Today I thought I’d answer one of the questions I get asked a lot about my artistic journey. When did you start painting and what kind of training did you have?
It seems to me that we’re programmed to think that in order to be able to do something we must have gone through a certain kind of rigorous training and so we automatically ask these kinds of questions, as we relate seeing gifts in someone to a curriculum of schooling.
While this may be some peoples’ journeys, it isn’t everyone’s.
There are many people whose training has come “built-in” from their soul history.
There are some people who aren’t born with a filter and so they just “go for it” with expressing themselves and the creative energy that moves through them.
There are people who cultivate a passion they feel.
And there are people who are drawn to training more studiously because that feels right to them, they want to advance their techniques and expand with their breadth of work, and maybe even on some level feel it’s a way to establish value for their work, as society places such high worth on things like degrees, training, and names of schools we attend and get accepted into.
There’s no one way, or one right way. We each go on the journey that feels to provide exactly what we need.
For me, it was a strong aversion to training, classes, and schooling of any kind. So much so that I even turned down working at an art school to teach others to draw because it felt boxed-in, and since I didn’t feel right about it for myself, I just couldn’t see advocating that through my work to others. It was more about consistency for me. I had to go through that process though and interviewing, in order to confirm to me what I felt.
So what has my journey been like with art?
I have been drawing all of my life.
It was my favorite pastime.
My fondest memories are of summers sitting at the dining table with my French grandfather drawing after play time outside.
I received a lot of recognition for my drawing in elementary, middle, and high school, but never had any formal training. I naturally took to it without art class teachers’ help. In fact, most of what they said didn’t make much sense to me.
I was very good at reproducing things that I saw like a photocopy. That was my left brain, detail-oriented, perfectionist that could sit for hours working on two square inches of a piece to get every pencil or paint brush stroke exact.
It’s no surprise I was also extremely good at staying “inside” the lines of coloring books – another enjoyment I loved – along with things like creating Spirograph drawings (do you remember these?!).
Detail work is something I carry in me over lifetimes, but I’ve come to find is not my joy.
It’s a soul-ingrained pattern I’ve spent years undoing in this life.
Ironically, my childhood drawings I started doing on my own before this patterning circled back through is what I’ve returned to now. A reclaiming of my “essence,” but channeled through a fresh me.
As a child I was very good at creating simple images of what I saw in my mind’s eye of things I loved in nature all around me.
My favorite and best thing I could draw was, and remains to this day, animals.
I never felt drawn to taking classes outside of the ones we either had to, or had as electives, through high school.
For some reason I felt inclined to keep this part of my life raw in its nature and didn’t want to feel controlled by rights and wrongs. I wanted simply to bring forth my visions without boundaries. Having everything else in life feeling so controlled, this let me have one little sacred piece to myself where anything goes.
Interestingly, while I could draw people if I wanted, I just don’t really want to and it’s more effort.
What flows for me is nature, animals, magickal beings, and enchanting or cosmic visions.
While my work could easily be judged by art critics who have their own idea of what makes art “good,” for me I love the raw expression of what moves through someone’s heart.
That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the beauty of fine works of art. I am in awe of the masterpieces hanging in galleries and marvel at how incredibly they’re executed.
But I do love purity and innocence too, which is what my presence here on Earth is about. And I equally see the beauty within this type of creative expression and see them as fine works of art in their own right because, to me, art is something that not only captures a visual gift come to life, but truly moves you with emotion to experience something deep or even triggers the opening of your own heart with the images acting like keys.
Creative energy is unlimited and therefore there are many ways to bring forth artistic expression.
I say, if it feels joyful to your heart to create, then that’s art.
So, while I’ve cultivated my own form of artistic expression by listening to what moves me and implementing what I’ve integrated and worked on throughout my life, I believe we each have our own journey with this.
But I encourage anyone who feels the desire to draw, paint, or create in some way, to just do it!
There is value in expressing what you feel and if you feel it, I guarantee there is someone out there who needs just what you have to share.
What do you feel your artistic journey has been?
Sometimes we start out one way, but move into a different arena later.
Don’t be afraid to try something.
The value of art is not based on whether it hangs in a gallery or gets critical acclaim.
The value of art is in the expression.
Creativity yearns to be shared.