Tag Archives: creativity

Becoming a Creative Nomad and Rainmaker

I am busy packing. Nervous and excited. In a few days I will be leaving to South Africa, where I am taking part in the

Global Nomadic Art Project 2016
‘Stories of Rain’

Calling the Rainbird by Imke Rust,  Mixed Media on paper, 62x87cm

Calling the Rainbird by Imke Rust, Mixed Media on paper, 62x87cm

I am so thrilled to be invited to participate alongside so many other wonderful artists from all over the world and South Africa.

This project is especially close to my heart, as it will give me the opportunity to further my creative rainmaking research and projects, share with and learn from very interesting fellow artists and do all this very close to home. I have so many ideas and researched material, which I want to explore further and put to use now.

Typed Rain (on photograph) by Imke Rust

Typed Rain (on photograph) by Imke Rust

As soon as I can, I will share a blog post about my experience for all you lovely people who follow me on here! I also plan to post regular pictures and updates on Instagram (This is like an instant photoalbum and I just love it. Bonus: you do not need to have an account to see my page) and Facebook (for shorter, more regular posts and pictures). You can also see previews of both these pages in the right-hand column >> .

So, if you are curious, you are welcome to follow my adventures there too. We will not have regular internet connection, but when we do, I hope to share impressions and updates.

Here is some more information about the event compiled by the organizers:

Stories of Rain - Map

Stories of Rain – Map

#GNAP2016 #StoriesOfRain #SouthAfrica

Stories of Rain will trace the legacy of the first nomadic peoples, creating temporary nature art in response to the varied landscapes and the World Heritage Rock Art of South Africa.

In this time of palpable climate change, we find ourselves at the cusp of profound natural and cultural transformation. The dual disciplines of creative imagination and mediated thinking practiced by artists will be extremely valuable in this transition. The Global Nomadic Art Project offers local artists the opportunity to influence contemporary cultural attitudes towards nature and to explore possibilities for understanding in an increasingly fractured paradigm.

Site_Specific Land Art Collective will invite 8 International artists to join several custom made Nature Art tours of South Africa as part of the Global Nomadic Art Project initiated by YATOO Nature Art Association of Korea. The visiting artists will travel along different routes in small groups – meeting and staying with local participating artists along the way.

To find out more and also read up on my fellow artists who will be part of this event, please visit the official page:
Webpage: SiteSpecific South Africa GNAP

And/or follow the Facebook Page for this event: Stories of Rain

Stories of Rain - South Africa

Stories of Rain – South Africa

The Rainmakeress (Imke Rust) Acrylic and graphite on paper 105x130cm

The Rainmakeress (Imke Rust)
Acrylic and graphite on paper
105x130cm

It’s FREE… (and some insight into the life of an artist)

Yes, it’s free.

It seems these days one has to spell it out in capital letters or mention it over and over….

FREE… FREE… FREE…

…and then still somehow get misunderstood or frowned upon.

In my last blog I shared with you the 21 Secrets Color, Color, Color! Fall 2016 Workshop at which I am a teacher and offered you the chance to receive one of these workshop packages valued at US $98 for … FREE.

I can give away two workshop packages at my own discretion to whomever I like. And I decided to offer this to my valuable supporters who follow my blog. By the way, I could have also just decided to gift them to my two best artist buddies as birthday gifts. 😉

Reminder:

All you have to do, to stand a chance of receiving one of two FREE workshops, is to subscribe to my blog, or if you already are a subscriber, write a comment on my blog, stating that you are interested in the workshops. If you like more privacy, you can even send me an email, as long as you are a subscriber to my blog. Deadline is the 18th of September and I will announce the two winners here on my blog in the week thereafter.

Have a look at the official workshop page to see what is on offer! Just click on this picture:

21-SECRETS-2016-Color-medium

From the mixed reactions I got, I guess something was not clear.

Some told me: This sounds fantastic, but I cannot afford it.

Really? Which part is not affordable? The FREE part? Taking a chance on winning? Or can’t you afford to leave a comment on my blog, or subscribe to my blog (which is the one favour I am asking in return, in order to be considered for my free gift)?

