Friday, January 16, 2009

Tokens

You know how when you are reading blogs and one click leads to another click? You end up some place you never would have found otherwise. This happens to me a lot. I will be at one of my "usual" blogs and they'll link to another blog, I get caught up there and click links they have posted in their blogs... it just goes on and on. I LOVE when that happens. I love coming up on an unexpected corner in some one's life. It is kinda like when you drive around the city at night when lights are on in houses and buildings, often without curtains, and you get a glimpse into a moment in some one else's life.

Well, there are two blogs in particular that I have really been enjoying lately. The first is Ali Edwards blog. I don't know much about scrapbooking but oh how this site makes me want to experiment with it. Ali's projects and photos are intriguing to me. I love her graphic style, her loopy handwriting, and the nostalgic tone to images. I may never know how to use digital scrapbook pages... but I know a blog that keeps me inspired when I see it.

A few weeks ago, Ali started talking about her "One Little Word" project. If I am understanding it right, you pick a word that speaks to you and keep it in your mind through out the year. She says, "A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow."

I see projects come up on blogs all the time. I try them once in a while, like last year's "A Year Of Everyday Life" which I totally fell off the band wagon on. I know I am a bandwagon faller offer. I get excited about things, then loose interest, and end up letting it slip. I have always been like this. Which is one of the main reason's that Ron never wanted me to buy my own kiln and torch 4 years ago. He thought for sure that it would end up being a waste knowing me and my short attention span.

I am okay with that. I am okay with being a bandwagon faller offer. Instead of a faller offer, maybe I should consider myself a jumper. I know when my attention is starting to falter, and I start to look for other things to fill the need that whatever the project was filling. At least I can say that I tried and had an experience, right?

Anyway, I am getting off track. I saw Ali's One Little Word project and it has been with me for weeks since seeing it. There wasn't a single word that came to me as "my word". But as I was typing "words" for my book... or listening to "words" being spoken to me... or seeing "words" in the world around me, I would stop a second, think about it, and wonder if it was "my word". Nope... nothing was fitting.

I started this saying there were TWO blogs that I have come to love recently, and it is time to introduce the second. Months ago, when I was doing that photoshoot for that magazine article that I didn't end up liking, my friend Cindy sent me a link to a blog with another artist and her photoshoot results. The artist is mixed media painter Kelly Rae Roberts. At the time, I didn't bookmark her site for some reason, but through one link or another, I have ended up back there a few times. Now, I check it everyday and the other day, Wednesday to be exact, I finally picked up a copy of her book, Taking Flight. I wasn't sure I needed what I thought was a "painting" book. When I picked it up, and started to flip through the pages, I discovered it reads like a book book, not a project book. Though, yes there are projects in it... but the point is the journey, not the finished project.

I started reading Taking Flight last night.

I am about to go off on another tangent here... hang in there, it'll all come together by the end.

Something that I struggle with as an artist is the feeling that I lack a lot of depth/thought/feeling in my "work". So many artists have messages they try to convey in their work, deep thought behind the decisions they make for a piece, or feelings evoked in them/others through their mediums. Yes, I put thought in to my work. BUT... I feel like I don't put enough effort into the thoughts I have. Maybe that is just the perfectionist in me... nothing is ever enough for a perfectionist. And try as I might to let the need for perfection go, I just can't seem to do it. I can find fault in so much that I do. Who wants to go around feeling that way?

As I was reading the first chapter of Kelly Rae's book last night, the descriptions along side her work struck that cord of my feelings of shallowness. She would describe how she was creating with an intention and the descriptions were making me wonder what my intentions are with my work. Can beads and jewelry have intentions? A strong theme through the dialog in Taking Flight is listening to the whispers of your heart about the life you truly want to live. It can be a longing whisper to run a marathon... or a whisper of a desire to learn to paint.

