For the joy of it!

trust

My illustrations are a reflection of my inner child. I can remember drawing my own characterizations of animals since I was in Kindergarten. When I was in the first grade I won a poster contest about listening. I drew animals with big ears. When the teacher announced to the entire class that I had won, I heard a classmate say, “We all know her Dad drew it.” I was horrified and heart broken. It’s true my Dad can draw, but he didn’t help me, not one bit. Already being fearfully shy, I didn’t know how to express my distress over the comment and began crying right there in front of everyone. Over the years I have realized how precious our creative lives are to us. I try to express this vulnerability as well as beauty in my art. My intention as an artist and writer is to encourage people to express themselves creatively and become more resilient to criticism, especially that dreadful inner-critic.

How are you using your creative life? Do you feel like you have one? I’d like to reassure you right now that you do. When was the last time you engaged in a creative project just for the joy of it? Sometimes I feel like we put so much pressure on ourselves to create something amazing that we never even start. It’s true there are a lot of amazing creations out there. The other side of this truth is that these things were created because a whole lot of other things (things that may not have been so great) were created first. So, take the pressure off yourself and create something for the pure joy of it. No expectations. Just joy.

Xoxo,

Bonnie


Bonnie Kelso writes and illustrates books that celebrate diversity, creativity, and all the special qualities that make each of us unique.

©Bonnie Kelso and Creating Your ExperienceVitalize Your Creative Life is a workbook based on a series of classes I designed based on creating from the energetic space of your inner child. In this workbook, I encourage you to rediscover the creative kid inside of you by coloring, scribbling, and even drawing stick figures. This is a very approachable book for people who want to begin exploring their creative life in a playfully spiritual way. Read more…

The Red Crayon

Dreams are so weird. Well, mine are to me. If I told you about them you would probably find them really boring, so I will spare you that. I did have one last night where it was a dream inside a dream. Those are rare. In my dream I was telling two people about what we were doing in a dream, and yes, their eyes were glazing over as I spoke… in my dream!

Although most dreams are strange and hardly seem worth remembering when the alarm goes off in the morning, some dreams seem to demand our attention. Those dreams feel more lucid and not like a dream at all. There’s something different about the light, the feel, the sounds and the overall intensity of them. Have you had one of these lately? Do you know what I’m talking about?

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Mine was simple and non-threatening. It was a red crayon. It was just lying there waiting for me to pick it up. I remember exactly what it looked like.  It was one of those big chunky crayons, made for little hands. It was new and perfect in shape and form. The tip was an unpressed cone of wax, still shiny from the processing plant. The paper sleeve on the crayon was free of wear and tear. I could tell it had not been handled much, if at all. It was as if this crayon had been perfectly preserved from childhood. My childhood. It was being saved for now. Saved for me to take and use in my 48th year of life. Perhaps in the past I have used other colors. Maybe those have already been worn down past the paper wrapper, but not the red. I’ve never used the red. Why? Is it too bold? Is it too everything I have never felt qualified to do until now? Continue reading

The Lady of Shalott

I’ve been taking these old art postcards I’ve collected over the years and altering them in my sketchbook. “The Lady of Shalott,” is a painting by John William Waterhouse. It was inspired by Lord Tennyson’s poem about a woman who is an artist. She weaves in a tower and lives an isolated life. She can only watch the people living their lives near the city of Camelot. She can’t even look at them directly, only through their reflection in a mirror. Here’s a portion of the poem:

There she weaves by night and day, a magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say, a curse is on her if she stay
to look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be, and so she weaveth steadily,
and little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

One day she is tempted by the sight of Sir Lancelot who is very handsome. She breaks her spell, and looks upon him directly. The mirror shatters and she knows because of the curse that her time is running out. She takes a boat towards Camelot, but dies before it arrives. Lancelot looks over her tragic death with sympathy.

Lady of Shalott SM Continue reading

The Owl

Ever since I became a Mom my symbol for my relationship with my children has been the owl. Learning from the energy of the owl has given me confidence over the years. I can still remember how frightening it was to bring children into the world. I didn’t feel able to protect them and I questioned if I was qualified to guide them. Then I saw an owl in a meditation and many meditations after that one. It was a giant owl with wings Continue reading

Friday = Art

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From my sketchbook playdate with myself this week. I am so going to miss Taurus. I’ve always had a resistance to Taurean energy, so this year I really made an effort to heal that internal relationship. Now I am totally in love with it! I’ll tell you a secret, too. My favorite way of connecting with this nurturing feminine earth energy is by lying flat on my stomach and pressing my forehead into the ground. I can just feel all my Continue reading

An Experience, not another boring lecture…

Tomorrow is my first Facebook Live Event and it is going to be epic!

Epic… really, Bonnie?

YES!

NOT because millions of people are expected to participate.

NOT because I am that ego-centric and important and just love to listen to the sound of my voice and be the star of my own world.

… and NOT because it’s just another boring lecture.

It is going to be EPIC, for me on a very personal level. It will be a significant moment of growth where I will step out of my comfort zone and allow myself to be vulnerable. It will be me, talking heart to heart with other people about how I manage a limitation that has always been a part of my life. It’s a personal limitation that in the past has only ever been visible to the people closest to me. Tomorrow, I am going public with it. I’m no longer NOT going to talk about my personal experience with depression.

After it is over, I know in my heart, that an enormous personal shift will have occurred, no matter how well or poorly the actual event goes. Between 12pm and 2pm Pacific Time tomorrow I will let a childhood monster out of the closet once and for all. By doing so, this monster will no longer have the same power over me.

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If you also suffer from depression and would like to learn a few creative ways to manage it, I invite you to join me. If you know of someone else who may benefit from this experience, please feel free to share the link with them. This event is 100% free and open to the public. My intention is for the event to be interactive. I will respond to comments and questions live as we go. I am hoping that someone actually is there to interact with me live, but if not, I will try to make it as interactive as I can by including lots of prompts for you to engage with the presented materials, even if it is at a later time as you watch the recording.  Continue reading