Big dream time.
Full disclosure… I am not sure I believe in manifesting. Definitely I do not believe in passive manifestation of my dreams.
If you don't know what manifestation is YouTube it (I actually love Zoey Arielle - she is the sweetest thing and talks a lot about manifesting and Jen Sincero is a true kick-ass manifestation guru) but in a nutshell:
· Manifestation is asking the Universe for what you want and the Universe delivering that thing
That is a bit bananas in my opinion. The universe does not have a roster of keen art buyers and free art supplies floating among the stars waiting to land in my lap.
BUT. But. But.
I do believe in putting your dream out there and wrapping specific words around what you want and making it real for yourself and the people around you. You never know who is listening. At the very least, I am listening so I need to speak my dream and work on manifesting my dream by my actions.
There are a few books about dream-making that I can recommend.
Elizabeth Gilbert - Big Magic. She talks about the magic that lives around us and how to seize it and turn it into something real. She tells a fantastic story (of course since she wrote Eat, Pray, Love - in case you just arrived on Earth) and is very eloquent on the topic of inspiration and the spark or magic that brings ideas to you and how to action it.
Jen Sincero - Her "You are a badass" series is excellent. I have the "You are a badass" original yellow covered book electronically, on audio and in paper format. Obviously I bought in to her message. She also has a Daily Om course. Daily Om is an online market where you can buy short courses for very little money (usually $10) about any touchy-feeling vegan yoga guru self-help topic you can imagine. Her focus is on ego-building, manifestation and believing in yourself to achieve your goals and change your life to align with your dreams. Some of her other books get very specific on actions to take every day for dream realization or attitudes about money and manifesting money. Her content has helped me change my internal narrative from "no way, I could never…" to "I better get off my ass and do this thing I love because nobody else can do it for me".
Brene Brown - I first saw her Ted Talk. She is a hardcore scientific researcher in sociology who took a hard left turn and believes in the power of individual stories to inspire and tell certain truths that are not apparent by looking at aggregate data. She talks a lot about resilience and vulnerability. I find her very inspirational. Daring Greatly is the book I recommend. I could not be writing this blog unless I believed in what she says about the value of being vulnerable and the payback in terms of fulfillment it brings to you to make connections with other human beings.
I am an advocate of personal ownership. I am responsible for me. I am an adult, I own my life, my path, my dream. Life does not to happen to me, I shape my life by my actions. My actions come from my beliefs. Therefore, what I believe is critical to what a day in my life looks like. Up until now, my beliefs have led me to a regular 9 to 5 job in a very grounded, established industry with incredible job security. I am not irreplaceable (nobody is), but my skill set makes me very employable in my industry.
Lots of lead up to my big dream statement: I will own a gallery, sell my art, advocate for other artists, and make good money doing it. That money is going to let me in turn be a supporter of the arts and support foster families. I ultimately dream of having the perfect property on a lake with an event and overnight space where artists can connect to each other, families having hard times can recharge, I can create without limits… it fills me up with joy just thinking about it.
To realize these dreams and get on the path to them I have had to change my beliefs.
One belief I am still working on changing:
"Security can only come from money and money can only come from a certain kind of technical career" to "do what you love and the rewards will come".
And another that I have successfully changed:
"I am too old to start over and try to be an artist" to "I am an artist, I have always been an artist and I can live an artist's life".
And then I look at what nature has created and I wonder why I bother trying. Work in progress in the banner.
I tried to create an abstract art piece and failed miserably
I love abstract art. It is so mysterious. What is the artist trying to say? What is the piece saying to me? How do I feel about it? Do I feel anything? Is it attractive, beautiful, repulsive?
Harder to answer questions surface as well: is this good art? To be honest, it can be hard for me to tell. In general, I believe if you create something unique, as a one-off endeavour, it is art. Good art is something else entirely and evaluating the grade of art is both subjective and objective.
Some people will definitely disagree with that last statement. Feel free to leave a comment :)
The mystery of abstract art is very attractive to me. Naturally, I also want to appear mysterious (and hence glamourous and interesting) to my audience so I wanted to try to make an abstract piece of my own.
I started with an arbitrary canvas size and shape that I happened to have on hand. I didn't put much thought into it * (first problem).
I went through my existing acrylic paint and mixed a couple of colours that I liked. I picked contrasting colours, teal and pale red, white and black. I made some random squares on my canvas. I placed some next each other, some spaced apart, usually I apply paint carefully but these marks were pretty sloppy* (second problem) since I really didn't know how important this step would be.
I filled in a lot of the canvas with black and left some colour peeking through.
Next, I added some texture with an acrylic paste by Golden that I happened to have on hand. I was anxious to move to the next step after this and didn't let it completely dry* (third problem)…
I taped off one third of the canvas and on the other side I added white, circling some shapes and leaving others untouched, removed the tape and then I stepped back to look at it* (fourth problem)…
It was just hideous. I felt like I knew it would be from the first mark I laid down. The twisted feeling of dismay and frustration that manifested once I stepped back had been building throughout the (admittedly short) process.
Where did I go wrong?
I do hope to develop the skill of abstract artistry and find a way to visually articulate the mystery of my world for others.
I just need to accept that failure is not optional. Failure has always been a part of my process and I will continue to find new ways to do it. As someone born to be bored, that sounds right up my alley.