One thing I am very good at is hearing my whispers. I know the things my heart is longing to do. One of things I am not good at it is giving those whispers a chance to be realized. I think that comes from my perfectionist tendencies. Often times, I think I have a fear that I will go for one of those big dreams and fail. If I fail, then I am not perfect. I know, I know... everyone is scared of failure. I have no reason to feel like I'll fail. I have shown myself is more ways then one that I am a strong woman and when I do put my heart into something I don't fail. And then, failing at something teaches you lessons that make the chance of success that much more the next time you try, right?

Anyway... reading Kelly Rae's book has really left me inspired. I want to give more of my whispering dreams a chance to take flight in my life. Something else happen while I was reading last night too... my One Little Word came to me... "Token".

Token (tō'kən)
n.
1. Something serving as an indication, proof, or expression of something else; a sign.
2. Something that signifies or evidences authority, validity, or identity.
3. A distinguishing feature or characteristic.
4. A keepsake or souvenir.

v., -kened, -ken·ing, -kens.
1. To betoken or symbolize; portend.


adj.
1. Done as an indication or a pledge.
2. Perfunctory; minimal.
3. Merely symbolic.


I think it is a perfect word. It is "my word" and I am excited about spending time this year looking for tokens in my life. A token of love, a token of possibility, a token of forgiveness, or a token of sadness. It can be so many things. My personal hope it to find a token in each day and as suggested by Kelly Rae, I am going to start a journal. My journal won't be for my heart's whispers though... it is going to be to keep track of my tokens.

See how it all comes together?

To celebrate my word and get started on my journey, I am naming my first mixed media piece of 2009...

"Token Of Possibility No 1"

11 comments:

Kristen said...

Great post Kerry! Loved reading it. You always have so much to say and a very eloquent way of saying them. Love your new word. It does say a lot. Keep listening to those whispers! :)

LLYYNN said...

Kerry, your insight into your way of working and seeing the world is enviable, many people never slow down long enough to even think about the things you bring up. It's obviously important to you. And you recognize the 'whispers' - love that imagery - from inside your creative spirit.

I applaud your determination and support you - go girl!

Marie said...

I know where you got your idea for this post!;)
I liked reading it!

Holly said...

This post has been rolling around in my head all day! Lots of food for thought- thanks!

Kerry said...

Thank you Kristen, I like to think I can be eloquent from time to time :) so I appreciate the compliment.

Thank you Lynn, for your support and applause.

HA! Yes, you're right Marie, it is along the lines of how you found me!! And thanks again for the link to the eye candy that is your blog.

I am glad I made you think Holly :) Do you have a word?

Holly said...

I think that I do, have a word, actually! But the part I liked best was listening to your heart's whispers. I have thought about it all day long- I need to do it too.

Ellen said...

Wow, you sure were deep in thought today, kid. A lot to digest.
The second I saw the "one word" issue, mine jumped immediately into my mind. "Thriver." That's what I am and I hope to continue on in the same vein.

Meredith said...

Love this post Kerry! Like Holly, it has been rolling around in my head. I love the idea of having a WORD and I have been experimenting with a couple. We'll see what sticks. By the way, I also love the little sweater you started the other day. I don't knit, well really I just can't seem to. I crochet instead. But I may have to try knitting again because it is just so darn cute! Let us see how cute you are in it when its all finished!
~Meredith

crymson said...

Hi Kerry,
I'm a long time lurker...although I did come out of lurkdom a couple years ago and ordered a couple bracelets from you. Anyway was at B+N today and browsed through Taking Flight based on your review and couldn't put it down! Thanks for the recommendation.

Amy

Cindy said...

Kerry
Thank you for sharing all of these thoughts, thoughts I think we can share and relate to...."token" is a wonderful way to slow down, appreciate, and listen to those whispers. You sure have a way with words. :-)

kelly rae said...

totally loving this story, how it all came together, how your intention and whispers marched their way thru. i think this piece is really fantastic and i'm loving the idea of a tokens journal. yes!