Brighter Place :: by Lauren Saxton of Fair RosamundArt
Art has helped me through the most difficult times of my life. It helps me relax and lose myself for a time, which for me is very healing. I can slow down and be absorbed in the process.
My parents divorced when I was a small child, and life for me and my sister changed quite drastically after that. My mom was (and is) very loving and did the best she could, but we had many financial difficulties, which I perceived and worried about even back then. When I was around 10 years old both of my parents remarried to people who made us feel less than welcome. My mother's marriage ended soon after and we moved around quite a bit, having to go to different schools and make new friends. I was painfully shy and this was difficult for me. All of this added to my sense of insecurity, fear and low self-esteem.
When I was a teenager I was hit quite hard with depression and a nagging anxiety. When I was 19 years old I began cutting myself and soon after attempted suicide, after which I was forced into a week's stay at a mental facility. This was by far the worst, most terrifying and most humiliating experience of my life. I hid the reason for my hospital stay from most of my friends out of shame. Even 8 years later, it is difficult to think about.
Around this time I was doing some drawing and oil painting as a way to express myself and take my mind off of my problems. My mom is very creative and always encouraged my sister and me to pursue art that we enjoyed. I was not consistent with it however as I had no formal art training besides one class in high school, and I got frustrated in my attempts to do "realistic" art.
Then one day my mom was showing me a magazine she had called Artful Blogging, and some beautiful mixed-media artwork by Vanessa Valencia caught my eye. It was so different from anything I had ever seen: creative, beautiful and filled with emotion, without being concerned with "traditional" art rules. Hers was the first art blog I ever looked at, and it opened a lot of doors for me. I began making much more artwork, experimenting with different techniques and developing my own style.
About three years ago I started my own blog and opened an etsy shop, with the encouragement and support of my (now) husband, who could see how much happiness and peace of mind it gave me. It has given me a new purpose and a source of self-esteem. My blog friends and customers have been an invaluable source of inspiration, kindness and support.
These days I still have to take things one day at a time, but with a combination of medication, support from my family and amazing husband, and my artwork, the world is a brighter place. I feel like I can tackle almost anything and am even starting graduate school. No matter what the future brings I will make sure to carve out time for making art: it is a huge part of who I am, and it has saved me.
Learn more about Lauren Saxton at www.fairrosie.blogspot.com. Lauren welcomes email at email@example.com.