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An artist on a secret mission

From here you can find my graphic design business website, nickifordedesign.com, or my blog featuring the lighter side of art and life, Drawing on my Heart.

Whether it’s business or pleasure, my philosophy is the same – to show up with love and compassion.

I’m an artist on a secret mission – to be an example of how amazing and fulfilling life is when it’s lived from the heart.

Creativity · Pottery · Spiritual musings

Taking time to draw

I’m so excited! My dear friend Melanie is joining the blog as a guest speaker. That’s her, discovering a new way to play in the dirt. If there’s anyone out there that draws on her heart for inspiration and love, it’s Melanie. Melanie reminds us that creativity expresses itself in so many ways – it’s not just a luxury for those who call themselves artists. It’s every human being’s natural state. To me, Melanie creates space. Her home’s interior is soothing and beautiful. Her garden is lush with edibles and contained by well-thought-out raised beds, paths and sitting areas. She also has a magical way about her – an ability to create space that feels safe to be in when you’re in her presence. People, animals and gardens thrive when she holds space for them. I think she’s one of the most creative people I know, and I’m lucky to have her as a friend, and as a guest blogger! Enjoy!

Drawing on my Heart is the perfect name for this site. . .I have known Nicki for years and have enjoyed her talents through her sketches, paintings, graphic designs, and cottage garden.  It goes without saying that she is “always drawing.”  Watercolors, color pencils, or garden spade in hand…Nicki is bringing forth life through her creativity.  It occurs to me that the act of “bringing forth” or “drawing” is a wonderful way to create.  I was always too quick to say that I was not creative because I could not “draw.”  However, as I sat before a slab of clay last week I did just that:  I drew–I drew from my heart. The feelings of love and gratitude I hold for the earth in general and my garden specifically came forth as I pounded, tweaked, scored, and pinched that slab of clay into a beautiful vessel that will one day hold cut flowers from my garden.  I realized that  I could create; I am an artist.  Isn’t that the way?  We get our mind set on a specific meaning or idea and hold so fast to that belief that we in effect put blinders on, roll the shade down over our creative eye.  Our hearts are like a deep well, and my goal is to make sure that the contents of my well remain pure, positive, and loving–the perfect source to draw from regardless of the day. . .creativity flows as the life giving energy of the universe.  Drawing on My Heart. . .you betcha!

Spiritual musings · The love of coffee

An empty vessel

As my early afternoon cravings for caffeine hit me with a stifled yawn, I longingly looked over at my empty coffee cup. I then realized an empty vessel just begs to be filled. So with eager anticipation of that hot, magic elixir, I stuffed my cold toes into my slippers and got up from my graphic design desk to see if there was anything left in the coffee pot downstairs.

Cup filled. Cup emptied. Ready to be filled again.

A cup without coffee.
A page without a sketch.
A patch of earth without a garden.
A vase without flowers.
A body without bliss.

All these things need to be emptied before they can receive sweet abundance. It’s a cycle of give and take, of renewal. What better time than the beginning of a new year to empty our vessels to only allow them to fill up again.

Cat Life · Crazy Cats

The world according to Loki

Loki is in the thick of things. He’s causing mischief everywhere he goes. He’s a champion back-sleeper. He’s sweet and sour. A bully. A playmate. Eater of plastic. Warm, spotted belly. Turbo purr machine set on high.

 

Touch him while he’s sleeping, and he replies with, “Wow!”

He’s cute. So darn cute.

His philosophy is simple. Play like there’s no tomorrow. Eat as much as you can. Be enthusiastic. Get enough sleep. And most importantly, prank your friends as often as you can.

Gardening · Illustrations · Spiritual musings

Losing my mind

I try to lose my mind at least once a day. My mind is a terribly busy place – full of distractions, lists, chores. Living from my head is not nearly as fulfilling as living from my heart. Any sense of fulfillment I experience from my head’s perspective is shallow. Superficial… without deeper meaning.  Ah, but when my mind goes still, the sounds of love and joy move forward, keeping time with the beating of my heart… there is peace, timelessness, unconditional love. Fulfillment is a state of being not something to strive for.

The heart is where my consciousness, my divine playfulness, my dreams, all grow and flourish. It’s fertile ground. I plant my intentions here. I find my bliss here.

Gardening and drawing are meditations that release my mind from center stage and allow my heart to step forward. I get lost to be found. I go inward to expand outward. I disconnect to become part of the whole.

Have you lost your mind today?

Hoops_copyshot

Illustrations

Feeling the love

For 23 years I’ve worked as a graphic artist – for advertising agencies, graphic design firms, print shops, and now on my own as a freelancer. I enjoy the work and the process. It allows me to use a talent and skill to serve others, all while wearing my comfy pants adorned with cat hair. It’s a career that’s been good to me. But I have to admit, I might have become too comfortable in those pants. It’s time to shake things up!

When my friend Michelle became a life coach, I signed right up. I figured I sure needed coaching if I was ever going to live the life I really wanted. She is an amazing coach, teacher and friend. Through her gentle guidance I’ve discovered struggle is an illusion, and I not only can do what I want, I deserve to.

During our journey, she was hit hard with a need to write a book, and she wanted me to illustrate it. I felt the ground shake under my feet with excitement, and a little bit of fear. Would I be good enough? How would I make the time? Things were officially being shaken up!

We’ve been working on this labor of love for some time, and it’s kindled a fire in me to create artwork for myself, too. For me, for you, for everyone! Through Etsy… someday. I have a little ways to go before I can open my store, oh but the idea of it! It’s been a little more than exciting. Getting back to my roots, picking up pencils and watercolors, feels like home.

My first offering of love are these little English Robins. I can see them on wedding invitations, can’t you?

Love Birds_sketchLove Birds_painting wreath