Hand Made Art and Prints Hidden Hands Collective

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SUSANNA WIDMANN

4th July 2020

IKIGAI

Hello again!

This is our second blog post (exciting!) and I’d like to talk about a concept I really like:

Ikigai
(n.) org Japanese.

A reason for being; the thing that gets you up in the morning.


A friend of mine, who lives in Sweden, told me about it last year. I hadn’t heard the word before but as soon as he explained it a little bit to me, we where talking about it for a long time…
Afterwards, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.

I did some research: apparently Okinawa (in Japan) is home to some of the oldest people on the planet and this is not thanks to medication but to a mixture of a healthy life style, community spirit, love for what you do and spirituality. This mixture allows you to find the perfect balance to create a meanigful life, full of satisfaction.
There isn’t a set formula though, it is a personal self-developing concept that needs to flow and grow within each individual on a daily basis starting from taking pleasure in doing the smallest most mundane activities around you, to bigger more important tasks.
They don’t retire from work because they are happy when they are busy doing what they love.

I suppose some lucky people find their Ikigai early in life and follow its flow until they die and it’s all very straight forward.
Others may know what their Ikigai is but think of it more as a dream than a reality they can achieve at that particular moment in time. Some may even have more than one reason for being; something that evolves and changes, like their life.

In my case, it was thanks to being stuck at home during lockdown that I actually thought about it in earnest. I have been thinking about my life and what I do, its purpose, and if that could be (or is) my Ikigai…

Well, I do art.
I draw, I do printmaking and I tattoo. I can’t really think of myself not doing those things but as a mum and as a grown up woman I used to fret and stress about it not being a proper job and undermine myself because I could be (and should be) doing something more meaningful, more profitable, more relevant and more important.
The breakthrough, I believe, was being forced to stay at home for an undetermined period of time. The world changed completely, life slowed down, I re-learned enjoying the flow of the mundane, simple things in life with my family, and realised that in order to be a good person and a good mum, who does meaningful, profitable and relevant things in life, it wasn’t my art, my drawing, my printmaking or any of those things that I needed to change, it was only the approach.
Not to over-analise and stress about the impostor-syndrome some creative people suffer from but to embrace it, grow and share with others.
I have taken part in some very succesful events in the past few months with my work raising funds to thank or help others, so I have discovered that art is actually important…

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people I love and who love me back.
This is who I am and, to be honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
It makes me happy and it makes me who I am.
I have an ikigai.

How about you. Do you have an Ikigai? Do you follow it?

SUSANNA WIDMANN

4th June 2020

Hello! Welcome to the Hidden Hands Collective’s Blog.
We haven’t done this blog business before… you see, being artists we’re a bit awkward and shy when it comes to talking about ourselves but we also thought that, with the lockdown and the social distancing, it is quite nice to actually stop being such introverts and reach out. Maybe it is true that the new normal will mean only getting to know people online, so with this in mind we’d like to tell you a bit about us.


We are three artists. We met because we work as Tattooist in a small private studio called Hidden Hands Tattoo in London. We love Tattooing but we never wanted it to be our only job, we are passionate about Art and Artistic expression in all its forms. So it was a natural development that, little by little, spending time together we decided to do something else.


At the beginning we decided to produce merchandise and artwork related to tattooing and the Tattoo Studio We created a brand called Piel de Lobo and a small Etsy shop, which we’ve kept going for a few years, but with Tattooing becoming so popular, becoming so mainstream, it was everywhere!… Soon, we didn’t feel it fullfiled our artistic intentions anymore. We had a chat over some beers and decided to start from scratch and set up the Collective.


At the beginning of the year, and as we were preparing new artwork, carving linos and woodblocks, printmaking and curating some of the art pieces we had from previous Fairs and Exhibitions, the whole world went into lockdown madness… It’s been weird to say the least, for everybody. We have struggled with worry and anxiety, lack of inspiration and creativity We’ve had to learn to work in different ways and at a different pace and we are still in a kind of limbo where things are changing constantly, are very volatile, but we are somehow adapting and managing to make the best we can of the situation.


One positive thing about this confinement has been the fact we’ve had time to sit down and do this brand new web page and plan our next steps as a Collective.

Well, we’ve managed to get to the end of this first blog post without cringing too much and actually we’ve quite enjoyed the therapeautic effect of saying things out loud.

Soooo, we want to tell you more!
About us, about our work, our influences, who and what inspires us, the printmaking techniques we use and all sorts of other stuff we think it’s interesting to share.


Until next month, then!
Look after yourselves and be kind.

Hand Made Art and Prints Hidden Hands Collective

270a Kentish Town Road

London

NW5 2AA

info@hiddenhandscollective.com

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