My name is Marie J.Engelsvold. I’am a visual artist. Living in Copenhagen, in Denmark.
I have been doing art for 20 years, and I have discovered the great impact of the creative process. How you literally can free yourself, by experimenting with your own creative expression. How you can uncover all your limitations, and work through them.
In this blog I will show you how you through an extended version of drawing, can start your own journey. How you through drawings can be more present, and be more centered in your heart. How you can free yourself from all the limited ideas and notions, that are basically mental. I’am embarking on the same journey, and I want to share my experiences with you. By following my blog and videos, you will follow my own creative processes and my insights to how you can progress. How you can go through blocks, and how you can be more free and more you.
I hope you can use it, and that you get started or continue your creative work, letting your whole self shine through.
Because this drawing praxis you are embarking on, it’s not just about making some pretty artworks. It’s about you expressing you. It’s about you being honest, and being raw. As a side effect you will certainly find your own very unique signature. Because nobody is exactly like you, and thats your strength. But to come into that kind of honesty, that kind of deep lisentning to yourself, you have to unlearn what other people have told you about you, and about your creativity. So you have to start fresh. You have to start from a zero point.
It is very important to find times when you can cultivate your creativity and yourself. It is a very nourishing thing to do for yourself, as you also get to know yourself at the same time, since everything you create is a mirror of something inside you. Make some appointments with yourself that are realistic, and just start eventhough you don’t have so much time. It's better than nothing, and sometimes the small changes we do for ourselves end up being life revolting. Maybe you have only time during transport, or in the lunch break? Just bring a little notebook, and make small sketches, just to feel what’s coming out of you. But if possible, I would say about 4 hours a week is fine, and the more the better. But one whole afternoon or evening is enough time for a start, rather start out a bit gently, because you will soon discover, that you want to spend more time. It's a bit like being in love, you just want to be with the “special one”, as often as possible, whether it is just a stolen moment. And very likely “the special one” can become your notepad, because you are so curious to what you are creating. You are so curious to see you.
As I mentioned before, it can be anywhere. But as you commit, you will discover that you need more privacy. It is important you have a place where you can be undisturbed. If you have an extra room it is luxury, but otherwise you can also easily clear the dining table, just be sure that you are undisputed. In the summer you can also find a place outside, in the garden, in the forest or in the cottage.
Here is a list of materials that you will need to use in the drawing process.
Besides things you can buy, and drawing materials you already have in the house, there are also a lot of materials you can find. Things that you usually discard, which can easily be used for collage elements and experiments with different textures.
And certainly much more, these are just examples.
But it is not just about the physical space and materials. The creative process with all its psychological challenges is the most important. And a fact that is rarely mentioned. It is why people often give up, and say “I am not creative, I don’t have the talent”. I think we often start with some impossible high expectations for both ourselves, but also the process. Expectations of a certain result, are often what is the first major obstacle.
Start blocking: How do you overcome the famous fear of the white paper?
First I want to say it’s normal. To feel blocked is very normal in the creative process. Actually I haven’t created anything of significance, out of just pure harmony and bliss. So I’am not going to teach you, how not to be blocked, how not to feel fear, and how not to criticize yourself. All artists experience these feelings all the time. The important thing is how we approach it. Do we have some tools to work through these obstacles?? Yes. We have a lot of tools.
It sounds pretty easy, right? It’s a bit like being in meditation, you are one with yourself and what you are doing. You don’t judge or are being mental about what you are doing. So to start a creative praxis, you will also come more in contact with your feelings and how you are, actually. So to be in this present mode, is not always pure harmony. You will feel emotions that you might have suppressed for a while. You will meet sorrow, anger, abandonment, disappointment…..as well as joy, bliss, energy, excitement and peace. But all these emotions and feelings want to be accepted and released. So don’t suppress it, express it. You will feel better afterwards, and remember everything is a part of you. Also if you don’t express these feelings, they don’t dissappear, you just suppress them once more. It takes a lot of energy to do that, so by releasing these feelings to accept them as a part of you, you can transform and lift your energy. You can free yourself, from having to surpress parts of yourself. I will give you more in depth insight in this process, in my blog as well as in other tutorials. Read see this video for more insight. How embracing all parts of you, will help you in your art making.
