The Creative Stretch: Be Mindful

I have a ton to do but I am making myself a priority this morning.

Today, I worked on another one of the prompts from the free Creative Stretch Warmup week: be mindful. I did not go by the dictionary definition of the word mindful…instead, what I wrote down in my journal centered more around understanding what I do in this creative space (this physical room where I create) and why it matters.

For me, being mindful also means to forgive myself and to realize that I am a work in progress. As I painted the page with black first, using a sponge, to cover up my writing, I could just sense the chaos, the darkness, the weight of all the responsibilities and “should be’s” I carry.

I tried to uplift the page by sketching out some white leaves and gravitated toward making a serene face — only it looked really despondent. I then went back to centering myself with deep intention and reminding myself that when I slow down and enjoy the process, I can give myself permission to play.
I started blocking out parts of the face, the black-grey background with white gesso…it felt like a relief. And then I just went wild …. with mark-making with pencils, markers, crayons and paint and collaging on strips from gel plate prints🙂

It was so therapeutic to pick out three primary colors and just start blocking out the darkness with bold strokes. I also switched brushes making my strokes thicker, more purposeful.

The only part of the face that remained were the closed lips. I like the symbolism they provide — to speak less, and listen more. To not try to drown out the voice inside but to help it emerge through the chaos outside. To breathe in all the possibilities and to create with purpose.

To feel that I have something valuable to offer — it may not be for everyone … but to know that my “something” can be “everything” that make a difference in one person’s life … knowing that is enough.

And so I continue … creating for my self but also knowing that my being here, my creating, my sharing matters.

Here is a link to register for The Creative Stretch workshop.

Published by mansimakes

Hi there, I am Mansi, a self-taught artist based in Silicon Valley. I was a full-time communications professional for two decades, with a desk job and a six-figure salary until I decided to become a mom. Motherhood, as many will attest, can be extremely exhausting, especially in those first years. Art became my quiet place. It restored my sense of self. It gave me renewed energy. It helped me become a better mom. I was led down the path of creation by instinct and “discovered“ in early 2019 by a fellow kindred spirit at one of my art pop-ups who asked me to join her entrepreneurial venture. While I immersed myself full time in the role of CFO and co-founder of this women-led venture supporting local women makers, I missed experimenting with mixed-media. So, in 2021, I've decided to focus my energies full time in finessing my craft, producing more online tutorials and offering in-person art workshops for both adults and children. Thank you for joining me on this adventure as I experiment, learn and continue creating custom pieces of joy.

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