When my son was a few months old, tiny, dependent on me for everything, and I was in a whole new and unfamiliar world, a world of sleep deprivation, of sharing my body and every moment with this new little person, there was a small voice inside me that told me I should do something that was just for me and me alone. I decided to sign up for a class called Art for Beginners.

The class met once a week and introduced me to some of the basic concepts of composition as well as watercolor, collage and drawing. After this class ended, I took a class in pottery, and later an in-depth drawing course at a college in the town where I was living at that time.

Despite a history of perfectionism, which has sometimes gotten in my way when it comes to creative pursuits, I found that visual art was very free for me. Purely fun. One reason for this is that visual art was not something I had ever aspired to create, so I had no pressure or identity wrapped up in it. But even more importantly, the first teachers I met were wonderful, and really emphasized the creative process over the final product. They helped me feel the enjoyment of being in the creative moment.

I was amazed to see how time would fly by when I was working on art. How immersed I would become in the colors and forms and in concentrating on keeping a steady hand. I found that my mind would completely relax, let go of all thoughts, worries and obsessions. Regardless of the outcome, the process of creating art was so good for me. And I quickly began to create art that I thought was beautiful, as well.

It’s been almost 9 years since my first art class, and creating art has become one of my primary forms of therapy. Good for the mind, emotions, and spirit as well as feeling the satisfaction of the completed project.

In order to spotlight some other local, women business owners, I’d like to introduce you to one of Austin’s great drawing teachers, Laurie Zimmerman Mann. A seious student of meditation practice, Laurie’s style of teaching imparts not only drawing skills, but enjoyment of the creative moment and a love of drawing.

Laurie was a drawing teacher at the college level before leaving academia to teach private lessons and workshops. She teaches kids and adults here in Austin, and she also has created some really great instructional videos (like, really super great. Check them out!) which you can find on her website, LZMstudio.com. I know she has spots open for private lessons this summer if there are any kiddos who have a bit of extra time and an interest in drawing.

So, I hope you all have a great summer, keep supporting local businesses, get out there and make some art, and come see us for a massage soon!

Love, Asenath