In this blog post, I want to delve into the way women discuss their time spent on art practice, creative projects, and artistic hobbies. While some consider it a necessity, an integral part of their being, others yearn to express themselves creatively but face voices that hold them back.
Overcoming the Inner Critic:
When you think of planning to do something creative OR get the urge to create is there an uncomfortable feeling, a sense of guilt perhaps?
I have been observing how women talk about spending time with their art practice, their creative projects, and their artistic hobbies.
Some say it is a necessity, they simply can’t NOT create, as it is so deeply embedded in who they are.
We often hear the following thoughts echoing in our minds...
“This will just be a waste of time.”
“I’m not very good, I will never be any good.”
“It won’t turn out how I want it to”
‘I don’t really know how to start”
What I have learned is that they never push past that uncomfortable or ‘ugly’ stage. They don’t make space to reflect.
I’ll let you into a secret...
ALL ART and creative processes go through an uncomfortable or "ugly" stage. Every artist, at some point, grapples with a piece of work on its journey to completion. Renowned British artist Maggie Hambling suggests making your work your best friend. When I first heard this, i wondered what she meant.
I started to think about the concept by looker closer at the definition of a best friend:
"A person who you value above other friends in your life,
someone you have fun with, someone you trust,
and someone in whom you confide."
I believe Maggie Hambling's advice embodies this definition. Your creative practice should be something you hold in high regard, something you enjoy and have fun with, something you trust and confide in. It should be a safe space where you can share your deepest fears, wildest dreams, and unique imagination. So, I ask you: Is your creative practice your best friend, or does that relationship need a bit of work? Take a moment to reconnect. Reach out to your creative self, send it a message, and ask how it's doing.
How to Ignite Your Creative Flame:
To ignite your creative flame and awaken the artist within, there are a few simple steps you can take, and art journaling can be the perfect vessel for this exploration.
First and foremost, carve out dedicated time for creativity in your schedule, reserving moments specifically for your art practice. Whether it's an hour each day or a block of time on weekends, create a sacred space where you can immerse yourself in this expressive practice.
Next, gather inspiration from various sources such as books, nature, or other artists, and translate those inspirations onto the pages of your art journal. Art journaling allows you to combine various mediums, techniques, and personal reflections, providing a limitless playground for creative experimentation.
Additionally, seek out a supportive community of like-minded individuals who appreciate the power of art journaling. Engaging in a course or class can provide valuable insights, inspiration, and a sense of connection.
Remember to approach art journaling with self-compassion, embracing the process over perfection.
Give yourself permission to make mistakes, explore new ideas, and let the pages of your journal become a visual representation of your artistic growth. By incorporating art journaling into your creative journey, you can ignite your creative flame and embark on a deeply fulfilling and transformative exploration of self-expression.
What is Your Heart's Desire?
"What is it you want to do with this one precious life?" A friend recently reminded me of this question posed by Mary Oliver in her poem The Summer Day . It resonated deeply within me, sparking a series of profound inquiries. What do I want my legacy to be? What mark do I want to leave on the world through my creativity?
As I approach my 48th birthday and navigate the transitional years of peri-menopause, I find myself contemplating life, its struggles, and its dreams. During an enlightening conversation with a wise woman recently, I poured out my thoughts, struggles, and aspirations. The words flowed effortlessly, as if a swift taking flight from a rooftop and I passionately expressed...
"I want to help women show up as the creative beings they yearn to be."
In 2018, after enduring the most challenging years of my life, I made a decision. I chose to show up everyday as an artist, honouring my maiden self who embarked on her artistic journey with dreams tucked within her portfolio. I wanted to pay homage to the wise crone woman I aspired to become, to nourish the woman who was healing and embarking on a new path. I wanted to clear the way, create a map, and leave a trail of breadcrumbs for others to follow.
Creativity: A Pathway Back Home:
“Let us drop these breadcrumbs so that together we can find our way home.
Because losing our way would be the most cruel of things”
Hansel & Gretel
These words from Hansel & Gretel resonate with me so deeply. Perimenopause, grief, and trauma can make us feel lost, but creativity can be our way home. It leads us back to ourselves, our inner guide, our inner whisper—the repository of all the answers and maps we need.
Birth Your Creative Projects, Nurture Your Soul:
While I may not have given birth to the daughter I dreamt of, I can give birth to the creative projects I have nurtured within for so long. With your support, I can manifest these endeavours, creating something unique and meaningful. As Sharon Blackie beautifully puts it in her book Hagitude.
"Our creativity as elder women isn't about birthing others anymore—
it's about birthing our own unique wisdom, our own unique gift to the world."
Embrace Your Creative Calling: Unlocking the Power Within
In this post, we've explored the doubts, fears, and self-criticism that often plague us when it comes to engaging in creative pursuits. We've discovered the importance of embracing our creative practice as our best friend, nurturing it with trust, love, and joy. By reconnecting with our artistic selves, we can unlock the power within and create a pathway back home to our truest selves.
So here's what I want you to take away today...
Shed the notion that creativity is a waste of time and instead embrace it as a vital part of YOUR existence.
Honour your unique GIFTS and unleash your imagination.
Birthing your own WISDOM and SHARE it with the world
Leave a lasting LEGACY of inspiration and creativity.
Embrace your creative calling and unlock the POWER within?
WANT TO SAVE IT FOR LATER
(PERHAPS WITH A CUP OF TEA?)
PIN IT TO PINTEREST:
ABBY MONROE IS AN ARTIST, CREATIVE GUIDE, and TEACHER, BRINGING YOU THE CONFIDENCE, INSPIRATION, and MINDSET YOU NEED TO LIVE YOUR LIFE as a HEART-CENTRED CREATIVE.