Those of you who have been visiting my little home here on the web have read the name Violette Clark many times. She has been a godsend in my life. It was through Violette that I discovered a love for art and a respect for its ability to heal old wounds. I could go on and on and on (and probably have and will again) about the ways art has healed me and how Violette has been such a huge part of that.
I recently received her new book Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash Your Inner Eccentric and it is just so amazing. While I was waiting for the book, I had these plans of sipping tea and slowly relishing the book and making it last. Nope! The book came and I opened it, just to peek in and the next thing I knew I was at the end. I couldn't stop turning the pages to see what colorful, inspiring art was going to pop up next.
Look at that juiciness. Could YOU resist?
Violette is on a blog tour and I am very pleased and excited to be today's stop. Enjoy the interview!
(Groggyfroggy) If you had to choose one message that you really wanted people to grasp from reading Journal Bliss, what would it be?
(Violette)One message??? I guess that message would be to honour who you are, even if you are eccentric/off the wall/ a different duck/ march to the beat of your own drum. And of course a great way to explore this wonderful side of ourselves in a safe way is in our journal. To be quite honest there is not a heck of a lot out there that is new - most techniques have been done before. What makes them unique is when we spin our own stories with techniques that speak to us. It's our stories and our energy that is most important. I'm merely a conduit albeit a flawed conduit to help ignite that creative spirit in the reader in some small way. If I can do that by being honest about my process and allowing my strange and unique ways of thinking permeate everything I do then I'm a happy little eccentric duck! People are inspired and motivated when others share their stories - it gives them permission to be themselves too!
What do you think is the most common resistance to unleashing our inner eccentric?
Oh people are definitely afraid of being judged and ridiculed. I for one did not give myself permission to embrace who I was for many years for just these very reasons. The more I resisted my true self the more depressed I became. I have suffered from depression a great deal of my life but it wasn't until I began giving myself permission to be "outside the box" that the depression lifted. Creating art was a profound way to help me navigate through the depression. Art helped me realize that it was okay to be me and to "screw the rules" in a nice way! It's funny how some folks are offended if you dress a different way, say bizarre off the wall things, are open and honest with your thoughts and decide to decorate your home in an eccentric manner. They feel threatened - it's their issue though not yours. It's better to just give yourself permission to be true to YOU...it's the quickest route to being happy!
It seems to me that as much as you enjoy making art, you also love helping others to find their own creative sides. Was there a defining moment when you realized that you had a gift for inspiring creativity in other people?
Ah..........good point Lisa....you are so right! Yes.......my defining moment was when I frequented the Sark messageboard a number of years ago (about 7 or 8) and people seemed to seek out my advice. I realized that it was not simply about my art but about the eccentric spirit - I gave myself permission to be colourful, blow bubbles and chalk on the sidewalk. I would spend 3 hours a day answering questions, encouraging and posting inspiring messages. I was spending WAYYY too much time there and needed to focus on making more money. My ex-husband Bernie suggested that I write a book putting many of my messages in the book. Also my friend Cindy from California strongly suggested that i write a book and share my inspiration with as many people as I could. I had visited Cindy - drove down to California to visit her and her daughter Kat. Cindy inspired me so much that on the very long drive (2 days) home I would stop at rest stops along the way and furiously wrote down my thoughts for the book. That book was ultimately rejected by an editor (who had mentored me) but I suppose the timing was not right. It did however make me passionate about inspiring others to embrace their eccentricity!
I love the spiritual aspect that often shows up in your pieces. Has spirituality always informed your art?
Thank you Lisa! No spirituality has not always informed my art..........when I was in my 20's I created gag cartoons and political cartoons which were hardly spiritual. About 22 years ago I developed an interest in spirituality and began creating cartoons with a spiritual side to them. I gave these cartoons to a Spiritual group for their newsletters and also I amused myself and my metaphysical friends with them. Spirituality has shown up in my work mostly during the last 14 years or so. That coincided with surrounding myself with my Bohemian Tribe - people who believed in my art and who encouraged me to follow my bliss. Having that support was very empowering and life changing. I heartily encourage all of you to do the same!
Do you believe doodling can change the world? :) hehe
Ha ha ha.........yes in fact I do......one small step at a time it can change the world. If it makes you happy then your happiness will rub off on everyone who comes in contact with you and so on.....Living your Bliss will give others permission to do the same and they in turn will turn around and positively affect others. In Journal Bliss I talk about your Doodles telling you something about what is happening in your life. You just need to pay attention to what they are telling you. If you draw tendrils like I have been recently then perhaps like the delicate unfurling fronds of a fern you could be experiencing a great period of growth. I witnessed a teenagers doodles many years ago - images of nasty creatures. This young woman was plagued with negative thoughts and self-defeating behaviours. Let your doodles inform you as to where you are headed and then do something about it (like seek therapy) or in the case of the unfurling fronds - just ride the tendrils to a happy place!
Thank you Lisa for this delightful interview! Your questions made me think! It was a pleasure having this chat with you and your readers!
Thank you, Violette! Your answers make us all think! Thank you for making the world a brighter, happier and more eccentric place!
You can order Journal Bliss: Creative Prompts to Unleash Your Inner Eccentric at Amazon!