How to avoid killing creative people.

but I am creative and things come differently to me. Am I worried? Not at all, I trust myself. 

Let me tell you a little about  ‘creative people’ and how we work: Alone time is vital, sleepless nights are of second nature, never expect us to be ‘A4’ or bog standard. Always expect us to see things differently and if we do things against the grain deal with it and don’t stop us.

I have had many years of trying to hide these qualities and it was awful, in fact I am 36 years old and am still unmarried and have no kids nor do I own a car or house. One would think time is ‘ running out, but I am creative and things come differently to me. Am I worried? Not at all, I trust myself.

As a part of my getting to know myself once again (probably the 4th or 5th time, lol) I decided to be apart of the ‘Art Cube’ a local art association near my father’s home. It seemed like a good Idea. It is a group of local artists that go around tiny scenic villages, they sit in the streets like performers and paint live. It is a great initiative, great for the locals who are walking the streets with Wine and food. For example: On April 6th there is a celebration in a small town called Sezze (Latina) the town was mobbed. There must have been over 3 thousand people walking around the whole day while 15 of us were painting artichokes, sitting in the streets. I personally didn’t like the idea but it got me out and creative. Great experience, I got to meet new people and artists and brought home a ‘wonderful’ painting of an Artichoke lol, which is nicely placed it a dark angle in my parents house.

A few days after Sezze I felt happy about that experience and got offered another opportunity to participate in another project in May. This time it was to paint live in the local ‘chic’ village shop windows so passers-by can ‘Gawk’ at us melting in the heat for a couple of hours. The day arrived and we set off, I wasn’t feeling my best, non the less I soildered on. When we arrived at our destination ‘Isola Liri’ (Frosinone) I got assigned a perfume shop. At first I was like, hmm ok I can do this. Obviously I wasn’t expecting to be told what to paint. My face dropped when I was told by the shop owner that I must paint a bottle of ‘Chanel no.5’ perfume. Seriously? I wanted to cry: another tip about creative people, we hate being told what to create or paint, that kills our essence. So, long story short, I was in that curved shop window with the sun beating down on me for 3 hours. It was 35 degrees outside, I am a redhead, of course I got sunstroke. I went home thinking never again.

In this photo you can see the air of suffering and the amazing painting of a woman in love with her Chanel no. 5.

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In the end I finished this God awful painting and went home with a gift of a 39 degree fever and sunstroke. I can honestly say that was the last time I let anyone tell me what I should paint, where I should paint and most importantly when I should paint. Let us Creative people do what we know best, and you take care f the rest.

where is the painting now, you ask? The shop owner kept it, he didn’t pay me. Note to all, ‘Stop killing creative people!’.

 

The “how to” guide.

A lot of the time I shock myself with the things that happen to me…

My Art Teacher once told me that  drawing only with pencil will kill your creativity. So she insisted I use pen or charcoal sticks or other.

Her name was Mrs Ryan, and she had shaggy dyed red hair. Tall and very perfumed, she would swan into class in her own time and hum when we were drawing. I learned a lot from her, she let me hide in the art room because I didn’t want to go to Math class or Business class. One of the most valuable things I learned from her was “Serena channel your sadness and loneliness through art, let it heal you.” ‘omg’ was she right!

Anyone who knows me they will tell you that I live a very colourful life and everyday has a million stories. A lot of the time I shock myself with the things that happen to me, seriously. For example: Once I was in shanghai for work, I had one week of factory hopping. The owner of one of these factories invited me out for Chinese New Year with his staff and family (2006 year of the Pig, If I remember well) and all I can remember is waking up the next day with my two female assistants naked in the bed next to me. I wish I could say it was a night to remember but to be honest it was a blank. The Chinese drink more than us Irish.

The past 2 years have been great, there have been just a couple of personal things that are still trying to be fixed. One day, a year ago I decided to turn my phone off  to block out the noise and give myself some peace. I didn’t realise that I spent two days with phone off and didn’t sleep much. I totally got lost in my thoughts and drew a lot. The images were black and white and some were really quick drawings that brought out the anger. Some are well detailed sketches that unlocked the sadness bringing me to some that required a little more time that strengthened my determination to proceed positively.

