I am happy to share with you several posts about a great friend of mine, Linda Lee. I first met Linda when her son came to our Junior High class when we were youth pastors at church several years ago. She started helping out and began bringing crafts for the girls to do before service started. The girls (and some of the boys) loved it! She is a beautiful, giving person who LOVES being creative. I have loved seeing her share her different mediums of art and creativity, and I hope you enjoy taking a little peek into her life too.
This is the final of a series of posts featuring Linda Lee, AKA, Stoneybrooke.
Linda has so much creativity that I couldn’t contain it all in just a few posts, but here is the rest of the interview with her words of inspiration and encouragement.
What kinds of things inspire you to be creative?
I would say nature inspires me. If you can’t get out and about, the internet allows you to be an armchair traveler to all sorts of inspiring natural destinations.
I’m also inspired by music. Allison Kraus just gets me in the mood to make things.
And scent. Warm vanilla and cinnamon scents help set a creative mood for me. For that matter, any yummy dessert baking does it for me too.
Color is also a huge inspiration. I love an autumn pallet and red, in most muted shades, is a color that gets me creating.
Stretchy pants feel inspiring to me, but maybe that’s going too far?
If you were stranded on a desert island what 5 things would you want to have with you?
Can I say an airplane and crew to get me home? lol
But if you mean what creative tools would I want? My spinning wheel and knitting needles, colored pencils, my journal and Bible.
What are your favorite ways to be creative?
Knitting and spinning yarn are big favorites, of course. They are a core creative outlet for me.
However, this year a new interest has been added to my creative life. (Never fear fiber is not being replaced). I have fully embraced art journaling. I do that in a special journaling Bible and a composition book I created for that purpose. It is amazing to see what happens when you get out some markers and glue, or a kids watercolor set and try to illustrate a truth from the Bible, a key thought in your mind, or something beautiful you see.
I feel like a kid again. I’m discovering new ways to use color and trying my hand at putting images on paper. It has added a new dimension to my time of studying the Word for sure and I am looking at the world God created with fresh new eyes. Study the face of your child long enough to draw it and you will see that you develop a new appreciation for that child and for the Creator.
What encouragement can you give to someone who is just discovering their creativity?
For those who are pre-wired for creativity, the mere suggestion of an idea is all you will need to begin. To you I say embrace creativity and run with it. See where it leads. And find fellow creative enthusiasts that you can share with, and get inspiration from.
For others, you might worry that you aren’t talented enough. Negative thinking not only doesn’t feel good, and isn’t productive, but it literally makes your brain and body not work as well. Creativity is about flexible thinking and imagination. It’s also about adding joy and beauty to your life. Those are all great things. So decide ahead of time that negative thinking will not be allowed in your creative space. Any effort should be rewarded with massive praise, and a few “Yay Me’s” thrown in for good measure. If that’s too hard to do, imagine you are talking to your young child. If they showed you their best scribbles, would you not be delighted with them? Just do your best, have fun, and enjoy the process.
If you just can’t see the value of creativity, let me say this. Creativity is good for your brain and good for your spirit. When you think and do creative new things you are building new neural pathways to a healthier brain. You are improving your powers of observation and your ability to really see things in new and more detailed ways. You are adding to your dexterity and coordination. You can also improve your retention of new material to learn, when you reinterpret the information artistically. When you create something you like, it is a real boost to your spirit. It makes you happy. So don’t discount it until you try it.
I recently shared my love for art journaling with a good friend. She felt art wasn’t her thing. But she was brave and tried it. Today she went to Joann’s and bought markers to expand her tools for journaling. She is loving it and finding it very calming and good for mental clarity and focus. And her art is improving!
If you don’t know where to start, look outdoors for one thing that makes you happy. Or search the Internet for inspiration by typing a word and browsing images. Try drawing that one thing. I prefer working on smaller pieces of paper. They don’t feel as daunting. Just get something down on paper. No judgement. No worries about perfection. Or watch some YouTube videos and try your hand at painting, or scrapbooking or knitting or crochet. Whatever it is…I encourage you to just TRY It!
That should be my official motto for this time in my life. “Just try it”. Don’t let your creative dreams stay forever a dream. Take one step toward that dream. One step at a time and you just may get there.
I believe that everyone should discover what makes their heart sing, and I have discovered that creating beautiful things does that for me. I believe creativity is a healthy part of a well rounded life. If knitting and painting aren’t your thing, maybe you could be a creative cook, or gardener, or find creative ways to enrich the lives of co-workers. Being creative is about expanding your world and adding joy to life. That’s something everyone can benefit from.
And I believe we should exhaust ourselves in this life, chasing the dreams God has put in our hearts. We all should be in the business of discovering every bit of who God made us to be. You are uniquely and wonderfully made. You look just like your Daddy in Heaven and He is creative and so are YOU! He wants you to fill a special role on this earth that only you can fill. He wants your heart to fly and soar. So don’t emulate anyone but the Creator and who He made YOU to be. His life for you will always be the best life possible!
Thank you so much Stoneybrooke for sharing yourself and your creativity with us! You are amazing.