100 days – DONE

Finally after 100 days (originally 100 consecutive days) I have completed my little project #100daysofminicreations!!!

My main intentions for this project were to:

  1. maintain consistency and regularity
  2. continue exploration of artwork, and to
  3. capture a highlight or feeling of the day.

Link to my blog post – “100 days of mini creations!” in August 2016.

Did I do that overall?

  1. yes, somewhat (it’s a marathon not a race)
  2. yes, for sure
  3. yes.

Apart from the checklists, the start of this project was really a pivotal moment for me in my life. It was the start of my public art life.

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I have always been ‘into’ art and have always appreciated it – my family and friends will tell you so, but it wasn’t until this time that I made an active decision to make myself known to the world as an artist. Prior to that I was too afraid,  I had a lot of self-doubt about labelling myself as an artist, the pressure, the self-criticism (and still have, a little – I’m human right?) about my abilities, not being good enough or if I should just stick to the grind of a ‘proper job’.

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But, you know what, I’m glad I quit my full-time job. I took a major risk, and became unemployed for 2 months (scary), but I don’t have regrets and I already feel in a much better head space for it. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have randomly done this project.

It was a really good chunk of time for me to really reflect and digest the ebbs and flows of my movements, my thought processes, who I am as an artist, who I am as an introverted private person and a contributor to social media, the power I have to influence people, what mini creations were more popular than others and why, what I did when I thought ‘nah i’ll do it next time’, what opportunities I got out of it (which I did get some!), the wonderful support and positivity I got from people, the people I know who really were loyal. For me mostly, it was also the confidence. The acceptance of myself and who I am and my ongoing learning, creative journey.

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Lastly I wanted to say a big massive thank you for all the people who really engaged with my creations and commented and who will probably be reading this! I am really appreciative and thankful for your support 🙂

Stay blessed,

Meron xx

 

 

 

 

Getting help.

I’ve been reading this new kindle book lately called: ‘Make Your Creativity Pay: How to Earn Your Living from the Things You Love to Do’ by Pete Mosley. In one his wise pages, he mentions getting either a coach or mentor and the benefits and differences having one makes.

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I’ve never really thought about having a coach or mentor because I thought first I need to do this alone, and figure it all out by myself, to prove some sort of worthiness, I guess. But I find that I’m naturally connecting with people and actually wanting to get their advice on how to do things, and how they have done things as a step towards their right direction – whether it’s emailing artist friends I know or having a quick cup of coffee and a chat.

Recently I’ve been following illustrator and soul guidance coach Hannah Marie Dudley  through her Facebook group as I actually met her funnily enough through a meetup group for creative coaching! There’s a lot of things that I find really true and can resonate with on a deep level and we have so much in common in terms of our goals and our vibes. We both want to help people and use art to do it and both creatives. She also lives in my neck of the woods, so it’s a good start 🙂

I had a short consultation session with her yesterday I’m positive that this is going to be such a great help. She’s got the drive and experience I need to hold me accountable for things which I lack of course. We will be starting our journey now together and I’m so grateful. I feel like this is meant to be! I even started back meditating again this morning (which was one thing on my list to improve)! Yay!

Check out her Facebook group The Freedom Soul Seekers – ‘Awaken the light within’ It has great tips, thoughts, giveaways and a nice community of like minded people to chat with.

I will let you know how it goes 🙂

Peace x

What a year! Trials and tribulations of 2016

2016 has been an AMAZING year for me which ever way I look at it – positively, in terms of my own success and quite shocking in terms of the world around me. *insert tragic world news here. Now that I think of it, it’s as if society’s shock waves are like a trigger to do more, to act more, to create more. I actually started off this year on this blog with the aim of writing at least one post every month because I usually let blog pages die. I can officially say I DID IT!

*Brexit, USA presidential elections, Syria, Unlawful black killings, DAPL, death of Prince,etc.

 

One important thing I learnt from this year was to take risks – to not be afraid to expose myself and my art work.

 

In the end I found it paid off (sometimes even literally).

I went from just trying to keep my blog alive to creating merondubale.com; pushing my artwork on Instagram, making networks; creating business cards; selling some of my art work; collaborating with great people; not to be afraid to use the term ‘artist’; setting up a Meetup.com women’s group twice a month; travelling to two countries and more importantly taking risks to go part-time, from a regular 9-5 Monday to Friday job, to follow my passions.

