“Keep learning” is advice mentioned regularly, and good advice it is. From simple things like taking a new route on the way to or from work, cook a new dish, or listen to different music. To more involved ones like learn a new language, take a course, or tackle a new skill. Any one of them can shakes up the cemented pathways in your brain and open up all sorts of new and potentially amazing possibilities. Which then lead to more! The best part is that it is all up to you to take that first step and try something new. It doesn’t have to be grand and expensive, it can be as simple as a daily walk through a different neighborhood and grow from there. Start today, engage a friend or two, write it down and tape that first intention to your mirror. Just give it a go!
As part of the Creative Jumpstart 2022 course I am taking through Nathalie Kalbach’s site there are daily creative videos from wide variety of artists. Each one is designed to encourage exploring new materials and techniques. It is proving a great way for me to get into the studio every day and dig into my supplies. I am determined to expand creatively in every direction I possibly can this year, and this course came across my screen at the perfect time. It is fun to stretch myself in this way and see what I can do.
What inspires you? Music? Nature? Building something? Everyone has their thing that makes them light up, often more than one thing. Peoples interests can be so very varied and interesting, and what inspires one, bores another to tears. Interests often change as we grow and are introduced to new things. But some are lifelong, I am still fascinated by tree forts just as I was as a child. Someday I hope to vacation in one.
Young children often help us find new things to be inspired by. Their curiosity about everything can open our adult eyes to so much that might remain even after the child has moved onto something new. This weekend I encourage you to do something that inspires you. Create, learn, go and immerse yourself for just a little while.
The gardens are turning to midsummer blooms now. The black eyed Susans, Queen Anne’s lace and daylilies are center stage. My mother’s garden had Chinese lanterns which were always adding that pop of bright color plus unusual shape. She would dry them to use in floral arrangements around the house. It was this memory that prompted me to create this piece and give it an aged feel. Once I complete all the steps for my new site this piece will be one of the online courses I will offer.
It’s all about change again this year in order accommodate the new way things are being done. Everyone has had to adjust and realign their old ways of doing things to best fit how we live now. It also opens up new possibilities that seemed undoable before.
Do you remember the first time you heard a recording of your voice and said “I don’t sound like that, do I?” The same happens when you see yourself in a video but add “look like that” to the phrase. It highlights how much time goes into acting to make the portrayal seem natural. Few people have an inherent grace on screen, most of us just look like a human being filmed and trying not to look too goofy or awkward. The rough edges are there, the anxious expression as we try to look natural shows that it doesn’t feel that way. It takes practice, and acceptance of who we are to make a video or be interviewed.
I have been doing this practice, trying to soften the rough edges, relax my facial muscles to achieve a calmer look. It is both fun and embarrassing to watch the results. It causes the “Oh I make such weird expressions when I speak!” reaction. We tend not to think of how mobile our faces are when we talk, video shows us with a clarity that can be cringeworthy. And yet, as a learning experience it is good to know, to “see ourselves as others see us”. It helps us stay in touch with our human side, to stay humble.