Embracing the Unexpected: Overcoming Creative Limitations

1st textured art piece

For most of my life, I believed I was not artistic. Despite being an avid writer and photographer, I felt my creative abilities paled compared to my family’s talents which flourished around me growing up—my mother’s exquisite handcrafted miniatures, my father’s precision modelling and assembly, and my brother’s formal art education. However, after experimenting with mixed media art and painting over the past year, I realized that “artist” is not a title bestowed upon you, it is something you claim when you dare to create.

My kitchen island has become a hub for my creative endeavors, housing various projects and materials. From soldering and assembling 3D prints to experimenting with painting techniques, this space fuels my imagination. My initial goal was to create a vibrant, cheerful backdrop for my textured art pieces using acrylic latex paint.

Work in progress (WIP): 1st dripping technique


WIP: Flicking paint technique

As I applied paint to the canvas, the piece began to take on a life of its own, inspiring me to explore new techniques. I experimented with dripping paint and flicking it from a spray can, stepping outside my comfort zone. There were moments of doubt and uncertainty where I felt I might have ruined the piece, but I trusted my instincts and allowed the artwork to evolve organically.

I worked on the piece periodically over several weeks, taking breaks to let both the artwork and myself rest. For the final touch, I found inspiration in a reusable towel. Using a small piece of the towel with navy paint and water, I created a smoky effect, reinforcing my belief in the power of creative exploration.

When I brought the painting into the photo editor on my computer, I was struck by the power of what I saw. Overcome with emotion, I found myself saying out loud, “It looks like art. I’m looking at art that I created!” This marked a turning point as the first time I saw one of my creations as ART.

“Celestial Sea” @ 2024 Shannon Blackburn. All Rights Reserved. Acrylic wall paint on canvas – 36”x24”

This experience reminded me that limitations are often self-imposed. Overcoming these internal barriers fosters growth and opens up a world of endless possibilities.

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