Creating an ‘African’ Statement for the City that Never Sleeps!

Synchronicity, Fashion and Travel

I was approached earlier this week by travel expert, Kendra Thornton — who has been featured on shows like Tyra Banks and Nate Berkus — she is planning a trip to New York with some of her friends and invited me to put together a potential outfit idea for her.

Kendra shares regular tips on planning, packing and numerous other aspects of travel (you can follow her on twitter @KendraThornton).  She is now starting a new project on fashion as related to travel and expressed a liking for my sense of style hence asking me to enter the challenge.

Funny thing is, it reminded me that one of the things I wrote down on my ‘wish-list’ for this year was a trip to New York (remember, that blog I wrote at the beginning of the year? 2014 — The Year to Sculpt Your Life!  I hope you’ve managed to write out your list!).

Sometimes life throws you a little reminder or synchronicity to rekindle your desires that you may have forgotten (read more about synchronicity HERE).

Back to the Challenge — Where to Start?

This is certainly going to be a challenge for me as I live in Cape Town, the laid-back capital of the surfing world — where flip-flops, cut off jeans and tees rule the day.

Who am I to put together and outfit for a night in New York?

Well, after much thought I decided that I was most definitely up for the challenge and embraced the idea of conjuring up a sassy yet feminine, sexy yet comfortable ensemble for Kendra (see bottom of blog for Kendra’s specifications).

I wanted to create something personal and unique for her and decided to:

  • Experiment with my very own trademark ‘spiral poppy’ design to fabricate a feminine flow to the ‘look’.  Not only will this design be right in line with Spring in The Big Apple but it will also be a first in NYC —  it always gives a girl the edge to be adorning something hot off the designers table.
  • Go for some accent European-themed gilded accessories to highlight Kendra’s golden tresses and bring out the spiral design in the top.
  • spirals in the karooAdd a touch of my authentic African roots by accentuating the spiral design throughout the outfit.  Why is this an ‘African’ thing?  Just look at the picture on your right — this is an aerial view of our very own ‘Nazsca’ lines in the Karoo (you can read the article about these strange spiral shapes that dot the Western Cape landscape HERE).
  • Pick a trendy pair of gold high-heel shoes that show a definite sense of urban sophistication yet are comfortable enough to walk about town in without breaking your neck.
  • Throw in a trim, figure accentuating denim jacket to beat the night chill.
  • Compliment that Spring poppy design by adorning the outfit with one of my practical yet glam mini Messenger Bags, and, finally…
  • Finish off the look with some gorgeous hair and make-up suggestions.  For this part you’re going to need to view my Pinterest board.

My Pinterest board has got all the links and prices of each piece used in this outfit which can be seen HERE.

Kendra was kind enough to really get specific about her needs and where she was heading for her night on the town to give me an idea of what to prepare for.

Here’s what she had to say about this project:

Kendra Fashion New York

How many moms do you know that are constantly runway-ready? Chances are that you don’t know very many.

In truth, trying to raise a family takes precedence above everything else. Even though I am in the midst of planning a trip to New York City with my best friends, I have lots of other things to think about. That is why I could use a bit of your help. I need to come up with the perfect outfit to go with a night of upscale dining and drinking delicious wines at the Dream New York.

My friends and I will be dining at Courgette, a restaurant focused on Northern-European cuisine. Located just a few steps from Times Square, you might think that Courgette is just another tourist attraction. This is not so in the least. It is intimate and quiet, yet somehow still whimsical while resting between Broadway and Seventh Avenue.

I look forward to feeling like I can slip into this beautiful garden restaurant and mingle with friends in the bistro or bar.

I look forward to enjoying antipasti, prosciutto and a fine glass of wine.

I look forward to the warm atmosphere, surrounded by vintage newspapers and playful pictures.

You really can’t expect to go to New York City without seeing a crowd of people who are very fashion-forward. This city has a unique heart and a style all its own. With so many choices available, I was able to use Gogobot to build my itinerary. Unfortunately, they couldn’t also plan my wardrobe for me! Dream New York is definitely one of the best hotels in the city, and I really want to look the part.

Wearing the right outfit will make my night so much more fun. I want to be trendy and fashionable, yet comfortable. Can you help me?

My Outfit Ensemble

This is what I have come up with — the total amount for this outfit is $389.88 and that includes all accessories, clothes and shoes:

Kendra's Wardrobe

Have Your Say!

  • What did you think of my wardrobe selection?
  • What would you have done differently?
  • Where in the world would you love to travel?
  • What have you always wanted in your wardrobe but never bought because you’d have nowhere to wear it?

To view the individual items on Pinterest and how much they cost, click on the picture below:

Pinterest Board

Other articles by Cherie Roe Dirksen you may enjoy:

Earth Day Sparks Off ‘Green’ Boutique

Astonishing Ways to Make Your Home Look Like a Luxury Retreat!

Never Before Seen Photographs of How I Paint My Patterned Poppies

Green Boutique Zazzle Logo
7 Tips on How to Market Your Art From Behind Your Desk

3 Crucial Steps to Self Acceptance

Feel Like a Rug Has Been Pulled Out From Underneath?

 

Self-Empowerment Books by Cherie Roe Dirksen:

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Table Books of Art and Inspirational Teachings by Cherie Roe Dirksen:

Creative Expression        Art Portfolio

7 Tips on How to Market Your Art From Behind Your Desk

Tree of Life Collage Icon

Here’s the million dollar question:

How do I get people to notice/buy my work? 

This article can pretty much pertain to every trade out there, however, I will be focusing mostly on art and visual products.

