I recently downloaded an interesting eBook, Messy Canvas, and just wanted to take a few minutes to tell you about it. It's written by one of my online friends, Mandy Steward. I first met Mandy several years ago when I joined the Scrap Girls Design Team. Over the years, after I left Scrap Girls, I continued to follow Mandy's blog and also shared more intimately with her through her Angry Homemade Noodles group.
I've been there. It's one of my faults. My weaknesses. Comparing myself to others. Believing that they're lives are somehow more blessed than mine. That they've got more talent. More time. Perfection is easy for them. It's all lies and it can literally paralyse you. It has me, in the past. And more recently since my Daddy died.
Through reading Mandy's blog, she unwittingly helped me face some of those untruths in my life. I found it odd really as she's quite a bit younger than me. I have 4 grown up children and 2 grandchildren so I was a little bit fascinated that this young woman could teach me so much and inspire me so strongly just by sharing her life's experiences. It made me realise that you should have your hearts open, pliable and ready to learn from anyone and any situation. Learn. Embrace. Move forward. Share.
Mandy spoke about her anger. Her frustrations and her imperfections in a new and refreshing way. Rather than hide these usually negative emotions, she embraced them and shared them. Rather than hide it and pretend to the world that she had it altogether, she wrote candidly about it. Sharing like this opens up hearts and minds. It helps you realise that you're not alone. That there is someone else out there with the same issues. The same human frailties.
These issues may seem unrelated to being an artist but believe me, they are intrinsically related. Being true to yourself and learning to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly is freedom. That freedom will then reach deep into your soul and help you be who you want to be. Whether you want to write, paint, draw, play the piano, sew, knit, illustrate... the list goes on.
Searching again. Who am I? Why am I feeling so paralysed? Why am I finding it so hard to get back to my life? To create. I want to create. I want to draw. Paint. And so on and on... That's kind of where I've been stuck for a little while. I know I'm still in the throes of mourning and grief counselling has been a huge blessing in my life.
And then I read "Messy Canvas". Mandy unwittingly gave me something magical and soul boosting. My creative soul is awakening. I can feel the yawning and stretching. She reminded me to embrace those imperfections. Her book is a massive kick-start. Whether you're a seasoned professional creative soul or someone who is just feeling a little lost. Perhaps you have "blank canvas" syndrome? Or you just have that yearning to create but don't think you have the talent and yet it's all you think about. All you dream about. Try reading Messy Canvas. It's an extraordinary read.
Mandy, thank you! Keep on doing what you're doing!