Coleen English-Thomas and Art of Another
I am a creative human currently residing in a beautiful Blue Mountains village in NSW, Australia, and if you know the area, you will understand why it’s so easy to be inspired by nature (if you don’t think about the snakes, spiders and occasional bushfire).
I’m excited about finally getting some momentum with my art-making and this new creative direction which began a few years ago with Instagram.
Dreaming about art
Art of Another began in 2015 after a dream, and a desire to find my creative groove again. The dream was the type that visits as you drift in and out of sleep after pressing the ‘snooze’ too many times on the alarm. There were no visuals, just a web address in my head ‘www.artofanother.com’ What? What does that mean? I thought after waking. I’ve been given many creative ideas in my dreams before, but none as specific and as simple as this one.
Many times over the years of being a graphic designer, teacher and busy mum, I had attempted to find time for my art. I decided that I would document the challenge of trying to make time each day for my own creativity… eventually I believed that I was too busy to blog about being too busy for art.
Finding my ‘creative groove’
When http://www.artofanother.com came to me, the timing was right. It came after my annual art retreat (where I forget about the busy outside world and make art at ‘Bundanon’ NSW for 3 days) and after a few months of developing content for an online course subject ‘creative process’. In my research on process for artists, designers and creativity the word ‘play’ continually popped up.
How I found my creative groove again
- I registered the domain name for Art of Another without knowing what it was going to be.
- I began to play again with art materials. It was easy to know how, since my daughter was 5 and loved art and I was teaching creative thinking techniques to design students.
- I started the artofanother Instagram mini blog to document my creative play after realising how easy it was to post pics, type comments and share with the world (and realising I didn’t need a website to blog).
So I played. I stopped making excuses about being too busy, I stopped thinking about what finished artworks and designs needed to look like, I placed my sketch books everywhere (car, handbag, bedside table…) and I played. It started with 5 minutes a day of conscious creative play.
What did I discover?
“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein (apparently not quite his quote)
And yes play does lead to discoveries. For my art, I realised I had been waiting for something great to come to me instead of seeking the possibilities. I started to practice what I preach as a design teacher. ‘Stop focusing on that one great finished design and explore possibilities’ even if it’s a bad idea at least it helps you realise when something good comes along.
The ‘play’ lead to so many ideas that by 2016 I was ready to focus on creating a body of work with the intention of exhibiting by the end of the year. I’m pleased to say that that’s what I achieved and now continue to create and exhibit regularly. I hope you enjoy the work that I am now proud of sharing. Please view my art page to see current works (some for sale) and exhibitions. I continue to share my creative play, other inspiring artists and occasional pieces of natural art such as bark and leaves on artofanother.
Thanks for visiting.