Back to top

A Note From the Editor, August 2018

A Note From the Editor, August 2018

Have you ever felt upside down? The month of August was my turn. Several overlapping projects, do-it-yourself home renovations underway, a baby due this coming November, and an overdue newsletter had me feeling a bit unraveled. So–for me at least–this month’s fireside chat about “Self Care as a Visual Practitioner” with Jenny Trautman, Nevada Lane and hosted by Nitya Wakhlu was just what I needed. And even though I had previously told myself, “Brandon, you have way too much to do…you don’t have time for that,” I made the decision to push pause on the day, put some pants on, and join the chat. Guess what…it was worth it. Here are a few gems I grabbed from the conversation:

  1. Because Visual Practice is physically demanding work, it’s important to be intentional about our physical fitness (and eating) habits.

“I never had balance but as I got older I realized that I didn’t bounce back as quickly,” Jenny said. The turning point came while pulling her suitcase on a cobble stone road in Paris. “I ripped my rotator cuff” she revealed. A physical therapist helped her recover, strengthen, and establish a routine designed for her lifestyle. 

Nevada stressed a “prevention first” philosophy and the importance of intention and planning, especially when on working on the road. As a Cross-Fit enthusiasts, she scouts out local gyms so she has a familiar, consistent environment where she can work out. This goes for food options, too. Seek them out before you get there.

Mark Monolux added, “I always get a hotel with a pool so that I can get in a swim.”

Emily Jane stays at airbnbs so she can have a kitchen and cook her own food. 

  1. There’s more than one way to keep a level head.

I asked a question about how to deal with self doubt especially when feeling overwhelmed. Jenny recommended daily affirmations and “Self-Compassion” meditations by Traci Stein. She also said that for her travel time is designated personal time. 

Nitya likes to use travel time to get administrative work done. As for the key to mental health, it begins with what work she says yes to. “It’s either a NO or a HELL YES!’” In these cases being excited about your can make the hard parts worth it. 

Nevada echoed this idea saying that she’s very intentional about who how much she travel and who she works with. “I like to work with cooperative clients,” she said and also urged us to, “be aware of your energy and responses…then fine tune accordingly.” 

  1. Community. Community. Community.

A wise friend once told me “The key to getting out of a slump is to: 

A) move;

B) move with someone; and 

C) move with someone you love.”

If we travel to a place where other practitioners live, there may be an opportunity to get together, grab coffee, dinner or just say hello. It feels good to connect with people who understand what we go through in this work. IFVP is as much a community as it is a professional network. I love that this is a community willing to share lessons from life and work. Seeing both new and familiar faces at the Fireside Chat and hearing how other practitioners approach the challenge of self-care was what I needed. The facilitation was excellent, but I also enjoyed the suggestions from other participants. I feel lucky, blessed really, to have joined in on the call. It was an hour that made a difference in my day and could change the way I move forward in my visual practice.

Part of being an IFVP member means having exclusive access to this kind of content. If you have any doubts about joining or hosting a Fireside Chat or Graphic Jam, I strongly encourage it. 

For the sake of community,

Brandon Black