Do you have something you want the world to see and take note of?  How do you get yourself a bit of global attention?

The answer is simple…

Through hard shlogging and perseverance.

Not what you wanted to hear?  Probably not — most of us want to hit the big time and go viral on our first attempt at world domination.  There is no ‘quick fix’ when it comes to marketing yourself.

Eating the Elephant One Bite at a Time (Poor Pachyderm!)

However, all is not lost and not achieving instant notability can actually be good news for you.

Why?

It means that you still have a chance if you haven’t hit the jackpot yet.

Very few people win the lottery and going viral is the same.  Most successful people attained their success by slowly and steadily winning their race.

How to Keep Abreast — Are you a DD?

Truth is, you will get noticed and you definitely can ‘make’ it — you just need to exercise what I call the ‘double d’ strategy — dedication and drive.

If you are truly passionate about what you do — you’ve got the drive.  If you can focus on and strive to do something daily that brings you closer to your dream or goal — then you’ve got the dedication.

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” — Confucius

Let’s Get to the Juicy Bits

Mona on EaselI hired a professional marketing consultant when I first started out and this is the advice she gave me:

  • Know your target market/audience — this is who your work is going to appeal to.  You don’t want to be pitching a high-definition print of a formula 1 automobile to a 64-year-old woman (unless you find yourself one racy old granny) — your target market would most likely be males aged between 16 – 45.  Likewise, don’t try selling your recipe ebook ’20 Ways to Prepare Fried Chicken’ to a vegetarian.  Do your research and find out who your product will appeal to.
  • Get Yourself a Website — this will be where you want your target audience to visit.  WordPress sites are really great and easy to use.  You will also need to start building a subscriber list so that you can keep your readers/clients up-to-date with all your latest creations.  I use a really great e-mail marketing site called Mailchimp.  But how to you get people to come to your site?
  • Blog/Guestblog — This is where the real work begins… You need to gain authority in  your chosen field.  So, for instance, if you are a photographer then blog about what inspires you to go out and take pictures.  Then accompany the article with your photos and links to your print store (more about selling your prints later on in this article).  Then you need to look for other sites/blogs in your arena that accept guest writers.  What is a guest writer?  Someone who provides content (articles) for a given site in exchange for publicity.  Most of these sites will allow you to include a short biography and picture at the bottom of your guest blog with a link-back to your site and social networks. You should target sites that have at least 5000 followers/readers and try to write for at least 2 – 5 different sites.
  • Comment/Interact on Social Networks/Sites — this is extremely important.  There is nothing more irritating than someone who only plugs their own wares.  Go and leave feedback for other people on their work and interact with people in groups and social networks like twitter and facebook business pages.  You’ll meet loads of new and exciting peeps and you will expose yourself to what is out there in your field.  Don’t see other creatives as ‘competition’, rather look at them as ‘inspiration’.  Get involved with community boards and share not only your work but the work of others too.  Don’t forget to write back to people who leave you comments.  Treasure the feedback of others!

Right, so that is how to get your creative wares out into the market place.

Passive Income Generators Every Artist Should Know About

Now, for those of you who have something visual to market — these are the 2 sites that work the best for me when it comes to selling your stuff on products, prints, etc:

Redbubble is a print-on-demand site for artists and writers.  You can upload your work onto prints, cases, cards, stickers and t-shirts.  They are really easy to work with and they have a great artist community along with loads of groups you can join and interact with.  Below is a snapshot of my Redbubble profile:

Redbubble

Zazzle are also a print-on-demand site.  They offer an extensive range of products that you can put your designs on — from lamp shades, cushions, plates, mugs, teapots to puzzles, wrapping paper, clothing, skateboards (just to name a few!).

Below is a snapshot of what my Zazzle store looks like:

ZazzleThen, lastly, I want to recommend you use Pinterest (which is the visual equivalent of facebook).  It is a great tool to use to promote your work and you never cease to get inspiration from what other people put on there!  It is truly a visual wonderland of images and ideas.

Here is what my Pinterest profile looks like:

PinterestYou may have wondered why I have used all of my own accounts in this article and the reasons are:

  1. I am cunningly promoting my own stuff (shameful?…well, not really — this is how you do it!)
  2. I did this so you can snoop around to your heart’s content on how to go about using these sites effectively.  I am leaving it up to you to go and see the way I have set up my accounts and how I use each listing to refer back to my site.

I hope this article has given you the tools to get out into the big wide cyber-world and showcase your masterpieces!

If you have any feedback, comments or sites you’d like to recommend  — please do so in the comment box below.

You may also enjoy:

Creating an ‘African’ Statement for the City that Never Sleeps!

Creative Expression Brought to Life on Youtube (Watch for Free)

8 Motivating Tips on Writing and Self-Publishing Your Own Book

Valentines Day Digital Art — See How It’s Done in Under 3 Minutes! You Won’t Believe How Easy It Is…

The Bald-Faced Truth About Self-Portraits — Photographs and All!

De-Stress with Free Colour Therapy for You and Your Family

Cherie Roe Dirksen’s ART COLLECTIONS

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How Taking Things Personally Can Stump Your Creativity

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“Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz

If you have a fear about what people will think of what you have to offer — your particular brand of creative expression — then this could be a serious obstacle.

So try and read this with that in mind and then answer this question:

Can I reveal the gifts of my soul to the world even if some may not approve, be ready for, or understand me?

If you can, you are standing in your integrity and are resolute about who you are.  If not, try to get to the root of why you hand your power over to other people for approval.

This article may also help:  Making a Commitment to Creativity…Do You Lack Self-Worth?

Do You Take Things Personally?

