….. always exploring and discovering!
I’ve been a curious learner my entire life – from my days as a ‘wee one’ to my days in the U.S. Navy and time as a let’s try that! sort of teacher (middle/high school/college) for 25+ years. Most recently, I’ve become a self-taught mixed-media artist while still working full-time in Education as an Instructional Coach. I am a Florida native living in Central Florida with my husband and two fur babies.
A typical weekday goes something like this:
5:00 AM: A cup of strong coffee (must-have!), my writing notebook, and our two kitties snuggled at my feet. I prefer longhand to get the ideas out while making sense of life. With a short 20 minutes devoted to the quietest part of the day, I reluctantly switch gears, to spend the next 7-9 hours teaching/coaching new and experienced teachers in their classrooms, in training sessions, in one-on-one time. On the not-so-fun days, I sit through meetings. In a word: boring. Without the meetings, it’s a hugely rewarding role that I take with great responsibility.
Finally, I hurry off campus every afternoon to land back in my home studio (as many days as possible) – where the day began. Now, it’s time to make. Anything. Everything. Whatever needs to come out. Some days, an idea has bubbled up from the night before, waiting quietly in the background until I can give it my attention. Other days, my feelings about the day take over. No matter what it is, I know I can leave it on my work table – in a messy, colorful, half-done (usually) state – until I can continue or repeat the process the next day.
A day without glue and paint on my hands is like a day without … well, you get the idea. Creating is absolutely essential every day, even if it’s for 20 minutes.
In spite of all that interaction in my ‘daytime gig,’ I’m truly an introvert masquerading in an extrovert’s world – with a brain that feels like 100 Internet tabs open at once, all the time.
It’s the quiet of the creative process that centers me again. One thing’s for sure: I am… Creative by Discovery.
how the art-making process found me
Everything we do is a process – good or bad, fast or slow – it’s all a process – and I’m fascinated by that. I’ve been reading and writing as long as I can remember, but when my writing voice disappeared in 2014 and I discovered art as therapy, colors splashed across paper or canvas helped me get through the darkest hours. We watched our baby sister battle breast cancer. It was slow, painful, life changing. Art focused my despair. Gave it a voice. Gave it an outlet. Gave me a place to scream, cry… try to make sense of things.
A few months into discovering art as therapy, a family member asked what I wanted to do with my new interest. I didn’t hesitate. I knew I wanted to share the power of creativity as a healing tool and as a way to have fun – no judgment, no expectations – just fun. Still a full-time teacher, I created RobinLK Studios – part writing, part ‘arting’ – 100% making/creating! Creative play is essential to our well-being and making does not need to be complicated.
A few years later, our sister is healthy and I continue to find joy in playing with words + colors while helping others rediscover their own creativity and work through their own emotions. We were all creative once, but many of us put it away ‘to be a grown-up.’ It’s time to rediscover our creativity!
When I began dabbling with various art techniques, tools and materials, (refusing to settle on just one), I learned my chosen art style is known as mixed media. It’s through these tools, techniques and materials that my soul has a voice. My process is messy, cathartic, and a much-needed release of emotions.
Making original art that expresses how I experience the world and sharing that creative, messy, therapeutic process with others is what makes my heart sing.
What I’m working on this year
In 2019, I am focusing on creating art journals, also known as creative or visual journals, and teaching others how to make their own. Want to read more? Check out this short blog post I shared in late 2018.
I’m also creating beautiful ‘altered’ books from discarded books that started life with a different purpose. These vintage beauties are getting a new personality, filled with colors and words, marks and materials – that convey a different message than how they began. Keeping the focus on books in 2019, I’m planning a small collection of travel journals – compact and one-of-a-kind, each handmade with vintage materials.
Finally, I’m planning to get a few in-person workshops on the calendar this year. They’ll take place in the Orlando area.