living within the RAW :: how women who live a truthful life bequeath an artful life

April 10, 2011

by jenica mckenzie

we are all creative beings.  even as infants we longed to create: stacking wooden blocks to create towers and tearing them down just for the cheer joy of it.  seeing a beautiful meal placed before us and then painting with it, moving the textures in our hands, mashing it to bits and dumping it all over ourselves… creating yet another piece of art. ;-D have you ever given a baby a piece of paper?  this is what happens! when did we stop enjoying the simplicity of life unaltered?

so come back to a child-like abandon. being creative is part of your intuition, passed down through your very DNA. we are born to create.  and somewhere along the way, we allow voices of criticism (from those that lost their childhood openess) beat us down and tell us that living with our eyes and arms wide open to the joy of this world is something impossible.  and we put down the blocks and the crayons and we shelved our desire to create.  we told ourselves that it mattered whether or not someone liked what we made with our hands, forgetting entirely the joy that comes from making a mess on a table.  for one reason or not, we stopped playing in the dirt.  we allowed ourselves to believe that making mud pies was something dirty and not something that filled our afternoon agenda.

creativity doesn’t come in one box.  i am creative therefore i paint.  but that’s not all.  i’m creative because i can come up with a meal for seven people in 30 minutes.  i’m creative because i currently have six different types of milk in my fridge.  i’m creative because when i get dressed i can fashionably pair colors and patterns to create an edgy, yet comfortable wardrobe for myself.  i’m creative because when i look at the sky i take note of all the birds and wildlife in my view.

why are you creative?  can you balance budgets? do you have the ability to create spreadsheets in the blink of an eye? is your house spotlessly cleaned and organized? do you speak more than one language?  do you like pirates?  how about video games?  can you stitch a dress or maybe you stitch up a patients hand? do you bake yummy things? do you rock out in your car to the radio when you think no one is looking? whatever your niche is, it requires creativity.  you, yes YOU are a creative being.  and what you create matters.  it matters because it releases your stress, it melts away your tension, and it allows you to meditate on the things that are perplexing you.  this creativity strengthens you because it’s something you’re good at, it’s something that comes naturally, it’s a secret garden where we’re allowed to be completely and wholly ourselves.

so how do we transcend?  how do we embrace our inner messy creative selves?

i get it, we have to be responsible adults.  we have mortgages and car payments, we have to pay for our food and enjoyment.  and it’s hard to remember why we used to play, we can’t remember the emotional payoff from when we were children.  my daughter took a marker to herself today, up and down her legs, all over the walls and cabinets, in her armpits, even on her precious unicorn pillowpet.  i was so disappointed and angry. she ruined a lot of stuff!  i could only see it from my perspective in that moment, but i get it now.  because as i stand over a canvas i feel humbled to hold a pen to it, to see it take off and transform into a work of art. as she held the marker in her tiny hands she simply wanted to see what she could create.  how she could alter something that exists and make it her own.  so we make a comprimise, “you’re allowed to draw whenever you like, but it has to be on paper, and i will ALWAYS have paper on hand for you.”

we’re not going to be quiting our jobs to stay home all day and color pictures.  but we do need a safe place to cultivate that side of us again.  a place to get messy.  to me this is the heart and soul of Random Art Workshops.  being childlike makes us very vulnerable, being creative creates vulnerability, we’re leaving ourselves open to attack and outside criticism.  no wonder we don’t nurture this side of ourselves!  it’s SCARY!!!  so why not create a space where it’s entirely ok to get messy? in fact, that’s the motto: just get messy.  opening your home and your heart to others that are ready to nurture their creativity.  all of us in different circumstances with different abilities, but united in the promise to put that down for an evening, once a month at first.  dedicate that time to yourself.

but we also have to be accountable for that time.  we need the reminder to do it or we will procrastinate our own peace.  and this is where RAW bridges the gap.  having a group of people ready to walk forward together, a promise to allow this vulnerability to move each person, to share your life and your hearts as you create with your hands.  linking our minds and our hearts in one evening.  when you’re in that space with common intentions, the conversation will flow (and ebb, mind you) and you’ll realize it feels really good to tell the whole truth of yourself.  without relying on talking about anyone else to keep conversation going, but simply sharing your own truths.  because your truth deserves to be shared and heard.

but be prepared, because as you let down your guard, the troops of kindness will envelope you.  in this safe place where the paint is spilling or the knitting needles are clanking, something will happen.  real conversation, real worries, real life, real talk, real art.  the point isn’t to have a showing of your work, the point isn’t to create the mona lisa, the point is to nurture the child that is yearning to just CREATE something.

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7 Responses to “living within the RAW :: how women who live a truthful life bequeath an artful life”

  1. Corinne says:

    The perfect read and inspiration for the beginning of a new week :) I’m all revved up to go and create… thank you :)

  2. Jill nalette says:

    this post is so true and simply beautiful!
    hugs + smiles~ jill

  3. wonderfully insightful post. RAW sounds fabulous, can’t wait to learn more.

  4. robin says:

    Lovely AS ALWAYS in the wish studio…

  5. Emmanuelle says:


  6. Kat says:

    SO proud and amazed to be a part of this. Thank you Jenica!

  7. kelly barton says:

    how i love all of this. you simply get it. and for that i am thankful that i have you to nudge me with reminders.

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