SunsetWhen you take something personally or are offended, you are inadvertently agreeing with what has been said about you.

Does this ring true or are you still having a hard time grappling with this concept?

If you are still wrestling with this statement, it could stem from not being able to take responsibility for your own thought streams and self-identification.  I know this sounds a bit harsh but if we are going to effectively tackle self-worth issues; we need to get our hands initially dirty so that we can give them a good scrubbing.

Complete Honesty is Required

A wise man is superior to any insults which can be put upon him, and the best reply to unseemly behavior is patience and moderation. ~Moliere

When someone insults you it is only the tip of the iceberg to what’s lying underneath.  When you feel slighted you are actually supporting the view of your counterpart because it has touched a nerve.  If your nerves are being twisted, you know there is something more to the perceived insult that meets the eye.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. ~Carl Jung

The person doing the insulting is only reminding you of something that needs to be taken out within yourself to have a good, long and hard look at.  Although you probably won’t want to give them a gold medal for their efforts, I assure you that some people are in this life to push your buttons.  Although this may seem unloving, they actually give you the opportunity to reconsider your belief structures – a chance to turn your trash into treasure.

Taking a Look at the Opposite Pole — Confidence

GirlIf someone tried to hurt you, or perhaps even unintentionally, says something to you that you don’t agree with – no problem – you usually brush off this kind of ‘offense’ because it really doesn’t bother you.  It could be an area in your life that you are 100% sure you have waxed.

We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies. ~Roderick Thorp

So for instance, you are a rocket scientist and someone calls you stupid, the chances of you having a wobbly melt-down in the public lavatory are going to be slim. But let’s take another example, perhaps one that we all have had to deal with in one way or another.

Vanity Fair or Foul?

Let’s say you are happy with your appearance and feel you are a fine specimen, someone passes by in a vehicle and shouts out, ‘hey, freak!’

It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to. ~W.C. Fields

Do you agree with that or not? If you are 100% confident that you are a perfectly dashing human being, just as the Universe intended, then you would most likely shrug the comment off and have a good chuckle about it. Why? This is because you whole-heartedly disagree with the statement.

However, if you are someone whose confidence peaks and troughs daily, you will probably instantly go into depression.  The nerve that has been struck is your internal agreement about yourself, not what the other person has said.  All they have done is ignited the spark on the BBQ that you are going to make sure you roast on.  It is a form of self-torture.   To agree with anyone over anything stemming from feelings of lack is disempowering.

Re-examine all that you have been told…dismiss that which insults your soul. ~Walt Whitman

We live and we learn, we travel within and we discover who we are.

When you feel confident about who you are, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks and you are free to express the many wonders that your unique soul has to offer.

Original article written by Cherie Roe Dirksen for Purpose Fairy. 

Next installment:  9 Truths About Letting Go of Opinions that Taint Us

You may also enjoy:

Live Like You Mean It — Live With Conviction!

What Excuse is Keeping You in a Holding Pattern?

How to Get Your Creative Space Working For You

Are You Letting Your Creativity Show?

7 Proven Tactics to Spread Joy Around the World

What Excuse is Keeping You From Your Creativity?

This is going to be short, sweet and to the point because I’m in a ‘no bullshit’ kind of mood today.

I’m Pointing my Finger at You!

If you are someone who knows they have an artistic streak buried inside (and believe me, this is aimed at most of the global population) and is not expressing it due to failure of inspiration/motivation/so-called ability or inability/having time/blah blah blah…This blog is for you!

Yes, you know who you are.

Extricating All Obstacles from Every Crevice

There is really only one way to put this.  Either go get a box of matches, erect a neat little pile of kindling, light it and hover your backside over the flames (aka. get a fire lit under your arse!) or you can gently remove the finger that is plugging up your nether regions (i.e. pull finger!).

No seriously, this is a no-brainer, if you want to get creative you will find a way.  If you make excuses  you are shooting yourself in the foot — you are the only loser in this game of if’s and but’s (or butt’s, as this case may be).

There is no need to ‘think’ about it, there is only a need to act.  Simple.

Well?  What are you waiting for!  Get going!!!  As Yoda said, ‘do or do not, there is no try’.

If you need a further push and reason to get creative, read this:

9 Great Reasons for Getting Creative (No Artistic Experience Needed)

Other articles you may enjoy:

Is Social Networking Stifling Your Creative Juices?

How to Get Your Creative Space Working For You

Incredible Inspiring Art by Stephen Wiltshire

Why Creativity Connects You to Your Wellbeing

Look at how the creativity in others touches your own life. Try to imagine the world we live in without creativity — envisage Vincent Van Gogh deciding he was no good at painting and never picking up a paintbrush hence not allowing his perspective of beauty and vibrant energy to emerge onto a canvas. Or, how about the auditory delights of a classical composer like Camille Saint-Saens lacking the confidence to grace our ears with his peaceful and evocative rendition of an aquarium? The list could go on as we venture into the world of artistic genius and splendour but I’m sure you get the bleak picture of what our lives would be like if we lacked creativity or the drive to be imaginative.

“When you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life.” — Confucius

We feed ourselves with all kinds of things — physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Some things will nourish us while others may be toxic to our delicate systems. Our discernment with what serves us is integral and keeps us either fulfilled or leaves us feeling frustrated and empty. We can do everything ‘by the book’ — for instance, maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet, exercise regularly or get enough sleep. However, if we are suppressing our inner desire to express ourselves, we are denying the one thing that could lead to genuine fulfillment and wholeness.

Take Back Your Creative Control

For those of you who feel that creativity is someone else’s job or you don’t have a creative bone in your body — think again!

