Chapter 12: Food for Thought: The Art of Admiration

Hi, my Autumn Artists!

I hope you like your journey so far – I have to say I’m so proud of you all, and I love all the beautiful, meaningful content you create and share on our small Facebook Group! Thank you so much for opening up and letting us glimpse your personal world!

Last time, we stepped on our private creative paths and looked at our personal stories to discover how much happened along the way and how beautifully different they are. Maybe you’ve seen some patterns or details you didn’t know before? Perhaps you’ve discovered something new about yourself?

Today, I’d like to go further and invite you to the beautiful, splendid, breathtaking and just overall fantastic world of your creations. Do you know how much you can inspire others and yourself? Jump in; we have so many exciting things to do!

Food for Thought:
The Art of Admiration

Creativity is a complicated, personal process; we all experience it differently. We stepped on a creative path for different reasons, and our journey is always unique.
For some of us, creativity is the organic urge to “do something with our hands” or keep ourselves busy to relax and clear our minds. For others, it is a more complex process built on research, planning, preparation steps and finally – execution. Some create to please others, make lovely gifts and decorations, or have fun and check “what if…”. Some use creativity to express their deep emotions, work on traumas or relieve stress… and all these ways are valid, important and helpful!

I noticed that no matter our reason for making art, we often feel pretty shy about our projects or simply take them for granted.

Many talented, hardworking people have a hard time sharing the results of their work with others or tend to point out all the possible mistakes right away when they could just accept the love and applause instead. For some reason, they are afraid to be laughed at or considered too full of themselves when they have all the right to receive compliments and praises. They may be great at cheering for others and giving the best, most encouraging feedback to their crafty friends, but they forget about giving themselves a little pat on the back from time to time.
How unfair is this?

This coping mechanism is, of course, one of the techniques we use to save ourselves from disappointment and to contain the fear of rejection – and it may feel like it is working. Still, in the long run, it is working against us on many levels: we don’t believe in ourselves and undervalue our work. We refuse to participate in activities that may be a great source of inspiration, we undercharge for our project, and finally, we don’t even try to follow our dreams.

I’ve seen so many cases when the most talented, skilled and creative people are the hardest to convince they have something unique they can offer others. They are sensitive and of delicate nature, so they keep themselves away from the “crowds” and potential dangers of the world, while we are all dying to see and admire their work…
A good, healthy bit of self-confidence and a brave step forward could change so much, but to really take this step, we must learn to admire our projects and believe in our talents!

Of course, an essential factor is surrounding ourselves with a supportive, friendly group who will be happy to cheer for us the same way we do it for them. Equally important is looking at our progress, development and creativity with love and understanding.

A bit of kindness towards ourselves, taking the pressure off and focusing more on the process than the result is the key to a positive change!

I’d love to show you how unique, creative soul you are, how much you learned over time and how much your artwork evolved and transformed.
We are all “work in progress”; this is a beautiful and unique process – are you ready to see yours? Here we go!

How to start?

1. Check your creative space and pick 7-10 of your favourite projects you made over the years.

The point is to pick the ones representing different stages of your creative path, possibly different styles you tried and loved. The choice is yours – the important part is to include some of the “early” artworks, followed by more recent ones and finally, a project you’ve made in the last months!

2. Once you have them, put them on display so you can clearly see them and examine the details. You can put them on one shelf, on the floor – wherever it is convenient and safe!

Now, here is where the fun begins! Grab Your Art journal and get ready to take some notes!

3. Imagine you are an art student going to the Art Gallery with a notebook to study the pieces of the “art masters.” Your job is to examine carefully selected projects and write down your observations. There is no judging in this process – it is just careful observation of the creative path, progress and changes in the artworks over the months and years.

During this process, we focus on the techniques and materials used, topics and general vibe of the creations. Try to dive into this activity as much as you can!

Here are some questions that may help:

  • Is there a “common thread” in the artwork presented? If yes – is it technique, colour palette, or the topics of the art pieces?
  • What are the repetitive patterns/elements/colour palettes you can find on them? Are there any similarities in the choice of the materials used?
  • What is the general mood, the “story” in the artworks? Are they similar, or is each one very different?
  • What are the techniques used to create these feelings? Which ones are repeating the most?
  • What makes them different from each other? What kind of “evolution” can you see happening over time?

4. Look at your notes and the art project you picked for this exhibition.

What are your thoughts and feelings now, after taking the time to actually see your own art and the progress you’ve made? How is your art changing over time – and which elements remain the same? Please write it down in your journal.

Don’t put the artwork you’ve picked too far – soon, you will need to choose one of them and use it as your inspiration!

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