At some point in our lives, many of us have moved to a new location. As we settle in, we experience many “firsts” in our new home, and these discoveries are bound to last a full year as the days turn into weeks and months, all highlighted with a variety of celebrations. As many of you know, I moved earlier this year, and have been pleasantly surprised as flowers would grow and bloom in my new yard. Now I’m watching them fade, and my attention has drifted to the trees that surround us in this wide valley.
|“Pin” Courage by Dina Wakley, featured in Art Journal Courage|
I studied the trees, watching the clouds drift daily above their outstretched branches, and I noticed when they went from a dormant brown in the spring to a lush green through the summer. Together they make quite a landscape, but I appreciate that each one is unique. Now that it’s my first October here, I feel nothing less than awe at the show going on beyond my porch railing. Oranges, reds, greens, browns, yellows—the valley trees have been keeping this beautiful, hidden side a secret, and only now do I feel like I “know” them.
Then it occurred to me that this concealed gift is somewhat parallel to how people behave. I implore you to not let your splendor be dormant, but to show your colors. One way to do so is by expressing your individuality in an art journal. It’s a way to show our selves to others—this is how we feel, this is what we think, this is who we are.
It takes courage to be able to do this, and Dina Wakley is one of our best advocates. In her book, Art Journal Courage: Fearless Mixed-Media Techniques for Journaling Bravely, Dina presents ideas and techniques to help us overcome some of the fears that keep us from moving forward.
“Some people hold themselves back,” says Dina. “They tell themselves they can’t create the art they long to create. They think they can’t draw. Or that they don’t know how to layer. They don’t like to use their own image. They’re afraid to step out of the art journal and make other projects.
“Let’s stop the self-doubt and negative self-talk and open yourself up to possibility and progress. (Tweet this!) I want you to be open and willing to make art you don’t like. I want you to practice every day, to be devoted to your art making. Together we’ll face common artistic fears, validate those fears, and then overcome them.
“By facing and acknowledging your fears, you can garner the courage to press on despite them. Practice and devotion will help you conquer those fears and create with courage. When you create with courage, you will create more art and better art than you ever have before.”
Let the show begin,