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04/25/2010


Create and Connect • by Michelle Ward


The assignment to write my own ART SAVES story stumped me. The tendency might be to go Epic, and chronicle every milestone from birth until this morning, the highs and lows, that got me to where I am as an artist. Or I could go Minimalist and offer a short and sweet paragraph about an instance where I witnessed Art Making a Difference. But then it would be difficult to choose just one because I have been lucky enough to hear many. Either way, I would hope to capture your attention long enough to convey the message that connecting with creativity, and sharing it with others, is fulfilling, validating, and rewarding.

Another angle might be to list my artistic accomplishments or tell you how I started a business while being a stay-at-home mom. I could admit that art is my daily companion, whether I’m actually working or just thinking about it. I might even confess that my workspace is a mess, but I am so grateful for a studio in our home. However, these personal details are really insignificant. The lesson that has risen to the surface, in the Epic or Minimalist version of my story, is that sharing your enthusiasm for creativity is more important than what you create.

Worth More than a Complete Canvas
Personally, the most precious aspect of being an artist has been to step into the role of teacher. To observe a student expand their confidence, have an aha moment, or experience pure joy from achievement is worth more to me than a stack of completed canvases. I am not in the classroom often, but have found another platform to advocate for art: blogging. By exposing my artistic journey, I cast the net toward an anonymous, and possibly non-existent audience. They find me. They tell me their stories of reclaiming or rediscovering their love of art making. How cool is that? The blog had been a self-imposed assignment to stay plugged in, to keep my customers updated, and perhaps to encourage dialogue about the process of art and how it fits into our lives. The result: blogging has enriched my life in many unexpected ways. I am inspired by the positive energy generated from a collective love of art. I think we find the people we are meant to meet, and being online simply presents the opportunity to make those connections.

Be Brave
I believe we all have a version of an ART SAVES story, Epic or Minimal. The key to writing your own is to be Brave. It takes courage to put that brush on the page. It takes nerve to show your work to others. It takes guts to believe in your talent. But it’s only a small step from Brave to Bravo! Then, you can sell your wares, teach your skills, volunteer your time, and share your experiences. Encourage others because you are on fire for creativity. The connections you make, because you are brave, are the ultimate reward.

To learn more about Michelle Ward visit michelleward.typepad.com. Join her Crusades for Creativity at michelleward.typepad.com/how_cool_is_that. Learn more about her rubber stamp business at greenpepperpress.com.

Comments

Love how you wrote that sharing your creativity is worth more than the final completed project...it's the process and the community that I love so much as well. Thanks for sharing your story :)


big yes to this statement:
"It takes nerve to show your work to others. It takes guts to believe in your talent"
thank YOU Michelle for your inspiring crusades and for this wonderful heartfelt writing!
you are supercool!

You've been a huge inspiration to me in all my artsy endeavors, so yes, your blog has been a huge force for good!

On fire with creativity? Sure am mam! Wanting to share it? It's our mission! Let's go crusaders! :-)

Thank you for sharing; I love your words from Brave to Bravo!

I so agree, blogging and sharing your art is tossing a net into the unknown. Sometimes we catch an idea, being inspired by others and sometimes we inspire by sharing our passion.

It is wonderful you have worn the teacher hat and seen the provide change in others, as well as being transformed by art!

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