Being a Hidden Artist

Since I started the blog, I feel like I’ve been having an internal conflict: Do I want to stay a “hidden artist,” or put myself out there? I came across a quote recently and created an art journal page to express my sentiments.

Hidden Artist Art Journal Page

Hidden Artist Art Journal Page – Caran D’Ache Neocolor II water soluble artist crayons, Crayola crayons, Posca paint pens, American Crafts Galaxy marker, and Sakura Gelly Roll pens.

I have always been a very private and introverted person. It’s probably one of the first things people notice when they meet me. It feels like a lot of people treat that as a shortcoming, but I think it has its advantages. I consider myself a good listener, which helps with problem solving and allows me to help others. Even though I’m a good listener, I rarely give anything up about myself. I’ve thought about why, and I’ve realized that…

It all boils down to fear.

Fear of:

  • Being rejected, misunderstood, and made fun of
  • Not being good enough or not what others expect me to be
  • Allowing myself to be in a more vulnerable position

I continue to reflect on this and think, maybe I should work on breaking down the wall. Over the last year, I’ve felt myself powering through my emotions and trying to hide it all under a stoic exterior. This isn’t realistic or sustainable, especially with something so passionate and personal as art.

As I’ve gotten back into blogging, I’ve discovered so many other blogs and artists. Contrary to what I’ve thought, we’ve all hit times where we’ve struggled and had to face challenges. We’re all learning and growing every day. It’s inspiring for me to see someone else’s creative (or personal!) journey and their process. If my goals are to advance in my creative journey and prioritize the things I love, then it only makes sense to me that…

…opening up is important.

I’m slowly discovering (or re-discovering) that:

  • My friends and family are supportive
  • Overall, the artist community is very constructive and positive
  • I need to work on being less afraid to be myself

This certainly will not be a flip-of-a-switch change, but I do want to be more mindful of this as I grow as an artist.

How do you feel about opening up? Do you find it hard to share your art with others?Artfully Megan Signature

Why I’m Keeping a Bullet Journal in 2018

Does anyone else have a bullet journal? Is anyone trying bullet journaling for the first time this year?

I started bullet journaling in late 2016. My first bullet journal was a way to track my activities, like what shows I watched and my daily mood. I bullet journaled sporadically last year, but I noticed that I did it consistently for my work activities. For 2018, I want to get into the habit of bullet journaling regularly to meet my other goals.

Bullet Journal - January 2018

The first two pages of my January 2018 layout. My bullet journal is a Leuchtturm1917 A5 size and the decoration was done with Stabilo Fine Liners and Sakura Jelly Roll pens.

What I like about keeping a bullet journal

  • I have complete control of the layout. Unlike some pre-printed planners, I can customize my bullet journal exactly to my needs. I can list and track what interests me the most. Additionally, it feels more “trackable” to see my goals and activities displayed this way.
  • Similar to others that keep a bullet journal, I utilize symbols to list and track my tasks. For example, a star next to a task indicates that it’s high priority.
  • Though bullet journals don’t have to be highly decorated, the decorative aspect appeals to me. I love using stickers, my never-ending collection of washi tape, markers…you get the picture!

What I want to track this year

  • I have a separate bullet journal for blog activities. I use it to collect ideas for blog posts, track my “must-do” activities, and set monthly goals.
  • I’m making an effort to read more in 2018, so I made a fun page to track my progress (perhaps I’ll feature this soon!).
  • I’ll be tracking aspects of my health since I’m focusing on healing and becoming a better version of myself.
  • Wayne and I are closely monitoring our finances as we move closer to buying a home and starting a family.
  • I want to be more cognizant of career opportunities. I realized that I need to be more aggressive about things like networking and training so I can follow my dreams.

Do you bullet journal? How are you planning to keep organized this year?

Artfully Megan Signature

My 2018 Word of the Year : Love

Lately I’ve noticed a trend where people select a “word of the year” at the beginning of each year. This word will set the tone for the 365 days to come. The word I’ve selected for 2018 is “love.”

2018 Word of the Year - Love

Art Journal Page – Gesso and Marabu Art Spray over Caran D’Ache Neocolor II Artist Crayons. Detail done with Stabilo Fine Liners, markers, and paint pens.

Why “love?”

I chose the word “love” because it’s what I’d like to radiate into the world. It feels like social media sometimes makes us critical of ourselves. 2017 was an especially tough year for me, and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with my goals no matter how hard I tried. I know there have been times that I judged myself based on someone else’s highlight reel. I had forgotten that the road to success isn’t linear and we all have our struggles.

My word is “love” because I want to focus on loving myself and others as much as possible.

For me…

  1. Focus on my health: my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs
  2. Do what I love: make time for it and don’t keep pushing it to the back burner
  3. Accept myself: stop trying to be the person others think I should be

For others…

  1. Step up for BEE Liberia: leave a legacy in volunteerism
  2. Go outside my comfort zone: discuss my feelings and show appreciation
  3. Be kind, compassionate, and understanding: start at home! Be the best wife, daughter, sister, and friend that I can be.

