Sunday, November 29, 2009

Secret Truths: Taking a Leap of Faith!

A couple of days ago I had a discussion with a very charming and talented man about where I might best be classified when describing my blog. This was a particularly revealing exercise - to me none the least - defining where I should best be put. It consequently lead me down a stream of thought that will take you all the way to my secret at the end of this post (scroll down if you like to read the last chapter first ;-).

In that one simple question I realised that I was all over the place, and always have been. That is what is quintessentially me. Right from when I can first remember I have rarely felt at place within just one group. As a little girl I would ride horses barefoot and bare back, then dress up in frilly dresses for birthday parties. As a teenager, I would play 'real man's' rugby with the same boys who would take me to the cinema and very gallantly treat me as a lady after they had just plastered me into the dirt 2 hours before. My friends have been, and still are from various walks of life, and widely differing 'social circles.' I love all people: they fascinate me, where ever they are from, and whatever they do.
I am therefore equally as comfortable abseiling down a cliff face at 5am with 3 other tired adventure racers ...

... as I am at a cocktail party with UNESCO delegates in the middle of Paris (although I may admit to a slight preference for the cliff face... ;-) Ditto for sitting on the floor by the fire reading with my children or quietly and patiently practicing my calligraphy on a stubborn piece of wood. I am at a loss to separate these parts of myself from the whole. They are all equally and truly moi!

Amongst all of that higgledy piggledy, there is one fine, but very strong, common thread that links my life and my art: Words.

Words that inspire to move on, move up, change, accept and have courage to seek truth and perservere against the odds.  Words that have inspired me, have inspired others, will continue to inspire... hopefully even you, my cherished reader! You can find out more about my thoughts on that HERE - and I do hope you go there as it is a subject that is very close to my heart. It perfectly describes my initial goal when I started this blog and remains to this day my primary objective, wherever else all of my meanderings may take us on the way...

And this. This leads us to my secret...

When I first started learning the art of calligraphy 5 years' ago it was in order to be able to write a book for my children and make the appearance as pretty as the content itself. Five years ago also I was just starting out selling the pretty objects I was making by hand to decorate houses, such as these...

(By the way, these are not actually mine but my best friend's in Paris. My photos burnt in our house fire and, as she taught me to make the same things, she has graciously let me use her photos.  When she starts her blog of her new beautiful things, I will give you the link!)

But it wasn't enough - there was something missing. So I got to the point a year ago where it was time to use the techniques I had acquired working with wood and designing lighting, together with my calligraphy, and my convictions.
Ahh the convictions. They are the key.
They are encapsulated in the phrases I heard as I was growing up, and that have had such an enormous influence in carrying me through those difficult periods in life that we all face, regardless of who we are, what we do and where we come from.

I had to get them down. They bubble out of me of their own accord. For they are not mine to keep! They belong to each and every one of us...

And from there followed, as a sort of natural progression, the idea of selling my work. One cannot create so much and keep everything now can one? Stocking things goes right against my personal crusade against clutter (which itself is hardly compatible with my love of flea markets, I know)!
So, here's my secret... Here I go ... I'm taking a deep breath ...

... Early on in the month, I started up an Etsy store. (Phew, I got it out!)
And I have since been too petrified to tell any more than a mere few about it. It's far easier for me to rappel down a 100m cliff face... Or speak out to diplomats about women's education...

The Reason it's so difficult?
Because this time - I'm selling ME! Not just part of me.
It's time to put those words into action ... and believe,
in myself this time.
I hope you will accompany me.

Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come ...Victor Hugo

Well, the secret's out and I admit I feel somewhat relieved!
Now, don't forget to pop on over to see Seth tomorrow for more Sunday secrets !
Then see you later on tonight for, The Paris Episodes!

PS. Sooner or later I might get sorted out and have two blogs - one for art, one for life. For the moment the two are still inextricably linked and I can't quite define where one stops and the other begins. In the mean time, please bear with me, all of me...


  1. What I find so incredible is that without the other knowing about it, started writing our post about each other. What is also very striking is that we uploaded within 4 minutes of each other while being half way around the world with 8 hours of a time difference. Even our subject matter has similarities as we discuss the future and directions our blogs take, especially in light that I have two and wish to distinguish them further apart, while also maintaining similarities between them.

