I have been creative my entire life. I’m pretty sure I was born with paint brushes in hand! When I was a kid I always had crayons, markers and paper on hand (thanks Mom!). I would go to work with my Mom sometimes and she would sit me down at a desk with pens, highlighters, paper clips, hole punches, colored paper and a type writer and let me pass the time creating… Bing (that was the type writer returning)! My Grandmother was a seamstress and taught me how to sew and work with my hands (my love of repeat patterns was birthed back then). My Dad introduced me to modern art and classical music. In fact, when I was in 5th grade I did a book report on Abstract Expressionism (I still have it after all these years)! How many 5th graders (or adults for that matter) even know what that is?
Needless to say, art has always been a part of my life. Creating things has always been a part. And I was born to be an artist.
How many of you can say the same? I know you’re out there with dreams and goals and so many ideas you don’t know where to begin sometimes. I get it. I’m right there with you. No matter what your medium, be it paint, paper, fiber, words, musical notes or dialogue, you were born to create.
And it ain’t always easy. But the show must go on.
Back in 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit my city and everything changed. I had a wonderful art career filled with clients, shows, galleries, club memberships, art groups, students and classes and all of that came to a complete halt! Overnight… all just stopped. It was hard, sad and I mourned. So much was lost and my heart ached in so many ways and my creativity was broken.
A year later my hubby and I moved to TN. Our first time ever living away from New Orleans (cause New Orleans folk don’t leave!). And that was hard. A new town where I was not known. No art group, no classes, no students, no shows, no one stopping me in the grocery and saying, “I know you, you’re Rachel. I have one of your paintings!” I went from an art somebody to an art nobody overnight. And I was sad and I mourned.
I tried to get teaching jobs. Applied to shows. Searched for art groups to join. But to no avail. I struggled. I was a square peg in a round hole. And creating became hard because there were no dates on the calendar to create for. No clients calling for journals or art. No festivals, shows or galleries. No art groups to attend to share my latest painting with. No audience. No one to create for.
Now into the painting enters God. Yes, I believe in God, Creator of the universe, the ultimate Artist in whose image we are all created. Which means we are all creative beings with creation inside of us just waiting to be birthed through our minds and hands! And I talk with Him and listen too.
Well, one day He said to me, “Can you create art for Me? I delight in you and your work and I love to see what you create everyday.”
My answer, “YES!” And then, “But why isn’t anything happening for me?”
His answer, “Because you are not prepared. How can I do anything with your art if you have no art for me to do anything with?”.
Now, the ah-ha wow moment and I got busy creating!
So, for 5 years I woke up and went to my studio and made art because there was One who delighted in it. I took my hurt and ache and turned it into colorful, beautiful art. Over time my heart and creativity was healed by God and the act of creating art. I tried new things. Moved into new directions. Started my doodle a day sketchbooks (I’m in my 4th year now with thousands of sketches to work with). Learned to crochet. It was a wonderful time.
And the art piled up! And now I have work that can go places!
Are you ready? Do you have work piled up ready to go? If not and your struggling, know this, your Creator delights in you and what you do and He smiles on you everyday!
So, as Fred Babb says, “Go to your studio and make stuff!”. Don’t wait for inspiration. Just show up and start making things. Jump into the river of creativity and see where it takes you.
I’m right there with you. Big Hug!