Everybody has a spark of creativity within — you don’t have to be a master artist, musician, or architect to be able to express yourself. It is how you conduct yourself in whatever vocation you have chosen that will determine your quality of life and the joy you inject into your surroundings. A mortician can be creative, a nurse can bring vibrance into her workplace — anyone can exude creativity and beauty into their surroundings, it is how you utilize your talents not what your job is that truly counts and defines who you are.

When you embrace your creative flare, you, and those around you, will benefit in more ways that you can imagine. Here’s why:

Not only do you as an individual benefit from lateral and imaginative thinking and then manifesting creation through your skill or expertise, but society benefits too. Can you conceive a world without playwrights, chefs, teachers, musicians, programmers, healers, writers, homemakers, artisans, designers, gardeners, etc? All of these people can, and in many cases do, exercise creative flow with everything they do — regardless of their so-called profession. When you find genuine job fulfillment and gratification, it will be felt by those whom you either interact with or are providing a service for.

The effect of more lateral thought, or thinking ‘out of the box’, and creative endeavor will not only lead you to a space of satisfaction and wellbeing but will reflect in the macrocosm around you. Your ripple effect will be felt by many who will, hopefully, ignite their own spark of creativity to share with the world.

Benefits of Creativity

Creativity is a vital component in society as a whole but what are the immediate benefits to you, the individual?

When you pursue your form of creativity — this could be anything that helps you to relax and express yourself — you will:

  • De-stress — When you are in your own creative space, you are more likely to drift away from the material world around you and focus on the inner desire to express through your perspective. This act will decrease your stress levels and automatically put you in a place of ‘time-out’ and relaxation. In an article written by Elizabeth Scott, M.S., she discusses how clinical art therapy is proven to reduce stress through distraction — being so engrossed in a task that inevitably leads you to attain a clear head. She also outlines that being in this flow can be likened to being in a meditative state, which brings with it the added benefits of meditation and stress relief. Having a hobby is essential in promoting balance in your lifestyle and some much-needed ‘down time’.
  • Stimulate — You will be stimulating the right hemisphere of your brain — the imaginative, lateral mindful state that is induced when you are in your creative ‘zone’. We need balance in all aspects of life and using the right and left hemisphere of the brain is no different. We are usually very much engaged in our left brain — the practical and linear way of thinking — so it is very important to take a vacation to the other side and stretch your legs with imagination, beauty and expressiveness. You will find that when you do this you have a better balance in your everyday life and are less likely to burn-out or have a breakdown.
  • Enjoy — Pursuing your creative flame ensures that you will tickle the inner child that bursts to express joy and ingenuity. When you do this, you will find that the tasks you do that invoke such inventiveness also bring elation. Connecting with your creativity will connect you with your joy.
  • Find Satisfaction — Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said that our intrinsic motivation is whatever produces flow which ultimately becomes its own reward. When you are in this flow of creative expression, you will feel the ultimate satisfaction. When you take pleasure in what you do, you are contributing your valuable, unique skill to the world — what more satisfaction do you need?

What Can You Do Now To Engage in Creativity?

How can you practically find what it is that will bring you this satisfaction? Try answering these simple questions:

  • What is it, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you right now, that makes you feel a sense of timelessness?
  • Gives you a feeling of peacefulness or sereneness?
  • Lets you focus and be immersed in your imagination?
  • Gives you a sense of joy that is not related to any external source? In other words, it is coming from your sense of purpose or originality.

Sometimes we dismiss the very thing that is our pure, originative source of creativity. It could be the mindless doodling you draw in the side column of your desk pad that may end up being the foundation of a career in design. It might even be that green thumb you’ve always had in the garden that leads you down the path of professional landscaping. No matter how big or small the basis of this creativity is, you cannot know where it will lead you if you do not pursue it.

Everybody has a gift although the packages may vary. If you are truly stumped, then go out into the big wide world and find something that interests you. Take an art class or a creative writing course — keep trying new things until you find something that clicks into place for you. But, most important of all, life is about the journey — have fun in the process of finding and exploring the inner creative! •

© 2012 Cherie Roe Dirksen. All rights reserved.

Original article posted on Creativity Portal:  Why Creativity Promotes Wellness – De-stress, Enjoy Yourself, Find Satisfaction · Creativity-Portal.com.

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Other blogs by Cherie Roe Dirksen you may enjoy:

How to Paint Rhino’s and Evoke Protective Spells

The Universe is Abundant, Why Aren’t You?

Astonishing Ways to Make Your Home Look Like a Luxury Retreat

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Synchronicity Now!

3 Crucial Steps to Self Acceptance

Self-Empowerment Books by Cherie Roe Dirksen:

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Table Books of Art and Inspirational Teachings by Cherie Roe Dirksen:

Creative Expression        Art Portfolio

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3 Motivational Tips on Getting Back into the Artistic Arena

I am back from my trip to Egypt and what an adventure it was!  More about that on my Thursday blog though.

Inspiration and Chaos

It was a whirlwind of events, inspiration, emotion and culture shock but inevitably, on the plane home, I started processing my experiences and began to drift into the abyss of ‘what am I doing with my life?’.

You know the feeling, right?  You go on holiday and then you have to come back home to the same old same old…

“Go full throttle or go hide under a rock!  Instead of grabbing the bull by the horns, grab it by the balls…more risky but you will get an infinitely more intense reaction.”

Not me!  I made a firm decision not to climb back into my safety box — Oh no!

