I’ve been thinking about doing this forever and finally I did!
Check out the new OOPS! Section of my shop, where you can get heavily discounted art prints thanks to my silly mistakes, like slight tears and bent corners. All the tiny imperfections that make these unfit to ship to their original buyer but also one-of-a-kind!
I am meticulous about what I send out. If you send your hard earned money on my art prints I want to make sure you get exactly want you purchased. That means that when tiny mistakes happen, even if you probably wouldn’t have noticed, I won’t send it out and instead print a new one.
Well, I’m only human so the mistakes have started piling up and I hate the idea of just throwing them away, so this was the perfect solution. My mistake is your gain!
“Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.”
The past 12 months have been wonderful, hectic and enlightening. I’ve started a new job as a graphic designer at an amazing organization that does work I find meaningful. I moved to a new borough and Brooklyn has helped crack my experience in NYC wide open in the best possible way. I’ve travelled and eaten delicious food and drank a beverage or two. I’ve laughed with friends and cried for a variety of reasons. I learned how to play the ukulele and I ran another marathon.
But one thing that I haven’t done as much of these past 12 months is paint.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still been making art, but just not as regularly as I did a year ago. And I’m here to tell you (as well as remind myself) that is okay. Not just okay. It’s GREAT!
You probably just raised an eyebrow and if I were you I probably would too, but hear me out. When friends have asked me why they haven’t seen any new work from me recently or why that mural I was talking about didn’t happen, I’ve been tempted to simply reply with “Oh you know, life just got in the way.” It’s the easy way out that I’ve heard people use whenever something doesn’t go according to plan, but I don’t buy it. At least not anymore.
If you are in a creative field, and I believe everyone is in someway, life simply can’t get in the way. Creativity doesn’t bloom in shadow. It needs light and lots of water. You need a life full of rich experience to fuel creativity. Or you’ll just continue pulling from the same well of inspiration until it runs dry.
Now it goes without saying that there can be to much of a good thing if your experiences stop you from making altogether, just like you can overwater a plant or burn it in the sun (Yes, I’m sticking with the plant metaphor). But as long as you are still thinking, still taking things in, still looking at something and getting inspired, then life didn’t get in the way.
This past week, I’ve seen a surge of creation. I’ve got watercolors under my finger nails and I almost accidentally drank my wash water because I was so into what I was making. Gross, I know. In each piece, I’ve been creating I see a bit of my year drip from the brush. The colors of houses in New Orleans. The pattern of a plant I saw at Prospect Park. The reflection of that feeling you get while sipping tea on the roof with your favorite person.
It’s all there, because it wasn’t getting in the way. It was building up. It was a seed germinating and now it’s ready to flower because I didn’t crush it with guilt for not coming sooner. Life can’t get in the way of creativity because life is creativity. So go live it.
*The art piece pictured above is “Astral Impressions”. Available for purchase on etsy and society6
I recently was commissioned by Hither & Yon, a boutique winery in South Australia, to design the ampersand for their 2015 Rosato. It was an honor to join the ranks of other artists who have created ampersands for their other wines. Seriously the quality of work there is beyond impressive.
This was such a fun project and I’m so proud of how it turned out.
A new year means new wall calendars. I thought I would keep them up until later in the year this time around, since they were so popular last year and I don’t want to tell you how to live your life. New calendar in July? You do you. Either way, if you would like to get one of my other artworks on a calendar, feel free to e-mail me at hello [at] brownbearstudio [dot] com or request a custom item via etsy. I got you covered.
“We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death.” -Leo Buscaglia
In many of the circles I float between, it is cool to be seen as aloof and uncaring of other people’s opinions. It comes from this “I do what I want,” “haters gonna hate” mentality that is currently popular. I can certainly get behind the notion that we will be criticized no matter what we do, so we might as well do what we please but criticism is only one side of the equation.
I recently put myself out there on social media and shared my struggle with finding a job. This is very much out of character for me since I like to give off a got-my-shit-together vibe, but the truth is much more messy. Of course, because I am friends with some wonderful people, the responses rolled in: “you are over-the-top AMAZING,” “Everything will be ok,” “…remember you rock,” “Oh I’ve been where you are.” etc. And I realized that was all I needed, some validation from people I care about.
So why is it so easy to say “I don’t care what you have to say” to those who bring us down, but so hard to say, “I value your opinion” to those who want to lift us up? Why is it not okay to say, “please, just tell me I’m doing alright”? Sure, it makes you vulnerable to someone who may say, “No, you should live this way” but often I find people will surprise you in the best possible way.
As an artist, I’m constantly forced to put myself out there in the form of a painting and I wait. If a piece isn’t well received it’s difficult but I can always remind myself that while they may not get it now, maybe they will someday and continue onward. To make art, you must balance between feeding off of validation and not letting it control you. This doesn’t mean that validation is a bad thing just that it isn’t everything. And while it may seem that the world is full of haters, there are many people who will reach out a hand of support if you are brave enough to take it.
There are some exciting and recent additions to the shop… Cards and Postcards featuring Brown Bear Studio art. You can help your friends and family have an artsy day by sending them either a greeting card or postcard with your choice of art piece. Each card is blank, so you can write your own personal love letters, birthday wishes or thank you notes. After all everyone likes to get snail mail!