Levelling Up Discomfort!

Something really interesting happened when I put my first piece of art for sale on Etsy. It felt really really uncomfortable and something in my mind didn’t like it one bit!

Not because it wasn’t what I wanted to do, but because it was new and unchartered territory. It’s the first time that I seriously put the message out into the world that I’m an artist, and I sell art.

That night, after listing my first offering for sale, I didn’t sleep all that well and my mind felt really stretched and like it was changing and aching a bit. I’ve never experienced mental discomfort like it!

I decided to ask one of my Facebook groups if they have ever experienced this kind of thing when they’re pushing themselves to a new comfort level. The answer was a resounding yes!

Reprogramming Yourself

Challenging yourself creates new thought processes and is like reprogramming your mind. Literally. From your old ways of doing things to new ways of thinking. It feels uncomfortable and often scary.

I knew I had to sit with this discomfort and let it ride out. The feelings did pass and it just goes to show that if you are feeling uncomfortable about doing something a bit different then you have to just do it, and you will adjust!

My initial first offering was a big leap for me and I’ve aspired to offer art for sale for a long time. I’m now one step closer to my dreams and it now feels great!

I had to call this blog post levelling up because if you’ve ever played online role playing games (I have in the past, I’m a little bit of a geek at times ahem), it means when your character gets more experience or points, you move up a level in the game, so ‘level up.’

Level up in life

What challenge are you working on right now? What makes you feel uncomfortable and how can you level up?! Share it!

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Life’s Little Luxuries

Today I took advantage of the free hot drinks my local cafe offers. I’d never sat in before but always been tempted.

I sat in the cafe alone with a lovely mug of hot chocolate and did some journalling. It felt like sheer bliss and something I’d love to spend more time doing!

I’m still not totally confident sat in cafés alone, but I’m definitely getting there and if I’m tucked in a corner I feel happy enough to sit and do some important soul work.

During my journalling I came up with 2 print ideas to create that I really think people will love and find inspiring. I can’t wait to set up a Dancing on the Page shop. It’s a wish I’ve had for a long time.

I’ve begun doing some sketches for my first print and it feels really exciting.

Take time out

This time spent in the cafe alone reminded me of how important it is to take some time out for ourselves, and how doing so can actually improve things for you in ways you don’t even realise.

It’s easy to think there is no time for such luxuries. But sparing yourself even 20-30 minutes of ‘you’ time can make all the difference in how happy and creative you feel.

What little luxury can you allow yourself today that can help inspire you to move closer to your dreams?

Little luxurious ideas

  • A solo trip to a cafe for a pot of tea
  • A bubble bath with candles
  • A face mask
  • Cover yourself head to toe in a beautiful moisturiser
  • Have a massage
  • A glass of wine and a good book

What little luxuries do you enjoy? Leave a comment and share them!

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Feel the Fear and Post Your Art Anyway

Yesterday I was challenged by a friend who is also a great coach, Maru Labichela, to post some of my art in a Facebook group we both belong to.

This tiny but major action was a step forward in getting my art out into the world.

Feel the Fear and Post It Anyway!

Feel the Fearand Post Your Art Anyway

I can’t tell you how uncomfortable just posting some art made me feel. This blog, Dancing on the Page, has always been a place that I keep fairly hidden. In the past I’ve never broadcasted it or invited people to come and follow.

YES I really really would like you to follow and even subscribe! I welcome you with open arms!

But actively putting myself out there and potentially inviting in dislike and criticism is terrifying.

For years I’ve been paralysed by fear of allowing Dancing on the Page to become all that I know it can be, by letting my big huge creative dreams for it come true.

When I posted my art in the group, guess what happened? 25 people ‘liked it’ and a few people posted positive comments of encouragement.

truth owl by zoe moss

One person even said let them know when I start selling my work. It wasn’t so bad and it made me realise I can do this.

All Those What Ifs

I’m sure you have these kind of thoughts too:

  • What if people hate it?
  • What if people LIKE it?
  • What if it’s really popular and a success? That is also a really scary thought!

It’s time to start living my message – and that is let your art lead the way, paint like no one’s watching and dance on the page!

Have you ever overcome your fears and how did it make you feel? Leave a comment and share it! Looking forward to sharing lots more with you!

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Make a List and Check It Twice

I just love to visit the sea. It doesn’t matter which sea, whenever I’m at the shore, the tide always feels so open and powerful.

I always think that people who live really close to the sea and can walk there every day must feel really calm and happy all the time.

This photo was taken recently at Formby beach. It’s one of the best beaches in the North West of England.

Formby Beach Sand

It was a beautiful hot sunny day with my family. I don’t think the photo shows how lovely and warm it was. We took a picnic and ate it sat on the warm sand. Bliss.

Disaster Struck

Uh oh. We forgot our sun cream so we couldn’t stay long. My little daughter has fair skin and it was such hot sun so we couldn’t risk her burning, but we knew we’d be okay a short time as she already had some on.

Parking had been difficult, we’d initially got lost and also had to pay to park – nipping into town to buy a bottle wasn’t an easy option, which might sound a sensible solution!

How could I forget something as important as sun cream? Well, it was packed in our bags to begin with. So I technically did remember it. But then it was taken out to use before we’d set off, and must not have been repacked.

It was so frustrating to arrive at the sea and have to leave well before we were ready. So it got me thinking, how could I have avoided this situation? This could apply to any big trip.

