|Spirit Bird © Robin Phillips Studio|
I am honored that my piece Spirit Bird has been selected for The Healing Power of Art 2016 exhibition organized by Manhattan Arts International, which runs through September 20!
“Art holds the power to ignite the flame in our hearts and transform our minds. Art reveals the beauty as well as the horror of the human condition. Through art we are given the key to connect to a higher purpose.” ~ Renee Phillips, curator
The Healing Power of Art is a wonderful online community of art/artists that promote well being and positive change. Artists in the group are inspired by health/healing, education, social work, environmental awareness and more. See the exhibit and read more at: http://www.manhattanarts.com/hpa-1/ and http://healing-power-of-art.org
So, why do I create inspirational/healing art and how did I get started on this path?
Some of you have already heard my story or parts of it. But if you’re new to my blog, welcome! And let me tell you a bit more…
The short answer is that my academic/career background is in art, design and psychology. And I have a love for beauty combined with a strong interest in positive growth and healing 🙂
But it’s really life experience that moves me to create inspirational art. In just forty-some years, I’ve gone through many personal challenges- health, financial, divorce, family members with terminal illness, domestic violence and alcoholism to name some of the bigger ones. I’ve also seen over and over how much difficulty exists in the world- everyone is not treated fairly or equally nor have the same opportunities. I’ve seen how our Mother Earth has been ravaged, and how people turn against each other due to negative assumptions or “differences”, sometimes even such small differences. In my weakest hours, I have wondered why life has to be “so difficult” but ultimately know we all must endure. And in my strongest hours, I embrace the beauty of Earth and hope to inspire others who are feeling down or struggling too. It is my hope that my art may lift your spirits and bring you joy 🙂
I have been humbled by my life experiences and this has deeply strengthened my sense of compassion. Through trying to understand and express some of my earliest challenges, in college I studied psychology, art and spiritual traditions. A big turning point for me came in my twenties, when I was diagnosed with diabetes. Having to face a serious chronic disease with dangers and complications at such a young age made my life flash before me. All the sudden, I realized that my time on earth is limited and I felt the calling to do something meaningful with my life. As a graphic/web designer, this also moved me to work with non-profits and small creative ventures as opposed to agencies/corporations. Onward to today, I am continuously thankful for the time and the blessings that I do have.
Several years ago, I worked with VSA Arts, an organization promoting the power of art for people living with disabilities. I fondly remember the strong spirit of all the people I met there- especially how those who faced the greatest challenges were so positive. And, furthermore how art opened up a world of new possibility- a world with no limitations, a world of pure love and joy. Being creative and making art is accessible to anyone, it doesn’t depend on an art degree or some kind of innate “talent”. It’s truly about having fun, creating something with your own hands- the act of creating a piece in itself is healing. This experience, among others, reinforced my healing art path. Buddhists have long believed suffering leads to compassion and enlightenment, and I do see the truth in this principle. I don’t wish that suffering is necessary for anyone. But to be able to see the beauty in life amidst difficulty is a gift that we all have access to, at any time. Seeing the light is what moves us forward from darkness.
I turn to art for positive energy and healing. It will always be there regardless of life’s circumstances- a guiding light. Positive imagery and words celebrate what is beautiful in this world and cultivate love. I feel the point of focusing on the positive is not to blindly ignore our problems, but to celebrate what IS right, why life matters, what common ground we might share, and to illuminate a new path forward. From a psychological perspective, I believe happiness is the first step towards lasting, positive change. Happiness encourages us to be our best selves, to help others, to try to make a difference. Anger is of course a motivator too, but I believe joy sustains us further.
As a step beyond personal healing, I believe art is greatly healing for our world. Visual art speaks to our hearts and souls and has the capacity to evoke deep emotion and transform us. All of the creative arts are a powerful medium for highlighting activism, beauty and positive change. And there are many other beautiful ways to spread love too that are just as important. Every act of kindness or suggestion to support a cause matters. Shine your light!
|The Light Within © Robin Phillips Studio|
My Latest Painting, The Light Within
We all have a bright, beautiful light within, regardless of our circumstances. In this piece, it was my goal to create a more universal-looking figure that is not gender or race-specific, because this piece is meant for everyone. Our magnificent internal light is all-encompassing, reflecting and refracting rainbow colors. It is our central beacon of hope and healing. Know that you always have this source within you.