I write this after a very ‘successful’ day in the creative life I have outside of the rat race. It’s amazing that as I reflect over the day I have realised that one of the things that both motivates me and paralysis me is other people.
What does this mean? Recently I have been spurred on by watching steps other people have made in the creative world. I then have followed these steps and have been successful in being selected to hold workshops in a beautiful studio near where I live.
However. In the same fortnight I have seen other creatives produce work similar to some commercial projects and I have become paralysed and disheartened.
It’s alarming for me to realise how I allow other people to have both positive and negative affects on me. The saddest thing is that I know it is my interpretation that makes this so.
I learnt in Sept 2013 that what I see and what I hear is influenced by my life’s experience. What is seen or heard is filtered through this experience and I then make assumption, judgements and decisions based on the filtered information.
Just learning that this happens has helped me a great deal to not react. It gives me time to stop, think, wait, access the reality of this filtered auditory or visual information and then act.
Today, although I am not a puppet to anyone else’s strings, I do realise that I still have threads attached to other people’s opinions, behaviours and actions. On any given day though, I have a choice as to whether this paralysis me or motivates me.
I love learning. I love seeing what else can be done. I am learning that there is so much more to this digital world and that I can sometimes become baffled with terms, jargon and technology that quite often, I can be paralysed.
So where do I start?
Since I started venturing into the creative world from the rat race I have quite often taken the lead from others who I deem to be successful.
I have been honoured to feature in blogs by such people and for my work to be ‘shared’ between Facebook friends.
Recently I have been asked to run workshops within two different environments. I see this as shoots sprouting from the seeds I have laid down over the last months where my posts have been few. I have secured a part time job which gives me a sense of accomplishment and also gives me be luxury of time to pursue my dreams.
It has given me security to know that I can afford to sow seeds in areas that may be unfamiliar. I can try new things and learn new methods without the fear of not ‘making it’.
The first few months of being self employed I cast my net far. I threw caution to the wind and tried many things. In pulling the net closer at the end of the year, I could see how successful my catch was. What stayed and what needed to be discarded. What needed to be shelved and what needed to be nurtured further.
In doing so I could then concentrate on what have me the greatest pleasure. Quite often it has very little to do with monetary gain, but more about what stayed true to myself. My vision, my core values but most of all that fed my creativity.
Today I have learnt that it’s not all about asking it’s about giving. It’s not all about selling but engaging with the people who spend time ‘following’ or ‘connecting’ with you. Today I have learnt that it is time to give back! I am open to learning all I can. Xx
If you have followed my blog you may know that one of my utmost important values in my life is honesty. I have walked away from many a friend or family member who found it impossible to be honesty. Dishonesty by omission is not excluded in this value.
I can write a short blog post or Facebook status, but it would never perfectly described just how integral this core value is to me. I won’t go into the several reasons that could account for this lack of trust as, in truth, what would it solve to drag up past experiences that have shaped the person I am today? Today I try to live honestly in a sadly dishonest world.
The sad thing is I still have that childish belief that other people hold honesty in as much importance as I do. Awareness is marvelous until it extinguishes the hope that people feel the same way. I never cease to be amazed at the behaviour of humans and I came to the conclusion last night that some people are so afraid to live honestly in this world.
Art is a therapy, a friend. You can always trust in creativity and it never lies. Where else could you feel such love, such happiness than being completely and utterly at peace with a collograph or painting?
A friend messaged me this tonight. Your comments are appreciated.
Definition of Honest from Urban Dictionary
A divine attribute we often wrongly assign to one we admire, but sadly, like telepathy, honesty is a characteristic not inherent in humanity. To be truly and completely honest with someone, one must first be truly and completely honest with one’s self. Since our species is incapable of seeing past its own fears, desires, prejudices, convictions, emotional attachments, memories and flawed perceptions, man is not capable of viewing an unfiltered reality. Every single conclusion a person comes to is first carefully screened and reviewed through a series of subconscious unrelated facets of collective reasoning and thus all humanity is blind to all truth. Thus, no one is truly and completely honest with themselves and thus cannot be truly and completely honest with others. The most anyone can hope to give is their honest opinion. But that’s all it is, an opinion.
When i initially read this I instantly thought of a suit of armour. Sadly I feel it necessary to wear this armour as I do not tend to be too resilient (yet) to what other people say or do. During my teaching I learnt from an anger management course, that what we hear may not necessarily be what was spoken, and what was seen may be misinterpreted by individual life experiences.
But as I think further about my inner most self in its true, natural form it would probably look like the Thistle Down Coat designed and made Adrian Bannon from the seeds of the thistle plant. I saw this piece on display in the Textile Hall at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK.
It sums up the fragility of my innermost self.
Would I dare to wear it? It would probably be a case of how long would it last if I did? Until I build up my resilience to people, places and situations I would probably say no….
The armour would be more appropriate in this day and age, but if I was among friends who love me and know my true inner most self then I would wear it, and if it should break or become tangled, I know they will help me to mend.
Well I’ve finished my 2nd craft fair and I must say I have come back totally demoralised. I’ve received comments such as ….. ‘Treat it as an experience,’ ‘the trouble is you have too much of YOU invested in your work’ or ‘different meat for different stalls’ but I can’t help but feel disheartened.
