So how do we find a way to express ourselves that is safe, nurturing, and authentic? I propose it’s through an art journal.
Creative expression comes from a place within you that may know you better than you know yourself. This is why making art is important to finding yourself and loving yourself. It’s uncovering your style as you experiment, knowing your personal color palette, and loving what you create. Big statements huh? The more I ponder on how our creative style is so individual to us, the more my message becomes, “Do what is right for you”.
It is through color choice, what media feels most comfortable, what projects you’re drawn to, that your soul starts to peek out. Which is why it is called artistic expression – we are expressing stuff that’s inside us that we may not even know is there. Sometimes the focus of art as therapy or creative expression is that of healing a hurting person (which it’s fantastic for) but what about using it to celebrate who we are? There’s a lot down deep that we may not let out because we think it’s too big or too fantastic for us. Who am I to be a great. . . ?
“You know that dream where you can fly. . . You’re not dreaming”
I grew up with parents who encouraged my artistic endeavors so I was able to become very confident in my artistic choices for projects. I have cultivated my favorite color palettes and I love all things textured. Give me gel medium, multiple layers in a collage, or a bunch of beads woven on top of each other and I’m a happy camper. Please don’t ask me to draw something photo-realistically or make glass beads because that’s just not me.
How you make art really does match your personality and focus on the subject matter that is close to your heart? Uncovering more of your authentic self comes as you 1) Practice & experiment in your art journal 2) Learn your color palette 3) Learn your style 4) Use art materials that feels right 5) Honor what you make and see the value in it. 6) Try new materials now that you have the foundation of your creative style.
As an instructor for several bead stores and now as a creative coach I see myself not just teaching techniques, but more importantly, trying to instill creative confidence with the people I work with. I do believe that as we become more confident about what we create, we become more confident in ourselves. When we make something and love it, it is loving a part of us that has decided to come out. Art comes from our soul and it’s a statement about who is behind the wall we put up. It’s vulnerable and precious.
If we don’t have a lot of practice being gentle with ourselves we won’t be gentle with our art. I see my art as a mini version of me and I am learning to treat it with more respect as I’m learning to respect myself. How we make art and how we treat it is a reflection of how we really understand ourselves.
Grab a journal and take a walk with me as we explore different parts of you through your art. I’ll do this series until it’s finished because my new “thing” is learning to be ok with not knowing. Like Dr Seuss said, “Oh the places you’ll see. . . . .”