Today is my day to be featured on my friend Nathalie Kalbach’s awesome program, Creative Jumpstart 2012. Nat asked a group of creative women to share tips and advice for getting over the doldrums when we experience blocks. You won’t be able to view my video unless you’ve subscribed to Creative Jumpstart, but that’s as simple as clicking here. It’s free and the information the artists have provided so far has been just amazing. I’ve checked it out every day.
The one bummer for many of you whom might be learning about me for the very first time is that I do not have a lot of new work to show you. I spent the later half of 2011 in my studio making a ton of jewelry, but it’s all for my book coming out in November. Everything I’ve made stays under wraps until it’s published. The photos featured here are from my first book Explore, Create, Resinate.
I know that many of you work in scrapbooking or art journaling. That’s how I began my creative rediscovery. When my son was born 12 years ago, I left my career as a newspaper journalist to be an ar-home mommy. I joined a mother’s club to make new friends and a woman introduced me to Creative Memories. I was hooked, but immediately started adding crazy things like paint and texture and lumpy bumpy objects. I liked to work fast, so I used rubber cement to glue down everything but my pictures (because I didn’t want them disentegrating). As I broke every rule there was at the time, my invites to crops kept getting fewer and fewer. It used to bother me tremendously to be shunned by my peers, but now, what can I say? I’ve grown.
Within six months of my son’s birth, I went back to work on a freelance basis writing features. I was asked to be the Visual Arts Editor of a swanky magazine and that’s when my love of fine art, as well as my informal art education, really began. I’ve continued to write and consider words to be my first love. Mixed-media art, particularly jewelry, is my passion these days, but unfortunately my schedule doesn’t allow me to make art every day. I do write every day Monday-Friday, but that’s because of my job.
I make the act of creating a priority, but then my articles, my work with Susan Lenart Kazmer and ICE Resin, my book, teaching and my family are also priorities. In addition to my son, I have a 2-year-old daughter. Some days work fills more of my time, but then I balance it out with quality family time. When I go too long without physically making something I get grumpy and my husband points out that I haven’t taken any time for me. I truly admire people who create every single day, but alas, I’m not one of them.
Fortunately, editors keep me busy so I do get to make art regularly as part of my work. Thank goodness for deadlines! Plus, the organizers of art retreats and independent stores need good class samples, so I’m always creative there.
The thing, though, is that even though I don’t get to work it every single day, these projects stem from the early years when my son was little where I did get to create every day. It comes from all those moments of art for art’s sake when I had no idea I was working and honing my craft in order to prepare myself for a career.
So here is really my very best piece of advice for you. Know in your heart that Art Chooses You. It chose you at birth when you got that extra special way of looking at the world, when a need for being creative was programmed into your DNA. Whatever your goals or dreams are for yourself creatively are separate from who you are, which is already an artist. It doesn’t matter if you make art under the covers with a flashlight not letting the world see your creations, or if you publish them on your blogs or magazines the world to see. That part of the equation is the final product, not the inherently beautiful act of creation itself.
What matters is that you make stuff. Be it. Own it. Live it. The rest will come because where you put your focus, is where you succeed (or fail if the focus is negative). You are already a success because Art Chose You.
Thank you so much for taking this time to visit my blog today and, hopefully, get to know me a little better. If you wish to learn a little bit more, here is a post I wrote for my friend Traci Bautista when she asked for advice for a marketing program she created. You can also see my website. If you are looking for some great classes this year, check out where I’m teaching. I love to meet my blog and column readers in person.
Here’s wishing each of you a truly Artful week!