Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blogtoberfest Day #25: Monica invites your creative beast out to play

Today's guest post is very close to my heart, as it was written by the very first person ever to discover my blog and comment on my fourth ever post! Monica, aka The Creative Beast, has since become a dear friend and someone I often turn to for support and inspiration, especially when it comes to the joys and challenges of living the life creative.

It was actually Monica who introduced me to Cathy, aka {tinniegirl}, who started Blogtoberfest and who invited me to host it this year. Monica had emailed me to say that she was about to attend a retreat in California with an artist who also lived in Melbourne, and duly put us in touch: the irony being that Cathy lived less than three kilometres from my home! So if it wasn't for Monica all the way over in LA, I would never have known that there was a kindred living a stone's throw away... and you wouldn't be reading this!

Thanks you Monica, for everything, but especially for these inspiring words:

The postcard above is one of several that make up my collection of graphic art promo postcards, which I began to collect back in the 1990s. I loved this image and the quote that were put together: something about it really stuck in my mind at the time and it was a manifesto of sorts for a number of years. Over time, though, it eventually moved to the back burner of my memory.

Until recently, when Kat asked me to contribute a guest post for Blogtoberfest.

I remembered this postcard, the image and the quote it held. This postcard still holds a great deal of meaning for me and I want to share it with you today.

I was always struck by the image of the clown in a straight-jacket. I was also struck by the look on his face. Despite the colorful makeup and a painted smile, this clown always looked rather sad to me. The underlying message always seemed to say that if you DON'T play it safe on the "sanity playground" (i.e. "play by the rules") with everyone else, you will be punished and indeed this message is a subtle and often insidious one for artists.

And yet, time and again, I constantly come across stories of people who were miserable and unhappy until they finally allowed the creative joy of ART and the making of it into their lives.

It seems to me that SANITY (playing safe) actually brings on misery and unhappiness!

I say the antidote is to bring more PLAYFULNESS, ART and CREATIVITY into our lives, as so many people are finally learning for themselves.

Ever since I discovered this old postcard, so many years ago, I have tried everyday to have some creative activity or sense of play in my life one way or another. It has brought wonderful and varied experiences such as working for amazing companies as Jim Henson Creature Shop and Disney Imagineering; writing and performing my own stories onstage; learning book binding; learning various techniques in mixed media and collage; learning advanced and unique jewelry techniques from amazing artists, discovering the world of art journaling, and finally gaining courage to begin and continue with my own blog, which has brought so many wonderful creative artists from different corners of the planet into my life (such as Kat!).

It has taken me many, MANY years to be able to claim to the world at large that I am indeed an Artist, but I have always known in my heart of hearts, since childhood, that I am an Artist. Whether or not I will be successful earning my living as an Artist is still a work in progress, but living my life as an Artist, as a CREATIVE BEAST, is something that I will do until my dying day.

I simply can not imagine living a life without ART, CREATIVITY and PLAYFULNESS in it.

Can you??

Today, inspired my Monica's marvellous example, how could you invite more art, creativity and -- perhaps most importantly -- play into your life?


  1. Yay! I love Monica :) I've been privileged to meet her in person, and she is so lovely, and kind, and funny, and inspirational!

  2. Kat, thank you again for inviting me to create a guest post for Blogtoberfest! You are a great hostess!!

    Thanks to Mel for leaving such a lovely comment - she is a FABULOUS gal and artist and I'm so glad I met her through Blogtoberfest which allowed me to meet her in real life too!! =-)

  3. I will always love the fact that it was someone in LA who actually introduced us. So amazing.

    And I love that gorgeous photo of Monica.