Updated: Jun 29, 2019
June 20, 2019
The first few weeks of my research I was documenting what I was doing every day during my usual daily home and work routine and then noting my thoughts and feelings while doing daily tasks. In recording the daily details of my life, I became more self-aware at how I operate. Creating symbols to reflect the task and feelings of my life details felt as if I was reaching into a jar and pulling out little treasures that were all connected.
The second half of my research was during across country trip from Florida to Washington State and then over to Denver. My family and I traveled for 17 days and explored 19 states.
During our trip I realized that in the forty-one years of my life on this earth, and through all the transitions and experiences I have known, I felt like I was meeting myself right where I am today. I need to be honest and say that I like this person. It may sound silly but with years of anxiety and being critical of myself this feels profound.
Documenting my life details helped to reintroduce myself to what I feel passionate about and reset my thinking…creatively. I learned that I cannot survive without being in nature with bare feet observing all of the beautiful colors in this world. If I continue to go with the motions of the everyday without setting my foot on a path of exploration from time to time as part of my flow in life, negative thinking will push against the creative thinking.
Since returning home, the mundane tasks (like doing the dishes) I dreaded to do before are now filled with a sense of gratitude. I am lucky to be where I am today and grateful for everything in my life. While doing the dishes now, my thoughts are on what they symbolize which is providing nourishment for my family. Creating symbols for the details in my life has flowed from my journal and into my ways of thinking. They have become bigger, more meaningful symbols that you cannot see but only feel.
I’ve always enjoyed artwork where I created still life's and animal portraits. Anything where my focus is on what I see. Creating art from my mind made me nervous because I didn’t feel confident enough in my abilities. This research project allowed me to open up to who I am as an artist and make discoveries of what I have to offer artistically from within. In doing this, I was able to discover new ways of thinking about and creating art.
I’ve learned that creative thinking even in the smallest of areas in our lives really does push out the negative thinking where anxiety lives. As with developing any lifestyle, it takes time, process and practice. I feel confident that continuing to document life data will only bring about more discoveries in my life and art and that each one will lead to more. There is so much data in our own lives waiting to be explored and creative journaling as part of the process can reveal so much about who we really are.