Acrylics on recycled paper.
When I started exploring art/art journaling several years ago, I was extremely frugal about what I picked up in the form of art supplies. As I got more confident in my skills and my desire to continue making art, I found myself picking up more and more supplies but still remained extremely frugal with the quality of the materials. I often bought the cheapest brand or even tried making due with a homemade version of something I deemed too expensive.
I spent hours drooling over the high quality/name brand supplies in the many YouTube videos I would watch. I kept a wish list in my purse and slowly over time I began to pick up a pen here, a jar of gesso there. It took me a while but eventually I deemed myself worthy and started to occasionally splurge on something like a jar of Golden brand gel medium. Most of the time though I would save the “too expensive” purchases for my birthday or x-mas wish list.
I just didn’t feel right about spending “too much” money on art supplies. Just like I didn’t feel right about spending “too much” money on clothes, or my hair, or going out to dinner. There was something within me that kept me at a certain dollar threshold for each type of supply or tool. As if that was all my talent was worth, all my art was worth, all that I was worth.
Fast forward several years later and I am now buying high quality art supplies. I am still frugal and enjoy recycling and being creative with supplies. And now I might only buy 1-2 items, but when I do I get the good stuff. Not because it is a special occasion, holiday, or a special splurge for myself, but just because I am worthy. Or perhaps better said, the good stuff is now worthy of me.
I can’t recall exactly when the switch took place. I’m not even sure it was a switch. It may have happened more gradually. But somewhere along the way, supplies that were once out of my self-worth’s reach became reachable.
This past weekend I totally scored at a local craft store. I figured out that I had a coupon for 40% off artist brand paints. Unlimited amounts, unlimited brands. Wow! I realized as I was filling up my cart that there was still a level of self-worth I hadn’t achieved. I was gleefully pawing at the shelves that I had always looked at longingly before (as I walked by). I had always felt those paints were “too much” at full price. But suddenly, they were too good to pass up at 40% off.
As I played with my new paints and made room for them in my art studio this past weekend, I pondered my journey over the last several years. Through art I have grown tremendously. Not only in my talent, but in how I see myself and my self-worth. Thank you, ART!
How has art impacted your journey and self-worth?