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06/12/2011


Connecting with Others • by Jodi Ohl


Jodi OhlLast year at this time I had the honor of sharing my Art Saves story, which shed some light as to how I fell back into this magical world of creative healing and inspiration. The rebirth of my artistic self began about five years ago. As it healed me back then and many days in between, I am continually amazed at all the ways finding that creative spark has enabled me to pass on that flame of hope to others or to connect in ways I never imagined I could with a complete stranger who happened upon my art in perhaps a serendipitous moment.

Magical Inspiration
During my first outdoor art festival in 2008, I had over-prepared and over-stressed about the entire experience. I imagined that people would buy hand over fist everything I made and then some. Well, that didn’t exactly happen, but some magical inspirational moments did manifest, which made it the best show ever for me. It marked another beginning of something I could do; it was a milestone for me and a new beginning with my art. There’s just something about hearing remarks in person about your art that makes your heart swim in pride. To hear someone say “I love your work” or “Your art makes me so happy.” Really? Mine? I blushed and said thank you back almost in disbelief.

And then the moment happened. A woman looked around in every corner of my booth, thumbing through prints, checking out some of my heart blocks and magnets, looking for just the right thing. I asked her if I could help her or answer any questions about my art. She replies no, I just am looking for a special word and I thought with all your inspirational words you might have it. “What word are you looking for?” She says “ ‘Serenity.’ My sister is fighting a battle of addiction and she really needs this word to help her through each day.” I knew I only had one in a magnet so I found it for her and she was ever so grateful. “My sister is going to love it.” I say to her, “ I hope it gives her peace in the moment she needs it.” It was at that moment that I realized that every tiny little thing we do as an artist, even something as simple as a handmade magnet, can make a difference to someone. As much as art can save you, it can also save someone else. Never discount the power your art can have on another.

An Unforgettable Moment
In the last month, a moment similar to that interaction happened to me again, this time online. I was “showing and telling” some of my new work that I intended on featuring in an upcoming show on my Facebook page. As I posted a picture of the painting, which is a sweet but powerful bird with the words “Unforgettable,” I also made a comment during the post, “You always were and always will be, Unforgettable.” It was almost immediately I received an email from a person that happened to see my post. She wrote to me asking if that painting was for sale because it was perfect for her friend. Her friend that had just buried her 11-year-old son today. I read that email and thought of the words I connected to the painting as I posted the picture. It was an emotional moment for me as I have a 10-year-old son and I just could never imagine life without him or his life full of promise stomped out way before his time. I can’t explain how moved I was at the fact that my sweet birdie full of color and whimsy could touch someone that really needed it as a reminder that her dear sweet son always was and always will be unforgettable. Does my art really have the power to connect in ways I never would have imagined? It does, and so does yours.

The Road I Was Meant to Be on
Over this last year, I’ve made major strides in making my dream of creating full-time come true. It’s going to happen, I can feel it. I believe in it. I believe that I have the power of turning a period of my life around that I thought was going to succumb my life and or my sanity. Art is the vehicle that will help me carve and create my way into a new life. And now I know what I do isn’t just happy and inspirational; it has the ability to connect with others and perhaps save someone else, too. Even if for a brief moment or many brief moments as they walk by the work in their home. Glancing with love at something I created with all my heart. I now have a purpose, not just an outlet to escape during the times that I can steal away. I have confidence that this is the road I was always meant to be on. Maybe, just maybe, I had to tumble a bit and dry a few tears to learn how connect with others in a way I was meant to.

To learn more about Jodi Ohl, visit sweetrepeats.blogspot.com.

Jodi Ohl

Jodi Ohl

Jodi Ohl

Jodi Ohl

Jodi Ohl

Jodi Ohl

Jodi Ohl

Jodi Ohl

Comments

Beautiful Jodi, Wonderful stories you shared of your art.

Thank you so much Linda, your support over the last few years since we 'met' on Etsy has meant so much. Much love and success to you, my friend. :)

Thank you Jodi for sharing those touching stories. I will remember the 'Unforgettable' story forever. I am so very much looking forward to following your blog.
Yes Jodi...Art Saves....ty

Reading this brings me to tears. Your colorful birds are darling!

Hugs and the best of luck,
Candylei

I know I have told you this before, but once more I will say to you, your are blessed not only with an amazing talent of creating fabulous art, your words come together like a song Jodi. This is a true gift, I am captivated when I read them, them make me smile, they touch my heart...and you do this for many people. From the long ago journey of the "sisterhood of the traveling canvas", lol...to now, I am honored to call you my art sister. Now, mushy stuff aside, I truly enjoy the funny times to. Don't make me tell them here....lol. Love you, xo

Love you, too Kathy...and don't you dare tell 'em my secrets ;)) Gotta protect my image you know!!

A very touching and inspirational story. Thank you for sharing it Jodi!

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