Posts in Professional
WORK | 5 Things to Do to Start Anything
At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

A creative entrepreneur’s reality is that they are often creating things from nothing that are not always easy to communicate to their audience or even, to themselves.

When starting anything here are 5 things to do.

Have an Anchor Point

In any concept an anchor point to the project is what you can keep coming back to & it becomes something that others who are your consumers understand to be uniquely you. Be it a symbol, a mascot, a specific action you do within your ‘making’, make sure it’s there and you know why you do it.

Use What You Have

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to have the right set up, the right products etc. Comparison is the thief of joy. All good things come in time, so use what you have and make do. Podcasts, vlogs, film makers, artists of any medium learn to use what they have and build on that over time.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key. You will never improve or gain traction if you are spotty in consistency. Maintain a consistency that works for you. Once a week or once a day is better than here and there.

Do it For You (& one other person)

Never do anything to impress others. Do the thing to bring satisfaction to yourself and to at least one other person. That one other person doesn’t need a name, it could just be the ‘you’ out there you wish it would have been available for.

Aim To Improve Each Time You Do It

Every time you produce or create or bring forth whatever it is you do, aim to improve it. Ever piece of work you make has a new perspective from something you learned along the way.

When starting anything these five things are not only essential but they are also life rafts when you are unsure of where to go next or how things are going. It’s not always clear where the ‘motivation’ comes from to start things and continue them and circling back around to these foundational things can help remind, refresh and bring revelation to your doing.

WORK | Spring 2019 Work Reflection
spring.2019.

Spring was jam packed with personal endeavours.

Birthday parties, our first home renovation and many regular/additional ‘spring cleaning’ items on the list. I was able to give that heavy and long list of personal items a lot of my attention, while also leaving my creative self longing for more luxurious time at my desk.

This spring I have been learning the art of ‘curating time’.

I would say I had already learned this, since anyone who has a baby knows that the time between the ages of 0-3 years of age are years that one looses their hold on ‘having control of their own time’. That being said, I am on a new journey of what it means to take on more, handle bigger projects both personally and professionally and enter into them acknowledging the potential of overwhelm while also creating boundaries for my own mind and spirit to maintain and curate peace in all that I do.

I have learned

when tackling big projects I need to stick to the matter at hand, stop myself and even at times, my partners in crime from wondering too far ahead so as not to feel the weight of what has yet to be done.

I have learned that unplugging for 24 hours once a week is exactly what I need to monitor my anxiety as well as give my every fast paced mind a forced break.

I have learned that I do extremely well when my expectations for myself and from others are clear and I have prepared a bit in advance to meet them.

Overall, this Spring has been full personally, and professionally I have gained a lot of strategies to handle the projects and work that lies ahead.

What my work space looked like for almost 3.5 weeks & still has a lot of kitchen items chilling with me as I post this.

What my work space looked like for almost 3.5 weeks & still has a lot of kitchen items chilling with me as I post this.

SPOTLIGHT | Kayla Short
Kayla Quote.jpg

Kayla Short

Lifestyle Blogger

Kayla can be found documenting her journey on her personal social media platforms, exploring the corners of Halifax and beyond while also sharing with others that staying true to who you are both inwardly and outwardly is not only of value, but possible.

Kayla is grounded by finding a well rounded wholeness in life and maintains that wholeness in everything she shares allowing us to take part in the discovery of self, others and the world around us.

She also happens to have a lovely way of skimming past the surface and taking you into the deep of life that is full of insight and celebration.

More Kayla

Website

http://shortpresents.com

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/shortpresents/

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCewIEH9yFK_li-5J_Ev3Gyw

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/shortpresents

WORK | Brilliansea Updates
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Branding

Five months out from launching Brilliansea we are enjoying refining our values and our vision for this platform. What we are coming back to again and again is ‘the voice of a woman’ is to be treasured. Making space for that one voice is an important and integral part of our vision. Yes, we are also focused on the ‘brilliance’ in all women, but we want to bring them all out to celebrate their unique voice.

This is what we have been driven by and finding even more clarity in.

Spotlight Interviews

Spotlight interviews have been and are life giving. These sessions, for us, are full of joy, celebrating the woman we have in front of us and finding the depth in the simplest of moments. We have enjoyed creating the spotlight series so much that we are going to be releasing them bi-monthly starting May and we are so pleased to be able to do that.

