Note: Part 1 of this series appeared earlier on the blog.
After several months of renovating my new home, I started to feel exhausted and uninspired. I couldn’t seem to connect with it in the way that excited me in the first place.
Right when I was starting to feel hopeless, a conversation with a friend put me back on the right track. She told me to think about the potential of my new space—not only the potential of what I could create, but also the creative environment I could cultivate for others.
I started to imagine my new art space full of women eager to learn to create. I imagined workshops and creative sessions where I can try new things in my own work and encourage others to test their own limits. I started to daydream about using this space to discover more of my own creative process and find new sources of inspiration—and helping other women learn the same about themselves.
I was back to feeling exhilarated about the new space. I had more creative possibilities than ever before, and the home felt like mine again.
But then suddenly, the world around us started to change. The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic brought chaos and confusion. I was stuck in a tiny apartment during quarantine while my house was being renovated, and the chaos turned to uncertainty, anxiety, and even isolation. I knew if I wasn’t creating that I would go stir-crazy inside these four walls.
I filled my time taking photos, learning to paint, and reading. But most importantly, I reconnected with my photographic mentor Laurie Klein.
We talked about art, the creative process, and how challenging it is to create when the world feels upside-down. She reminded me that it’s OK to recognize the anxieties building inside of us and release them through art.
Talking through our anxieties and fears with others helps us bring important emotions to the surface—the kind of emotion that feeds compelling art. When you recognize and understand these emotions, you can channel them into painting, photography, or whatever type of creating helps you stay sane and healthy.
I realized that several weeks into the pandemic, I had created art I never would have otherwise. I had painted beautiful abstracts and captured photographs that became meaningful to me. Why? Because COVID-19 stopped everything. It canceled plans, it closed my usual restaurants and hangouts, and kept family and friends at a physical distance. Before I was always busy running here, running there, keeping appointments, socializing, etc., to the point that I didn’t know if I was coming or going.
But all of a sudden, everything was still. I had nothing but time to pour into my projects, and it resulted in some wonderful work. The pandemic was a blessing in disguise that helped me to relax and enjoy what I had missed.
Along the way, I reconnected with my mentor, got wonderful advice from friends, and started to bond with a house that I drifted away from at some point. Now the renovations from ‘Texas traditional’ style to ‘modern city girl in the country getaway’ are almost complete, and I couldn’t be happier.
The world may still be an uncertain place, but my year of transformation is almost complete. I have moved into my new home and I will say, I am loving it. With the help of my mentor Laurie and others, I am looking forward to publishing my second book in the future.
Keep an eye on the blog for excerpts from my next book, The Joy Element: The Sea and Me, and visit my shop to see my work!