Thursday, September 20, 2012

Finding courage.

This summer Amnesty International Norway organized what in Norwegian is called "plakatdugnad", which roughly translated means "poster volunteer work". Here, Amnesty urged people to submit any type of art work with the theme TO LOVE IS A HUMAN RIGHT, where some of these art works would be made into posters and used at a music festival in Oslo. My good friend, neighbor and a talented photographer, Synnøve Zynne Tilrem (, challenged me to send in something of my own.

I had never done anything like that before. Frankly , I felt terrified. The work I have done all these years have always only been just for me, something I loved doing and not for others to evaluate. I haven´t been in habit of showing my work to anyone but family and a small group of friends. Even though the people closest to me always gave encouraging feedback, it seemed like a huge leap: letting people I don´t know see what had been safe, in a way, by just being a personal passion and for my own pleasure.

Usually, my work starts out with some sort of idea or a mental sketch of what I would like to end up with, but the end product is often quite another then the first idea I had. My contribution to Amnesty´s "plakatdugnad" was something I had to think about for several days. What was different about this work process, was of course the fixed theme. After some trial pages of art journaling, this is what I came up with:

Even though my contribution was not selected amongst the 60 other volunteers to become a poster for Amnesty, I´m still so happy I actually went for it and sent my work out for others to see. For, as I learned in Flying Lessons:

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do".
-Eleanor Roosevelt.

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