“No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”
Some days when I look back on the past, I wish I was brave enough to work on my creative instincts! In fact, as wishful as it might seem today, I even wonder had life panned out a little differently for me, would there have been fewer things for me to regret today?
Of the many regrets, the one that most often lingers in my mind these days is, how, for a very long time in my life, I was led to believe that it was not worthwhile working towards a future in the Creative Arts, which made me give up doodling, writing poetry and stories, and music—all in the quest for earning a degree and becoming employable in a demanding job market.
Marriage, career and parenthood followed in due course of time and often nudged me to take up the pencil and start all over again. It was the same with writing as well. I wanted to start writing but couldn’t find the inspiration to make it happen. Life would have continued thus, had it not been for an unplanned surgery a few years ago, that took me through one of the most difficult and prolonged recoveries, I’d never have stumbled upon writing, after those twenty odd years, all over again!
It was only much later, that it dawned on me how creativity was within me all along—even when I had been refusing to acknowledge that I was capable of expressing myself through my art or writing. I had to acknowledge that the desire to put my thoughts down and fulfil my dream of writing that book, was still a dream that I had yet to realise. All I needed was a gentle push to make it happen. A little nudge led me to push aside all my fears and bring myself out of this self-induced stupor, to awaken my senses and begin to write—in a way, as if my entire existence depended on it.
Over the following months, as I tried to come to terms with my pain, writing became my release. I wrote and bled on paper, and with just with a handful of people who encouraged me to go on, a creative soul had just found a new lease of life. And thus, one beautiful December morning, this blog was born— as a repository of all that I had bottled up within me for years. The dark fog of misery was slowly beginning to lift itself off, and the light was filtering through—filling my being and lighting up the soul. It felt wonderful to be able to give shape to the million abstract outpourings of the heart. For close to three years, it was only writing and nothing else for me.
And then, one day, I barely remember how—I began to draw and doodle again. Reluctant to show or share with the world, I started shakily—the lines felt unsure and irregular, but my joy knew no bounds. The magic of the pen on paper and the possibility of exploring a new style of art seemed too tempting to resist. I discovered Zentangling around this time and my tryst with a new style of creative expression slowly became a part of my mundane moments. Before I knew it, it had come to be a regular way of releasing the pent up stress that life was throwing up at me from time to time.
Sketching, doodling and now, Zentangling —they are all an integral part of my life! And, that’s why I’m in for #Inktober2018 this year, which is about doing one ink drawing a day the entire month (yes, 31 drawings in all!) and sharing it with the rest of the artists/participants all over the world.
The thought of joining #Inktober came to me in September 2017, but It took me an entire year to turn this wish into a reality. I’m in it for polishing my artistic skills and more importantly, the discipline of getting back to drawing every day! Not forgetting what a fantastic opportunity it is to have fun doing what I love best. That’s my incentive.
I also know I’m not going too hard on myself for this challenge, and if there is a need to skip a few days, I will! Key reminder to self—Nothing stalls creativity like undue pressure. So, if you’re anything like me and having second thoughts about joining, I’d say if you love to draw, then join in—Do visit the rules and please remember, although there are prompts for all 31 days, if these don’t appeal to you, feel free to use your own. 🙂
My illustration for Day 1 for the prompt POISONOUS: