The other morning I woke up with the uncontrollable urge to make art in some form or fashion. It didn’t much matter to me what that art was or wasn’t. And it also didn’t matter to me that I have no art history at all. I don’t hold a fine art degree or have some extensive list of various art workshops that I’ve taken. All I have is a folder full of pencil sketches that I have done at random intervals over the years and a sudden yearning to create. Lately it seems that I have been more interested in wielding a paint brush dripping with color and attacking any surface in sight (including my bedroom walls) to fulfill my creative needs than doing just about anything else.
A few weeks ago I had a wonderful opportunity to have a one on one afternoon crash course in creating art in the personal studio of a nationally represented artist, and it woke something up in me - a deep and intense longing to express myself in some way through art.
I recently packed up my entire life and moved halfway across the country to pursue my writing dreams, not these newfound art dreams. I left two steady jobs and a very stable income to take a chance on what could be. Needless to say, setting up an art studio fully equipped to meet my new art needs is simply not in the budget at the present time. I also have a fancy art center within five minutes of where I’m currently living that offers a plethora of classes and workshops. Of course, the fall course schedule started while I was out of town a few weeks ago. So it would seem the Universe wants me to take a smaller approach to this, and I’m okay with that.
Art is one of those things that is hard to narrow down to a definition because it’s so broad in its possibilities. Much like life, art is endless in its options and is limited only by the imagination of the person in control (you). But for definitions sake, the one I found that I liked best simply said that art is “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination”.
Based on that definition I can create art simply by being creative and imaginative. It doesn’t say I have to have some fancy degree or tons of workshops behind me. It doesn’t say I have to have an art studio with tons of expensive supplies, it just says to go and create.
I now know that someday, in this lifetime, I would like to have an art studio to call my very own. And I can start slowly piecing that together bit by bit. But in the meantime should I do nothing while I brood about the fact that I’m not in a place to make that happen yet? I think we do this too often. We want something that may not be feasible right that very second, so we do nothing. We sit and daydream and long for what we think we can’t have instead of meeting ourselves where we are in that moment.
I had to take a step back and look and see what I had at my disposal that I could make art out of. I rooted around the house and pulled out anything that looked like it might be useful in some fashion. I found construction paper, markers, colored pencils, stencils, glitter glue, paint brushes, and a variety of other things that I could use right that minute. After all, the definition said just to be creative and imaginative. So I went to the craft store and bought some cheap acrylic paint, the kind you use to paint model cars and such. Then I asked myself why I couldn’t make art out of these things? How come no one makes fine art out of colored markers? Who says you can’t?
No it may not be big canvases on which to put elaborate landscape scenes (that I don’t know how to do anyway), and it may not be birch wood panels on which I can create a wax masterpiece (which I also don’t really know how to do), but it is where I am right now and I can make art that will satisfy my need to be creative. I can meet myself where I’m at while still planning for what I would like from the future.
For the past few weeks I have spent several hours each day combining acrylic paint and colored markers and have had more fun doing it than I can express. All I wanted was to make art, and I’m making it. I don’t care who scoffs and doesn’t see the point of what I’m doing, I’m proud of what I’m creating because this is where I am and what I can create right this second. Life is too short to “what if” what you could do when everyday there are things that you can do.
Don’t think of it as settling and ruin the experience for yourself. It’s simply finding the hidden possibilities in the here and now. Something magical can happen in between meeting yourself where you are and heading towards where you want to be. But you have to meet yourself there first to see where that magical road takes you.
And you never know, while I work towards my own little art studio maybe I’ll find that there is a home and a market for fine art from colored markers and acrylic paint. Hey, it could happen, and I’m wide open to the possibility, because that’s where I am right now. And all we truly have is right now.
What about you? What can you do today to take one step towards something that your heart longs for? Where can you meet yourself so that you can start stepping into your dreams?
Use your imagination, I bet you’ll surprise yourself.
Covered in glitter glue and feeling fantastic,
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