From the studio…notes on creativity gone…out and about and back and forth and bigger better slower more

The withdrawal process is seemingly unpredictable and requires a good measure of “go with the flow”, do what you need to do RIGHT NOW, stay in the MOMENT.

I have been infamously rubbish at it. Learning. Bear with me.

I have been running away from the now, the feelings, the e-motions and physical sensations, allowing my mind either to roam the vast range of regrets in the past or indulge in the promises of the future.

Bugger that. HEEEERE and NOW, my body, mind and spirit require me, to be. Right here, right now, keeping calm, keeping on keeping on….and CHILLing.

Art, i.e. in my case what I call arting has been really helpful. It really is art, I am just still too selfconscious to call it Art with capital A, let alone myself an artist, after thirteen years and counting…when is it gonna finish??? or click?!…, AND/BUT more importantly I really enjoy the processuality of that word ARTING. Bit like playing, messing about, goofing with…whatever.

Anyway…my art…arting has proved a saving grace once again. Above a couple of snapshots from the studio as it is at the moment.

#seemetoseeyourself portraits #couloringbooksforbiggirlswhodontcry, mess on my picture board (how did Nicole Kidman and reinterpretation of Origine du Monde with a butterfly get on there???) and my nest, with the aforementioned affirmative chilling cushion.

What I am trying to say…when I chill, like proper…stop harassing myself for being in recovery, in withdrawal, not in a (proper) job (DOH!!!), being a fake and all the associated nonsense my negative mind churns up on a second to second basis…I can actually just enjoy the peace that is within. AND THAT…is SOMEHING ELSE…then I can create from a place of joy, as in “radost” in Czech, and as we know there is never enough joy…not enough joy in enjoy and “radosti neni snad nikdy dosti”. Only there is more and more…when I allow myself to notice it.

So…I wish you a merry rest of the holiday season, and check out #premrawat if you get a minute. It is SOOO worth it. I just keep forgetting…and need to be reminded…all the time. Honest.

33 Days to #becometheartistyouare

In May I am running this unique mixture of visual art training and art therapy self-experiential challenge: #becometheartistyouare.

For a month, in twenty-minutes a day (minimum) you will unblock, find, explore and develop your own arting inspirations and learn more about your world, yourself and the things in between in the process.

#becometheartistyouare challenge prompts and pieces

This is how (a curtain pulled, syllabus revealed).

All you need is yourself, your phone camera, a pencil and a sketchbook. That will do to start with.

Week One is all about getting rid our our arting fears and finding and developing our own ways of seeing

Day 0 — Looking at where we are

Day 1 — Making a baad drawing

Day 2 — Drawing a Line

Day 3 — Looking and Seeing

Day 4 — Seeing some more

Day 5 — Write up your Seeing manifesto

Day 6 — Show and Tell

Day 7 — Arting Reflection

Week 2 is all about learning from your favourite artist’s work, which speaks to you the most currently. You learn authentically from them and about yourself.

Day 8 — Inspired By: Your choice

Day 9 — Inspired By: How was it made?

Day 10 — Inspired By: What does it mean?

Day 11 — Inspired By: What did they mean?

Day 12 — Inspired By: What does it mean to me?

Day 13 — Inspired By: Show and Tell — My Inspired Answer

Day 14 — Arting Reflection

Week 3 and Week 4 are devoted to developing the material you have created using elements and guiding principles of art and design…and looking at what it all means for yourself too.

Day 15 — Nothing/ness

Day 16 — Point and Line

Day 17 — Shape

Day 18 — Texture

Day 19 — Space

Day 20 — Time and/in Motion

Day 21 — Value

Day 22 — Color

Day 23 — Unity/Harmony

Day 24 — Balance

Day 25 — Scale/Proportion

Day 26 — Contrast/Emphasis

Day 27 — Rhythm

Week 5 is about preparing to Show and Tell, to share authentically what you have created. And…deciding how to move on.

Day 28 — Looking at it all and seeing what it means

Day 29 — Choices, Choices

Day 30 — Preparing to show/share

Day 31 — Show and Tell: #becometheartistyouare

Day 32 — Celebrate and Reflect

Day 33 — Where next?

Daily I am sending out the arting prompt direct to your inbox. When you put in the arting work, and follow/spend time on these arting prompts daily, you are guaranteed to get your arting juices back, develop a creating habit/discipline and take your arting to the next level. As well as discover things about yourself you did not know or did not acknowledge fully. You #becometheartistyouare. More of herself.

There is a friendly and safe community in place to share your ahas, questions and observations. Ready to join us? Go here.

I look forward to arting the May away with you!

Let me know if you are in!

Be(come) the artists you are

Photo on 15-02-2016 at 09.09 #2

Because you are. It might seem obvious to you (welcome, then you are an artist) or not so obvious…and then Joseph Beuys comes into play with his quote that “Everyone is an artist.” …and somebody (whose name I cannot remember) adding to it “…but only artists know about it.”

Be(come) the artist you are. Why? Because you need it. And the world needs you. If you are reading this then the chances are you are an artist, a  be/coming one.

Be/come the artist you are is my latest Play project for the Screw Work Break Free 30 Day Challenge. It is what I am and what I do…and have been doing for years now (trying to work out what kind of creative animal I am) knowingly or unknowingly. Inspiring and encouraging you to be the artist…you are.

See…my journey up to this point has been somewhat bumpy – through art history, English, art education and art therapy to something I call Arting. Arting is a process of be(coming) the artist you are.

Twice adult this year, I wish there was somebody like me there when I was 18…embarking on that degree course full of theory. And later when I became ill, healing myself through art. And later when I started with my first tentative attempts at painting (as in seriously) at the age of 29 (no, it is never too late, it really isn’t).

Somebody who would have seen the (hidden) creativity, the anxiety, the not-good-enough feeling inside, the doubts, the quilt trips…it would have saved me a lot of time. And grief. But I learned a lot on the way here, which I can now share with you.

Now that I have chucked the doubts, lack of entitlement and confidence in my fuck-it-bucket (I really made one, and so should you…one of the follow up posts will be about that), I can share what I have learnt on the way.  And also write about how arting has saved my sanity, and how it is making my days brighter and more colourful, and sharing it makes me more connected with people in the world…and it could bring you this too, and more.

Arting: Be(coming) the artist you are, a blog, a workshop series, a book under construction is about getting everybody in the world to art away :-D. Especially you.

Watch this space.



What Kind of Creative Animal Are you? Find Out! This is not a quiz

Photo on 26-02-2016 at 09.55So…when people ask me what I do…I tell them I am an artist, and inspire people to be/come the artists they are.

This kind of puzzles them. They ask…what kind of artist? And what do you mean by be/coming the artist they are? You mean we are all artists?

I am an artist trying to work out what artistic animal I am…and yes, we all are artists, so are you, if you want to be/come one.

That is the best answer I have come up with so far. The above and the below.

You will only be/come an artist if you art/away, and in the process you, if lucky and persistent enough, you probably will find out what kind as well. As long as I am following joy… I can live with that.

The Nike (who was a Greek goddess of victory) logo Just Do It seems more than fitting. But I know that more often than not many things get in the way of just doing it. Mostly my own self.

In my work, in the past as an educator, gallery professional and creative freelancer I have always been best at inspiring and encouraging people on this path. Probably because I have walked it, and stumbled and got lost on it many a time myself. I have become a creativity coach (well, that is the nearest box I can box myself into)…I call what I do Arting.

Welcome to my world.