Monday, June 10, 2013

I've Been Doing It Wrong My Whole Life

I've been creating art for as long as I can remember. My mom is an artist (and a writer- now y'all know where I get it from), so I grew up around the creative spirit. As most artists, however, I have majorly struggled with my art. Believe it or not, I've always had this problem where what I see in my head, and what comes out on paper, aren't the same things. I can replicate like a champ when I look at another picture, and if you set a bowl of fruit in front of me, I will rock out a painting, pastel drawing or sketch like no other. But if someone were to tell me to "Draw a cat", the beautiful Himalayan Persian playing with a ball of yarn that's going on in my head comes out looking like a furball that had toxic waste dumped on it, playing with what might be a chunk of swiss cheese or severed head- it depends on how you squint your eyes.

This never stopped me, though. I decided to switch to 3D art for a while, and that turned out much better. What goes on in my head translates to clay much better, and when it comes to gluing things onto canvas in an artistic manner, no one can beat me. I'm proud to say I even found phrases for this type of art: Mixed Media or Altered Art. Yeah, buddy, I just thought I was an amazing gluer. I took to photography for a while, selling my prints at my new age store years ago.
This pic always makes me
giggle, because that's
how I am!

How on earth did I become a tattoo artist, you ask? Well, I can still draw, and I love coloring, and once I learned the canvas that is the skin, I created art just as if I had picked up a paint brush. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of those tattoo artist who could draw your tattoo directly onto your skin with a sharpie (though I did that a few times with things like tree branches and vines with flowers), but if the customer gave me a little bit of time, they'd have a custom piece, drawn by me. What they didn't see was in that week of time I took to draw it up, I had 27 different references out of books or the internet, may have made one of the guys at the shop hold a pose for me for an hour while I figured out exactly how the leg would bend if a fairy was up on her tiptoes, and the finished product that I showed them was actually sketch #82 in my creative process.

Eventually, every artist finds their niche, and in tattooing, for me, it was outlineless, full color tattoos that
looked like a painting when they were done. Once I figured that out, I ran with it and stopped fighting with myself on how I couldn't do portraits or photo realism. Those weren't my niche. I also found that I could rock a black and gray piece, so no matter how much I didn't want to admit it (because I love doing color tattoos), I went ahead and did those, too. That's how I survived as a tattoo artist.

Now that I'm back to being a full-time mom with time on my hands to create art again, I've jumped in with both feet. I've tried a little bit of this and a little bit of that, still frustrated as hell that what goes on in my head doesn't translate to paper well. This past weekend I gave it yet another try, and this time, I figured out something rather life-changing.

I've been doing it all wrong my whole life.

I've been "forcing" my artistic abilities; trying to draw something specific instead of what's inside of me. Of course that's not going to translate to paper correctly, because there's no emotion behind it. Guess what happens when you open yourself up, with no preconceived notions of what you'll create? This happens:

And this:

Both of these came from my head. An idea popped in, I grabbed a pencil and just let everything flow. When I was done with them, I honestly couldn't believe what I saw. I couldn't believe that what I envisioned in my head actually came out correctly onto paper.

I can't stop staring at them. When I look at them, I can't believe I created them. To me, they are something cool I'd find at a shop and tell Hubby I had to have them. Even if no one else in the entire world likes them, not only do I love them, but they represent the removal of a blockage that I've carried my entire life. They represent the unleashing of my true creative being. They represent me, as an artist.

And that, to me, makes them priceless. Well, the originals, at least. I'm looking into having prints of them made to sell in my Etsy store. I opened that store to share my creativeness with the world, and to make it possible to continue doing what I love doing- creating art. Some days my art is writing, some days it's making clay figurines or jewelry, some days it's tattooing, and some days it's opening myself to whatever comes and painting witch bottles and tree goddesses. Tomorrow it may be owls and zombies. I have no idea.

What I do know is that I've been doing it wrong my whole life, and now that can end. Now I can relax and do what I love. I think that's what true happiness is.

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  1. Gorgeous!! Definitely sell prints. I would certainly buy the second one.


    1. Thank you! I met with a print maker today. Should have some proofs in a few days!!

  2. Love them!!! I always wished that I had the ability to draw. I'm lucky if I can pencil a straight line, ha!

    1. Drawing a straight line is harder than you think. And circles. Circles are bitches.
      ;) Thanks for your reply!