Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Be Brave, Love Life

I started this year with a new motto. I even put it on our Christmas cards. It rang so true with where I am in my life right now. I have lived in fear my entire life. I fear everything - making mistakes, not doing the right thing, worrying something bad will happen, not being perfect. After my mother-in-law died, I realized I wasn't really living life. And this was because of my fear of not living it the way I think I should. So everything I have done this year has been an effort to counter that and live my new motto.

I took a fantastic workshop for watercolor and illustration with Kristen Doty this spring. She is a fabulous teacher. However, I haven't done a whole lot since then in terms of using the skills she taught us. Once this summer in Maine, I tried to sketch some blueberries in our wild patch and also to sketch my uncle's boat in the bay. I didn't have the right colors for blueberries and the boat kept changing as the wind was shifting back and forth. I ended up more frustrated than practiced.

Last night I decided to just start again. I found a nice illustration in Botanical Illustration Course by Rosie Martin and Meriel Thurstan. I didn't have my watercolors out so I decided to just use the colored pencils we had just aquired for "back to school."

Initially it went great. I was enjoying it, relaxed, and having fun. I was nearly done with the flower and went to draw the leaf. This was the result...

Since I don't practice much (read "ever") I didn't test the pencil before going to town. It doesn't look as garish on the web but the color was sooo wrong! This is where I have the problem with playing. I don't like making mistakes. I look at it and think, 'all that hard work is wasted.' But I realized I learned two things from this.

First, ALWAYS test your tools on scrap before going to the work! This seems like such a logical idea so why didn't I think of it before. Second, you have to make mistakes to learn and improve! Wow - what a concept. Making a mistake is so far outside my comfort zone I've held back in creating because I didn't want to fail. Anybody else?

But you can't have success without failure. You have to be brave and take those chances. I once dreamt of this beautiful piece of artwork. It was a new "style" - one I hadn't seen anyone else do. In my dream I was so happy because I felt like everything has already been done before and I had created something unique. When I woke up, I tried desparately to grasp at the image in my dream of what I had created and it was gone.

I asked myself, 'Why can't I create that in my awake world?!' Well, how would I ever create something without playing ... without taking a risk. I couldn't. Some people are naturally creative and the ideas and a "style" come naturally to them. I'm not one of them! I have to work at being creative - which sounds like a complete oxymoron but let's face it - only a tiny select few are born with a natural art talent. So if I never try, if I never just play, and if I never make mistakes, I will never unearth the original creativity which lies within me.

Life isn't about perfection. You have to love it all. Ahhh... I'm over the green leaf now. I encourage you all, to not worry about making mistakes. Be brave, love life. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

(Not) Wishing the Days Away

Yesterday the kiddos went back to school. This used to be my absolute favoritest time of year. I *loved* back to school. New clothes, new shoes, new office supplies! Who doesn't LOVE office supplies?! But now that I have three kids, I'm a little sad when this time of year rolls around.

We had a great summer but I am sorry to see it come to an end. My youngest turned 6 and that means (to me), I no longer have "little ones" at home - just big kids. So I'm moving forward into this next chapter of our lives. While the past 10 years have been so incredibly awesome in so many ways, it also has had the most traumatic and difficult times of my life so far. So I'm hoping this next chapter is less stressful and more blissful (don't we all).

It just makes every day more grander and every moment more precious. I thank God daily for all our wonderful blessings. I wish I could go back in time to all those days I just wished away and put them back in my lifetime for another chance. But since I can't I can only vow to make every day count going forward.

Ah yes, moving forward. So it's also been 10 years since I left my HR career to launch Paperwhite Studio. This has been one of the greatest things I've ever done for myself. I *love* lettering and I love creating and to be able to do it for a living has been one of my life's greatest blessings.

The past few years it has been very difficult to maintain my business while also caring for the family. So this year, I really hope to make the best of my time and create as much as I can. Who says the New Year starts January 1? It really starts when the school bell rings in the fall! So I'm making my resolutions now - one of which is to try to create something new every day.

I've been really beating myself up about my "block" and realized if I don't just start "doing" I'll never bust past it. So yesterday instead of just gazing at one of my lettering books, I decided to give something new a try.

I created a new birthday card based on a style called, "clothesline alphabet." This is from the book, "Hand Lettering: Simple, Creative Styles for Cards, Scrapbooks, and More" by Marci Donley and Deann Singh. This is a great book full of fun lettering styles for anyone to try.  I had so much fun doing this and look forward to the next "creative block buster" I can tackle!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back from another planet...

So it seems I fell off the planet again. Sorry about that. I thought about waiting a couple more months and then it would have been a whole year since I posted. UGH! That's terrible. Time has a way of getting away from me. I've been stuck in this creative rut for at least a year. I can still create - it is just incredibly painful! It is like torture. But I've done some fun things during this time and when I look back on it, I think not so bad.

I've done many lettering jobs over the past year but I've spent most of my time doing other more 3D creating like knitting, drawing, and sewing. I'll post some going forward.

But since this is essentially a lettering blog, I'll post a couple recent (and not so recent) lettering jobs. I had so much fun doing this lettering for the Symphony of Southeast Texas. My favorite style of lettering...flourished.

And it was actually relaxing to design this logo for a custom wedding studio. The flourish just flowed. Aneeta J.

I also designed a logo for our favorite homeopath. This was the first time I tried my hand at Illustrator. I've been busy trying to learn Illustrator. UGH! Not an intuitive program. Anyway, I was happy with what I came up with...especially since the art direction was, "think spiral, vortex; the matrix of creation is sacred geometry which is not fixed in anything but above so below...." [what?] Anyway, this was my interpretation of that:

That's all for now. Three more days and the kiddos are back to school! Hooray and boo - means more time to post!