Have you met me? I am sort of the unraveled type. I live with unbrushed hair a lot of days and my shoes can’t seem to get tied on time. Just wanted to get that out of the way first.
When my husband and I started dating, one of my fellow students who had just met him came up to me and said, “You and Max are so perfect for each other… you both are, how should I say it — not perfect looking.”
To be honest, I’m totally intimidated to share in a public space, but — I have learned from many attempts that perfection is not what people are looking for. So, these paragraphs will be filled with farts and grammar errors, much like the corners of my house are filled with cob webs and dust bunnies. You too? well good. Untie your shoes in this space, it is allowed here.
It took me a long time to get to this place, but, when I really knew that there actually was a God (and people too) who loved me anyway, despite all the uneven parts of me, that I began to feel safe enough to be the mess I am.
As much as I would like it to be, this is not an intellectual space. I want to share in this space the things I have learned and unlearned about how I have succeeded or not succeeded in life and as an artist. In hopes to inspire you to step forward into your creative endeavor (or whatever it is you are going after) as well. I don’t put words down because I feel as though I have a lot to share. I put words down, or elbows in, or applaud someone because I have the ability to move my hands.
Ernest Hemingway said it best, “All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
And so, I paint. I bleed. I write. I bleed.
A lot of people have asked me… how did I start creating? I don’t have a lot to share, but this is where it started.
When I first began my creative journey, it was the boy in my drawing class that first encouraged me. He was an absolutely incredible artist, and would hover over my work, commenting on how I was his competition in class. I felt strangely like a horse just told me I could run as fast as him. My teacher, (who had raven black hair, deep sunken eyes, and muscular arms that she showed off even in winter which I thought was pathetically distracting), would make her rounds after discussing with the class how to measure and shade and draw, and then she would stop for a few seconds longer behind me, all of my sweat-glands bursting into action. She didn’t give me a lot, she didn’t even smile, but she would say small things like, “you are quite fast.” Or, — “When you work, it seems you are free. Like you are not even looking at the paper.” This was enough to say “you have got something here.” I paid attention.
It isn’t that I’m trying to tell you I’m good at art. but just the opposite. Art was once nothing except a pass-time. I would have never chased this endeavor at all if there weren’t people who stopped to look and point and say “you have got something here.”
Put that sentence somewhere regularly in your stash. People need to hear it.
I say this to say that these small words that people gave me, pressed me deep into a direction that I now walk in.
Much like a mirror reflects you, I think we were made to look like/reflect God in this world, which means a bundle of good things. it took me years to figure it out really, but I grew up incredibly afraid of God, and so to reflect Him then meant something very different than it does now. As I have moved closer to Him, I have discovered a lot of things I didn’t know before. He made hydrangeas, and the wail of a goose, and is described as a refuge, a Father, a shepherd. I had to burn images of God into my mind that were far removed from the God I had grown up fearing, and that changed everything about the way I reflect Him. If I reflect Him, then it means I have some of His characteristics. When I paint an image of a flower bouquet, it doesn’t quite look the same, the painting is flawed and bruised and messed up, but somehow people can still enjoy the bouquet from my painting. They can sort of smell the same flowers. I think this is sort of like how we reflect God. Imperfectly. But still beautifully.
God must be so happy if He is making such lovely things. (p.s. you are lovely too.)
All that to say, I make stuff cause he makes stuff. cause I love making stuff. so make stuff. if you want. if it brings you joy… if it brings the world a little electricity. We were made to be flavor in this world. The world needs salt.
And so I give Him my hands, I ask Him to inspire me, to move through it all. To show me the next step. And then I create. I write. I bleed.
And I trust.
(and I hope this blog can push you that direction too.)