Filed under: catalyst
As always, thank you to all of our visitors and all the encouraging comments you left for us. For those of you who did, thank you for playing along with us.
Ok! Here’s catalyst number fifty-six:
Create art around a mistake. The bigger the more therapeutic.
We’re so excited to have Jennifer Johner as this week’s Guest Artist.
A friend of mine recommended that I look into Jennifer’s art and see if she might be interested in being a guest designer.
When I pulled up her gallery at twopeas, I was instantly hooked. Her bold, colorful, and happy style pulled me in immediately and made me wish I knew her in person. Jennifer has been a garden girl at Two Peas in a Bucket since 2005 and has designed for several manufacturers. She’s also in the process of finishing up her first online class at 2 Peas, called ‘Sew Scrappy Happy’ which is all about incorporating sewing into scrapbooking projects.
If you’ve never seen her art, be prepared to feel happy immediately when you check out her blog.
Here is Jennifer’s art with this week’s catalyst. You can click on it to see a larger version with more detail.
Just be you. Seems simple enough right? Well, quite a few years ago now.. I lost sight of that. Somehow, someway.. it happened. I was not the person I knew that I could be. The worst part is, I didn’t fully realize it until I had already began to make the changes that I needed to make to get back on track, and just be me. I made the changes for other reasons… not a conscious effort to be ‘me’.. through those changes, I realized just how ‘not me’ I actually was before! Every now and then I still need a gentle reminder to just be myself.. not the person I think others think I should be. I can be quirky.. I can be silly.. I can be creative… I can do all those and more each and every day! Just be me. Don’t forget who I really am ever ever again. My mistake.. one I never want to make again!
Don’t forget who you are ever again… I’ve done it once and I will make darn sure I never ever do it again. It is not a good feeling to loose sight of who you really are… I am going to continue to do the things that I love and the things that make me happy. There is no perfect version of me that I have to strive to become. Just be myself.
Thank you so much Jennifer; we’re so very delighted.
Here are some interpretations of the catalyst from members of our team.
My layout is called “learning from your mistakes.” On the picture you can see my little son, who is learning to read, again and again the same words. Sometimes, he makes a little mistake, or is hesitating about the right letter. It’s so sweet, and I think he’s learning from his mistakes.
Since I am the kind of person to harp on little things for hours, days, sometimes months, I try to think hard before I make decisions to minimize the possibility of making a mistake. I am happy to say I have relatively few regrets in my life. One of the very few happened a couple of years ago. I quit my job on Wall Street to join Teach For America which is a nonprofit program where you teach at under-resourced schools. I taught fifth grade at a school in the South Bronx in New York. My regret is not quitting my job but it’s quitting Teach For America before fulfilling my two-year commitment. When I quit my job, I firmly believed that TFA was my path in life. I wanted to do it for two years and then move on to starting my own nonprofit and making the world a better place. So much so that at some point, I even felt the importance of improving education in the United States so strongly that I was surprised more people weren’t prioritizing their life accordingly. After several months of struggling, failing, crying, trying more and failing more, I finally gave up and quit. To this day, it’s something I regret. I know that it was the right decision on many levels but it’s still something I regret and consider a mistake.
Since reading Kelly Rae Roberts’ book Taking Flight, I’ve been meaning to try my hand at polymer clay. I took this week’s catalyst as the opportunity to do so. I created a door to represent the new stage of my life TFA was at the time and wrote the words “believe” on the bottom since that was the strongest emotion I felt at the time: a solid sense of belief that this was the right next step for me in life. I then painted the clay and put it in the oven to bake. As it turned out, I overestimated the amount of time it needed to cook, so I burned it and a part of it got distorted. Right before I was going to throw it out, I decided it was an even better fit for my catalyst. As I started teaching, my belief and faith in this opportunity and what it represented got all bent out of shape and distorted so I decided this burned clay only reinforced my theme.
“Oops” it’s a word who be a second nature for me. I’m totally dizzy and i make mistakes all time. For example : break the TV, burn brand new costume of my daughter with an iron, or make an horrible stain on the new work plans for the kitchen.
“Oups” c’est une seconde nature chez moi, comme je suis “un peu” étourdie, il m’arrive souvent de faire de grosses “boulettes” comme de casser la télévision, ou encore de brûler le déguisement tout neuf de Z en le repassant ou bien de faire une énorme tâche sur le tout nouveau plan de travail de la cuisine.
In the circus ring of life, I act my mistakes…This is the story of all the times where I embarrassed myself, felt exposed and ridiculous. It’s also the story of more serious mistakes repeated along my childhood, adolescence and maturity; mistakes which have an origin on the need of social acceptance, of being loved and in my traumas. It’s the story of a cyclic feminine life and full of insecurities, oscillations, shame and blames.
It’s a story I’ve never told before…
No one is perfect. I know that I am far from it. I’ve made so many mistakes throughout my life that I probably couldn’t list them in a 300 page notebook. One of my greatest is not taking opportunities when they were once available to me. I’ve always tried to be a strong person and make wise decisions, but deep down inside, I feel very weak. I’ve always feared the consequences of risky situations. I’ve always steered clear of taking chances in situations in which the outcome was uncertain. So for me, my greatest mistake is not taking that chance. I’ve learned to live with these mistakes. I’ve learned that it is okay to be imperfect. Okay to make mistakes.
For this catalyst, I wanted to make a canvas to hang in my bedroom. I started with a canvas, that I paint a teal blue color. I then added several layers…using torn paper from a dictionary, patterned paper, some mesh, lace ribbon, punched and hand cut shapes from patterned paper, and a doily. I painted over them layer by layer, adding bits and pieces as I mixed in some greens and a pale yellow that would match my decor in my room. After my paint dried and I achieved the look that I wanted, I stamped some rings using the bottom of a spray bottle with Tim Holtz distressing ink and stamped the word “imperfect” along the bottom.
Now it’s your turn: show us your therapeutic art around “Create art around a mistake. The bigger the more therapeutic.” I urge you to give it a try. This was a particularly healing catalyst for our team, I hope it will prove to be that way for you, too. Embrace the healing power of art. It can be any form of art as long as it speaks to you.
Leave us comments with your work and you will qualify for the RAK we offer to a random participant. If you don’t have a community or blog where you upload photos, you can upload them on our flickr group.
Remember, this is not a competition. If your art makes you feel even a bit better at the end, you’ve won.
Until next week, enjoy each and every moment.
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