We may often think that to change the world, we must do something grand and earth-shattering. I think that we underestimate the everyday things that make such a huge difference in bettering ourselves and helping others. Love can do so much, and that’s why I’ve chosen it as my word of the year.

Have you picked a word of the year? Have you set any new goals or made any resolutions?

Artfully Megan Signature

Artfully Megan’s 2017 Post-Christmas Review

Another year, another Christmas…and that means another post-Christmas review!

Christmas 2017

This year, my husband and I visited our families in New Jersey. I’m an introvert through and through, but I do enjoy being surrounded by friends and family. I love participating in the usual holiday traditions, like Nochebuena and going to mass. Now that I’m married and my family has grown even more, I’m joining in a lot of new traditions. Wayne and I are even starting to create our own!

One new thing we tried this year was Hallmark Christmas Bingo, downloaded from Addie Zierman’s 2015 blog post. A lot of the movies share recurring holiday themes, character archetypes, and plot lines. We thought for sure that we’d fill our cards within the first 30 minutes, but getting bingo was quite elusive. I won twice, but it took until the end of the movies to find exactly what I needed. We definitely recommend giving it a try in 2018 if you’re looking for something unique.

Christmas Tree 2017

This year’s tree, decorated with ornaments gathered through the years and some new ones we received for our wedding last year.

Gifts I Received

I feel really blessed to have a husband that supports my creative endeavors. This year, I received a lot of arts-related items. I’m looking forward to using them!

 

2017 Christmas Gifts

Some of the arts-related gifts I received this Christmas. Left to right: Homecube Pencil Case, Mongol Pencils, and Reclaimed Fabric Tote Bag

Homecube Pencil Case

This pencil case is small, but can fit so many supplies. I’ve already filled it with Stabilo mini pens, Sharpies, fountain pens, a mechanical pencil, a pencil sharpener, ruler, and eraser. Would you believe that it’s still not full? It will be perfect for taking with me in all my travels, near and far.

Mongol Pencils

I remember being totally enamored by the crazy amounts of stationery I saw when my family visited the Philippines in 1996. We did all of our supply shopping for the next school year there. I distinctly remember picking up several boxes of Mongol pencils, which I fondly remember as the pencils I used when learning how to draw. These were purchased from CW Pencil Enterprise and are every bit as soft and pigmented as I remember.

Reclaimed Fabric Tote Bag

I’ve been looking for a convenient tote bag to carry my books and art supplies with me in 2018. I saw this on Etsy (seller: MaeganJeanette) and thought it would be perfect! It is made from a reclaimed National Westminster bank bag and even has vintage fabric on the inside. This is a one-of-a-kind item, but the seller has a lot of other wonderful items in her shop.

The Rest of Vacation

Now that the holiday rush has subsided, I’m excited to focus on my hobbies. Some things on my to-do list:

  • Work on my blog
  • Bullet journal
  • Draw
  • Read (currently rereading The Monster of Florence by Douglas Prescott, Mario Spezi)
  • Art journaling

I’m looking forward to taking some time to take care of myself and make sure I go into 2018 energized and refreshed.

How did you spend your holiday? Did you receive any creative goodies this year?

Artfully Megan Signature

Happy Birthday, ArtfullyMegan.com!

Happy birthday, ArtfullyMegan.com! Last Saturday marked my blog’s 3rd birthday, the anniversary of when I decided to take the plunge and start my own blog. As a teenager and young adult, I dabbled in forum administration/moderation and blogging, but this is the first time I decided to own something and really go for it.

Artfully-Megan-3rd-Annivers

ArtfullyMegan.com celebratory 3rd birthday cheesecake, complete with dusting of powdered sugar!

I posted frequently in 2015, but things slowed down and I took a two-year hiatus to get my life situated. I always felt a calling to come back, and I think that is what kept me from shutting it down while I was away. I’m grateful, because ArtfullyMegan.com was still here, waiting for me.

What’s Next?

I’m excited for the learning opportunity, the people I will meet, and the doors it may open. There’s so much to learn when it comes to running a website. I know that immersing myself in it will help me to appreciate the process and learn new skills.

Maintaining the blog also means a lot to me on a personal level. In some ways, I feel like I need to discover who I am and understand what my purpose is in the world. I’m looking forward to chronicling my journey through creative, meaningful living.

Lastly, I’m reminded of a quote that I posted on my personal Instagram years ago:

I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say ‘Because of you, I didn’t give up.’

If anything about this process can serve as someone’s inspiration or motivation, then it will have been worth it.

I don’t know who is out there reading this, if anyone. But for everyone reading now and everyone that is to come, you are appreciated and thank you for your support!

Artfully Megan Signature