“Many of us wish we were more creative. Many of us sense we are more creative, but unable to effectively tap that creativity. Our dreams elude us. Our lives feel somewhat flat.” - Julia Cameron
I always yearned to be creative. When I was younger, my brother and I would draw pictures of one another with colored pencils. I excelled at creating bubble and square letters using Crayola Markers. Throughout junior high and high school, I dabbled in arts - from drawing to woodshop and then ceramics - but never really made it a priority.
In college, once I made my way through general ed classes, I found myself immersed in my English classes. Something about the words resonated with me, and it was sometime into my sophomore year that I declared Creative Writing as my major. Though I had never been great at English, or in hindsight, maybe I just didn’t apply myself enough in high school. However in college, something about writing came easy to me - it felt natural. I eventually graduated college with my BA in Creative Writing, and found myself thrust out into the real world, which turned out to be not so creative. Six months post graduation, I found myself moving from my hometown to Orange County.
After a year of odd jobs, art found me. This time in form of a job for one of the leading publishers in mixed-media (though I didn’t know it at the time). My newly titled position suited me well - art management coordinator. Each day I got to carefully wrap and the artwork leaving our offices, and also unpack the incoming art. To see this scale of artwork up close and personal was a dream come true. This was also around the time blogging was starting to take off – pre Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter days. I immersed myself in the artful blogging world – it was there the spark was lit.
A few months after starting my new job, I was promoted to assistant editor and art management coordinator – now I not only got to handle and package artwork, I got to read about the inspiration behind each piece, while also learning how they were created. It was around this time that my then boss guided me to try my hand at art. I did, and it sucked. I remember it vividly - it was a 5x7” canvas I painted white, turquoise and yellow that I adorned with a few rub-ons and some metal and floral embellishments. The following week I finished my first piece of art, showing it to a couple of my co-workers, who then encouraged me to show my boss, the Editor-in-Chief. Nerves struck me as I timidly made my way into her office. I stepped in and said, “Hi Jenny! I wanted to show you the piece of art I made.” She replied, “It’s nice," and kindly assured me to keep practicing. While my ego was a little bruised by her comments, my soul felt otherwise as I continued to make art.
For months I started drawing, painting, and mimicking any art that I felt compelled to copy (note that I wasn’t selling my artwork at this time). It was through these times that started to craft my style, find my voice and really discover what I liked. These times were crucial. Sure I yearned to be like the popular bloggers and artist, all who had been creating far longer than me, but I didn’t let fear stop me from continuing to create.
Many of my first paintings were created on the floor by my bedside. When I had the urge, I’d get out a towel to cover the awful blue carpet that blanketed the ground. My supplies, most of which were tucked in the closet in a plastic 4-drawer storage container – paper, paint, brushes, and a few embellishments - wall all I needed.
At the time I wasn’t sure where this urge to crate was coming from, I just knew that I had to answer to the call.
Is there anything you've done recently to answer the call you feel coming from within? I'd love to hear your story. I'd love to hear your story. Feel free to comment below.