creativity

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

DIY Paint-Chip Greeting Card

It’s been a while since I’ve done some crafty content over here on the blog, but as the name suggests, I love making stuff and I  have missed sharing my DIYs over here.

I often say that making cards was my first craft-love. As a child, I adored making cards for people and still do. Naturally, over time, my style has changed and I’ve honed my skills a bit since then (or so I’d like to think).

I recently made a really quick and simple card and thought I’d share it with you.

Ever walked into the hardware store and walked out with an armful of colourful paint chips? I know I have, much to the chagrin of the store assistants. Those colourful little chips have so much potential!

On a recent trip to the hardware store, I was running around, desperate to grab what I needed and leave. But something (maybe the fact that its a giant rainbow wall) stopped me in my tracks and made me go up to the paint chip wall, grab two and take them with me.

I decided to use one to make a simple gradient effect card. Its just in time for Fathers’ Day too, so why not give it a go.

You will need: 

  • Paint chip card
  • White cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Stamps/pens
  • Double-sided tape/glue

Method:

  1. First, fold the cardboard to an appropriate size for your card.
  2. Then, cut the different shades from the coloured paint chip into equal squares. I used 9.
  3. Place them in a grid from lightest to darkest (you could do any order though).
  4. Once you’ve planned out your pattern, use glue or double-sided tape to stick them down.
  5. Lastly, add a message above or below the coloured squares. I used my favourite trusty alphabet stamps but you can use a pen, paintbrush or anything else.

That’s it! It’s pretty simple and I love the gradient look. If you give this a go, send me a pic! I’d love to see what you create.

Happy crafting!

Nabeela x

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