Friday, December 11, 2015

The Casual Artist gets a book!

Sometimes we find ourselves going in a direction that was not foreseen, not even hinted at. And it can be through the most unlikely of channels. Any of you who have read my blog for a while will know of my issues with depression. You will also know of the upheavals in my life the past few years. Life has been tough and I've struggled to find balance and grounding. Last year I started drawing Zentangle as a way of calming my mind. It worked, I loved it, and was proud of my first creations.

As I went along my style began to develop, and soon I was producing work that, while still related to Zentangle, was becoming my own. 

When I started doing circles, people began telling me that I should be doing something with my pics, instead of putting them back in a folder - where they still all are! 

Last Christmas I drew some Christmas baubles and added some colour. Someone said I should make a colouring book, which I pooh-poohed at the time. I am not an artist. I just draw lines and circles. 

But, the idea didn't go away. Adult colouring is popular because it can be used as a meditation device. Colouring relaxes the fear centre of the brain, which is why it is good for reducing anxiety and calming the entire body. It's relaxing, calming, and fun. So, I drew an experimental colouring pic.

It was well received, so I decided I may as well give it a go. Since different people like different things I've tried to mix it up a bit, and have a variety. I've got circles, like the one above, a couple of abstract ones, mosaics, some with positive messages, a few more traditional ones with teacups, and some Christmas themed ones. 

I found myself with well over 30 pictures, each original and hand drawn - not on a drawing tablet as many of these pics are, but drawn with a black pen on art paper. I had run out of reasons to procrastinate. While the project is theoretical you can imagine it as a runaway success, but actually producing and publishing it, making it real, is a different story. I think all authors, artists, musicians and anyone creative suffers from the same crippling fear, stage fright in all its forms. What if it doesn't sell, what if nobody likes it, what if I FAIL? 

It's hard to put yourself out there, no matter what you do. But, nothing is to be gained by giving up either. So I've designed the cover, and used one of my designs which has been coloured in by a talented colourist - thank you Cori Dyson - and yesterday I hit that publish button. The book is now live on Amazon, so go take a look and see what you think!

Life can be mysterious, it can be difficult and it can be heartbreaking. But you never know what will happen next, and so you should never give up on life, or on yourself. We are all capable of wonderful things we didn't know we could do. Try something new today. 

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