The art of staying


The art of staying

How do I find calm in the chaos ? I’ve been turning to nature constantly. Loving my daily walks and just taking notice of the beauty around me.The first thing I hear every morning is the birds song. I tune into it and remember that they sing anyway. They remind me just to do my thing. Which is to write and illustrate, share and care.

At the beginning of lockdown, I Remember reading that the antidote to fear, is gratitude. I felt immensely grateful for so many things and decided I would draw every day to express this and to remind myself to be positive. Yet I wanted to go deeper than that, I wanted to not only observe my surroundings but also my feelings and stay with what ever I felt. Be compassionate and gentle. So I created a safe space to doodle every day, remembering to play with no rules or regulations and share whatever came up. I’ve called it the “ Isolated Illustrator-project “and I share my drawings and writing on instagram and Facebook.

It was inspired by the “Hundred day project” I did in 2014, when I was going through a very hard time and I learnt so much about myself. Each day I turned up at the page to draw and write. I had to accept the bad drawings and clumsy words. I practiced until it flowed, I told myself no one will know but me how much better this could be. 

Interesting how now, when the whole world feels topsy turvy and uncertain, I become sure of my pen, as it becomes my zen.

Some days I struggle and Glenn says “ You’ve created a monster!” I reflect on how this mostly happens when I create something and it grows too big too soon. Usually I stop and start something new. Leave the discomfort of repetition and routine but this time I’m changing the story and staying. 

I guess I have to know I can’t do everything and be all things to all people. Glenn’s very good at telling me to “let go!”and I think of what? Of expectations? Worry and perfection? I am the only one who puts pressure on myself.

Yesterday when I received another lovely comment on my post from someone I don’t know, who told me she looked forward to my daily doodles as she was alone in her bubble. I suddenly felt this connection. The knowledge that my art was still in the community and reaching people who needed it. I realised I was creatively caring and that was my gift to the world.

The funny thing is I didn’t create the artwork to sell….but I have sold quite a few and I have a new children’s book to illustrate from a Facebook friend who loves my drawings. I guess all of this helps me to stay with my art and trust that it is of value. 

More wandering words...


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