I wanted to start our blog by giving you some background on us- who we are, how we got started and what we want to do!
I teamed up with Jack, my son, to create ArtJack. It's a brand new experience for me, but I'm used to brand new experiences since Jack was born 25 years ago.
Jack was my first born, so he taught me how to be a mom, which is something I've always wanted to be. And then, he taught me how to be an Autism mom, which is something I never expected to be. (And as any Autism mom knows very well, learning how to be an Autism mom is quite an education, and not for the faint of heart.) But I had to learn how to be the right kind of mom for Jack and I had to learn quick!
Eventually, I found the best way for me to learn how to be Jack's mom was to learn by being a professional in a field that helped me understand Jack from the inside out. So I went into the field of Occupational Therapy, and loved learning about the best ways to help people pursue their OCCUPATIONS.
I find that often, people think of an occupation as a profession or a job. And a person's employment certainly can be part of an occupation. But everyone, whether they have a job they work or not, has occupations in life. Let me explain this a little.
The American Occupational Therapy Association states, "Occupations are the activities that people do every day to give their life meaning and purpose. Occupations can be done alone or with family members and friends. Occupations can be done at home, at work or school, and in the community." And, "Occupations help to shape clients' identities and influence their overall health and wellbeing."
So as an Occupational Therapy practitioner, I was well aware of the importance of the need for everyone to participate in their personal occupations. And I knew that it's often difficult for people who have Autism to participate in the occupations they prefer without help from others. Understanding who Jack is, and what his chosen occupations are, I had a dream to support his dreams for many years.
When Jack finished school, I had already been planning ArtJack for well over a year, and conceptualizing it for much longer. And here we are again- I'm learning everything I need to know to run this business and it's been a "baptism by fire" for sure.
We have had so many obstacles to contend with since we started- zoning issues, location issues, money issues, and many others that have had us taking off with our business at a sleepy turtle's pace. But we are here, and we keep pushing with no plans to do anything but move forward as long as we can.
It's been rough, but I would not trade it in for anything. I focus day to day on the absolute joy I have experienced creating this space with Jack. Most parents don't get to spend the kind of time that I've been able to spend with Jack with their 25 year olds. And I've learned so much about him- he is a wiz at putting together furniture, sheer genius with any task that requires visual-spacial processing skills, and his art remains a joy to behold for me.
In addition, I'm so pleased to be in a space where we get to create all day. Even with the obstacles we have faced, it's so satisfying to enter our space. You can feel the joy we have sparked when you walk in the door.
We want to share that joy, our space with our community. So here is your invitation to join us! Take a class. Come to an Open Studio. Throw your child a birthday party. We want to see you in our space at ArtJack.
Stay tuned. And we will see you soon.