I have dabbled in artistic pursuits more as a hobby such as sewing and gardening. For many years I channeled my creativeness into my work with online website development & innovative teaching which evolved through various mediums online. Over 25 years ago, when I lived in the tropics of the Northern Territory, I used to paint and sell t-shirts. Selling my creations and reinvesting in more stock to paint more. That was the closest I ever got to selling my art work in the more traditional sense of being an artist. My creativity fell back to the garden & photography.
However a few years ago I read and listened to a book by Brene Brown titled ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are - Your guide to a whole hearted life. Brene Brown is a writer and a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and is a thought leader on vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame.
In her book ‘The gifts of imperfection’ Brene explained how many parts of our society are about comparison, conformity and competition. “That the comparison mandate becomes this crushing paradox of “fit in and stand out!” It’s not cultivate self -acceptance, belonging and authenticity. It’s be just like everyone else, but better.” Brene shares 10 guideposts and one of them is Cultivate Creativity and let go of comparison.
“Creativity, which is the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared. And, without comparison, concepts like ahead or behind or best or worst lose their meaning." Brene Brown
Brene Brown encourages three things to DIG DEEP!
Get Deliberate! Get Inspired! Get Going!
So for me I have tried to apply these very things.
Get Deliberate - carve out time to get creative. Stepping into art and painting… I have been doing SPLAT with Robyn Dorrian where I have walked in with my drinks and nibbles and stepped out with a painting ready to hang. I continue to take and share photos wherever I go… capturing special moments. I also deliberately set in my plan for 2018 to engage in more painting classes... and amazingly got invited to join an artistic project.
Get Inspired - ‘be a part of a community of like spirited people who share your beliefs on creativity, explore others art’… I happily accepted an invitation to a CETA funded project under the auspices of Paris Norton to join a community project called Common Thread. For 8 weeks I am now dabbling in Sunday afternoons connecting with other women as we learn to weave, colour fabric naturally, tell stories through art.
I wander around galleries, art installations when I travel and explore online, delighting in seeing the awesome murals and art installations created in communities across the world.
Get Going - Brene encourages you to ‘Risk feeling vulnerable and new and imperfect. Try something that scares you or something you dreamed about trying. You never know where you will find your creative inspiration.
In February, I took a 4 week class focused on water colours… and have worked on a piece that I have not quite yet finished. I loved what I discovered along the way and have plans in mind to dabble and continue my learning and experimenting.
I also encouraged others and invited together what has grown to be 5 awesome women to exhibit at the Baradine Pilliga Discovery Centre. Although I don't see myself as an 'artist' I am a creative and I decided to join in with them pushing myself to bring together my ‘creativity’ and share it… so I am definitely feeling vulnerable, new and imperfect but I also feel that it’s okay… especially when I am doing so with others. I am not here to compare but to share my vulnerability and my creativity to encourage others to do the same…
Workshop & Exhibition
I am also running a workshop with Robyn Dorrian at THE Rural Woman Full Bloom Event engaging art and other tools to enable you to Bring your boldest Self to challenging situations... register now for this event on the 17th March.
Link to Exhibition and Workshop bookings
Facing the Challenge of Imperfection
I am challenged by those around me who don’t have the confidence to put themselves ‘out there’! Embarrassed that I am putting my selfie in the show… in fact I had a situation last year where I decided to put some of my paintings I had created during the SPLAT painting classes into the local show.
At the time it was joked ‘Oh so you are going to put your selfie painting in are you?’. Well until that comment was made in jest I wasn’t planning to as I felt a quite uncomfortable about that painting but I quickly retorted. “Well I am now!” and feeling a bit miffed I entered it in though not having confidence in it at all. Some members of my family (not all) were concerned my painting would be recognised as I was in it!! How embarrassing that would be! Embarassing for them I think or perhaps it was they didn’t want me to be vulnerable? What would people say?
Just over a week later I was going to the Show Art Exhibition opening night with my art teacher and now good friend Robyn. We walked into the entrance and there saw my ‘selfie’ draped in a second prize ribbon in the portrait section. We had such a giggle! It is true what they say ‘Art is in the eye of the beholder’ and you know what… it doesn’t matter that I won a prize (Though it made for much laughter amongst our family!) What does matter is that I got out had some fun with other people, tried a new skill, getting creative, feeling vulnerable and then sharing that vulnerability and creativity with others… brightening up the world with a little bit of me.
How will you dig deep to cultivate creativity and let go of comparison?