The Artist's Way
Howdy everyone! It's almost the end of the year and there's something about November that makes me want to reflect. I find that I want to do my new years resolutions a month early, before the haze of the holidays has fully hit. I should be doing a holiday gift guide for y'all but truthfully, you're smart and capable and I have lots of under $100 and over $100 options for you to choose from if you are interested and I think I have a different story to tell.
Today I want to talk about my creative journey and what really goes into the pieces that I offer to y'all. Recently I worked through The Artist's Way, 12 week program written out in a book that helps you connect to the spiritual nature of creativity and helps to dissolve blocks in your creative life.
I was under this idea that I was creatively blocked when in reality I was just afraid to be seen.
I've talked about this a little bit, but I was raised in a narcissistic alcoholic household that left me with some pretty severe CPTSD. When I moved out of my childhood home I made this unspoken vow to the universe to never do what was done to me to my children. So for the last 9 years ive been on this wild journey to heal myself and get to the point where I was able to not let my past define my present moment or future. After several years of learning about narcissism and EMDR therapy I can honestly say I am free. And through the Artist's Way I was really able to put the past behind me and own my creative energy again.
For a long time I would use art and my creative work as a way to run away from the things that hurt to look at. Sometimes using my creative voice to express those painful feelings, but also using it as a way to run from things I didn't want to face. Through my healing journey I had to redefine my relationship with work and creativity and for a while I felt blocked because everything changed so drastically through each phase of the journey that I didn't really recognize what was going on anymore. This is where The Artists Way comes in.
The Artists Way is a 12 week program that involves daily morning pages, artist dates and weekly reading and essays that help you uncover your creativity and show you how creativity is inherent to all humans. We are extensions of the Creator, and through that we have the ability to create. So when we are in our creativity we are expressing as the Creator intended. You can relate it to whatever religious system you choose, but the author keeps it pretty open for anyone who lives outside of the Christian narrative so it is very approachable for any kind of person.
Through this process I realized that I wasn't creatively blocked, I just have a fear of being seen. Even writing this out, I want to close the tab and never return to it again. There is a level of vulnerability that comes with sharing you art, especially art that you make from a purely authentic place. In my healing journey I have also been working on my authenticity. Forming a sense of self, learning who I am, and not letting other people's idea of who I should be influence how I show up in the world.
It's been incredibly challenging and truthfully, I am still figuring it out.
I realized that I have an endless raging river of creative energy at my fingertips, but it doesn't always want to be expressed in the same way. That's why I offer so many different products. Sometimes my creative energy needs to be moved by throwing pots, or painting a picture, or making some jewelry. For a long time I thought I was just self sabotaging, not allowing myself to focus on one thing and niching down like all of the marketing gurus told me to do. But in reality I was just beginning my authenticity journey. Realizing that I am an artist before I am a business owner, and that when I am having fun, using my creative energy the way it demands to be used, I am actually honoring something bigger than myself. I dont think the creator cares about being successful at instagram, or being good at only one thing. I naturally desire to express my creativity in many different ways, and when I deny myself that, I am denying the work the Creator is trying to do through me.
On this authenticity journey I realized that the way I was running Left Handed was leaving me burnt out and not having any fun. I started Left Handed and went down the pop up and holiday market trail. It was what I knew to do and so I went down that path. I survived because of that decision so I am thankful, but I learned that I am not the kind of person who really wants to work that way. For several years I wanted to stop doing markets and this year is the first year since starting Left Handed that I am honoring that desire. The FOMO has been real, but to work through it I have been going to the events that give me FOMO and I am finding that it's much more fun to attend the events than to work them. I am finding that when I am having fun, it is much easier to move towards being in flow.
I had so many ideas and expectations about what my business should be. I see people on instagram doing things a certain way and I tried to copy them for a long time with little to no success. I've always felt like I was made to be successful, that my art would reach a lot of people, but I got so caught up in the how that I forgot to focus on what i'm making. Trying to figure out what to make that people will like and not considering if I would like it. Working in this way drained me and through healing and doing The Artist's Way I have been able to return to myself.
I have been able to flip my perspective from creating for external validation to creating for myself and my relationship with the Creator. Creation and using my creative energy no longer feels like a burden, it feels like a devotional act to something bigger than myself. When I am following the creative urges that come to me, I am acting in full surrender to the Creator and in doing so I am feeling a lot more satisfied with my life and I am having a lot more fun.
Through all of this I have also grounded myself in my artistic practice a lot. It used to scare the absolute shit out of me to think about making jewelry for the rest of my life, but now it is exciting. I realize that because I get to use my creative energy however it needs to flow from me, that I will forever be a student. I will always be hungry to learn new mediums to communicate in, and I will always be eager to learn new skills and that jewelry is something that I can and likely will always turn back to. I think what scared me was this idea that if I choose something I can't go back, or i'm locked in and cant do anything else. It was a very black and white way to see myself and my creative practice and it was holding me hostage. Seeing the world as various shades of gray and every other color on the light spectrum actually makes things way easier. Our western society programs us to see things black and white, it's a means for control, but when we break free from it the entire world of possibilities is at our fingertips and you get to change your mind whenever you want without the crippling weight of other peoples expectations. It's true freedom.
Now I find myself still wanting to hide from the world. I think in part I am still working through some self rejection. I might just be a more introverted person. I might just be someone who likes to create in private. I think I got so caught up in the social media whirl wind that I got lost a little bit. Trying to hack instagram and please the algorithm without ever asking myself if it pleases me or feels right to me. I think social media is a very powerful tool to help people be seen, and it's one that I use to expose myself to new ways of being seen that feel very uncomfortable but force me to grow and actually witness myself. It's hard but its rewarding work and currently I am in the process of being kinder to myself on this journey. I am working towards being able to be seen without fear or the desire to tuck away into my shell. I haven't figure it out yet but I am setting the intention that I will and in the spirit of enjoying the process, I am practicing not focusing on the how of it all.
I'm not sure what the future of Left Handed will be. I'm not sure what anything will look like. I do know that I want to move towards engraving, a skill that I have had the privilege to learn and invest in this year. I know that I want to continue making jewelry, and lean into the concept of making precious objects that are to be used an enjoyed and passed on for generations. I love the jewelry that I inherited from ancestors the most out of all of my jewelry, and I want to create objects that are so precious to someone that they cherish them in this life and are something to be cherished for the next generation. I plan on sharing my voice in more blog posts like this as well as youtube videos talking through the concepts that I am chewing on as I make my art. Most of all I want to enjoy the experience and really fully embody this idea that everything that my creative energy touches is prosperous. I have no idea how it will work out, but truthfully that isn't my job. My job is to create and to share it with y'all and to let the Creator figure out the how for me.
So yeah, this is what I have for y'all right now. If you're interested in purchasing your own precious object, or think a loved one needs a precious object, I have many ready to ship items in my shop waiting to find someone who will love and adore it. In the mean time I will be creating and continuing my devotional acts to the Creator.
Thanks for reading this, I appreciate you more than you even know.