Friday, February 13, 2009

an inspirational story (hopefully)

friday's child is loving and giving...

it's freebie friday and today i thought i'd share a story with you while i package up the free goodies to the good folks that filled out the survey for my market research.

i had posted this story in my last blog and thought i'd share it again.  i originally posted it in response to a friend who was having a rough time finding their path.  i believe this is a journey all of us travel and below is a glimpse into my experience in finding my path... to crazy bliss.
(originally posted june 21, 2008)
i thought i'd share a personal artistic journey with you all and tell the story of the birth of crazy bliss.

it happened quite by accident and totally on purpose. it was the end of 2003 and i was stuck in a rut. i hadn't done much artistically in a very long time and decided to paint some christmas presents in various different media. as usual with my art projects, i was happy but not thrilled with the results and the flaws i noticed glowed like a neon sign to me. it didn't look as it appeared in my head. the paint wasn't smooth enough. the perspective is just a bit off. the lines weren't crisp enough. it was a familiar song and dance of critical and negative thinking toward my own art, prohibiting my growth as an artist. i really wanted to do something creative to support myself but felt inadequate at what i was doing. i was all over the place and didn't feel i had a particular style in any of the media i worked in.

i decided enough was enough and set out to do some art therapy to conquer the internal criticism. i decided to do exactly the opposite of what felt natural - take me out of my comfort zone (that i had made pretty prickly anyhow) and do something completely "not me". i figured i can't be too critical of my work produced for therapeutic reasons, right?

so i took inventory of my usual artistic habits. i enjoy painting small - so i took out a HUGE piece of illustration board to start. i take comfort in working in pencil (and eraser!) first so i can perfect the shapes before i commit - so out came the sharpie permanent marker. i would strive for realism so that was the next principal thrown out the window - good bye reality! i wanted the paint to be smooth and blend perfectly - so i decided to use contrasting, bold blotchy colours. armed with some new rules for creating, i set out to do some girls drinking tea with cats - i decided that the subject matter was the only thing i'd keep from my comfort zone. the result was wildly unlike anything i had ever done yet it felt wonderful and free! i did a series of 4 more girls with tea and cats and the new rules came more naturally. i felt giddy and blissful. i think i just found my style!

i was so excited to be painting again so i joined an online gallery of incredible artists at in january 2004 as CRAZY BLISS and got some positive feedback - people actually liked this new nutty style from me! the crazy bliss style as seen today took a very short time to evolve from those first paintings of cats and tea. the style that was born from something completely "not me" now feels so natural and has become very, very me.

so one self-prescribed art therapy session sparked a new perspective on my art for me by challenging each element that felt natural. i abandoned all of the fodder for my critical internal attack and as a result, i was free to do what ever i wanted! i'm still quite critical of my own work, as most artist are, however i stop and remember perspective and attitude are everything - and that if other people like your work, as the artist, your opinion doesn't really matter! just keep creating!

so if you're feeling hard on yourself in whatever field you're in, take the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, do/think/feel the opposite of what comes naturally and check out the view; you'll have a new perspective and perhaps an answer or two.

1 comment:

panicmama said...

I'm glad art therapy brought you to paint these wonderful characters! I love the look of them! They have so much personality!