Thursday, October 28, 2010

More "Great Gall" work!

Art Journaling with Summer Pierre

As far as great learning experiences go, this particular adventure with the preview of Summer Pierre's new book is just awesome. "Kick ass" is a good description, but I don't think it totally covers the actual growth that happens if you apply what you learn.

So here's what I've learned so far:

Life is difficult and filled with all sorts of "adventures" which need to be worked with if we want to be the great galls we can be.  Here's how Summer says it (so very well) on her blog:
"...one of the questions that has come up is about the overall philosophy of the book–which is to acknowledge and honor the lives we are living RIGHT THIS SECOND and not when we reach some idealized level in some idealized future.  Yes “great” women are featured in the book, but so are their fears, their struggles, their chances, as well as their triumphs. It all looks so good in retrospect, but I can tell you that every single woman in that book experiences/experienced chaos, boredom, worry, doubt, loss, confusion, heartbreak, vanity, you name it.  I can feel so stuck in my life and project whatever story of success on people I admire or look up to–it is SO EASY to forget that it is NEVER easy for anyone.

I think too often we hand over our desires, dreams, and actions to “experts,”–to those we perceive as great or gifted or special.  At most we think, I could do that, but then…we don’t.  It’s easier to give it up, to get lost in the distance we see between where we are and where we want to be.  I get lost in there all the time, but it’s really just another story I make up so I don’t feel scared. The truth is, no one is living THE great life, so don’t worry about it being taken already.  There’s room for you and there’s room for me.  Stop leaving it up to the experts, don’t wait to know how to do it.  Just live it."

So I created the above collage with an old photo of what looked like a great gal to me, and I added the sorts of adjectives which I admire most in people (today anyway) and the directive to play, always play, don't take things too seriously if you can help it.

One of the "great gals" Summer features is Margaret Cho.  She tells us how she had to overcome the desire to please everyone around her, and really find her own expression, and her own story and once she started using herself in her work, she became a "great gal".  Pretty neat because our own selves is something we can all access!

"I'm not going to die because I failed as someone else.  I'm going to succeed as myself."  -Margaret Cho

Fotoshop Fun Course is really Heating Up!

Here's the result of one assignment with lots of textures and layers.  In order to create this image I used my own collage and TtV layer, some layers form  FlyPaper Textures and Kim Klassen, but best of all some layers from a class member, Merielsea.  Thanks so much Merielsea!

The down side here is the class is ending this week but there's a plus of course, there always is.  Folks can stay on and continue to play and share their work AND a new round starts in January.  Join us if you can!  There's a nice little discount for my blog readers.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Great Gals; Inspired Ideas for Living a Kick-Ass Life by Summer Pierre

Ganesha (Remover of Obstacles) with texture by Kim Klassen.

Over at 14 Secrets we are test driving Summer Pierre's soon-to-be-released book Great Gals. It's a totally inspiring book filled with great women role models and some wonderful journaling prompts which are related to each role model. After the introduction which was inspiring in itself, Summer created a mind map with all her associations to "great gals" and then on the opposite page she has a mind map for "I am" and you fill in all the associations you can think of but the great thing here with this is you've already gone through all of this positive stuff about the folks you admire and then of course you are on a roll and you apply those same positive descriptions to yourself.  It's like you can't help it.  You just want to be a great gal too and why not?  As Summer says, why not make your life great?  Isn't it the only life we have?  Shouldn't we make it great by being a great gal?

What kept coming up for me in both sides of this two page spread was that "great gals" are bold and brave and they do things even when life gives them a hard time.   I think as a kid I thought "great gals" just had greatness conferred upon them, because the world realized they were special, but as time goes by, I'm realizing that life happens to everyone, and some of us find a cocoon to hide in and some are bold and brave in spite of everything.  "Great gals" tend to get the job done. This is a quality that I think would be very helpful for living a happy artist's life!

Come on over to 14 Secrets and test drive this soon-to-be-released journaling book by Summer Pierre.  It will help you overcome obstacles, be brave and bold, and live a happy artist's life.