Creative habits for the Effective Artist of the 21st Century

22.2.17

 Dominik and I were talking about what creative habits we want to foster in the next months and so we began to compile this list.

We plan on living by these and hope they are useful and inspiring to you!


  1. Never start before you are ready.
  2. Always aim for perfection
  3. Check facebook (real quick).
  4. If you are unsure how, don’t.
  5. Let your instincts guide you. Never plan it out.
  6. Make sure all your loved one’s needs and wants are met first.
  7. Nutrition is key. Only begin after cooking an elaborate healthy meal.
  8. Now wash the dishes.
  9. If the first attempt is a failure, it’s probably not worth your time and trouble.
  10. Share your process with others. Post a selfie on instagram before you start.
  11. Check the music/art store for new materials you might want to use for your next project.
  12. Be an expert. Watch as many tutorials on the subject as you can find.
  13. Spend adequate time comparing yourself to better artists. Be very conscious of your weaknesses.
  14. If you haven’t been in the studio for over a month - you are likely not a real artist.
  15. Sold records/artwork are the true measure of quality work.
  16. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Surround yourself with people that don’t understand or care for art. This will help keep you grounded.
If you're an artist, what are some creative habits you can share with us? 

Simple Van Renovation

17.2.17


To see what the van looked like when we bought it check out the "Before" post I posted a week or so ago. Dom and I have zero experience with car repair and almost just as little experience with carpentry/ building things. We were very happy to have bought a van that as mostly built out already.  But we were excited to learn and make additions and changes to the interior of our first car!

To start we stripped everything out of the van except the front 3 seats. 




Then we deep cleaned every surface and crevasse.  Dominik's oma (grandma) is a cleaning wizard so we summoned her enthusiasm to help us get the job done. After cleaning everything we began putting up this self adhesive insulation foam covering the entire interior of the van. 

 Then we painted the wall mount boards and the shelving white.
We sealed the storage boxes and put on nicer handles.


We then began putting in the side paneling, reinstalling the newly painted shelving and bed board. Next up was to install some floor insulation and laminate flooring.



With the help of Dom's cousin we installed a new sink.


I made some curtains for the back and side windows.

And still to come are some solar panels for the roof. 
Again, we were so happy to have a mostly finished interior and to have the freedom to alter it. It's not the best build out but it is working so well for us so far. To see our semi finished van renovation check out this post. The photos for that post were taken right after our 5 weeks of summer travels in Scandinavia. It is such a great place to live and I can't wait to spend two months in the van very soon. 

Dominik and I are traveling to Spain and Portugal with our little baby Vigo.  We can't wait!

Anna





15 Ways To Save Money

15.2.17



My husband Dominik and I are both taking 2 years off of work to invest in our newborn son Vigo and in our art. We are pleased to be living in Germany, which has fantastic parental leave benefits. We can each take up to 3 years off and expect the same pay at our jobs, when we return. One of us can get 14 months of 60% of our salary, or one can take 24 months of 30%. We are opting for the 24 months and hoping to supplement our income with Dominik's music, my art, and airbnb/subletting our flat.

We are choosing time over money for the next few years. We haven't always chosen time over money, the past 5 years we have chosen money over time because we were in debt and saving up. But now we are out of debt and have a new little baby so time is more important. Living with less money will be a tough transition. We have to cut down on expenses and live on the cheap, because we are living on a third of our income for the next two years! So, I'm collecting a list of things that we do to save money. The crazy thing is that these things are not only cheaper but either more healthy, environmentally friendly, or time giving.

1. Buy second hand: most things you need are in fine condition second hand, and you're saving them from landing in a landfill, just yet.
2. Turn off lights and electronics when you're not using them.
3. Cook at home
4. Limit your "Going Out": invite friends over for drinks or dinner, have a dance party in the living room. Cocktails and cheaper when made at home too!
5. Make your own coffee and tea: save coffee as a treat or a date
6. Use the local library
7. Borrow things instead of buying them: People are usually happy to share, and to have their seldom used things to be in use.
8. Buy things you really love and will use for a long time.
9. Sell things you don't love or are not used anymore
10. Mend clothes or get things mended instead of throwing away favorite items (example: shoes and bags)
11. Drink Water-rather than pop, beer, or juice
12. Eat less meat: not only cheaper and healthier, but also more animal and environmentally friendly. win, win, win, win
13. Write and stick to your grocery list
14. Rent out your extra room, or your whole home when you are away: Airbnb!
15. Watch the documentary Minimalists and you'll be convinced that life is about quality not quantity.

These are things that Dominik and I have been doing for years. We have swallowed our pride and asked to borrow all kinds of things from friends, we shop mostly second hand, and we cook at home a whole lot. It's interesting that many of these money saving things can encourage community, sustainability, and healthy lifestyle.

What things do you do to save money? What have I forgotten?

Thanks for reading!