Others told me something in the line of: Oh, you just want to promote yourself… I am not going to share this or support you.

Hmmm, now, let me put it to you like this: YES, I do want to promote myself. But actually this was more about offering you the opportunity to get a FREE inspirational workshop to learn new skills. Remember I could have just given it to my buddies, who would have loved such a gift.

KadinskyQuote

So just that you understand the thing of artists and promotion:

Unfortunately in this reality, artists have to do self-promotion in order to survive. We seldom have the luxury of a gallery or agent to do it for us. As an artist, I have my artwork, my experience and my knowledge to offer (and earn my money with). Most of that I generally offer for free most of the time. I generously share my artwork, creativity and experience and knowledge on various social media in order to inspire, uplift, entertain, delight or question. Everybody has access to it, without needing to pay or even say thank you.

And I am happy to share as much as I can, as generously as I can.

It might surprise you, but I, too, have to pay rent, buy food and pay for my medical aid, amongst others.

I can only pay my bills and make an honest living with the artworks I sell, or offering my expertise and experience. And in order to do that, I need people to know about my art and offerings. Ideally I need to have many people who know about my art… because not everyone either likes or buys an artwork or would participate in a workshop, or be willing to pay for my expertise.

That is the (sad?) reality of being an artist. We can only survive and keep on creating and sharing, if we put a lot of effort into promoting ourselves.

If more of the people, friends or blog or Facebook followers who enjoy my art and who find inspiration, solace or joy in what I have to offer, would tell their friends about it, then I could focus more on creating and sharing my art for free, than into promotion and marketing.

Instead I spend hours trying to make my offerings exciting and worthwhile AND then trying to promote my work as best I can.  I also take on opportunities where I can share my expertise in a workshop, get paid for it and have the possibility of earning a commission on any sales generated through my small community. I assume that is acceptable practice?

You might have also noticed, that I am always trying to offer some value in return. Like, hey, I am giving away stuff to the value of US $196 for free! All I am asking in return, is to follow my blog (so that you can receive more news and offerings from me and get to know me and my art better) and you can un-subscribe with one easy click at any time you like.

DSC03242

This is me, blatantly promoting my art through sharing my work, accumulated knowledge and experience 😉 while presenting my video lectures for the workshop.

OK, now that I have finished ranting, I hope you are still interested to find out more about the workshop. I did not want to drown you in information in my previous blog, so here is a bit more detailed information about what you can expect to learn, when you either are selected as one of the two lucky recipients of the workshop, or even are willing to invest the US $98 in yourself and buy the package.

Since you are a follower of my blog, you might be most interested what you will be learning from me specifically?

The title of the course, which I am presenting for the 21 Secrets Color, Color, Color! Workshop is:

Feeling Blue? Spiritual and symbolic influence of colour in your journal and life

And here is the short description, which I wrote about the contents of my course:

What colour is the rain?
Red is life. Or is it death?
Why are we drawn to one colour and hate the other?

I welcome you on a colourful journey to reconnect with the ancient wisdom and power of colour. Discover the magic, myths, symbolism and effects behind the individual colours, create your personal colour reference guide with the ‘Colour a Day’ exercise and gain a deeper understanding how you can select and use colours for specific intention and purpose in your journal and life.

I will also share with you how colour is understood and used in Feng-Shui and in the seven main Chakras (energy centres) of the body. For the workshop I have compiled a lot of written content, fun and interesting exercises and 3 videos, where I share many thought-provoking aspects about color.

This is only my part. And that is not all! By far!

There are 23 more amazing courses prepared by 23 wonderfully inspiring and creative artists from around the world.

Just as some examples: Tori Weyers will teach you to tango with colour (Color Tango: Make your Colors Dance) while Mystele Kirkeeng will take you on an exploration of the colour of skin (Flesh in Living Color), she says: “When you really, really explore skin tones with color media, it becomes increasingly apparent how ridiculous it is that we still attempt to label the races monochromatically.“

You can learn how to easily create watercolour sunsets with Lorraine Bell or test the benefits of a limited palette and how to use it to your advantage from Jeanne Oliver.

