Fly freely towards your dream

Fly Free

 

It’s too easy to humor insecurities. What’s hard? Getting out of your own head so you can thrive in creative liberty.

I wonder what would happen if instead of entertaining these insecurities, we honored them?

What’s the difference?

When insecurities are entertained, we are serving self doubt – we are renting out our precious creative brain juices, and giving space to the idea that we aren’t good enough.

But honoring insecurities is entirely different. It’s recognizing they exist – even blessing them as part of the process of giving of yourself. Because that’s what we as artists do. We give a part of ourselves in every piece we create. And when we put ourselves into something so deeply and then share it…it can be a vulnerable moment. Insecurity and fear can start whispering, but handling them is key to moving forward. I have found that if I reject them, they continue to resurface over and over again in different ways. I start doubting my process, my style, my dreams. It’s not until I fully face it – head on – and honor it, that it starts to dissipate. Because honoring the insecurities allow me to understand that insecurity and fear do not represent who I am as an artist. They don’t define me. I am not my fear. I am not my feelings.

The person I am is a separate beautiful soul that thrives on growth and the freedom to create.

So next time insecurity pops up, lend a gentle nod in it’s direction – and let it pass. And keep on doing what makes you feel alive.

Fly freely towards your dream.

 

Thanks for reading,

Belinda

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Having Patience with the Process

The smell of autumn whispers to me when I open my front door, and for a moment I allow myself to savor the anticipation of Fall. It’s coming. Pretty soon the leaves will be turning, the air will be crisper, and the smell of chimney smoke will be permeating the air. And for this brief duration the world around me will be bursting with color and I will be basking in the aura of it all. This is a good time to be rejuvenated and inspired.

It’s hard to believe that Summer is reaching it’s last days here, and I can’t help but think about everything that has happened in the last few months. Earlier this year I journeyed into the world of Surface Pattern Design through Rachael Taylor’s course The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design (http://makeitindesign.com/design-school/). I completed Module 1 in the spring, and it ended with me being highly inspired and slightly overwhelmed. So much juicy information was packed into that first module. But there was this lapse afterwards. I’m not for sure if it was just life in general, or if I just needed time to process all the info, but I started painting more instead of sketching. At that time my world of painting vs my world of sketching had certain boundaries. I have no idea why I set those limitations, but in my mind they were separate. Seems silly to say this now. As a mixed media artist I am usually very open to experimenting. I suppose I was stuck in somewhat of a rut. It happens.

On some level I think was trying to figure it all out…my passion for painting and my passion for pattern. Would these 2 eventually merge together? Do they need to be? Are they better separate? Painting for me is very self expressive and free, while pattern seemed more structured. I love both, but I was having a hard time grasping how they could work together.

Then something magical happened. I’m not quite sure what it was in my mind that made things clearer, but it all started when I began the Make It In Design Summer School. And WOW what an awesome experience this was. The MIID team posted segments of creative briefs along with a series of inspirational material with each assignment. Each brief was geared toward trends and were infused with interesting challenges. It was an incredible opportunity to focus on particular subjects that were not the norm for me. The limitations of the briefs forced me outside my comfort zone, and I found myself approaching pattern in a completely different way. It was seriously a light bulb moment. I began using more painting techniques within my patterns and I fell in love with the hands-on process. I was re-energized. I got my second wind.

BelindaSigs SS Typography Testimonial

Around this time I picked up a copy of Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. This book couldn’t have come into my life at a more perfect time. I read the entire book in 3 days. It was jammed packed with such awesome straight forward information and presented in such a real way. So many good things in this book, but one thing that really stood out to me was, “Amassing a body of work or building a career is a lot about the slow accumulation of little bits of effort over time.”

SLAA

I think sometimes we see huge portfolios of awesome work and think we need to hurry up and create and get our work out there as fast as we can. But in reality it takes time to produce good work…it takes a lot of time. And I couldn’t help but make the connection between those words from Austin Kleon with the Make It In Design Summer School. Those segments of challenges that were periodically released allowed me to better understand the process that small steps over time equates to larger productive results. Summer School really pushed my creativity, and I ended up creating more patterns within those 2 months then I had all year. It was all about just taking advantage of the opportunities presented and doing something small each day…even if it was just one mark making or one sketch. In the end, it all built upon each other and it was fun to see the progression of my work. I discovered having patience with the process is everything.

Some of my creations from Summer School:

sea splats pattern 2water pattern 1Aquatic Treasure Pillows Mahala Flights of Fancy Flights of Fancy Mock Ups Safari Sunrise Tote KineticSparkles

To see the galleries for Make It In Design Summer School: http://makeitindesign.com/summer-school/

I am so thankful for what I have learned through this whole experience, and as Fall approaches I am looking forward to diving even further into creating with The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design Module 2, and Flora Bowley’s class Bloom True…both starting next month. Exciting day ahead.

Thanks for reading,

Belinda

Color me Spring

purple flowers 2

Guess what?

The flowers in our yard are FINALLY blooming!

The week before last it rained and poured…for days. Well, it seemed like that any way. After about the 3rd day of rain, I started to miss the sun, but I was forgetting something…rain brings GREEN and blooms and lovely little buds all over the trees. Spring has sprung.

It’s here, and I’m loving it!

There’s a beautiful tree in our backyard that I had completely forgotten about, too, until I peaked out our back window and saw this:

flower tree

And I was so happy!

