I was inspired today. Rather, I decided to follow inspiration when it showed itself, because if we are honest with ourselves as people with a creative nature (and everyone has a creative nature, I believe) we are inspired every day. This inspiration came to me during my meditation session this afternoon (I have decided to start daily meditations, by the way). I was listening to a guided meditation CD and the speaker mentioned about being a butterfly. He talked about having to break out of my cocoon.
Now, if you’ve seen any of my work in recent months you should know that I’ve developed a bit of an affinity for butterflies. I think they have surpassed dolphins as my favorite animal, in fact. There’s a reason for this.
You see, I see myself as an evolving creature. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been in my cocoon. Now, though, I feel myself ready to break out, to become to beautiful being I was meant to be. In order to go through this process, I have to let go of some of the old ugliness that has plagued me through my life: my lack of confidence, my low self-esteem, my limited understanding of the world. I think everyone is supposed to go through this evolution–not that everyone successfully does. Some people remain caterpillars for their entire lives. Others never get out of the cocoon. No one was made for that, though.
I want my creations and my art to be statements of purpose. A journal, a diary of sorts, chronicling who I am and was and strive to be. And so today, spurred on by this image, I made a collage.
For the background, I adhered down some transparent scrap paper I bought months ago from Michael’s. Feeling that wasn’t enough, I decided a Bible page would suffice as an area for my butterfly to reach out of. This symbolizes my religious background, how my beliefs have evolved even over the past month. As I wanted this page of Bible text to stand out, I decided to use my satin craft paint to color it red.
Well, it didn’t work out quite the way I wanted. I accidentally poured too much on the page and had to pounce out some of the color with water and a paper towel. That wasn’t easy because the page is so thin that I had to be careful not to rip it in half. But I was determined to bring this idea into fruition. I glued down the page to the middle of my collage, I block of red in front of a mostly black-and-white background.
Then I grabbed my favorite stencil, my butterfly stencil, and my black walnut ink spray and I placed the butterfly right there, in the center of the image.
And I have to admit, I was disappointed. The image didn’t come out nearly as well as I had hoped, and I immediately saw that if I hadn’t added the red Bible page it would have turned out so much better. Sometimes, simplicity is best. However, I wasn’t going to be discouraged. I completed the image, pasting the word “Evolution” using card stock and a font I downloaded from DaFont. To be honest, the more I look at it, the more this piece is growing on me.
Not that I believe I was right to go with the Bible page. No. I still believe it would have been better without that addition. But do I think it was a mistake? Last night, I did. Now, though, with more though, I don’t believe it was. I believe this is all a learning process, and it’s all about discovering what works and what doesn’t work. I know more from this attempt than I did before. As an artist, as a creative, I grew from the experience, and isn’t that the whole point?
Here’s the completed image. Judge for yourself.