I was going to write than dance but I will dance first. I need inspiration and perspiration.
Thomas Edison said “Genius is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration”.
I thought Paul Simon said that, but I just found out he was quoting Edison. Yura bought Thomas Edison bulbs and earlier in the day he asked me to transport them from the office to our house. More synchronicity. Everyday I find one or two. Some are small like this one, some are more impressive. I keep my eyes open and enjoy the smallest ones.
I danced and cleaned. This song came up on my iTunes. Take it Easy. As I danced, my mind raced through time. Last night I made a list of most of the Gasies (people who work at GAS) for the last five years. I was mourning my leaving friend but today I feel light and happy. No tears, no doubts. The coincidences are feeding me with strength and I wore my red lipstick today.
I worked at GAS today. I love the feeling I have when I enter the space. It is filled with good vibes. Every time I walk in I also remember that it would not be there if it was not for me. That makes me feel even better. I love walking in when people are already busy at work. The cleaning lady came on Wednesday so it was organized. It was not what I painted it in my mind yesterday.
My mind went back while I danced. Back to the beginning, five years ago. I did not know what it was to run a space. I did not know if anyone would want to join me at GAS and pay me rent for a space. I did not know if I would have to close my crazy venture in few months. I knew that I could not find a space that I could call my home, so I needed to create one. When saw it the first time, the walls were shiny black and red, the bathrooms were terrible, we found little bags of white powder behind the walls, the roof access was closed off, the floors were black and red linoleum. I wish I had a before picture.
With a three thousand dollar budget that went over(which was a lot of money for me to risk), a friend of a friend renovated it with his construction friends, on weekends and after work. It took over a month, three weeks over the allotted time. As they were finishing, I started working there on a single table in the middle of the room, facing the window. My splurge was a custom-made L shaped desk that looks like a giant wave, I wanted no sharp edges. Slathered with Polyurethane five times to get it perfect amount of shiny.
At the time, I lived on the same block as GAS. Even when I was alone, I was so happy on my daily half a block commute to work. I knew that having this space would get me to my next level of jewelry designer. And it did. Only a month into it, I stood in line at Henri Bendel’s Open See and was picked. It was not as simple as that last sentence. I can write a while about what Henri Bendel did not give me but I say what it did. It gave me confidence in my work. Every weekend, I stood there showing my work and like clockwork people came to buy it. Every sale was a small miracle for me. In that fancy shmancy store, they were choosing my work over all the other stuff there. There was a lot of stuff there. Three floors of stuff. And they were buying it at 3.3 times the cost. I was embarrassed every time someone asked me how much a piece was.
I remember dreadfully posting online the ad for GAS. I think I still have it somewhere. I advertised the environment that I wanted to have, support, collaboration, creativity, later I added someone to eat lunch with. I kept saying in my head, “If you build it, they will come.” The doubts came too. What if they don’t like the space. What if they do not like me. What if they are real artists and I am not and they see that. They came. One by one. One beautiful face after another. All creative entrepreneurs who were successful enough to afford to pay rent. That is successful for the art world. I learned to trust my intuition. After a few minutes of conversation, I would have to choose whether I should hand over the keys to my space for them to become a part of it. I did not have to choose, the ones who wanted the space, were the right ones.
I knew I was creating that environment, I knew it was hard to dislike each other when I was around. I wanted GAS to be a warm place. I wanted them to feel accepted. I did my best to smooth out the conflicts by facing them head on and it worked most times.
I think of all the Gasies who came and stayed and those who went and I can think a while. I do not know what impact I had on them, but I can say what impact they had on me. To meet a person off the street and love them within a few days of working together is a great feeling. I learned how to feel comfortable around people. At first I felt a pain in my stomach each time I took in a GASie. It felt that every time I became comfortable with the ones I had, a new one would come and throw off my equilibrium. But that was a lie to unlearn. Every new Gasie brought with them their world. I learned that my equilibrium is not my comfort zone.
My friend was the last shred of that comfort zone. Take your time, take it easy, no need to hurry.