Being Creative is a Way of Life

being-creativeFor me, being creative isn’t a hobby–it’s something that I feel pulled toward, compelled to do, and couldn’t stop if I tried. (There was a bleak, dark period in my life where I did, indeed, try to stuff my creativity and be “sensible” and “grown-up.” I was positively miserable and I certainly wasn’t a joy to be around. A vital part of who I am was missing. I suggest you avoid trying to squelch your creativity. It’s messy and painful and unnecessary.)

In the past six to eight months I have been working on embracing the title of “artist.” More and more I am realizing that being an artist isn’t so much about making money by way of your art (although that would be an enormous blessing in some ways), it’s about the act of creating, of making art. (The Negative Committee in my head has tried valiantly to convince me that “real artists” make money with their work…which I have over the years, but not so much that I could live off of it…and so somehow that doesn’t count to them. I disagree.) For me, being an artist is about the overwhelming need to create and allowing oneself to do so. Nothing more, nothing less. Huzzah! What a fantastic revelation!

In the process of embracing the title of “artist” as who I am, not what I do, I’ve started playing more, giving myself the freedom to create with abandon, trying not to criticize myself. (Note: Trying. It’s an ongoing thing.) I discovered mixed media art well over a year ago but only recently got up the courage to try it. It’s been a BLAST! In 2013 I am giving myself the gift of participating in a year-long online mixed media class called Life Book 2013 by Willowing Arts. (We just started and there’s still time if you are interested…it’s AMAZING and incredibly reasonably priced for what you get. I highly recommend it.) As part of the experience, I will be posting my completed weekly lesson each week…which will also help me get back in the saddle of blogging regularly. (Yay!)

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to in the past month….plus a look at my very first LifeBook 2013 lesson. Okay, first things first.

My most dedicated patron commissioned three mosaic garden frogs for the holidays. I spent most of December (okay, all of December) working on three pieces that look like this:

Frog

There are two more that I don’t have pictures of on my phone. (Not sure how that happened…) They were each unique…and are now living their new lives, waiting to go into someone’s garden when the weather warms!

Below is my new favorite lettering piece…a reminder to myself to always to what I can today to “do my future self a favor.” I think I should frame it and hang it in my house as a reminder!

future-self

A lettering piece of a quote by Galileo that I have always thought was beautiful. I am pretty sure I will be watercoloring this one…but haven’t done so yet.

stars

Drumroll, please! The very first “warm up assignment” of LifeBook 2013 was to create a simple Fairy Art Mother to accompany us on our year-long journey. Here’s my first attempt…and I must say, the Negative Committee in my head was super ACTIVE and more than happy to tell me that what I was doing wasn’t right, wasn’t art and that I should just give up. I’m glad to say that I didn’t…and here she is! The yellow around her eyes is much brighter in the picture below than it is on the piece…photographs interestingly, I guess. Doesn’t she have a kind face? I love it!

FAM-closeup

Here’s a whole body shot…

FAM-body

And finally, the full piece. I will continue to add her kind affirmations to the piece as the year moves on…hence the empty space around her.

FAM-full

Creating the Fairy Art Mother was a great way to start the course and was an enormous challenge in many ways–not in the creating, but in the not listening to the Negative Committee that tells me my art isn’t arty enough–whatever that means! I am pleased that I pushed on and created something that I love despite “mistakes” and “wrong turns” along the way. I created the piece that I was supposed to create…and I got to make a fantastic mess in the process! LOL (I love the messiness of mixed media…I find it intensely satisfying to “break the rules” a bit.)

Anyway, happy 2013, fair reader. I hope that you will embrace your own creativity in the new year and live your truth bravely and loudly, despite what others think. You are truly amazing…

Creative wishes,

Rachel

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