Children approach art with such freedom & playfulness. For them drawing, writing & painting are play activities, similar to Connect Four or chasing bubbles in the park. All you have to do is provide them with the proper art tools along with a safe affirming space for them to tap into their creativity, and before you know it, they are creating, their imaginations are soaring & finding absolute joy every step of the process.
It is great! I absolutely love how children approach art & I'm incredibly thankful I get to experience it every Thursday afternoon as I engage in creative play with After School art class I teach. This week we created acrostic poems inspired by "SUMMER" & created multi-colored watercolor sunbeams to mount our poems on, it was delightful & fun. It was life-giving to watch their creativity go to work, as they pulled from the art skills the have developed & freely expressed themselves both on the paper. I especially enjoyed watching a couple of the artists push past the rules & boundaries that had been set, creating some fabulous artwork beyond anything I had imagine when planning the experience.
Each week I am inspired by their boldness...their courage, their willingness to try something new & ability to claim their identity as an artist, as they embrace their creative potential with spontaneity & lots of giggles. Gosh I hope they don't lose those their courage, freedom & happiness. I pray they hold onto it forever. It is beautiful. They are beautiful. I anticipate with great joy the beauty & goodness these little humans will continue to add to the world. They've definitely poured so much beauty & goodness into my life.
Here are some photographs of the creative process from Thursday. Next week I will share a couple of pieces of the finished artwork.
Open Studios this past Saturday night was an unexpected gift. I say unexpected, because I was supposed to be on a retreat this past weekend but a series of unfortunate events interrupted those plans. So though I had planned to get away this weekend to Camp Allen & not show up to Open Studios Saturday, some decisions made months ago made it impossible for me to leave.
I'm not going to lie. Thursday I was pretty bent, discouraged & drained. All I wanted to do pull up netflix and wrap up in the bed all weekend. The struggle is real every now and then. Like an artist I follow on instagram captioned a week ago, "this journey is not as easy as it seems in all the pretty pictures posted to social media." There are days when you doubt, fear speaks louder than creativity and you just can't seem to find your way.
The key is not to allow those days to have the last say; you muster up all of the courage, support and hope you need to keep showing up to your craft... keep showing up to life. Before I decided to resign from my job and embark upon this unknown path of being a creative entrepreneur, I created a "Survivor's List." I wrote down 7 things I would do to survive the days that could have the power of making you quit if you let them. I pulled on 4 of the 7 last week and honestly, they were game changers. My situation did not change, but I did and I decided if I was going to be in Houston this weekend I needed to continue to show up and fight for the life I want.
So Saturday night I was at Hardy & Nance Studios for our monthly Open Studios, even though I did not feel like it and was a bit distracted by life as I settled at my desk to work. But I showed up and I am so glad that I did because I got to....
connect with friends whom I love,
sip on a delicious Tout Suite chai latte (YUM!) gifted to me by my friend,
run the studio halls with Zion (one of the coolest 4 year olds I know!),
meet some lovely new people whom I will see again,
sell a few art works,
as well as add some more layers to my first #100ArtWorksChallenge piece (100 Stories of Her).
Needless to say it all was a perfect recipe for a great night at the studio.
Not all nights or days living in the studio are going to be great, externally affirming or even without some real drama going on outside of the studio. It's just how life goes. The struggle... the fight is real.
The gifts are just as real too-- when you keep going and doing what you know you were born to do.
Studio life is teaching me more & more, every single, day that a major part of my work as a creative entrepreneur is showing up. This work requires staying focused on the path that I'm being drawn towards & surrender fully to every imperfect, at times lonely, messy, stretching, life-giving & beautiful second of it. See I am just foolish enough to believe that if we do that... if we can show up and live authentically from our core... we will get to where you are wanting to go & so much further.
"When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that’s celebrating."
Lanecia A. Rouse