This year is a year for digging deep, figuring out what I really want to do and how to create what I want to deliver. This is no easy task, believe me. It requires diligence, studying, research and asking myself a lot of difficult questions. It is also extremely helpful because I am seeing clarity like never before. I mean, pulling blinders off to see the sun shining right in your eyes clarity. It feels great but it also brings forth reservations and an uncomfortable thought of vulnerability and transparency in what I need as an artist, teacher and all around creative being. See, it is about digging deep, right?
So with this question “what would be utterly breathtaking for your business?” I was taken aback, stunned almost because I had never really thought about my business in this way. Think about that question for your own life for a moment. It is powerful, extremely powerful. It means being amazing with limitless possibilities and dreaming big for yourself. For what you want. For what would bring a smile to your face and let your heart sing every single day. See, powerful. Write down your answer, it is important, it is a goal to lead you down a path of optimism that anything is possible! For me, the answer came like this. “To see a growth of students that truly love what I have to share in opening them up into a new area of art, a more personal side that lets them be free without restraints and conditions, a risk taking that involves trust from both of us. It is a thriving community that sees my creativity and inspiration as a part of their own.” As I type this I know it is possible, I feel it coming. Something big, something scary, but something so beautiful that it will transform the creative muse within each of us. I do hope you will join me in this inspired adventure, it is going to be life changing, I guarantee!
Last year made me think about these three things, a lot. What I was doing? Who I was doing it for? Did the outcome make me happy? My answers. Managing, not creating. Everyone else but me. If stress, frustration and counting the days until the New Year only made me happy it would have been perfect, um no! A big change was needed. Do you ever feel that way? Like you are mindlessly going through the motions, surviving but not really living. Well, that is exactly what my life felt like. Constantly doing but doing all the wrong things. I knew it would take drastic measures, huge gumption, courage and a different mindset but I vowed 2017 was going to be a year of simple pleasures. My goals: get off the road, create more just because, monthly challenges to make me step out of the box and take classes that really took me out of my comfort zone. I approach each day walking into my studio with an open mind, excited to be inspired by what today will bring and simply put, enjoy having a paintbrush in my hand again. Last year I created 23 new pieces in 365 days. It is so sad to see that little number, my heart breaks knowing it, having written it for the world to see. But, that was last year, a new year is upon us. I am so grateful to have put that in the past and to only look forward from here on out. I will do better. I will do art. I will find my simple pleasures. I will find myself again. I will, I must! I am so glad that ideas have not left me after being neglected for a full year, they still present themselves in a whisper and percolate until I am ready. I have already created 15 pieces of art in the last 28 days, I have been uncovered…
After 20 years of being in business for myself as an artist, I am searching, opening up and realizing what I want for the next 20 years. It has taken me a long while to get to this space, listening to my inner voice, the one that makes me vulnerable. It has been pushed down for a long time, but I am finally ready to unleash its power, clarity!
Have you ever questioned yourself about wants, needs, purpose, destination, journey?
I do all the time but this year I decided to actually work on each of these, one by one. My purpose is finally defined, I want to be in the business of inspiration. To inspire, encourage, support others while offering artful classes that help explore creativity. In some, this is hidden waiting for the right moment and motivation to come out and play. For others, it is that inner voice of wanting more. More explanation, more depth, more understanding of being able to create what is inside. Either journey is personal, very personal and I want to offer you inspiration here and now. It is okay to be at the stage you are in, honestly we all start somewhere. It is okay to want something for yourself in this extremely demanding world. It is okay to try and fail, it means you are learning. It is okay to explore what you like, develop a style that speaks to you, even if it is different from everyone else. It is okay to be you! I want you to tap into the inner joy it will bring to create and honor it to shine. We have one life on earth, I am inviting you to spread your artistic wings and soar. I’m here for you, I won’t let you fall. Are you ready? I am….
I have picked a word for the last 5 years and they have served me well because I figure out what I need to focus on and let it guide me throughout the year. So, what do you need this year? What direction are you heading? Where do you need help and guidance? Where do you want to be when 2018 rolls around? These are all questions I ask myself when leading up to a new year. It helps define my word for me and gives me a place for guidance.
