I’m on a journey to expand my artistic endeavors. It’s not that I’m looking to change mediums, but I am looking to expand ways of telling my story. I’m looking for methods and techniques that will give me the tools to create more layered works of textile art.
This past weekend I took a Japanese calligraphy class. I’ve always been intrigued by Asian culture. I find the Asian culture graceful, delicate (that I’m not), and elegant. The idea of taking a calligraphy class is focused on writing. It’s a way to connote meaning. When most think of calligraphy they think of the writing they see on a wedding invitation. I wanted something more symbolic and since Japanese is not my native tongue; it made sense that I would be drawn to Japanese calligraphy.
The class started and the teacher puts up on the board the first character we were going to learn. There is an angle in the brush stroke that I found difficult. Why did I find it difficult? Well as it turns out, Japanese calligraphy was not created with a left-handed person in mind. It didn’t matter how I twisted and turned I wasn’t getting the correct angle.
The teacher asked me a question that I hadn’t expected. She said, “Do you think you could hold the brush in your right hand?” I really am not ambidextrous. I had a moment of anxiety, and then decided what have I got to lose? The rest of the class I used my right hand to learn the brush strokes.
Why did I do this? I did it for love. I did it because if I’m going to learn something new I want to give myself every advantage to succeed. It’s not as if I was engaging in neurosurgery. I was learning calligraphy. It was awkward. I was asking my right hand to engage in activities I never thought possible. I was actually creating the correct angles in the brush strokes with my right hand.
Venture out. Do something that may be a bit uncomfortable. Engage in a process that stretches you because that’s the healing part of art. Give yourself every opportunity to engage in ultimate self-expression. Just remember, you’re doing it for love.
Facing adversity in your life? Visit http://www.survivingstrong.com