artist

Creative

The dictionary definition of the creative is “relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something.”  The word itself has always been daunting to me. I’ve never felt able to describe myself as such.

I’ve been a maker my whole life. As a child, I could never sit still. Idle hands were not an option. I joined all the art classes at school that I possibly could and experimented with all the mediums. Clay, acrylics, chalk pastels, oil pastels, watercolours – the works. I’ve grown up making things. It’s just a part of who I am. I miss having so much time that was set aside for the sole purpose of creative exploration.

As I’ve grown older, and I have less time to sit and make stuff, I’ve simply grown into mediums that I resonate most with, and left the others behind.

However, I’ve also noticed this sneaky little voice in the back of my head. Enter, Imposter Syndrome. No matter how much I paint and draw and sew, I feel as if I still can’t call myself an artist (even although my business Instagram account describes me as such – thanks Facebook).

The word leaves me with a gnawing feeling in my stomach, and mean thoughts in my head, that go something along the lines of “you’re no artist.” I constantly compare myself to other artists online and feel inferior. Feel as if I’m not original enough. Not putting enough into my art. Not sticking to a style. Heck, I don’t even have a style.

Everyone else seems to have it all figured out. The seem to know what their preferred medium is, what they like to paint, and how they like to paint it.  But I still feel like that little kid who can’t decide what she wants to make. On the flip side, I end up making similar things that feel “safe” so that I can churn some or other piece out every other week just so that I have something to post on Instagram.

But, after some contemplation, I’m realising that Instagram, or no Instagram, I would probably be painting, sewing, drawing, making, anyway. It’s who I am. It’s what I do.  And whilst the inner critic can be pretty darn hurtful and hindering sometimes, I’m learning to break through it. To block out all the noise, both internally and externally and allow myself space to make things, even if it feels ugly and so not worthy of Instagram and leave room for child-like creative play, without parameters or feeling like I have to stick to a certain “style”.

There is a lot of noise out in the world. Things are being thrown at us all the time. Just keep making stuff. Don’t feel as if you have to make pretty things all the time. In a rut? Try something new. Allow yourself to make mistakes. And then just keep doing it all over again.

Nabeela x

 

The Artist | Angelyn Peh

Whilst there are hundreds of artists and makers from around the world whose work I enjoy and admire, every once in a while, I stumble upon an artist whose work deeply resonates with me. When I first came across Angelyn’s work, I was scrolling on Instagram, probably spending too much time on the Explore page, If I’m being honest. I loved her paintings and drawings and kept scrolling as far down on her account as I could. A few days later, I wanted to go back and look again, but I’d forgotten her username. So, as one does, I scrolled through my entire “following” list until I found it, and I made sure to make a mental note of her account’s name so I could go back again and again. It’s been almost two years since then, I’d say, and I continue to be deeply moved and inspired by Angelyn’s intricate, delicate and undoubtedly beautiful work. Angelyn is from Kuala Lumpur and her life-long mission is to “illustrate the intangible”.

I reached out to Angelyn recently, asking if she wouldn’t mind answering some questions about her work and creative practice, for us all to learn from. Here’s what she had to say…

Describe your creative practice in three words
Unpredictable, detailed, meticulous.

Where do you find inspiration?
Mostly through other stories, like books and movies. Nature too, and definitely songs. Beautiful places.

Many of your pieces take on themes like anxiety and other mental health issues. Do you find that making art is an important way of working through these kinds of things, and raising awareness about them?
Yes – although it happened a little backwards. I had no intention of speaking out previously as the idea was quite painful. Over time I began to realise that art was my preferred way of processing my experiences, and even then for a long time I found it hard to get these things out onto the paper because I had a fixed idea of what my art should be like and this was crossing a clearly defined line into “absolutely not” territory. So it was a lot of gradual acceptance, that it was okay (even necessary) to speak out about the issues we face, and that I had a strong method of communication if I let myself use it.

What made you gravitate towards watercolours?
My muse Pauline Baynes who illustrated the Narnia series – one look at her work and I knew I wanted to be just like her. Also, Beatrix Potter!

What advice would you give anyone who wants to pursue creative work?
Be kind to yourself. That means understanding that your process and output may be different from others, taking the time to learn about yourself, and following through on the things you want to make. Give yourself a try.

Be sure to check Angelyn out on the socials too.

Nabeela x

The Artist | Mimi Chuan

I’ve been following Mimi on Instagram for the longest time, and I finally reached out recently to ask if she’d like to be featured over here on the blog. Mimi, known as Mimskii on Instagram, creates the most beautiful ceramic pieces that are simple, yet striking and quite lovely to look at. I asked Mimi a few questions about her creative practice. Here’s what she had to say…


What keeps you inspired?
Creation. I thrive when frolicking in nature.

What made you gravitate towards clay as a medium?
I feel like clay is a very grounding and forgiving medium. I am a hand builder (as opposed to wheel work) So it requires (alot of) patience and each piece is incredibly unique and no 2 pieces look the same. The process cannot be rushed (or mass produced) and it’s a little bit unpredictable. It feels raw and of the earth. I love that.

Favourite piece to date?
My current “Rising Suns” tumblers that will form part of my first capsule collection (hōm) being released early next year (2019).

Dream collaboration?
There are so many incredibly creative and talented individuals that I don’t know if I can name just one. But that being said, my most recent collaboration with Melissa of Studio Melissa Louise on Floral Slumber, was an absolute dream. I really admire her work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and her ability to translate her creative talents across different disciplines (interior design, candles, digital marketing etc.) It was such a fun experience and would love to do it again.

Your style in three words?
improvisational, minimal and true to hand and material.

Find more of Mimi’s work on her Instagram.
Nabeela x
(Photographs were provided by Mimi)

DIY Fabric Printing Idea

Hello

Today’s post is a quick and easy idea. Lately, I’ve been quite into sewing and stitching, especially embroidery, as you’ll know if you follow me over on Instagram. I have been wanting to stitch other things too, like pouches, but I’ve held back because I haven’t found any fabrics around the house that I like enough to go through the effort of making something out of it.

I remembered pre-school days, when we used to use potatoes to make patterns and prints on paper. I thought I might use the idea to print onto a blank piece of fabric I had lying around. I tried it, using a potato and gouache (although I imagine fabric or acrylic paint would probably work better, but I didn’t have any) to print onto the fabric. You can literally carve ANY pattern into the potato, so its really versatile. I cut a triangle out of the potato and used gouache to make a triangle pattern on my piece of fabric, making the triangles tessellate. I also kept adding white to my paint, to get an ombre effect. It’s a very quick and easy DIY that requires minimal supplies, too! Give it a try.

FullSizeRender (18)

Miss Artsy-Crafty xxx

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