Life Changing Moments & Commemorating my Sister

When I started reading Emily’s blog, I was drawn to her compassion.  Just like her, I also faced the trials of growing up as a female in this world and not knowing when I should speak up or close up.  I longed for her words each week, which gave me comfort and forgiveness for any mistakes I made along the way.

In short, she changed the way I view my life.

When Emily started writing about art, however, my life changed in an even greater way.  I wrote before about how I never considered myself creative:

Isn’t creativity for the artists, the painters, the makers-out-of-anything?  Certainly being able to put some words together on a piece of paper doesn’t make me a creator.

Emily writes about how everyone is an artist, in their own way.  It’s in the way we live our life, the way we speak to strangers on the street, how you care for your children.  We are all living and breathing art.  When I read her words more and more, I couldn’t help but agree.

I fooled myself all along.

When I think about how I’m living my art, for me, it’s always been about the words.  This is how I express my creativity.  But, I don’t just want to write some interesting words and then hide them away in a desk drawer.  I want to inspire people.  If I boiled down how I live my art to one statement – this would be it.  Remember my self-proclaimed self-title?

Since Emily invited us to share how we are living our art today, I wanted to do something special and tie in my 31 Random Acts.  So, I painted this sign for my sister.

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It’s always been about the words.

My sister is the most driven person I know.  I have a hard time keeping up with her most days while she’s sleeping.  She’s a member of Ohio State’s leadership society, heritage organization, and student government.  She volunteers at the local jail in Columbus and touches all people she comes across.  I told her that I wanted to paint the sign with this quote because I honestly think these passions are the most beautiful things about her.

Nicole – you inspire me and I want to share your story so that we inspire others.  This is how we’re living art. xoxo

*This completes #4 Think about something specific about someone that you think is really great.  Do something to commemorate it.

Other 31 Random Acts conducted (that I know about!):

  • My sister wrote a note to someone who inspires her (she is doing this every day in October)
  • The Undercover Princess is writing a note to soldiers!
  • The Kitch Witch dropped off banana bread for flood families!

Thank you for your RAK love!

 Are you completing a random act today?

Why We’re All Artists

I’ve mentioned before on my blog how I never considered myself to be an artist.  I was literally the least artsy girl growing up.  I shuttered at the thought of performing art projects in front of people and avoided markers, colored pencils, craft paper and the like at all costs.  This was my perception of artists – the drawers, the painters, the singers, the poets – and I was certainly not one of them.

I’ve also mentioned before how I was in a confused stage after college.  I think it is worth mentioning how these two thoughts are intertwined because, for me, the confused stage boiled down to one true fact: I had no idea where my passion lied.

The lack of personal passions was not because I would never have any, but because I resisted the act of looking for them.  This manifested itself in my cheapness (for lack of a better word).  Growing up, I was always strict about saving money; so strict that I couldn’t fathom spending it on something that, to me, appeared as just purely an indulgence.  This included dance classes, fitness activities, cooking lessons, or anything that was purely for the fun of it.  I criticized others for being so careless with their money and selfishly catering to themselves.

This mentality got me absolutely no where.  In fact, I was a lesser friend, lover and daughter because of it.  I struggled with the inability to fuel passion in others because I couldn’t covet it in myself.

After the eventual loss of a college relationship, I finally realized that I couldn’t continue through life without an identity of my own.  This meant that I had to do the scary things, because I mean really hiding behind finances and a high horse ??, that just meant I was scared.  I needed to think of jumping out of planes, find what fitness means to me, run to unknown places.  I needed to find a space to write, to sing in karaoke bars, dance in front of mirrors and in front of others, discover my sensuality.  I needed all these things because they needed me.

When we find our passions, when we create things in the world, we become artists.  When inspiration opens our heart and allows us to leave imprints on society, we become artists.  We do these things without even picking up a paint brush or stepping on a stage.  We become artists because we create a feeling of being alive.

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I stumbled across this meme when another blogger spoke of Matt Appling’s new book, Life after Art, which explains why art classes in schools are not for children alone.  It’s for us adults to remember what it’s like to create something and not be afraid.

The message is entirely true in every aspect yet when we choose to hide behind the “survival things”, we can forget its meaning.  We’re all artists and the world needs your art because we need your passion.  Whether it’s dancing or poetry or lifting heavy weights or loving your child.  Whether it’s yoga or comedy or creating inside jokes with your friends.  Whether it’s bedtime stories, painting your nails, or following your childhood idols. Maybe your art is your financial spreadsheet.

Whatever it is, just find it…

And start calling yourself an artist.