Finding Your Way Back | Guest Post
Hi! My name is Irit and I'm so excited to have a guest post on the Dream Create Journal blog this weekend! A little bit about me before we dive into the topic I'd like to discuss. I'm 37 years old, I live in beautiful Austria with my husband and 2 girls. I love all things mixed media, bright colors, and mostly obsess about art supplies and watercolours...
I want to take this opportunity and this month's theme of self care to share with you some of my journey back to art, as I like to think of it. Hopefully you can relate!
I was one of those kids that always painted. I loved art supplies, but living in a small town in a small country, I didn't really have access to artist grade supplies.
But I still kept drawing.
While no one objected to me painting, I was never encouraged. Most of my close family members are not creative, and truth be told, don't really get what it feels to have the need to create. Don't get me wrong, I have a wonderful supportive family. I had a wonderful childhood. But I was taught that math and physics were the things worth investing in, and drawing is fun and should always stay a hobby.
And yet I still kept drawing. And asked to go to art classes.
I finished high school. I went to the mandatory military service in my homeland, Israel. I was a teacher in the army, and taught English and Chemistry.
I can't remember if I was still painting.
Life got busy. After my 2-year service ended I worked some, traveled some, and then went to university.
Funny story. I remember listing my choices for my major in my application form. I was 20. I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I thought it was medicine. So I applied to med school, computers science, math, art and psychology (one had to list 5 on the application). I was accepted to the art department immediately with an offer for a full scholarship (those high grades in math and physics really impressed them, I guess!), but I was also accepted to medicine school.
I went to medicine school.
And I stopped painting.
I graduated, I started working crazy resident hours, I got married, had a child. And I still didn't go back to painting.
And then we decided to move to Austria.
And my whole world turned upside down.
From working non stop I suddenly was a stay at home mom, and while I didn't have any friends, and didn't speak the language, my daughter started kindergarten, and I suddenly had time.
Sure enough, I went back to crafting. I didn't realise it at the time, but that was what made the somewhat traumatic move (although it was completely by choice, it was still hard) more manageable.
It started with scrapbooking, then I discovered mixed media. And then everything else: art journaling, watercolours, memory planning... All these colours, all these media... I was where I belonged when I was playing in my studio.
I stopped biting my nails. In general, since I've gone back to creating something almost everyday, I've been the happiest and calmest I've ever been. If I'm stressed, I know what to do. I go and play with paint. Or paper. It is truly therapeutic, and the definition of self care for me.
One last element that was essential to my happier existence was finding my tribe. It's a cliche for a reason, but where there's a will there's a way. My way was YouTube at first, and teaching online scrapbooking and mixed media later. I found my community. These days besides creating, I enjoy conversing with like minded people on Facebook, YouTube and my online school. It really is comforting to know others feel as strongly about art as I do, especially when most of the people who are most important to me in real life do not feel that way.
I still don't think I can say out loud that I'm an artist. Maybe one day, maybe sooner than I think.
Thanks so much for reading my story, I hope you will find the courage and that golden hour, that window of opportunity life throws at you once in awhile, and find your way back to art, if you've lost it ;) And if you know it's the answer to your question, then make sure you take the time to practice some self care, and nourish that artist within.
Check out my YouTube channel, where I have hundreds of videos and tutorials-
I would love for you to take one of my online classes!
Follow me on Instagram- @aurora_landgraf
I wish you a wonderful weekend! Take care and make some art!