for the past 6 months i’ve put myself out there – exposing myself in a very real, raw way. for many folks it may not seem like much – i post a monoprint i make each morning. except it is a pretty big deal for me. i’ve never identified as an artist – always more of a teacher and someone who likes to make. but i’ve leaped into an area that i can actually say, “i’m an artist.” i make. and i make a lot.
“what you do everyday matters more than what you do once in awhile.”
this quote has always struck me as uber important. and i’ve tried hard to incorporate love and kindness into my daily life. but for a long time i didn’t put myself truly first – yes i was a [selfish] athlete training for an ironman – but somehow it feels different than my current daily practice. and in the end, the practice doesn’t matter, my order, my technique, my method, my way – it’s the doing of it that matters. starting my day with mindfulness, stillness, reflection and creativity is the best way to start my days. all of them. somedays it’s really hard – i’m tired or grumpy or just not feeling it – both those are the days that it matters the most. that’s when it’s actually practice. and i always feel better on those days. and it’s all a choice. i choose to do what is best for me. and choosing myself first thing everyday makes it easier to make better choices in my life.
back to the hugeness of sharing my work. as a “non-artist” who has long pretended to be an artist – although never really that focused to become good enough at any specific medium – the thought of making something intuitively each morning, no plan, no expectation, limited time and no “redos” is frightening. it’s truly putting myself out there. the mistakes, the prints that i don’t really like when they’re done, the color combinations that make me feel meh, the patterns that don’t really work out – they are all posted. the learning, the experimentation, the exploration – it’s all posted. and somehow it has helped my other work. i feel confident enough to try new things in my “real work” – i made some large prints that i absolutely love and a few were in a show a couple months ago. i have been experimenting in encaustic (pretty much the greatest medium for me) and have decided on creating a series based on dates from match (hey… don’t judge, or judge, an artist has to have inspiration, ha!) and they are experimental and fun. but without the daily practice of making, i wouldn’t even be trying, i’d be continuing to fight with my ego about trying something new. and. the boldness of putting myself out there – i submitted my first piece in the series to a show through ArtsWorcester.
the freedom i feel through my daily practice has allowed me to feel more and more like the truest version of myself and i love her.