Art a List!

Toddlers also have a habit (well mine does) of sneakily taking things out of bags that have been packed to play with.

Toddler or not, the obvious solution is you make a list. Obvious right? But kind of boring and when it’s just a short trip, and planned last minute a list might seem a bit over the top.

If I’d had a list to check off items at the very point we were leaving – I likely would have made sure that sun cream was still in our bags.

Why not turn making a list into creative fun?

Art Journal Page Idea

I’m well into my art journalling so this has given me an idea. I want to plan more trips away, whether its a full holiday or an hour down the road. Just somewhere different. New places are good for the soul.

Paint a background you like, maybe blue for the sea etc. add related images or drawings that inspire you and somewhere within the page, write down your list of essentials to check off at the point you’re leaving.

Not only do you get to feel excited about the trip and take your mind far away whilst you create your very useful art journal page, its a lovely memory to look back on of your anticipation.

You can add another page with photos/mementoes of the trip itself too. I look forward to trying this out!

Do you live close to the sea? How does the sea make you feel? Leave a comment!

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The Only Time I Feel Alive…

One of my favourite quotes is by Vincent van Gogh who said:

“The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting”Vincent_van_Gogh

He is also one of my favourite artists and I was fortunate to visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam during 2011.

I completely relate to this quote and it’s how I feel too when I’m doing creative work. Whether it’s painting, drawing or making art journal / scrapbook pages.

Time just disappears when I’m really engaged in a creative piece of work

I feel ‘in flow’ and at peace.

More works by van Gogh:

starry-night
The Starry Night, June 1889, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
van gogh starry night over rhone
Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888, Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
view-of-aries-with-irises
View of Arles with Irises, 1888, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Van Gogh facts of interest

  • He was Dutch
  • He died aged 37 from a gun shot
  • It was supposedly self-inflicted, though no gun was ever found
  • He created his best-known work in the last 2 years of his life
  • In 10 years he created 2100 pieces of art
  • Van gogh cut his own ear off with a razor blade
  • He was thought to suffer psychotic episodes
  • It was only after his death he became a well-recognised artist

Interested in the history of Van Gogh? You can read more about him at the Van Gogh Gallery and in depth on his Wikipedia page.

I’d love to hear if this quote relates to you when you are doing creative work too! Leave a comment :)

 

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Gardening: Creative Therapy

I spent this morning doing some gardening cutting down a huge ivy bush. (It was actually more like a tree). I needed garden cutters and a saw for the really thick branches.

ivy-gardening

ivy-garden

If you don’t already do any gardening, have a go! It feels very therapeutic and relaxing once you get into the flow of it.

Not only is gardening so good for your mind, it’s also great exercise too! Especially when the sun is shining. It makes life feel so much nicer when you’re outdoors making little changes here and there, improving things, growing things…

I’m also convinced that gardening increases your creativity. It’s relaxing and it’s during these moments when you suddenly have new ideas and feel your stressed out mental state repairing for renewed creative work.

Do you do any gardening and how does it make you feel? Leave a comment :)

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Refilling the Well

Filling the well

For the past few weeks I’ve been making big decisions on my business future. I’ve managed several affiliate blogs in the past and also owned an online baby gift shop. But none of those avenues fulfil me like being creative does.

From now on, this is my home.

The answers are there, but sometimes they’re hidden

I had to be sure on what I most wanted to do, because like many creative people, I have often had projects left, right and centre.

I’ve always stored ‘dancing on the page’ deep down in my heart, as something I’ll pursue when I have more time and money. How wrong is that?!

I love to make art, I love to inspire people. For me I feel most in ‘flow’ when I’m painting. It’s like I’m at home, where I need to be, it’s a safe place and time just disappears. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Filling the well

Since clearing out a ton of physical and mental clutter, I’ve made way for my inner artist to emerge.

If you’ve ever read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, you’ll know all about filling the well; It’s like topping up your creativity by exploring new places, taking in new images and enjoying new experiences.

Your creative well benefits from being replenished every once in a while and it makes you a more inspired artist.

I’ve been feeling drawn to visit stores that sell art and keep taking quick snaps on my phone of all the art I like. Suddenly I couldn’t put it off anymore, and I have begun painting again! It feels good.

Looking forward to getting comfy around here and hope you’ll join me :)

“The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting” Vincent van gogh

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Your time is now

Its time to begin, your time in now

It’s time to begin. Your time is now. Breath in. Deeply. Feel the air fill your lungs and realise you are full of life, energy and possibility. Create your dream. Make it real. Make it happen. I believe in you.

 

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Illustration Friday and Art Journal Progress

A very quick sketch for Illustration Friday this week!

The weekly topic is shy. A cartoon of a girl peeping over a wall sprung to mind.

Here she is:

I’ve also begun making a new art journal this week. I’m filling it with some great papers I have in my art boxes and painting the pages ready to be written on.

I absolutely adore art books, sketchbooks, journals etc. So making my very own is such fun!

I realised that what I’m making is actually called a smash book. This term had completely passed me by! I don’t think they are commonly sold in UK craft stores, as least not where I live. Smash books appear to be a journal with pre-decorated pages.

Whatever they are I love them and there’s some brilliant ones on Etsy that I’m so tempted by to fuel my stationary addiction!

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