For several weeks now, I’ve been participating in The Next Chapter, a book discussion blog group, hosted by the amazing Jamie Ridler. We are reading 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin. This week’s secret has to do with Consulting With Guides.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what to write about this secret. McMeekin has the reader take a history of Your Creative Heritage. That was so difficult for me. While I didn’t grow up in a creative prison, I wasn’t raised in the most nurturing environment, either. Like most parents, mine did the best they could with what they had. And what they had included one son who is immensely talented at realistic drawing and a special needs daughter who died at 12-years old. My mother and father didn’t have the time or energy to be creative themselves or to nurture creativity in their children. Well, that’s not altogether true. My aforementioned older brother got private art lessons for awhile, until he decided that art wasn’t cool anymore. But as the sister closest in age to the special needs child, I often got lost in the shuffle. I have no idea if I had any natural talent as a child. My mother has since told me that I loved to draw and color – and that I would color on anything that didn’t wriggle away. In fact, as a young child, I “enhanced” the print that hung in the living room behind the couch with crayon (my first “mixed-media” piece!).That piece hung there for years.
As I got older – and children left the nest – my mother took more time out for herself. I remember trips to the craft store every Saturday, and then a week playing with whatever technique had been demonstrated that day. She sewed beautifully, and began to get more creative with both that and her cooking. I was just along for the ride. No particular interest was paid to whatever I might have been good at, and no one thought to inquire about what I might have especially enjoyed. I had no concept of process, or getting lost in my creative endeavors.
For years, I let my creative efforts lie fallow or in the void. But when I was ready to explore my creativity, the Universe sent me people who encouraged me, taught me, and guided me. Just at the time my creative energies were starting to stir, I was sent a highly creative friend, and Diane has encouraged me so much and shared several of her own techniques with me. I currently have a real, honest-to-Source mentor, who encourages me, while also telling me just how it is. She lifts me up, teaches me and supports me. We don’t create the same kind of art, so I’ve never felt any envy about her process or her product, even though she’s a highly creative artist. Sandy also got me involved in our local art association, supported me through a Featured Artist Show, to the point of hanging the show for me! I’m also blessed with an amazing artist friend who is also encouraging and supportive. We relate more as contemporaries, not as a mentor/mentoree. We often make art together, and we delight in the other’s success. Then, of course, there is my husband, my best-friend, and my family - all whom are terrifically supportive and encouraging. I also belong to a group that meets once-a-month to share and make art together.
I’ll be moving in the next month-to-six weeks. I wonder what kind of community and support system I’ll find in my new home. I’m hoping that I’ll find (or be able to create) an artist group that meets once-a-week. That would be delightful.
What kind of guides do you have? I hope you have wonderful encouragement in your creative life!