It’s 11:05pm and I’m here writing to you with three days left of 2017.
You’ll be reading this in the future, so first let me wish you a year of simple E.S.P. (more on this later.)
I had lots of ideas about what to write to you when I first got invited – thank you FEW, I’m very grateful! – but right now, it’s December 28th and, after packing up the very first home I shared with my husband a few hours ago, none of that stuff seems important.
Moving proved more emotional than we expected.
Pulling everything out of everywhere and seeing it all jumbled on the floor. Life laid bare on the carpet.
Memories spilling out of containers to mix with the dust of forgotten places.
That’s the thing about moving. It always seems so much easier than it is!
Stuff from 20 years ago. Stuff from India. Stuff that time forgot.
Stuff from London. Stuff from France. Stuff that I forgot.
Bicycles, books, jumpers and jam jars, lampshades, letters and mama-knitted sweaters.
And last but not least, the kitchen sponge! (aka Kato code for the last straw)
I look down at the new keys.
The keys to our new home and first atelier.
And have never felt so hopeful.
Aside from the two days when I was obsessed about being a pilot, I always knew that I wanted to be an artist.
My sketchbooks were constant companions and helped me navigate all kinds of things in my formative years – and, thanks to my rebellious, headstrong parents, there was never a dull moment! (you can read more about those years, here).
Not knowing how to express myself in words at the time, I sought solace in the blank pages.
A place where I could be who I wanted to be, dream what I wanted to dream and, quite simply, digest.
Fast forward to arriving in Japan twelve years ago, and the dragons I painted in my early years (you can meet them here), and art was still helping me connect with others, with myself and with a new country.
2012, the year of the dragon, presented my next big milestone: leaving full time employment to start my own creative services business.
And now, after six years of tryings and failings and learnings, countless events, workshops and classes, the business that my husband and I continue to build is still a living, breathing testament to our core philosophy: Art is for everyone.
Tired of copy and repeat, cookie-cutter courses, I spent the years designing drawing classes that allowed people to see that they really could draw on their own and in their own style. Classes devoted to making discoveries and lifelong learning.
Now an original, creative empowerment programme that involves our whole family, When In Doubt, Draw, is everything we dreamed it could be. And still growing!
Having our own atelier is the next, big step for us and we’re beyond grateful to walk through that door and see what we can make happen in 2018.
If last year was the year of preparation, 2017 has been the year of invitation and the next, the year of running with it.
It’s also the year of the dog, and so, listening to the gentle, contented snoring of my new, four legged friends, Doris and Lucy, let me finish by coming back to that E.S.P I wished you earlier:
Because what I’ve come to learn, most of all this year, is that it’s all so much simpler when we pay more attention to these three things.
You can find out more about Divya’s creative empowerment programme, When In Doubt, Draw, here with 20% off the course for FEW members.
Q&A with Color and Style Consultant Maud Janssen
Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Reinvigoration & Reinvention: Color Your Life,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with Maud Janssen, a color and Style consultant working for the British company House of Colour. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Learn about how finding the right colors that suit you […]Published on 9th January 2018
FEW Community Survey 2017 Results
Results of the FEW Community Survey 2017 conducted in the summer have been released. This survey, which was sent to FEW members as well as the wider FEW community, was designed primarily to determine overall satisfaction level among current FEW members and wider community so as to ensure FEW is accomplishing its organizational mission and vision. Of the 158 […]Published on 4th January 2018
The Best of FEW: Fall 2017
Happy New Year from FEW! Thank you to everyone who joined us at all our events since we kicked off the 2017-2018 FEW Year in September. As the go-to place for personal and professional learning, connection and inspiration, FEW is proud to offer various events, resources, and networking opportunities for internationally-minded women in Japan. We look […]Published on 4th January 2018
November 2017 Women’s Start-up Club Recap: Marketing with a Purpose
On November 29, the Women’s Start Up Club hosted Zsuzsanna Jarfas to speak about her experience and run an interactive workshop on “Marketing with a Purpose.” Every business needs a strategy to help define the direction and vision of that business. According to Zsuzsanna, the definition of strategy is “a plan to reach a financial […]Published on 4th January 2018
January Strategic Partner News
Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and […]Published on 4th January 2018
Brunch Mixer at Blu Jam Cafe in Daikanyama
Join us for delicious food and great networking over brunch at Blu Jam Cafe on Sunday, January 28, at a special edition of our monthly midweek lunch gathering.
Women's Start Up Club: Online Presence - How to Create Content Online
Join us on Jan. 31 as Wolfgang Bierer of Endeavor SBC KK shares what online presence tools are available and gives a deeper understanding of the best ones for your particular business needs.