Documentary

Pulling together a short is multi-purposed for us. It allows us to play with the narrative we are beginning to see, gives us a bit of face time with the footage we have accumulated, puts an action behind our filming and gives us something we can share.

Other

We have begun to start giving ourselves permission to explore what other projects and ideas might fit well under our platform and as we are doing so, it becomes more obvious how much we are LOVING running this platform and it’s presence in our life is one of our greatest sources of fulfillment.

SPOTLIGHT | Lizane Tan
lizane.quote.brilliansea

Lizane Tan

Graphic Designer & Part Time Seasonal Flight Attendant 

Lizane can be found using her graphic design skills in freelance projects, working as a part time seasonal flight attendant, while also connecting with others and being inspired by the world when traveling.

Lizane is richly inspired by the creativity in the world that she explores and uses that inspiration to connect us deeper to the stories we are trying to tell with the work she creates.

She also happens to have a grounding presence that allows space for learning, inspiration and a celebration for the unique self within.

More Lizane

Website:

https://lizanetan.com/projects

Instas:

https://www.instagram.com/lizanecrna/

https://www.instagram.com/narrativeincidents/




WORK | A One Woman Show
aonewoman.show.byamygrace

Everything in stages

After spending a day story boarding her life, I took another step into the direction of writing a one woman show about my grandmother, Joan Francis Goodday Lugar by beginning that first draft.

Because of her importance in my life and the weight she carries, I have found myself caught between the urge to see this fantastic, complex and very straight forward woman characterized on stage in her many facets and the anxiety that I will get it all wrong and not serve her story properly.

I press on.

Baby steps have been taken to start taking the storyboard onto paper and I have given myself this year to meander in pulling it together. I trust that I will be able to see that final first draft by late autumn of this year and begin to hone it after.

What I see when I look at the photos of her, is a strong capable, woman who was beyond her time. She was sharp as she was tender and quippy as she was also observant.

SPOTLIGHT | Bethany Dunn
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Bethany Dunn

Comedian & Teacher

Bethany can be found improvising and working with the improv troupe Hello City, helping to connect others with their passions through Skills Canada while also sharing her love for improv in teaching classes through Halifax’s Neptune Theatre.

Beth is highly focused on her work and delivers a passion and excellence that ripple affects into those who are privileged to learn through her.

She also happens to have an ability to keep you captive while she acts, talks ad communicates through her intensely engaging and stunning eyes.

More Bethany

Websites:

https://www.facebook.com/hellocityimprov/

https://www.facebook.com/SkillsWithBeth/

Hello City Insta:

https://www.instagram.com/hellocityimprov/

Personal Insta:

https://www.instagram.com/sarabethanydunn/

WORK | Wellness & Work
wellness.mbs.byamygrace

mind.body.soul.

I have noticed during this season of my life, as new things begin and momentum grows, that I am coming up against an anxious mind. 

the night hours like to whisper self doubt. 
the lack of sleep likes to drain and agitate.
the decisions like to stack up to mirror impossible obstacles. .

& yet I realize that these are the moments that require an extra dose of welcoming peace to come in and sit with me. To set aside a moment to nourish despite the world around me & despite what I think I should or shouldn’t be doing.  That it’s all being held for me while I take a moment in the chaos of my mind to be still.

To serve others and the work one is called to do, one must respect themselves enough to take a step back and assess their own ways. We affect each other and to be mindful of our wellness, means we are also mindful of others in return.

Mind

Seek to sort the tasks in a way that brings clarity.
Avoid overlap in responsibilities.
Allow that unplugging / disconnecting from the world to allow the mind to reset.
Encourage a healthy sleep pattern whenever possible.
Tickle your fancy in interests…it does wonders for actively seeing things in new lights.

Body

Aim for a balanced diet daily.
Indulge mindfully. & with joy.
Move more than once a day.
Fresh air is good.
Invest in one thing a month to improve yourself physically. (spf moistrizer counts)
Celebrate the body that holds your spirit in ways that is natural for you. (selfies are not selfish)

Soul

Pursue the still small voice inside.
Seek whatever is true, right, pure and love.
Seek out one deep conversation weekly.
Let go of what is distracting you.
Watch the words around you. What you say and what is being said.

