Today’s TRIBE Tuesday features an inspiring story by Jane Mant.
I had the pleasure of spending a beautiful week painting with Jane last year in Bali, and I’m thrilled to share her work and her awesome story of “finding tribe” with you here today!
Like everyone, I have always been creative, since that first vivid experience of finger painting in kindergarten.
I studied graphic design and worked as a designer and as a high school art teacher before having time off as a stay at home mum. I continued making art and attending life drawing sessions on and off but gradually my heart was not in my painting. I had been practicing tonal realist oil painting, and instead of feeding my soul it fed my never-good-enough, perfectionist inner critic.
I stopped painting.
My heart led me to work in educating younger children. It was here that I reconnected with a more playful way of making art.
Painting was joyful again and I found the courage to create, but this time from the inside out, not to please others or try to appease my critic.
I was so thrilled to be chosen to attend the Bloom True retreat in Ubud last April. The trip itself was an act of courage for me, leaving my family for a week for the first time.
It was a magical, expansive, abundant and challenging week. The biggest surprise for me was the sense of connection I immediately had with the group. I realized that I had been lonely, painting on my own without creative companionship. I was so blessed to find a beautiful bunch of women who have become my international painting tribe.
Returning home, I sought out local painting friends. Having felt that connection, I couldn’t go back to creating in isolation again. I discovered a little gang of local bloomers through Facebook, and we formed an emerging group of painting friends. I believe we will go a long way together — Hi Paint Jam Adelaide!
Through this process I have learned so much about courage, freedom and joy.
Practicing courage through painting has given me and others the courage to change our lives. I have left a job that I had long outgrown, I am painting consistently and have begun sharing, showing and selling my work. My next courageous, creative adventure is a six month road trip around Australia with my family, painting along the way.
Thank you Jane — I have the biggest smile on my face! I’m thrilled to hear that you found your local tribe of Bloomers, and that you are experiencing so much freedom and joy — on and off the canvas.
Keep up the amazing work and have a great trip!