Recently, I had a chance to talk with Janet about imagination, creation and battling gremlins. Janet's words reminded me of the important job we all have in exploring inner landscapes. I'm so thrilled to present a piece written by Janet as well as some of her incredible work.
"I’ve always been a creative of some kind or another," Janet begins. "As a small child I was in constant communion with animals, trees, rocks, water, all of the elements really. I always lived in a world that was so much larger and more vibrant than the one we can experience with just our five senses. There were fairies in the forest that came to have acorn tea parties and I had long silent conversations with all my animal friends. I had a mad love for beauty from the time I was very young. My early elementary teachers pulled my mother aside to show her my gigantic, vibrant suns that clearly existed beyond the page. I would love to recapture and share that world now.
As an adult, creating jewelry, fiber pieces, painting, and even cooking and gardening allow me to explore that rich world, it’s there that I am most comfortable, more at home. I enjoy opening up to possibility, in fact I think it’s the job of the artist to bring possibilities to light. Surely these inner worlds exist somewhere or we wouldn’t “see” them so clearly. As artists we are given the responsibility to explore the invisible landscapes of who we really are, as individuals and as a species.
Bringing these innermost parts of ourselves to life can be really scary! I often see here on the TST artists that begin to make something for the weekly inspiration, they have a well thought out plan firmly seated in their comfort zone. Then for some reason it falls through and they take a risk maybe by trying a new medium or being spontaneous. I think it’s here that we find our best stuff, right on the edge of the desire for exploration and our fear. Here we find something out about ourselves, we do something that scares us a little, post it for the entire world to see and are paid well in the courage we find and the feedback from a community that has longed to see what’s really there. Like the Wizard hiding behind the curtain I automatically go to the medium where I am most confident, but I am able to find a real sense of accomplishment and self-acceptance when I expose my self in the place where I am least comfortable. I find it’s like a navigation tool guiding me to authenticity rather than to stay where it’s most comfortable where habit and repetition can easily take over.
Some of the insecurities that I face are that people will think I’m NUTS! I hear the gremlins in my head say, “Aaaaaack, Look at that! What makes Janet think she should put those colors together?!!? NOBODY does that!” Eventually I find that it matters little what the gremlins say and often the things I think are goobers, someone else likes. Go figure. Sometimes I like the pieces myself eventually. This happened recently with a painting I did in my mixed media class. I decided I really didn’t like the painting at all and I pushed it to the far recesses of some closet until, that is, a fellow student asked to buy it. The piece had spoken to her! Suddenly the painting was dear to me and I had to keep it. It may eventually end up in the hands of my friend but for now, it serves a reminder of who I really am."
To view more of Janet's work, please visit Janet's shops.
Etsy shop: http://janetdavies.etsy.com/
Second Etsy shop: http://lilacwoman.etsy.com/
New Artfire shop: http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=Shop&seller_id=14325
Thank you so much for sharing with everyone, Janet. Your exquisite work and incredible heart are an inspiration ...keep creating and creating and creating!