Connie Solera, the founder and director of this incredible 21 Secrets workshop series, will teach you how to boldly overcome the point where you are too scared to continue as you fear you are messing up your artwork, but know that it is not finished yet.

As you can see, there are many interesting, fun and stimulating courses for you to explore.

Untitled mixed media work by Imke Rust

Detail of Untitled mixed media work by Imke Rust

If you do not know me yet, here is a short description of who I am:

“Can we create rain through a creative process?” This question, together with my deep-seated curiosity, interest in shamanism and alternative worldviews and stubborn insistence that we can make the world a better place have guided my journey as a multi-passionate creative being. I love uncovering the deeper meanings and mysteries of life and figuring out how everything is connected.

I am a Namibian multi-media artist, rainmaker and curator. I grew up in the desert of Namibia and since 2010 I am splitting my time between my home country and Germany, between the desert and the forest. I have completed my Bachelors Degree in Visual Arts at the University of South Africa and have won Namibia’s most influential art competition, the Standard Bank Namibia Biennale, twice.

My artistic expression is versatile, with a strong attraction towards nature and land art. I also enjoy sharing the joy of creativity with others, through joined projects, workshops, interventions in public spaces and via my blog.

I am excited to welcome you on a joint exploration of the stories, symbolism and effects behind the colours we use to paint the stories of our lives.

(You can find similar course descriptions and artist introductions from all other 23 courses in this package in the link to the course.)

Curious?

Well, you know what to do. I hope.
If not, you are welcome to ask!

Click on the image to find out more or buy the workshop.

Click on the image to find out more or buy the workshop. As a teacher I am also an affiliate and I do get a commission if you buy the workshop if you used my link to get there. So please, treat yourself to a fun course and at the same time thank you for supporting me and my art!

Creation is about allowing… (and upcoming events)

Blue Sphere 2, carefully allowed in the branches between two trees in the forest, by Imke Rust

Blue Sphere 2, carefully allowed installation in the branches between two trees in the forest, by Imke Rust

Creation is about allowing
– not about going out and doing.

Recently I found this quote and it made me stop in my tracks. Coming from a society and background where doing is considered the highest virtue, this thought seemed so out-of-place and plain presumptuous. Yet, I could not dismiss it, as it also stirred something deep inside of me.

For one, I realised some time ago, that doing is not always the answer. I have written about this idea before HERE.

But even more importantly I was struck by the ‘allowing’ part. When we grow up, our life is filled and directed with an endless list of do’s and don’ts… In my younger years, I was convinced if I just learn this list and follow it to perfection, I would be happy, and so would be everybody around me. Because I was doing things right… Later in life, I realised that this list became more and more complicated and it was not always possible to separate clearly between the do’s and don’ts. This realisation was confusing and also depressing, because my neatly arranged roadmap to life seemed to be crumbling and I had nothing to hold on to anymore that would guide me along.

Allowing…

Wow, what a big concept.

In life. In creativity. In love. In believes.

What would happen if we allowed more and were less constricted by the do’s and don’ts?

Allowing… the creative process of the universe, of life, to happen, without the need to control it.

It is a difficult concept to grasp (at least for me). And I guess I will be allowing myself to ponder on this much more. And allowing the creative process more and more, instead of trying to go out and ‘doing’.

And as if the universe wanted to let me know that it was serious about this, it send some sunshine on Saturday and nudged me to go out and explore a new part of the forest. Allowing myself a break, with no responsibilities or work to do. I was so deeply touched by the spirit of the forest, the cold, fresh air, nature’s first slow attempts at spring coming, the sunlight playing hide and seek and the majesty of the trees…

I took some pictures. And when I arrived home and downloaded them onto the computer, I realised that without any intention or doing on my part, a special moment was created and captured. Yes, it is just the flare of sunlight hitting my camera, but it is also magical. As if a sphere of blue light has been installed perfectly between the trees… and documented.

If you just allow yourself to imagine that this was a carefully created art installation.

Blue Sphere 1 & 2, carefully allowed installation in the branches between two trees in the forest, by Imke Rust

 

Here are some upcoming events, where you can see or experience my art:

Save the date if you are in Windhoek, Namibia:

Art Inside 2016  

One of my artworks (Happy Mongoose, 2015, Mixed Media on Canvas, 112 x 145cm) has been selected for the Art Inside Project and exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Namibia. You are welcome to the opening this week Thursday! If you cannot make it then, the exhibition runs till the 23rd of April 2016.