Anna

Van Renovation: Before

11.2.17

We bought our Ford Transit in march 2016. Just about the time we got pregnant. We bought it from this hippy couple in Bavaria. It was super cheap. We knew it needed some motor repair, but we decided to kind of risk it and buy the van anyway. It had a very simplistic interior build which we were excited to alter and repair. It was a little bit dank in the interior but we liked the general layout and were excited to spiff it up with a few hundred euros. 

The motor problems on the other hand were a gamble. Dominik and I didn't know anything about cars really. It could have been a quick 1,000 Euro repair, or a few thousand. Let's just say it was more than just a few thousand in repairs... Oh well, luckily we had saved enough for it not to break our bank. This was the first car either of us had ever owned and we were ecstatic! It would be perfect for playing shows, transporting paintings, and traveling.



The van did feel like it hadn't been cleaned in years. We wanted to redo parts of the interior build completely. We didn't want any separators under the bed for storage because we knew we wanted as much room as possible for music equipment and art transport. We were going to redo the "kitchen." It was also a bit nasty and we didn't want many things to be permanent and limit flexibility for storage.

Our van was going to be a band-mobile and a camper. It needed to have everything to be able to live in it, but it also couldn't have too much permanent storage compartments that would limit filling it with music equipment when we were driving to shows.


The moldy sheepskins, carpet and "artwork"on the walls had to go. The found wood pieces were also a bit too rustic for our liking.










The van ended up being in the shop for over a month, because even the mechanics couldn't figure out what was malfunctioning in the motor. Naturally they found several other things that needed to be replaced as well.

But the first step for the interior rebuild was to tear everything out and clean the entire interior! More on that soon.

Thanks for reading lovelies.


Anna
SaveSave

Nest in Me - On Being A Selfish Mama

8.2.17


Being pregnant and having a child has been quite a practice of self sacrifice. I know that I'm only at the beginning of motherhood, but since the beginning of pregnancy I have known that my body has a totally different function. It was clear that my body and my heart were not my own anymore. 

I had an incredibly relaxed pregnancy. Which I am sooo grateful for. I was able to get tons of rest and send all kinds of positive vibes my baby's way. I was able to visit family in the US, I spent 5 weeks living in the van in Scandinavia, I went for an artist residency in Berlin for a month, and was coddled by family for 4 weeks before the little babe joined us. 

Pregnancy and all the bodily changes are not fun. The nausea, aches, itches, fears, and weight was tough to deal with at times. All the advice and input that you get was sometimes hard not to be annoyed by. But what was occurring in my body, the baby's growth was just amazing! I loved that my body and the baby did all the work. All I had to do was take care of myself, eat, drink, and sleep. 

Before this little baby joined us, people kept saying, "enjoy life now before the baby comes." They'd say this as if life were going to end when the baby comes. "Be ready to put your dreams and desires on the back-burner." It was tough not to take it personally and for me to feel like they thought I wasn't aware that life would change with a child. I know they just meant that I should cherish the times then, without a baby, and that I needed to prepare and be ready to sacrifice myself. This was frustrating to hear because, I knew that I would happily and naturally put myself and my desires to the side.

I knew that when I would have my baby, I wouldn't need to be reminded or encouraged to put myself to the side. I would actually need more encouragement not to forget myself and to make time for me and what keeps me healthy and happy. 


Since our little babe has arrived I have been so happy to feed him and care for him. I am happy to put my needs to the side and love on him all the time. Dominik has been encouraging to me to take time for me. He insists and encourages me to make art and blog, taking little Vigo for a number of hours during the day (with nursing breaks of course) to give me time to write my morning pages and make. 


As a mama, I naturally will put my child's needs before mine. But I know that I will be a much happier mama for Vigo if I take care of myself first. If my needs aren't taken care of, I can't be a happy and healthy mama. It's important for me to remember to put the oxygen mask on me first and then put it on my child. 

Any other selfish mamas and papas out there? How can you prioritize yourself and your kids, oh not to mention your partner? friends? 

Thanks for reading lovelies.

Anna



Calm Chaos-Anna Baer Solo Art Show

27.1.17



At the end of October my first solo show in 6 years was open to the public at the wonderful Action House space in Heidelberg. Over 100 visitors came to see my work and celebrate with me. My show was called Calm Chaos;
"Is control an illusion? How much control do we really have? In this show I investigate these extremes and want to bring you to a tranquil restful space regardless of how in control you feel. I am curious about finding calm and contentment in the places we are and the places we want to be, both physically and emotionally."













My good friend and musician Julius Gale played some of his wicked electro tunes to accompany my artwork. He writes beautifully calm yet upbeat music which we all enjoyed immensely.





Thank you to all who came to my show opening. It was such a fun night and I loved hearing your feedback and response to my recent work. I sold a number of pieces from the show on that night and the following days. But there are still several of them for sale if you're interested. I'm steadily updating my online shop on Saatchiart.com/annabaer

Thank you for reading lovelies,

Anna