Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Creative Insecurity

I recently read an article in this month’s Somerset Studio issue entitled "Creative Insecurity" by Quinn McDonald. It resonated deeply with the current struggles I have seen myself slip into during my own creative journeys. Quinn McDonald stated that, "Creative Insecurity occurs when we receive praise or recognition" and I would like to add, when we receive criticism, and when we are consumed by our own fear of exploring all creative possibilities.

Facing our insecurities is hard but worthwhile work if we choose to combat them. I am at the point in my creative path where I have to make a decision and choose. I want to be a full time artist. That is my dream, but the criticism I hear often, is that an artist needs a day job don’t ever count on making a living with your art. This sets me back and snuffs my dreams each time I hear it, and it hurts me so much because the one person who says this is the one person I admire the most, my mother. Yet she is also the one person that gives me the drive to keep pursuing my dream, so I can prove to her I can do this and be successful with my art. It would mean the world to me to prove this to her.

I am working diligently on two children’s books that I am very excited about, for those of you who know me personally, you all know that I have a goal of one day winning a Caldecott Medal. It may be a reach, but one that is certainly worth the effort. I also want to settle down and start a family, and this is by far and large my biggest dream, and one that truly fuels my desire to be a full time working artist. Being able to work from home while raising my own family is very important to me, and I will make no compromise on this, what-so-ever, otherwise I will not even consider having a family.

So I am slowly coming to terms with my bag of neurosis called, Creative Insecurity, and starting to plan and strategize the rest of my life and the future of my artistic endeavors. The artist inside me has realized that when we look at all of the elements of anxiety and insecurity and sit with them instead of run from them, they no longer look big or pursue us, we open up and become more creative. In fact I have found much inspiration in this realization, enough to allow me to explore new directions to take my own art. This has caused me to create pieces that are uniquely speaking from my core being in a way that I have not been able to do before. I have found a creative voice that speaks from the art that I create. I am excited to be creating fine art that is more evocative of my personality and I look forward to sharing that piece of myself with you in the months to come!

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Studio Space

I am an artist, I have a studio, it may not be anything big or fancy but it serves its purpose and I find my inspiration within it and I find the pieces of me there as well. It is quiet, it is peaceful, it is my place I disappear into-a process that really isn't different from disappearing into myself. It is my sanctuary, while there are things that are missing in it-like a big window that faces the sun for instance, I know that it is still a place where I dwell deep in thought and deep in the creative spot. While it may only be 400 sq ft, some of my best ideas have been captured and created here. Someday, I am sure of it, I will have my "ideal" studio, but for now this is it. We all start small and start somewhere!

This is my zen space and let it be known I also meditate and do my Yoga in my studio too!

My snakes make their home just outside of my studio. Sometimes they slither out and say hi! Occasionally my cats strolls in to say hi and sometimes my dog too.

Hanging around my studio are many pieces of work that I created years ago. I like to remember the beginning of it all really. Keep it there with me to remember where it all started.

My little Buddha whose company I enjoy while I am meditating and reflecting inward.

My cabinet of secrets with, of course, birds, always birds and trees.

Where I do my digital work.

Where I keep all of my books, poetry, art books, literature, art educational books, and various larger canvases of works in progress. Right now I have a tree piece that I am working on for my master bedroom.

The best printer I have ever owned to date sits above the old radio my mother used in her classroom...hence the reason it is labeled "Mrs. Pool"!

Various works in progress here. An illustration of a certain Celtic warrioress, I will name for you all later,those of you familiar with your Celtic history will already know who she is. She is waiting to be finished up and sits patiently among a few other pieces of mine waiting their turn.

Multi-tasking, the Yoga ball is a great ab workout for while I paint. I highly recommend this! ;)

Various paints and supplies are tucked as neatly away as I can keep them in this area!

This box under my visual journaling desk is full of old books, computer parts, various papers, messed up artworks, scraps, you name it. The goodies I continually collect and go through when working on artwork

This is the area I do most of my work. A lot of writing, illustration thumbs and boards, even where I play my violin and clarinet when the urge presents itself.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Common Dandelion

I want to be free like a weed-
A floret from taraxacum parachute ball released to breeze
A bright future nourished from a promising seed,
Land where I want to, taking root where I please.
This is the way I would like my life to be-
No worries not troubles, just a wild weed
In the moment living free
No constraints-only my own creed.


Timeline-Past and Present

this time next year
will be a new year
but still filled with the fear
this time will be the same next year

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Realization #1

I am eating alone,
only the silverware
breaks the silence

A Musing

Isn't it strange how today always turns into tomorrow and yet somehow yesterday will always stay pieces of today?

Is not forever the fragments, those tiny pieces of everything that is and is not. Pieces of yesterday, today, and tomorrow cleverly woven together by the strings of Eternity, echoing the slow passage of time in soft whispers of pale blue light...forevermore?

Flop Flop the Turtle Top Roughs

Just wanted to post a sneak peak at couple illustration rough drafts I have for a children's book I am working on, "Flip Flop the Turtle Top". The brief synopsis- the books is about a young girl who finds a painted turtle in the wild. Brings the turtle home in an effort to make a pet out of a wild animal. The moral of the story in a sweet and childish way..."never cage a wild thing". She returns the turtle to the wilds when she begins to realize how unhappy he is.

Some samples of the story board on the floor in my studio.

I wish I had a larger studio ;)

There are many steps that go into planning the whole book project. Right now the author (who is my mother) is reworking the story so it is more lyrical, as children like rhyming and it has been shown rhyming patterns play a significant role in the development of a child's mind. My only hope is the story doesn't change too much so I don't find myself going back and reworking the illustrations that are already complete.

Some close ups of the sketch process

I will be starting the color study phase this weekend. I am also working on the illustrations of another story I wrote. It is lyrical as well and is a story I had in my mind for quite sometime. I put it all down on paper last summer and spent the better part of the year rewriting and reworking it. Now I am starting the drawing phases. I will post more on that later. I hope to one day have a Caldecott Medal winning book (or books) under my belt.

I am working on a poetry book of my own and have started the layout design for the book. The poems are done and it has turned out to be a very autobiographical work. The poems, for the most part, explore the darker side of my life and the circumstances that I have been dealing with. The creation of this book has become a healing process for me.

Well that is about it for now! Cheerio.