My new adventure is about rediscovering my love of art. I am no longer the bystander, appreciating other courageous people create. Instead, I am now going back to basics. As a human, we all love to create.
My inner child is reawakening, my inner child is happy that I am going back to my roots. As a child I would draw, paint, design (really, I designed my dream house and built a doll house out of a giant cardboard box – guess, it pays to be “deprived”, you just get resourceful, creative, and grateful for the little things). As I grew up, I got better at drawing and designing, but suddenly stopped. I was told that girls don’t design and that art was a nice hobby, but not something you can use in real life. I was told to focus on a serious career and be a teacher, to be safe. I was too young and confused, I believed what I was told, because the advice came from a parent. However, I still loved art, so I took classes in high school in conjunction of my love and focus on science. However, after 1 year, I stopped taking art, when people started hating on me for being able to do both science and art. I let other people’s non-sense and constant nagging get to me – I let them block out a big chunk of my soul. I was a teenager, maybe it was the hormones? The insecurity? I don’t know, but I do know that I stopped drawing and taking classes, instead I kept on writing at least (in secret, of course).
Fast forward MANY years…
I try to draw again. I even buy a sketch book and a “how-to” book, but it didn’t take. I buy a painting set, sketch pencils, the works…still, doesn’t take. I focus on work, my bf, and continued education.
A few more years…
I say to myself: “Screw it, I want to paint. BUT, I’m scared. Why? I have to be perfect and everything has to be beautiful, otherwise it’s not worth doing.” OK, I realise my ever-present anxiety and perfectionism is keeping me down and making me miserable. I want to start, but my over-thinking is keeping me from actually doing it.
A few months later…
My friend who is always fearless asks “Hey, do you want to go to paint nite? We can use a Groupon! Let’s pick the Cherry Blossom’s one.”… “Absolutely, I’ve been trying to start painting, this is the perfect opportunity. Plus, Cherry Blossoms are pretty.” I reply. The actual event was in downtown Toronto, so I took the subway from the suburbs (park and ride) to conquer my painting/art demons.
The location was fun and airy, but it turned out that I went with the best friend for this particular event. He is so fearless and doesn’t care what other people think of him, while I am the total opposite. Through him, I learned to let go and be free – I just went for it and painted to my heart’s content. I was so free and felt like a kid again. The art instructor was nice and going at a steady pace – It gave us a good time to drink, chat, and have fun painting our version of what the instructor did.
At one point, we look around and realise that everyone else is following the instructor’s painting/guidelines, like to a tee, they followed so meticulously and with anxious precision. I noticed the anxious precision, because I could overhear them freaking themselves out, afraid to make a mistake – this behaviour combined with the very familiar anxious look on their faces. I realised, wow, I’m not alone here with an art scar. What happened to us? Why are we afraid to let go and just friggen paint? It’s a social painting event, have fun!
I realise again, my luck in going with my friend. Had I not gone with him, I am pretty sure I would be as anxious and hard on myself as the people around us were. I mean their creations were nice, all the same, but pretty and full of angst (it showed). My fearless friend’s painting was totally a work in itself, he just went nuts and hated it – I thought it was fine and kept it. However, my painting was similarly different, but had something else contained within it. My painting had release and playful freedom. I had conquered my art scar and slayed the demon! Not that it matters (yet helped with my journey), but the art instructor actually came by my out-of-the-box creation and complimented the beauty of it.
My friend said it was nice and reminded him of ‘American Beauty’- I think it was a representation of a creative person actually letting go and playing with the art that they love. I credit my friend for helping me become free and unleash my inner child. When I got home that night, I took out my old acrylic paints and brushes and re-created what I learned that day well into the early morning.
A few days later…
I love the freedom of painting, even if I’m not the best, I don’t care. I just love painting and drawing – If it’s too ugly, I’ll paint over it, not the end of the world! Conquering and not caring is a huge thing. Another step forward.
At this point, I want to paint, but not pay for classes in case I only paint for a few months (like I did in the past). OK, in this case I chose to use YouTube to learn. Gotta love YouTube, it has everything. So, I bought more supplies from Dollarama and Walmart, watched a few videos, and went for it.
A year later…
I have had a few friends come over and compliment the paintings that I have in my living room. I told them that I painted those and they are a bit surprised. I’m surprised that they actually like them, because my art is a work in progress (I’m still hard on myself at times). My friends are surprised, because I kept my painting a secret. I was afraid that I’d be nagged at for not being good enough or exposed for being able to do both science and art (again).
I do not (have never) see a distinction between science and art, it is all interrelated and beautiful. I think that we are all creative beings, no matter what we try and do. At this moment, I realise that I still have a ways to go, but I am on the right track of being completely free artistically…creatively.
I am free and openly discuss my painting and art projects (for fun). I do not post or share anything on social media, because I’m not that brave yet. I will however share the painting that released my inner child again (from paint nite) on this blog. This painting may not be the best, but it was the release that I needed to re-start something that I loved.
Also, after discussing my love of art for months at my book club events, my book club friends encourage me to take a class (they know I’ve been wanting to take an actual class for YEARS (over 10), but was afraid). After all this time, I just went for it, I breathed and just signed up for a class and start next week. Who knows what the next adventure will bring? If anything, my soul will sing.