What is wonderfully ironic about this, we are also studying color in the design Module 1 at The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design this week. I was as giddy as a school girl as I grabbed my camera and told my girls we were going to play in the backyard. My 6yr old, still in her school uniform from that day, was thrilled since we hadn’t been out there yet due to the cold and wet. And well, my 11 month old didn’t have much of a choice, but she loved being outside so it was a win win for all of us. Fresh spring air, fresh blooms, fresh green grass, fresh COLOR…it was a little bit of heaven.

Grace and Flower

I couldn’t help but capture her little feet with a bloom. Her little toes get me every time. She’s growing up way too fast.

Anyway.

Back to color.

We’ve had several color exercises in class this week, all of which have been so fun and inspiring. I know I’ve posted in the past about how much I love color and how I’m addicted to my color theory books, but some of the things in the course this week has made it even more of a personal passion. We’ve studied how color can affect how we feel and how we can use it to in our designs to set a mood. How we can use it to meditate…loved that! We’ve played around with color palettes and learned how to create our own palettes with our own pictures.

blossom 1

But my all time favorite project of the week was creating a mood board. And since I’m really into my blooming tree right now (obviously), I thought I’d use that as a starting point and go with those colors. I’ll admit, this took a little bit of time to put together, but the process was so liberating. It was so fun to clip pictures out of magazines and gather little tidbits to add here and there…to touch the textures of objects and envision how I could capture the essence of certain items. Like the glisten of sequins (which I haven’t figure out yet), but wow it was so inspiring! I definitely understand how a mood board can set the entire tone for a design.

Here is mine:

mood board 1

What’s interesting, I’ve seen this done many times before and always wanted to give it a try. I have several books by artists and textile designers who share their own methods of creating mood boards and I’m always fascinated by how they built their boards, what they used, and what design/designs came out of it. And I get it now. I’m so inspired by what I created and I’m looking forward to honing into this mood board and developing my own sketches…I have a vision for multiple coordinating patterns here. Hoping I will be able to focus on this and make it a reality.

Color truly is all around us. I hope you are able to get out and enjoy some color today.

Thanks for reading,

Belinda

 

 

I think I can

When I was a little girl, my Dad used to read the story of The Little Engine That Could. And although I didn’t fully grasp the potential of the concept when I was small, I grew to love this book and I still remember the animated voices my Dad used when he read it to me. It was mesmerizing to think that a little blue train – not the biggest, strongest or the most qualified train – but a little train with heart, determination, and optimism could make a big impression and complete it’s journey over the mountain.

It thought it could, so it did.

This past week I’ve been thinking a lot of when I first started painting. Ten years ago when I started playing around with the idea of doing art, I picked up a few art instructional books by Walter Foster. I poured myself into them not knowing if I was doing things correctly, but I was enjoying the process. I’ve always been drawn to art, but when I first started doing it “for reals”, I was teaching myself everything from these books. And I was so insecure in myself that I thought everything I was teaching myself was the incorrect way. Nobody even knew I tinkering in art…I kept it all to myself. I felt I needed guidance for someone to tell me how to do specific techniques, or to confirm if I was doing it right. It wasn’t until a couple years later that I took a watercolor class locally. It was an elderly art teacher and she had been doing a variety of different mediums a very long time. She was so laid back and gentle in her approach and for the first time I realized that art wasn’t necessarily about doing things a certain way, it was about expression, where you were at that time, what you were drawn to, and what inspired you. Art had more to do with conveying expression through color and texture than it had to do with literal art “rules.” And this opened my eyes.

I was hooked.

Little did I know the journey I was on.

I just enjoyed it, so I continued. I was eager to learn and challenge myself. I didn’t think I was necessarily headed in any particular direction; it was a therapeutic hobby. I didn’t even know that my art was defining itself over time. It just seemed to happen. Then one day (recently) I looked back at my original sketches that I did when I had first started “formally” sketching and it was all there…my style. It’s always been inside of me. Yes my work has matured, and I have learned many more techniques since then, but the same vibe is there.

I still consider myself a student, and I feel I have so much more to learn. But I think I can do it. I think I can get to where I want to go.

Like the little blue engine that could.

For several years now I’ve had a passion about pattern design, albeit it was a closet dream of mine and I honestly didn’t have a clue how my art would tie into it. Then for some odd reason, everything at once just clicked. And I discovered Rachel Taylor’s “The Art and Business of Pattern Design” school; and I thought, “Wow, this is where I need to be.” I showed it to my hubby and he studied it (as he does everything…I think that’s a military thing), and that evening he came up to me and said, “You need to do this. This is in line with exactly what you’ve been talking about for the last few years.” And I cried…because I love how much he gets me.

So I signed up, and then they had a scholarship competition and I applied. I didn’t know at the time that over 300 people from 39 different countries were also applying for the scholarship. Had I known, I probably would not have submitted anything because I would have thought I didn’t have much of a chance (ya know, with all the talented people out there). Because as much as I try to stay positive, I am my biggest enemy.

But I applied for the scholarship. This was my entry:

Circus Carnival WM

And I ended up being in the top 10. I won the first class of the series, Module 1.

I was shocked.

Lil’ ole me. I’m not the strongest artist, not the most qualified, not well-known…and all that really isn’t important to me.

I still don’t know where this journey will take me, but I’m open to the possibilities. I started class this week and I’m excited to be on a path. I feel like everything has lead up to this point, and I’m ready for it.

I think I can do this.

CC Sketches

original sketches