May 29, 2022

Judith Peters from Sympatexter is hosting the BoomBoomBlog Challenge this week. Since I like challenges - and want to improve my blog - I'm taking part.

There is a set theme and more than 1,000 participants. Everyone works on their blog articles for a week, and they are published on Sunday.

I find the idea very interesting. Everyone works on the same topic and in the end one article won't be like the other! I am already excited! The topic is:

How I became who I am

Actually, it's about a kind of narrated curriculum vitae, various stations, decisions and circumstances that have led to the here and now. In my case, my career as an artist.

But I have already told this in my blog article "Of dreams, tears and (small) triumphs". So I'm changing the subject a little. Instead of telling you that I loved to paint when I was a little girl (which is true) and what happened next, I'll tell you about my experiences when I began to see myself as an artist and to take my art - and thus myself - seriously.

Who am I, now that I've been able to peel away the layers that don't belong to me? Am I now the person I was always meant to be? And what exactly does it mean to be myself? So my theme is less "how I became who I am" and much more:

Who am I as an artist?

Already at the beginning of the year, I had decided to invest in myself. That's what happens when you start taking yourself seriously. I believe that I have something to say, something to contribute. I want to learn, to progress, to develop - professionally and personally.

That's why I took part in the course "The working Artist". The Cape Town artist Sonja Smalheer designed this course for artists who pursue their art professionally. This week I was able to finish the course.

The coaching lasted 12 weeks, and they were immersive, insistent and insightful. Packed to the brim with information - it was, among other things, about the business side, marketing, technical implementations, etc. But above all, it was about an intensive examination of one's own art and oneself. I was able to learn a lot and find out a lot about myself.

The realization: What actually drives me?

That was also due to the exchange with the other artists. I would especially like to mention two artists who have become very dear to me. Lonni Wong, a ceramic artist from Berlin, whose works are wonderfully profound, ambiguous and full of changes of perspective. And Emily Pals from Breda, the Netherlands. Emily creates enchanting nature compositions and sensitive portraits with brush and paint. Thank you both for the adventure together, for the shared experiences and deeper insights. I am so glad we met and continue to connect!

Our conversations were always very helpful for me, but I was particularly struck by a realization that somehow fell by the wayside. Art usually emerges from abundance, or from lack.

Doesn't sound so spectacular, does it? But it clicked for me. Suddenly things moved into place. It helped me to formulate what my paintings are about. Because, yes, my art arises - and has always arisen - out of lack.

However, I am not interested in complaining about the lack. That is not in my nature. It's much more about overcoming, about unruliness, about pure life - in defiance! Beauty does not have to be perfect. It can also be found in the neglected, in the broken.

I have realized that this is what my paintings are about. Whether I paint abstract, nature or human, it's about that little sore spot. The one that we often want to hide from others, that needs protection and is worth protecting. I try to accept this wound in my paintings without let it defining the subject.

My paintings often contain a lot of white space - space for development. When I explore all the layers, that is the statement that remains in my paintings: Lack may be the starting point, but it is only the impetus for change!

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About the Author Lea Finke

Lea Finke is an artist with all her soul. In her blog, she talks about inspiration, passion, and encounters with art.

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