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Apr 5, 2023

How’s Your Follow-Through Muscle?

I recently signed up with a personal trainer at my gym. Her job is to awaken and strengthen inactive muscle groups, which I’m not motivated to do on my own. My abdominal core shouts “I don’t want to!” My heart core responds, “You’ll be happy when it’s over!”

My heart is winning. I go twice weekly and gladly pay to have this woman count reps for me, because I will not/cannot do this at home alone. I’ve tried. Kelsey is my forcing mechanism. I’ve spent the money. I show up.

Fortunately, with my art and sharing it publicly, the muscularity is strong from lots of flexing. Even when it’s painful, I carry on. For example:

In late March I saw an email about a local contest with a generous cash prize. It was a call to artists to submit a design to adorn a 3-block long subway entrance passageway (photo above). This is close to my heart because it happens to lead to my own commuter line—the #1 train.

My initial reaction? Wow! What a fun project! I can see my design on that wall. It will brighten the walk for everyone who passes by. What a great resumé addition this would make!

Which brings me to my second reaction.

That first burst of enthusiasm fizzled and ‘the committee’ piped in. “You’re a textile artist, not a graphic designer! This requires paint! You’ve never worked at this scale. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”

“AND, you don’t have the CV they require!” the committee added with a flourish.”


Fortunately, my Inner Persistence Trainer (IPT) jumped into action. She will not take no for an answer.

“Jane,” my IPT replied, “remember when you needed a resumé last year for the residency application? You hired someone. You can hire someone to create this CV.”

That fretful inner child needed to be soothed. Her tantrum lasted under 10 minutes. Truthfully, it used to paralyze me.

It takes a borough to launch an artist. Fortunately, I’ve found my peeps. I hired a ‘real’ graphic designer to help me adjust some lettering to fit my design. My awesome art assistant got my PowerPoint sketch shapes aligned and evened out. My action partner (a working NYC actress) validated and affirmed that ALL creators are constantly auditioning, applying, submitting, and being judged. It’s part of the job description.

So that’s what I’ve done. I hired a CV-writing expert on Upwork.com and went through 90% of the process on my own, listing my achievements, education, and relevant information for her to format.

You’re getting an in-progress report here. I’d love to wrap this up all neat and tidy saying, “I won!” But, instead, I’m opening my kimono and letting you into my process.

Win or lose, I’ll share my entry in my next newsletter. Here are a couple of the visual elements Washington Heights residents might someday enjoy:

When I’m not applying to contests, I’m working on new penny rug designs using materials and inspiration I have on hand. Here are a few of my latest sketches.

I’m also planning a 1-day Vision Statement workshop in May where you’ll work with me to create your own vision for a future you design. Having a Vision Statement (I’ve had many over my decades as an entrepreneur) has allowed me to actualize my dreams. Here’s an excerpt from my current aspirational vision:

I have expanded my studio space by taking over the apartment next door when the former owner moved out. The entire apartment is dedicated to my art – a gallery with my work on the walls and my pillows on the built-in banquette units encircling the walls. There is a fabulous sleigh bed for my occasional guests and a pantry for storing food and large quantities of inventory that I like to keep on hand. There is a huge table filling the center of the well-lit living room, and there are shelves with containers of my felted wools, a wall unit for my threads, beads and supplies. A well-padded ironing board is set up artistically with the best quality iron already plugged in.

My favorite part is the photo area with proper lights all set up for each new piece I want to photograph in process and complete.

The space is bright and airy with music playing at a soft level for energy and joy – Carly Simon, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, show tunes and classical pieces are always in the air.

Our job as visionaries is to provide the ‘what’ leaving the ‘how’ up to the Universe. I’ll guide you through all of that. Email me at jane@janepollak.com if you’d like to be notified about this event.

Best wishes to you all for what you celebrate in the Spring!

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