This week, in an attempt to share my art far and wide, I have posted the first video of my art on YouTube. It feels new to be sharing in this way and I hope that doing so will help me reach a wider audience. As with everything on my journey to creative freedom, this is a little experiment. So, here goes… see what you think.
I have been watching a lot of videos lately.
It was just before Christmas (after one too many disagreements with the boys before school) and with the agreement of bigger boy, that I dumped the TV and put his steel pan in its place, to encourage music-making instead of screen watching before school. The exercise was not entirely successful as the battles that used to reign over TV time have just been transferred to computer time, but hey, we muddle on… and the music does get played, almost daily.
Anyway, I digress. I have found myself watching more and more videos (as there are so many inspiring ones out there) online related to creativity and entrepreneurship and the like. The choice, for those of us who are slowly finding our way forward, doing work that we love, is vast indeed, but two of them really struck me recently. The first was filled with words of wisdom from Ira Glass. If you are stuck right now, struggling with the gap between what you create in your mind and what you create on paper, you could not find a better way to spend the next 2 minutes than this. Watch it now and let me know how it makes you feel… for me, it was incredibly liberating.
So, with all of what Ira shared in mind, here I am, putting myself on a deadline, trying to create a volume of work, fighting my way through it.
The second video I want to share with you today is a shortened version of Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech to the University of the Arts class of 2012 in which he stresses that, when times get tough, we must make good art. Now, it might seem a little strange to you that I am sharing these videos together, but I think by the time you have watched this second one, you will understand.
I don’t feel that I am yet at a place of making consistently good art, but for now, I am ready and willing to make more art until I get there.
Are you ready to take action… to make art, make good art or make more art?
Please do let me know what these videos have inspired you to do today.
With my love,
For the past 30 days, I have been part of a closed community of 200 people, each working away on a personal passion or goal. The 30 Day Challenge is an online programme, run by John Williams, author of Screw Work Let’s Play and coach extraordinaire Selina Barker.
This was my third 30 Day Challenge.
I return year after year as the format, of the programme, the support on offer and the results I achieve always make me feel good. This year, I set out on a mission to Share JOY through ART. My original idea for doing this was through an e-course. It soon became clear that this was not going to happen within the 30 days as I went off on a deep journey of self-discovery, pushing personal boundaries to express myself more fully and gaining a wonderful sense of clarity in so many areas of my life.
Through face to face workshops, I was able to share my own joy in the process of art-making and I am now pleased to offer both group workshops and one to one sessions for anyone keen to explore their creative side. Would you like to join me?
I continued to push forward with my own creative practice and after years of promoting the work of other artists, I am finally offering my own art through an Etsy shop.
Keen for everyone to benefit from the delights of living a creative life, I am now offering a free downloadable PDF of simple ways to invite creativity into your everyday life to everyone who subscribes to the Be Creative Daily mailing list. If you are already a subscriber, yours will soon be arriving by e-mail. If you would like to sign up, just click here and you will soon be a step closer to welcoming more joy and creativity into your daily life.
Right, I am off to launch my project over on the 30 Day Challenge and then it’s time to put my feet up.
After making the last film which expressed all that I was going through over the weekend, I felt cleansed, I felt stronger.
It was a very vulnerable experience sharing such raw emotions, but the responses I received confirmed that I was doing the right thing in sharing… opening doors for others to express how they feel.
This morning I felt compelled to experiment further with the film, cut it, reverse it, speed it up, to express the fact that sharing the emotions had been a healing experience and had enabled me to confront them, make friends with them, conquer them and move on. (This new film can be seen above.)
It is a long and winding path we travel, but if we acknowledge our feelings and allow ourselves to feel them deeply, we can learn from them also and in doing this, we enable ourselves to feel JOY more deeply too.
This morning, I created a piece of art (see below) which, I hope, illustrates the transformation we make when we embrace our darker, more difficult emotions, work through them and come out the other side shining.
I would love to hear of your own experiences if you feel like sharing.
I embarked on the 30 Day Challenge on March 1. My mission was to Share JOY through ART. As often happens, the path took unexpected twists and turns. I had not expected this so soon. All sorts of deep-seated feelings and emotions have been unearthed. I am learning to embrace them, feel them, learn from them.
It seems so strange to be sharing these emotions and feelings when my challenge was to share JOY, but this is part of the process and I firmly believe it will come full circle as I do here. Already, having explored those feelings, I am stronger, they have less power.
