"Comparison is the thief of joy."
~ Theodore Roosevelt
While some jewelry artists I know have been cranking hard seemingly nonstop throughout the pandemic, I found that during this strange (and very interesting time), I have been moving at a much slower pace. I'm ok with that.
When the lockdowns began it simply did not feel right in my bones to market myself. In Puerto Rico, on EXTREMELY strict lockdown for two months where my studio is right there in my apartment, the thought of picking up my saw or hammer and creating was the last thing on my mind.
Being on lockdown in PR in March, April and most of May meant no surfing, no Artwalk, no socializing and not even being allowed to legally go for a walk. So I turned it all into a combination of power yoga bootcamp combined with a bit of overeating, some quality zoom time, a bit too much time listening to NPR and loads of surf movies and Netflix.
I was so grateful for the orders from my wonderful customers and the small handful of made to order items that I have in my shop. Whenever these orders came in, I would sit and create slowly and meticulously. When they were completed I would package them up and go to our sweet little Rincón post office where we wait in the long, meandering socially-distanced line but also where I would get my bit of social interaction and thank our essential workers.
Gratitude. I am very lucky to have an apartment that has the most beautiful sunset views. There were some meteor showers during the lockdown and I actually made the time to lie down on my open air deck with a pillow and really take the time to watch for the shooting stars. I saw a bunch!
I left the island much earlier than usual because - not only were we not allowed to surf - but I was growing increasingly lonelier. I am EXTREMELY good at being alone and relish my alone time, but even for me, it was lonely. I am lucky to have a very small but very loving family and I came home to be with my mom. Within three days I was back in the freezing cold water and clumsily paddling around in my thick winter wetsuit. Though I felt like I could barely pop up, I felt instantly RENEWED.
One lesson I learned during this time is to shut off the chatter on the outside and to stop caring about what others are doing. During the precious years that I have been learning my craft, I know I have allowed myself to react to some extremely toxic, competitive energy that I should have known better than to have reacted to and it is liberating to let it all go.
After a few surf sessions I began to feel alive again and with that came the desire to create again. If not to sell to the world, to simply bring to life something with my hands. While in hibernation, I was not completely devoid of creativity and I had amassed a fairly large amount of sketches in my journal. With slow and focused intention, I began to bring the designs to fruition in silver, seaglass and stone.
The RENEWAL Collection was born of time spent looking inward, patience, going deep into solitude, deep into nature and following the light out of the darkness. From the darkest depths to the shimmering, watery surface... renewed.