To get me to this place where I could create art took all of these things.... (true story): years of therapy on and off, feeling immense anxiety without anything to numb it, false painting starts that will never see the light of day and chocolate. Lots of very dark creamy rich chocolate. I'm not playin'. Sometimes with roasted hazelnuts. Sometimes without. Why is it so hard for me to be creative?! WAHHHHHHHH!!! I'll tell you why. I'm scared AF. I'm sensitive AF. I'm an artist AF.
Here's a glimpse my monkey mind flipping out when I finally get my azz to sit down and start a new piece...."isn't this a waste of time? what are you even going to do with this piece once you're done? it's so quiet, let's think about the things we don't like, okay I'm being negative, but really who are you to express yourself and do what you want, you should do something everyone likes, you should play it safe, make something that's sure to sell, something commercial and trendy, you should be smart and do what everyone else is doing, well you're obviously ignoring me... I guess this isn't so bad, actually this is fun, no it's more than that... wait, this is beautiful, what an amazing way to express your soul, I'm feeling this, let's do this for always, ok it's complete, wait I feel sadness, I can suddenly feel all my feelings, they're raw, I just gave birth to this image that never existed before and it's over...now what? if you sell it you'll lose part of yourself, but you can't keep it to yourself, you have to share your heart, ok get strong and let go - ready set go! so can we paint again?" AND THAT'S MY PROCESS EVERY TIME.
And yes, I'm exhausted. In fact, it makes me so tired I've taken years off from painting. But like Santiago (my homeboy in the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - a must read that I talk about here)...my soul wouldn't let me forget that my art secret was still inside me and it wanted to be honored while I am on earth. It's part of my legend. What's your legend? What are your dreams that you cannot forget? I know it can be hard to even admit your dreams sometimes, especially if you can't see how they could possibly ever be. But one step at a time is my motto. And if someone else has done it, why not you? You are just as precious as everyone else. One baby step at a time doing something dream related will fill your heart.
Anywho, this is my new love. She's painted with acrylic and watercolor, 6" x 9" x 1 -1/2" on wood panel and I love her for real. The experience of creating is so intense. As you creatives know, you start with nothing and at the end you've got...in this case... powerful soul staring back at you. Like, I've never even met this person - who is she? I assume she's a reflection of me. Of you. Of someone I aspire to be, of someone I already am. I'm not sure, I'm still getting to know her. What I do know for sure is that along the way I let my intuition guide me, not my brain or my logic (too many rules, criticism and judgements). I just asked her "what do you want?" and I knew she'd answer me on her own time. And she did. Every time. Down to the found rose-colored super dope eye glasses and tightly packed afro. And yes there were absolutely moments when I had no idea where I was going or what she would become; and sometimes things started looking like a mistake. But I kept choosing to respect her and that required I be present with her even when I had no idea where we were headed. I wasn't going to give up because I was uncomfortable with the unknown. I let her come thru. No expectations, no plans. Just me and her on this f*cking spiritual journey.
My self-worth is always put to the test when I put myself out there. Who am I to be who I am? And don't I need permission beforehand? Don't I need approval from somebody? What will they say? How will I look? But there comes a point on our journey where if you don't respect your authentic self, it's more painful than any kind of rejection. Besides, I am worthy. We are all so worthy - aren't we? But you already know that. And if not, I'm just reminding you. Worthy AF since the day we birthed into this life. It's automatic. And when we are our authentic real self (no fakey BS hiding from our truths) we light this mutha up. We give others permission to be themselves. Freedom is contagious so I practice freeing myself daily because like Bob Marley sings "none but ourselves can free our mind."
So let me peep this - what if I respect life in the same way that I was present with this painting (with the exception of the initial freak out)? What if I trusted, asked, listened, was patient, no expectations but full knowing something dope was on it's way? 100% commitment 0% expectation. Whaaaaaaa? Yasssssss. That's where I'm at now. I'm like, let me learn from this experience. Vulnerability is a bitch but it can make you rich - if you let it. Those pure raw emotions that are uncomfortable, the ones you want to run from and avoid, but you let come thru anyway...those heal you. Any cray feelings you face will quiet down once they are heard and have space - and then you will be even stronger. I'm still healing in so many ways from so many hurts. And when I paint, it's so quiet. No, it's too quiet - and I feel it all. But my goodness am I stronger for leaping. Cause you know how the Universe / Spirit / Allah / God / Angels / A Higher Power responds yeah? Leap and the net will appear. So I'm so honored to introduce you to one of my nets. Her name is "The girl of your dreams." The original is available for purchase, or hand-painted prints can be requested. As I start my next piece I am already manifesting a group art show. I have no idea what I'll connect to next and channel, but I know it's waiting for me. And I know I'll be present and that I will listen. And be brave. I'll be brave AF.
Much love, light & star dust. Go do you boo boo. (And please pass this along to any creatives you know who need a nudge ;)
p.s. Wherever you are on your creative journey ( just starting - everyone started somewhere / or thinking your creative voice is lost or damaged - nah brah - that sh*t never dies, and it's never too late) I highly recommend this book, "The Artist's Way." This book is what made me start painting. I didn't even know I could paint. It's creative rehab (I talk about this book more here). On the real, I literally read it and began making art and selling it, having shows and being featured in write-ups and written about in a newspaper article. I got it out last night because I was in my feelings and I needed Julia Cameron's strength and perspective on being an artist. Us artists gotta watch out for each other, it can be rough out there with the non-sensitives!