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  • Writer's picturejuicysart6

My Artist Community Gives Me Wings

You know that thing when the timing is just right and you really feel that everything is happening for a reason and for all the right reasons? When this happens, I experience what some call a "meaningful coincidence" and what others might call a "miracle". I don't think "miracle" is an exaggeration. I think we can experience awe and wonder in the ordinary if we are open to it. To me, this means that even the simplest or everyday experience can be miraculous.

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~Albert Einstein

And what are the daily miracles I've been experiencing? I attribute most of them, lately, to my artist community. Now, I know I have a part in creating these little miracles, because none of these synchronicities and connections would have occurred if I wasn't out there, participating in this community. YOU are part of this community! I am so grateful for the energy, support, friendship, inspiration, and collaboration I am receiving. I have been received and am receiving in what I can only call a "miraculous" way.

There's Get Messy . In 2014 I wrote this on a small scrap of paper: "I want to find and gather a community of women who will support and collaborate on creative endeavors together with a spirit of generosity and not competition." I guess it was a manifestation or mission statement. But I didn't do much to actually bring it into being. Then I found Get Messy. It just so happened that I joined in 2020 right before the pandemic hit. The community I wrote about was a real life thing, but like so many other real life things during COVID, it turned out that virtual works just as well...maybe even better. I have felt supported and inspired since the first month and first Season with Get Messy. This community is full of genuine, caring women. I feel that sense of generosity I was seeking. The connections and friendships I've made here are important to me and they are real. This feels miraculous.

Within Get Messy for the Season of Collaboration, I met Melenia, my collaboration partner. We became friends immediately. We each created a junk journal and we exchanged them in the mail (oh yeah..this took months!); we each worked in both of them according to prompts we created and selected; and now I am going to submit an article about this friendship to Art Journaling Magazine. We both want to share our art journals, but we also want to share how meaningful this experience has been for us. This friendship is profound and unexpected. To me, it is another miracle.

Then there's StencilGirl® Products. I became a part of the Creative Team this year. In this community, I have a sense of being part of something that teaches and inspires others. It is another group of generous and genuine women who are inspiring artists. Stencils always add magic to my journal pages. I am grateful for this amazing opportunity, and I have a real sense of purpose around creating with StencilGirl® stencils. This is motivating and wonderful! Another miracle to appreciate.

I've just joined another group of talented artists as an instructor for Fodder School . I was a guest on the Willa Wanders (Wendy Solganik) podcast "Show Up or Shut Up." I talked to Wendy about my process of becoming the artist...and the person...that I am. I have another opportunity to share what I do and how I do it...the process of creating that gives me so much joy. And my artist community is growing. This community that is so uplifting, inspiring and energizing has me caught up in a creative whirlwind. I'm so grateful for my wings!

Finally (tho' I am sure there'll be more!), I am doing something that came into being in the most unexpected and spontaneous way. Chris Karpiak and I began exchanging emails in late 2019, having "met" each other as teachers for Wanderlust 2020. We just kind of knew we were on the same page, as women and as artists. We talked about doing a collaboration, but the timing wasn't right...until now. We had such a wonderful (3-hr) FaceTime conversation about ourselves, where we are in our art journeys and our desire to be teachers with our own online classes. When we started talking about what we would do to collaborate, we got off on so many tangents of topics and meaningful discussion that we decided to make our conversations the collaboration. That's how My Girlfriend the Artist came to be. We've created a kind of mash up video on each of our YouTube channels, with some conversation, and some art journaling around a topic of interest to us, and we are premiering our videos on Friday (8/13/21) at noon. Chris's video can be found here. We are so excited about this project and we had a blast making the first episode. I hope you will join us on Friday!

Thank you so much for being part of my artist community! You mean so much to me!

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