My day job is owner of Smere Tactics, a company that gives me a way to explore and share my own creativity and helps me show others how to take the first steps to discovering theirs. I hold art classes and events and also sell my work. I’ve recently started to use social media to share my art and how I create it as a way to encourage others.
I’ve been an artist all my life and need art to be a constant presence or the life force will be sucked out of me! I don’t think of myself as a graphic designer—I can’t just sit at a computer, I have to be doing something that’s hands-on.
I’m currently doing a 100-day project—I’m on #86—where I create a small piece every day and post it to Instagram. I’m doing this with two other local artists and we’ll be hosting a showing in Oregon on August 19th at Charlie’s On Main.
I’ve also recently started to create cards and other items to sell and use the proceeds to benefit local causes I care about, especially those where a small contribution can make a big difference. Two of my favorites are Troy Land & Gardens and Dane County Friends of Ferals.
The bottom line for all my adventures: exploring true connections with myself, nature and others.
My most memorable caffeine was the day I discovered I couldn’t drink coffee. I’d had a cappuccino and nothing to eat and the results weren’t pretty. I love the smell of coffee. I love dark chocolate. But I’ve found that caffeine makes me squirrely. I can’t focus or get anything done.
My current caffeine of choice is usually a tea that I’ve double brewed to lessen the caffeine.
My favorite place for caffeine is Ogden’s North Street Diner, which just opened in May. It’s run by friends of mine and has good food, good service and a great atmosphere.
The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is my grandfather. He passed away the year my older son was born—his funeral was actually on my due date. He was a member of the Coast Guard during World War II and he would never tell us anything about his experiences. I wish I could sit down with him and hear more. When he died, I was so aware and appreciative of life cycles with his loss so closely followed by the birth of my son.
World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: an increased awareness of the benefits of creativity.
Creativity is a big key to solving the world’s problems and I believe we all benefit from being creative every day. There are so many ways to look at and solve problems and creativity is the heart of innovation. Think of little kids. They have an amazing sense of possibility—they don’t worry about what could go wrong and they’re willing to try things. But over time we lose that feeling.
For me, creativity is tied to art—it’s what allows me to get to a deeper part of myself—but it’s different for each person. Maybe your creativity comes from cooking or sports. Whatever it is, I wish people could explore and celebrate their creativity and use it as a point of connection. I think we’d be less disgruntled and less polarized if we did.