maandag 19 oktober 2015

On rebuilding my Life In Limbo on Rock Bottom and what J.K. Rowling's got to do with it

So, here are more sketches and drawings I made for my Witty Art Book ''My Life In Limbo'', my very own personal reflection of my journey through life since I effectively became homeless. Since losing the house that once had been a trusted home to me, I have been living the life of a 21s century city nomad, or, as I somewhat jokingly call it, the life of a Displaced Diva.

Originally started as a way of being able to keep on drawing and making little sketches and notes for later artwork, as losing my house also meant losing my workplace, this artbook has indeed become a way of sharing my story with the world, in particular with the friends and followers of Witty Art. Or rather: sharing the emotions behind the story, as my work, unavoidably and irreversibly, has been greatly impacted by the fact that my life had been thrown upside down.

As I've written in previous blogposts, the book became some kind of mirror, in which I saw my relationship with my art, with my own creations, reflected and that way I saw my life, my past and present relationships with the people in my life reflected; and the way I dealt with life's challenges - or the way I didn't or didn't dare to. I saw the characters from my artwork drop by, one by one, all those Perfectly Imperfect MisFits that inhabit the World of Witty Art. And each and every single of one of them telling me something about myself I didn't know - or I already knew but didn't want to know. Some loved, some feared, I hold all of them dear, as without them, my world would be empty and my artwork non-existent.

So, writing and drawing this artbook offered me a great deal of insight, not only in how my work will develop further, but also in the relationship between me and my artwork, and, equally important, the relationship between me and the world around me, the people in it - in my life. It helps me to come to terms with things that happened in the past; and to face up to the challenges now - and those yet to come.

For yes, I might be homeless at this very moment, I might be displaced, without a place of myself, I am still not living on the streets, as so many people unfortunately have to. I still have people who look after me, who support and love me. And I might have lost a lot, I feel like I have gained even more as my life has been enriched by the kindness, generosity and care from old and new friends, some which had been complete strangers before.

And, one thing I now know for sure, as corny as it may sound: whatever is taken away from me or will be taken away, I will always have my creativity. My ability to create art. To create my very own World of Witty, and that way, rebuild my life again. 

And when someone very special recently told me: ''You will rebuild your Witty Art Empire on rock bottom'', I had to think of what author J.K. Rowling (of Harry Potter fame, for those of you that have been sleeping under a rock for the last decade or so ;-)) had to say about the ''benefits of failure'', when she addressed the Harvard Alumni Association back in 2008: 

 'So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.'

So, why should I not be able and capable to rebuild my life on my very own rock bottom, while creating my very own Witty Art Book? 

You can read and view J.K. Rowling's full Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association here. A truly inspirational read for anyone who currently finds him or herself on that place called Rock Bottom. 

I was. I am. So, on and forward I go. 

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