Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just Because - A Bonus Blog

My next Living The Artist’s Way blog post on chapter 6 isn’t scheduled until next week. But I’m feeling called to share things with you this week. So this is a bonus blog!

For the past few days I’ve been feeling full of self-doubt and insecurity. I’ve been wondering where my art fits in among so many talented and inspiring artists leaving their creative mark on the world. I’m not the only artist with the message to love yourself, honor your creativity, and to follow your dreams. So how do I stand out? How do I shine my light within a community of so many other bright lights?
I took my feelings and questions into meditation this morning. I set my alarm for 20 minutes. But before it went off I was tying my shoe laces as I listened to my intuition to go for a walking meditation outside.
Here in Colorado the wild flowers are just now in bloom. As I walked, I admired (and collected) a variety of wild flowers. There were SO many colors, shapes, and sizes – just in my back yard. Imagine the variety of flowers throughout Colorado, the United States, and the world!
That’s when I got it! That God/Spirit/Higher Power (whatever you chose to call “it”) didn’t stop at just one flower. The variety of flowers is boundless. With hybrids, the variety of flowers is infinite. So if it’s true for flowers, and if you believe in Oneness like I do, than creative expression must also be infinite.

Following are some other thoughts that dropped into my consciousness during my walk:
Stop Comparing. Each and every one of us is a unique expression of Spirit and on our own path. No one else has lived your life or had your sequence of experiences that made you the person you are today. Your wisdom, your insights, your expression, your ART, are yours and yours alone. 
Redefine Your Definition of Success. It’s easy to beat ourselves up if our career, art or otherwise, isn’t as far along or as profitable as someone else’s. But we can’t define our success based on what others are doing or have achieved. 
What are your hopes and dreams for your art? Do you continue to experiment, play, and try new things? Do you challenge yourself to take risks and do things that scare you? 
Also, think about where you and your art were this time last year, five years ago, even ten years ago. I’m willing to bet, if you stop to think about it, that you have grown, expanded, and have a lot to be proud of.
Make Art Just Because. Don’t make art with the sole intention of marketing and selling it. Make art just for you. Make art that you find beautiful and inspiring. Then you may share it with the world. But not because you have to, because you want to. 

A bonus blog deserves a bonus creativity prompt!

Bonus Creativity Prompt: Mini Vision/Inspiration Boards
Feeling creatively blocked or uninspired? I know if I go a few days without getting into my studio I get stage freight at the idea of putting paint to canvas. To get my creative juices flowing again I’ve started to make mini vision/inspiration boards.  
What You Will Need:

2-3 old magazines. A variety is best.
Scissors (or you can use your hands).
One 8-1/2 x 11” sheet of paper. I like to work with colored construction paper.
Glue or other adhesive. I use Tombow MONO Adhesive, permanent bond.
A timer. I use the alarm on my cell phone.
1 hour of uninterrupted time.

How it works: 

Set your timer for 20 minutes.

Grab a magazine and turn it upside down. Yep, you read that right – upside down. The objective here is to get a different perspective. 

Start quickly flipping through the pages. Don’t think, just feel. Tear out anything and everything that appeals to you and evokes a positive emotion. It might be a color, a pattern, a word, or the (upside down) composition. Don’t judge. Just tear! 

Continue to flip through your upside down magazines and set tear-outs aside until your alarm goes off. 
Once your alarm does go off, set magazines aside and reset your timer for 20 more minutes.

Spread your tear-outs of images and words in front of you, turning them right side up. Notice if there are any themes. This is when you can start to edit, keeping only those images and words that most appeal to you. 

Start trimming the images and words with scissors. Or, you might feel called to tear the pages with your hands, leaving the raw edges. 

When your timer goes off it’s time to start gluing, so re-set your timer for the last 20 minute increment. 

Grab your 8-1/2 x 11” sheet of paper. White will do, but I find it fun to use a piece of colored construction paper. You’ll also need your glue or other adhesive. 

Arrange and glue your torn out and trimmed images and words onto your paper.  

Once you’re done, you will have created a mini vision/inspiration board that is unique and beautiful – just like YOU!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sleep and Solo Artist Dates

In this week’s Living The Artist’s Way blog series video I discuss the importance of sleep and share my favorite sleep aid. It’s a follow-up to my last video when I mentioned that I’m not sleeping as much these days because of all the creative projects I’m working on. I can’t stress enough how important sleep is (or how much I should follow my own advice)!

As promised in the video, today I went on a solo artist date. It's my first official one since I started the 12-month Living The Artist’s Way blog series 5 months ago! I walked a couple miles to pick my car up from the repair shop instead of using their shuttle service. Along the way, I snapped a few photos of my beautiful neighborhood.

Before I even made it out of the parking lot, I found this cute dresser/desk discarded at the dumpster. It’s proof that the Universe supports me! Once it’s cleaned up, it will be a great addition to my art studio for organizing the ephemera I use when creating mixed media pieces.

Other updates:

I signed a 6 month contract with gallery24seven.com. I’m super excited to be partnering with them! The new online art gallery launches in June. More details to come!

My first 3 recycled flowers got accepted into the recycling show at 40 West Arts! Details can be found on my Events page.

I’m working on four more recycled flowers. They’ll be available for purchase through my new etsy shop soon!

I registered for Flora Bowley’s next “Bloom True” intuitive painting e-course. It starts Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day). I’m SO excited I could pee my pants! You can learn about Flora’s awesomeness and register here.

And I read Jessica Swift’s e-book, Jump Trust Repeat. It’s an art business book FULL of inspiration and information for creative entrepreneurial types. One of my favorite quotes from her book is, “Do the things that scare you, and you’ll be shocked and amazed at what happens when you do!” Jessica’s book can be purchased here. While you’re at her site, check out her cute rain boots!

Phew! I’ve been a busy artist…

June is the 6th month (and it’s almost here!) so I’m starting to read Chapter 6, “Recovering a Sense of Abundance,” in Julia Cameron’s classic, The Artist’s Way. Until my next post on Wednesday, June 5, merry art making!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The World Needs Your Creative Ideas

In addition to discussing chapter 5, “Recovering A Sense of Possibility,” in Julia Cameron’s classic book, The Artist’s Way, this week I announce exciting news about the advancement of my art career since my last vlog post just two weeks ago! And, I reveal the gritty truth about what lead me onto a creative path. That part has not been a secret. But I’ve been keeping the announcement under my hat for two weeks so I’ve been bursting at the seams to share my exciting news with you. So please watch!

Following are pictures of the recycled flowers I created for the Recycled Art and Vivid Colors show at 40 West Arts in Lakewood. The flowers in this series are made from buttons, corrugated cardboard, egg carton, envelope, foreign language book, gift wrap, paper towel used to clean paint brushes, plastic food packaging, plastic shopping bag, and Styrofoam. Oh, and they DID get accepted into the juried June show! :)
"Recycled Flower 1." Mixed media on wood.

"Recycled Flower 2." Mixed media on wood.
"Recycled Flower 3." Mixed media on wood.

And, in case you missed it in the video, my reflection, "Feel It To Heal It," was published in the June 2013 issue of Creative Thought magazine. The little girl on the cover is a perfect reflection of my inner child! She's even at the ocean, where I will live someday... 
As for the top secret announcement... Well, you'll just have to watch the video to find out! ;)