When Imagination Runs Free
As I mentioned in my last post, I have a new collection underway. When will it be ready? Not sure yet. However, one thing is glaringly true. I hit a creative cornucopia.
For the last 4 months, I have been working my way into a new direction of work. My process has slowed down, my imagination is bursting with new creations, and my time in the studio feels like pure luxury. Where did this come from?! After feeling dry and uninspired for 6 months, I am grateful for this breakthrough.
Reflecting on what brought about all these wonderful changes I have to tip my hat to the magic of imagination and the courage of trust I mustered when faced with new ideas. Had I continued with my self-deprecation and not taken even the smallest of leaps I would not be living in one of my most inspired times to date. And although I have only been making art publicly for the last 5 years, I have been toiling away at this idea of living through my craft for 20 years. Most of those years spent deep in self-doubt and fear.
I brought you here today because I want to dedicate this tiny moment to my newest portrait from this new beginning. "Lindsey" is radiating elegance, intrigue, beauty, and amplifies the delicate work I am blossoming in.
This portrait began in March when I offered to draw portraits of people in my style. This was a simple way I could give a memento to participants in payment for their generosity to use their portraits in my work. I received a little over a dozen and have thoroughly enjoyed having this inspiration in the studio. One participant was my lovely cousin, Lindsey. She sent me a beautiful photo and I loved how the end drawing came together. These portraits did provide me with a small break from my rather said state of mind, but there was more to be explored.
Still swimming through the muck of dried up inspiration I took a simple class on embroidering photos to get my hands moving. Thank goodness I saw value in trying something new because my mind opened up to new ideas. For some reason, I typically sterilize my creativity. I ratchet it down to nearly nothing. Looking back, I can clearly see my fear of failure was raging and the cultural pressure of "choose one thing" was weighing heavy on my creative practice. And of course, there is the whole issue of trying something new that could end in pure disaster. And for so long I failed to listen to the wise words of so many before me. A creative disaster is where great ideas grow. So I took a side step and dabbled in something fun for half a day. Goodness was I greeted with treasures beyond my wildest dreams.
Now imagine for a moment, you are walking around, and above you are ideas silently whizzing by looking for open minds to drop into and nest for a while. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this in her book "Big Magic". I really like this visual she uses to describe how ideas come to each of us. The ideas look for that open mind and drop-in, if the recipient of this visit is ready they get to run with it. Up until a few months ago, I thought this was a lovely visual, but I didn't fully connect with it. Until now. My mind is open, and I am feverishly changing my old ways so I can be receptive and properly nurture these lovely guests.
Enter "Lindsey." She was created because I opened my mind and nurtured an idea. My process as a whole changed as well. I started taking notes, like writing about one's lover in a journal. Each moment and idea marked with precise care. All of my marks were drawn to nourish my thoughts and plans for my ideas and inspirations. I dove deep into sketching and working through methods before creating a final portrait. All done with care. The whole journey this portrait took me on was full of joy, encouragement, preciousness, and devotion. I loved every single second of it.
I am thrilled to present to you my newest portrait:
the first of her kind :: LINDSEY :: the start of a journey
Upon finishing this portrait, I turned my sights on what was next. Could I turn these inspirations into a whole body of work? The answer is an emphatic YES! So far I am learning each new portrait holds her own story, her own new ideas, and changes me in beautiful ways. I have two completed and two in the works at this point. As I said, I hit a creative cornucopia.
Thank you for reading and indulging me at this moment. It is a cathartic exercise to write to you all. And thank you to my cousin, Lindsey, for being a beautiful muse.
Never a dull moment with this woman. Thanks for 35 years of love and friendship, Cousin.