When thinking about getting somewhere, it has always been about setting goals and getting there. But how do I define there? Where is there? My journey has not been a smooth one, and I am still far from where I want to be. I hit a patch of serious depression, where even getting up in the morning was hard. During that time I lost control of the web domains I had been building a brand upon. RennataTropeano and GrowingUnique. Today as I look at this, I could buy growingunique back for only $3695, which is not happening. RennataTropeano seems to have been take over by some alt Rennata, it looks like a personal blog, but with posts by the user gotham. But not me.
So, I loop back and gather myself again and start anew. Creative. No question there, being creative is the thing that keeps the depression at bay. Unique. I have always embraced that term. Different is not okay in our modern society. Conformity is the norm. Unique, however has enough style to be okay, so I have always sought to be unique. What is the direction that my creativity and artwork is taking? A bit of magic and mystical, wandering to faery. This led me to updating my mission statement. “Growing Unique is about my quest for a life that is unique, creative and magical. I enjoy helping people move from dreaming their life, to living their dream.”
I have become very interested in the links between creativity and mental health. I have not quite yet figured out how to fit that into my mission statement, but when I do, it will be there.
When searching through my collection of images for the theme of Furry Friend this little black squirrel. I am enjoying this challenge of doing 30 watercolors in July for #WorldWatercolorMonth hosted by Doodlewash.com I have found that daily creativity is one of the best habits I can have. I start by blocking out 25 minutes for painting in the morning as a starting point. Many times it goes longer than that because it is going well and I am enjoying it. But, I seem to be more productive in other areas when after I have started with creating. I am also taking a course on creativity from Coursera. One of the things that jumped out at me is a quote.
“To live is to have problems and to solve problems is to grow creatively” J.P. Guilford
I think process of working creatively also does the converse, it frees that part of your mind that solves problems, so you get more done as you spend less time looking for answers to the small things.
This quote from one of my favorite fairy tales, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis sums up my thoughts on believing and faith. We are at a time when choice of who and what to believe in abound and I see a lot of believe what I believe or I will unfriend you.
The character who made the above statement was being presented with all kinds of arguments as to why he should not believe and that it would be desirable to just agree with what was being said. He believed in what was right and held fast to those beliefs. It is a simple message, about faith. There are a lot of area in our lives that need faith. A belief that is unshakeable and resists change, a path to follow. This can go for your religious views, or just simply a goal you wish to achieve.
Me, I want to be an artist. I want to bring magic and beauty into everyday life. I want to celebrate that which is good about living. I am on the side of beauty and everyday magic, even if they do not exist. I am going to live a life of beauty and magic, knowing that Narnia exists and not listen to those who tell me otherwise.
What did you do today that helped you move closer to your goals?
Today I wandered around Barnes and Noble, picking up various books on topics that interest me. How to books on reworking clothes, Watercolor painting books,photography books, etc. Each one I picked up reminded me of a similar book that I had picked up on a previous visit. Each book was in its own way about living a creative life. If you throw in all the other creative choices, such as cooking, woodworking, gardening, writing, etc., these books have a significant amount of the floor space allotted for adult reading. I realized that there is a difference between reading and learning. Many of these books that I have purchased over the years have been books that I read, but did not learn.
Where I am making progress in my creative journey is in photography, and this is because of the mentorship program in which I am participating. The key word is participating. I am using the camera and talking about it with the other participants.
Week 2 Plus Post-I am participating in the Camera Basics, Beyond Automatic Mentorship by +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers organized and run by the program directors, +Robin Griggs Wood +Ron Clifford and +Tamara Pruessner Each week I will be posting a Plus …read more
This weekend I was looking through children’s books to purchase some for a very special young man named Evan. My daughters were with me and we were picking out books from our childhood. It was a little odd that I was finding more of them than my daughters were. I realized that many of the books I was finding had little stickers celebrating their 50th anniversary, so maybe it wasn’t so odd. One of the books that I found was one that I looked for without luck when my daughters were small was Fredrick. Fredrick was a small field mouse who saved the summer sun, the colors and the stories for when winter was grey. Looking back I realize that this book was not only a favorite, but it put an idea into my head that sunshine, and colors and stories were important.
I have always been drawn to collage, even though it is not one of my primary media. I think it must date back to my love of books done in this style.
My daughter has an assignment to find a picture that inspires you to think of a story. It is for a short story project they are doing in school. I take lots of pictures that are exactly that, things that I see that spark something creative in me. A lot of times I am not sure what the final outcome of the picture will be. Some are starting points, such as why are these pelican pink? Some will end up as part of a digital collage, Some I will turn into a painting, removing all the clutter that ends up in so many pictures. So much of “being a creative person” is taking the time to gather these inspirations, and then let them develop into something new. As we started looking at pictures I was directing her attention to the stories that I saw in so many of the images. She however saw different things, and different stories. She ended up choosing 6 pictures, which I promptly sent to the printer.
As it always seems to happen, go to print homework, and the ink is running out. It struck me as funny that what happened is that they all ended up with odd overtones of pink. (No, my pink pelican picture was not one of them, those silly birds were actually pink.) This was not a good effect on four of the pictures, but a pink Big Ben against a baby blue sky, and a surreal pink picture of a Dali sculpture were the final picks.
It is always a pleasure to see people making these creative leaps to their own final product. It just reminds me of how important it is to being open to seeing the possibilities. We could have been rushing out on a cold night to try and find a new print cartridge. Thankfully she was able to see past the idea of it being “right” to the fun of a surreal sculpture in surreal colors.
So back to those pink pelicans, the reason they are pink is they are eating the same thing that the flamingos eat. It makes them pink, just not as pink as the Flamingos.
I was a little sad to find this out, I had a much more interesting story going in my mind. Hmm, Maybe I should write it.