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Studio Truths

First, let me say, I’m blessed to be able to pursue what I love.  Second, know that life gets in the way of our pursuit and it’s okay to pause.  Passion will bring you back.

My studio is overflowing with pieces in various degrees of completion.  I will finish them over time (who knows exactly when, some of them I tinker with for months).  The reality of so much in progress would have caused anxiety in years past.  It could be overwhelming and daunting to think about what to do first or prioritizing tasks.  Mostly, I think, because of societal conditioning to follow through with what you start in a timely manner.  I’ve talked about perspective before, how you view your circumstances, etc.  In altering perspective I opened myself up to growth and I was amazed by the result.

Because I was a regimented, scheduled soul for so many years (like 20+) the concept of not working on an individual piece to completion was foreign.  What I have noticed in changing perspective is one project often sets forth another idea, sets forth another, etc, etc.  They commence within and without addressing that inner voice, it could be lost or forgotten.  Now, when that inner voice nags at me to explore something, I listen.  In doing so, my anxiety was reduced and I am able to literally ‘create’ stress away!  What a great concept!!  It is completely refreshing to explore, experiment and choose a piece to work on based on inner voice instead of exterior deadlines.  Profound concept, I know.

One step further; this applies to most everything we do in life.  As human beings we start out as an idea, if you will, hardwired with a basic design.  Given our individual circumstances, that design is slowly developed by family, faith, friends and community.  We have a basic understanding of what we may want our finished outcome to be and then exterior influences beyond our community make an impact on our being and we morph/change.  In my 42 years here, I’ve experienced this numerous times.  Changing and improving with each phase of our ‘life project.’

Viewing my art in this manner allowed me freedom of choice  When I step into my studio and often before I allow myself the guilty pleasure of quieting my soul to hear what is being said.  I know which pieces will need attention or detail, which ones aren’t developed enough and which ones are ready to impact somebody else on their journey.  As humans, we aren’t meant to be complete until our journey has ended and I would say the same of my work.  My art will live on in the viewer, it will change/morph and inspire someone else in a way uniquely personal to them.  For this reason, and the pure joy of creating, I choose to continue the pursuit.

Happy Art-ing all you Be-YOU-tiful peeps!

 

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Inspire

INSPIRE was the word that showed up today while meditating and reflecting along with the color yellow.  (If you know anything about chakras that refers to the solar plexus, the emotional connection of our being, aka soul, where everything combines together) Being quiet and listening to that inner voice speaking kind of caught me off guard, sort of like being bungee’d straight into the sky and losing your breath along the way.  What does it all mean?

Journeys can change at any given moment.   Each day is a new chapter in that journey.  I wake up and my course has been preset, even though the schedule may say something else completely.  Be ready for detours; they come in all shapes, sizes, challenges and surprises!  I’m learning to have a goal, but perhaps not an ‘exact’ way to achieve it and let the universe guide me.

So far, each decision I’ve made on my path of great self discovery, has delivered stepping stones for my future.  I’ve been able to renew relationships from the past.  It’s brought new people into my life from seemingly out of nowhere.   I’ve given all up to “Faith”  and am able to lean on “Hope” for the future (I know these are my daughter’s names, but there was another reason we chose those names many years ago).   My past was also necessary on this journey and I’m made more aware of that each day, as well.

I know that in time, my creativity will be used to inspire others, but it is important for me to be in a good place mentally and spiritually in order to help them on their journey using creativity to foster self acceptance, move beyond fear of failure and even heal from previous hurts.

I’ve been consistently creating, joined the Valley Art Association, got over my fear of hanging my work to display for more than ‘just’ family and friends.  I feel like I can trust my creative thoughts a little more after hearing comments from others about my work and how they perceived it as I envisioned the work to be viewed.   That being said, I had a creative light bulb also surface today shortly after meditation and I cannot wait to share what I’m thinking about trying in 2019, I shared this vision with my girls tonight, and they thought it was great.   You probably will be seeing some yellow in my work for a little while, and with it some emotion also.

I told my husband and several others that it is difficult to reign in all that has happened and how fast it is hurling this direction.  It’s important to recognize that when you truly follow your destiny; you may have obstacles to overcome but nothing can stand in your way!!!

 

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Finding Means Seeing

WHO AM I?

Seeing who we are really isn’t easy because the mirror often eludes us.  My perception versus personal vision of myself were not the same and this inner conflict has paralyzed me for a minimum of two decades.  All this time I thought the fear of failure and the acceptance among my peers held me hostage when it was merely my view of the former that kept me from progressing toward my goals and dreams.  There has been a discord between what I want to be and why, and actually achieving my dreams.  Only in reclaiming ownership of my talents and gifts will I be true to who I view myself as.

We are uniquely created by a divine source that yields us special talents and gifts, yet many of us during adulthood, including myself, struggle with conflict in knowing what we are to use them for and why.  I believe they are overtly evident when we are little but as we age the visions we have of our self, our talents and our gifts changes because of the unintentional perception afforded to us by others; somehow, we regress our gifts instead of growing them.  I feel it is exceptionally rare for those perceptions to not affect our personal vision.  We hear criticism and doubt or skepticism and jealousy; diverting our map to greatness along the way.   So many have grand dreams and hopes leading into adulthood, then BAM, it hits…reality.  Why do some stop believing that their dreams cannot be their reality?

