← Back to all posts
  • make art to have your feelings, to give them a voice, to spill your guts

    I want to feel all of my feelings.

    IMG 1750

    from you keep me warm, a daily practice

    I’m good at feeling the juicy ones, the sexy ones, the tender ones. There was usually this flip side to that ecstasy. Myopicly in love and the luckiest woman in the world one moment, I would freeze my lover out of the story as soon as things got uncomfortable. I spent considerable energy mapping out all the different ways things might fall apart.

    I tried to break up nine times in ten months with the first man I dated after a 5-year relationship with a woman. He wanted polyamory, I didn’t. And every time I walked the five blocks to his house to end things he convinced me that “I was hard to be in partnership with” and that he was willing to work through this difficulty with me. There are so many threads to that particular story.

    The thread that matters to me most in this moment, the why I am telling you about itI didn’t trust my voice more than any other voice in the room. I didn’t want to be in this relationship. And I was attached to a lot of the stories of the relationship—my fear that no one else would want to be with me, that he was my last chance to be in partnership, that fun sex and not being alone were worth all the drama and misery. This story isn’t about what my ex-boyfriend did to me. It’s about all the self-limiting stories I had about myself that had me, time and again, making the choice to stay with him.

    IMG 1842

    paper dolls to spill my guts

    It isn’t lost on me that my “freezing” was some particularly good self-protection given a few of the romantic scenarios I’ve chosen. I chose them. They didn’t choose me. What is different now? I understand to my bones that I am responsible for what shows up in my life. It isn’t my fault and I’m the one to do something about it.*

    One heartbreakingly curious thing I’ve noticed about myself—all that heartache and drama wiped me out so completely I had little time or energy leftover to give to my creative practice. When I show up on the daily to making things, magic happens. I make cool things, opportunities come my way, I meet interesting people, I get out of my own story and start moving through the world in a good way. Why do I fall away from my really good practices when I get overwhelmed and unhappy? Because these practices force me to have all my feelings. And at the time, I wasn’t equipped. I was better at eating ice cream to freeze them out and get numb.

    Now, four years later, my creative practice is an essential part of my being human.* I make art to have my feelings, to give them a voice, to spill my guts with no restrictions, no censoring, no restraint. I love the moments when time ceases to matter, when I am entirely in my moment and every choice moves fluidly without interrupting myself with over-thinking or self-consciousness. And I can see the difference in the work when I’m moving in flow.

    I’ve got something I want to share with you.


    two women who I collaborated with this summer.

    A few of you know that I’ve been an art teacher to high school students for fifteen years. What I’m best at—helping my students bring their ideas into form in their way, with their voice. Most of us benefit from a little help in getting started, in following through. I certainly do.

    Last May, I started to work with adults on creativity. I’ve been working with three dedicated individuals to help them get in touch with their intimate voice, to offer a space to talk about what comes up when you show up on the daily to an excavating practice; and to push them into and through those uncomfortable, revelatory truths that helps you get to the work you want to make. As I finish working with these inspiring individuals, I am ready to work with three new people. Are your curious?

    The creativity circle is for you if you want to listen to yourself better. Get out what is within you. It’s about being seen and vulnerable; it's about seeing yourself more clearly. It’s about being held gently while having accountability.

    I went to fancy pants contemporary art school. Critiques were a heart-wrenching and excavating process. You want that? I can give it to you. Sometimes that helps you get to the goods. And more often, showing up every day and identifying for yourself what works and what doesn’t work is what you need. Think of the creativity circle as a boost to help you show up to yourself. It’s not about being an “artist”. It’s about finding a deeper connection to the intimate voices inside of you that want to be expressed.

    Curious about how this works and what I can do for you? Email me so we can have a free twenty-minute phone consultation. We’ll talk about where you are at and what you want.

    let's make the magic happen, 

    *Wisdom of Dave Mochel, well-being centered coach and awesome fella.

    *When I use the word human, I mean all the stuff--the anger and the sadness and the frustration and the joy and the silliness and the orgasms. All of it.