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Journal paintings: I may never need to buy a souvenir again!

While writing this blog I am on my fourth and final trip this summer, on Texel an island north of the Netherlands with my boyfriends family.

Looking back on the last two months I can’t believe just how amazing it has been. I visited Budapest, spent time with my family and friends and my boyfriend’s family and made a ten day road trip in California. So many new experiences, so much new inspiration. Being a full time artist means I don’t have a lot of money but I was lucky enough to have booked all these trips when I was still in the corporate world. I booked them to escape the ‘bad’ situation, to have something to look forward to. Now, having left the corporate world, I feel more relaxed and happy and do not necessarily need all the holidays. Rather than using the holidays to recover from a period of work, I’m able to soak up every new experience while spending time with the most important people in my life.

However, prior to all this awesomeness l was slightly worried. I’ve got my own business now, I’m responsible for everything that happens and I wasn’t sure how to ensure continuity while I was away. How to keep creativity flowing and your followers happy when you are traveling for almost two months? And how to keep track of things happening in your business? I didn’t realise at first why I was restless, only later I realised it was because I felt guilty. Guilty to enjoy life while leaving behind my new responsibilities. A recurring pattern, something I’ve always found difficult. Why be lazy, sit back and relax while there are so many things I can do? Why read a book for pleasure when I can also read a book to learn something new. Well here I was again, restlessly feeling guilty.. over the last two years I’ve become aware of this pattern. I’ve tried to tackle my feelings with a plan. I’ve tried to pinpoint the core of the problem, but it’s an ongoing journey to figure out exactly how to best embrace this feeling. Also, it wasn’t only the feeling of guilt, I also had the feeling that I might miss out on something. FOMO (fear of missing out) is such a big thing these days and yes a big part of my life as well. I was afraid that I could not instantly turn experiences and emotions into paintings. I paint because I need it, it helps me to get out of my head, express things I cant in words.

So what to do? In the end the solution was very simple; I just needed to bring my paint and brushes with me on my trips. I got inspired by Heather Day (make sure to follow her on Instagram, if you don’t yet) who makes journal paintings and drawings on the go just like writers would use their diary, and I decided to give it a go. And looking back at it, I’m very glad I did. I just love journal paintings, it feels so natural to paint everywhere I go (and I absolutely love the many positive comments from all of you guys!) Also, painting my experiences and feelings of a particular part of my trip means I do not have to buy any souvenirs as my paintings are the souvenirs of every city traveled!

So for all the artists out there with the same type of issue, make sure to bring whatever you think is needed to keep your creativity flowing. But if you have the feeling that you need some distance for a while to find new inspiration then that’s ok as well πŸ™‚

Lots of love,
Anne-Claire