My message to you today in life and in art, is that it's okay to not feel you're like everyone else - you don't have to 'fit in'. The 'world' would have us 'fit in' but we do have a choice - conform or be true to your heart, your passion, your identity, your faith or indeed, all of the above.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Of course, it's not easy and some days are harder than others - sometimes we long to fit in but if we are to make 'authentic' art, there has to be a truth and honesty about it - I hasten to add though, that this doesn't mean we have to share all of it with others though (if at all).
All of us create for different reasons. For some of us it's our business, for other women it's a way of unpacking the 'you' in the midst of life, it could be for learning new techniques, simply for the fun of it or all of the above.
Some of my observations of keeping an active creative practice:
* Sometimes it's the process that's important not the end result.
* Truths (about our lives) are often uncovered along the way.
* Happy accidents can often be of great importance if you stay alert to them.
* A pouring out of the soul that might be ugly (or not) is so valuable.
* Play. Become the child again - it's good for you!
* Be curious - life becomes exciting once again.
* Encourage your kids to play along - fantastic life skills and a wonderful way to have fun together.
Our boys had been off school last week for half-term and so I didn't manage to create artwork (to sell) over the break but I did work on the above in my art journal. It felt good and turned a complicated, worrying and painful situation into a totally different feeling. I concluded my sketching feeling lighter, happier, more grounded, clearer and calm.
So, I'm wondering do you ever feel pressurised into creating artwork that doesn't serve you, just so that you and your art fit in? What compromises are you making? Maybe you feel scared to break open what's lies underneath? Or perhaps you find it difficult to give yourself permission to create pieces that are purely for your own benefit and no one else? I had struggled with this and felt I was 'wasting my time' using my journal for me but I now realise that's the wrong way round.
So, how about picking up your journal or sketchpad and starting a piece just for the fun of it. See where it takes you and be open, curious and attentive. You'll be amazed at the outcome.
Let me know how you get on and share any thoughts in the comments below regarding pressure you recognise to create artwork that will fit in.