Trying to find My Truth in art

my truth (the text in pen)

Instead of trying too hard to be original when we create, we should try to just be “true”. True to what we’re drawn to right now. To follow the hand as it reaches for the next paint tube, what ever colour it is. It feels like I haven’t made a real iHanna collage in months, but this was a first try… a try to be true to my longing to create. I hope it is a fresh start that will show me the road to the next piece.

I started by making this collage:

First step: collaged papers in patchwork manner
A collage put together in my usual grid like manner, patchwork style with mostly my own painted papers and some ephemera.

And because I’ve been thinking about the paint roller I used it to apply some white paint on top of all of this. I don’t usually use white – or the roller. Inspired by this and that seen online I tried white, and then covered almost all of it with a light pink shade.

Truth - then some white paint

I like the finished piece (if it’s finished, I’m not sure) but now that I look at the images I guess the above photo with the awesome pink and green shades, the starting point, is more true to my style than the softened one below:

Finished truth collage
Finished (?) collage My truth, a reminder of what is important. Nike was soooo spot on, and still are: Just do it baby!

I guess the reasons I haven’t created a “real collage” in a while are many, time being the saddest of excuses… It’s a lack of time together with tiredness in the evening, excursions taking me out and about (it’s summer!), fear, commuting, reading books, procrastinating sitting down and picking up the paint brush – and the lack of confidence in what I want/need to create. Questioning myself and my motives. Asking why, what, when & how should my artwork be?

This painting was inspired by Jennifer Louden’s summer guest post, Swap True for Original, at Ali’s. Her post was the gentle nudge I needed. Thank you Jennifer!

Then I found the truth, in the making of the artwork, on why and how and all the rest: Just be true to myself. And right now I long for the process of cut and glue. Just create for fun. Do it in the spur of the moment (though through a longing that is lingering inside all the time. Let me say it again All. The. Time.). Because I felt like using pink (again). Because I wanted to.

And on the note of being original or copying others… I recently listened to Notes from the Voodoo Lounge podcast where Jill Berry talks about Talks About Copying other artists. You should listen to it too.

And as a note to self, remember this:

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
C.S. Lewis

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11 Responses to Trying to find My Truth in art

  1. Leah says:

    Great article – I love this idea of being true rather than original – I think it takes some of the pressure off of making art. Trying to be original is intimidating sometimes.

  2. Julie Prichard says:

    “Learning to find your truth is difficult….but once you do, your art will set you free.”- Julie Prichard

  3. Bev says:

    A lovely collage! Loved your post – very thoughtful and inspiring.

  4. Det där grubbleriet dyker med jämna mellanrum upp hos mig också. Varför gör jag det här? Är det här bra? Vad ska jag satsa på? Då brukar jag försöka påminna mig själv om att jag gör det här för min egen skull. Jag mår bra av att måla och därför målar jag. Om jag ska må dåligt av det kan jag lika gärna låta bli.

    Ett annat knep jag brukar ta till är att upprepa för mig själv: Jag kan göra vad jag vill! För det är ju sant. Det är ingen som tackar dig för att du sitter hemma och inte gör det du vill. Tvärtom. När du gör det du vill tillåter du andra att göra det de vill, och det uppskattas. Det är i alla fall min erfarenhet. Så måla rosa och klipp och klistra om det är vad du längtar efter. Det är du, och då är det bra. Hoppas du får en härlig helg!

  5. Caatje says:

    I enjoyed both your article and the one by Jennifer Louden. It’s easy to forget to be true in the quest for originality. I sometimes for example struggle with the fact that I love to draw women/girls, because right now the mixed media world is overwhelmed with everybody drawing girls (preferably with butterflies and birds), but then I remember that I’ve been drawing girls since I was like six or seven years old (35 years ago) and they accompanied me all through my life, apparently I just like drawing them and I might as well accept that that is a part of who I am. It’s good to broaden one’s horizon, but it has to be done through the heart and not some quest to be unique and different. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Tammy says:

    Thanks for this post – you’re 100% right. Creating for the sake of making whatever your urges produce – that’s the truth. Those times to create like this are often the most unplanned, the most relaxing & where time flies for me. Thanks for being inspiring! I’m off to read the Voodoo Lounge post now.

  7. Tammy says:

    Just listened to the podcast.. and wanted to come back & say thanks again! It was very interesting & inspiring, too. I like how Jill’s teaching ethic/class planning comes from her desire to do more geniune work & teach what “comes from her heart”. I was always opposed to copying, but after listening, realize how it is important… we just have to keep working from there to create our own style. Now I have another podcast to look forward to each month.

  8. Chris says:

    This is so true. It’s taken me forever to get to it. Maybe I’m not yet there but I will be.

  9. Ninette says:

    Härligt collage! det riktigt kliar i mina fingrar att testa nåt liknande, jag blir så inspirerad alltid när du visar fram nya tekniker!

  10. shazaam! you did it. And it felt fantastic. Now do it some more. And thanks for reading and taking action on my words, that is high praise indeed!

  11. Lay Hoon says:

    I love reading from your blog as always ^^

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