I had three words that I was contemplating – faith, leap and trust. They are all very similar but in some ways very different to me. Faith – belief and trust in God; allegiance to duty or a person; loyalty; a system of religious beliefs. Leap – to spring free from a surface or over an obstacle; jump. Trust – assured reliance on the character, strength or truth of someone or something; a basis of reliance, faith or hope; to place confidence; to permit to stay or go or to do something without fear or misgivings. As you can see, they complement each other but I had to pick just one. Trust wrapped them all into one as hope, belief and strength.
What will “trust” do for me this year? I need to…
Trust myself and create what I want without worrying about the money it will bring in. Trust that they universe has lead me down this path for a reason. Trust that the right creative students will find me, be inspired by me and would love to create with me. Trust that this path is much larger than I can even dream. As you can see, Trust and I have a very big year planned. I hope your word gives you this kind of direction into the new year and makes it creatively successful, however that looks for you!
With any New Year goals are sure to follow. Setting an intention, one to keep you motivated is a good place to start. With that being said, I am going to paint every single day in January. I’m not talking a finished painting, but that would be great. I am talking about going into the studio, spending quality time there designing, creating and just playing with paint. Opening and exploring that new box of art supplies I have collected over the last year. New techniques, layers, and allowing myself the freedom to just create without expectations of the end product. I want to discover what it is like to paint every single day, just me and the paint brush. No grand illusions of what to do, just the daily exercise of flexing my creative voice and putting it down on a canvas or two, maybe even 31 if all goes well. This year is about me, my art, telling stories, creating a community of like minded artists and living a very fulfilled artful life.
If you would like to join me on this journey, I have created an Instagram hashtag of #paintwithkelly so I can peek in on what you are creating along with me on this January journey. There is also a facebook group called “In the STUDIO with Kelly Hoernig” if you would like to share with the small art community gathering there. I can’t think of a better way to start a new year, creating with friends!
Why is it that the holidays just pass in a whirlwind of a blur? I mean, we start decorating our homes the day after Thanksgiving. Wreaths, stockings, family heirloom ornaments, trees, lights, everything we need to transform our ordinary everyday living into something magical and festive. Christmas shopping, sending cards, meal planning, invitations and continuous baking soon follow. The hustle and bustle never ends until all is done. The salutations of family, friends and treasured moments come in the form of holidays cards with wishes, photos and promises to get together more often. This time is something to ponder about each and every year. How thankful you are to share your life with so many! What a blessed life you are living! It can be easily forgotten in these times. And when the time comes to get together, open presents, eat and share our stories, I always sit and marvel at the people around the table in conversation. They are part of me, who I am, who I am made of. The reflection of being so small sometimes is just that. Because when you open your eyes and really think about what YOU encompass, it is always something more. More beautiful. More special. More simple than you really understand. Take the time to just BE today. Be you. Be beautiful. Be special. Be simply who you are – you!
This hand painted nativity is one of the first things that goes up when decorating for the holidays. It reminds me so much of the past, present and future. I discovered Juliet Martin (the designer of this beautiful jewel) when I was learning how to decorative paint and fell in love with her unique perspective of creating a story with your art. This lead me to selling my painted stuff at local craft shows and consignment shops, putting me in touch with my customer. It also made me want more. To changing colors to fit my decor. Changing lines to rearrange designs to make it more unique. To finally believing that I could start designing, creating and painting to make a living with. Who knew it would lead me down this path for 20 years as an artist? Something I am so grateful for each and every day!
While, you may see a beautiful little nativity scene, I see my artistic life. The past, that my painting needed improving but I was willing to learn, challenge and grow with each stroke. The present, the sun shining its brightness on my gift, being an artist and living an artful life full of inspiration. The future, the hidden treasures carried by the Wisemen. In reality, only limited by your imagination and the courage to go after them. It is a season of birth, celebration and the wonderment of miracles. Believe in yourself – who you are, where you want to go and what you want to achieve. You hold the key, believe in its power!
From me to you, have the happiest of Holidays and Merry Christmas!