A Call For Silver Linings: Simon Burke of Mo’s Art Supply Shares Some Good News

It’s not often we get a retailer submitting to Art Dog! In fact this is our first ever submission from our art supply retailer community, and we were delighted to read a slice of good news. Simone is the co-owner of Mo’s Art Supply, a retailer with three locations in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Covington Louisiana. She’s known in the industry as a strong communicator — recently featured in NAMTA’s newsletter, she also writes regularly for her store’s blog. In the picture above, she and her husband Curran dressed up and had a “date” on their screen porch with Old Fashioneds and their children as waitstaff!

In times of stress, silver linings are crucial for keeping us calm. Noticing the unexpected good in a challenging situation allows us to take a breath and even reset a little bit. 

So, in the interest of lowering our cortisol levels and peeping some glimmers of positivity, here are seven good things Simone is noticing in her community:

People are unleashing their creativity onto the world. 

People who “used to,” people who “never have,” people who “always wanted to,” and people who already were. Everyone with more time, sitting down and using some of it to express themselves in new ways with new thoughts, new perspectives and a greater sense of freedom to experiment.

People are lounging, without the guilt usually involved.  

Binge watching, sleeping late, sleeping in tents, sleeping on sofas, sleeping in the middle of the day, staying up late, making comfort food, drinking cocktails at home, taking unnecessary baths, sitting in hammocks, sitting on porches, watching birds, playing games, having picnics, making bonfires, listening to old music.

We are reminded that limitations can actually foster creativity.

I have always embraced the notion that limitations foster creativity. I like challenging myself to cook things with only ingredients I already have in the house. I like moving around the furniture and artwork I already own. I like making a new outfit with clothes already in my closet. I like painting from poorly composed, fuzzy snapshots. Sometimes I forget I like all these things, but not now!

People are enjoying nature.  

Everyone, everywhere knows what I mean. It’s as if people forgot how wonderful it is to be outside, and they finally put down devices and remote controls, and stepped out into the world they had abandoned. I know not everyone has been so lucky, but we have experienced, without a doubt, the most spectacular spring that Louisiana has ever seen. Usually spring is not even considered a real season here, and this year it has lasted well into May! Unbelievable. I have asked older people, like my Dad, if he can ever remember a spring in New Orleans this good.  He said, “Never”.

People are getting back to writing. 

We have sent and received more personal letters during this quarantine than probably in the last five years combined. Real letters that arrive in a mailbox. Another thing we forgot could be so exciting.

People are re-learning to be alone. 

This is a complicated one. Society has become a bit neurotic about needing to “be a part of,” “be included in,” join, and above all make sure they share every single experience they have with whoever is willing to look at a post. For a lot of people this quarantine period has erased the pressure to worry about being so social, and it feels like a collective sigh of relief. I’m not saying that a community is not important and that we won’t be glad to get together again, but the ability to quietly enjoy spending time with yourself is still an incredibly important and rewarding skill to be honed. A lot of artists are already ahead of the game with this one!

Kids are doing awesome kid things. And parents are agreeing to them! 

Here are a few from our house: dyeing hair (warning: we now have one pink and one blue bathtub), cutting off dyed hair, making pinatas, learning to flip crepes, having food fights, learning Morse code (warning: a lot of beeping noises instead of words), learning to play chess, switching rooms (twice), abandoning rooms and moving into tents, writing poems, writing songs, writing letters, writing menus, staging dinners, being chefs, being waitresses, planting seeds, helping stock art supplies, trying new art supplies, making a thousand paintings & drawings, canoeing, fishing, dog-training, learning horrible internet dance moves, learning how to use a vacuum, and a washing machine, and a dryer, and a dishwasher. Don’t get me wrong. We’ve all been pills and had mood swings, and needed to take a break from each other. But still pretty awesome!

Do you have silver linings you’d like to add? We’d love to hear from you. Submit your silver linings to Art Dog via email or message us on social media.

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