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Art Saves • by Belinda Fireman

Belinda FiremanIn my teenage years, I considered myself an artist, and I even had a few art shows. Then I started to do what I thought I should be doing, what I thought other people thought I should be doing. It wasn’t art. I shoved art down where it could be forgotten, but the body doesn’t forget. For years I could hear art whispering to me. I let it out a few times, but mostly I just said, “Later! I’ll get to you later!” I became a professional procrastinator. Then I had twin girls, and later, a son, giving me more opportunity to make excuses about being tired and not having time to make art.

A Developing Artist
One day I came across Danny Gregory’s book Everyday Matters. This was a guy who just started drawing, training himself to really see the world, and recording it all in his sketchbook (plus getting it published!). I was so inspired by him that I bought myself a book and began drawing.
A few months later, I learned I had a spinal disc problem, which was painful, annoying, distracting, and driving me crazy. I kept up the journaling, and started writing honestly in my sketchbook about how my back issues were affecting me. Staying busy with drawing really helped to distract me from obsessing about how crappy I felt, but then I also noticed that I was developing a style — something I always thought I had lacked. So I kept at it, hoping to develop even more as an artist.

Art Back in my Life
By the time I was comfortable enough to transition out of my book (into creating works of art for sale), I realized that the more I worked in my journal, the more ideas I was coming up with. Before I knew it, I was joining the Sketchbook Project, having art shows, selling my art, and getting involved in exciting art projects. Art is happy to have a place back in my life, out in the open, where it belongs.
My brother likes to say, “Art is like football; you either win or you lose.” A ridiculous statement that makes me cry from laughing so hard, but in a way, he’s right. You either do it, or you don’t. It took me almost 15 years to realize that thinking about creating art is not the same as creating art. Creating art can change your life.

To learn more about Belinda Fireman, visit


I am so happy you found a way to give your art a voice!
I can relate to your story. I have had back surgery and my Dr
Asked me if I played football in another life,lol
Your brother has a point, but no matter how we express our voices
We win!
Our souls need an outlet to reflect in, even if we don t reach the star we pick
We still win!
We find a way to express ourselves and illuminate our own
World with Joy!
I m happy you are in the game. ; )

Danny Gregory's book(s) were among my first inspirations as well. Love how that was you catalyst for beginning.

Bel, thank you for featuring me today in your art picks....and I love Danny Gregory too, although I think you already know that!

Thanks so much Bel for featuring me and Madi today! She was so excited!!! (me too :)

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