Michelle Micalizzi, Artist
(All Rights Reserved)
I am looking forward to speaking to Jeffrey Davis, founder of Tracking Wonder and creator of the #Quest2017 experience, on the phone in January because his choice of topics to focus on for his Quest experience directly align with my thought process as we quickly approach the final days of 2016. Given that synchronicity, my last blog for 2016 is fearlessly following intuition. In reflection, it makes sense to call out what has fueled and guided me thus far —intuition; my “true North.” Following my intuition is exactly the course I plan to relentlessly pursue as I embrace the Fearless Projects of 2017. #FollowIntuition
Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.
~ Steven Pressfield
My mind is percolating as I put legs and a concrete plan to 2017’s projects. I know I am moving in the right direction as I am inspired by others’ writings and those I am in encountering on a daily basis. I am actively reacting to all that is around me and honoring how my inner voice chooses to respond. As an example, I was inspired by someone who came to visit my studio for the Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour. During our conversation, he shared, “I am a writer and I am reading The War of Art: Break Through Blocks & Win your Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield. It’s excellent.” I wrote the name of the book down and in my excitement forgot to ask him for his name and email, unfortunately. I wish he’d signed up for my email list because after hearing what I was planning for 2017 his eyes sparkled. I wish I had taken that guy’s information because I’d send him a thank you note because after reading The War of Art; it is both remarkable and inspiring.
Then my dear friend and client Luke Kayyem, owner of the Fittest Tribe Alive, recently asked on FB, “What are you reading?” I love how fate puts you in the path of good information. For me, that is part of following your intuition. Once you allow yourself to be inspired by your gut, the universe conspires to give you all the inspiration you need to execute the plan, well, that has been my experience thankfully!
Read at every wait; read for all hours; read within leisure; read in times of labor; read as on goes in; read as one goes out. The task of the educated mind is simply put; read to lead
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
I am a firm believer in reading and continuous improvement. I have always been a voracious reader; however, over the past few years, I have executed more and read less. Thankfully, I have to give credit to Luke and the art enthusiast who introduced me to Steven Pressfield for getting me off my reading dry spell. Thanks also to Amazon who has made down loading books to my iPhone Kindle so freaking easy. There is even a Kindle Unlimited option! If you want to check out some of the books that intuition has inspired me to read check out my reading list. I will be updating the list regularly with books as I recall them and read new ones!
My original intention for the final blog of 2016 was to focus on setting BHAG’s (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) as Jim Collins suggests in Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, which is one of the books on my reading list. As the end of the year exits we are all getting plenty advice aren’t we? Unsolicited advice is in fact, everywhere. We all typically set New Year’s Resolutions only to forget them by February. Ask any gym owner, and they will tell you it’s true. I am also exceedingly aware that there are more than enough business coaches and therapists out there, who focus on goal setting, who are providing lots of great advice and direction, per your request, to consider as you begin 2017 with a bang.
As a Business Executor, my professional focus is not on setting goals, making plans, or teaching. My focus is on execution and actually getting things done. All of what I do with Fearlessly Deliver as a Visual Journalist/Artist, a Curator and Business Executor is very practical. In my blogs and posts on social media, I only wish to be an example of a person who executes and to expose you to others who execute so that we can inspire you to do the same. To my delight, as I share my experiences, my words and actions will resonate with a few of you to the degree that you will want to hire me to help you execute a project to manifest your own success or perhaps buy a painting that speaks to you.
The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.
~ Steven Pressfield
I guess my ultimate message about 2017 New Year’s Resolutions is —At some point, the dreaming and the planning has to give way to execution. Every year we all make big plans, but is this the year that you are going to execute? I execute. I encourage you to do the same this year. Yes, make a resolution, make a plan with all the resources available to you to point yourself in the right direction, then immediately put legs on your plan, delegate what is smart to delegate, and for cripes sake, stop talking and start doing! Let 2017 be the year that you follow your intuition: take the leap and finally get shit DONE!
This week I am continuing to focus on my invitation materials to the 2017 Fearless Thirteen business owners for the AZ Art of Fearlessly Doing Business Project, and putting together exactly what the Fearless Pop Up offering looks like for the Fearless Thirty artists and Fearless Four host locations!
So I leave you this week with three questions:
1.) How are you following your intuition?
2.) What are you executing this week?
3.) What are you reading?
Initially I thought I would do a book painting of some kind for this blog or include the commission I am working on now. The commission is actually somewhat relevant because the book As a Man Thinketh by James Allen is touched on in the painting. However, I then thought why not revisit some older art and see if something might resonate … and when I got to my Facebook art album I laughed. As you know – I know I have the concept when I laugh.
