I invite you to join me on a creative journey. . .

Are you restless? Are you wishing for something creatively fulfilling but have little time? Would you like a varied conversation with people of different disciplines who offer thought provoking questions? Are you curious by nature, intrigued by new ideas or old ideas that have lain dormant? I believe many of us, including me, fit these descriptions. This is why I am moderating this web site. I invite you to participate or lurk until “something” feels compelling. You will hear many voices and be offered varied projects.

Please allow me to tell you a bit about myself…

My hope in providing this site is to encourage people who believe they are not creative to “play” with those of us who practice our creativity.

“WOW,” vs. downward sigh, “Ohhhhhh…”

As a woman of a certain age, I have lived long enough to interpret meaning from body language and single syllable, single word sentences.

When introducing myself to a group and state that I have been running my own architectural firm since 1981, the general reply is, “WOW,” often followed by a wish that “they” had followed this path. We can then pursue a vibrant conversation about the many facets of creativity.

However, when I introduce myself as an artist, there is usually a mixture of discomfort, an audible, “Ohhhhh,” and rapid eye movement looking for the nearest escape from further conversation.

I am the same person in both instances, just with a different label.

Looking back, I can assess I was “a creative” from the start putting on plays for the family and preferring to create the doll house rather than play with the doll house. I could see things in my mind and turned most conversations into visual cartoons in my head. Didn’t everyone?

Fast forward.

Architecture, making concrete other peoples’ dreams, has been a good career and I am fortunate to have met wonderful clients and worked with extraordinary artisans who execute ideas. However, I have always wanted to do more on a personal creative level. This website is one tangible reality.

I don’t think of my life as remarkable other than I never took “no” as the only answer. Rather, I would look for suitable solutions. After earning my undergraduate degree in philosophy, I discovered most colleges would not allow women in their architectural degree program. Therefore, I crafted a program that gave me the training without the degree and proceeded on to a successful career.

I enjoy learning. I’m comfortable with solitude. I am also tenacious when wrangling an idea to fruition. I have enormous admiration for people with skill in any discipline, people who are thoughtful and productive, people whose lives are full of purpose and meaning.

I love to laugh.

My two sons are successful in their careers and my twin grandsons, who live far away, have just started with Instagram. Technology has its place!

Teaching, Honors, Publicationswhy i do this ann grasso

Throughout my career, I was happy to teach theories of design and space planning at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design’s Continuing Education programs. I was invited to speak at national conferences both for NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) and the Builders Association. I was honored with the James Foster Award, the highest US award for kitchen design. Housing magazines frequently featured my designs implemented by contractors for our clients.

More recently, I have been teaching pattern art as a method of stress relief, focus, and mindfulness. I am a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). This is my second year teaching in local schools. I offer presentations at Art Guilds, Chamber meetings, leadership programs and business team-building gatherings on “accessing creativity” and a variety of related subjects.

I have participated in two publications using the mandala stencils. I designed: 4N1© and 8N1© both of which promote easing into mandala making.

Currently I am working on publishing three types of coloring opportunities, Invitation to Color, and two coloring programs that target specific audiences: dementia and autism spectrum.

I am deeply committed to collaboration and have created a number of programs that demonstrate ways to work together. You can learn more about these projects at Collaborations.

My wish is for everyone to discover this birthright connection and its benefits. Together, let’s promote a creative life.