While I've been working on my upcoming Creating with Feeling E-Course, I've had to condense my creative experiences down to their pure essense, to share as part of the course content. It's forced me to get really clear on why I do what I do, and why I feel it's important to share my knowledge and experience in creating with feeling.
Much of this stems from my childhood.
I'd like to share with you a part of the course I decided to cut. It's about my childhood fall from grace and how it has influenced my art making and life in the years that followed. I'd love to hear your experiences too if you feel safe to share in the comments section at the end. Love C xx
When I was a kid, I LOVED drawing, painting, writing, sewing, cooking. I felt a complete sense of freedom when I created and I never once thought about whether what I was making was good enough, because I wasn’t creating to please anyone else – I was creating because it felt good to me.
I would write and illustrate stories and put them in the classroom book shelf for my peers to read. I would cut and sew little felt booties at Christmas time and sell them to my friends as presents for their family. I won colouring-in competitions and got selected to go into an extra-curricular calligraphy class, during school time (YEAH!). My teacher, Mrs Ramsay would give me stamps for keeping my notebooks so tidy and neat. I was doing what I loved, and I felt amazing!
One day in grade three, one of my ‘friends’ came to me. She had noticed that my writing was very pretty and received lots of teacher attention, and she wanted to know how I did it.
I told her, that when I used a pencil at a certain angle, I could make pretty lines with it and control my shapes better.
I showed her, how I could use the end of my sharpener to click the end of my pencil off at an angle, so it created a flat edge which made writing feel delicious. Essentially, I’d worked out a way to make my pencil mimic a calligraphy pen.
My friend tried this technique and soon, she too was writing with more ease and precision. Yay, now we can both write better!
I loved making things I felt proud of. I loved doing my best. I loved sharing my ideas with others. I loved making my world feel wonderful.
Not long after after, she came to me again. This time, with one simple sentence, 15 words of creatively crushing magnitude:
If you want to be my friend, you’re not allowed to use your sharpener anymore.
I was aghast. She wanted to take my sharpener? Why would someone do that? Was I hurting her? Was I doing something bad?
I must be wrong. Oh no, I must have been showing off.
With a heavy heart, I handed over my sharpener. And I cried. Right there in the classroom. And hid my tears from that girl & my teacher, as they spilled over in shame.
That girl and I still played elastics at lunch time together, but inside, I felt my heart shrivel, whenever I was with her.
That day, she taught me a lie: In order to be accepted by others, I had to dim my own light.
She tried to stomp out my talents, to make herself feel better – and I thought it was all my fault ... and I carried this belief with me for years.
Yes, it’s sad.
But my art has helped me challenge this belief.
So I've realised, this is the reason I'm writing this course. This is the reason I'm sharing my story, my skills and my heart with you. Because I honestly believe we're all beautiful, capable, amazing people and artists inside and sometimes it just takes someone to mirror our light back to us. Sometimes, we need to sought out people who remind us who we really are and who we want to become.Sometimes we need someone to tell us that that our chlidhood fall from grace is actually based on other people's lies about us and we're way more great than we ever thought possible.
And maybe, just maybe, I can be that person for someone else.
So I feel good to have shared my story. And I feel good for having lived it. Because it's brought me to where I am now and I'm all the richer for it.
These days, I give myself permission to use my sharpener and paints and clothes and words any damn way I see fit. And that feels completely amazing to back myself in this way. It's something even five years ago I never could have imagined. I actually love who I've grown up to be.
Love C x