Contributor post by Sheila from BeadyEyedBird
I love the book The Artist’s Journey by Julia Cameron. Amidst other great advice, she reminds us that when we nurture our creativity, it often leads to breakthroughs in problem-solving. The form of artist-brain ‘mulling’ cracks open our normal rigid ‘point a to point b’ thinking. As we serve a hobby, such as gardening, pottery, or cooking, we reap spiritual benefits never previously imagined. We are freed from the demands of the ego — allowing us to have a perspective that is lost in the everyday world of work.
We asked our great CIJ colleagues to tell us how their creative journey was going, and to share some items that represented the experience — here’s what they shared with us.
I usually find that if I work on my digital art any given day I learn something new. I can’t quit because not only is this fun but I haven’t yet stopped learning new things.
I’ve been trying some of the new things lately and love the way some of my paper packs are turning out. Too much fun. I am inspired by color combinations, and mint seems to be popular these days, so I have tried it out with a couple of combinations – this one is coral and mint.
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A recent break up forced me to step back and re-evaluate where I stand as a crafter and designer, and has left me without inspiration and motivation. To keep my mind off of things, I have tried my best to keep up with my crocheting, which is currently in the form of working Crochet Pattern Reviews of others patterns – one of those being the Bead & Lace Cocoon Shrug, designed by my good friend Rhelena of Crochet n Crafts. A beautiful piece that has also brought me much comfort in both the crocheting of it, and in being able to wear it around.
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Reading “The Artist’s Way” revolutionized my artist’s practice. It represents the point where I made a conscious decision to turn towards creativity. It gave me the confidence to call myself an artist and cemented by commitment to pursuing a creative life.
Things were happening in my life and I could have participated in one of the other twelve step programs where the focus is on recovery from the addiction. I decided instead to do Julia’s program due to its focus on creativity.
It felt right for me to put the energy into building something, rather than to step into a maze of self-reflection. I’d done a lot of that. What I needed was to redirect the energy to making and developing and growing.
I am by nature pretty enthusiastic and get excited easily! I choose to use this force to bring new things and positive energy into the world. Joining etsy and offering my art for sale is a part of this.
I fell in love with photography very early in life, before I was ten years old. However, I never truly thought to pursuit it seriously. I took the typical travel and landscape pictures, and that was it.
When I moved to the States at the age of 41 I finally realized that there is an artistic side in me that has been dormant since 10th grade when I had my last inspiring art teacher. I started to scrapbook and make greeting cards, quickly moved on to stamping and then started to paint. I love painting, but I often lack the time to do – I always seem to be pre-occupied with something else.
I also re-discovered my love for knitting and have become quite the expert knitter by now.
However, throughout these years I have always come back to photography. When I got my first digital camera it was quite a change after having shot film for 35 years. But I quickly saw all the possibilities of digital photography and the immediate learning from mistakes. I took classes in Photoshop and Lightroom and use both of these programs frequently. Altering photos is a special pleasure. This photograph of an old barn in our county was processed by layering textures and giving it a distressed, old world look. It is a very popular item in my shop.
Susan Burton from SusieBDesigns says my creative journey has been a life long process. As a child my Mother sewed all of my clothes and even though I didn’t appreciate it at the time, she instilled a creativity in me that has never stopped growing.
During my college years and young adulthood, I turned to sewing out of necessity so I could afford to have the latest styles. I would go to department stores and examine garments to see how they were made and then buy bargain priced fabric and make my own pattern.
When I got married and became a Mother, I of course made my own maternity clothes but discovered a new creative outlet when designing my baby’s nursery. Soon I started making pillows and quilts and the sky became the limit. Home decor design and creation became my new passion.
I never lost my creative desires but the demands of raising a family and a demanding day job left little time for creativity. Things got put on hold and the only sewing I did was the occasional special outfit or gift for a friend or family member.
Fast forward 30 years. My kids are grown and thankfully employed and my husband and I recently moved to a new city and bought a very old house where I have my own design studio. I have a new and still demanding day job but I try to find time to create each day. It is my happy place! When I am designing and creating I can leave the world behind and become completely absorbed. It is great therapy!
I opened my Etsy shop in 2010 and had no clue what I was doing; it just felt like something I needed to do. Recently I have become interested in painting fabric and have made some pillows from my designs. This is my current favorite.
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Many thanks to all who contributed — awesome creations and talent here!
Until Next Time,