I’m an old fart, so I don’t walk well, and I’m deaf as a post with failing hearing aids, so interactions are difficult to start with. Pair that with people wearing masks so I couldn’t lip read made it so I found myself begging people to step back and pull the mask down so I could get what they were saying, or seeing them be really uncomfortable shouting way louder than they wanted, just so I could hear.
I gave up trying to socialize after only a couple of weeks. I felt like I was in my own isolated prison.
Then one morning I realized – hey – I can do whatever I want in here – it’s MY place, I get to call the adventures!
I asked myself what I’d do if I could have the time and space to do it. Since I work online anyway, I can always drop what I’m doing and complete any jobs that come to me, and then go back to my Love Jobs – art and writing.
A friend turned me onto the government support grants that were being given out, and the phone and utility companies gave me discounts as well, so my bills were paid easily.
Plus some substantial help from a few amazing, loving family and super friends – I can’t begin to say how much that has mattered.
What a blessing! I’d have ended up under a bridge the first month if not for that help.
So I embarked upon one of the most creative time periods of my entire life. I did series after series of pastel paintings, black and white drawings, and more pastels that ended up going into a local museum show.
I had already been creating designs for tiles, wallpaper and fabric, so I used this extra time to create literally thousands more. To say I’m prolific is a laughable understatement.
I set up a rule that I wouldn’t allow myself to get up from a meal until I had made at least one drawing for tiles.
Sometimes that one drawing session would turn into a few hours, and I’d come out with five to ten designs plus multiple variations. So if you add up a minimum of one drawing per three meals times 365 days times 2 years, you easily get 2100+ – I went in and counted yesterday, and it’s now 3500+.
I have no idea what I will DO with all these creations, as I’m not affiliated with any galleries. I did set up a new website for selling the originals and various size prints, and I post the art on my facebook group page almost every day.
Another thing that came up was thinking about how I didn’t want to be like my mother – none of us kids really knew her at all. She was a quiet person, not into talking much about herself. She died young almost 40 years ago, so we never had a chance to ask her about herself as we came into our own adulthood. I’ve always considered that a huge loss.
So I thought I’d start writing stories about the multitude of odd adventures I’ve had, for my own kids. I used my various series of drawings and paintings to illustrate each chapter.
I never thought anyone other than my kids would be interested, but upon seeing the first two books, a couple of friends urged me to make them available to the public.
Shocking to me, they have proven to be popular, so I have kept going – I’m on volume six now. I use the tile designs to illustrate the stories, as well as the stories, articles and books I publish on amazon, my blog, facebook, and medium.com.
One more thing I’ve been able to do is hold zoom classes for wannabe authors – I teach them how to use my very different process of writing a book that allows them to write faster and with more clarity. I got to help a few wonderful authors get their books written, illustrated, and published on amazon.
I’m immensely grateful for the time that was freed up for me, despite the incredible inconvenience and hardship almost everyone has suffered – I feel very fortunate, very blessed.
Now that things are shifting, I’d like to move into collaborating with a progressive tile company, sell some paintings, and help more authors write their important books.
I will also continue with my own stories – I never thought of myself as a writer until the last couple years. It’s been an amazing ride.
Oh – I’m almost 80, so I’m delighted this part of my life has been so productive!
MAKE ART, NOT WORRY
Image: Draw Every Day
text and image © Angela Treat Lyon 2023
Originals and prints: LyonArtandDesign.com
Recent designs here: instagram.com/angela.treat.lyon
My Inside Secrets books: atlyon.gumroad.com
Most recent stories: AngelaTreatLyon.com
My art group: facebook.com/groups/AngelaTreatLyonART
My very new writing group: facebook.com/groups/writeyourbookrightnow
Read this on Medium: medium.com/@lyonlyon/make-art-not-worry-432865649689