Transforming the View: the Freedom of Art

I apologize for the long silence on the blog, life has been inordinately busy lately with travelling to Germany, moving, and planning a wedding.  Phew!  Amidst it all though, I'm still trying to find time to doodle every day. 


Being plunged head-first in the wedding industry (the magazines, the planning guides, the websites full of expensive foof), I realize just how inundated our society is with desire for material things.  Living in a consumer society, we're constantly told how we "need" this or "have to have" that, so much so that we spend all our time lusting over items and not appreciating what we have, or what's more, what we ourselves can create.  That's one of the great appeals of art to me: I can create anything I wish, anything I can imagine.  There are no budget limitations (unless you're shopping for supplies, that is), no "oh, I don't have the body for that," no limits on travel. 


I deal with a lot of chronic health issues that force me to follow a pretty strict diet.  This results in constant cravings for things I can't have (I'm looking at you, donuts).  I mean, it gets bad.  So what do I do?  I paint pages full of colorful, sprinkle-covered donuts.  Weird?  Yes.  But oddly enough, it helps.  Just like when I'm working on book illustrations, I like to paint places I'd like to spend time in: magical forests, cozy cottage homes, wild mountain paths, etc.  After all, how can I expect readers to get lost in my illustrations if I myself can't?  

Like many artists, I believe that art is an opportunity to be free.  You can be whoever you wish to be in your art.  I am normally a very shy and quiet person, but in my art, I can be as loud, colorful, and exuberant as I want.  You can try out different sides of your personality, express things you may be uncomfortable expressing.  In my art, I let myself be a big kid, enjoying simple things like a beautiful color or a funny expression.  (All right, so that's no different than how I am in real life, but you get the point.)     


So the next time you sit down to doodle, but don't know what to draw, think instead about the kind of person you wish you could be, the adventures you wish you could go on, the world you wished you lived in.  Because through art, you have the ability to transform not only how you perceive yourself, but how you (and others) view the world around you.