My He(ART)-Full Life

Sunday, January 13, 2013

storytelling from the soul, a dream come true and the story behind it

I am so giddy with excitement to share with you that my art is on the cover of the current Art Journaling magazine!!! Can I say that this is an absolute dream come true? That my heart is overflowing with gratitude? That I started crying when I actually saw the cover? (is that silly??) That Tim and Tara are so so proud of me that it makes me crazy happy?
And can I share the back story of how this all happened?
Last summer I was going through a creative rut...stuck and stuck and then stuck some more. So I decided to take a short break from painting and immersed myself in reading and writing. One of the books I re-read was an all time fave.of mine called "Sister Outsider" by Audre Lorde. I hadn't read it since my 1st year in university (a gazillion years ago BTW!!) and everything she said resonated with me just as much as it had all that time ago ( maybe more so!). Her work gave me strength and clarity that I could then apply to my own work; what a gift!  I read, I cried, I wrote, I read some more...I cried some more. I had little stickies pasted everywhere...because if you've ever read Audre you know that everything she says is a quote!!

                                                       (a page from my Outsider Journals)
Truth: All my life I have been an my "family" of origin, my culture and society. I just didn't fit in anywhere. It has been  a deeply painful experience...isolating and full of shame. All the trying to fit in but it never happening. All the "what if's" and ostracism. But there have been innumerable gifts that have come with it. So while re-reading Sister Outsider, I had an aha! moment. What if I not only embrace my outsider-ness but celebrate it as well???
This quote right here:
"Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference ... know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths."
                              -The Master's Tools will Never Dismantle the Master's House, by Audre Lorde from Sister Outsider
...inspired my entire journal called the Outsider Journals.  

I went back to my art excited and inspired! I felt that each page in my journal gathered up entire pieces of my life, struggles and journey and i poured out my heart and soul. Creating the journal was cathartic and life changing and because it was private, I felt so free to allow all of mySELF and the deepest parts of my soul to shine through ! After I completed the journal I thought I could someday pass it along to Tara; it would be a road map of sorts that might inspire her to forge her own path.

Then one day we were at the bookstore and I picked up a copy of  Art Journaling mag and started reading it; my heart started racing, let me just tell you! What if I sent in my (very personal, very private) Outsider Journals ???). Eeek! Do I dare? I went back and forth, back and forth and all of my deepest darkest fears came up to the surface. What if they laughed at me? what if  I'm not really an artist? not a real one, anyway? what if I made a complete fool of myself? On and on...and on and on. 

                                                       (self portrait -Jan, 2013,  44 years young)
And then I took a big huge breath ...and knew in my heart that I deeply believe in my art and my work and I allowed that to guide me. All the things I write about on my blog that I deeply deeply believe with all of my heart + soul...( cultivating courage, I am enough, being vulnerable, being seen etc)...well, I had to put them into practice now (so so difficult) and get out of my own way!  I also know that not fitting in is an archetypal experience that most of us experience at some time or another. And the paradox of it is that we all feel so isolated in our shame that we either negate it or  never stop trying to fit in. I felt that maybe there would be other souls who could see themSELVES in my experience and so...I sent off my journal and let go...of all expectations and fears.

And that's how I came to have  6 full pages in the magazine ("Storytelling from the Soul" pg. 54) and my art on the cover as well!! Thank you so much Somerset Studio, Amber Demien and all the staff at Stampington & Company...for giving me this amazing opportunity. Thank you a hundred times over! You all have made one 44 year old woman feel like a teenager with a crush...soul full of stars + stomach full of  butterflies... leaping!  My heart is full.


laurie said...

what a wonderful, inspiring story of how just opening that door into your past (which did take courage) led to a wide world of healing and opportunities. Congratulations. i will go get my own copy sometime this week!

Jen @Sadie Inspired said...

Oh my goodness I LOVE this! I am so happy for article AND the cover! :))) Your work is so beautiful and soulful. It is such a joy to see it gracing the pages (and cover- squeal!) of Somerset. Shine on my friend. xoxo

jane said...

Congratulations! fabulous news, and I will go find that magazine so I can see your work...xo Jane

PatH said...

That's fantastic, Soraya! Can't wait to see it.

ArtPropelled said...

Absolutely awesome!! Congratulations dear Soraya!!!

Anonymous said...

that's really wonderful! and you are so inspiring! i'm doing a happy dance for you! and what a fabulous validation of 2013 as the year to dare!!!!!

Kelly said...

Soraya, this made me cry too! I'm so happy for you, and I have to read that book! XO

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Fantastic news and what a wonderful journey.

JenCozz said...

Just ran across your work in Art Journaling and just wanted to tell you I loved it!!! It's just beautiful! I find myself turning back to your pages again and again! I don't normally buy this book but this one I had to have! Have a great day!