My word for 2017 is ‘CREATE’ – it feels open and explorative. For me this means drawing, sketching, photography, writing and knitting – these are the crafts I enjoy most and am focusing on at the moment. I flick through so many beautiful coffee table books, covet profiles on art filled Instagram pages. But, I decided it is time that I stop being the ‘shadow artist’ (from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way) and put my work out into the world.
I’m enjoying knitting square by square for a blanket – it might take me a few years (!) but I’ve started. I also have a wonderful art teacher who recently gathered together a variety of random items she’d found in nature, for me to draw each day for the next week. Nature certainly provides a plethora of shapes and colours and it’s not until you really look as you draw the details that you notice this.
I recently sold my first piece of art work. Our local gallery runs an exhibition each year called ‘A4 Art’ – both amateurs and professional artists can enter. It’s anonymous, so no-one knows which were produced by experienced artists. After much searching I decided on an image that reminded me of my travels in Asia in my 20s…and so I set to work on an A4 watercolour painting. Faced with a blank page is daunting, but I began, and was reasonably happy with the result.
Don’t be afraid to try something new, or get back into a passion long deferred. I haven’t really done much art since I was at school and absolutely loved it. It’s re-igniting my passion for it and opening up a wealth of opportunities that I am creating myself.
I have found sites such as Skillshare and Craftsy brilliant for learning new creative skills in the comfort of home. There are so many talented people out there willing to share their skills, who can be found on websites like these.
If you have considered embarking on a creative journey yourself, think about what excites you, what ignites your passion for life. How can you get involved in it again – even if for a couple of hours here and there? Find a local class, join a group, or simply JUST DO IT! Don’t ask ‘how’ – just do it and see where it takes you. You might surprise yourself!