How painting helped me discover a new part of myself | Confident Me A&E

In the Confident Me Clinic this week we get an honest insight into passion, confidence, and self discovery. Llinos from The Lilac Linnet shares her changing relationship with art, and how through following her passions despite her experiences she learnt to value who she is...

When I was at school, I'd look enviously at my classmates' art projects, wishing that I could produce something of such beauty myself. The art teachers' barely bothered to look over my shoulder during class to see how I was getting on, and I doubt they spent more than moments marking my homework. Once, and only once, I managed to draw something which I thought deserved 10/10, but my teacher disagreed. Needless to say, I didn't take Art at GCSE.

As an adult I've enjoyed visiting art galleries, but somewhere along the way and combined with my school art experiences, it made me believe that art is only art if it's Van Gogh or Lowry. How wrong was I!

A few years ago, I found myself tempted by the Hobbycraft sale to pick up some brushes, paints and canvases. When I got home, it didn't take long for the 'You're not good enough' dialogue to start up in my head. However, by now my idea of art was changing. I'd discovered artists like Willowing and Jennibellie who create incredible images with paint that looked nothing like anything I'd seen at the National Portrait Gallery, but which made me so, so happy to look at. So I began to paint.

However, as is my nature, I put down my paints and turned to other creative pursuits, such as crochet and blogging. A couple of months ago, I found my painting materials at the bottom of a cupboard, and a few of the things I'd painted. Whimsy, colourful abstracts mainly, that I didn't think the world should see.

But I felt that brush in my hand again, and I decided to pull out my sketch book. For some reason, I wanted to paint a pink tree. I don't know why, the image just jumped into my head. I absolutely LOVED drawing it, painting it and then using a black marker to draw the details of the bark on the tree.

Since then, I've been constantly thinking up new things to paint! I've painted King Tut's mask, also Snow White and Cinderella and I'll probably do all of the Disney princesses. I've painted a squirrel and a bear, because why not. What I'm trying to get at though, is what painting has brought to me, on the inside. That might sound strange, but when I paint, I feel happy, I feel alive. It's a part of myself I didn't know was there. I do it for myself, and no one else and it makes me feel so free. I may not be planning an exhibition yet, but my old teachers can eat humble pie!

Thanks for reading and sharing my experience. In the comments below share with us your stories of self-discovery. Do you have a passion you follow no matter what people say? Do you have a dream that drives you forward? Have you learnt any lessons that taught you who you are? Let us know in the comments and check out more articles from #ConfidenceMeAandE:

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