According to Joanne Sharpe, one of my favorite artists and Whimsical Art Maker, “Everyone needs [their] art friends”. Blogging has allowed me to find my tribe of art friends – other like-minded beautiful creative individuals who share my love for creating, and who I realized, also need encouragement and inspiration.
For today’s post, I asked Vanessa, a fellow blogger and one of my dearest art friends to write for you. Van is a kindred spirit I met in one of Martine de Luna‘s Write On Workshop in 2012. You may see yourself in her – an individual who needs to let her artist child out to play.
I hope I can also be your creative enabler and art friend.
The best kinds of connections are seldom planned.
This happened two years ago, while I was attending Martine “the blog whisperer’s” writing class. It was there that I found a kindred spirit in Dette, who is now my creative enabler.
I remember Dette voicing out her hesitations about putting up a blog to showcase her paintings, doodles and drawings. When she mentioned Julia Cameron’s the Artist Way, something in me clicked. I found myself nodding at everything she was saying, because I recognized my own struggle to nurture the “artist child” in me waiting to be unleashed.
You see, I buried my “artist child” deep down for many years, thinking that artistic pursuits didn’t serve me, believing that allowing my creativity to flourish was impractical, a waste of time.
Seeing Dette thriving in her corporate job while infusing her creativity into everything she does is inspiring to watch. Here is a no nonsense woman who has it all: a demanding career, a wonderful family, charming children, more than enough artistic talent to spare. And yet with her packed schedule that includes frequent work -related out of town trips, she makes the time not just to indulge in her creativity, but to inspire others to do the same.
She’s an enabler not just with her time, but with her art things as well. Thank goodness that she’s a hoarder, because we’re beneficiaries to all the art things she buys during those trips abroad!
As the chief instigator of our Art Friends group, Dette frequently arranges meetings with other artist wannabes (like me!) or anyone else interested to awaken their creativity. Prodigious artistic talent is not required to attend these meetings, but curiosity, open-mindedness, and a spirit of generosity are definite pluses.
On the surface you’ll see a group of women sharing their new tools, giving each other tips and tricks and geeking out over calligraphy stuff. It’s a mundane scene at best, just a regular get together among moms, women, and friends, bound by a love for art and creative pursuits.
But beneath all that, there’s so much more going on, unseen to the naked eye. More than likely, barriers are being broken, spirits are soaring, artistic boundaries are being shattered, and leaps of faith being made.
This is where vulnerability is a strength, where compassion is de rigueur, where supportive words are not corny, where new things can still be learned regardless of age, biases or inclination. This is where a spirit of collaboration, not competition, is the unwritten rule. Where hateful bashing and unkind words and hurtful criticisms go to die a natural death.
They say it’s impossible to make real friends after your thirties. But whoever said that hasn’t explored the power of a shared yearning for artistic expression. Even for – especially for – blocked artists who’ve abandoned their creativity.
As Picasso has famously said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
So thank you Dette, for following your inner artist, and for sharing your talent to the world. Thank you for setting up your goal of “creating for others and inspiring others to create.” While I’m still far from the painter/writer/calligrapher I aspire to be (hello, perfectionist streak!), your work continues to encourage me to truly enjoy the creative process, and not be so hung up with the goal (or perfection!).
Here’s to more artistic adventures and numerous art playdates!