November became my favorite month last year.
I’ve followed the Art Every Day Month (AEDM) group for several years: longingly and wistfully dreaming of actually joining in and doing the project some year.
As the old saying goes: Someday [year!] never comes. Once 2018 rolled around to late fall, I remembered that November and AEDM was coming up. Would I have another round of wistfulness or would I go for it? My life check-in question popped up on auto pilot: What are you waiting for?
So I jumped in and committed, I mean really consciously committed, to do it.
Why the hesitation? Why did it take a few years of dreaming and wishing from the sidelines to finally go for it and make some sort of art every day?
I’m sure it was that very influential liar’s voice that says: “You’re not really an artist. You don’t paint, draw, fiddle with clay or jewelry.” This of course leads the reptilian brain to the next conclusion which is: Well, if I’m not an artist, I can’t very well do AEDM. Plus, the folks posting their creative endeavors on there are good, I mean really good.
But my brain and I were different last November. I’d been paying lots of attention to retraining my thinking and eliminating the “stories” my survival brain iterated over and over again in the interests of protecting me from situations that were new and unknown, and therefore “dangerous.”
As November 1st rolled around, I began the day by doing some art, according to my definition. I made a few greeting cards from reclaimed paper (think file folders and other sources of card stock) and card fronts from cards I’d received from friends. It felt great doing my Crow Crafts [use what’s available], but even more divine starting the day with art.
After completing the cards, I posted the step-by-step photos of my process to the AEDM Facebook group. Once I clicked “Post”, I had a rush of Wow and pride. Day 1 was in the proverbial can!!!
On I went through the days, asking myself what I could do or had done, that was art-full or creative. Each day I came up with something that I judged as creative. Sometimes it was food I cooked, knitting projects I started or finished, and other days it was a post showing how I was taking care of myself: the Art of Self-Care.
I held my breath and winced the first few times I posted entries that I felt were less “arty” and more simply an intrinsic part of how I live my life.
And then it struck me, my big AHA moment: I felt and understood deeply that I live an artful life. I didn’t have to “make” art every day, ie: produce a “thing”, to express my creativity. My views and practices throughout my days are art-filled and creative.
This counts. It all counts. Whether it’s buying supplies for a project, getting the pencil to the paper, or making a pie, each and every step is part of our art.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. said it so well: “The kick of creation is in the act of creating, not anything that happens afterward.”
I agree. However clicking that Post button for 30 days straight gave me more than a kick. It nourished pride for the art I create and honed a deeper sense of self.
I’ll see you and your art in November.