Thursday, February 5, 2009

WWFD - What Would Frida Do?

Secret 5 - Committing to Self-Focus
from the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women:
This chapter is a doozy, isn't it?
How in the world do we commit to self focus when there are children, husbands, parents, friends, work colleagues, all who want our listening ear, our helping hand, our sympathy and TIME?
It is a constant, constant thing with me to work at keeping my boundaries - my three kids are still at home (ages 13, 19 and 23) and my husband works long long hours. So of course, I have lots of caretaking to do.
But I, very slowly and with much much struggle, have been learning to do what I need to do - I have a studio separate from my house, I do very very little housework or cooking (sadly - because I love a clean house and a beautiful home-cooked meal, but I love nurturing my own artistic voice more).
I have people who need me, and I do what I have to do to help them, but I have to be very very careful to not make that circle larger than I can handle.
and I take myself to the studio and do the work.
I don't get money for it.
I don't get a lot of praise for it.
My family doesn't always even understand why I am in the studio.
but I am doing what I feel called to do.
and let's not even start with the pressure to earn money . . . .
It's taken me a long long time to get here, but I am so glad I am here.
and it still is work every day to make sure I stay here - there is so much guilt about not doing more for my family, friends, all the others in my life. . . .
and I have just come off of a two weeks of solitude retreat - I managed it by doing a dog sitting favor for my brother - and it was awesome.
So I know there are creative ways to get what we need - I am learning to have clear intention with my goals, and not let the many many demands on my time eat away at those intentions.
I loved that bio pic about Frida Kahlo - she did her art. Through illness and relationship tragedy, she just did her art. Her body failed, but she did her art.
I use her example to quiet that nagging voice that asks "What the hell are you doing messing around with collage and paint? There is REAL work out there to be done."
To that voice I say:
so I dedicate this journal page to Frida:

"I am the co-creator. I am my own authority." --Gretchen Little


  1. Let me start by praising you for your commitment to your art and your Self despite every other outside influence and pressure.

    Your journal page is splendid as is its subject. Frida Kahlo is a true inspiration to all artists of any medium. She is an inspiration to every one.

    I am glad you are here too. :)

  2. Sounds like your cup is overflowing...when I was feeling overwhelmed by kids, household, etc. I sat down and thought about what I really wanted from life, from each day and then I started reducing the things that were eating my time and not satisfying me.

  3. I LOVE that you won't let your art go, and I love your journal page! So perfect!

    I'm not great with choosing housework over creativity really? Who should>
    thanks for sharing - a really great post!

  4. Thank You! WWFD. I might just make a bracelet, even if it is only in magic marker on my arm. Definitely going to say it..a lot:)

  5. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story of perseverance. I am so impressed that you have a studio outside of your home and you GO TO IT! I have not figured out how to afford that financially or time wise yet. But that is my goal.

    I think Frida is a great role model, too.

  6. yes. just do your art.

    the journal is amazing.

  7. I am always so in awe, in particular, of women with children who manage to do what you've done. You are an inspiration, and now I have to go watch (for the nth time) Frida! :)

  8. I loved this journal page! I adore Frida Kahlo's work - yes, commitment, she knew about that. Do what you have chosen to do.

  9. I can identify - I go for periods of no cooking or housework so I can have more time for me and art... that is until I feel the urge to get creative in the kitchen! WWFD? ... love that!

  10. good for you! you are giving yourself some needed time. it's a difficult thing to do. are we trained to feel guilty ? This is good for your children too - it will help them learn independence and grow up strong adults and know it's ok to give into creativity without guilt.

  11. hey,
    thanks for your comment on my page :)
    i wont be here anymore in july, probably, but i have no idea.
    have FUN! in iceland, it is an awesome country!
    bye, manon

  12. Thanksfor commenting on my blog. It means an incredible lot to be so well understood and I can hear it here, loud and clear. Echoing others - your journal page is lovely and so inspirational. Tell us more about your studio away from the house! Do you share with other artists or is it all your own space?

  13. Oh hurray for Frida and HURRAY for YOU!!! WWFD will be stuck in my mind all week! Adore the idea!
    Kim H