Alright so this is it - the final blog for "What They Don't Tell You" and at this point you may be wondering who "They" may be. If that is the case, please watch the following clip from Elizabethtown for the first 33 seconds then scroll down to read my last few tidbits of advice (for now).
My advice theme for today is............
the importance of POSITIVITY.
Now I realize this is a little contrary to my blog title, since I'm sure "they" have told you about a million times to look on the bright side. But I'm going to tell you HOW to do it.
When it comes to being happy there are a bunch of factors that go into that, and a huge one is where you live. If you hate where you live, you aren't going to be a very happy person. Which brings me to why I started the RVA landmark series of drawings and eventually the RVA calendar.
I used to hate Richmond. I feel terrible thinking that I once felt that way, because now I absolutely love it. The truth was, Richmond sort of intimidated me. When I went to VCU, I didn't exactly appreciate the atmosphere of the city. It made me feel claustrophobic and generally on-edge all the time. I'm very aware that a great deal of my less than total happiness was due to Ben going to a different school from me. My missing him made my environment feel lonelier than it actually was. So when he moved to RVA I was definitely happier, but I still wasn't feeling like I belonged here. Then as usual, art came to the rescue.
I've mentioned this before, but there is something totally awesome and completely out of my control that happens when I make art about something I don't understand or like. It's happened when I used to have nightmares about spiders and then I did a drawing of a bunch of spiders crawling on me and the dreams stopped. It's happened when I'm having a panic attack and I make a painting about all the stresses in my life and somehow I feel relaxed again. It's happened when I couldn't feel God's presence until I prayed to him through finger painting. Or when my fears of infertility were getting out of hand until I made a mixed media series of pregnant women and my fears subsided. I don't know quite how to explain it, but something takes a hold of my heart and pushes me into the right direction when I'm creating. Maybe it has something to do with focusing on my fears and making something visual out of my thoughts. But whatever the process is, it happened again when I started drawing my hometown.
I started with the Richmond city skyline and got a lot of positive feedback and the drawing sold! I then started researching famous landmarks in Richmond, drawing them and they sold too! I went downtown with my camera and took photos of some of my favorite places, The Byrd Theater, The Landmark (now Altria Theater), Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and many others. With each completed drawing I've done research on each landmark to learn about why/how/when it was made and by who. The more I learn the more I like this city, and the more I feel I can truly call it home.
Another necessity for a positive attitude is to surrounding yourself with positive people.
I am so grateful have my Ben who supports my career goals 100%. He's my cheerleader, my muse, my best friend, and a total hawtie. One of his best qualities is that he is an optimist. He always sees the bright side, which is something I frequently need when I'm feeling totally clueless, or uninspired, or poor...
I'll admit that sometimes I do live up to the artist stereotype of being a bit of an emotional basketcase and it's truly amazing to have him and my family and a few great friends to depend on when thinking positive gets difficult.
<-- Photo by Kristin Partin Photography
So in summary:
So this is the last of my three part advice blog extravaganza and I'd love to hear the best advice that you all have received throughout your life. Be it about business, relationships, overall happiness, etc. comment and share! You never know when something you say/write will make a huge impact on another person's life!
Hi friends! Welcome to the blog! I'm Mandy and I'm an artist, blogger & founder of the "Artists to Know" interview series. Here you'll find photos of my latest art adventures, furniture makeover projects & advice from successful artists!
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