Happy Mongoose

Happy Mongoose

OPENING DATE 24 March 2016
OPENING TIME 18:00
VIEWING 24 March – 23 April 2016
VENUE NAGN

Press information about the project and exhibition from the National Art Gallery of Namibia:

“The project Art Inside, which was first launched in 2014, is a nationwide art awareness project aimed at Namibian Government. The initiative aims at acquiring original Namibian visual art for installation in all Ministries and semi-government premises. By installing the artworks, the project aims to celebrate visual art as an important mode of creative communication, and to foster an appreciation for visual art as inherent part of government’s working environment.

In the previous editions Namibian artists from all Regions have responded positively by submitting inspiring art and craftwork of an exceptional quality for this project. From these, the best pieces were first exhibited at the NAGN and then purchased for the Government of Namibia Art Collection.

The Art inside 2016 exhibition will run from 24th March to 23rd April 2016 at the National Gallery of Namibia.”

*************

And save the date if you are in Germany and interested to participate in a special Land Art Workshop which I am offering in conjunction with the Fair Camp Berlin program:

Die Fülle in dir
Fair Camp Exkursion „Kreativ im Grünen“ mit Imke Rust am 24. April 2016

Wann: So. 24. April 2016, ca. 13 bis 18 Uhr inkl. Mittagessen, Wo: bei Oranienburg

Die FÜLLE in Dir: Raus in die Natur! Rein in die Seele. Sehnen sie sich auch nach neuem Ausdruck, Natur und kreativem Schaffen? Der Frühling ist die perfekte Zeit auch unsere Seele aufblühen zu lassen und neue Impulse in unser Leben zu bringen. Lust auf etwas Neues und eine Auszeit vom Alltag? Dann lade ich sie herzlich ein, gemeinsam mit mir die Fülle, ihre Kreativität und die Natur neu zu entdecken. Wir kreieren, gestalten und experimentieren mit und in der Natur und lernen dabei unsere eigene innere Fülle und die der Natur bewusster zu erleben und auszudrücken.

Sie brauchen keine Vorkenntnisse, nur Offenheit, Freude an der Natur und Lust sich auszuprobieren. Als deutsch-namibische multimediale Künstlerin und Regenmacherin freue mich darauf, sie dabei zu begleiten und inspirieren zu dürfen. Imke Rust

Dieser Workshop ist der Arbeit in und mit der Natur gewidmet. Aber vor allem soll er die spielerische Kreativität, den persönlichen Ausdruck und die Freude am Schaffensprozess anregen. Wir werden die meiste Zeit draußen im Wald verbringen. Falls das Wetter nicht mitspielt, arbeiten wir mit Naturmaterialien im Atelier. Alles ist in kurzer Laufentfernung.

Bei Ankunft gibt es ein Mittagsmahl, eine Spende von Wünsch Dir Mahl. Wasser, Saft und Kekse für zwischendurch stehen bereit.

Click HERE for more information.
Space is limited to 10 participants, and places are already filling up quickly…

Kreativ im Grünen_FairCamp2016

Playing with my Heart

It is International Women’s Day and to celebrate this I have created my very first ever animated GIF and will share it with you today.

A GIF is a graphic format, which I would explain as a kind of moving picture. These formats seem to become ever more popular on the internet and I can understand why. Instead of having just one image, you have kind of a moving gesture, usually composed of a few still images.

And so, without further ado, here it is:

Playing with my Heart

Playing with my Heart, an animated GIF by Imke Rust

I hope you enjoy it!

‘Let’s be more adventurous’ she whispered

Lying awake at night I saw myself painting a huge canvas entirely black and immediately I thought how dark and depressing that would be… and dismissed the thought.

Then I remembered that some time ago I promised myself and the universe, that if I get any clear inspiration, I would trust it and follow it. So the next morning I took a 100 x 100cm canvas and started to paint it black.

