{being brave through the darkest days}

I don't have time to do a video -- I work over the weekend, and didn't want to wait until next week to post some fun. I haven't given you any tutorials or such in awhile, and feel like it's time.

I've seen my style change so much in the last few months; it's morphed into a true outpouring of myself. I used to worry and obsess over this: I'd ask people if they knew a piece was mine just by looking at it. Looking over pages, I couldn't see any cohesiveness that connected one to the next, showed off "me." Instead, I saw disconnected pieces, the mark of someone going through that "dark period" of discovery.

You may not know it yet, or perhaps you're in the throws. It is that time between copying those you like and emerging as your true self. When you know you want to go somewhere authentic, but don't know exactly where that is. If only I could draw you a map -- alas, each journey is different.

You will be tempted to fall back into old habits, to stare at the art you love and copy it. But you'll find it doesn't thrill you as it once did. You've moved past it, and looking behind you won't do you any good.

Bravery is required -- this is the stage that makes or breaks an artist. It will be hard. Challenging. You will create art for days that you hate. And you may decide to throw in the towel and shove your journal under a mattress.

And one day, you'll notice a hole in your life. You'll walk around feeling empty, lost. And won't know what it is. So you'll peek under that mattress, and -- behold! The journal waited for you. Patient and loving, the journal will always be there for you in those times of need -- both joyful and sad.

Working through this stage, you'll find yourself. You'll find not only what you can create and offer to the world -- you'll figure out who YOU are inside. You will come out a complete, authentic person. It just takes time.

I've been art journaling for 5 years, and only in the last few months have I truly loved most of the pages I create. I am finally making the art I have always been destined to make. It is a journey, my friends, and we are all on it.

listen to the universe.