Continuing my 5 part series on my Artist Journey…
This is me at 13, I dug a big hole at the beach and put a great big log into it. I can’t remember now what I was building but I remember everyone was pretty supportive. I was pretty lucky growing up. Most of my creative endeavors had my family’s support.
Can you tell I grew up in the 70’s from these paintings? I loved creating art in junior high and high school. I graduated in 1977.
We had lots of art books around our house. The big coffee table kind. We would flip through them and see amazing art! I was impressed by all the great art masters. I liked colorful art. I liked the abstract and surreal art.
I mostly loved making fantasy art! I made my first set of greeting card designs when I was 19. I didn’t know how to market them back then though but a lot of my relatives bought them. Thank goodness for family.
I had a vivid imagination. I liked to think up characters and draw them. I used pen and ink, graphite pencil, watercolor, sometimes acrylics. Looks like I had a fascination with aliens.
I also kept small sketch books and filled them up with line drawings. In fact, I had journals of all kinds.
I started my dream journal in 1977. I still have it! It’s a pretty big, thick, green notebook. I would record my dreams and sometimes try to interpret them with what I called my “day notes”, trying to see if I could tie what happened during the day with my dreams. I was trying to make sense of life. Isn’t that what one’s teens are all about? Figuring stuff out. It would be what spurred my interest in studying psychology and dream work when I got older.
I also was given my first “empty book” during this time. It was 1975. Inscribed on the front inside cover, my parents wrote, “This book of blank pages is given to our daughter….we know that her creativity will make it a thing of beauty and inspiration.” I thought it was a pretty cool idea. A book of blank pages, that I was going to fill up!
I’ve collected 6 of these books over the years. I filled them with writings, collected quotes and sayings, line drawings, cool song lyrics, collage, sketches, painting titles, anything that inspired me. I still have one going to this day. If you have a creative child, I totally recommend giving them an “empty” book.
In later years, I would start a “grateful” journal. Sarah Ban Breathnach who wrote the Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude says, “if you give thanks for five gifts every day, in two months you may not look at your life in the same way as you might now.” I love the idea of transformation and being grateful. I like to take pause and remember what happened during my day that I am grateful for and give thanks!
I’m in love with this idea about nurturing the creative spirit. Finding ways to improve myself and also be inspired and create! I heard someone say though, they don’t like to be inspired because when that happens they’re distracted and not creating. They were saying, being inspired is overrated. When you’re too busy being inspired, you’re not creating. I disagree, for me, I love being inspired and I think I create best when I have books and photos and art around me that bring me joy and beauty and inspiration.
A great book about nurturing the creative spirit is Kelly Rae Roberts’ book Taking Flight, inspiration and techniques for giving your creative spirit wings. I love the stories and this book is the story of a creative artist who will inspire you, give techniques, inspiring quotes, pages for journaling, all to help your creative spirit soar!
I also started some larger sketchbook journals during my teens. You could call me a journal geek. Do you have a journal? What kind is it and what do you put into it?
I remember winning an award as a senior in high school for one of my paintings. A landscape of ocean dunes. I was thrilled to have my art acknowledged by more than my family and friends. I thought maybe I wanted to be an illustrator or maybe a graphic designer. I was sure I wanted to be some kind of an artist and go to college. And I did. I’ll write more about my college years and my twenties in Part 3 of my Artist Journey series.