“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
- Pablo Picasso
I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t artistic.
As a child I excelled in art. My summers were spent making crafts to enter in contests during the fall fair. In high school I made bracelets and sold them to my classmates. After college I worked as a makeup artist for 7 years and started an online business selling my handmade dog collars.
But somewhere along the line I began to suppress my inner artist. Until recently, whenever an artistic impulse surfaced I told myself that arts and crafts are childish, expensive, or a waste of time. I even donated a huge bag of art supplies to the thrift store, and swore that I would NEVER CREATE AGAIN!!
One of the reasons I turned my back on art was due to my inability to detach from the results. If I made something that didn’t turn out well, I became frustrated and discouraged. I let self-criticism & judgment overtake the joy of simply creating.
But last month the urge to be an artist came up again, while I was visiting my friend Jeff in California. We were walking around a gift shop filled with art and handmade trinkets, when Jeff said, “KB, have you ever thought about becoming an artist?”
My mind went blank.
Of course I’d thought about being an artist. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. If you asked me at age 8 what I wanted to be when I grew up, “ARTIST” would have been the first thing out of my mouth.
I realized in that moment that suppressing my artistic side is totally exhausting – kind of like trying to hold a beach ball underwater. I knew I had to start “making stuff” again, only this time I vowed to ditch the self-criticism.
On the day I opened the doors to my craft closet, sun rays burst through the clouds and I heard a choir of angels singing, “Alleluia”. The floodgates of creativity flung open and I could hardly keep up with the stream of ideas flowing into my mind.
I’m currently focused on creating a line of yoga-inspired jewelry made from polymer clay. These pendants feature some of the gods & goddesses of Hinduism – Shiva, Ganesha, Hanuman, Kali, and Lakshmi. They are now available for purchase in my new Etsy store along with some very unique handmade yoga straps. I also plan to make larger mixed media pieces with divinity as the common theme.
What I’ve learned from this experience is that my best work emerges from a place of detachment – meaning that I don’t care about the end result. My intention is to create with the mindset of a child, simply having fun with no expectations.
Although if you decide to hang my artwork on your fridge (or your neck), that would be a beautiful thing too.