How my body-centred art makes me feel more like me

My full body art

My self-expression, of late, has been largely focused on the body.

I have been using my body as a vehicle for self-expression in more ways than one… dancing more, stretching more and, in turn, using my own form as a starting point for making art. It feels to good.

As with yoga, the more you do it, the more aware you become of the way you carry yourself; the way you sit whilst driving the car; the way your body feels whilst standing at the sink, hands in warm soapy water.

The more I use my body for self-expression with my art, the more aware I become of the way I am expressing myself in the day to day. Just as making art is becoming a habit, so is moving and flowing and I am feeling so much more connected; more confident; at ease, and whilst I am more aware of my posture and I find myself, just naturally, doing a little dance here, adding a little gesture there. I am also more conscious of the way I dress and what feels good and enables me to feel flowing and free. Pure self-expression is slowly moving through every part of me.

On Monday, with the absence of someone to draw around my body, I lay on my dining room floor and attempted to draw around myself onto a long roll of lining paper. With some difficulty, I drew a wobbly outline, squeezing it onto the narrow paper for my piece. And then I began to fill it. Starting at the feet, I filled my form with grass and roots and flowers and a big tree, ending, right at the top with a glowing head that reflected how I sometimes experience life and how I would really like to feel… not every moment of the day, but more.

The purpose of this work, apart from pure self-expression, was to gain clarity.

Before creating this piece I set an intention and on finishing it asked questions of my art and I was surprised how well it responded to me. I will not explain this right now, but I will share with you my questions and answers here.

I would love to know what you think or if you have any experience of the effects of delving more deeply into your own creativity as this is something I will soon be sharing more of here.

If you think you might like to explore with me… to begin your own journey of creative self-expression through art, keep September 21 free… I will be running my first one day workshop in London and I would love you to join me.

Setting an intention and questioning my art

My June art adventures


June 1, when I committed to:
Doing something creative every day for the next 30 days
Sharing on the blog at least once a week
Being open to any direction my creativity may take me
Being open to any outcome
Sharing my feelings, learnings and realisations as I go through the process
seems like a lifetime away.

How is it possible for time to go so fast, yet for a mere month to feel like so long ago?
At the moment, I feel this way because I did so much more than I expected in the month just gone and in the doing, the time has flown. It has truly been a joyful, art-filled month of exciting discoveries, allowing myself to be free and get in flow.

I started the month sharing videos of my progress, but as June went on and paid work rolled in, there was less time to sit in front of the webcam and the journey became more of an action-based learning than the sharing I had initially intended. In writing this now though, I feel compelled to make a video of my learnings this month, as I realise that I am sharing very few of the details. To do so in a written blog post feels impossible right now, so… watch this space!

I made art almost every day. Some days a simple doodle or sketch; others a finished, framed piece. One of my simplest pieces was an emptying of my head before bed (above). It was a lipstick print of my mouth (representing me talking about what I love) enclosed in a heart (all the things I love) and a tracing around my hand (representing me making my art). The following morning, one of the simplest and most important pieces of advice from my coach summed up my previous night’s art-making in one sentence: “You’ve got to get out there and talk to people about doing what you love”. Yes!

And this is how the month has been.

June was truly a month of getting back to the heart of why I am here; delving deeply into my art and allowing it to flow in all areas of my life. The subtle shifts that have happened; the discoveries and realisations; all of these things, are becoming regular occurrences as I allow myself to do what I love; allow myself to be the artist I want to be; create and live the artist’s life I have longed for. It may seem, to my impatient self, like slow progress in terms of making a sustainable living from this artist’s life, but I feel optimistic that I am on the right path…

This week I created my first Birthday Art Experience for a friend’s 9 year old son. He made a beautiful work of art, way beyond his expectations. His Mum, a designer, is currently working on Art Experience Gift Vouchers for me to offer out to the world – the perfect solution for anyone wishing to give their loved ones the Gift of Art. Last week, I checked out the spaces to hire at Jacksons Lane and am working towards offering a workshop in one of their studios in September (if not before). I know now, that I want to help women connect with their true selves through the creative process.

In terms of personal satisfaction; in filling my daily life with more of what I love; in feeling closer to my true self and living the life of the Play Map in my previous post, this is fast progress indeed. I have spent a day at the coast with the kids, enjoyed other people’s workshops and spent a whole weekend immersing myself in art on a last-minute adventure. I wonder how much of this has to do with the fact that much of my art this month has involved body mapping (above), putting more of myself into my work and exploring my emotions through art. Perhaps the natural outcome is that I step closer to what matters to me. More of that in my next post… I have some wonderful images to share of my indulgent, art-filled weekend away, but for now, I just wanted to let you know that I am still here, working away on my art, finding new ways of sharing.

With love,
Julia x