I made a commitment to myself to make more art. It’s been a round-about path to where I am at right now, but as things often do, I seem to have come full circle; as I am back on the blog. Lately, I’ve taken a step back from the blog. Simply because I was getting a low-grade buzzing in my ear that was making it feel like a bit of chore.
This, combined with some real nastiness on the internet, led me to think it’s not really a place I want to hang out. The online blogging community can be incredibly warm and embracing, full of people who want to engage and connect. But it can sometimes be crowded out by acidic, ambitious people who behave poorly; just like real life I guess.
So it’s probably safe to say that I was feeling a bit jaded by it all. I decided to scale back. I went to Twitter as a source for interesting and new articles, and I’ve revisited Instagram, which I am newly enamoured with. Things have a changed a bit on Instagram in the last year, and I’m quite liking the way it rolls. I reduced my visits to Facebook, and am still contemplating disengaging from it entirely.
But I also made a commitment to make time for more art. The lovely Rebecca Johnston – a Scotland-based artist and writer, who is behind Dainty Dora’s Inspiration Emporium, regularly inspires me with her beautiful art work, but also her willingness to experiment and take a risk with her creativity. Have a look at her site, I’m sure she will have the same affect on you.
As part of this commitment to creative time, not just for me, but for the entire family, I have plans to convert our outdoor room into an art space. (In Australia, this room is known as a Bungalow – but not wanting to mislead UK readers, it is more of a freestanding room, like a studio). So very soon we will have a family art studio with all our art supplies out, and available to just wander in and use, without the palaver of setting up and packing away.
I read an inspiring article on Brain Pickings (by Maria Popova) this week, on John Cleese and living a creative life. What really resonated was this quote
“Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of living.”
Cleese is telling us a very simple truth – creativity is open to everyone – not just a select few who are gifted with artistic talent. Popova’s article details the five factors that Cleese speaks of that can help you become more creative, and of those, confidence is one.
“Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”
This little nugget of truth has without a doubt been behind my creative arrested development. I know it, like I know that the sun will rise tomorrow. It is an innate truth.
For my birthday in February, my husband bought me a huge canvas for me to paint on, knowing that I want to paint. But the canvas lies blank and tucked up behind a chair in my bedroom. It lies bare for one reason.
Fear of making a mistake. Of producing something crappy. But safety does not produce great work. Safety, for me, has actually produced nothing.
So in a effort to unshackle the creative fear, I have enrolled in an acrylics workshop at local art studio, Le Studio Art Space. It’s a full day workshop with a focus on abstract acrylics. I have no expectations of what will come of it, but I’ve enrolled with experimentation in mind, and a commitment to having fun with it and finding more confidence, and less fear. All I need to bring is a pallet knife. I don’t own a pallet knife, but the fact that I will very shortly, not only own one of these, but be using one of these, is an exciting prospect.
So with all this pondering on creative living, choosing to live more intentionally, disengaging with those that make me feel cynical about the world, and embracing those that who are kind and make the world a bit more shiny, I’ll throw it out to you.