Believing is seeing

Velveteen_RabbitThere is a story I read uncounted times before I was ten years old. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

I loved not only the words. I loved the drawings by William Nicholson as well. I would trace my finger along the lines of the words and images. I wasn’t consciously imagining I was writing or drawing. No. But there was something compelling, some feeling that filled me as my finger touched the shapes on the pages. Two dimensions becoming three dimensions in my imagination.

In Margery’s story, love and belief change the velveteen rabbit from stuffed toy to Real.

Isn’t this what I am doing, every time I write and draw? Love and belief becoming the words on the page and the lines in the drawing. Words becoming story. Lines becoming image. Real.

I hear people say believing is seeing. They are right.

Belief changes everything.

So does love.

When I write and draw, I can’t see the end of what I am creating. I don’t know how the story will close. I can’t see the image that will be there after I place the last mark on the paper.

Continue reading “Believing is seeing”

Tell me I’m an artist

misc.pics 128When I was eighteen, I tried to become an artist.

I loved school and I believed in school, so I got myself accepted to university and started my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. I thought courses and a diploma and those letters, BFA, after my name would make me an artist.

I thought being an artist came from outside. Like being knighted. I dub thee ‘Artist’. One of my art teachers would surely tell me, ‘’Cat, you are an artist.’’

All through that year, I hoped someone would see me, the artist me. I didn’t say it out loud, or whisper it. I never wrote it down on paper or the covers of my sketch books or a bathroom wall. Tell me I’m an artist.

I was so desperate for this, it must surely have been printed across my face. It must have leapt out of every piece of art I created (both the amazing and the dreadful) and every essay I wrote.

It didn’t happen. No one said these magic words.

I left the Fine Arts Department after that first year. I got my diploma in Business Administration instead, and went to work for the government.

Yes, go ahead and laugh.

Continue reading “Tell me I’m an artist”

How to create sideways

 

banfftable.detailI am a sideways creator.  I travel my own route, follow what feels right to me.  I will listen to what others say, and test out their rules and their methods.  If the rules or the methods feel right, I use them.  If not, I shift a bit to the left or right, sideways, the direction my heart is telling me, and go forward from there.

These are my current rules for creating sideways:

  1. I am the Creator of my creations. No one else is.
  2. There are no Rules with a capital ‘R’.
  3. I get to make up any rules I want for myself, but I can’t impose these on anyone else.
  4. I can add, change, discard, and break my rules any time I wish.
  5. I can make up different rules for each thing I create.
  6. I can make up no rules at all for my creating.
  7. My rules are only a starting point.
  8. I can try out anyone else’s rules if I feel like it, and see if they work for me.
  9. The best rules come from my heart.  What do I love?  What feels good and makes me happy?  What do I want to play with?  What do I want to share?
  10. My rules are play.

There are key words here for the creating sideways method.  Feeling.  Heart.  For myself.  Love.  Happy.  Play.  Share.  This is all I need, all I need carry with me into my studio and into my life.