In The Beginning
My creative-life journey started when I was very young but I didn’t recognize it until much later in life. As a child, I thought that everyone sewed their own handmade Barbie clothing and spent hours trying to accurately render 3-D shaded objects on their Etch A Sketch. As a youth, I started to recognize that my peers were not quite as concerned with creative flair as I was. They didn’t colour-code their school supplies according to the emotion that each academic subject elicited, nor did they spend hours adding non-requested, full-colour illustrations to their essay papers. In my teen years, my obsession with creative expression intensified as I was introduced to new outlets: music, poetry, drama, creative writing, calligraphy, set design and more. I knew that I was destined to be an artist of some kind. The creative world was my proverbial oyster.
Yeahhhhh, I got side-tracked.
Fast forward to adulthood to find me working a non-imaginative, 9-5 job with my creative flair MIA. It’s strange because I don’t remember exactly how it happened. I eventually looked up and realized that I had relegated my creativity to the status of hobby. Worse yet, a hobby that I didn’t even make time for. One day I was watching television and a Donna Dewberry One Stroke Painting special came on. I remember thinking “I can do that”! That’s when I picked up a paint brush for the first time.
My life literally changed.
I wish I could say that my creative path was a straight shot from that moment on, but it wasn’t. I was detoured more than a few times along the way. Self-doubt, external pressures, financial challenges, societal views on art and many other influences impacted my journey, but fortunately, my intrinsic passion saw me through. I’m very glad that it did because there is only one type of life for me and that’s a creative one.
I used to have different business names for each part of my creative career but now operate under one umbrella name: Cherlandra Creative. At one point in my career, I was maintaining three different websites with three different branding aesthetics, and I was about to add a fourth. As a curious creative, I keep expanding into new areas and I realized one day that, that I was never going to stop. Cherlandra Creative just makes sense because, although my artistic interests are varied, two things never change:
1. It’s me doing the stuff.
2. The stuff is always creative.
I often joke with my family that I should have been born during the age of Renaissance, as varied intellectual and creative pursuits was the norm for artists of that era. Leon Battista Alberti summed it up nicely when he stated that “a man (ahem, or woman) can do all things if he will.” That belief really is the underlying guiding factor of my creative life. If I’m interested in something, I learn how to do it. Because of that, my day-to-day life is vibrant and filled with colour, texture, patterns and diversion. That is why I am so passionate about inspiring others to bring creativity into their lives, whether it be through a profession or hobby. I truly believe that creativity enhances a person’s life immeasurably and that belief is derived from direct experience.
Now that I’ve eluded to a life filled with varied artistic pursuits, you may be wondering “what do you actually do?!” My main current disciplines are painting and voice acting, with a smattering of bricolage sculpturing. In addition to that, I do occasional graphic design projects, singing gigs, theatre performances, event designs and creative writing projects. I also maintain a creative blog and podcast. Like I said, multifarious musings. Many of my projects are journaled in my blog if you would like to have a closer look.
A Closer Look – 2021
I am currently focusing on finishing illustrations for a children’s book of mine that is being published – a life-long dream realized! The working title of the book is Joe, Jerry and the Real Monster. I wrote the original manuscript years ago but put it aside when I wasn’t able to get it published. I recently pulled it back out again, re-wrote some sections and tried again. I’m so glad that I did!
I have also recently delved into the world of homesteading and the complementary culinary arts that go with it. In addition, I have been intently researching and looking into purchasing land where I can build an artist oasis of sorts. The idea is to continue the homesteading on a larger scale and also build an artist gallery to showcase my work and teach creative classes.