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


Setting intentions and doing what makes you come alive

My play map

As I work my way through the Screw Work Let’s Play Ignition programme, I find myself diving into Play Mapping. With additional coaching from Selina Barker, I am getting clearer on how I would like my working life to be and taking a step closer to that every day. I am fairly happy with my life as it is, but hey, there is always room for improvement and I could do with more work and income when small boy starts school in just 12 weeks time… I want to be sure that I love what I am doing and getting paid to play. Play Mapping involves dreaming big. It means creating a vision of what you really, really want and this involves getting to the very heart of the experiences you desire in your life. So, I have been dreaming big, but also getting very practical about the little steps I can take right now to get closer to that dream life on a day to day basis.

To the sea

As expressed in my play map, I felt the need for wide open skies and sea air this weekend, so I took my best friend Laura, her youngest daughter and my boys on a day trip to Hastings. We had fish & chips, rode the rollercoaster (not in that order) and played hide and seek amongst the gorse bushes in Hastings Country Park. These are the things that make me come alive. I returned home with salty, tangled hair and a good feeling about things to come. The restorative effects of this day of play are still with me and the trip got Laura sketching again.

One of the most important things to me is sharing and connecting with like minded people. I have long known that in order to create a successful, sustainable business, it is necessary to grow my tribe, but this week I acknowledged that fact and started to take steps towards the goal of reaching out and connecting with more people. On Wednesday, I set the intention of finding a blog for which I could provide a guest post. I mentioned this to a few people and sent this desire out into the universe. Within 24 hours, my call was answered from the most unexpected of directions. I stumbled upon Paula, a like-minded blogger in Buenos Aires who was seeking guest posts and, as luck would have it, someone had dropped out leaving a spot for me right away. As Paula so sweetly put it, “The Universe was playing mix and match with us”. By Friday… less than 48 hours after setting my intention, my first guest blog post was up! You can read it here.

On Monday, I was Paula’s guest illustrator of the week and another of my images was being shared. Whilst I have been letting go of outcome in my art, the power of setting small, but clear intentions with a bigger goal in mind has been such a great lesson for me this week. My desire to connect led to another contact closer to home… the delightful Hatti of Parent Tribe. Parent Tribe is a new online magazine and website which aims to inspire and support parents to find ways to be together with their children more, living creative, holistic and fulfilling lives. I am so thrilled that some of my photographs will be used in the next issue and I am looking forward to connecting with other creative parents online.

And so, as the week progresses, I will be doing more of what makes me come alive. I will be going back to my play map and fitting more of these things into my daily life. I will be setting more intentions as well. Starting with the bigger dream, I will consider the next step I need to take in order to get closer to that bigger dream… I will set my intention and take the leap.

Have you tried Play Mapping?

How have you used the power of intentions to get closer to your big dream?