I dreamed of being an artist.  Drawing, painting, writing, singing, creating in any way that I could and inspiring others to discover the beauty they have within.  That is my gift, my talent.  When I was in high school I was encouraged to choose a ‘career’ based on my interests, gifts and talents only to be told later that what I wanted to do wouldn’t make me money.  It was a dead end career choice.  But I was bold and pig-headed and started out with a passion.  I excelled in college, for one semester only, because that is all the longer I could stay.  Private college, although small and resourceful for my needs in the arts, was too costly to continue.  It also occurred to me during that time that  I would have to travel and move across the country to achieve any sort of accomplished wage if I continued this course of education elsewhere, in addition to leaving my family and my boyfriend (now husband!) to do something I was unsure of.  I moved back home and chose the only other option I knew to be creative and that was becoming a cosmetologist.

I have no shortage of passion when it comes to being creative, it changes my demeanor and fills me with such joy sometimes I think I may explode!  It literally needs to get out onto paper.  There is an age old saying though, that resonates with me about being an artist, and it has stayed with me forever…”starving artists get paid after they are dead.”  GULP!  How in the world can I take the single most fulfilling gift that I have and make money before I’m dead!?!?

I found no way other than to watch, listen, educate and persevere as a nail tech and stylist.  This became my source of income, limited by the amount of guests I served and the amount of hours I was willing to work during the early stages of my career, which  could be endless at that time.  This continued until my husband and I had children.  Suddenly there was this new desire to be the very best parent I could be, so that is what I chose to do for several years.  It was rewarding to be able to be a stay at home mom and really all I did was exchange my income for that opportunity.  I used any extra time I could steal and spent it at our church volunteering in any way I could be creative.

The crazy turns of life really can divert us from seeing ourselves as we want to be instead we are who we think we have to be.  I really desired to be creative but was still being met with the opposition of failing to make a living doing what I truly loved.  To this day, I am dumbfounded that those of us with artistic gifts often make money for others with our talents and not ourselves because of lack of knowledge in understanding how to brand and market ourselves.  Many examples exist including executive producers of music, theater and dance, visual art, photography or sculpture.  The artist often receives a sub-par wage or volunteers time or efforts in some cases and it most certainly is not an esteemed profession like a doctor, or a lawyer or a professor.

To say I wasn’t blessed to have the opportunity to remain at home during the formidable years of my girls would be a lie.  I was able to set up a painting/drawing studio in a former office space in our home and dabbled in my arts until life got busier with the kids’ activities and my husband deciding to leave his job and go into business for himself, manifesting his dream.  He worked all hours of the day and night and to say he was exhausted would be an understatement.  Money was tight and I went back to being a hairdresser, both for the money and for my personal satisfaction of perhaps, finally, ‘making it’ in this career.  I chose a salon, that I thought would benefit me in growing a clientele because of all of the advertising and I was able to make a living (sort of) again.  I found I had really missed this profession while away and found the passion to be creative and gain more education.  The salon, as much as it advertised, however, was not the correct fit for me.  I heard of a new salon being built by a former co-worker and was soon on my way to finally making this ‘career’ thing work.  It was my dream salon.  Beautiful inside and out, a day spa that catered to body, mind and spirit with a great culture and team of co-workers.  I loved it, and was finally able to make a great wage being creative.

Life has a way of bringing us back to ourselves, though.  In this newfound illusion of success and making money in a ‘career’ that was more esteemed than being an ‘artist’ I inadvertently extended myself too much.  Nights, weekends, split-shifts, education, community events and soon I was missing out on my girl’s events and spent less and less time with family and friends.  I experienced a life changing car accident, lost my mom to dementia and my aunt whom I cared for during that time.  My kids were needing a parent to be around as my husband’s business grew larger and he needed me to assist in the business.  Life is about the choices we make in the situations we are given.   I grew cold, resentful and angry.  I had pushed away most everyone that I cared deeply about, but most disturbing of all, I lost myself and the ‘why’ in regards to my talent.

So, at my husband’s persistent suggestion (nagging), I’ve been given a great opportunity that I sometimes still think I don’t deserve.  He has grown a successful business that I  participate in daily through bookkeeping, errand running etc. and his success has afforded me the ability to take a leave of absence from this career and rediscover myself.  Giving hope to my dream that I thought was lost and it sure feels amazing to be creating art again.  A gift and passion that is family friendly and comes from within.  Ahead of me is the task of creating an income revolving around this passion, before I’m dead!! (starving artist reference)

Too often, especially for those of us who are creative, putting our gifts aside to assume reality seems more important.  I needed to find those who were successful in what I wanted to do and simply ask questions and do some research.  In my nine weeks off, I have made some definite discoveries within myself and the torch has been lit.  I have a fire again, my personal vision is re-appearing.  Now comes the difficult part, having the faith to sustain me through the obstacles of achieving my dreams.  Resisting the urge for complacency and replacing it with the enthusiasm.  Forgoing opposition to complete what has been inspired from the beginning within ME!

It is true that life “happens.”  Somewhere along the way we need to make the choice of what that life will consist of.