It’s not that I don’t believe in my work, but that I am still trying to find the angle to pursue or avenue to take as a long term pursuit. I’m not looking for sympathy or consolation, I’m not really sure what I need to make me feel better but I am going to do what I usually do and that is rest, recharge and reassess. Sometimes I just need to sit and think, reflect and trust. It’s the trust part that I find very difficult. But that’s another post!
Wow, how many times have I wanted to fit more into a day, what would I do? To be honest, I would commit myself to a daily blog rather than just random posts. I would take time to learn from experiences bloggers and try to make my blog interesting, visual and find ways to get people to interact.
I read many blogs and follow ones that resonate with me and I would love to be as engaging as they are.
For example I received a comment on my post ‘Goodnight Shirley’ from Storyshucker. I was privileged then to start following him after reading ‘write it for her anyway’ I have also become a regular follower of Leanne Cole Photography and have had some of my photographs featured in her fabulous weekly posts for Monochrome Madness. Through this blog I have been introduced to photographers that I would never have known before and been encouraged to venture into new creativity with my camera.
As a newcomer to the world of blogging both of these experiences have encouraged me. However with that extra hour I would learn all about pingbacks, learn more about what helps to engage others and enjoy the experience rather than worrying if anyone is reading my blog, or asking myself such questions as; are they interested? Have I said too much? Was that post too negative? Too confusing? Too vague?
Or maybe I would just sleep that extra hour as I’m exhausted from questioning my every word. It would be lovely wouldn’t it?
Sometime you just have to be in the right place at the right time. This morning I was enamoured by a dolphin swimming in the sea, it’s not an everyday occurrence here in England but today the performance was just for me.
The day ended much as it began with being in the right place at the right time. I hadn’t planned to capture photographs today but the opportunities were there. Not only were they there, but I took them.
I was reminded today of going that extra distance to get the fullness of what can be seen. Life can be like that. You can go so far, taste the sweetness but then stop often thinking that either you don’t deserve any more, or that to go further would spoil the experience. However, by going further, your perception can change, the sunset deepen and the richness becomes richer. Why settle when you can have more?
Moving from the ‘rat race’ into creativity has opened up a whole new world. By challenging myself to enter into more experiences I am learning more about myself, others and that life can really get brighten if you just go that little bit further! X
Why not comment on where have you found yourself in the right place at right time and share your photos xX
Here are mine to start you off. Enjoy the views! Xx
Well it is all change again for me and I have been fortunate to take up the offer of a temporary job. I have referred to my previous employment as ‘rat race’ this job, is a total change from that. I am surrounded by people whose aim is to help people feel better about themselves. The whole feel of the clinic is about serenity, peace and pleasure.
I am a receptionist which enables me to speak to new people, find out their stories and feel blessed to be a small part in the transformation of someones feelings. Creativity is like that, being a part of a community where expression and self fulfillment is at the forefront. This role is enabling me to continue to be creative whilst giving me the safety net that keeps the wolves from the door.
A job is what you make it and already I have brought creativity into the clinic by staging and photographing products.
However, I have also realised that I can get too comfortable, too quickly, I become familiar and because I am so content in what I am doing, I am enthusiastic and worry about being too much. Feedback or suggestions would help if you have time as this self discovery and forming of a new identity takes time, moulding and manipulating so experiences from others will help me!
How I would just love to sit at home and craft all day but sadly bills need to be paid and money certainly doesn’t grow on trees. (So I’ve been told)
As an artist, I need to create all different types of works to suit the markets around me. I have been called the ‘Del Boy’ of the craft world as I am still finding out what works, at what doesn’t. I’m trying to shimmy into new areas of business to see what feels right and I am having a great deal of fun in the process.
Today I have created and framed some more commercial ideas to sell at local fairs. All the pieces are from different areas of my new life since leaving the rat race.
Firstly there are the empowering quotes, (my fella calls them poison pen works). These are sourced from the personal development group I have been attending since February. A great source of encouragement and the works are created from such inspiration.
The second lot of pieces have been based around hobbies and from the great network of people I have met since joining the creative circles. I have been inspired to make more personalised gifts for Christmas rather than items that are just for the 12 days and then recycled in a car boot or yard sale (for my international followers).
Then there are the selfish passions such as flowers that I have previously looked at and shown in my posts. The beauty in the natural environment that keeps me in the moment rather than chasing dreams or fearing the future.
I hope that the creative juices continue to flow as I venture into more commercial projects. I spoke to a lady recently who said that, should she start to think about her hobby as a money making project, that she dries up creatively. Although I have to see ways of making money, (stuff work, let’s play) I do not want the commercial ties to suffocate my creativity.
I have so many ideas that I want to start, that this sitting around being creative is merely laying a foundation on which I can, and will, build upon. I have friends who support me, business men to guide me and a power greater opening doors for me that I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow may bring. I can’t remember feeling this way for a long time in the rat race, but today, I am grateful for all that I have. For the journey it has taken to get to where I am, I will always be grateful.
It’s nice to be a part of such a talent of photographers and being featured amongst the impressive work of Leanne Cole. Not long ago I would neve have considered daring to send my photos to anyone but the excitement to know whether or not you have taken a striking picture that claims it’s space on the blog is too much not to be part of. Leanne, as ever, gives honest feedback and inspired me to just keep on ‘keeping on’. Again a privilege to be featured and to see such beauty and perspective in the work of others. Thank you x