Benefits of Quarantine sketching:
Quarantine sketching allows me to keep track of my progression and goals. I am on a journey of breaking new ground, by shattering generational curses and doing away with old practices and methods that no longer serve me. Starting off with breaking mental barriers, hence the chains represented in this sketch and the usage of powerful quotes by Damian Marley, Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill.
I decided to create a Thursday blog called "Artist Q & A Thursday" where I share some art-related questions from my social media followers and my responses. My hopes in doing this is to provide a safe space for new ideas, suggestions, tips and advice for upcoming entrepreneurs, creatives, artists and to anyone who wants to chase their passion and goals, but could use a little nudge;)
I don't have all the answers, however, I do have 20 years of experience with art and have definitely put in my share of over 10,000 hours and look forward to learning new ideas and suggestions. Feel free to leave a comment if you've got an idea, suggestion or tip! I'd love to hear about it.
Cheers to learning and progressing together!
Is social distancing causing a creative block for you?
Is cabin fever startin’ to kick in? Don’t know what to paint?
If so, I got you!
Social distancing doesn’t have to dim your light nor your creative energy. Here are some ways to gain inspiration while social distancing-that have worked for me and I’m hoping that it can spark some good ‘ol inspiration for ya’ll!
Let’s tap in for my top 8 ideas, shall we😉
1. Go for a drive! Drop your paint brush and go for a drive, especially if you’ve been sitting in your room or art studio for hours and you’re getting frustrated. Do everybody a favor and just step outside of the house and breathe in fresh air lol. I love driving to Park City to get inspiration because it’s quiet, peaceful and beautiful there. If driving is not an option for you, just step outside and sit on the front porch for a few minutes. Listen to the birds chirp and feel the breeze.
2. Look within to see what the root of the problem is and face it. Is there something that is bothering you? Is it self doubt? Inadequacy? Fear of rejection? What’s holding you back from producing great art? Do you feel like your art is not worthy for purchase? What’s blocking you from being an amazing artist/creator? Address it and face it, champ! You got this!
3. Turn up the music in your house! Put on some feel-good music and turrrnnn it up!! Whether it’s Van Halen’s “Panama” or Selena’s “Bidi bidi bom bom”, sing your heart out ya’ll. Dance in front of the mirror or sing in the shower. Just do it, you’ll feel better afterwards, trust me lol
4. Carry a notebook or sketchbook with you everywhere you go. You never know what inspiration will pop up in your day. Sketch or write down the ideas as soon as they come to mind.
5. Venture out to new creative disciplines! Try something new. If you’re a photographer, try painting. If you’re a dancer, try sketching. Catch my drift😉
6. Take some time out for some ‘you time’. Sometimes I take on too many projects at once and it interrupts my creativity and leaves me feeling burned out and a hot mess lol My me-time includes turning off my phone, ipad and laptop. What’s worked for you?
7. Switch up your surroundings. Keep things fresh by trying new working environments. Carry a sketch book with you to the park and sketch there or sketch on your porch right before the sun sets. Rearrange your room or your art studio.
8. Listen to your favorite podcasts or watch your favorite role model’s inspiring interviews. Whatever gets your creative juices flowin’ like the rivers of Babylon! Did any of these ideas spark interest or do you have any ideas of your own that you would like to add on to the list. I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below.
Old ways weren't workin’ for me, so I created my own lane.
I am a first born generation-Tongan American. As a kid, there were times where I felt more welcomed in Black and Hispanic communities, than I did in my own. Pacific Island blood runs through my veins, despite my allergies to seafood. I was told that I wasn’t Tongan enough since I was a little girl, but I’m acknowledged and recognized firstly as a Tongan woman on every successful artistic platform that I step on.
My ancestors passed the baton to me and now it’s my turn to carry it high like a torch-to light the way for generations to come and I do this through ART. Great talent comes with great responsibility. Fully aware of my God-given gifts and responsibilities, I carry this torch with me as I catapult tenaciously to new levels of self-awareness and grand opportunities in the arts world. The experiences are rewarding, and I’m excited to tell you about an art experience that changed me.
I painted a motivational mural with youth in custody at the Salt Lake Valley Youth Center and it was the most rewarding art project that I have ever participated in! 10 years ago, I visited my cousin in prison. I noticed the blank walls and thought to myself, “this is what he sees every day? A motivational mural would be helpful.” I saw a need for healing and hope and I thought of how restorative justice through art can benefit those incarcerated and promote healing, provide an opportunity for personal transformation and can shift perceptions on the incarcerated through art. I wanted to give back to the community through teaching art and provide an opportunity for personal transformation for these kids and with the help of my good friend, Nubia Pena, Director of Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs and amazing partners/sponsors, we turned an idea into a project and event! I met the youth in the detention center and they stole my heart! I hugged them and walked out of that detention center in tears. I sat in my car and cried. This was an opportunity for healing for all parties involved, including me. What I heal in myself, I also heal in my own family line. The generational curses and trauma stop with me. Art Heals.
3 boys were selected to help me prep the mural and they entered the gym with their heads down, ashamed and embarrassed. I shook their hands and they said, “I’ve been here for 349 days.” Without hesitation, I enthusiastically said, “and today is day #350 and it’s with me. Woo hoo! It’s a new day. I need your help. Let’s go!” I guided them through art. Some of the staff said, “Are you sure you want these boys to help you with the mural? They might mess it up.” I told them, “and if they mess it up, I’ll fix it. As long as they give me their best effort.” I wanted to shift perceptions on those incarcerated through art, so I gave them painting instructions and they exercised their leadership skills and taught every volunteer that came in to paint. It was amazing to see their confidence progress and to see staff and volunteers work together in a positive way. Check out what a few of them said in this blog:
I promise you that you will learn more about how art contributes to restorative justice.
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