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

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

The Commute That Inspired Gratitude

Have you ever had a cathartic moment while doing something mundane? I had a moment that inspired gratitude while on the airplane last Monday.

I was feeling a bit disgruntled, as I often feel on Mondays when I’m commuting to work. I’d be spending another week away from home and, on top of that, the forecast was all clouds and rain. I sighed and looked out the window, watching the raindrops roll along the plexiglass as we sped down the runway.

I gripped the armrest and said a prayer as we lifted off. I looked down at the gloomy landscape below and mentally reviewed my list of grievances for the week. The airplane continued to climb and soon the dreary, rain-soaked Philadelphia scenery began to fade and started to be replaced with bright white clouds. On the other side of the clouds was the most beautiful sunshine and sapphire blue sky. It was then that I had my moment.

Airplane in Clouds

My view from above, somewhere over Pennsylvania.

I was living in a world of rain storms and I had forgotten about the sunshine on the other slide of the clouds.

This Thanksgiving week, I want to remind myself to focus on gratitude and incorporating it as part of my mission to live a more meaningful life. There are so many things for which to be thankful, both big and small. Here are two ways I want to express gratitude in my daily life:

Express appreciation and thankfulness when I feel it.

Rather than keeping quiet or weakly acknowledging it, I want to sincerely let others know how much I appreciate them. I have started writing more Thank You notes this year and I definitely want to continue and expand upon it.

Write more positively in my journal.

My journal is the perfect place for me to gather my thoughts and work through issues, but lately it’s been too negative. I want to try to find more balance and mention at least one thing that brought me joy that day.

Have you ever had a moment like this? What are your thoughts on gratitude this year?

Artfully Megan Signature