking at you and they will adopt your attitude. If you are gloomy, they will become gloomy which will make the situation even worse. So smile, even if you feel like crap on the inside. You are the strength pillar of the family, not your husband- common misconception, I know…. You are strong, smart and resourceful, after all, you are a military spouse. You would not have lasted that long if you weren’t.
2. Get Organized Before you move, go to Dollar Store or Hobby Lobby or any other craft store and get small, packable and movable supplies for little craft projects. Don't buy too much, just 2-3 small projects (1 bag). This will help entertain your kids (not mentioning family time other thank TV) but also help you release the creativity inside you. So what you can’t paint, sculpture or whatever your art is right now?! Doing even a stupid little kid’s project will help you release stress and make you feel accomplished. There is no judgment here and no craft is to small.
3. Use Your Resources! While you have time, start researching local art scene, art galleries, museums and local art stores. Get yourself familiar with everything that is in your new place and start talking to people. You never know who will help you later.
4. Connect With Your New Community on Facebook Lastly, nowadays you never say goodbye to anyone. You will see them on FB/Instagram/social media. Find a great Facebook page for your new duty station. There is always a wealth of information to be found there, and you'll find a handful of folks always ready to answer that next question. Who knows, maybe even make some friends there.
THE PRACTICAL PART I always pack my most essential art supplies myself and let the movers handle the rest. I do pack some travel paints for my suitcase so I am always ready to paint. I would not let the movers pack my art supplies randomly, as wonderful as they are... Even if you do trust them completely, you still have to prepare and clean your studio space and get it ready for the move. Otherwise, your trash will be packed as well… So now, some practical advice on how to pack your art supplies:
1. Supplies You’ll Need To Pack Your Artwork For Moving: ·Sturdy moving boxes, ·Glassine paper (Optional, but highly recommended). Note: Wax paper/parchment paper are not substitutes for Glassine and could damage your artwork. ·Bubble wrap – enough to completely wrap all surfaces and edges of each piece of art. ·“Dunnage” – Material used to absorb shock inside the box. ·Blue painter’s tape (Only necessary if your artwork has glass). ·Flat cardboard sheets – one for each piece of art, cut slightly larger than the area inside the frame. ·Packing tape ·A permanent marker
2. Make lists. I male a prioritized list of everything that needs to be done, then I put that written list on my phone because I know I will lose the paper list five min later…. Ether way, make a list of things to do, things to buy, things to give away/throw away,
3. Purge as you go. Alternately, you can do this before starting to pack. Not only is purging cathartic, but you can make donations or host open studio moving sale. (I do that every time and it really helps with getting rid of stuff and making extra cash)
4. Develop a packing plan or system/ Organize and sort ‘like’ materials. Whatever your system is, whether it is room to room or section by section, get it all organizes. It will make things much easer when it is time to unpack. Some materials may also have to go into climate-controlled storage.
5. Label everything At the end of the day, it will all be packed up in boxes and all boxes look the same. So don't be shy and label everything. It will really help when you are looking for that one thing on the other end.
By far the most essential skill is adaptability in this business and guess what? You already have it!
This is "my system", it might not look neat but I know where everything else and nothing broke (yet)
9 suitcases, 4 cats, 1 toddler .....
One suitcase was fully dedicated to art supplies, no mix and match there!
Be prepared to be overextended...
Like I said, I do have a system...
The good news- art is everywhere. The bad news- you might not like it or have hard time finding your voice among the already established artists.
Try to enjoy small moments while you move, God knows you have enough stress already like it is!
Do you have any questions, suggestions or recommendations?
Do you like what you are reading here? Do you hate it? I am open to feedback day and night
ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHT PATRIZIA K INGRAM ART ALL REPRODUCTION PROHIBITED WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT
What My Clients Are Saying
"Pictures and video don’t do these paintings justice! They are truly amazing. The kids already think it’s so cool to have a painting of each of their “first homes”. Abby J.
"Patriza is an incredibly gifted artist that not only creates beautiful artwork for others, but also gives back to the community and causes she believes in. I would cover my entire house in her artwork if I could!!" Jo G.
"Absolutely LOVE her work. Painted with love and care. She listens to your needs and is willing to go extra mileS for her customers!!!!" Deb S.L.
"Patrizia’s art is beautiful! I commissioned three paintings of our homes from her and love every one of them. She even helped piece together one of our homes because I never took a full front view photo of it. Talented to say the least! I will be continuing our gallery wall with her art as we move. " Amanda M.C.
"I had three paintings commissioned of our homes, and she did a wonderful job on all of them! She was very responsive and finished all of the paintings in the timeline she originally gave me. I would love to order from her again!" Chloe D.
"So very pleased with the houses Patrizia painted for me! This makes the most perfect gift - both were housewarming gifts for friends/family to remember & document their precious home! Couldn’t have been happier with the communication and turn-around time. I can’t wait to have my own house done!" Ashley S.