I’m going to share a personal thing—I set myself up a goals sheet that I put on my bedroom wall to focus on daily and keep me in track which I haven’t shared with anyone (apart from my boyfriend who I’ll give credit for giving me this idea):

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This was my original plan but things changed a little so it looks more like this:

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Things changed AGAIN, and now looks more like this:

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And once I finish writing my post I will write a new sheet for 2017.

It’s not been easy though…

Nothing, felt worse than knowing I was in the wrong type of job. I used to have constant anxiety, and intense feelings of not being where I wanted to be – even though my former colleagues were so supportive! I just knew I had to do something about it, and with good advice, I made the decision to leave, even though I didn’t have a job lined up straight away.

When I left my job in August, I was unemployed for 2 months and really stressing about whether or not this is the right thing to do: pursue my passions as an artist and facilitator. At the time I was really low. I felt like I may have made a big mistake. But with the support of my boyfriend, friends and reading up on ‘self-help’ books and positive messages, I refocused and pushed through.

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I have always questioned and explored the essence of who I am and what my soul purpose is in life. I feel, now, more than ever, myself and others are tuning in to this core element and becoming ‘woke’ – which is an amazing thing.

Staying true to who I am is one thing I will carry on into 2017, despite my insecurities and my challenges.

 

I’ve also learnt to listen to my intuition, my gut feeling – literally and metaphorically. It’s proved my right in so many occasions when I’ve not listened to it. I know I can tell when things aren’t quite ‘right’, but I don’t know how to resolve it. I need to act. Not ignore it but act.

I’ve checked online for Chinese and western astrology forecasts, as a I do every year, and I have to say it’s been fairly accurate! I’ve checked for this year and it makes COMPLETE SENSE. This (Chinese) year is the year of the Fire Rooster, which for me basically means hustle like Beyoncé more than ever and success will keep coming.

Let’s do this!

M x

NEWS: She’s going to a new home!

My painting ‘Head in the Clouds’, 2016 has now been sold!

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And it’s actually my first painting to be sold to be honest. Which is why I’m making a big deal. I’m really grateful for the connection and vibe and also for Instagram – let’s keep it real, it opens many conversations for a lot of artists especially as well as other users.

So yes she’s going to a new home. It’s a little bittersweet. I quite liked having her around but I’m glad the home she’s going to is a good place.

Things are going well this month. 😀

Mad appreciation.

I’d like some more of that please universe.

NEWS: Cards and Collaborations!

I’m so excited to be chosen to collaborate with another artist and art director for an upcoming local gallery in Vauxhall! I can’t say too much right now as we are still in the early stages of development. But what I can say is that we will be creating greetings and postcards for the African diaspora more specifically to be sold in the galley and also with other indie and national establishments.

We’ve already had a meeting, and I can already tell, it’s going to be great- the signs, the synchronicity, it’s all there!

So watch this space!

Stay blessed,

M x

Talk about it! (mental and spirtual health – Part 2)

It seems to me, living in London, being brought up in an African/British household and community, and having reserved, conservative parents have definitely made accessing counselling or psychotherapy really off-putting. Team that up with a society where the previously expected formula for a successful is ‘go to uni + do a masters + do an internship = job’, and it increases more symptoms of decreasing mental health!

‘Sick, twisted people go the mental hospital’, ‘Are you mental? Are you sick in the head?’ – It’s this kind of statements and utterings that are often conveyed within a lot of households. The image of the distressed, rough looking person with a straight jacket and a constant twitch that eludes danger and insanity is commonly in the minds of a lot of people where mental health is involve. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE. 

Many people are suffering the same things but are afraid that it will make them seem weak. A negative label hanging over their heads like their an outcast to society. It’s simply not true. There are many ways to deal with our stresses and issues in life. Meditation is common place. Going tot he gym. Having sex. (Okay maybe not so much as a long term solution, but it gives some endorphines to us). Praying. Art therapy, dance therapy, drama therapy, etc. Talking to someone about it….like…a friend, stranger, or going to a qualified counsellor at a local health clinic. Even creating online groups to discuss about certain topics like anxiety. It helps.

I’ve tried counselling and told one or two people about it that aren’t family, because again of the social stigma. But I’m putting it out there now. And it helps. It’s one of many ways to work on issues that we all suffer from. Having an objective point of view within a completely confident environment and a professional experienced approach makes a difference. I had about six sessions – it was a free service available at uni – but even then it made me see a little ‘out of myself’. It gave me some distance and perspective that I appreciated because I didn’t think about it that way before. Luckily it was free as well. I have to admit, many private health services cost an arm and a leg, which makes it even more inaccessible.

