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Coincidence or weird synchronicity

Updated: May 18

So here I am doing my Friday post!




My last piece of coursework was to construct a timeline of how you got to your creative position. The idea was that you look at the artists and designers who influenced you over the years and plot them out, leading to yourself and your current style. Of course I took a different slant and looked at my strange creative journey into being an artist. Unlike many artists I have not been drawing, creating and making from childhood. For a long time this puzzled me, made me uncomfortable, and made me doubt my true calling as an artist. Recently I have recognised that it IS my calling and in fact training as a doctor was the misstep in my life (not that I regret it) and in fact there might be reasons for this artistic vacuum. I could clearly visualise this when I drew out the timeline and in addition I noticed a weird synchronicity that had occurred in my life.

In a nutshell, because of ongoing family events, my creativeness as a child shut down from the age of 4 onwards when my family broke apart. Another significant event occurred around when I was 8 years old. From this time I became hyper vigilant and retreated into the solitary world of books and imagination. I read something recently that was debunking the myth of children being resilient to adversity. It said that what actually happens is that they may retreat from reality and cease to develop and grow in certain ways. I believe this is what I did, living in my own little bubble of vivid imagination and the alternative reality of books.

Going back to my “art journey”, I started out very serious and studious, spending the last 20 odd years learning stuff, acquiring skills etc, only to find that I have made my way to a very playful, childlike style. It seems that I have returned to where I left off.

These are the key events I noted on my timeline:

  1. Traumatic family break up aged 4

  2. Traumatic event aged 8 (roughly) which led to me becoming hyper vigilant.

  3. Interested art teacher at boarding school

  4. Despite doing badly at art O level I had a spontaneous moment of drawing a friend in an art class and knew I was “in the zone”.

  5. (non traumatic) marriage break down leading to starting art classes

  6. joining adult education classes with a hugely inspirational teacher (the late Doug Wales)

  7. represents all the fellow students I met

  8. joining the OCA art course

  9. represents all the artists I’ve discovered, the most notable being Auerbach and Hokusai

  10. the death of a parent which opened the door to me being able to speak freely about my upbringing.

So here is the weird synchronicity: I was 4 when my first major trauma happened and my creative process stops developing, compared with the break up of my marriage (timing down to my ex husband, not me) happening when my eldest child was 4 and my creative journey restarts.

The next significant event happened when I was around 8 and any creativity in me became totally internalised, compared with me joining an adult art education class (which was a HUGE door opening in my artistic journey) and my eldest child was 8 years old at this time.

You could easily say these are just coincidences, but I can’t shake the sensation of synchronicity.

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