30×40 Black charcoal on Fabriano rough paper

I want to share with you two pieces, only when they were finished I realise that the person with the big heads were me in both pieces.  Mrs. Ryan’s advice has stuck with me all these years and I hope that one day I can get to see her again, it has been 21 years now.

So, even though we have ups and downs, big problems or small. It-s important that we channel our energy in a direction that will lead to better times, feelings and happiness.

How do you channel your down moments? where do you go? who do you talk to? I would love to know.

My own time, the right time.

Travelling a lot, back and forth from China and various European cities I learned a ‘BIG’ lesson.

I’m the type of person that hates doing things if it doesn’t feel right. Most of all I won’t do anything If the conditions are they way they are meant to be, obviously there are exceptions. I studied Fashion design at Uni and graduated in 2004, I went on to work in Paris assisting at ‘Paris Fashion week‘, Working in New York with ‘Anna Sui’ and worked in Milan assisting ‘Valentino’ back stage and worked for ‘VBH’. After 3 years in ‘Haute Couture’ and ‘Alta Moda’ I took a step down to work in ‘Prêt-à-Porter’. I became a designer for a ‘Jeanswear’ brand, well know brand and worked for them. Travelling a lot, back and forth from China and various European cities I learned a ‘BIG’ lesson. One day in hot August in Rome I decided to leave the industry, complete burn out. I left my job, my apartment and my boyfriend all in one day to save my sanity.

I promised myself a couple of years travelling and changing career, I had this project on stand by for 4 years at the time and it was eating at me. When I returned to Italy I decided it was ‘the right time’ to complete this project.

‘Circle me round’ was created when I lived in Sweden, walking the streets of Stockholm I was mesmerized by the deco and architecture. And rode the city buses without getting off, just going around in circles with my note-book sketching.

When I arrived in Frosinone ( 1 hour south of Rome) I contacted a few fabric companies to get some fabric samples. The idea was to use Organic Cotton and if it had prints the colours had to be natural. I received so many samples but one sample stood out. I ordered the fabric and took out my dress designs and knuckled down. It took 7 working days for them to arrive, which was super fast delivery.  Litrax were just fantastic and very helpful giving the right advice on how to take care of the fabric and how to get the best out of them.

http://www.litrax.com

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On the day of delivery I almost died with the excitement. I knew this was the right time, if I had done it any sooner in time It wouldn’t have had the same feeling. In two weeks I created a collection of dresses, using 100% Organic Cotton and Organic Silk from Japan that I received as a gift when I lived in Norway (that’s another story to tell). I already knew  I wanted my cousin to wear them and take care of the photo shoot, so I sent her the dress to Germany. I’m forever grateful Calin Klohk <3.

That project was a pure example of how I do things, It has to be wanted, yearned for and given the correct amount of attention. All is made with ‘LOVE’, well if you follow me more you well understand more about me. I still crave working with fashion but I know that I still have 50 years in me to go back and do it. For now, I want my attention to be placed in other areas where I can learn and create in ‘my own time, the right time.’

I hope I haven’t bored you with my long story, I hope you like my dresses. I’m currently in the ‘Dolomites’ creating my next project. I’ll keep you posted… Continue reading “My own time, the right time.”

Who is he?

…friends asked who was the man that I was drew?

Waiting in silence trying to kill the suspense. This piece was started without any thought, preplan or intention. I took a break from it not knowing what form it was supposed to take or which way it would need to be hung (40×40, freehand, mix of Bic Pens and felt tips). One day a couple of friends asked who was the man that I was drew? They said they saw a man’s profile with his long hair in a braid. What do you see?

Comfort in solitude, beauty and gratitude in life.

As a child I always found comfort that in solitude…

 

“I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd,”  By William Wordsworth

As a child I always found comfort in solitude. There was always something good about being alone, even when in company, I would drift off observing outlines of people, things etc. Discovering Wordsworth ‘Daffodils’ at the age of 12, I reached understanding of the value of solitude, it’s ok to be alone. These pieces were screaming loneliness and gratitude. I used my best friend’s father in law’s bedsheet and every’Bic Pen’ I had in the house, it took more than 36 hours. I was metabolizing a loss, listening to the breeze, watching time and reading the emotions given to me by the nature that surrounded me in the countryside at my parents house in central southern Italy. Just like Wordsworth I saw the beauty, maybe not instantly but I saw it.

Continue reading “Comfort in solitude, beauty and gratitude in life.”