It did not feel dark or depressing… it actually felt comforting, calming and very rich in its smooth deep blackness. Not at all as bad as I had imagined.

While painting I got the following insight:

Sometimes the darkness is not as bad, as it first seems...

Sometimes the darkness is not as bad, as it first seems… (Text added digitally to the photo.)

Then nothing. No new idea, no insight as to how and if to proceed. I hung the canvas on the wall and waited.

Yesterday I heard the kudu softly calling me.

Paint me! Remember, we have a long and special history together…

(When I was about three or four years old, my father worked in the field and my brother and I explored the near-by hill. I was the one who spotted the kudu, very close by. It did not run away immediately, which these wild antelopes normally do. How exciting… a tame kudu!

So what do little girls do? They wanna go and cuddle and play with any nice and tame animal…

Fortunately I had my brother follow close on my heels. We were really unbelievable close to this wild animal and it did not make any signs of running. Being older and already more knowledgable about the wild, my brother noticed strings of saliva running down from the kudu’s mouth. A sure sign that the kudu had rabies and was dangerous. This also explained why the kudu seemed so tame…

Immediately he grabbed me by my arm, softly, but urgently told me to back up and run. I was not very happy about this, as I already was so close to touch this cute and majestic animal. But, fortunately big brothers can be very persistent when they are about to save your life. 

So we ran. Down hill, all along a fence. Chased by a rabies infected kudu.
It is a common symptom that animals with rabies appear tame, but then also attack you… We ran for our lives.

My brother was faster and ahead of me. I realised that the kudu is getting closer and my short little legs had no chance against his (or hers). Somehow I realised that I could slip sideways through the fence and hope that the kudu will continue with his downhill chase. It worked…

But now the kudu got closer to my brother and my brother was getting close to the corner of the camp, with another fence right in front of him. He duck through the fence and at the same time the kudu lifted into the air with his powerful hind-legs to jump over the fence…

Another thing which happens with kudus who have rabies, is that they get weak. Usually they easily and gracefully jump over fences, but now they do not manage the height and get horribly tangled in the wires. Caught with its legs by the wires, this kudu came crushing down to the ground where my brother had just climbed through the fence. It fell partly onto my brother, but fortunately he could quickly get away and was not hurt.

My father, who was already alerted by my screams that something was wrong, came towards us and once he has ensured we are save, he put the poor kudu out of his/her misery.

This was a pretty unusual childhood encounter with a kudu and probably one of my very earliest, clear and lasting memories. And it made a huge impression on me… )

So yes, I do remember. Also the first time that I was asked to paint your portrait. I answered in my mind.

Ok, so will you paint me again?

Mhhh. Ok, maybe with white on black, that could look cool.

Ok.

What do you think of this?

Kudu White on Black (Detail)

Kudu White on Black (Detail)

Uhh, I like it. It is pretty. But…. hey let’s be adventurous tonight, otherwise we are finished so quickly… and black and white are so… mmhh, boring? Let’s just try something crazy…

I don’t know. I am scared. You look so pretty, what if I will mess that up?

You might, but wouldn’t it be fun? And anyway… if you do mess it up, you can just paint another one like this again, can’t you? Common, let’s just be a bit wild tonight… I dare you.

Ok, I trust you. And yes, I need to remember that I can always start over again. Art, like life, lets you start over and over again, as long as you are breathing. Mistakes can happen and they do. But it is not the end of the world and often they lead to amazing new and unexpected results.

So, yes, I dare…

(Untitled (Kudu on black background), Acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm)

(Untitled (Kudu on black background), Acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm)

So this is the kudu at this stage of our dialog… I think we leave her like this. Maybe, we will rather start another adventure on a different canvas.

And till we do, I am enjoying her presence. We are having fun, like girlfriends do, giggling and enjoying the neon colours we used, her prettiness and weirdness, marveling at the world, laughing at our vulnerability, fears and constant search for the elusive perfection… And think: who cares? When we can just be pink or turquoise or whatever we feel like? We should be more adventurous and less scared of making mistakes.

How did the dog get onto the beach?

