Saturday, June 26, 2010

inspiration and trust

Besides the weekly creative challenge that Illustration Friday offers me, I love visiting the sites of the multitude of creative souls that also participate. Besides seeing how they have interpreted the topic, I am privy to their words of wisdom, their successes and their struggles. This is so nice because the world of the artist has its solitary moments~ many times we are out there slaying demons all by ourselves. But blogs, facebook and other electronic outlets has given us ways of creating communities and places of support. I mention this because last night I came across a post from a fellow illustrator that rang so true that i needed to share.
The site is Dream & Vision by Susan Sorrell Hill, an artist and illustrator living in Northern California. I have enjoyed her illustrations and her posts many times but yesterday she wrote about her "conscience .... that ubiquitous back-seat driver who is rarely content, and when she is, it’s only for the brief moment before something else is unsatisfactory" ~ WOW, I know that voice! I refer it it as my monkey and moments before reading Susan's post I had been talking with a good friend about how I am SOOOO tired of this voice ~ the guilt, the self doubt, BLAH!! For whatever reason this voice has increased in volume and intensity, seeping into all aspects of my life!! I feel like i am constantly engaged in a sumo wrestling match in my head ~ between what i feel in my heart and what my monkey says I 'should' do. I have been told it is part of the creative process, but I feel this struggle uses so much energy and strength that i would rather be putting into my art and my family.

So I was heartened to read Susan's post (I am not alone) and to hear about her approach to quiet the voices. I haven't tried but want to. I am working on being more positive and trusting myself through mediation and in my studio work. Just this week I started a series of artist trading cards and my first one was a 'trust' dress!! Also, in my studio, I have been working on a series what I refer to as 'intuitive painting' ~ the same approach that I took with the walls of my installation, 'this comes from within' ~ just paint and don't think, listen to my heart and not my head. I am painting on canvases and on shaped pieces of wood ~ and I am very excited about this work!! But I have been so surprised on how mentally hard this has been?!?!? I am painting away & my monkey is basically screaming at me that I am wasting my time, this is just doodling, playing it safe... but if i try and do other work I soon find myself back at my canvas....go figure. So I recognize that the need to create this work & I want to honor that need, so I will try to quiet the monkey.

So if any one has any suggestions about how to quiet those annoying voices ...PLEASE share!! I would be love to hear them. I am feeling that itis time to shake this monkey (or at least quiet him). I was watching Ella Enchanted with my daughter this week and in this movie the main character, Ella, needs to overcome her 'gift' of obedience. I have watched this movie a bunch of times but this time I watched it with new eyes ~ I need overcome my 'gift' of self doubt, overwhelming sense of guilt and lack of confidence. wish me luck!!!

Hope all have a good weekend. & my illustration friday piece will be coming later!!! peace!!


  1. One of the things we fear most is success. Like, "Who the hell am I to be THIS good???" So your monkey is loudest when you're being most free with your creativity. How about making friends with the monkey? Give her/him a name and welcome her when she's there. Tell her she doesn't need to be afraid. Ask her to watch you create. Tell yourself too that it's okay to be afraid, okay to be creative, and okay to be successful. All that "should" business? A friend once relayed something her mother would say to her - "Quit shouldn't on yourself!" I love your work, and always enjoy reading your blog. Hang in there!

  2. time to draw the monkey, sculpt the monkey, slay the monkey with art ...


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