Hello! My name is Amy and I'm working at Everything Art managing social media and making sure that the Adventurers' Circle (the community for Wanderlust) works smoothly.
But I won't be talking about any of these today. Instead I would like to tell you a little about my journey back to art and creativity. Rediscovering our creative spark is a process full of adventure and joy, but it also has many challenging moments. It a process of self-discovery. I think some of you will relate to my story, so please grab a cuppa and give it a read. And then feel free to share your story in the comments below.
Over the past few years I have had to deal with several blows, lots of life changes and difficult decisions.
I spent too long letting bad habits take over, spending time with people that didn't appreciate me and I let so many things that are important to me slip away.
I realised I felt like a shell of the Amy I used to know.
It's been a rocky few years for all of us, right? But to see a little bit of brightness in the dark I need to say this: the best thing that the virus-who-shall-not-be-named and the consequent lockdowns have given me is the time and space to re-evaluate and get to know myself again.
I asked myself: Would the little headstrong and ‘away with the fairies’ 10 year old Amy I once was, approve of who I've become? Would she recognise the person I am now?
In reflection I can’t actually know that and it could have been the wrong way to look at life but hey, I had the time, the space and I was at a bit of a cross roads.
Deep down I knew that Little Amy would have encouraged to be my authentic self.
I decided to sought out what that meant in easy bullet points.
I am creative
I love nature
I am both kind and strong.
Have you ever thought what it means to be your own authentic self? Are you able to write down three bullet points that describe your true personality?
It's certainly worth doing because for me this was all that I needed.
I had my core points that make me tick so I needed to get familiar with them again.
I've embraced and exercised the last bullet point by keeping in touch with those I love, especially during lockdowns. (THANK YOU INTERNET!) and letting go of that which doesn't serve me.
The second bullet point grounded me so much. I went for huge long walks mainly by myself, often with Janis my cat. I would walk through fields, small woodlands, just following the little paths that animals had taken over and over again. Sometimes I would walk slowly though the rain in huge fields and feel all the drops. It was like my own little reassuring massage from Mother Nature, a little encouraging pat on the back ‘You’re doing alright. Welcome back, Kiddo!’.
I would also find really neat things. I found a patch of feathers where a fox had plucked a pheasant for his dinner. Some very old bones from long lost farm animals and even a foxes tooth! Which one of you reading loves collecting things like that too? Please tell me I'm not the only one! :)
But now, let's get to rediscovering creativity. I'm not going to lie, I found this very hard to start.
I kept thinking my skills won’t be where they left off. I worried a lot that my work will look rubbish and I’ll hate it and subsequently be really disappointed by myself. I was worried that my parents would think I was silly or I'd lost any skill I used to have. It took me ages to start. I procrastinated and watched YouTube instead of trying to make any art...
This was all well and good and I kidded myself for a while that I was researching how to sew a French seam or how to realistically paint lots of leaves in a landscape picture. Ten videos deep I knew I was putting it off.
But then I remembered Little Amy again and the promise I made her to just be my authentic self. Suddenly, this permission lifted the weight off my shoulders. It made me aware how much of that weight I put on myself and I didn't want to waste this opportunity of enlightenment.
I just needed to find somewhere to start! So I looked around me, let my mind flow and it always flowed back to my surroundings and nature and the peace I found there - that was my inspiration!
My mind started to fill with little ideas, I kept note of some of them so I could revisit.
Thinking back to the keepsakes I had collected, my sunset walks, the computer games I was playing... there were so many teeny tiny sparks, together they would light that fire again!
I knew starting small and ripping off that band-aid was the only way to go - if I held on any longer for fear of not being good enough, I would never start so how could I show myself (and Little Amy!) that I am actually good enough?
And so I started...
I drew a tiny sketch.
I painted a made up, child-like picture.
I drew with my non dominant hand.
I made a skirt out of an old vintage curtain.
I made a tortoise plush toy.
It felt so good. The pressure was off and I started reconnecting with my creativity. I really felt like I could breathe again. I felt like ME.
Soon after that I got a job at Everything Art. I discovered the whole community of people who embrace the "let go and create" approach.
I can’t possibly go back to feeling the weight on top of me again and I am so thankful. In my daily work I'm surrounded by lessons, prompts and the amazingly supportive and inspiring Adventurers. I am surrounded by creativity and drive with my awesome colleagues, my home, and you lot. It is the most at-home and at-peace I have felt for a long time.
I have created art for myself and for others, but deep down I know I don’t really need their recognition. My art comes from a spark within me and that is the best bit. I did it for me!
P.S I made this dress, and it has POCKETS!!!