Finding Your Voice and Why It Matters

Have you ever felt invisible, unheard or forgotten? I think we all have at some point. What did you do to change the situation; to be seen or heard? I grew up with two older brothers and sometimes I felt like my voice wasn’t heard. I believe part of my artistic journey was born to express myself and be seen in a different light. My voice was in painting and writing. I began there and these are still my two primary outlets, but my language has evolved, my voice is different.

When you are just beginning a new creative endeavor, you must learn the basics, the language and the nuances. When I returned to University in my thirties, I decided to focus my art degree on printmaking. I had already been painting and sculpting for many years, so I wanted to find a new “language”. Also, the chemistry and technical aspects of printmaking fed my scientific soul. Years later after completing my studies I was searching for a technique to express a specific vision I had for a project. I saw a class in printmaking with glass that caught my attention. I signed up and soon discovered that I lacked the basic language to converse in the medium. I was the only printmaker in the glass and all the others were glass artists. I needed to learn the basic vocabulary. I muddled through and learned the language, but it would have been much better for me to take the basic class first. I learned an important lesson for teaching. Learn the fundamentals so you can express your voice.

Even artists that have been working for some time will experience a stagnation, a questioning and search for a new direction. Our bodies are always evolving and so is our passion for expression. Just like I sought out printmaking in glass, I have continued to acquire new tools. After taking all the glass classes I decided that what I wanted to do I could accomplish with acrylic. I have developed a unique blend of using cast acrylic and resin to tell my story. Learning, evolving and adapting is the creative journey.

The upcoming 3-month online class I have is all about finding your voice. You use exercises in mark-making, guided visualizations, excursions into nature and painting projects to hone your skills. Some of the exercises are those that I have been using for decades to tap into a place inside myself that is whispering to me. I learn to be still and listen.

When you can be quiet and hear the inner whispers of your muse, you will discover what it means to be heard. Yes, it can be frightening to leave the familiar and try something new. Just like my experience with glass classes, you may not change to a new medium, but it will give a richer, deeper voice to your current creative expressions. If three months isn’t for you, I offer a wide range of alternative lessons. I even have a class in Ireland in 2022 on telling your visual story.