I painted it there…

There is a dog on the beach... (Hotel Deco Busting by Imke Rust)

There is a dog on the beach… (Hotel Deco Busting by Imke Rust)

Intervention Against Tasteless Wall Decorations in Hotels and Holiday Apartments. (Part 18)
Intervention gegen geschmacklose Wanddekoration in Hotelzimmern und Ferienwohnungen. (Teil 18)

Since 2010 I have secretly been slightly altering tasteless or boring hotel or holiday apartment art whenever I had the chance to.

This is another intervention from our seaside holiday’s in August this year. The holiday flat we stayed in had numerous wall decorations all in the form of calendar images framed in cheap frames. So I just had to give them all a face-lift and add some originality and life. Now the flat has 6 original art intervention works by me. It must be a really worthwhile holiday art experience 😉 …

Once again I forgot to take a proper ‘before’ photo, so you will see I have already started on this one:

There is a dog on the beach... Before(almost) and After pic (Hotel Deco Busting by Imke Rust)

There is a dog on the beach… Before(almost) and After pic (Hotel Deco Busting by Imke Rust)

And here two more pics:

If you enjoyed this, you can view more Hotel Deco Busting Interventions Hotel Deco Busting Interventions by Imke Rust.

How would you like your story to be told?

Yes, how would you like your story to be told?

Will it be a story full of excuses and reasons, perfectly plausible, why you did not live your dreams, succeeded at your goals or lived happily?

Or will it be a story of how you overcome the obstacles and challenges, on how you tried and maybe sometimes failed, but then tried again and how you chose to live happily despite whatever bad things life threw at you?

And how are you yourself telling the story of your life?

Thinking about this, might be a good way of telling how you are living your life and to consider if this is the best possible way.

Which kind of story do you most like to hear others telling you about their lives?

Untitled (sitting person) Charcoal and Acrylic on paper, 105 x 135cm by Imke Rust

Untitled (sitting person) Charcoal and Acrylic on paper, 105 x 135cm

When I prepared for the workshop I had to present in the Ukraine to young curators I was struck by this question. I was faced with preparing a two-day workshop in a field where I knew that I did not have the proper recognized qualifications and also could not match up with the experiences of my co-presenters, who in my eyes were the ‘real curators’, the ones who have curated the big Documentas and who earn their daily living and a great deal of international recognition with being curators.

And I? Who am I and what could I possibly share in these dreaded two days, which they could not do better?

My head was in a flat spin. I thought of the messed-up situation that was my so-called curator job at the gallery many years ago. I remembered the challenges I faced at the experiencing.etosha art project and how disillusioned I was afterwards, about so many things. I cringed when I thought about the endless hard work that went into the ‘shared experiences’ cultural exchange program which I called into life with Oliver Schruoffeneger and co-managed for several years, the ingrate artists and constant nerve wrecking scramble to keep sponsors and artist and everybody else happy, while feeling totally unappreciated…

What of any of this is worth to share? But yet, somebody must have thought that I am the perfect person to offer my two-cent’s worth of wisdom to some wonderfully ambitious and young curators, otherwise I would not have been invited. They have done a lot to be able to attend this workshop, they expect to go home with lots of new and worthwhile knowledge and they surely do dream of becoming influential curators and this should be a stepping-stone in this dream. And I owe it to them (and to the workshop organizers) to do my very best to somehow enrich their lives and career through my presence.

I agonized for days about this. Then it struck me…

While I focus on my failures and on unrealised expectations, others see what I did have achieved and admire me for that. If I am totally honest, I also do believe that I have achieved a lot, maybe not always in the way I wanted, or with the results I hoped for, but still… Yet, there are also many people who are critical (or openly hostile) about me, my art or what I am doing and how I am doing it. So to which of these groups should I give the stage?

None. Because both scare me in their own way. The positive ones, do not know or see my struggles and the negative ones only focus on what (according to them) I am doing wrong. I am the only true authority on my life, and even if my vision of it is sometimes rose-tinted and at others overcast with insecurities and doubts, I do have the main role in it and do know it best. It is not the critics who count, but my intentions, my efforts and me living my live wholeheartedly.