In my attempts to share JOY, I have also been reconsidering how important it is to examine the way in which we experience other, darker emotions and rather than hide them, just be with them and let them do their work.
Today, I was moved by the work of Marina Abramovic. I feel am in a very important period of transition and transformation. Discovering her performance art inspired me to make this video.
“In the deeper sense, it’s about hospitality. It’s that you actually open yourself to the public and show your vulnerability, your contradictions and be there in the full sense for them.”
I have been away from the blog for a little while now. My focus for the past month has been on gratitude. In forming my regular gratitude practice, I felt the desire to capture some of the things I was thankful for and share with others that happy feeling. I posted gratitude notes, I took more photographs, I connected with a small group of women in 4 different countries as we posted our daily gratitude in a closed Facebook group and followed the prompts I was sending by email to encourage creative expressions of gratitude as we built our daily practice. I came to realise that whilst a solo gratitude practice can be good, how much better it is when shared.
My exploration for March is expressions of JOY. Joy is something I feel on a regular basis. I am struck by it from time to time and it always goes hand in hand with gratitude. I am working on how I can capture it… seeking new ways to express joy creatively and becoming more aware of such creative outbursts when they occur naturally. It is an exciting journey, especially as I am on a path to sharing it.
If you would like to find out more about this little mission of mine, you can take a look at the video I created at the start of my 30 Day Challenge. The challenge is to Share JOY through ART. I hope it is something you can connect to as I hope, over the coming months, to spread this feeling far and wide. There will be more on how I intend to do this shortly, but in the mean time, please leave a little comment and tell me the ways in which you share joy creatively… or how someone you know does.
There was a good feeling in the air today. I do not know if it was the promise of sunshine rather than rain, or the fact that the kids got dressed and out the door on time without too many asks, or maybe it was just heading off into town to meet people I love spending time with, knowing I would return home inspired made me smile.
My morning was spent with Sue Kreitzman at Spitalfields Market in East London. Sue is one of the most colourful, creative characters I know. She is a prolific artist and is in fact a walking work of art, always dressed up like a glorious painting, you can see heads turn to take her in. She is also one of the most supportive and generous of friends and I find her one of the most uplifting people to hang out with. When we meet, our animated conversation always revolves around art, whether it is a project we are collaborating on, an exhibition we have seen or some other thing.
Sue lives, breathes, wakes and sleeps art. Her home is crowded with a rich combination of her own paintings and sculptures mixed in with those she has collected over a long period. An obsessive collector and compulsive creator, Sue has a style which is joyfully, playfully kitsch.
I have wanted to interview artists for a long time, but for some reason, have never quite got round to making it happen, so I took the opportunity today to speak to Sue about her art. It was fascinating to hear her talking about her transformation from cookery writer to artist and how, being so abundantly creative, she finds at times that it is difficult to turn off the inspiration and just be.
There is something very powerful about being in the presence of such a strong creative force and whilst some of us are struggling to find time in the day and space in the house to draw/paint/sculpt, it is encouraging to see what really is possible given time and space and with materials close at hand.
This afternoon, I met with Lynne at the Royal Festival Hall. Lynne and I have been working on the Step Up 3 research project at Pallant House Gallery for almost a year now. We usually meet at the gallery, working in the library or studio there, but chose a change of location for our meeting today. There is something very refreshing about working in a public place, getting away from your normal workspace and immersing yourself in the life of the city whilst you work. Lynne is putting together a workshop pack on Jean Dubuffet and we discussed in detail, some of his methods as well as those of the Art Brut artists whose work he collected. We excitedly explored the possibilities of a number of ideas for practical workshops, talking about how different artists have created great works of art without using any traditional art materials and how it really is possible to create all manner of wonderful art from found objects and untraditional materials. Sue herself, makes her memory jugs from found and collected items and gives new life to old objects and Lynne was bursting with ideas to try on her upcoming visit to the Lake District, where she intends to travel without her art kit and make fresh work from the things she finds there.
So, as I pursue this mission to be creative daily, posting my first ever video interview on YouTube as my achievement today, I realise that if creativity is important to us, we can/will/must make room for it in our lives. There are no excuses for not doing something as opportunities to create and engage with our environment are all around us and no matter how small an amount of time we dedicate to our art at the moment, there will come a time, with practice, patience and perseverance, that we will do more.