The title piece for this blog was made in 1995 on New Years Eve. At the time, I was single and living in the West Village of NYC on Christopher Street. This is one of the thousands of journal entry pieces that I destroyed in the summer of 2015 when I made the decision to shred 38 years of journals in VT and burn 6 more years here in AZ. It is one of the few images I have of older work. This multimedia piece is one of many that were inspired by my old thesaurus. At the time, I would open up the Thesaurus and place an index card (that had a thumb nail shape cut out of it) randomly but squarely on the page. I would cut out the words that were captured where I placed the card and use them as inspiration for thought. I would then combine those thoughts with the experience of the day and make a journal entry illustration and write about the whole thought process. Now, the illustration and the story that went with this illustration is in someone’s bathroom somewhere, having been recycled into toilet tissue or facial tissue or potentially it has already made it to the sewer or some families septic tank or the county dump? I find this fact highly amusing.
To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.
I don’t have the words now but I do know the jest of the story behind this illustration because the image tells me the story. The image is not clear to you most likely but, I know the main words are speak, succeed and work. I love the Chrysler building. I could see it from the roof of the Salvation Army Women’s Boarding house that I stayed in for a period of time before I gratefully found that little studio in the West Village. I spent many days admiring this amazing building as I tried to collect myself and figure out my next step having just broken off my first engagement for the final time. The bones above the image of the Chrysler Building are fish bones. It struck me at the time with this random selection of a backbone placed by the Chrysler Building how much the building has a backbone feel to it. I think you need a strong backbone to speak, work & succeed and not be a limp dead fish. I am certain that architect William Van Alen must have had a back bone made of steel to create that building. So the idea of bone always strikes me. The bones to the right are from a steak of some kind. I had not gone out to a fancy dinner date that night and had a nice steak. I am sure if you are a chef you know which steak. Inside bones are bone marrow. Bone marrow is yellow in my mind. In the center of the bone is a circle and up above is a circle with me alone in it. I am in my own hoola hoop. Marrow to me means essence – and essentially I was very alone that holiday season in NYC in my little studio apartment trying to make my way as a strong yet fragile young woman. I am sure my journal entry was filled with disappointment that at 28 years old I had not met the man of my dreams yet and I still was not pregnant with one of the first of the 5 children I had always dreamt of and eventually 11 years later chose not to have. I always wanted to have my first child by the time I was 28. Ironically the construction of the Chrysler Building started in 1928. The years between 28 and 32 for me were very dark years. If I were to open my journals now from those years they would be virtually unreadable to me. I did a lot of wishing in those years.
Stop wearing your wishbone where you backbone ought to be!
~ Elizabeth Gilbert
So why include this illustration? Well the irony that it is a New Years illustration is not lost on me for one. Secondly, because I am still having the same conversation and this time my voice is being heard, I am a working artist and in 2016 in my first year of sales – I sold 14 painting which, to me is a big success (and only the beginning). I am not longer wishing, talking only to myself and waiting patiently for my art life to unfold – I am in motion. Over the years, I have discarded my wishbone and replaced it with a backbone made of steel. Twenty-One years after this little illustration was made in my little NYC studio I see now that I always have had a backbone and that all variations of it have been necessary!
Michelle Micalizzi is a Visual Journalist, Curator & a Business Executor. Her company Fearlessly Deliver, LLC believes that Art is Business and Business is Art! Michelle uses her ability as a Visual Journalist in her Art of Fearlessly Doing Business Series to tell the story of Entrepreneurship and she is the curator of the Fearless Pop Up Projects. firstname.lastname@example.org | 480.526.2609| fearlesslydeliver.com
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WHAT I AM READING THIS WEEK
Thanks to Matt Blanton founder and former owner of Printing Solutions (SOLD in Sept of 2016!! Congrats Matt!!) and the current owner of Cross Fit Back on the Bar (BOTB) for suggesting this book to me.
Feel free to email me and suggest a book that you have found particularly helpful!
Fearless Pop Up Schedule: fearlesspopup.com
Art of Fearlessly Doing Business Schedule: AoFDB.com
Venice Beach | Santa Monica | Culver City, CA
Aug 31, Sept 1 or 2 9 (Tentatively)
5:30 – 8:30PM (Tentatively)
Charity: The Contemporary Forum, a support organization for the Phoenix Art Museum
Michelle Micalizzi Shows: michellemicalizzi.com
A Conversation about Control vs Chaos
Kleidon | Kaminski | Micalizzi
Oct 6, 7 or 8 (Tentatively)
5:30 – 8:30PM (Tentatively)