Facing the Eagle 100x130cm, Acrylic and charcoal on paper Inspired by a dream I had... by Imke Rust

Facing the Eagle
100x130cm, Acrylic and charcoal on paper
Inspired by a dream I had…

So, I could have told the story about my curatorial experiences just as I did above. Or I could take one step back, focus on the bigger picture, relate my intentions, my hopes and ideas, the challenges I faced and how I overcome them, or how and why I failed or succeeded. I could tell what I have learned. What I will do better or different next time. And most of all, I could tell how I moved on, started over, tried again. I realised that in my own way, I have collected interesting experiences, learned many skills worth sharing and found solutions where others just saw problems.

I have true in-depth knowledge about that. And I know that I have a great critical mind, which I can trust to guide me in being direct, honest and practical. And that is what I did and the story of my life which I shared. You can read more about how that was received in this previous blog.

While preparing for this, I realised that I do not want to look back at my life and tell the story of why things did not work out as I wished and how that is the reason for an unlived life and unhappiness.

I want to have the courage to do my best and if that did not work out, then try again and again and again. To have the courage to decide to live a life that feels purposeful and inspirational to me; with or without great achievements.

My father urged me to read the biography of George W. Carver (The Man Who Overcame). I decided to use my flight back from the Ukraine to start with it. I cried throughout most of the flight. It felt pretty embarrassing, but hey, what can a girl do who is extremely sensitive to the injustice of this world?!

Born into slavery (+-1860) with a wish to get an education and find the answers to his questions this young black child was determined to find a way. I lost count of how many dreadful experiences he had, how many huge obstacles he overcome and how hard he worked to get his schooling and finally be admitted to college on grounds of his extraordinary good marks, only to be rejected again when he arrived and they realised that he was black, and black men were not allowed to study there. Still he continued with an incredible amount of perseverance, hard work, patience and humility. Despite all odds, he went on to become one of the most prominent scientists and inventors of his time, he was also an extraordinary artist, botanist and pianist. And most of all he made a real contribution to the upliftment of his people and the fight against poverty… (If you have not heard of him, you should do yourself a favour and read the abovementioned book –also available in German – or check him out in this short movie http://www.biography.com/people/george-washington-carver-9240299#early-years )

Life sometimes deals you heavy blows... that is just how it is. But we have the choice to make them part of the dance. To turn them into something beautiful. 'Part of the Dance' Charcoal and Acrylic on paper. 105 x 140cm by Imke Rust

Life sometimes deals you heavy blows and knocks… that is just how it is. But we have the choice to make them part of the dance. To turn them into something beautiful.
‘Part of the Dance’ Charcoal and Acrylic on paper. 105 x 140cm

I am telling you about this man, because he seemed to have everything counting against him. He would have had every possible excuse to feel sorry for himself and to curse at the cards he got dealt again and again. He could have blamed every thing and so many people for having a miserable life and everybody would nod and fully agree that he did not have a chance. Yet, he chose to overcome. To try again and again. He worked damn hard. He hurt and he doubted, yet he got up again and tried again. And even when he had all the fame and could have had all the fortune, he stayed humble, refused a salary increase for most of his life and worked till his death in search of ways to improve the lives of the people around him.

What a man! And what an inspiration! What a life well-lived!

If he could overcome all this and be such an inspiration to so many people, who am I to not at least try to live my life purposefully, content and try again and again. In comparison to him the obstacles I have had to face in my life faint into nothingness.

I believe we can all choose to overcome so many things. We can end up telling an exciting, uplifting and inspirational story of a life well lived and that is what I want to do. And every time I feel like giving up, I want to ask myself: is this the end of the story you want to tell about your life? Or is this the beginning of another awesome creative adventure?

I need reminding of this every now and then – that’s why I am putting it in writing here 😉 .

Imke Rust. Are you having fun in your life? If not, how could you change that? I had fun with the large format paper and painting whatever I like... 'Having Fun' 120 x 105cm Mixed media (Charcoal, graphite, arylic and waxcrayon) on paper

Are you having fun in your life? If not, how could you change that? I had fun with the large format paper and painting whatever I like and this came out of it…
‘Having Fun’ 120 x 105cm Mixed media (Charcoal, graphite, arylic and waxcrayon) on paper