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.
I’m so glad Jane Cunningham wrote something to you on FB, it brought me over here to find your blog! Love, love, love what your inner teacher told you in your dream – what awesome wisdom you have!!
ah now, see, THIS is exacty why i was drawn to this print, of all the others. i do love you nolwenn! we are of like hearts. here is to our unique different-ness, our solitude, and, to our DEEP connection under it all!
je sèche les larmes qui me sont montées aux yeux et on en reparle plus tard, ok?
….tellement fort comme billet, criant de vérité et d’authenticité…une grande source d’inspiration pour moi et plusieurs, j’en suis certaine. C’est drôle parce que ce matin j’ai créé une page où j’avais écrit: the things that make me different are what make me unique. Pour enfin ne plus avoir peur de montrer nos véritables forces, dons et talents…je t’applaudis bien fort pour ce grand pas que tu viens de te permettre de franchir! C’est tout en ton honneur que d’exprimer avec brio ta différence.
you are constantly growing and deepening your artistry and exploring your vision and creativity. I love your work.
LOVE your dream….I once had a teacher in a dream…it was Johnny Depp…with the same sort of message! I recorded it in a story called Johnny Be Good!
I love this so much! And I love that you are embracing you and all the awesomeness that entails! Because you are truly, amazingly awesome!!!! And I love that most of all!
My interpretation right away of the Michael Jordan shirt is that he represents a form of success. When anyone says Michael Jordan you think successful super star athlete. I saw the people in your dream happy to have a piece of his shirt as happy to have a tiny piece of someone else’s fame or initial creativity–kind of like how there are a million Suzi Blu girls polluting the internet!! Each of those artists are happy to have a piece of the shirt of someone else’s original idea.
But embrace different?
Nolwenn–forget embracing–freaking rock it!!!
BIG Hugs & ♡♡♡
Tagori: I think what you have written here is the essence, the elemental, the deepest feelings many people have at the core of their being. Your dream sounds so amazing to me. Each leap of faith you make through the actions you take (such as posting this and opening your Etsy shop) is you peeling away one more layer and getting to learn more and more about you and what you are capable of in your life. Each and every time you do this you teach your beautiful daughters a good lesson. You put a little more loot in your bank of strength and courage. It is this strength and courage that will bolster you as you walk forward to your next offering (such as creating an online class). You are a part of my family, the one I have been actively creating in my daily life. There is always a place for you here. With much love and brussel sprouts… Me
What about creating an online class that has this as one of its themes?
Your unique spirit is needed in the world. I’m glad you are embracing it!! 🙂
I can so relate to that. And I love the dream, what an amazing gift from your inner voice that was. I have been there to the point that I felt like I was crazy because I wasn’t what society termed as “normal.” Of course, now I know that there is no such thing as “normal.” I used to feel like there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t like everyone else. And I tried so hard to be like everyone else, spent my whole life trying to stuff myself into the boxes of what other people thought I should be and what I thought they wanted me to be, to the point that it drove me to breakdown. I didn’t turn to my creativity then and instead took a very hard road to escape who I was because it wasn’t ever good enough for anyone and because of that I hated who I was. Of course I am grateful for that dark path through the forest because it brought me to this place and I can honestly say that I LOVE where I’m at now. I realized that the reason I hated who I was was because I was comparing myself to everyone else instead of, like you said, embracing and accepting who I was. Not to mention that I really didn’t even know who I was outside of all those “others.” Today, I’m ok with being different and not like everyone else because today I am truly who I am. Some people label me as a “nonconformist” and some might call me stubborn but I am neither. Instead, I am a girl who has stripped away all of those beliefs placed on me by other people about who I should be and what I should do. I am a girl who has looked deep within her soul, cleared out all the wreckage and is deciding for herself what resonates as truth for her. And it’s been an amazing journey because now I embrace the crazy quirky creative girl that I am and I love her (me). I can relate to where you are, I think a lot of us artists can. By walking through that feeling of not fitting in, we gain a certain insight that we can in turn put into our artwork and inspire others with. Your work gives such inspiring messages, you wouldn’t be able to do that if you had fit in perfectly. At least that’s what I think. I think you would like the poem I wrote for the fabric book I’m working on. I know you saw the first page, the second is up on my blog. I’ll have to send you the whole poem, I think you’ll relate to it. Thank you for sharing what you did in this post because it has touched me.