Tag Archives: creative

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.

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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?

Forever a student.

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

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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.

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.

Beyond the weeds

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Firstly thank you for all the likes on yesterdays post on ‘Adventure’, It was lovely to be able to share some positivity. Time for some more?

I do not profess to be someone who spends her day pondering the meaning of life, but when I am tuned into life and my awareness is heightened, for some reason I always look for a message. I quite often learn what I should be doing this way rather than keeping myself obsessing about what ‘could be’ or ‘should be’.

Todays walk was just like that. I walked a usual walk with my dog and I always carry a camera with me. Today I noticed that a walkway had been cropped and only weeds remained. I could have put my camera aside but today I didn’t. I found some wonderful delicacies in the weeds, the shapes and forms were amazing and I started to look beyond the weeds.

The message? Look beyond the weeds.

Life may sometimes seems to be full of weeds, lack of interest, unwanted pressures of ‘shoulds’ and ‘ought to’s’. But when I truly look at the aspects of my life that truly are beautiful, the friendships I have that have a common passion for creativity, the man in my life who encourages me to be nothing more but happy, the family members who accept me for me, I have to look beyond what I may feel to the reality of my life. My life is full of delicacies that are simply beautiful. and for that I am truly thankful. What do you find when you look beyond the weeds?

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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Recharge!

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Well it’s time to recharge, the first time in 14 years that I have been on holiday on the first day of term! It feels quite rebellious!

We packed up the little car with my delicious food, one dog, one fella and two boxes of materials and headed for the hills. One of the first things I did once we arrived was to walk to the cliff edge and take this wonderful photo.

It’s the best first day of term I’ve had for a long time! Tomorrow I will be going back to the secluded pebbled beach to take some more snaps!

When I was looking at these wonderful surroundings, I began to wonder why I keep thinking about the past or the future rather than focusing on what is happening now. How much time do I waste worrying rather than living in the present? Let me ponder this and maybe find some answers for my next post.

Until then, go out, grab your camera, smell some flowers and appreciate the now! It’s time to recharge these creative batteries and continue to escape the rat race xx

Thanks for reading xx

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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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The four C’s

I can’t be the only creative person to buckle up in the morning and face the rollercoaster of emotions throughout a day? I never cease to be amazed at how I can so easily be affected by another person’s opinions or behaviour.

I give away my power to people who will probably sleep like babies. They would not give a second thought about the candle of hope that they have distinguished with their thoughtless comments.

Is this a trait of the ever creative, sensitive specimens of life? My Aunty would say… ‘Paint your frustration Becky’ but I just climb into my cave and wait…… Wait until I feel safe…….. Wait…. Peep to see who is still around……. Wait…… And then emerge, sore but ready to buckle up again.

Today I’ve re-emerged from licking my wounds of unsolicited advice. The type of advice that makes you feel belittled or incompetent. The type that lingers like a monkey on your shoulder that whispers to you such comments such as; ‘who are you trying to kid?’, ‘you?, an artist? A designer?’ Or the old favourite of ‘you are not good enough, forget your dreams, don’t be so ridiculous’.

When I give thoughts like this time to take root, I’ve lost. I have to dig them out immediately, talk them over with someone. Someone who just wants to listen.

Whilst on a personal development course I learnt that everyone generally needs 4 C’s in their life.

Cheerleaders – these are the people who are encouragers. These are the people who believe in you even when you don’t.

Confidants – These people are the ones who listen without judgement and that you can trust wholeheartedly.

Challengers – (my least favourite) These are the people who positively challenge your thoughts and behaviours. These people are not easy company but give you a different perspective.

And finally

Coaches – (my favourite) These are the people who help you to find your own answers, direction and solutions. Those who walk with you side by side.

I revisited this last night after doubting whether I was being over sensitive or reacting defensively or negatively to a ‘challenger’. I don’t believe today I was. When I read this last night the word ‘positively’ stood out. I allowed the person to influence my mood negatively. I wasn’t given a new perspective in a manner which was uplifting and I literally felt myself deflate over a matter of hours.

I was left in self doubt about myself, my artwork and questioned whether I was really being ridiculous. What a complete drop from the exhilaration I felt a couple of days ago, where I was absolutely certain that I had it in me to be successful. What a roller-coaster.

Do I dare to dream? Of course I do. I’ve come this far and I’m not about to start listening to the monkey that tells me to forget it. I am going to surround myself with coaches and cheerleaders who believe in me. Those who love me enough to let me make my own discoveries in this creative world. I will trust my confidants to be there for me, as I am for others. And finally I will welcome the challengers who positively help in my awareness and help me to gain a different perspective.

Maybe then It would be more like a gentle fairground ride rather than the highs and lows of a roller-coaster.

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