Every year during the weeks leading up to Christmas, I start to feel a little off balance and I’m at my worst during the week between Christmas and New Years. I’m never quite sure why this happens. I have no issues with family and I thoroughly enjoy their company during the holiday season. But inside of myself, I doubt every move I make.
I gave up drinking alcohol on December 28 last year (my birthday) so I was a bit nervous about getting through the holidays this year without it. I was even more nervous about eating sweets and gaining a ton of weight. I’ve been craving sweets constantly since I stopped drinking and I was determined not to go crazy eating them over the holidays. Did I eat sweets? Yes LOTS. Did I drink booze? NO. Did I do Yoga and meditate like I said I would? A big fat NO. However, I realized, (after I perked up again in January) that self-acceptance is crucial. I know this happens to me every year, so I should just accept it and try not to control it or beat myself up about it. It always ends once the new year starts.
In early December, I wrote a forgiveness letter to myself and then read it a couple of weeks later when I was feeling super down in the dumps. It was beautiful, like reading a love letter to myself. The process of writing the letter helped me think positively about myself and reading it later definitely lifted my spirits. The new year is here and I’m ready to make 2019 my best year yet! I’ll be working one a new body of work which I’ll be showing at the Arts On The Credit show, April 26-28, 2019. The image above is something I’ve been working on for a commission and in a later post, I’ll show you what inspired the image.
The other day, I watched a video by Melyssa Griffin, explaining that the way to find my unique purpose on this planet is to find the intersection between how I want to be remembered (Legacy), what brings me joy (Fun) and what I’m good at (Talent). This resonated with me because it’s a very succinct way of describing how I determined my creative purpose through Ann Rea’s course Making Art Making Money.
Some painful soul searching made me realize that I want to be remembered as a person who helped people overcome shame and rebuild their self-esteem. Dancing and doodling bring me joy and make me feel present in the moment. My talent is having the technical skills to turn my dancing and doodling into art. Not just a picture to hang on a wall or a unique note card to write in, but art that inspires forgiveness and dissolves shame. In future posts I will do a better job of documenting my entire artistic process but here is a little tidbit of how my doodles become prints using stencils, ink and beeswax.
This is my original doodle that was inspired by music, generated while I was dancing (more on that in a future post).
A very quick video of me removing stencils from an inked and waxed sheet of Kozoke (Japanese paper) and the finished print before I cut it up into rectangles. Each rectangle was mounted on a 5″x7″ note card which became forgiveness cards shown above.
Recently, I’ve been taking time to carefully assess why I make art. In particular, why in the past I’ve been inspired by drains, utility covers and cracks in the road. After some soul searching, I realized that these objects cover up what lies beneath the surface. They are a reflection of me, the me who has been covering up feelings of shame from painful events and choices made in my past. It seems I’ve been spending far too much time looking down at the ground, perhaps hanging my head in shame. I know I am not alone; there are many of us out there who are or have been in the same situation. Now, I’m on a mission to fight shame with forgiveness and to use my art to help myself and others achieve this goal. This blog will document my ideas, may artistic processes and the ups and downs of recovery from addiction and trauma. Feel free to join me on this journey and sign up to receive my updates and posts.