my creative journey

Illustrated quote by Maria Larsson

 

Two things were rather obvious when I was a child – my passions for drawing and for writing. Looking back one could have thought that this kid would become an illustrator or a writer – in both cases you didn’t have to move too much (I was not the sporty type) and could stay indoors all year long (I hated outdoor activities). I was scared for anything that could move in nature, nevertheless (!) I for a short period nurtured the dream to be like my big heroine Jane Goodall, but sitting on the couch reading about chimpanzees was as far as I got. Quite early on I discovered a third passion: ballet. This overshadowed any other dream I ever had and I spent six days a week at the ballet barre for many years to come (not bad for someone who didn’t like to move too much). I put blood, sweat and tears into this until one day my knees, that were not meant to be the knees of a ballerina, collapsed and I had to stop dancing.

Not knowing what to do next I found myself in art school where I chose ceramics as my main subject. This was not actually the easiest road for me, given I’m not so practical and crafty by nature. Yet, again I put all my strength into mastering this new passion and this had a happier ending than the previous project. My belief in dreams coming true was restored!

 

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But now this thing called adult life and responsibilities intervened and pushed me in another direction. Being a single mom at the time I found that the life of a potter was a hard way to pay the bills and I decided to make a career change which brought me to becoming an archaeologist (yes, one can indeed wonder what I was thinking, being an indoor person preferring Mother Nature inside a book cover!). But I’m so happy to have had such an exciting occupation and I kind of discovered, to my own surprise, that I enjoyed being outdoors with a physically demanding work. Nevertheless, something was missing. I was not happy. I still had this secret dream of being able to make my living in a more independent and creative way. I didn’t know how, the years had passed and I couldn’t really afford another education, nor with time or money. I had to do something with what I got. But what did I have, actually?

 

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Confused and with a mid life crisis in my backpack I decided to do something entirely different. Or rather I had to do everything completely different. That’s when I first went to Berlin. Henry Miller once said: “One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things”. And this was exactly what I needed – to see my life from a new perspective, leaving my way of doing things the way they were “supposed” to be done, and try something altogether new.

Do you know the most important thing I discovered? I’ll tell you. I started valuing my time differently. I began to make every hour count. I asked myself what I really wanted in life and decided that this should be the main objective of each and every day. I decided to find that little artist from my childhood and let her be visible again. To make this story not sounding like one of those happy creativity fairytales I want to add that I cannot dedicate myself to making art every hour of the day and yes, I do have to make compromises as everyone, because that’s life! But this is okay too. And now I’m here doing what I really love the most, drawing and writing!

Picasso was very accurate when he stated that every child is an artist, but the problem is to remain an artist when growing up! Not only do we stop seeing things with the open-minded eyes of a child, but so many other things distract us as well! Nevertheless, it’s important to make as much space as we possibly can for this little artist to survive!

 

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