Time for Change

So what changed?  3 things spring to mind:

  1. More Risk — I decided I needed to take more risks.  So what if I fail, at least I tried!  This can be on the artistic front and dabbling more in multi-media projects;  trying out new techniques and new marketing techniques.  In fact, a few days before I left, a good friend of mine and NLP/Reiki coach (www.soulworks.co.za), did some Reiki on me and said that when she approached my throat chakra, she sensed that I was not sticking my neck out enough.  How right she was!  The trip made me see even more clarity in that statement.  Go full throttle or go hide under a rock!  Instead of grabbing the bull by the horns, grab it by the balls…more risky but you will get an infinitely more intense reaction.
  2. Simplify — My day-to-day life and schedule was a bit ‘all over the place’.  My big toe was in this venture and that.  I needed to get real about my goals and to simplify my agenda.  This took me one afternoon to sit down and write out my new set of goals and ambitions.  Now I have a clear intention about where I am heading and it is much more flexible than my old agenda.  I have a lot more free time to just be.
  3. Be Authentic — Find out what you are about. What sets you apart from others?  What is your true passion?  What can  you do differently?  How can you incorporate all your multi-faceted uniqueness into one ball of creativity?  Brainstorm these questions and come up with your own set of rules for riding out the next wave of your life.  Surfs up!

The last thing I’d like to add is — don’t sweat the small stuff.  We often get so hung up on the finer details of life instead of looking at the bigger picture.

“You will be amazed at how other people don’t really care about your failures, it’s more about your damaged ego than their perception of you…”

Everything will be alright if you are in your integrity and walking your path of power and purpose.  Trust in that and enjoy your life to the fullest.

If you fall off the bike, dust yourself off and get back on again.  Who’s looking anyway?  You will be amazed at how other people don’t really care about your failures, it’s more about your damaged ego than their perception of you, so what have you got to lose?

Finally, what are you doing to increase your creative stamina and keep the flame alive?

Get your lucky-packet of free stuff when you SIGN UP HERE

New Beginnings…Building up an Art Collection from Scratch

Faith Repaid

A couple of weeks ago I had a buyer who practically cleaned out my stock of paintings.  This was great as I was still trying to source funds for a trip to Egypt I had already booked.  My theory behind booking the holiday before I had the funds was:

  1. I am using the Law of Attraction and you must have faith that what you need is on its way
  2. I will procrastinate about going for the rest of my life if I didn’t make a move NOW
  3. I had finally convinced my husband that we NEEDED to go (lol) after many years of begging and never being able to be on the same page about this particular destination.  He had a bad experience going through Cairo on his way to Israel many years ago.  So, again, I felt the time for action had finally reared its persistent head.

Manifestation Elation

Right, so with all that said, I licensed some of my art to a home goods chain store in the US and sold most of my art collection after I had put my trust in the manifestation of the money process and had gone ahead and booked the holiday.  Fancy that?!

Now What?

Now here I sit.  My site where I sell my work is looking very bleak at the moment and I am pressed for time with mustering up another collection as my trip is literally around the corner and the paperwork is still being processed, which leaves me anxious about wrapping up the details.

A New Perspective

But then my dear partner pointed out that this is a whole new beginning for me — a clean slate to start afresh.

“I know about the law of least effort (thanks to Deepak Chopra) and I am applying it to my life.”

No matter how long it takes to build this up again, I get the chance to truly go further into what I want to paint and how long I take doing it is entirely up to me.  There should be no pressure with the creative process, only enjoyment and true expression of what needs to come out and manifest in this reality.

So with that in mind, I will be starting this new adventure by going out into the big wide world and seeking the beauty and inspiration I need to get this new collection on the go.

The ‘old’ me would be frantically running around like a headless chicken trying to paint and build up some stock but the ‘new’ me knows better.  I know about the law of least effort (thanks to Deepak Chopra) and I am applying it to my life.  I have given myself no time limits and will now let it flow naturally…

I promise to document the process, so look out for this in my Tuesday Art Blog.

Thanks for looking!

Don’t forget to claim your FREE copy of ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration….’ (along with other bonus free gifts)

My Art Portfolio book is also available as a glossy paperback (click on book to take you to the bookstore)

 

 

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A Look Behind the Scenes — Painting an Abstract Landscape

Photographing the Stages of Painting an Abstract Landscape

I photographed the process of painting one of my big landscapes.  I thought it would make an interesting pictorial blog.

I have done a detailed description at the end of this blog outlining the inspiration and details that went into the piece, along with the title and measurements.

The original is sold but it is available as prints, posters and greeting cards.

 Here it goes:

And then finally, drum-roll please, the finished product:

Cosmic Dance by 

Acrylic and textured acrylic on Canvas — 40″ × 30″

INSPIRATION BEHIND THE ART:

It probably goes without saying that I love the work of Van Gogh. I had a dream the night before I embarked on this painting.

I was in a field and was looking up at the night sky and the stars. I’m not sure if the spirit of Van Gogh was with me or if he was standing by my side, but I was being shown how he saw the night sky. How the stars looked like wormholes and were dancing and twinkling. When I woke up I knew exactly how I wanted to paint this picture and this is the product.

This painting was also done to the sounds of Tchaikovsky. I was also burning lavender and vanilla essence which is very calming and soothing, and vanilla is said to be an aphrodisiac — so this painting is one for the bedroom!

(PS.  No, I don’t paint in my Sunday best — this was taken the day after I finished)

Thanks for looking!

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5 Tips on Getting Back In The Groove

Lost your Mojo?

This can apply to any creative endeavour.  When you feel like you have done all there is to do or that you just don’t know where to turn next, you have lost your groove!

“I was selling out and painting what the public wanted.”