    I wish to congratulate you on you Etsy shop. I have been contemplating myself, but it is going to have to wait until next year and only after I have enough artwork available, will I go down this path. However my plan is also to have PayPal on my blog, in conjunction to Etzy, something yo might wish to consider.

    Like everything in life, we take baby steps to propel us forward and once we have accumulated some confidence, we can begin to take that 'leap of faith'.

    Good luck Angela!

    Your friend Egmont

  2. Hey Ange!!
    Congratulations on your shoppe!!! Well done!
    I'm sure everyone will be delighted in your wares as I am!

    I laughed when I read you are 'all over the place' .. sounds like me.. although I doubt I am as energetic as you are these days.

    Take care.. and congrats again!!!
    xx Julie

  3. Oh Ange what a lovely post! Thank goodness you can't be categorized, you are such a unique individual & how good is that! The best congrats. for taking the plunge, I've no doubt everyone will be beating down the door of your etsy store pronto. Stay true to yourself.
    Millie ^_^

  4. Bravo Ange. You should be very proud of these pieces. What a great way to enjoy 'words'.

  5. You jumped! This is one of the best posts I've read, honestly. I think you've described yourself very accurately, at least from what I know about you. Your love of art and life shines through everything, your shop looks great and will be a success, I'm sure. Well done!!! Bet it feels good doesn't it?

  6. Hi Ange, I just love the fact that you learnt calligraphy so that you could write a book for your children...and look where that has led you,WOW! I did a course myself and find it a very relaxing craft. I'm afraid the thought of abseiling leaves me in a cold sweat and has ever since my Form 2 school camp!
    Great post and thanks for sharing your heart.

  7. Deb, after all our 'discussions' and your much valued advice, I have to you to thank in particular!! Yep - Feels good! On the edge of my seat 'dans l'attente' to seeing yours too.
    Egmont - that is quite amazing and I am going over to see the post now! I bet the only similarity we didn't have is that I went to bed a few minutes after posting mine ;-). Thank you, to you too for the inspiration and the timely prompt.
    Jan, your Christmas decorations are beautiful (especially the ones made of books!) and I have to pop back and leave a comment about them.
    Millie - you always arrive with a kind word of encouragement when I least expect it. Thank you for coming by from time to time. I am a big fan of your writing and in particular your fine sense of humour.
    And Julie, you who were one of the first words of encouragement I have ever had... More thanks than you can imagine!

  8. Etsy will be a storming success - I'm going over right now to check it out.

    Much Love

  9. I still have to photograph my other works and put them on there too! Althought some have just sold locally. Having fun doing it though...

  10. i am here to let you know how much I like your work, your Etsy shop is lovely.

  11. Once again I am shocked at our similarities... It brings me great comfort that you have been able to accept that you simply can't be "labeled" - something I have struggled with, as I am a big fan of labeling and yet have never been able to identify who I "really" am, seeing as there are so many parts of me going in so many directions at once!
    Bravo on your Etsy shop - you are going to be wildly successful!
    A ce soir,

  12. Ah, yes, convictions! Thank you for that reminder! And yes, I feel the same, too: that creating so much, who am I to keep all of it. I want to share it. But I guess I'm still squiddgy on the conviction to sell it. I mean I do. Have an etsy shop and post things and do commissions and such. But I always feel like I should be giving it away. Hmmmmm... will have to sit with that today.

    I looooooooooooooooove and appreciating connecting with a fellow blogger who shares the whole of who she is and the paths you are taking -- instead of just seeing only your art. I get the idea of sorting it out and having a personal vs business blog and all. But never have been able to do that myself -- it's all mixed up in a mish mosh for me. I am living my heART :) Nice to see I'm not the only one!


  13. Congrats Ange! An etsy shop, how exciting for you, a dream of mine maybe one day....
    Good time for x-mas too. I went over for a visit and loved how you descibed your
    "positive planks" you certainly have a way with words, great post! :)

  14. Well done Ange! Great post, great words and hooray for a great leap! I am so happy for you and I look forward to seeing where those trusty pink converse sneakers take you as you leap into the world of Etsy!
    Best of luck and best wishes always, Natasha.

  15. Oh, Ange!! A big, huge congrats on opening your Etsy shop. That's a huge leap! Yay!!!! Your work is amazing and I wish you all the success in the world. xoxox


Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!