Firestarter Friday exercise part 5: Finding my muse

Snow! Glorious snow! That fluffy white stuff always puts me in a happy and thoughtful mood.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind following this class. Just when I get one week done, it’s time to post again. This week didn’t have an exercise, just a few words of wisdom and encouragement. But I do think it’s a happy coincidence that the same day I am talking about the “heaven spot” Alisa mentions, it finally snows here. I am a bona fide snow freak, and besides trees and animals, snow if my most favorite thing in the natural world.

Self doubt has always been a problem for me when it comes to creativity. Growing up, I never really got the impression that art was necessary. It was always presented as fun and a hobby, but that was it. I never really considered art as anything beyond a hobby because that would’ve been ludicrous in my family. There was a lot of pressure for me to go into something “legitimate”, and my compromise was exhibit design. I was lucky enough to attend a college that required a lot of traditional visual arts courses for their graphic design students. At a certain point, it became clear that between the art classes I was required to take and the extra ones I wanted to do, I was so close to a second degree it would be stupid not to finish it. So I graduated with a BS in Design Technology and a BA in Visual Arts.

While I was earning both those degrees, I had some really great classmates. I mean crazy talented, amazing people with great ideas and great energy. They were wonderful and supportive and managed to make me challenge myself in new ways. I always tear up a bit thinking about them because they all live so far away now. But since then, the way I think about art has been shifting. Now I’m at a point where I know art isn’t a hobby — it’s me.

In this final week of Finding Your Muse, Alisa uses the graffiti term heaven spot as a metaphor for breaking outside of your creative bounds. Sidebar: I as I type this, Freddie Mercury is singing I Want to Break Free. Great timing Pandora! So I came up with a short list of what my so-called heaven spots would be (i.e., where I feel most vulnerable).  So here goes:

  • Sketching in public. People always have to ask questions.
  • Doing anything that will be publicly shown. And when I do have something publicly shown, I find it near impossible to be in the room while anyone is looking around.
  • Crafting with my daughter. I love it! But I always worry about letting her do her thing and having fun while still learning. And not just with art, with everything. Maybe that’s just mom stuff.
  • Blogging. I try not to look at stats too often. It makes me think too in-depth about what I am saying and showing. People are still coming back, so it can’t be all bad!

Who knows what all of you got out of this little exercise, but I hope you all had fun. I know I always enjoy a new perspective on the things I do. But now I am looking forward to going back to my regular Firestarter Friday schedule. So we will come back to this topic the first Friday in November. Yay for relaxing!

Tomorrow, it’s off to the last farmer’s market. Then I REALLY need to start on my mask for the wedding. Only nine days to go. Eeek!

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