I was feeling really stifled a while ago (actually, it was only about a month ago) with my art. I felt like I was selling out and painting what the public wanted.  I really wanted to get into my own style and flavour of art.  But I was holding myself back.

I wrote quite a few blogs on the process that you can read here:

The Space Within Series — Inner Art

Going Deeper…Inner Art Expression

Got It! Inner Art Expression Expressed

Digging even deeper…Inner Art Expression

I just want to outline a few steps that you can take to find your creative space.

5 Tips for Getting Your Groove On:

  • Quiet Time — Meditate on the problem and the solution.  Give yourself some time-out to reflect and to plot your new course of action.  You can’t just pile one idea on top of another, this will make you feel scattered and all over the place.  Lay to rest what you have been doing that no longer serves you and make way for the new.
  • Space — Give yourself a proper working space.  Your very own creative space where you can go to when you are feeling inspired or to get inspired.  A place that will trigger your creativity.  If you already have one but it doesn’t work then look around you, does it need a clean up?  Can you make it a working space?  Are you holding yourself back by dumping things in your creative space and cluttering it up so that you won’t have to use it?  Or worse,  you use this as an excuse for why you can’t get anything done.
  • Creative Time — Allocate yourself time for your passion.  It can be an hour a day or a week.  Whatever is realistic to you.  Hold yourself accountable for that time.  Get a whiteboard and plot out a schedule on it, put it somewhere where you will see it everyday.
  • Freedom — Allow yourself to express whatever needs expressing.  Give yourself the freedom to step out of any box you may have built around your unique talents.  Do what you feel like doing.  No matter how bizarre it may seem to you in the moment.  These things have a way of unraveling themselves with divine perfection and timing.
  • Plan — When you are in the zone it feels amazing.  What happens when you are finished with this project though?  This is the process of life, we usually get nicely wrapped up in the journey but when we arrive, there is a sense of disappointment.  Give yourself a game plan to work on for the next creative explosion.  Mark out on your board when you are going to begin, what you need and where you will take yourself to find the necessary inspiration.  Even if the original idea morphs into something completely different — it is a starting point.

Paint on Canvas

Using the techniques above, here are my last 3 projects that have given me so much satisfaction.  I have been using acrylic, textured acrylic and spray paint and it has been a blast!

Let me know what you think.  I have also included some photos of me with the paintings, so you can get a feel for the size of the paintings…

I am happy to say that the originals have found new homes but they are all available as prints (click on photo’s to take you to store).

The 2 above have been purchased by the same client, so they are sharing a home which is kind of nice to know.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and inspired?  Please share your tips and secrets with us.

If you are feeling stuck with inspiration, why not subscribe now and get your FREE copy of ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration…’ — no strings attached!  Click on picture below to sign up, you will receive your copy in the welcome e-mail:

Creative Expression

The Zen of Art

What better way to gift yourself than to spend some quality time creatively expressing your inner feelings?

 “The Dreamers Night Sky” by Cherie Roe Dirksen

I have only recently allowed myself to truly ‘let go’ and I found my form of expression which is more abstract than traditional (see above).  It has been a liberating experience to finally have the freedom to do this and no-one was stopping me but me.

“My first step was awareness of the deep need for my true expression to come through.”

When I discovered this, it was my call to action.  My first step was awareness of the deep need for my true expression to come through.  I then took responsibility for blocking myself and learnt the lesson behind why I was doing that.  The final step I took was action —  to bring about a new timeline or creative direction for myself.

A Call to Action

Free up some space this weekend or in the evening to tap into the inner child that just wants to finger paint and get mucky, cut out colourful pictures and make a collage or just do some ‘mindless’ doodling.

Why is this important?

When we give ourselves time out to practice creativity we are:

  • Honouring ourselves by allowing time for ‘play’
  • Tapping into the right hemisphere of the brain and our source of creativity
  • Setting a scene of tranquility and ‘time-out’ from the noise of our left brain
  • Allowing ourselves freedom of expression
How will this benefit me?

Expressing your creative flare is priceless but here are some key factors for why allowing yourself time and space for artistic endeavour is good for you:

  • De-stressing
  • Calming
  • Personal Fulfillment
  • Integral Time for Inner Reflection
  • Inner Balance
Try creating a tranquil, serene place where you can retreat to when you feel like you are in the ‘zone’ for artistic expression.
Is there anything stopping you?  Please feel free to comment on any of these questions or others that may arise…

What has been blocking your creative flow?  

Are you feeling constricted by the lack of artistic expression you are allowing yourself?  

What practices do you use to overcome creative blocks?  

What things do you tell yourself are more  important than expressing yourself?

Dont forget to SUBSCRIBE and get your FREE copy of ‘Creative Expression — How to find your inspiration…’ SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE 100% FREE and you can opt out at any time.

If you would like to read more about my journey to finding my inner expression, please click on the links below:

The Space Within Series — Inner Art

Going Deeper…Inner Art Expression

Got It! Inner Art Expression Expressed

Digging even deeper…Inner Art Expression

Digging Even Deeper…Inner Art Expression

Please read the past articles relating to this blog HERE (Going Deeper…Inner Art Expression) and HERE (Got It!  Inner Art Expression Expressed).

The Cosmos on a Canvas

A couple of weeks ago my hand, brush, paints and right brain hemisphere took my canvas on a journey into a very colourful cosmos.  Here is the outer manifestation of this inward expression:

‘The Bridge’ — Acrylic on Canvas — 18″ x 24″ 

I hope you like it.

If you are an artist, what are your biggest stumbling blocks?  What do you still wish you could do or want to achieve?

