"I’m right here with you, in the paint-splattered,

ink-smeared, thread-covered mess of it."

 

“That’s not really art, it’s more craft, really.”

“I don’t think I can make this without screwing it up.”

“I don’t even know where to start.”

“This is such a mess!”

“Nobody will want to see this painting, anyways. There are so many better ones out there already.”

 

Does any of this strike a chord with you? Maybe these words are bouncing around in your head right now? Well, they also were in my head. I said these things to myself. Let me tell you about it.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life “working on” being creative. I’ve also spent a lot of time telling myself how terrible I am at it. How much I’ve failed, and how much talent I lack. Maybe something that I made was technically lacking (I am a truly terrible quilter) or difficult (it took me 15 years to figure out crochet - no joke) and I had convinced myself that I was not really an artist. Not good enough. Not worth calling myself an Artist.

But then I was in the thick of a gut-wrenchingly difficult season in my life, and I needed art. NEEDED art. My soul craved creativity. There was so much hurt and confusion and fatigue and overwhelm in me that needed an outlet that I just left the rules behind and got to it. Painted scripture verses and taped them to the walls and cupboards and mirrors. Made ugly t-shirts and wore them in public. Started projects that were beyond my skill level and ended up throwing them out. Learned some new skills, and reveled in the process. Because you know what?

The difference between Fine Art and Just Craft makes absolutely no difference at all when the crooked and wonky stitches in your embroidery are also stitching up the pieces of your heart.

When the badly rendered watercolour flower paints joy into your spirit. And even when you ace a new technique and the final product is perfect, the real healing comes in the making and enjoying. And not just in the creativity that you produce! It’s also in the music that you listen to that makes you cry, walking in your friend’s garden, and the dinner someone makes that nourishes your bones. Creative expression in so many forms - words, art, nature, baking, hiking, hot glue guns, journaling, music, sandcastles, gardening, planning - takes us back to where we came from (a creative Creator!), helps us to keep on, and offers healing, hope and sanctuary.

So if you’re looking for encouragement to tape to your walls, some technical advice on those sewing skills, and a friend to walk with you as you try your own creativity on for size, you’re in the right place. I’m right here with you, in the paint-splattered, ink-smeared, thread-covered mess of it. Making my way along, too.

 

More details:

I’m Judith. Ever since I was small, I've wanted to make all the things. Egg carton crafts and hot glue, anyone? I trained as a fashion designer, I love patternmaking, and I'll sew any garment that I can make time to. I've created fashion illustrations for a long time, and I'm so excited to be spending more time with a paintbrush in my hand!

Fun facts: I'm the second of five siblings. My favourite game is Scrabble. I can be totally derailed from a conversation by an interesting detail on a garment. My average day includes school time with my homeschooled daughters, family dinner when my husband gets home, and hair in a messy bun (almost) always. My housekeeping nemesis is putting folded laundry away.