Thursday, February 18, 2010
Interview 7: Joanna Rowan Mullane
Take a step into the mist, walk through the veil, and you will find yourself enchanted by Joanna Rowan Mullane. She is a multi-talented artist who creates everything from gorgeous women, to edible journals (they're so yummy, I want to eat them!), to shrines so beautiful that Spirit just flows from them, to so much more! Joanna is also a Reiki Master. Her blog, Little Faerie Tales, is a mix between her eye-candy art and her soothing spirituality. At Ravens Feather Studio, she offers free workshops. I am always grateful for the generous nature of artists who share in this way. Her etsy shop provides you an opportunity to own one of her magickal pieces.
Joanna is an authentic, wise, talented, and beautiful soul. I am happily spellbound!
How long have you been arting?
Well, if you count crayons and fingerpainting-since I was at least five! In all honesty, it has been since I was very young, my Mom was always very creative and I was always very encouraged to express myself in creative ways.
Have you always hearted your art or did you struggle to do so?
I have most certainly struggled to heart my art! I seemed to always think everyone else created amazing and beautiful art but then would be way too critical of my own!
If you did struggle, how long did it take for you to heart your art?
It took me delving into my spiritual side and learning Reiki and other healing modalities to see that my creations are beautiful because they are an expression of who I am and what is in my heart. It took me admitting that life is not a competition, it is about living your authentic life-that includes loving yourself and embracing the journey!
What was the process you went through?
Purely a realization of accepting I am an artist just as much as anyone else. A beautiful quote from a book by Denise Linn has stayed with me since the moment I read it and it was similar to this-“The moment you judge another person is the moment you lose the ability to influence or help them in any way.” Those words were so powerful to me and I just knew that I had to accept my artistic talents and embrace and honor others!
Has there ever been a time when you stopped arting because of this struggle?
Years ago there was a time when I did put it on the back burner because of career reasons mostly and also because I was listening too much to my own fears and self doubts that there were so many better artists out there-that is only your own self-made fear. We are all amazing artists!
If so, how long was it before you returned?
It was a about a year.
How did you begin again?
I just felt like I was screaming inside-not creating is like not being able to find the air to breath. I need to do make time to “play”!
Family and Friends:
Is (or was) your family supportive of you and your art?
Very much so, I give much credit to my Mom for encouraging that part of me! She is still one of my biggest fans.
How about friends (past and present)?
I never really grew up around many friends that shared my passion for creativity, but then again, I was also kind of a loner child too! As I have grown though, my path has crossed with so many creative people and they truly inspire me and are very encouraging! The blog world has been wonderful too! I love the connection and the beauty of so much creative energy. It is so positive and uplifting.
Describe the type of support they have provided?
Encouragement and inspiration! My family and friends have been the biggest source of encouragement for me but over the last few years I have learned to be my own encouragement too. I create because I love it, not to impress someone else, to me that defeats the purpose. If you don’t do it for you, than people are not seeing your true inner Spirit! And Inspiration, I don’t know how anyone could NOT be inspired by nature itself! Other artists inspire me very much as well just as I have inspired them. It is a wonderful circle.
How much influence has your experiences with family and friends had on your own feelings about your art?
In the beginning, their opinion was what mattered most to me, and as I grew in my own techniques and abilities, I influenced myself more to go further, to let my guard down and just go with the ideas as they come to me. When I quiet my inner doubts is when I let my guard down and just have fun!
How much influence does ‘the outside’ have on your feelings about your art?
Not much anymore. I realized that it is okay for not everyone to like my art-I like it. You cannot take it personally because being creative is part of your own personal journey. No one can take that away from you.
How does positive feedback effect your feelings?
Of course, positive feedback is wonderful! I am so grateful anytime someone leaves a lovely comment on my blog or sends me an email to say they enjoy my work!
How do you deal with negative comments?
I have not had someone leave a negative comment yet, that is not to say it wont happen, but if it did, I have to try to remember not to take it personally. Like I said, we don’t all have to agree. I would be being dishonest though if I would say it would not hurt my feelings a little!
How do you deal with your art not selling?
This used to bother me a lot more than it does now because of the self doubt it would bring up in my abilities. You have to just let that go though. You have to tell what I like to call-your self criticizing troll inside your mind to take a hike! I just keep loving what I am doing and keep being grateful I am able to do exactly what I love!
What is your current experience with hearting your art?
When you are able to be happy in your own skin and love who you are, faults and all, you automatically love your art because it is an extension of you! It is a reflection of the beauty and gifts that you have. I feel like I have come full circle and I am so grateful because I am able to combine the two things I love the most, helping others in my Holistic Healing and learning to combine that with my love of creativity. Combining the two has opened up so many doors and I am now able to teach creative classes at the Holistic Center where I work and I am still able to dedicate a few days a week to just play! It is a dream come true.
Do you still struggle?
I just go with the flow now. The more resistance I put up, the harder it was, when I stopped worrying I was more present in the moment and could see a clearer path ahead of me which brought solutions and creative inspiration for my future goals.
How do you survive the moment and continue arting?
I do it for me and my own joy. If someone enjoys what I create and they decide to add it to their own collection, I am so very grateful for it. The moment I stop enjoying creating, is the moment I will move on! If something does not bring you joy, find what makes your heart sing!
Do you compare your work with the work of other artists?
I used to but all that does is bring forth that self doubter in your head. It is so much easier for me to honor and enjoy the beauty in another’s work than compare it to my own, In all honesty, there is no comparison as each one of us has our own unique and beautiful energy that we put into our creations! You just cant compare that! Besides if I spent my time comparing my work to others, I would never have time to actually be creative.
How do you deal with comparison from others?
I don’t worry about it anymore. If someone wants to compare my work to theirs or others, that is their choice, I’ll just continue to do what I love!
Do you have a process for your inner critic?
I now tell him to go take a hike while I work on this project!
Do you know the ‘what’s the point’ jerk? How do you deal with him?
That is my self doubting troll, I had to just honor it and then let it go. We all will have good days and bad days, but the point is to not give up if it is what you truly love to do! Be fearless.
In what ways do you feel the struggle to heart your art has manifested itself in your life?
It has made me more determined to find my own way, follow my own heart and manifest the life that I want.
Where do you believe this struggle comes from - what do you believe the root is?
I have always been a very strong-willed and determined person, I am happy and at peace in my own skin, everything else just falls into place after that. I don’t know where exactly it comes from, but it helps push me along!
What is your best tip for someone who struggles in this area?
If you love what you do, everything else will fall into place. Have patience with yourself too, be open to all the possibilities and follow your own heart.
Is there anything further that you’d like to add?
Only to try and stop worrying about what others are doing or thinking. That is the biggest creativity blocker out there because it only serves to create more self doubt and fear that you are somehow not good enough or not as good as someone else. You are perfect so spend more time on actually creating than worrying, when we create from our hearts, we become open to the beauty all around us where true inspiration resides at all times.