A few months ago, I created this painting:
It was my way of affirming to myself «I finally acknowledge that being different is a good thing as long as I accept and embrace it». I felt out of the loop for most of my life. Like I did not belong anywhere, to anything. I was lonely and had a very hard time.
Why was I not interested in the same subjects as my classmates in high school ? Why did they not care about the same things I did care about ? Why is nobody seeing how much pain I am going through ?
It took me years to feel good in myself. Not especially in my body, no, but to finally make peace with my Soul. Acceptance…
A few nights ago, I had a dream I knew when I woke up from it that I had to record it immediately in my journal so I would not forget it. Here is part of it:
It implied a group of artists students I was in, a teacher (a famous Portland based artist, covered with tattoos… do you see who it was ? ;)) and a competition. At one point, my classmates were all excited about getting a piece of Michael Jordan’s tshirt to add in our collage but me… i did not get the reason of the excitement. I isolated myself and started to cry. Then, the teacher came to me and asked me why I was crying, I answered that I don’t understand why I am not as happy as the others are, why was I again outside of the crowd, that all I wanted was to continue our project and see where it will lead us. Here is what he told me then: «You are passionate for so long now, you have Creation flowing inside of you. I can see it by looking straight in your eyes. Accept the fact that you are different, that you have your own style, your own voice. This is what makes you Unique. This is your strength. Yes, it implies solitude often, and also going against the current and the trend. But listen carefully to your Inner Voice and have fun, experiment ! Don’t worry about the ending, you’ll see what happens. However, don’t lose yourself along the road by doing what the majority tells you to do: it would be a waste.»
Don’t laugh at this dream… the context in it is weird (I mean… wth was Michael Jordan doing there ? lol). BUT this message is so important to me.
I was affraid to say «I don’t like vintage artwork» «Steampunk does not speak to me that much» «I don’t get the wonderfulness of Distress Inks». Going against the trend can be frightful, it was to me. Especially when I was just beginning to find my voice, when I was actually looking for it. My first class was Suzi Blu’s Petite Dolls (it was the first one she taught, see how long ago it was ? lol), this is how it began… my first girls looked like hers as I was trying to understand how to draw a face. But then I went away from it more and more to find my own girls. It was more than two and a half years ago, and today I still see Petite Dolls everywhere, the same kind of whimsical girly Suzi creates, but from others. It makes me kind of uncomfortable because I see it as people stay in their comfort zone by copying (not necessarily intentionally though).
It took me about two years to define my own style, what I love, what I don’t, it is not something you come up with in a day (or you are a lucky bean if this is the case !). And I am still experimenting.
Accepting the Weirdo in me, and that this is a reflection in what I am creating, is a huge leap of faith.
PS: if you like the illustration you can buy a print of it in my Etsy shop.