Third grade and we had just moved to a new place. Again.
I stared in wonder as my new art teacher pulled out the papier-mache parts; flour, paper, water, balloons, mayonnaise jars and a picture showing us how to make our own lollipop tree. As everyone began emulating the dreaded tree, I saw something else. Eagerly, I wadded up paper, grabbed my mayonnaise jar and began. The wadded up paper became a big nose taped on the jar, then antlers from more paper. When the finishing touches of paint went on, I was thrilled to see a goofy moose head staring at me! The teacher came over and asked, “why haven’t you followed the instructions?” My balloon quickly popped.
Draw in the lines, dammit! Have you had this experience in your life as well, whether it be a teacher, a parent, spouse or other?
Fast forward to five years ago. I had just sold a house and had a little extra money in the bank. I took a major plunge (more money than I’d like to admit) and hired an “artist” who had made it big, determined to advance my Sweet Bird to the next level so to speak. Instead, what I encountered were these two bickering, shaming me for not having a major email list by now, and on and on. I tried to immediately get out of the contract, but too late. Despite my first panic attack on what I had spent, she gave me a gift far greater than anyone in her power has ever given me. One day she looked me in the eye in our zoom call and said, “You have it, you are an artist. People come to me all the time without any ideas.”
Maybe it seems obvious to you reading this, but I wasn’t seeing it until I saw her own loss for ideas, and then finally giving me a blanket made in China of her work when our time ended. In reality, I should have been the one paid for her getting out of her business partnership intact. What mattered was that saw clearly how I had been taking so many of my skills, talent and hard work for granted. Perhaps, I thought, was I still carrying that lollipop tree experience with me? Was I still thinking it wasn’t art? That I wasn’t an artist?
Let’s face it, it takes a lot of strength to come out of thousands of hours of schooling with motivation, vitality and originality intact.
Draw in the lines. Screw that! I want to buck the system! No more tip toeing around moose heads! We must rule out negative labels and limiting beliefs! Be careful of labels. Labels do a number on our brains.
Now, thirty-five years later, I want to share my goofy, unique way to help other people to achieve their biggest dreams, the art of living a creative life.
Announcing, Release the Vision! I want to share knowledge, create community and empower others to pursue their creative dreams. What I’ve learned over the years is that people are starved for originality, community and creativity for the art of making your life from meaning. A lifestyle. A movement. A calling. Please join me this May to share our art, storytelling and community that shouts out our expression to live our lives with big dreams and bold imagination. Stay tuned in our next newsletter for more information and registration here in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. There may even be time to papier-mache!
And remember, as James Victorie said, “the thing that made you weird as a kid will make you great tomorrow.
Yours on the path,