I like to see what kind of art I can “fit into” my busy lifestyle. I’m a full time digital artist at Blue Frog Gaming, a mother of two elementary school-age kids, a caricature artist-for-hire, and I love to see what kind of magic I can fit into my life on the side to spice up my life. I usually find an online class or two to participate in and keep me growing creatively and spiritually, nurturing myself as best as I can. I definitely tend to treat myself more harshly at times (we are always our own worst critics), and I can definitely use a dose of self-compassion every day.
A couple friends in my Online Accountability Group encouraged me to join them in an online class hosted by Oprah’s Lifeclass called “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown. I’ve committed myself to following the course all the way through, and it’s been tough to keep up with the readings, but the exercises have been very fun to do. The exercises involve art journaling, which fit in with one of my goals this year – to get into art journaling.
In the meantime, I’ve joined the Rubbermoon Creative Team and have consequently been playing more with stamps as I baby-step into art journaling (or should I call it Art Journeying?).
Sometimes I create time for an extended art project, and sometimes I have only five to ten minutes to whip something together before the creative moment has passed and now it’s time to get the kids ready for bed, feed them, bathe them, or help them with homework.
As a professional artist, I tend to be very critical of my own work. But sometimes I have to simply tuck that inner art critic away into a closet so I can just scribble or spatter something down quickly before that fleeting creative moment passes. And when I DO create something quickly, I tend to grab whatever materials I have close to me. I keep those art materials out in the open for my kids to play with, so I tend to use the same materials: glue sticks, construction paper, washable markers, etc.
I wanted to share one of such experiences I enjoyed over the weekend while catching up on my art journal work for the Gifts of Imperfection class. I had pre-painted in gouache some lines in my art journal, intending to use that space for note-taking and recording my musings. As an afterthought, I thought it would be fun to create a little artsy spot in the corner of the page using one of my new Rubbermoon stamps, a little girl holding a heart. It was very similar to a doodle I drew at the top of the page, illustrating how the word “compassion” made me feel. I knew immediately I needed to add wings and a halo to her to make her into a little angel, and then realized she could be my very own little “Angel of Compassion.” So, VOILA! Now I have my own little character to stamp down and customize with wings and halo as I journal through the rest of the course! In a couple following pages, I thought it would be fun to simply stamp her onto the page and add the wings and halo with a ball point pen (again, I like to use materials easy to pluck when I need to instantly grab that creative moment).
As I go through this Gifts of Imperfection class, I am faced with my inner critics that tell me:
- If you can’t do something perfectly, you shouldn’t attempt it at all!
- Wait until the paint dries before closing your art journal!
- Washable markers and glue sticks are for KIDS, you dummy!
- What are you doing using washable markers on tissue paper?! Don’t you know that will bleed??
I patiently remind my inner critics that this art is for me, not for print or sale in any way. Besides, this art journal is about IMPERFECTION, so you inner critics can go take a vacation to Disneyland where you can take a nice yummy chill pill, okay?
I do intend to make some more time-focused art with my Rubbermoon stamps as well, but for now it was fun to play with this new character I’m coming to love in my art journal. I’m looking forward to the wisdom she shares with me as we journey together in future pages!