I am not an artist.
I learned this at age 9 when I entered a drawing in the school art show. And I carried that belief with me for more than 40 years.
You see, I couldn’t draw. My attempts were primitive even for a third grader.
Thankfully, that didn’t stop me from expressing my creativity. My wonderfully talented mother led me from one craft to another throughout my young life, and instilled in me a love for creating things that remains an integral part of who I am.
I have dabbled with crocheting, knitting, sewing, woodworking, decopage, leather tooling, string art, and collage-making, just to name a few. I’ve always had a project or 3 in progress.
And, beginning in my 30’s, my career took a turn into the creative arena in the form of an advertising agency – designing and creating printed materials for small businesses. After a few career side-trips, I came back to design in 1995 when I discovered the Internet. I’ve been creating websites for clients ever since, and still love it.
Back to my art story.
Shortly after the turn of the millennium, I hit a rough patch. I had taken on too many projects. Within 6 months I had managed the (massive) renovation of four rental houses in addition to my regular business. And then the Holidays (a big thing in my family). And then my mother passed.
I was burned out, and as close to non-functional as I’ve ever been.
A good friend invited me to spend a week at French Lick Springs resort in Indiana. It was February, and there was not much going on. (Actually nothing at all.)
For an unremembered reason, I decided to take some old art supplies along. And for 5 days we talked, ate, walked, and played at drawing random shapes and colors on a large piece of linen. (Which I still have.)
At the end of the week when I looked at it – it was good. Not all mine, of course, but enough.
And then it came to me – art is not the end result – it’s the creative process. In many ways, it serves the same purpose (for me, at least) as journaling.
It’s not at all about what other people think. It’s what I express when I’m creating.
I still don’t draw.
And my creations don’t usually look like anything in particular from the real world, except for some abstract flowers or mountains from time to time.
In the last few years, I have created untold numbers of pieces – using many different mediums and techniques – and loved every minute of it.
Some I have kept, some I’ve sold, many I’ve given away, but each still carries a piece of me with it.
Art is my therapy and my adventure.
It is something I must do to fully express my life.
So, I don’t see each piece as what it looks like, but rather what I felt when I created it, and what I feel when I see it.
I don’t try to create art – I just do. And the label “artist” is not at all important.
My only hope is that these endeavors engage your emotions as they do mine.