Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Art: The gift that keeps on giving

So at this juncture in my life I haven't found the time, mindset or discipline to devote to my big project, which disappoints me daily. 

And you know how when you're trying to get into a new fitness routine or stick to a diet how it's always better if you have a partner?

Well, in the realm of pursuing self-fulfillment and satisfaction through creativity, I think I've found a role model and potential motivator:

My big sister Sarah.

It seems like over the past six months or so, Sarah has made a commitment (maybe unconsciously) to make her life better. 

She's strengthening relationships -- working on being a better wife, mother, sister and daughter. She's headed back to the gym for regular workouts and is trying to eat better. 

And she's indulging her creative side. Actually, maybe indulging is the wrong word choice -- that makes it seem like what she's doing should be done in moderation ... like eating the obnoxious, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies that are wafting come-hither smells into my undefended nostrils* -- but we should feel free to gorge on creativity. It makes us better people.

Last fall, Sarah started drawing at night after laying her adorable 2-year-old Penelope down for the night. Her doodles started off simple:



And over time have become more intricate:  



And inspired:


Growing up, we had a tire swing in our front yard.
She's challenged herself:


Sarah said drawing faces was tough.
And even drawn on herself:



She posts most of her stuff on Instagram (she has a bit of an Instagram problem) and it's been really cool watching the evolution of her work. 

I can actually see her improving and taking risks and growing as an artist. And it's funny to talk with her about it, because as much as she enjoys it, it's work. One time we were talking on the phone as she was starting a piece she knew would be more elaborate piece -- she sighed and said she knew it was going to take a long time to finish, but that she knew it would be worth it.

Which reminded me of the comment one of my former colleagues made a while back. 

Nobody forces an artist to draw or a writer to write. We do it because there's a voice inside of us wanting to be heard -- and sometimes that voice demands more of our time. And, of course, when you do take the time to give your voice the audience it demands, he payoff is worth the effort:



I'm not sure what came first for Sarah, the art or the self-improvement -- maybe they've gone hand-in-hand. 

Because she's giving herself the gift of art, maybe she feels like she has more of herself to give to others. 

P.S. More inspiration: Congratulations to former co-worker and fellow SAHM, Megan Erickson, who just self-published her first novel "Anchor Me" and bravely released it into the wild for all to read. I can't even imagine the stomach dropping anxiety and excitement that must go hand in hand with handing your baby over to the public at large, but it looks like Megan has gotten great feedback so far. (And it's certainly on my list to read!)

*Final score of the evening: Cookies 2, Me 0 

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  3. Ginny - I passed on your comments to Sarah -- they made her smile!

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