I’ve always claimed to be uncreative and unartistic. Art was never really my thing. I didn’t know how to draw, or paint, or anything like that. It’s funny too because I had quite a few friends that were amazing artists, but it almost worked against me. Although I admired their art, it did the opposite of inspire me; it made me think that I could never do something that beautiful, so I gave up ever even trying. And life went on …
I’ve visited many museums, galleries and shows and I had the same reaction to all of these — obviously ‘gorgeous, wonderful, want to hang it on my wall … but oh gosh, I could never be that creative, I could never be an artist’. And life went on …
Working at Little Brown House I started noticing how inspired I was by our products. Constantly being surrounded by beautiful things made me want to create beautiful things; not to mention being around Cathie all day everyday is inspiration in itself. Having wrapping as an outlet, I started to experiment with my creativity. Although I was creating some beautiful things I still didn’t have confidence in what I created. So Christmas comes around and my husband gets me the Sabrina Ward Harrison 2011 Treasures calendar.
This calendar (sorry guys – it’s no longer available, but watch this space for next year!) was packed with cool stickers, and each month had a gorgeous piece of art from SWH with inspiring words. It wasn’t until hung that on my wall that it all started to click.
SWH encourages you to live a handmade life and it took my mind for a spin. I had always looked at art as beautiful but not something I could do and then I saw how SWH mixes and matches textures, colours, different art mediums, and adds her personal handwriting. It all seemed like it could be done by anyone. Now don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that what she does can be done by anyone. She is truly an amazingly talented artist. The point was that she can make beautiful art with a little less technique and a little more creativity – there are no boundaries.
So, I started collaging. I remember I used to collage in school but it was always of pop stars faces and silly things. I have this humongous stack of magazines – I mean, who doesn’t? Oh it’s just me? Okay anyway …
So I took my stack of magazines and I just started tearing and cutting and glueing and wouldn’t you know it – a gorgeous piece of art. By golly I did it! I’m an artist! Now there is no stopping me, I even got my husband hooked. For now I’m still a rookie – collageing with paper and magazines – but soon I’ll be using paint, knick knacks, jewellery, fabric, maybe even metal? Who knows!
SWH was just what I, and I am sure some other people, needed: inspiration to live a handmade life. I find I already have a better eye for photography and I am dressing with more pizzazz. The inspiration is leaking into every part of my life. Next thing you know it I’ll be inspiring people that were just like me!
So in all my excitement I forgot to tell you who the heck Sabrina Ward Harrison is. Let me tell you a little bit about her now.
Sabrina Ward Harrison is a Canadian artist and author. She is the creator of four published books of her journals the first one being published at the age of 23. Her books are Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself (Villard 1999), Brave on the Rocks: If you don’t Go You Don’t See (Villard 2001), Messy Thrilling Life: the Art of Figuring out How to Live (Villard 2004) and The True And the Questions: A Journal (Chronicle Books 2005). This last book is based on the teaching of ‘The Art of Becoming Yourself’, a course she created in 1996 with a belief that she hold strong to, that, ‘we must create what we most need to find’. She currently lives in San Francisco, California.
Thanks to a company like Papaya, her art can be seen in so many different ways. Everything from hanging art prints to postcards to calendars and more.
And, to finish, a quote from Sabrina:
‘I want to inspire a generation of mindful pioneers of authentic experience and to give permission for people to make the space for the unexpected and authentic experience of living, however that is.’
Lots of love from Diane xxx