The past year-and-change has been full of discovery for me as an artist, but also for me as a person. Naturally, the two are closely tied together! So much of the changes that have come about in my life can be attributed, really, to one simple thing: finding my flow.
This first came in the form of fluid acrylic painting. I started developing some experience with the medium and various techniques for creating stunning abstract pieces in bright, vibrant colors, but I learned something so very crucial along the way. With fluid art, you have little to no control past a certain point. You can choose your colors and the method of application, but the very nature of fluid art is that it moves. And sometimes, it moves a lot more than you expected! Some pieces, immediately after pouring, I absolutely loved – only to find the next morning that slight tilting on the drying surface or odd pigmentation had “ruined” my piece! Of course, the opposite would happen too, with me sleeping on a piece I hated and waking to find it had become one of my favorites.
A very important lesson arose from this imperfect practice. I truly had to learn to go with the flow. It sounds silly and cliche, but never before in my life had I truly understood what it meant until I dove deep into the art of fluid painting. It’s an adage that applies not only to my paints but to the rest of my life as well, and being better able to embrace the idea of going with the flow has definitely made some very positive changes in my world.
I adapted my newfound love of abstract fluid art into alcohol inks shortly thereafter, and began actually performing on live stages with alcohol ink. Using an overhead projector and clear transparency paper, I started with a rule of “one piece per song” and have since created hundreds of unique and colorful images, all done alongside live musicians. Performing like this gave me another opportunity to practice “going with the flow” as I now only had 3-4 minutes per piece to make something cool happen. Unexpectedly difficult! But time and again, I take a deep breath and plunge into the next piece, playing quickly and developing habits not only in the inks but in life as well.
More recently, my longing to get back into some of the dance-fitness world has led me to picking up yet another kind of flow art: the movement kind! Though I’d dabbled before, I decided it was time to really learn how to manipulate various kinds of props and become more comfortable with my body once again. I’ve taken quite quickly to silk fan veils, and am drilling my poi spinning daily as well. Hoops are on the way, and I might even make myself a levi-wand when I have a few minutes to try. Lessons learned in this fluid medium are all about letting go of self-consciousness, of worrying about how you look or whether your moves are “any good”; instead you move with whatever, well, moves you! And sometimes you have a fun toy in your hands while you do it!
From all of these fluid practices, I’m experiencing a level of happiness and confidence in my life I haven’t previously known. It’s amazing what a hobby or two can do for you, especially when you let yourself become immersed in the methods and open your heart to the results! I look forward to expanding ALL of my flow practices in the coming months, and am excited to see what further opportunities and life lessons come!
How do YOU find your flow? Tell me all about it!