I have these surreal landscapes and collages from cuttings of self-designed wallpapers bouncing in my head, so that is where I started 5 days ago, on October 1st, for this month to #BeCreativelyCourageous.

Thank you @artiststrong for challenging us for this month to be creatively courageous! I start this month with knowing that courage in creativity has nothing to do with appearing tough and strong. I don't talk about rejection much because rejection really is just part of being a creative. Sometimes it is hard for my ego to admit that I have run into so much rejection lately from galleries and grant applications. But, this is all part of the creative ebb and flow, and I have to learn to deal with it, especially if I want to keep growing as an artist. Now I am realizing that not really talking about and admitting to these rejections, may be part of what has been holding me back. I have read a lot of success stories of people who didn't give up in the face of repeated rejection, but the part of the stories that is often left out is how each one of them had to embrace and accept their own vulnerability and self-doubt. We are not superhuman, rejection hurts. So many people wallow in self-pity and/or work hard to avoid rejection, and sometimes I really don't think I can take anymore of it, either. Then, I remember the joy and hope art gives me and others. I remember how I feel physically sick without making it. For me, quitting isn't really an option. The best option is to lean in, acknowledge all of the self-doubt and vulnerability, gain traction and move forward to do the work I need to do.

Carrie from Artists Strong brought up the word 'grit' as it relates to continuing to make art. I agree, and here is how I define it: 
True grit isn't the superficial appearance of strength and courage; it is persisting with honestly and vulnerability. In fact, arrogant people who appear confident all the time are hiding (and not dealing with) their weaknesses. Those of us who honestly admit to having weaknesses and insecurities are much more likely to have the support we need along the way. Without true grit, we wallow and ask everyone to feel sorry for us. Without actual courage, we may act strong and tough, but do not admit to the vulnerabilities that connect us and make us human.

Landscape with Winding Stream
Wallpaper cuttings, marker, acrylic paint on some wallpaper

Digital pattern from water paper cuttings with some acrylic paint

Digital Design from wallpaper cuttings

Putting the Pieces Together, 
Wallpaper cutting collage, after the Las Vegas shootings

Taking Flight
Digital Design from wallpaper cutting collage

Putting the Pieces Together 2, 
Wallpaper cutting collage with acrylic paint, 
after the Las Vegas shootings

Putting the Pieces Together Pattern, 
Digital pattern, after the Las Vegas shootings

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