My "Artist" Story

What stories are you telling about yourself that are outdated and no longer serve you?

Last week was parent/teacher conferences for both of my daughters. I walked away one proud mama (this I expected) and more educated in the areas of child development (this was unexpected.) My daughter’s Kindergarten teacher in addition to sharing her school work included an explanation to the stages of writing. Stage 1 is pictures and/or scribbles. Stage 5, where my 5-year old is, is called phonetic spelling.  

This was clearly visible in my daughter’s story called “My Frs Crmis Da” or to you and me, My First Christmas Day. The story and pictures are elaborate and precious.

Both of my children are growing up to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have artistic talent.

I am making 100% sure that they do; because I didn’t.

If you met me about 2 years ago, I would have told you that the artistic talent in my family skipped me.

This has been my story my whole life.

I grew up in a family that was brimming with artistic talent. My brother is an architect, one sister has a degree in fashion design, another sister just oozes creativity and is constantly doing some sort of craft.

I simply assumed from a DNA perspective that artistic skill + me were not in the universal cards.

When I was a child there were pictures of Daisy Duck, Mickey Mouse and friends hanging on the walls of my basement; they were hand drawn and painted by my older siblings.  

These drawings were incredible. I remember thinking “I can’t do that”. This was likely the beginning of my “artist” story.

One of my spiritual teachers, Christie Marie Sheldon says that the “blueprint” with which we each use to navigate the world as we grow into adults is mostly set by the time we are 7 years old. It was about that time that I convinced myself I had no artistic talent. I knew I loved to write stories, play music and dance but give me a pencil and ask me to draw and I got the equivalent of stage fright. I’d immediately say “Nope, not me.” and I’d hand the pencil back.

It turns out that “Nope, not me” doesn’t work when you are a parent and your child wants to engage with you through art.

Enter Melissa. Melissa has become a dear friend and important companion on my business journey. She is a phenomenal fine art photographer, a creativity coach and the business owner of MelissaAnneColors.

After a lifetime of not owning my creativity, Melissa helped me realize my own artistic talent through her Doodle Program. In her program, I found a safe space to flex my artistic muscles, gentle guidance, thoughtful direction and a sharing group with a wide mix of skills. 

Under Melissa’s skills as a creativity coach, my creativity has blossomed.  After my second round in her program, I had the courage to volunteer for an art program at my girls’ school.  

While you are reading this message, I’m in my role as Art Docent for my daughter’s Kindergarten class - Yup, I’m the classroom art teacher!

I’m amazed at what I can do.

I spent my whole life, from an early age telling myself that I had zero artistic ability.

My friends would laugh and say I was super creative but I never heard them because it wasn’t the story I told myself.  

I will forever be grateful to Melissa and her program for helping me to show up more fully in my own life.

Since I now feel confident owning my artistic ability, I’ve been on a mission to discover what other stories I’ve told myself about what I can and can’t do.  

Our stories, as children, help make us feel safe and give us a sense of place in the world. As an adult however, chances are that many of these stories are outdated and holding you back.

I highly encourage you to step outside of your own self-contained boxes and try something new.  Be courageous. You never know what story (or picture) is waiting on the other side.

 

This week’s Self-Discovery questions:

  • What stories do you tell about yourself?  

  • What limits have those stories created?

  • What labels and parameters have you given yourself?

  • Are those labels serving you for the highest good?