Limiting Input

I have whisperings…little thoughts that return, quietly, gently. I am making an effort to listen to a few of them. Here’s one: What would I make, or want to make, if I limited how much I am seeing in the way of what other’s make?

I love Instagram. Well, perhaps I should say that I love seeing all the amazing incredible wonderful inspiring things that humans make in this world. I I am constantly inspired by the designs others are knitting and crocheting, the weavings they create, the paintings, the stitching…on and on and my poor little head is so full of things I want to try, that I don’t know which to begin next. And so I wonder…

What if I limited that input, or did away with it altogether? What would I, Jennifer, make? What would I paint? What would I stitch, knit, weave, etc? To be certain, I create what is original to myself and what bubbles up in my own maker mind. But it is definitely influenced by the wonders I have access to online. And it begs the question.

I am trying to listen more. Right there I seem to have contradicted the title of today’s thoughts. How can I listen more if I am limiting input? It is a rich and wonderful truth that we listen more deeply when we get quiet, set ourselves apart from the fray, find still places to sit and listen where external input is minimal. I am making time for this deep listening each day and even for extended periods. It is delicious. I’m finding help and solace in so many areas of my life. As a creative person, here’s something I’m discovering as I listen:

I myself, have within the creative coffers of my heart, a wealth of ideas, skills, abilities, and inspiration. Right here. Inside of me. (And may I say here…so do YOU, dear reader!) So this little gentle question is asking, “From that wealth, what do you want to make? Setting aside all the fantastic ideas and skills and beautiful things you see online, what do you, Jennifer, want to make today?”

So I am sitting with that question these days. Listening more fully to that sweet gentle whispering and wanting to take some action, little by little. It will be a process. I want to share that process here. And I am committed to these posts being short.  I have already surpassed the length I want to allot myself each day. And since I love sitting with questions, I’ll leave it at that. And let the rest unfold, gently, little by little each day.

Thank you for being here.

Jennifer

The Anti-Inspiration that Works!

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I have found some of the most unusual inspirations along the creative path as an artist. I may be the only one who finds freedom and renewed passion in these quirky anti-inspirations, but I’ll share this latest one with you, just in case it helps you too!

Here’s how it goes…

My passion for drawing and painting starts to flag, droop, wither, recede. Whatever the description, I tend to first label it as don’t-have-enough-time, or i’ve-drawn-all-this-before, etc. But if I really dig deep and get totally honest with myself, I realize that sometimes lurking behind the flagging passion is an insidious thought that what I do just isn’t special. This thought somehow creeps in (might it be from comparing my art to the reams of other awesome online artists…maybe?) and I begin to look at my drawings and paintings as run-of-the-mill, everyone-else-does-this-and-better, nothing-unique, nuttin’-special.

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Yes, there it is folks! Someone who has been painting and drawing for nigh unto 20 years now, still…STILL…has these stupid thoughts running amuck from time to time. The struggle is real. Very real.

On my daily walk a few days ago, as I took a good look at this crazy belief that had snuck into my artist’s heart through the back door, I actually had this thought:

You need to embrace the possibility that you are not unique!

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I stopped walking. I looked around. And wondered where in the world this could have come from. I rolled that phrase over in my head again:

Embrace your UN-uniqueness!

Let go of the demand to be special in the art world.

Be free of the need to stake out artistic territory that is only yours.

Just be YOU. Whatever that is. However it looks on the page. Wherever your pen takes you. Just Draw. And Draw. And Draw!

And the strangest thing happened…I felt light as a feather! I started walking again, faster than I had before all this, running this new, surprising inspiration through the cobwebs of my artsy heart. It swept it out clean!

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And each day since, I waken to a renewed excitement about lines on a page, wondering where they will take me today. As much as I, as a teacher, might not ever want to say to you that you are not unique, I do think the pressure to BE unique can really get us in a bind. Setting ourselves free from the net of having to be special, allows us to swim with abandon, in any direction we’d like to go!

Try it…embrace your UN-uniqueness…and see what happens!

Artfully yours,

Jennifer

P.S. As always…you can follow these daily #Inktober drawings on my Instagram feed. 🙂

Sketchbook Chat #3

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I’m getting a bit better! This one is under 15 minutes! Woo! Hoo!

In this Sketchbook Chat I share a demonstration of adding watercolor to a drawing of a privacy fence. What I aim for in these videos is not to teach you exactly how to hold the brush or apply the paint, but ways to think about your subject, your medium, your intent in making the page in your sketchbook. To me, all of this is MUCH more important than merely how you hold your paint brush, or which colors to use where. I hope it inspires you to splash around with watercolor in the pages of your own sketchbook today.

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This is the finished page in my Moleskine watercolor sketchbook. The video gives you a tilted view of the page as I paint, so I wanted you to see it more close-up. 🙂

Thank you, as always, for spending your time with me in these videos! Subscribe to my You Tube channel so you don’t miss any of them!

Artfully yours,

Jennifer

April Knitterly Arts Newsletter!

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My Knitterly Arts Newsletter for April is now winging its way to email boxes around the world!

If you’d like to subscribe…CLICK HERE!

And do share with others who might enjoy receiving a bit of yarny inspiration!

A Newsletter for You!

KnitArtsPage

I now have a FREE Newsletter to offer you!!

At the end of last week I worked with MailChimp, an awesome newsletter creating site, to send out my first one. It is full of inspiration to keep the fiber flowing in your hands!

I have all sorts of ideas and plans for this little newsletter, so if you are at all interested in Knitterly things, subscribe to receive these monthly email newsletters!

Subscribe Here!

**The plan is to send these monthly, but they might be more often than that. Here are some of the topics these newsetters may include:

Where and When I’m teaching classes!

Links to patterns, yarns, my favorite blogs, etc.

A book recommendation (either a children’s book, pattern book, or book about life in yarn).

Encouragement to Be Creative!

It is all for YOU!! I hope you enjoy!

P.S. I am unsure whether you will be sent the first newsletter or not when you sign up. Let me know if you are able to get it.

PRE-ORDER for Letters to an Artist

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It’s getting close to the publishing date for Letters to an Artist!! For those of you who have been following on my other blog, I’m excited to announce that the previous 75 Letters have now been compiled into book form and will be available for purchase on or before the 20th of November!! I have it available for PRE-ORDER via my Etsy shoppe, so that when the books arrive, I can send you a signed copy asap!  It is 10.95 through my Etsy shoppe since you are receiving a signed copy! And you can also have me sign it to a particular person, should you wish to give this book as a gift. The book will be 9.95 through Createspace and through Amazon! This will make a lovely Christmas gift for creative folks on your list!

 PRE-ORDER here through Etsy for your signed-by-the-author copy!

**Please note that the interior of this book is black and white! The reason for this was that a 160 page full-color book would’ve been too pricey. So you will not have the individual artwork that was posted with each letter. BUT you will have a black and white line drawing that goes with the front cover color painting of mine! I hope you enjoy the drawings as well as the savings!!

Click here to view/print out a page spread from the book!

***ALSO…I have redone the blog, Letters to an Artist, with a new theme! If you are receiving this notice through an e-reader, you might want to click here to go see how it looks.  You won’t see the 75 Letters that are now in book form, but you WILL have future Letters coming to you on the LetterstoanArtist.wordpress blog! So keep following there, or sign up to follow me on that blog so you can receive the Letters as they are posted!! I do not post them here on Drawn2Life. Let your friends know about the blog and the book; those who you think might benefit from the encouragement.

To read more about the book, click here!

 

Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy!