My experience with my own art has been that of creativity interlaced with self doubt. I have surrounded my life in art through pottery, drawings, and paintings. In 2015 I began a drawing that inspired a flame of passion within myself. A friend of mine and I were motivators to each other in our art and we became each other’s fans and cheerleaders. Both of us started to open our art to the world. The biggest leap of faith we pursued was attending a comic convention as an artist vendor. Mind you this was the Salt Lake Comic Convention 2016 which competes with some of the largest comic conventions in the nation as well as hosts a wide variety of well-known and novice artist. The experience to prepare were mentally, emotionally and physically taxing. But we did it!
We had a blast! Yes it was crazy and we had no idea what we were doing but we committed and made it happen. We started to connect with fellow artists and gained something intangible in the process, self worth. Our art had been for us and those close to us, but after that event people purchased our art because they wanted to. To us this was astonishing. We produced art “good enough” to buy. This began the various events, Art, and experiences that ultimately has led to where we are today.
Through the many events, not only have we gained our passion back and some of that self confidence, something happened that I did not expect, we were inspiring others to create.
It started first with our families. People who haven’t consistently drawn or even picked up their pencil for years, started drawing again. One found a new art medium where he can grow and create amazing images. Children began to color and create more frequently as well. Another has tapped into his artwork to battle negative thoughts. The movement has been ignited.
Beyond our inner circle, we inspire and empower. I remember an moment specifically, I was working on a construction job site as an inspector and working with a soils crew. On that crew there was a talented gentleman. He enjoyed seeing in my art and liked to see new pieces or what I was sketching in my truck at times. He himself, has been struggling some heavy feats with alcoholism and other demons. One day he asked if I wanted to see his paintings. I said, “of course I want to see your art work!” His expression and happiness showing his creativity and positive outlet was so moving and enlightening. He commented that seeing me draw in my work truck on his job site and other work I have shown him has inspired him to create more. That right there, gave me my purpose in life!
We all struggle with our self doubt and personal demons, whether they be mental, physical or emotional. I have found that my art has helped keep me level headed, most of the time, and not to dwell on the negative. Yes some days just suck and become overwhelming and that’s when I focus on creating something and I know it’s ok to have bad days. I rather make art that may seem dark to some but reflect my feelings than to self harm by either physical or chemical means.
These stories are only a few that have touched my life but I want to give people the hope they have within themselves that everything will be ok and life doesn’t suck that bad. People who look deep into their creative side end up using the time normally wasted on mindless activities to create and connect with themselves. I rather we make art from our pain and struggles than to damage ourselves and our creativity.
Yes I think scars can remind us of where we have been and our experiences but I also know they can sometime relinquish more of that negative feeling that made them in the first place. This is the idea behind Art Not Scars and I want anyone who wants or needs our services to create their art to be able to access and obtain all they need. This is why we are a not for profit and try to supply artist with the tools they need to succeed. We can create a better world by creating art, healing ourselves, and becoming a community again.
– Konnie Chamberlain, founder and artist of KCC Graphix, co-founder of Art Not Scars