So how’s about I share my whole creative rebirth story with you?! First off, I mentioned that I lived at a retreat center for 2 months (read that story here for those of you who may not be in the loop). As you know this is where the official rebirth took place. I’m making this sound so serious, like some spirit came down and magically turned me into a creative being again (immaculate creativity, say whaaat?!) … well, Omega is a pretty spiritual place so maybe that’s EXACTLY what happened!
For a bunch of months before quitting my job, I was having a lot of pain in my wrists and hands. I know you’re thinking carpal tunnel, oh NO! Exactly … NO, that wasn’t what was happening here. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I could feel it was something more, something deeper and more intense. It would get really bad at work and I’d have to shake out my hands a lot or get up and walk around. The feeling made me super anxious and uncomfortable throughout my entire body. I get this same feeling when I’m on mobile devices for too long and it makes me want to scream sometimes. Yeah, that’s my cue to Put. It. Down.
From my life coach, I learned that your arms and hands are directly connected to your heart. And at Omega, this kept coming up for me in the first few weeks. My heart was kinda shut down, so it was really starting to make sense why my hands hurt so bad when I did things that did not follow my true heart’s passion. This is when it also started clicking for me that doing something creative with my hands would make my heart feel good and help to open it up. So there’s this reciprocal action: I work on opening my heart … I will be more creative. I work on being more creative … my heart opens up. Well, this sounded like a beautiful plan! Win win!
Of course, Omega got this concept like forever ago, hence why they have art classes and an amazing “Art Hut” (it literally is a little hut for art) for all the staff to utilize!!! Picture a small building where every wall is covered in arts and crafts supplies from floor to ceiling, everything from beads to markers to magazines to paint to feathers to fabric to coloring books to googly eyes (yes, I said googly eyes) and, shit, I couldn’t even remember it all if I tried. And tools such as sewing machine, easels, hammers, paper cutter, etc etc etc. If you could only have seen my face as I entered this small heavenly space, my eyes opened real wide, my jaw dropped and my heart started racing (see, that’s why the word heart has the word art in it. Duhhh.). It was the most amazing sight ever. I instantly realized that I need one of these spaces in my future.
Once I came down from my artgasm, I had no clue what to make! So, I started with learning how to knit. My grandma had taught me to crochet when I was little, but I had never knit before. The gal that oversaw the art hut taught me how to do just that. To be honest, I didn’t like it that much and was quite frustrated at first. I stuck with it though as I knew it could get easier, and it did. However, it still never really felt right for me so I haven’t continued knitting since I left Omega. Maybe another time in my life, I’ll pick it up again.
I then took a class on calligraphy. I’ve always loved hand-writing, so this was perfect for me. And, it truly was perfection. I learned techniques and fun ways to use calligraphy markers.
I became pretty obsessed with calligraphy markers and returned to the art hut to draw and write with them fairly regularly. I made bookmarks for friends and doodled my heart out.
I also took a bamboo brush ink class. It was very free flowing, and I actually let loose a little bit. Remember, I come from a design background of producing very detailed, technical drawings, and being loose wasn’t necessarily my thing. The extra fun part about this class was that my friend Sara was visiting me for the weekend and she got to enjoy the class with me! Then, we went to my friend Stacey’s African dance class afterward. Speaking of not being loose … I’m not much of a dancer, but her class was super fun regardless of whether or not I actually got it ;). Artsy day for us gals.
I made this book …
I made this cool paper booklet out of one sheet of scrapbook paper. That’s right, ONE sheet …
Now, let me tell you about Mr. Alan Leon. Alan was the artist-in-residence for most of the time that I was at Omega. He taught the art classes and had wonderful creative energy and talent. I attribute a lot of my creative rebirth to his presence. The importance of creativity in my life really hit me at his calligraphy class. I LOVED it, like seriously LOVED it. So, he brought this new art form to my attention (new to me, of course!) and it was something I thoroughly enjoyed and was naturally good at. Go me! Alan is an inspiration in art and life :)
I hope to be as inspirational in just being me. This blog is one avenue and I know many more will be uncovered as I continue my journey. Thanks to all of you for coming along for the ride!
Live. Love. Create.