- What is Inspiration Ink?
I've always loved writing words with a brush. There's something about the way the bristles slide across the paper and the variations of line that make me giddy. There aren't too many techniques that have stayed in my work over the past eight years -- writing out words has happened in nearly every art journal or painting I've created (even if you can't see them).
It started last year, in the summertime. I pulled out giant sheets of newsprint and wrote words quickly across the absorbent surface to give myself a pep talk. These papers surrounded a girl's face to illustrate all the thoughts swirling around in my head.
When everything got to be too much, when I had an intense week of therapy, I pulled out some paper I was gifted for Christmas and got to work writing myself pep talks.
After writing everything quickly, I found myself hyper-focused on each letter, each stroke of the brush. The world melted away -- more importantly, the anxiety I'd been feeling for over a week began to subside, giving me the relief I'd been craving.
And when I sat back, hours later, I knew I'd just fallen in love.
- Why Inspiration Ink?
If you follow my blog, you know about my breakdown & week spent in the hospital.
Originally, I was fearful of talking about it. I gave an overview of my January, but haven't really posted about it since then. It was such a short time but a major point in my life. It was when the depression almost won.
And hell if I wasn't going to help someone else to feel less sad, alone, or ashamed. As I thought of this project, I knew I had to be honest in sharing the why.
I have been diagnosed with depression and general anxiety disorder, in addition to my fibromyalgia, arthritis, and food sensitivities that make eating out a huge deal. I love my life, don't get me wrong, but days can be difficult. My emotions swirl all over the place, or my body decides it's not going to cooperate. Nothing is scheduled, meaning I need to adapt to each morning's gifts. I could have an awesome day and be on top of the world, then have a terrible one where I'm holding on with all I have and find inspirational quotes like a climber searching for footholds.
Going to therapy and group sessions have helped me so much, and allowed me to learn great coping skills. I began collecting inspiring quotes on my phone to help me battle the lies of depression. I turned to art to color and draw, but my anxiety kept me from truly enjoying myself. So one night, I pulled out my brush and ink and started writing out those quotes I'd collected. I found myself relaxing as I worked, word by word, the relaxing swish of the brush over paper. This is where I could find peace, mindfulness, and calm. Where I could find comfort and be uplifted.
And then I thought, wouldn't there be others looking for the same thing?
- A Call to Action
It's an amazing feeling when someone loves what you've created. And even more so, when your work resonates. That's the magic space, when a person looks at artwork you've made and see new things you never noticed.
The original ink quotes, done on large sheets of kraft paper, are hanging above the couch. Several test prints have been given away to friends and group members. Each time, I've watched them read the quote and smile or nod.
I never thought my little meditation practice would touch so many people.
- Sharing the Good
I know I'm not the only one dealing with depression and anxiety. Not the only one battling negative thoughts or worrying over every little thing. So many of you have shared your stories with me over the years, and I treasure each one.
We all need a little pep talk now and again. Need a positive thought to remind us how awesome we are. That our dreams are valid and within our reach. That this moment won't last forever - treasure the good and learn from the bad. I know having these quotes hanging around me helps ground me.
And when things get to be too much, you can find me at my desk with a brush in my hand, music blasting, phone full of quotes next to me.
Join In & Grab Your Prints!
Every month, I'll be releasing a set of ink-written quotes in both colorful 8"x10" prints and 11"x17" posters.
This project has gotten under my skin in a way I've never really felt before; I often stay up late to practice more lettering or plan things out. My mind is full of new ideas and I often run off to try them out!
In addition to the monthly release, I've created the Inspiration Ink monthly club, where you get hi-res printable files and a super special newsletter complete with essays, photos, and tutorials, plus various updates as I continue to expand on this simple idea. You kinda become VIPs & part of the story.
I'll also be sharing a monthly wallpaper, and anything else I can think of!
Click the image below to see the full-screen version, then save it to your computer or device. Left is widescreen, right is sized for an iPhone 5 (but can probably be used on other screens!). Can you think of what was on my mind during this pep talk? ;)