Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Everyday Artists

A few days ago, I read a post by Sally G. who writes the most heartfelt, thought-provoking, beautiful posts you can imagine. She has a gift for weaving stories and pictures with her words. Her wisdom and raw honesty always touches me. Her blog is definitely worth checking out if you don't already know her and have a few minutes to spare.

Vision Boarding

Sally's post inspired me to create a Vision Board. Have you ever done this? My prior experience in vision boarding is limited to when I was planning my scraproom. So much of what I put into that Vision Board ultimately came into existence in my room. The color scheme. Specific pieces of furniture. The Universe does find a way.

This time I approached it without a specific vision in mind - more like a Vision Quest. I started with what I could scrounge up in the way of magazines, mostly rescued from the recycling bin - 1 copy each of Rachel Ray Everyday and Better Homes and Gardens, 2 copies of Seventeen (seriously can't wait for my daughter's subscription to expire - I hate everything about that magazine), a couple copies of Creating Keepsakes, and even one of my profession publications. I flipped through each magazine very quickly, not looking for anything specific. I simply tore out images, words, and phrases that caught my attention as I turned the pages. I found myself irresistibly drawn to images of nature, strong women, and especially butterflies. After I had gathered my words and images, I sat down to create my collage. I started with a beautiful patterned cardstock, figuring that the pattern would show wherever I didn't cover the paper with my clippings. Ha! I covered every inch of that paper.

Change is a comin'

When I was done, I was stunned by the results. Amazed at what my spirit had chosen and the messages that were so clearly conveyed in my collage. Clearly, change is a comin'. That is what butterflies signify to me and in this collage, I collected quite a few of them. Change because school is starting up, Summer is ending, routine is returning. Change because I know that I need to get serious about getting fit (more on that in another post - I have another Vision Board to create.) But most of all, change because I will focus on being creative again.

Creativity Deprivation

We all know that physically sleep deprivation causes fatigue, irritability, inability to focus and stay on task, confusion, and even breakdown of the immune system. I think Creativity Deprivation does the same thing to our spirit. And I am definitely suffering from Creativity Deprivation.

  •  I haven't created a scrapbook page since mid-July. I want to get back to Scrapbooking. I NEED to get back to scrapbooking!
  • I haven't created a Gratitude page since July 8th. I want to remember to have an attitude of gratitude. I NEED to get back to feeling gratitude for the everyday things in my life.
  • I haven't created an Art Journal page since the first of July. I want to get back to art journaling. I NEED to get back to expressing myself creatively!
The concept of Creativity Deprivation came to me on Sunday night when I was unable to sleep and my thoughts were just spinning around in circles. Then on Monday, I read this post from Sharyn.  Apparently she was feeling the same lack as me.  So I took the quiz at Psychologies Magazine and although my result was different from Sharyn's, I still found it to be very revealing:

You feel that creativity provides insight into your own being. In fact, it is like therapy for you, enabling you to get to know yourself better. You seem to be looking for a way into the mysteries of the subconscious. It’s not really self-expression you are seeking, but rather the tools of self-expression: discovering what your creation will reveal about yourself. Art helps you reflect on, analyse and expand your personality. You long to be creative, and it’s not just because you need to deal with your emotions. It’s the tension between contradictions, and the need to resolve doubt that drives you to be creative. Painting pictures, decorating rooms, arranging shells in the sand — these are all creative processes that allow your introspection to roam. You can trace your life through the different ways you have exercised your creativity. For you, art is there to make sense of life. You are more attracted to artistic activities
that demand reflection, planning and solitude, and the personal discoveries you make often provide answers for others, too.

