Posts tagged Germany
Self Doubt As An Artist

Can I really call myself an artist? It's a scary thing to say. I haven’t made art seriously ever in my life. Since studying art, I have had times of abundance in the art-making realm, but it hasn't been consistent. I struggle to even call myself an artist. I am and have been an art teacher now for 4 years, but am I really an artist? 

Growing up I created paintings, collages, art journals, but I never thought I was any good. Talent wasn’t really evident in my hands. I couldn’t draw realistically. I wasn’t one of those girls that could draw horses impeccably. It wasn't until my second year of uni that I learned to draw.

There is just so much self doubt as an artist. Is my work good enough? Will anyone want to buy it? What do I want to create? I will never be as good as the masters. It’s crippling at times to even think about it. When I was teaching I used a lot of my creativity for lessons and helping students develop ideas. I excused my lack of art making on that. At times teaching insipired me to create, but most of the time it left me a bit dry. I have such artist guilt about creating so seldom, and somehow that is the reason I believe I’m not really an artist. An art professor from my undergrad said that only a few of us would continue to make art in our lives and those that did, were the true artists. I hoped I would keep creating, but convinced myself that I wasn’t a real artist. I mean I had only been making art consistently for 2 years by then.

When I did learn to draw and realised I could be an artist, it was such an exciting time! It felt so right. I could learn to make anything with practice and patience. I was so happy to have the skills and to know I could grow in the skills to be an artist. It really made sense. I had created visual things my whole life. I did love to create. I was moved to create, it made so much sense that I was, deep down an artist. 

I suppose the self-doubt will not ever completely go away, but I hope that it will visit less frequently. 


Thanks for reading.


Van Interior
Last sunday we returned from our 5 week van journey.  I wanted to shoot and share a few photos before we unpacked and moved out of our van. The space really became our home over the past 5 weeks. I honestly can't wait until we can get back on the road.

From left to right you can see the kitchen, bathroom (toilet), and living room. There is a board behind the backseats that comes out and has a leg, it slides into the rut above the toilet to make a table for working and eating (as seen in this photo). The table can also attach to the floor of the van and stand on the ground, outside of the van, on nice days as in this photo on instagram.

Here is our kitchen, we have a gas stove. The gas can under the bed. It's in a sealed box in the back with a vent so we don't accidentally get gassed out! Our pots and pans either hang on the rail when we are parked, or are in the wooden box to the left when we drive so that they don't clank around. The boxes above the sink have coffee, tea, kettles etc... then the other boxes toward the back are filled with clothes. Notice the safe on the top, far left, that's where we put all our valuables on our trip. It's screwed into the wall and the shelf from the inside, so it's not going anywhere. 

Our bed pulls out all the way to the edge of the sink, an extra part of the mattress is added, when it's bedtime. It's 2 meters long and about 120cm wide, so luckily Dominik and I are skinny minis and like to snuggle. I don't know where we'll fit the baby when it comes in January. Maybe a hanging crib?

I bought this bear bottle opener in Gothenburg, Sweden. It was fun to buy useful souvenirs along the way in Scandinavia this summer. We even bought a reindeer fur from a Norwegian lady in a dirt-yurt like hovel. We slept on the fur most nights, to stay warm, but it also covers our ugly back seats during the day.

Under the bed is where it isn't so pretty.  I am going to make curtains for the bits under the sink and bed, because our pantry, seen below, is a real eyesore!!! We didn't want to put in too much permanent storage because our van needs to be very versatile. It's our only car so we use it for big shopping trips and weekly stuff, but we also use it as a band-mobile for Dominik Baer and the 54s.

This summer we played a number of house shows, so the majority of the space under the bed was taken up with music equipment and Dominink Baer merch.

Well, that's our van, in its campervan state of being. If you have any questions about our set up please feel free to ask. As I said, there are definitely improvements we will be making over the years. But it has worked wonderfully for us this summer. It has been an amazing dream come true to have a home on wheels.

Thanks for reading lovelies!
It's been wonderful to see the great response to our trip and photos on Instagram and Facebook.


Anna and Dominik
Back in the Studio
One wonderful thing about not being on the road is having a studio again. Knowing I have a space for art and a space I can leave things out is such a privilege. It was tough to make art in the van with Dominik always around. He's not judgmental or critical at all, but I need alone time to get making. Being alone in the studio gives me artistic mind-space and space-space to create. 

I haven't officially announced it on the blog yet but I'm preggy, 20 weeks now. I'm beginning to feel better and starting to feel a bit like myself again. I think that may be why I haven't made much work since being pregnant, I haven't felt like myself. The beginning of pregnancy is f*&king terrible. Anyways, back to why it's great to be in the studio...

Getting back into making is hard too. I don't feel very much self-confidence and don't quite know where to start. I've been teaching art for 4 years now and I am super comfortable with teaching how to make art and giving assignments, but getting started on my own work always takes some time to finally get to it.

So, I started back by doing some tiny paintings. I didn't know what to do, but I just knew I had to start somewhere. I picked out a little quail egg. I had bought a set at an after easter sale and began painting. I'm not super practiced in watercolor so there is definitely room to grow.

I have false expectation that all my work needs to be fantastic. I'm an art teacher after all, so I have to prove I can do it. But especially at the beginning, getting back into making. But, I need to have some grace with myself. Give myself time to experiment and play. I'm sure I'll figure out some great series' to make once I have began making.

 How do you start being creative after a creative break?


Berlin Mitte: Bits and Bobs

This time when staying in Berlin, we stayed in a cute Airbnb flat in Berlin Mitte (Middle), which is the pretty touristy part of town. It was a lovely and convenient place from which to explore the whole city. We often found ourselves back in Kreuzberg in the evenings, but Mitte was just dandy for this trip to the capital.

Have you ever been to Berlin? Where did you like to stay while visiting?


for the sake of making it
There's this inner pressure as an "artist" to create fantastic artwork.  It is so intimidating.  I know that my students feel the need to create masterpieces every time they put pencil to paper.  My 11th and 12th graders can't even make mistakes in their sketchbooks.  Yikes.

To counter these feelings in me I have to make art for the sake of the process its self.  I need to just make.

I took about 45 minutes and made a few pieces that I am calling my German Vocab Series.

One of the hardest things about the German language are the genders of nouns.  They have no logical reasoning, so they have to memorized.  I have trouble memorizing things that don't logically make sense to me, so maybe if I paint them and spend 25 minutes meditating on a the words they will stick. ha. 

Well, as I've been saying the past few months, teaching art gives me lust to create it.  

I am blessed to have time to do it and I am thankful that I am making a bit more time for myself to create it.



P.S.  yes I may have been drinking a mid day hot cocktail while drawing and painting.