When you start to be aware of how you are talking to yourself in your head, it can be a little surprising. Because we don’t treat ourselves very kind. We tend to judge ourselves, we criticize ourselves, we compare with others, we are impatient, we are intolerant, we are actually very mean and cruel. What is it about?? and why do we do it?? Most of us have through upbringing and in the school system, been programmed to believe that we are not good enough as we are. It’s not okay to be as we are. We have to be something or somebody else. We have learned to strive and struggle to be what other people expect from us. And all the times we have been criticized and judged, these voices is now in our own head. Do you believe in this voice?? Do you know how to quiet it?? Because that will be your first task in your creative journey, because if not, you will not even get started. So for a start be aware of that voice, and know that it is not you. It’s what you have learned about you, but it’s not you. For example if you come to think about that you can’t draw. Maybe somebody told you that you can’t draw, that you didn’t got the talent. And you dropped it because you didn’t felt you was good enough. But it’s not true. You can draw. Everybody can draw. We are all creators. So in this case, try to go back to just moving your hand on the paper, just go into feeling the diffrent tools on the paper. Just scribble. Just have fun.
The creative process is very much about daring to be safe in the chaos. Allowing yourself not to know where the process leads you. Having so much confidence and self-esteem that you allow yourself to play, you allow yourself to "fail" and see the perfection in the so called mistakes. You simply have to let yourself fall without knowing if you are being caught. And it requires courage, and it requires you to create the safe settings, and give yourself permission. In this blog and in my upcoming tutorials, I will give you the tools to overcome your blockages so that you can move forward when you start criticizing yourself. I want to teach you how to turn your brain off and get more into your creativity. Once you have started to enter your flow, you will seek it more and more yourself. You will learn to trust your own intuition, you will rely more on your own inner voice and what is right for you. Every time you hear these limiting believes inside your head, you lisen’t and then you tell this voice otherwise. Read/ see this video, to get advice to how you can start a dialog with your inner critic. What to do when you are stocked in the creative process?
1) Find the joy of creating, by connecting yourself to your inner child. As a child we just loved to be creative, and play, We didn’t thought about the why, we didn’t thought about the result. We did it out of curiosity, out of the pure joy of creating. As grown ups, we very often loss this ability. We think as we have to do something effective and productive all the time. We don’t like to “waste” our time. But I will tell you, there is nothing more valuable you can do with your time, than nourishing yourself and express who you are. To get to know yourself, and be honest with all your feelings and all the little parts of ourselves. That will give you so much freedom inside of you, and this freedom will be felt of others too. You will attract all good things into your life, by allowing yourself to be you. The time you spend in joy, will bring in more joy. it’s very simpel.
2) Don’t do what you think you have to, before yo do the things you want. How many times haven’t we heard that you have to do something, before you can do what you really want? A lot of people dream of going off to pension, because then they can finally do what they want, live their dream. But very often it’s too late, you are too tired or you can’t really live your dream, because you never learnt how to live your dream. You learnt how to do what you are told, and what other people expected of you. So do what you dream about right now. Start today. Life is not in the future, it’s right here and now.The more you do what you dream of, the more that dream will become your reality.
3) Connect with your body and feelings. Be honest about how you feel, and accept everything inside of you. Don’t be mental about it, don’t judge or criticize.
4) Do something new. Excite and surprise yourself by using other materials. If you are used to a normal size paper, go up or down in size. Why not draw laying on the floor, instead of sitting by a table? Use your non dominant hand, instead of the hand you normally use when drawing or writing…..find other things that would be renewing to do, that are very diffrent from the ways you normally do your creative works.
5) How does it feel to be in flow?? write it down. Make your own list of how it feels for you. Your own suggestions to things that make you feel like being in flow.
6) How does it feel to be blocked? write down the feelings you get when yo are stocked. Your own suggestions to how you can come out of that feeling. Look at you list next time you feel blocked. Also add to the list from time to time when you get new insights.
Take a sheet of paper and write everything you know and feel about your creativity. Write about good and bad experiences, how you look at your abilities, what others think. Just write everything that comes in, get it all out of your system. If you see that it is mainly negative stuff, you turn it 180 degree, into a positive affirmation.
Materials: 10 pieces of some cheap drawing paper and a soft pencil.
Set a clock for 1 minutes. Just scribble, do what comes naturally.
Do this 10 times, until you have used all the 10 pieces of paper.
Every time you take a new paper, you set the time to 1 minute more.
So you start of with 1 minutes, then 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 7 minutes, 8 minutes, 9 minutes and finally 10minutes.
Gentle emotional and physical release by Rasa. This meditation, I can highly recommend. I do it often, if I can feel some emotions and feelings coming up. You might start to cry, because you will feel the repressed emotions. But you will feel free and relieved afterwards.
Right now I’am offering some workshops in mai 2019. Go here for more information.