One of the things I really remember about growing up at a time when those around me were creating and producing things - or repairing things - is the inner self confidence that came with believing you can achieve almost anything if you put your mind to it – the “Yes You Can” mindset. Nothing flamboyant, just a quiet confidence that re-enforces our sense of purpose, our sense of self worth.
Somehow, there is nothing to match the emotional satisfaction of seeing your new painting hanging in the gallery, or from the first taste of the first wine produced by the family from the first harvest of the season - or when standing well back among the community to watch the latest ship that all the community, one way or another, has contributed to building, slide majestically down the launch ramp into the sea.
I was lucky to grow up at such a time in my country of birth, Romania where, until 1989, our President had a simple mantra for our country – “If we need it, we make it” – and we really did, the list of what we made ourselves was simply amazing - cars, trains, aeroplanes, tractors, oil and gas extraction and refining plants, all our food needs and much much more. 30 years later most of it has gone - along with the feeling of pride, of self worth and sense of community purpose - leaving an inner emptiness that expresses itself in unhappy ways.
I am completely sure that at all times, especially at times of change, the “Yes You Can” mindset helps us to build a habit of seizing opportunities and facing down challenges. But this mindset comes with practice, with experimentation, with sorting out failures and with hard worked-for successes. So, not unexpectedly, behind the scenes of my life as a dedicated painter and promoter of the creative alchemy system, I am a worker bee using all the creativity and ability to innovate that comes with being trained as an engineer and developed as an artist - researching, learning, working out how to make, create and do things - and using the knowledge gained to benefit those around you. In my case, and just for example:
- My interest in the ability of the natural world to heal has lead me to draw on our earlier career experiences in Africa - so I experiment and sell to enthusiastic new customers new combinations of plant materials, plant extracts, colourations and infusions of fascinating provenance - in the form of natural soap bars and natural skin care creams;
- My searches for new surfaces to paint-on lead me to discover an excellent way to digitally transfer reproductions of my paintings onto the unused surfaces of classic bag architectures, in so doing challenging and proving wrong the thought that women will not be attracted to colourful, story-telling bags that resonate with their emotions. This particular experiment has now taken on a life of its own, with my husband and practice partner leading our next steps;
- And, as you know, I have taught myself how to do all the creative and digital tasks needed to self-publish my own creativity work-books – with my experimental video channel now adding a new dimension as to how to get my messages out and about - and so much more, just like the former output of Romania, the list amazes even me.
The point is that experimenting with making things builds self-confidence even while not knowing what the new activity could lead to. The self-confidence, sense of purpose and self worth that all this has delivered to an isolated arts practice like ours has been more than really important.
So, if you have the urge to invent or to make something please do get in touch if you would like a mentor or coach or someone to help you to challenge the previously unchallenged. It will be fun. Facing up to new challenges has that affect, doing it as a group of eager creators and visual artist makers even more so.
@2020 corina stupu thomas