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” - psalm 18:19

WORK | Dare to Lead
daretolead.byamygreace

I do my best every season to pick a book to read that will inspire and develop me both personally and professionally.

Dare to Lead being Brené Browns latest book was fitting as I adore her work, words and insight on what it means to live a full and meaningful life.

What Struck Me about Dare to Lead

This book takes her work on vulnerability, courage and fear and brings it into the professional arena. As I step into co-leading Brilliansea with Claire Fraser, I want to be able to ‘rumble’ (a word Brené uses to identify the process of processing through tough conversations / topics) with the work, my colleague and stay open and honest in the process.

What I learned

Vulnerability is not just for my personal life.

Taking time to identify your weaknesses as well as your strengths will allow room and space for you to recognize when perhaps, your own work methods or ways of being are conflicting with the matter at hand. To address that, may mean facing that you are not skilled in one aspect of your work and you may need to set up boundaries for yourself and others to partner with you in that weakness to create a better work flow and life.

Recognize one’s nature and profession.

I have also found that it has given me more compassions and insight for why my partner in life, often sees problems before he sees solutions. His nature, work and training has taught him to find every problem before ever seeing something successful. Where as my line of training and work has taught me that there are multiple ways to perceive something (none of which are wrong) and also, hundreds of ways to reach the final destination.

*I am still in the process of reading this book but I am taking it slowly and ‘rumbling’ with it.

SPOTLIGHT | Ruth McMullen
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Ruth McMullen

Founder, Podcast Host of Optimistically Depressed & Team Member of The Halifax Social Network team

Ruth can be found making impactful sound waves on her podcast ‘Optimistically Depressed’, working with the Halifax Social Network team to create community, while also being present for those she loves and cares about.

Ruth is deeply passionate about creating space for and bringing the internal journey into the light so we can all feel a little less alone.

She also happens to have a way of speaking directly into your soul that makes you feel heard, understood and cherished.

MORE RUTH

Website:
https://optimisticallydepressed.com

Listen:
https://open.spotify.com/show/3f0CQ0HWvGeUeArY4Y7MsX

Personal Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/ruthhailstone/

Optimistically Depressed Insta:
https://www.instagram.com/optimisticallydepressed/

Halifax Social Network Insta:
https://www.instagram.com/halifaxsocialnetwork/

WORK | Everything is Progress
newbyamygrace.

As work and projects have shifted,

it became very clear that I needed new business cards.

Here is what blew me away about looking at past cards I have had for byamygrace until now:

Every year I become more and more who I am supposed to be.
Every year is a refinement and these little cards are a testament to the journey.

Looking at this business card I feel truly connected to what I am presenting more so than ever before.
That is me and it clearly states what I am about.

It is hard in the moment of the slog of ones own work and creative pursuits to see the story that is being woven together with every action, every day, season and year… but when you pan back and see the progression over years, you begin to see that you have been growing, changing and becoming.

It has led me to the realization that every little thing is progress and there is room for just a bit more growth in every small and simple thing we do.

*“Baby steps and short breaths. Anything is progress. You sustain my every moment.” - Steffany Gretzinger

WORK | Brilliansea Documentary
Photo taken by:  Carter Hutton

Photo taken by: Carter Hutton

This year began

the process of putting together a documentary via Brilliansea with a working title “Young Female Entrepreneur”. This documentary is seeking to showcase various women who have started a unique business concept, who are either young, or ‘young in business’.

While filming these interviews and capturing these women in their work environments, we are also documenting ourselves starting our own media platform and finding out first hand what it means to start something new and unique from the ground up.

Women we have filmed thus far:

Korayne Romanchuk | Owner and Founder of KoKo Mod Flower Shop

Sharlene Loveless | Owner and Founder of The Glo Barre

Kate Pepler | Owner and Founder of The Tare Shop

Our next steps

To pull together what footage we have to create a short that shows a sampling of what we are doing.

Continue seeking out unique women and their businesses to feature in this process.

Continue documenting our journey.

Our goal in it all

To find the brilliance that is unique in each woman we encounter.

WORK | Winter 2019 Work Reflection
winter.work.reflection.amygrace

This winter has in many ways gone by so fast.

Looking back, I realize much has happened in these weeks since the Holiday season.

This winter I have finished writing contracts, launched a collaborative platform Brilliansea with Claire Fraser & have begun arranging my necessary work tasks in a way that leaves room for more play and more time for cultivating and curating the work I do.