If you are an art lover, then what do you like to see in a piece of art?  What get’s you going?

I would love to hear from you…

Got It — Inner Art Expressed!

Please recap on last weeks article HERE.

I left off with saying that I still felt something was wrong.  An inner imbalance, something was crying out!

What Could Possibly Be Amiss?

I sat on my couch looking at my painting, still feeling that something was out of alignment.  Do I still have to dig even deeper?

“If you don’t try, you’ll never know…”

A voice seemed to be asking me questions in my head.

Higher Guidance from my Higher Self (HS)?

HS:  What are you feeling?

Me:  Constricted.

HS:  Why?

Me:  I want to paint bigger.

HS:  A-ha!  You’ve been wanting to do that for the past 2 years now.  What is stopping you?

Me:  Big canvas is expensive and it means more paint and materials — I also want to experiment with different materials and it is all costly.

HS:  If you don’t try, you’ll never know.  Take the expense risk just for one week and see how it goes.

Me:  OK.

Stepping Out of the Box

It dawned on me how I put myself in a box.  I subconsciously and consciously limit myself by talking myself out of something for whatever reason.  And usually, they are not good reasons.

“You’ve got nothing to lose except living with regret for not trying.”

If you don’t try, you’ll never know.  So try and at least you can say you have taken that step.  If you succeed — great!  If you don’t, well then just see it as feedback.  You’ve got nothing to lose except living with regret for not trying.

So with that in mind, I came up with this:

I have called it ‘The God Code after the revelations that Gregg Braden has discovered that we possess a code in our DNA that literally translates, in Hebrew, to ‘God Eternal, in the body’.

I also had an epiphany to use all 4 senses whilst painting, I mean why not?!?  Before I started I got the distinct message that I was going to paint something that was healing and enlightening to the observer.  So I wanted to incorporate smell, touch, spirit and sound (I left taste out, for obvious reasons — unless you want a tongue full of chemicals!).

So this painting has been infused with:

  1. Rosemary and Lavender (I instinctively chose these two out of my garden.  When I later looked up the properties, you guessed it, lavender is for healing and Rosemary is for remembering — which you could say would be ‘enlightening’).  I made a tea out of it and used it in my brush water.  I also lit myrrh incense which is apparently good for tranquility.
  2. Prayer for the observer to obtain healing and enlightenment through the art/visual resonance (trying to emulate Dr. Masaru Emoto‘s fine work with water and the effects that positive words and emotions has on it).
  3. Bach.  I played my Bach CD on repeat until I was finished with the painting.  So it is infused with sacred, cosmic sound.
  4. Different textures.  I used a great granulated paint that is awesome to touch.  I also used a glass liner to add some raised pattern effects.

Let me know what you think?  What comes up for you when you look at this painting?  Come on, let me have it — the good and the bad.

Going Deeper…Inner Art Expression

Please read last weeks art blog HERE to recap on this interesting new artistic expression I have discovered in me.

Boring…

This week I started off doing my usual weekly art schedule.  Painting pretty pictures (you know, the ones that ‘sell’) and when I got to the end of the day this one popped out.

It truly took me by surprise as I didn’t know I had it in me.

What Sparked It?

I was listening to a talk on Project Camelot by Compton Rom Bada from ascendedhealth.com (do check it out — quite remarkable!).  In a nutshell, it was about how our body is made out of 90% microbes and while I was listening and painting — what I thought was going to be a cosmos painting — started automatically painting what looks like the ‘inner body’.  The microcosm cosmos.

Let it Flow

I love how my hand was just running over the canvas and splashing and doing all sorts of ‘things’ that I don’t normally do.  I just went with the flow and enjoyed the process.

Quite interestingly, the painting only took me about half an hour to complete.  I usually take about 2-3 hours for this size.  So there we have the law of least effort in place and working.

I sat on the couch after this episode and looked at the painting.  I liked it — it was different and different is good for me now.  Something was still wrong though…

The Missing Link by Cherie Roe Dirksen

I will let you know in next weeks art blog the epiphany I had!  And, hopefully, will have some tangible evidence thereof….

The Space Within Series — Inner Art

Artistic Frustration

I am experimenting with what I like to call ‘inner art’.  I have always been intrigued with abstract art and especially art that explores patterns, sacred geometry, space, shapes and colour.

“This series is going to be a reflection of how I feel inside, what is desperate to come out.”

But, professionally, I paint more traditional art and cater to ‘the market’.  This series is going to be a reflection of how I feel inside, what is desperate to come out.  Don’t get me wrong, I love painting the things I do, it’s just sometimes I want to ‘break free’ of the conformity and do something purely for myself.

“Whether we are looking through a microscope at the inner workings of our bodies or whether we are looking through a telescope at the cosmos — I can see a notable link.” 

The colours and shapes are all a mix of the inner space coming out into the material world.  I love the theory that we are a microcosm for the macrocosm, as within so without.

Our bodies are made up of omni-central atoms, everything is circular and has the sacred geometry formula.  Whether we are looking through a microscope at the inner workings of our bodies or whether we are looking through a telescope at the cosmos — I can see a notable link.

Unity Principle

The Universal Unity Theory — for me — is the certainty that every one and every thing is connected on some level and I hope this comes across in my art

‘A leap of faith’ (painting above) represents the push into the unknown.  This is something I have been battling with recently and decided to express it through painting.

I want to be free to do what I want, paint what I want, say what I want — a leap into integrity, I suppose.  Wouldn’t the world just be a wonderful place if we could all express ourselves freely and without judgement or fear?

