New year new you ?!?! blah blah blah. New year, same me with more art making is how I choose to interpret that old discouraging saying. There is nothing wrong with old me, last year old me went through a fairly significant creative shift so I just want to carry on with that feeling and drive.
I started this year with a free online course, Your Best Year Yet with Michelle at United Art Space and have already booked my first creativity workshop Called Creative Shift with Sally-Ann Ashley. Last year a little earworm from a podcast chastised me into taking a free course, “because why wouldn’t you take a free course” the host said and that has taken hold. Not all free workshops are a win but it exposes me to a different way of thinking about my own creativity and how I can bring what they are teaching into my own practice. My next free course starts in 14 days! I think the biggest take away from all of these workshops is the community that I am building, a community of like minded people on a the creative path. A place to get advice and support when things aren’t going so well and a place of encouragement and growth when we have an art win.
My exploration of collage and mixed media continues, I am finding that the collage brings with it a sense of calm where the gremlins in my brain don’t hold any sway over my thoughts. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is! A big addition to my practice last fall was intentionally getting up at 4AM, yup I said 4 am, so I can have some studio time before I go to work. To be able to create my art from a restful place and not from one of fatigue after work is such a relief. For me it has been an incredibly freeing move that I think makes me a better human. Having those 60-90 minutes of quiet creativity is wonderful! I make my coffee, do my 30 minutes of journaling and quietly enter my studio. My dog no longer shows any interest in my early rising so I have this precious quiet time to myself, no music and no podcasts just creative silence. The silence allows me to hear my thoughts without a lens of noise and distraction. I think it helps me capture those brief and fleeting thoughts and ideas more easily.
Another big boost to my overall creativity is I that I watch less TV and movies. Especially in my most creative periods, those early mornings, TV can derail my drive to explore new ideas. I limit what I watch and when and for how long. And to all those who know me and my love of Star Wars and Marvel, I still paint to those movies, lol, just less often. I know them so well that its just background noise. Strangely what I can’t watch while painting anymore in any kind of murder mystery..we are all unique creatures of habit aren’t we?! What do you listen to while you create?
With these changes I no longer feel like I ‘have to” paint on the weekends to prove that I am an artist, whether it be to myself or to the insatiable social media algorithm. I used to rush to finish work to post on Sunday, like a badge of honour to prove my worth as an artist, yes I am shaking my head as I type this! I definitely feel the quality of my work coming forward now is better, less frantic and feels more like me.
I don’t make resolutions, I barely set intentions but this year I am doing some goal oriented work in the Best Year Yet workshops. I’d like to experiment more with different things like acrylic inks, more palette knife work and of course collage and mixed media. I reorganized my studio yesterday and added more storage because new adventures require more stuff and my 8’x10′ studio is jammed! I found a painting under my chair during the cleanup! I vaguely remember doing it but I definitely remember I thought I was blah. So I cleaned it up and now it’s lovely!
I have also planned to take one more workshop, probably starting in May or June, it is one I have been waiting to take since I missed it last year, don’t worry I will keep you posted. I almost forgot, I am going to see Elizabeth Gilbert here in Ottawa in April!! I was all set to see her in Montreal in 2020 but the pandemic tail care of that plan! Lots of good things are happening in April, I cant wait to tell you all about them!
Happy Sunday peeps, I hope you get to spend time doing exactly what you love, because we all deserve to follow our dreams! Have a great month and to steal from Brene Brown “stay awkward, brave and kind” oh and Paint on!