Tag Archives: art

What motivates you?

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.

http://www.thestudios.co/Workshops/collograph%20printing%20from%20idea%20to%20completion.html

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.

Today. I have been motivated. What motivates you?

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Innermost self

The Daily Post asked today: If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?

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.

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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.

Thistle Down Coat designed and made Adrian Bannon
Thistle Down Coat designed and made Adrian Bannon

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.

Disheartened

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!

Thanks for reading. Hugs and love xxxx20141018-234411-85451713.jpg

Commercial ties

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

To thine own self be true

Following yesterday’s post, I’ve tried today to live in the now and I’ve had a lovely day. Apart from the odd phone call about possible work I’ve managed to stay in the present without worrying about the next pay cheque or opportunity of work.

I suppose that’s the only downside to escaping the rat race. No longer do I look forward to the 22nd of the month when I could breathe a sigh of relief that money was coming in and when I had the luxury to buy what I wanted without thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, I want for nothing. I am not destitute and I am in a fortunate position, but it’s a insecurity that is years old.

When you’ve worked to build a career and the wage that rewards the effort, I have found it difficult to go from that, to waiting to receive a call asking you to work. The answer? Make my own work!

As a self employed artist, it’s about finding a problem to solve that would form a regular income. I’ve also got to consider the ‘impulse buyers’ and have pieces of work that are affordable. I’ve read in a book that someone has made a living writing a blog and travelling. Wow! If I didn’t have such self doubt I’m sure I could do that! Hahahahahahaha

Anyway about the ‘now’. I want for nothing, I have shelter, food, warmth, love and security and I am enjoying the freedom of not being involved directly in the rat race. I’m allowing myself the gift of time to build a career around what I love but also what I believe I am good at.

I went into teaching to change people’s lives, to make a difference. I know I did that in the years I worked within FE.

However over the last 7 years the students I worked with changed my life and perspective. They helped me to become more loving, compassionate and more supportive to the ‘underdogs’. The ones that no one wanted to work with, but those I found I had a natural ability to work alongside.

In those 7 years I became the best teacher I could’ve been. I was ‘outstanding’ according to OFSTED and I saw miracles in the lovely students I worked with, so why, you may ask, did I leave?

Because I could no longer protect them. I could no longer assure them that they would be ok and that no one could hurt them in my care. Systems were put in place that meant that I couldn’t create the haven that they craved nor keep the wolves from them. I felt powerless.

I was often told to keep my emotions out of the role, but how could I? When you are working with the most vulnerable how do you keep robotic, lifeless or unattached?

As an artist I am emotional, I feel, I see and observe many things. I feel pain with other people and cry alongside the strongest of characters. I also feel tremendous joy when I know the battles that people have overcome to gain qualifications or achievements that they thought they would never get!

I am me and, although I am far from perfect, I can’t and won’t change the person I am to fit into any one else scheme anymore. I will not force a square peg into a round hole just to please others. I have to be true to me.

Of course I miss the money, the security and excitement of the 22nd of each month, but what I miss, I gain in the new adventures and connections I am making whilst I’m making this transition from rat race into creativity!

I am open minded and willing to learn. Any comments or suggestions on how to grow my little business would be greatly appreciated xx

Thanks for reading x

http://www.beckyfield.com

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Fantastic inspiration!

After seeing some amazing photography in the short time on WordPress from bloggers such as kelzbelzphotography, Laura Cook Photography and Fifteen Acres, I was inspired to take some of my own whilst out walking the dog this evening.

Isn’t it amazing that we can so often miss the beauty in nature as we consume ourselves in the madness and negativity of our own heads. (Please say it’s not just me).

Hope the pictures lift you as they have lifted me. It would be good to see other examples if you fancy searching the environment for such beauty!

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Birthday

Hi all, I’ve been pretty quiet of late as I have had my birthday. I have also done my first craft fair and it wasn’t as I had hoped but then I wasn’t the only one who felt disappointed. There was a nice camaraderie between us all so it wasn’t a wasted day.

I have launched a new card range and I think they are just so gorgeous although I may be biased. Every needs a good card! Each of my cards are original and are hand crafted. So far I have produced three ranges, encaustic, birdhouse and the latest ‘well travelled’.

I’ve also finished the first publication of my website http://www.beckyfield.com so it’s been pretty busy. I haven’t forgotten you all through and I will endeavour to keep blogging! Let me know what you think of either my website or my cards if you have time xx

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Awareness

“You see persons and things not as they are but as you are. ”
― Anthony de Mello

I am a little undecided about what to blog about tonight. I don’t aim to be a master of writing nor a philosopher on life but it does help to share my thoughts and artwork to help people get to know me and what I am about.

