I tell you, it's like I've been sitting in that big chair at the Opthomologist's office, chin in that metal frame, for a really long time. Years now. You know that machine they use to find the right lens to correct your eyesight? It's been like that. Forehead pressed against the cold steel, I've been peering and peering into that lighted interior chamber—trying to see clearly. Click, click.
And suddenly, I don't know, the right lens fell into place.
I know what I want.
As opposed to what I thought I should want...or what others might want me to want...or more likely, what I thought others might want me to want...
Oh my gosh, I know I sound like a mad person. But no. What I want is very simple. Three things, actually:
First, I want a consistent, daily creative art journal practice.
A place where I can experiment, play, build skills, but most importantly meet myself. Like on a yoga mat.
Breathe. Check in. How are you? How's the universe? What should we create today?
Second, I want to gain mastery and build skills.
I want to make things and I want to get better at it so that I can actually create what I conceive.
You know the Ira Glass video, right? It's true. We aren't that good when we start doing creative work. (I do appreciate having good taste, though!) But the important point is this:
"It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions."
I want to get there someday.
Third, I want to create with more people.
There's something magic that happens when people gather to share, teach and learn. I want more of that in my creative life.
I've been told that when you know what you want...when you know...and then when you do it...take that big leap and actually do the thing you want?
The net appears.
And that's what seems to have happened.
I crossed virtual paths with a couple of arting people further along the path than me (how do I love the internet? Let me count the ways...) Specifically, Julie Balzer and Karen Grunberg—awesome arting women out there whose blogs I've followed for years.
I know Julie's work, but I finally got around to taking her online class, 30 Days in your Art Journal—which is sooooo from her past, but sooooo finally clarified for me the process of making art journaling a daily practice. And Karen has been launching super ambitious projects for herself for years—I'm continuously amazed at all that she can accomplish—but suddenly, and maybe because she finally seems to have discovered some balance herself, I could see my way to balancing my own projects, too.
And of course, learning has a way of happening when you're ready to learn something. It's magical that way.
So in any event, finally, clarity and focus have clicked into place before my eyes. The work of my creative life—at least for 2015—is clear:
Work in my Art Journal every day. If only for a super brief 5 minutes, or if I have time, 30 minutes or more, but I'm meeting myself there daily. It takes several days to complete one spread, and then after each one I want to spend time reflecting on how it came together and what I learned. And of course I'll post pictures.
Learn and grow my arting skills. For 2015, I've set out two projects for myself that will be sure to teach me new skills and develop as an artist.
- I will work on a mastery series each month. I'll choose a topic or a skill and play with completing as many pieces as possible until month's end. Notice I'm not committing to creating daily pieces—but wouldn't that be nice? Maybe not practical, though, so I'll be creating as many as possible each month and sharing each series at the end of each month, which will of course include my reflections on what I learned.The monthly series in January is Lettering.
- I will create a 3X3 fiber arts collage study each week—52 in all—because I love the possibilities of fiber (and combining it with other media) and I want to explore this medium that calls to me from my childhood. How cool will it be to have 52 little studies by years' end? I'll of course share these fiber collage studies here, too.
Finally, take arting classes, both online an in person—and hopefully grow what has begun with our first local arting circle, too. Classes and groups both feed my need for community and help me develop skills. These are both critical elements of my creative life! I'll be sharing these experiences, for sure.
Whew! It feels so good to have a clear and specific plan. What's really great is that these are in no way new year's resolutions. I don't do resolutions. No. This is me.
Fully, completely, wholey (moley) In.
My Creative Life.