Peony and Parakeet

For a Late Bloomer in Art – Series of Inspiring Quotes #2

Magical Bunny. Illustration by Paivi Eerola, Finland.

This post continues the series of inspiring quotes that I have heard or read recently. The last week’s post was the first one of the series. It’s about being honest about what you want to create, read it here. But now to this week’s inspiring quote – especially geared to us who are late bloomers in art!

This Week’s Quote

“You will never arrive”

Who Said?
American illustrator Lisa Congdon

Where?
Lisa’s Instagram feed, here’s the link to the post

Lisa is also a late bloomer, not pursuing art right from the beginning. When she was starting her art career, she dreamed about living a successful and carefree life as an artist. She thought that when she has it all figured out, she will reach a happy destination. But when Lisa’s fame grew, new challenges came along. She wrote: “If I have arrived at all, it’s in a place of accepting that I will never arrive.”

One Masterpiece vs. Chain Reaction of Inspiration

Drawing collage pieces. A hand-drawn set of small tassels by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I am a late bloomer in art, just turned 50 this year, and been a working artist for only five years. The older I have got, the more aware I have become that one day this life is over. A few years ago, my reaction to it was to aim for creating pieces that will continue their life after my death. I wanted to leave a legacy. Recently, I have become to think differently, and Lisa’s post also contributed to that. I believe that everything we do for others is a legacy. Even this blog can be one of mine. And it’s not defined by how long the posts will be available, but by their effect on the readers.

Drawing collage pieces. A hand-drawn teacup by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

The encouragement for art starts a chain reaction. When we support other people to create, they can do the same and pass the inspiration forward. The drops become a cupful, and our existence lasts longer. And when we take the pressure off from a single piece of art, it also gives us the courage to express what we truly love – referring to the last week’s blog post – that feels honest to us.

Do You Have This in Common with Leonardo?

Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. Ink drawing by Paivi Eerola of Peony and parakeet.

Leonardo da Vinci was famous for not being able to do his commissions on time. He had several different projects on the go all the time, and some never got finished. He felt like he was a failure and saw himself more like an engineer than an artist. (10 things about Leonardo)

If Leonardo felt like he had never arrived, the feeling must be connected with creativity. When we are creative, we are on an adventure and don’t stay put. The journey becomes tedious and depressing if we focus too much on the destination instead of enjoying the views.

Magical art hand-drawn by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Heading Away from the Safe Road

Instagram is full of skillful art, and sometimes, it makes me question myself as an artist when millions and millions of “better” images are uploaded all the time. It has made me postpone sending my work to juried exhibitions and reaching for opportunities to do illustrative work because “I am not quite there.”

Paivi Eerola, a late bloomer in art, an artist from Finland, and her watercolor paintings.
Finnish Watercolor Society’s annual group exhibition in June 2019
Two more group exhibitions coming up in the fall!

I have started to think that if the fact is that we never arrive, I should get out of my comfort zone and try walking on some of the side paths too. I also want to allow myself to create more art that is humorous and that can’t be taken seriously because every time I do that, it makes me smile and brings the sun into my studio. I may not follow the road that I had imagined a long time ago, but it makes the adventure of being a late-bloomer more exciting.

Drawing humorous art. Magical art hand-drawn by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

Take the Next Step – Do This!

Imagine that you already have all the artistic skills that you will ever get. Do something that you have postponed because you have been waiting for your skills to grow!

Come to create fantastic art – Sign up for Magical Inkdom!

12 thoughts on “For a Late Bloomer in Art – Series of Inspiring Quotes #2

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post!
    So nice to see you with your beautiful art in the exposition.
    I agree never to reach the ultimate, but I’m happy to be able to sketch, paint, collage and mixed media. Don’t dare to call myself an artist.
    It’s not about the result, but following the path . And yes, I’m a late bloomer too.

  2. I love this change in your focus from the purely abstract to the fanciful and magical. Your magical inkdom characters are so engaging, curious and expressive. Wonderful!

  3. I remember years ago when I got into some galleries and was showing my work, how for a short while it made my ego puff up…and then I got commissions…and then I was singing a tune to someone else’s song….and to their expectations. So I realized it wasn’t the path I wanted or needed to take. To me the most beautiful thing about your art is that it is so perfectly, honestly, exactly YOU, and thus inspiring, breathtakingly beautiful and oh so curiously totally different and far-out- explorative and always, always such a delight! That you bring smiles and joy and wonder to anyone who follows your art is what it’s all about, really…and oh, you are as magnificent a teacher as you are an artist.

    1. Thanks so much, Mackie! The best and the most difficult thing in art that it’s free. We can figure out the rules of aesthetics and such but the core of the expression has to be free. Thank you for being my soulmate here!

  4. Thank you Paivi for this post! It is heartening to hear that someone whom I consider to be a Real Artist who has had 2 successful careers, also gets the feelings that I do. I often feel that because I have not been able to have children/ marriage/ career that I envisioned as a child; that I am ‘not there yet’ or even half way!
    Fact is, that we all have successes in our lives and have helped people in the ways that we can, so we shouldn’t judge ourselves but as you say ‘enjoy the surprise paths that we find to the side of the one path that we think we should be travelling’. Perhaps Where we are trying to get is not where we are supposed to be going in the first place? You have created a wonderful place on the Bloom and Fly community and you inspire others to have Fun with their own art at whatever skill level they may currently be at. If that is a ‘Side Path’ then it is a pretty awesome one!
    And if Leonardo da Vinci felt a failure with the genius that he possessed even surpassing his own Master – well, I figure that it is just how art is supposed to be – we are always learning and having new ideas to try out despite life side tracking us – when we get back to doing our Art after time not creating on paper, we are once again filled with joy.

    1. Thank you for the wonderful comment, Mandy! There’s so much wisdom in it! I especially love how you wrote about trying to get somewhere where we were not meant to be and what you wrote about defining the success. I think that when we are children, we are often wiser about what we were meant to be. I loved to draw lions and other animals, and nowadays I wonder how did take so long to get them back to my repertoire again!

  5. I used to have a retail job ordering merchandise for upcoming sales. I was so focused on the future I didn’t know what day it was🤷‍♀️ I am still learning about the journey and the present moment.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Wendy! It’s sometimes easier to me too to focus on the future rather than what I can do now. Fortunately, when we create art, we have the luxury of being present!

  6. Fantastic article! Thank you for sharing your personal journey and its experiences. Writings like this are so inspiring!

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