What are your thoughts on freedom of expression and the fear of ‘exposing’ yourself?

Left:  A close up of ‘A Leap of Faith’

Art Commissions — The Soulworks Project (Part 4)…The Finished Product!

Please read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 to recap.

Let’s Pick Up with a Hiccup!

So I left off last weeks blog with a slight hiccup…

My client came to see the painting and she liked it but I could sense something was bothering her.

“I had misinterpreted her want for silver, black, a hint of green, pink and purple tones to mean that was all the colours she wanted in the piece.”

When we got into it she divulged that she had wanted more of an orange/pink glow in the sunset and that the whole painting was a bit monotone.  I had misinterpreted her want for silver, black, a hint of green, pink and purple tones to mean that was all the colours she wanted in the piece.

This turned out not to be the case.

What to do next?

I listened to her requests and told her that I would first come up with a digital overlay of what she was asking for.

“It is important to listen to the needs of your client…”

I do this to see what the painting will look like with the changes and if it actually suits the painting.  Here is what I came up with:

What I did here was take the photo of the painting and use the ‘airbrush’ feature in my Ulead programme (most photo editing packages have an airbrush feature) to paint in the required adjustments.

I saw that it actually brought the picture to life.

It is important to listen to the needs of your client but it is also important to stick with the integrity of the painting.  What does that mean?

Integrity Check

Well, if I feel that the changes that the client wants do not fall in line with the artwork then I will let them know.  If I feel strongly that it will ‘take away’ from the artwork, then I try to explain the potential hiccups in changing the piece.

However, in this case, the changes my customer wanted actually enhanced the artwork and I had to agree with her in the end, that it was for the betterment of the piece.

Once we had discussed all the little changes she wanted, I went back to the drawing board (or easel, in this case).

The Finished Project

After implementing the final adjustments to the painting, the Soulworks Project was complete!

Here is a picture of the finished artwork.

Available as cards and prints – click here

My client was thrilled it now hangs in her office/consulting room and she now uses it on her business cards and brochures as well as her website.  Check out her site at www.soulworks.co.za.

Don’t forget your FREE copy of my book ‘Creative Expression’GET IT HERE

How to find your inspiration…

Ignite Your Creative Flame!

 The search for purpose or meaning in our lives is rooted in the deepest feelings

that stir within.

To find our unique spark, that will ignite the flame.

That which burns to give birth to creation.

For it is creativity that leads us to fulfilling our dreams and stokes our fires.

A world without creativity would be unbearable to try to even imagine…

Inspiration takes on many forms.

 What does your creative expression look like?

Have you found yourself lost in time when you are immersed in your passion?

What is it, no matter how insignificant to you, that makes you feel at home?

And reminds you of how beautiful life can be?

Find the answer and find your gateway to utilizing your divine, unique gifts – everybody has

a gift(s) although the packages may vary.

There is no stopping creative flow…

It will never cease to be.

The only limitations to creation are the ones that are self inflicted.

Sign up HERE to receive your gift of inspirational wallpaper designs from my book ‘Creative Expression’

The above quotations and art have been taken from my new table book ‘Creative Expression – How to find your inspiration…’ available now — CLICK HERE.  All the artworks above are available to purchase as prints at RedBubble.

Painting Dolphins

As promised, in my previous blog about whales (read here), this art blog is going to be about painting dolphins.  As I explained in the ‘Why you have to love whales’ blog – I live in Cape Town and am privileged to see these beautiful mammals expressing their joyous souls on a regular basis.

I have not, sadly, swum with them (yet) – as was the case with the whale – but I have seen pods of dolphins in the False Bay area and what a sight and fuel for inspiration they are!

I have no fantastic tales (or tails) to regale with today so I am simply going to stick to the technical aspects of painting underwater scenes…

The technical side of painting underwater (and no, not physically!)

Dolphins - Cherie Dirksen original paintingPainting underwater scenes are quite involved as they require a lot of layering.  This ‘wash’ of blue that needs to be repeated until the desired effect is achieved, needs time and patience…and I paint in acrylics – for those who paint in oils the process takes even longer as the drying time is slower.

  1. The first layer consists of getting the basic blue background started – then I apply the subject matter.
  2. When that is done the watered-down blue paint wash layering begins until the right monotone colour is produced and ready to go out into the world.
  3. The most rewarding part of this journey is in the varnishing.  As soon as you apply that coat of gloss varnish the painting comes alive and the water looks wet again (like it does when the paint is first set to canvas).

Magnifique!

Perhaps this can give you a better appreciation of how much time and effort (or in some cases, curses and tears) goes into these deceptively tricky aquatic scenes.

Inspiration

With every work of art comes the inspiration behind it.  With this painting, as with the whale painting, I have put it down in the form of a poem.

The Poem 

‘Dolphins – The Spirit of Freedom’

You never let us forget how to love
How to laugh
How to smile
How to be light-hearted

You never let us forget how to be
In the moment
In this space
In this time

You never let us forget about beauty
About simplicity
About friendship
About sincerity

You never let us forget about fun
Being in the heart
Playing with each other
Soaking up the bliss

You never let us forget why we love you so
Why we feel connected
Why you are important
Why you are here

You never let us forget
Who we are
Why we are
When we are

Please never let us forget

If you also have an affinity for dolphins and would like to splash out and have this original painting gracing your wall – click here for details.  I also have a wide variety of products to choose from with this specific dolphin design – for prints, posters and greeting cards click here, for gift ideas click here.

For those of you who still need convincing about how wonderful dolphins are, please do yourself a favour and watch this incredible short video – your heart will melt…go on, you know you want to. :)