That, in itself, is a massive step for me as I lived behind masks for years. I know today this was because I didn’t really like myself enough to let people get to know me. Today I like myself :-).

Ok, so two subjects have been whirling around my head and in some way they are entwined. The first is awareness. I love the subject of awareness. My life over the last few years has led me to become aware of myself, my thoughts and how they affect my behaviour.

“People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head; it is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it.”
― Anthony de Mello

I love to people watch. Some call it awareness, some judgement, but I call it self preservation. I watch, I become aware, I judge and then I preserve my sense of self. I no longer hide behind masks or pretend. I learnt the meaning of the word congruence and, as a visual learner, I pictured two parallel lines. I wanted to be congruent in all my life. I wanted to be, and live, in line with my thoughts and feelings and be honest and open. What a great freedom this has given me.

A couple of days ago I posted about my values and being true to those values. Escaping the rat race enabled me to do just that. To draw new parallel lines that meant I was true to myself, my loves and passions.

The second subject was about putting people on pedestals. I personally find it dangerous. No man or woman should be put on a pedestal. We are all human and we make mistakes. I have a friend who says ‘high expectations, low serenity’. We are not faultless and to place someone in an unreachable position leads to unhappiness when our needs are not met. If people put you on a pedestal the same is true, you fail to meet the needs of others who raise you up.

Tonight I sat in a room and watched. I could write a general description of the people in the room from my perspective. However, as Antony de Mello says, “You see persons and things not as they are but as you are. ” Another person in the room tonight would see a completely different picture. They would feel a completely different vibe and both of us would be right for us. I saw people lifted up on pedestals and also with people who sought validation for what they were saying.

Art is very subjective, it can be viewed very differently by whoever chooses to look at the piece or series of works. It would be fabulous to create something that could be seen as ‘dynamic’, ‘original’, ‘ground-breaking’ or ‘beautiful’. I wait expectantly to see/hear people’s opinions of my work but in reality, the only persons opinions that should matter is my own. I only need to answer the questions of whether I fulfilling my creative needs and being true to myself?

In truth, I find it uncomfortable to think that I don’t need affirmation from others. I am not yet at the point where I don’t need to seek the approval of others and I envy those who have that self assurance. I still have a way to go in fully believing in my skills and abilities. There is work to do in creating and having faith in my successful identity as an artist. I have only just begun to see the value in my own gift, rather than in the gift of teaching others the skills I already possess.

I write not to gain assurance from others but I love it when I get an email to say that someone is following me. It helps me to realise that I have a voice, that I am worth reading about and that I am not alone in this journey of self awareness. Hopefully I can help in your awareness journey by walking with you hand in hand. Maybe we can share what we see and learn new insights.

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Find your bliss

Just a quick post today. Had a great day with fellow artists and crafters. A pure, uninterrupted day of complete bliss. How wonderful to have the opportunity to complete give a whole day to generate new ideas amongst such creativity. I am so pleased with what I have produced and just wanted to share these card designs with you. Have you found your bliss?
Enjoy, see you tomorrow! Xx

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You are enough

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What a day! It amazes me at times how much faith people have in me as a person. As a friend I am considered loyal, honest and loving. As an artist, I have been considered gifted, talented and original. As an Educator I have been given the accolade of ‘Outstanding’ or as my students say ‘The best’. It’s wonderful.

I’ve tried dressing up my new business into a catchy name, creating a brand thinking that I, in myself, am not enough. I have come a long way since leaving the rat race but so much of myself hid in the labels assigned to me. I was a teacher, a behaviour manager, a colleague for 13 years and when I decided to leave that role, I floundered for a while not really knowing what or who I was.

I know I’m probably not alone in feeling this way. It has taken me a while to find happiness without being dependant on the social status and pride wrapped up in being a professional tutor in FE. I felt naked for a while but thankfully over time I have dressed myself in new clothes.

I have been guided by people who knew how to handle and be gentle with this chrysalis. The caterpillar who needed time to lick her wounds and to re-evaluate her life. I needed to reassess what was important to me and to develop the strength of becoming strong so I was able to break the shell and emerge into the person I am today.

There is still work for me to do and tonight has been the start by getting rid of the gimmicks, the names that hide me as me and get to the core of who and what I am. I am Becky Field and this is the start of my story.