The Two Ladies

I dedicated the past week to  seeing what “fell” from my paintbrush.  This is my favorite kind of art process.  Just seeing where my art takes me, without planning and without worrying.  Two different ladies showed up, each one with a unique story.

“Lady Avalon” by Tamara Rokicki

Lady Avalon is a cross between Victorian and Fantasy.  As I worked on creating her, I felt subtly vibes of feminine strength, gentle love, and bright attraction.  She is poised and relaxed, while perhaps holding on to a secret.

The Amazonian is fierce.  Still retaining that feminine beauty, she challenges the viewer by her boldness.  I loved creating her, the story that popped up showing me how immensely beautiful and yet different women can be.

“The Amazonian” by Tamara Rokicki

Fall In Love With Stick Figures Again

This week was long, tiring, and freakin’ awesome.

I’m so amazed at the changes taking place in my life right now. I wanted to end the week by sharing with you this week’s artistic accomplishment, and also share a little bit about my life changing, soul fulfilling events.

To begin I want you to think about stick figures. Yes, the round headed, lines for body doodle. Remember drawing him in elementary schools or the occasional Hangman game?   Well, take everything you remember about it and throw it out the window. Really, this is going to blow your mind, and possibly get you addicted to drawing stick figures.

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This week’s Lifebook lesson was taught by the amazing Mandy van Goeije, a Dutch illustrator, artist, and teacher. She introduced us to a brand new spin on stick figure drawing. So whether you can draw or not, you will be able to create this simple doodle. The surprising part of doing so is the therapeutic message these little stick figures can add to your life. Mandy encouraged us to add as little detail as possible while creating a small storyboard consisting of two or three frames. In each frame, stick figures would depict our story, message, ideas, anything really. At first I thought “Hmm..really? How can I tell a story with so little detail?” Well, you can, and it turns out that letting stick figures depict your story is much more powerful than filling a whole page with words or painting a masterpiece. Below are some examples of my stick figures.

16195630_10155000430091323_3536615251610619902_nDrawing them made me feel like a five year old again….and for all the right reasons. You see, you NEED to approach art with a child-like innocence to express your true, raw, meaningful stories. When we grow up we have to become “responsible”, “sensible”, “wise”…and we tend to lose our child-like imagination. Art doesn’t work well with stern, methodical approaches. It yearns to be free, simple even, always expecting nothing but your true self.  When I connected with my fellow artists and we exchanged our stick figure stories, we saw how this process unlocked so many emotions.  Some expressed and processed grief in their drawings; others expressed gratitude; everything was simple, raw, and yet incredibly powerful.

I was so inspired by this process that I created a journal where I can add all of my stick figure stories, short frames telling about my feelings, my day, and my dreams.  And yes, even the silly and mundane moments, because they all matter and they add up to this thing we call life.

So why don’t you give these little figures a chance to enter your own life?  But I must warn you…they’re highly addicting.  You may find yourself drawing dozens and dozens of storyboards, stick figures becoming what words can’t express and the neatest companion you ever had.  Please share your stick figure storyboards with me, I would love to see what they have to say 🙂

And finally, I must say I’m so incredibly thankful for the events unfolding in my life right now.  I recently joined Devorah Spilman’s InStory group, where I have a mentorship for my creative visions, purpose in life, and soul calling.  Being mentored and supported by people who get me is an unbelievable feeling.   I have so many projects ahead and for the first time in a long time, I am confident in all of them, knowing that they’ll enrich my life, connections, and soul in so many ways.

And…..to add more sparkle to my life, I have also signed up for Over The Rainbow, Jane Davenport’s newest 8 week long art course, where I’ll be making Emerald City come to life, with all its darling (and some a little evil) characters.  I’m so excited.  Join me on this adventure, connect with me and other artists, and find your tribe.

 

Till next time, love yourself and others, honor the calling, and create like a child. XO

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An Inky Mess: Th(Ink) Positive Cards

 

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This past weekend I tackled a messy, inky, terrific project. The best part of it was that my teenage daughter joined me.

As a bonus Lifebook 2017 lesson hosted by Andrea Gomoll, we created our very own Th(ink)Positive Affirmation Cards. The scope of this assignment was to continue working on our 2017 affirmations, making this year (and hopefully many to come) a catalyst for positive change. So we sat down with pencil and paper, and thought about the way we dialogue with our inner selves. What could we use more of? What do we need to turn from negative to positive?

img_4203For me, it was easy. I am on a journey to renew myself and purse my passion in arts. The stumbling blocks have been self-doubt, fear of failure, and the overwhelming weight of the unknown. I knew that what I needed to hear were words of encouragement, an inner cheerleader telling me that I’m good enough, that I have a bright future ahead, that I should trust my instincts and give my soul what it craves.

Armed with our brand new art supplies, we started our project. We used Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India Inks, something I’d never worked with before. It was a blast….messy, but that was part of the fun. My daughter was surprised at my laid back approach to the chaos, the splatter, and the splotchy ink layering all over us. But that’s what art does. As someone who is continually seeking perfection, needs to have everything in order, and not a crumb can be out of place, I’ve let art take over my life. It is a magical and shocking change, but this artistic outlet has a way to calm down my inner critic, the urge to control everything, and lets me have fun.

fullsizerender-2-copy-2The process of making this card deck was lengthy but well worth it. There’s nothing like creating your very own cards, each message carved by your and only for you. We marveled at our creations, knowing that it’s something we will cherish for the rest of our lives—especially the time we spent together creating these beautiful cards.

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As a final note, I am thrilled to share that I have been taking mixed media art classes by the wonderful Jane Davenport.   She is such an inspiring artist and I hope to learn as much as I can from her.

I am currently working on week 3 of Lifebook, an overwhelming self portrait that is pushing me way past my boundaries. Subscribe to my main website to read about my next art adventure.

Until then…..I wish you lots of love and art messes. XO

What Makes People ‘Creative’? A Complex Look Into Creativity

 

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Necessity is the mother of invention.

You’ve heard this proverb before, right?  Basically, when stuck in a situation that requires something to change, the individual will create a new device or method to improve the situation.

But after reading Tim Vernimmen’s article Where Creativity Comes From, published for Scientific American, the proverb gets a new spin. The article focuses on a study done by Carel van Schaik of the University of Zurich, which reports behavioral patterns of orangutans when their food availability becomes insufficient. Instead of getting creative, they fell into energy-saving mode, essentially minimizing their movements and eating whatever unappealing foods they could find.

Fortified by another study by economist Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard University, we learn that reminding people of their financial struggles does not lead to innovative solutions. The bottom line is that difficulty doesn’t always lead to creativity, but preoccupation with meeting daily needs such as food and paying bills leave little opportunity to create innovative solutions.

“So if you ask me, opportunity is the mother of invention.” ~Carel van Schaik

 Mullainathan’s article highlights an important question: how complex is creativity and how can we pin down what makes an individual ‘creative’?

The creative mind is not primarily prompted by the need to survive. In fact, several studies state that individuals are ‘creative’ thanks to their mental flow. While the left brain is known to be a more analytical, linear, and disciplined thinker—and the right brain is more artistic, visual, and imaginative—the complexity of creativity goes way beyond that.

 

To read more click here