This winter I have learned that my work will sometimes be seasonal. Busy some months , where other months a bit more wide open.

I have learned that spending more time staring and browsing through social media is not the answer for me.

I have also learned that I thrive with variety and in doing so, need to level up on my administrative tasks so that I am not bouncing around from thing to thing with no direction and yet a lot on my mind. (a.k.a. mental load)

Leaving Winter, I leave satisfied and more than a bit proud at the shifts and changes I have found along with what I have accomplished. There is so much to be thankful for and so much more to explore.

SPOTLIGHT | Yivii Su
yivii.su.quote.spotlight.brilliansea

Yivii Su

Swing Dance Instructor & Urban Planner

Yivii can be currently found dancing and teaching with her partner in Halifax while also dreaming up new ideas and ways of connecting with the community near and far.

Yivii is passionate about enriching the lives of others and creating spaces that allows for easy conversation.  

She also happens to bring a thoughtful and light hearted presence where ever she goes. 


MORE YIVII

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/yivinca/


Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/yivii_su/


*note from Amy:
Meeting Yivii for the first time was a bit like meeting a long lost friend. She accepts you wholly for who you are and takes part in the joy in life. Yivii lights up a room & I am so honoured to call her friend.


WORK | Women Making Waves Conference 2019
Laughing with my co-creator in Brilliansea & colleague : Claire Fraser

Laughing with my co-creator in Brilliansea & colleague : Claire Fraser

I started going to this conference two years ago upon acceptance into the New Waves Program. At the time I was coming down with a terrible flu-like cold and was down for the count for over a week. Midway through recovery a call came in saying that I was accepted and was receiving free admission to the conference that weekend. I was encouraged to go, so go I went with my herbal tea & big doe eyes wondering what was in store for me there.

This year was no different. I looked around the room and saw many faces I didn’t know or am slowly learning to know & yet also, more faces I now know.

As a writer in the industry, it’s easy to be in your own little world and not notice what is going on around you. This event allows me to meet the people on the other end of emails , phone interviews & conversations being had.

Women Making Waves 2019

Highlights

Screening: Mouthpeice with Q/A with Director / writer Patricia Rozema

This film was beautiful. Lyrical in movement, raw in presence, provoking in layers and utterly captivating. Be it that I am still a fresh new mama heart with an almost four year old (it still feels new on so many respects), that the relationship depicted between mother & daughter felt so uniquely similar to my own with my mother, or that the main characters age is 30 (which I will soon be), it felt so accurate, so real, and so beautifully captured. I would rewatch this again and again.

Workshop: Observationsal Documentary: Pay Attention. Be Astonished. Tell About it. with Robin McKenna

This workshop was invulable. As Claire and I are working on this doc concept & learning how to interview our subjects to gain that authentic capture, hearing from a professional in the field about different ways to be ‘aware and mindful’ has given us a lot of food for thought on how we approach our projects.

Out of the Box Networking Lunch

This year they gave you two cards (randomized) as you walked in for lunch, each with a colour and a number which told you which table you would sit at for the first half of lunch, and which for the second. This idea was INGENIOUS! It acted as a professional speed dating opportunity in which you got to not only say who you are and what you do, but were able to hear the same things from the faces around your table. I had one of two very deep and inspiring conversations from my time at the conference at one of those tables and I am so glad I was there to have them.

I often feel like an unconventional duck at film and television events, as my way into the industry has been unique and ‘untraditional’, but despite my own ‘imposter complex’, these events continue to be where I find the deepest women, the best professional development opportunities and a community that seeks to create improvements in the world they live in by the stories they tell.

WORK | Batch Work Learning
batchwork.byamygrace

I have a confession to make….

Up until this year I have 90% of the time written & done my work on this website / blog in real time. Meaning: you were seeing it right after I typed it up, slapped on an image, and pressed ‘publish’.

I think one of the reasons I have done this for so long, is that in the past I have had a specific writing style that I shared online that this thrived with. It was the times I was the ‘least planned’ and the most ‘unedited’ that it received the most impact and appreciation. I thought that in order for me to remain impactful I needed to remain ‘unplanned’.

& to a certain extent this remains true.

I still continue to have the most meaningful written and in person interactions when the words flow without much forethought. I write my speeches that way, my letters and cards that way …etc.

