Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mental Perks I Get from the Act of Paper Cutting

'Clarity'
Handmade papercut for Day 24 of #100DaysOfHandmadePapercutsOrPapercutpatternsByLee for #The100DayProject


Hello friends!

Is there something that you physically do which allows you to think clearly or process your thoughts calmly that results to clarity? 

To some people, clarity may be achieved simply by doing a single task - focusing directly on the problem and thinking it through by themselves. 

My process is a little different.
Weirdly different, you may say.
And I just discovered it while I'm in the process of doing papercuts for my 23rd Day of #100DaysOfHandmadePapercutsOrPapercutPatternsByLee for the #The100DayProject (https://thegreatdiscontent.com/100days), a 100 Day creative challenge I participated in last April 6, 2015.

The morning of April 28, 2015, before I show up on my cutting mat to make art, I'm feeling a little burdened by some concerns relating to an important decision I have to make about 'work'.

To skip my daily practice of paper cutting is definitely not an option. Just because I'm feeling down does not necessarily mean that I need some time off of my passion. Simply because that's what I do. It's already a part of my system that I feel a day is incomplete w/o doing something that relates to paper cutting.

Also I've observed in my practice that  it actually restores me. It helps me feel better when I'm down. There was one incident when I felt sad and I grabbed my cutting materials and told myself that I'm gonna do papercuts until I feel better. And I did! Cutting and slicing through paper for my art gradually eased whatever gloomy feeling I was encountering that timeI finished a beautiful piece and felt better at the same time. Art therapy works! :)

And so this morning, as I mentioned,  I showed up and made time to do and develop my craft despite the worries bugging in my head. I expected only two good things to come out of this 'bravery' of showing-up-even-when-it's-hard, #1 is that I hope to feel better, and #2 is to produce at least a decent-looking papercut.

As expected, I've accomplished numbers 1 & 2. I felt better after my practice and the papercut I produced passed my own high standard as decent-looking.

Plus, I got a bonus(!).

Third (3rd) perk I got is CLARITY.

Clarity on things that stole my joy the morning prior to my daily practice.

I was surprised, thankful and awed. I didn't expect that the act of doing my passion will allow me to process thoughts clearly in my head. Taking action on things I love to do causes my mind to relax, allowing it to function properly and do it's job well. I find it amazing how my body multitask in relation to acting on my passion. As my hands are busy and happily cutting and slicing through paper, my mind is calmly processing thoughts in my head. 

Whenever I'm paper cutting, I usually listen to valuable and informative podcasts like seanwes' (http://seanwes.com/podcast/) to provide myself with some mental or brain work to do. Doing some physical activity like paper cutting always asks for some mental work to do concurrently. I always like it this way, sort of like a combo. So in  this process, I normally absorb the values I get from the podcasts I listen to. Take the lessons or tips I believe I can use in the future. Never did I thought that my relaxed brain, caused by my manual work of paper cutting, can also do problem solving for other things I think about at that same time, which I think is really awesome! 

It's been only over three weeks since I participated in #The100DayProject and I can say that I'm more than happy and thankful of my discoveries and experiences beyond the physical development of my craft. I'm also growing, developing, and advancing mentally and emotionally as a person and as an artist. For sure this will affect the development of my paper cutting craft in direct proportion.

I now feel more encouraged to carry on with this creative and self-discovering (or life-changing) journey.


-Leeanne




Saturday, April 18, 2015

Love Notes To Self

'You Matter'
Handmade papercut (on a different background color) for Day 12 

A simple reminder that uplifts with great impact.

Hello friends! :)

As mentioned in my previous post, I joined in Elle Luna & The Great Discontent's #The100DayProject https://thegreatdiscontent.com/100days. The way I understand it, it's a 100 day challenge of making and sharing your own unique craft. It is not only restricted to art, it can be anything you are good at - cooking, poetry, dancing, etc. It is a creative challenge wherein daily commitment and dedication to utilize and develop your own unique gift/craft/voice is essentially needed. 

It appealed to me so much since I know in my heart that I finally discovered my passion and I'm enthusiastic about developing it by acting on it as much as I can. I'm curious about what this challenge will make of me as a dedicated papercut artist. :) What's even more interesting about this challenge is that it's like a community of creative and passionate people who support and encourage each other to keep doing what they do best.
I believe that this is gold in achieving progress and success. 

3 days ago, on my '10th day of making', I  suddenly realized the theme I am demonstrating in my artworks for this creative challenge. All messages that I made into handmade papercuts or papercut patterns are the messages I am telling or reminding my own self from time to time when I needed a little push.

Today is Day 13 and most of my works communicate positive messages or affirmations that serve as inspiration for others and more for myself, to be honest. I believe that we all need to see positive words to have positive thoughts and a positive life eventually.

It's like our reality aligning with our positive mindset.

And so I thought, I'll continue doing that and make it my official theme for #The100DayProject.
I call it 'Love Notes to Self' :)

'You Matter' papercut (the primary image for this blog entry), my artwork for Day 11 (as a papercut pattern) and Day 12 (as an actual handmade papercut)  is the perfect starter for this realization a.k.a  my 'Aha(!) moment' in this project. 

Here are some of the artworks I posted for the challenge:

'Namaste (I bow to you)'
Handmade papercut for Day 8
A reminder to take care of my body and spirit by practicing yoga. :)
'Show Up'
Papercut artwork for Day 9

(On a different background color compared to the one I posted on my Instagram account)
A reminder to consistently show up even (or especially) when it's hard.

'Let's Do This!' 
Papercut artwork for Day 10
A reminder that I'm not alone in this journey. That many creatives around the world are making time to do what they love to do and not giving up on their passion.


As of this writing, I've listed 45 more positive messages to turn into intricately beautiful papercuts in the coming days and I still need to add more to complete it.  I'm confident that I can with the help and support of my 'creative tribe' wherever they are in this world. :)


















Sunday, April 5, 2015

#100DaysOfMakingPapercutsOrPapercutPatterns

Day 1 of My #100DaysOfMakingPapercutsOrPapercutPatterns


Hello friends! :)

Today I'm sharing with you my first papercut artwork for Elle Luna & The Great Discontent's #100DayProject  https://thegreatdiscontent.com/100days  (click the link to know more about it, especially if you want to participate, which I encourage you to do. :))

I commit myself to make 100 papercuts or papercut patterns for this creative challenge and my own unique hashtag is #100DaysOfMakingPapercutsOrPapercutPatterns :) I wanted to start with something that has the word 'create' because that's what I do. That's what I love to do and that's what fires me up. 

I am excited and scared about this journey. What will this bring? Will I be able to participate until the end? Will I make it to the 100th day? Where will I get the inspiration and drive to commit to this every single day? To name a few scary questions and uncertainties in my mind, BUT, one thing I'm certain of is that I want to take on this challenge. I wanna do this! This is a bit the same to my life goal which is to create something beautiful and of great value everyday (and to inspire people through it). The special thing about this project is that there is a public accountability. I don't even know if I can do this without an accountability, unless I'm super duper disciplined, which I aim to be. Each of us announced our commitment and participation in this project and I believe that this move will play a big role in helping us make it until the end. Not to say that the 100th day is the most important day of all in this journey, I believe that every struggle, process and development within the 100 days are gold as well. I hope there will be lots of encouragement and inspiration among all of us who joined and I'm excited about the things I will learn, discover and produce for this '100 Days of Making' challenge. 




This is a photo I posted on my Instagram account when I announced my participation in this challenge. 


And this picture shows #TheGreatDiscontent 's comment on my post! I was so thankful and flattered for their encouragement! :) 


Let's do this!!! :)