Young digital artist, Jen Haddrell shares two of her short blogs here. I thought these pieces on how to refocus our energy and avoid overwhelm, and an alternative way to look at our worth would resonate with so many people. Artists or not, we all need help with these from time to time. Thank you, Jen, for allowing me to re-post them here.
We all have barriers that hold us back or slow us down. My biggest barrier is myself: I tend to overcomplicate things. I try so hard to do something unique, interesting, perfect, that by the time I sit down to do it my inspiration is long lost. I have no problem making simple designs of flowers and animals, but deep down I want more. But then my mind stops me.
I decided to move past doing only portraits and discover my creative side. But my own mind holds me back simply because it thinks I'm not inspiring enough.
The sunflower does what it was created for. It doesn't have those existential crisis' we tend to face in day to day life. It looks to the sun, and it reflects the sun. It looks like the sun, and it is loved by human and animal for simply being so.
What would it take to stop trying so hard? Instead of forcing creativity, just let go and look to what truly inspires and shapes who I am? Focus on being, rather than doing...
Isn't that what life is all about?'
Why a dandelion?
I love them: beautiful, yellow petals scattered across any stretch of grass, soon to turn to snowballs, soaring through the sky like fairies to make wishes on. Too often I've heard them referred to as weeds, pests, undesirable. They're dug out of gardens, smashed, drowned with poison. But I think dandelions deserve so much better.
Did you know there are over 100 species of dandelion all across the world? They are a diverse and ancient species. Its name comes from the French description of its jagged leaves: Lion's Tooth.
Also, the dandelion is fully edible - its flower, leaves, and roots can all be consumed. It's used to make certain types of wines and root beers. It also makes a great caffeine-free coffee substitute! While bitter in taste, it can be eaten in salads to great benefit. Dandelions are packed full of calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C. They've been used for certain medical treatments for thousands of years.
Dandelions are among the most resilient plants on Earth. You pluck it, it regrows. Spray it with pesticides, it recovers. Pour concrete, it digs through. The will to live, and overcome, and prosper is strong with the Lion's Tooth.
I have a tattoo of a dandelion on my shoulder as a reminder of something inspired by a song: "Dandelions" by an old pop-punk-ska band called Five Iron Frenzy. While the song is religious in nature, which I understand is not everyone's cup of dandelion-tea, the point it makes is vital to all people. It tells the story of a little boy running through a field and picking flowers to give to his mom - a beautiful bouquet to someone beloved. She receives this pile of weeds as a treasure dear to her heart - the best gift her son had to give, cherished like gold. The song compares this interaction to us giving our hearts to our Creator, with the chorus stating, "You see flowers in these weeds."
I think most of us struggle in some extent with our self-worth. We can see our existence as a burden, invasive, even a plague. But maybe there's more worth in us than what we see? I have fought this battle for years and I'm slowly coming up the other side.
Maybe we're not weeds. Maybe we're useful. Beautiful. Resilient. Maybe we are overcomers. Maybe we do have more worth than we see.'
Do check out more of Jen's 'Thoughts and Inspirations' and check out all her work on her website www.jenhaddrell.art
Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @Jenhaddrellart and buy her digital prints on Etsy Jen Haddrall Art