As if my Vision Board and Sharyn's post weren't enough of a clue from the Universe that I needed to feed my Creative Soul, I also spent some time catching up on my Simple Abundance  reading. This passage from August 28 really resonated with me:

Everyday Artists

The other day a friend and I were talking about the difficulty that most of us have in grasping the concept that we are artists - that life is our canvas. ... I believe with all my heart that the ability to bring forth art from real life is a gift every woman possesses. Whether we choose to nurture this perfectly natural endowment is quite another matter.... Women are artists of the everyday. The world does not acknowledge or applaud everyday art, so we must. We are the keepers of a sacred truth. We must cherish this wisdom and pass it on to those we love....It takes a lifetime to create the work of art for which we were born: an authentic life. But it only takes five minutes to center yourself before you begin each new task today. Five minutes to give thanks for your personal gifts. Five minutes to offer your love, creative energies, and enormous talents to the person, idea, or project awaiting your attention. Say it aloud: I am a brilliant gifted artist of the everyday. My art is a blessing for me and mine.

I truly believe that women are artists of the everyday. I believe that each one of you, my dear bloggy friends, has a creative soul that comes alive to nurture those in your everyday life. Whether it is Sian's adorable knitting, Jacky's gorgeous card-making skills, Mel's famous recipes, Amy's fabulous photography and digi skills, or Karen's delectable design skills when it comes to making the perfect little gifties, we all have creativity in our souls that we put to work in the every day to better our lives and those around us.  And hey, if you are reading my blog and I didn't specifically mention you - have no fear! I know in my heart that you are creative too. Limitations on space and time kept me from going back to everyone's blogs to find a suitable link. 

So if you are here on my blog reading this post, go ahead, say it out loud - "I am a brilliant gifted artist of the everyday. My art is a blessing for me and mine." 

Now go forth and create. I'm sure there is a project somewhere calling my name. 


Unknown said...

WOW! What a deep, thought-provoking and enlightening post, Cheri. Awesome, every bit of it. My sister just recently finished a vision board... now you bring one up... is this the universe beckoning me to do one? Perhaps I need to do some reasearch more on what they are and what to do... yes, I think I will. Thank you for this post. I think I will bookmark it and come back and reread it often. :)

scrappyjacky said...

A very thought provoking post,Cheri....and thank you so much for including me as a 'creative soul'.It's funny...because I never think of myself as an artist at all....but I certainly need my creative time.
The collage you've created is stunning...and there's definately a message there.

Sian said...

Wow, what an amazing, thoughtful, heartfelt post. I truly admire the way you can put what you are feeling into words and hit publish for us all to see. I've been scrolling up and down reading different bits over again to take it all in - thank you for including me (when I think about my craetive blog friends I think about you too) - and for your wonderful rallying call today.

Anonymous said...

Love your post today & your Vision Quest results! I've always wanted to do some kind of board, I think you have inspired me! And I agree w/ Seventeen - feel same way about Cosmo - doesn't seem to uplift.

quiltingfool said...

Wonderful post today. I agree that creativity, at least for a lot of us, is as necessary as air. I've just re-found my creative mojo and have been popping out quilts like crazy. Just finished a huge top that I did in 2 days. Now if I can just get back to scrapbooking as well.

I seem to remember making you a blue butterfly quilt once upon a time..........

Amy said...

Jacky and Sian say so much of how I feel too - I struggle with finding balance, I need to create, don't feel like I'm an artist and love your thought provoking posts that challenge my way of thinking and concepts of self appreciation.
Thanks Cheri, you make me smile :-)

humel said...

You have a gift for writing thought-provoking, heart-felt, emotive posts, Cheri. I read this with such interest - and got such a thrill to see my name, thank you! You don't know what that meant to me xx

I love your Vision Board, I've never made one and you've inspired me, so thank you again :-)

Liberty :) said...

how lovely! id love to make a vision board! i cant wait to see where your changes take you!

Anonymous said...

I love the concept of being an everyday artist. Artist is not a word I ever choose when asked what I do, so you have no idea what it means to be included here with such talented women. Thanks for another thoughtful and thought-provoking post!

Cheryl said...

This is hands down one of my favorite posts. So insightful. And I love your vision board - it's beautiful and such a great idea. Thanks for sharing this, Cheri!