It’s funny that in the States it’s not a big of a deal to have a psychotherapist on hand. Or have a marriage counsellor (or at least its more accepted in society). But in the UK, it seems like a very big deal. Why? Hmm.

It seems that discussing mental health publicly or at least having a person to talk to about is a real demand – even in a world where everyone is ‘talking’ (communicating ) on social media.

Happy #WorldMentalHealthday ! Keep sharing.

On my next post in this series I will be talking about Art therapy as it is a new found appreciation of mine, and more.

Please share your experiences, stories or opinions whatever it may be. I would love to do podcasts or interviews with anyone who would like to share and contribute towards future posts in the series. You can always contact me directly on my email mm.dubale@gmail.com.

🙂

Stay blessed,

Meron x

 

Progress: Flip IT! (mental and spiritual health – part 1)

I woke up this morning with slight anxiety. Anxiety that makes itself know to me from time to time, especially when I over analyse and dwell on situations (predictably, the situation was regarding finances) – even with positive quotes filled on my social media feeds! It’s easy to take that trip from time to time. But the important thing is not to let those feelings conquer your life, your emotions and your actions.

One train of thought that has been popping up more recently is identifying You as your best friend. ‘The Casual Artist‘ made this aware to me when we had a Skype consultation. During my childhood, I have always felt that I was my own worst enemy. I even have a distinct memory of receiving a report card when I was in year 6, with the teacher stating that ‘Meron can be her own worst enemy’. Once I told the Casual Artist this, he flipped it up and asked me this question: ‘Can you say to me the total opposite of that statement?’

I first stumbled. It was really hard, and I didn’t get why. But he broke it down to me and eventually I stated that ‘Meron is her own best friend’.

I was truly amazed by this. I had never thought of seeing my self in this way at all! Bizarre.

I am my own best friend….Meron is her own best friend. Meron..is…her own…best friend. That makes total sense! It’s the complete OPPOSITE of what I’ve been making myself accustomed to. And so I say to you: FLIP IT. Any negative or niggling statements that have prevailed in your life, ask yourself what is the total opposite of that statement. Then say it back to yourself. 

As an artist, as a human being carving a fulfilling career for myself, there’s still days like this morning where I stumble. However, I’ve been really progressing with being more resilient. Showing appreciation for what I do have. I have time and some means to do what I love. To do develop my work. To create alliances as well as art and change my way of life for the better. Some ladies my age, have been forced into marriage, enslaved, don’t have access to clean water. So hey, how can I complain right? I have some privileges in some sorts and I need to exercise those, if not for myself, than for the people who can’t.

Gratitude is a great attitude.

I will be making another post on mental health and spirituality concentrating on why this is so important to discuss in our community. Especially the ‘black’ communities, where it’s still such a stigma to receive counselling or psychotherapy. So stay tuned!

Stay blessed,

Meron x

 

 

100 days of mini creations!

Today I have decided to challenge myself and set up a #100daysproject on Instagram. I had seen it before through other people’s social media pages especially that of @elstriggs – an AWESOME illustrator who is pregnant with her first child and documenting it on IG.

I feel that when it comes to routine, I’m terrible. Like I literally have to  force my self to brush my teeth everyday. And I got to the point where I’ve seen so many inspirational videos and articles and advice from family and friends to work hard to succeed. I feel I really haven’t been stepping up. I’ve also read that it takes about 60 days to make or break a habit. So WHEN (not if, when- trying to be positive!) I manage to complete this challenge, it will put me in a better headspace to know I can acheive what ever I put my mind to it, even it is a small task!

The challenge: post on IG everyday for 100 days a visual postcard. This could be a drawing, a poem, a story, a painting or whatever really that is like a snapshot of the day or a significant moment that is memorable. To challenge my creativity!

This challenge is mainly just for me. If no-one gives it a like or a damn, I really don’t care! Lol. If it does, thanks 🙂 It’s about proving something to myself, making myself accountable for my art, thickening my skin (so to speak) of the good, the bad and the ugly that I may share. Hopefully it ain’t too ugly. But thats’s life. Sometimes my work may not be where I want it to be but that’s okay. Just move on and keep creating.