& yet, as life has evolved I need to learn the art of ‘batch work’ to give room for other things in my life.

Thus far I have been able to deduce this means:

Blog Writing

Setting aside half a day monthly to pre write the next months posts.

Interviewing

Interviewing at least 3 people a session rather than one at a time.

This will hopefully provide me with more time to play in my creative writing projects that aren’t seen here…and allow me some much needed breathing room in my personal / professional life.

*this post is vastly inspired by Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger podcast various ‘kicks in the butt’ regarding all things ‘batch work’.

WORK | Volunteering for WIFT-AT "Tidings"
interviewing.wift.at.byamygrace

Over the past half year I have taken on a few assignments from Women In Film & Television Atlantics Newsletter “Tidings”.

Here are two in particular

Pamela Segger

Kimberlee McTaggart

What I am Learning

These assignments have given me the opportunity to continue in my growth and skills of interviewing & curating content. It is one thing to do it safely on my own blog and another thing to push myself to create interviews to be on film and in another local publications.

WIFT-AT has been an organization that has welcomed me in my own right and allowed me a safe place to learn, grow and explore.

SPOTLIGHT | Sharelene Loveless
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Sharlene Loveless

Owner & Founder of The gloBarre
Entrepreneur & Musician


Sharlene can currently be found at her new business The gloBarre, connecting her clients with the latest methods of anti-aging technology and fitness that match their unique personal needs.
She is passionate about serving and empowering others towards their best potential.
She also happens to have a quick and easy laugh that fills a room

More Sharlene

WEBSITE:
https://www.globarre.ca

INSTAGRAM:
https://www.instagram.com/glo.barre/

*note from Amy:
I met Sharlene over a decade ago. Her words of confidence spoke volumes into my life. She has a candid way of saying things how they are while also processing her life out loud, allowing others to join with her on a deeper level.

WORK | Headshots 2019
Headshot taken by Claire Fraser

Headshot taken by Claire Fraser

Starting Brilliansea with Claire Fraser called for an updated headshot for the both of us & for continuity for our projects.

It’s Symbolism

This headshot marks the start of a new phase in my work. Bringing continuity and a more curated streamline vision for the projects that I work on and do.

Honouring My Motherhood

Motherhood has given me a lot of time to be hands-full with something other than ‘the grind’. I have been separated from the professional field & with that has also given me perspective. Realizing what is worth the work and growth verses what is going to drain and take a toll from being the mother I feel called to be.

Ready to Serve

Over the past decade I have learned that I am at my most joy-filled when what I am creating serves others. This awareness has given me permission to hone in on the projects that serve others and bring others higher. This is my passion and my joy. No matter what I am doing, that it serves others in their journey.

WORK | Bird by Bird
I wrote down this quote to sit at my desk with me to remind me as I squeeze in writing moments over the Winter & throughout 2019.

I wrote down this quote to sit at my desk with me to remind me as I squeeze in writing moments over the Winter & throughout 2019.

An active professional development goal of mine for 2019, is to read at least one book a season (4 within the year) that broadens my mind and skills on my own craft.

Bird by Bird was high on my list and is the first book for 2019 in this category.

Anne Lamott has always captivated me with her words on life, faith and writing & this book is no different.

“This is all we are going to do for now. We are just going to take it bird by bird. But we are going to finish this one short assignment.” - Anne Lamott.

This simple concept has completely unfolded me. Anne explains in this book that when attempting to write anything, looking at your goal or project in its entirety is an overwhelm. (…believe it or not, many writers are not as confident as they appear on paper…)
One way to tackle this overwhelm is one step at a time.

Experiencing Writing Cramps

Taking on more freelance assignments & active roles in projects where I am producing material means that my creative writing time is more limited and with that has caused some of my own writing cramps of sorts. Tackling my writing goals and concepts with this ‘bird by bird’ analogy has already allowed me to sit down at my desk for short periods of time and see those sparks of real work come alive again.

In Writing & In Life

Her analogy is better explained within the book as to why she calls it ‘bird by bird’, but it has shaken me free of expectations for myself and allowed me more creative play.

What I love so far about this book, is it applies to life as much as it applies to writing.
& that may just reveal why I love writing so much.
The craft itself is as much a craft of realizing life as it is stringing words together.