I'm an artist too
Playing with blank canvases and pots of paint has been the best gift ever. It taught me how to be ‘out of my head’ in a more sustainable way.
I am embracing creativity in ways I’d not considered, and with that came a great sense of freedom and contentment which has transformed every area of my life. Using my experiences, I am now teaching others how they can find this sense of peace and freedom too. It comes from simply understanding that you can truly make any choice you please without judgment.
It takes courage, but it is a truly freeing place to be.
Nearly three years ago I received a Christmas gift that pulled a dormant thread of my creativity self. It may surprise you to learn that I didn’t even ask for this gift in my letter to Santa. And, I will say it definitely was not a gift I was lusting after.
It was an ordinary A3 artist’s book. Ordinary and extraordinary all at once. It opened the door to embracing a long-forgotten part of me. A part who had the courage to gingerly choose to step out into the light to see if it was safe to let loose and play again.
Let me introduce the part of me I like to call Frankii. Frankii is the pseudonym for my inner artist. Upon reflection, it’s apparent that I had kept ‘her’ securely locked away as a silly little fantastical aspect of me. That's the part of me that also likes to use words like ‘fantasmagorical’ in a sentence (see, I just did it!).
Frankii’s reluctant emergence into the world began after being affronted by a very large blank piece of paper as I opened that ordinary A3 art book given to me by my partner Tim. The look of terror on my face made Tim laugh, a lot. I swiftly closed that blank page of terror and tucked it away, in the hope that we would never speak of it again. Of course that was not going to happen, was it?
The somewhat ridiculous terror of the blank page surprised me more than would be considered ‘normal’ in the circumstances. It was just a piece of paper. Yet from where I was standing, that big, blank, unblemished space was scary.
Both of us knowing that scary places hold the most treasure, Tim thought, with good humour, that it would be great fun if I explored those dark spaces a little more deeply, so off we went to art class. What followed was a journey through my fields of self-judgment, the battleground of perfectionism and personal inquiries as to why I viewed the creative part of life from such a limiting place.
The experience opened up too much to mention here, but a particular highlight for me came in the remembering of art class in early high school. I was around 12 years old, and my art teacher praised my work. It was an abstract work of a woman’s face I had painted on a large canvas. I was really proud of it too.
At the end of the year, my teacher encouraged me to sign up for art the following year to continue exploring my talents. Yet in those days being an artist was not the career move of parental choice. Fast forward to today and for a few reasons, I realised I had judged that being an artist, or being silly and fantastical was a ‘bad’ thing. So, of course, what else would I do but end up carving out my career path in the land of sensible … as a lawyer. A societally acceptable career choice, that just so happened to be the exact opposite of fantastical.
By allowing myself to explore my creative side, I am bringing to life the version of me that I most align with. It is a truly satisfying place to be in. I call it paradise.