Welcome back to Positively Inspiring!
I’ve been blessed to meet so many amazing, inspiring people and in this series I’m sharing the lessons that they’ve learned about happiness and positivity – let’s bring on the inspiration!
Today I’m so delighted to welcome an incredible artist, who happens to be my gorgeous cousin too, Linda Johns. Linda trained as a Graphic Designer and studied BA (Hons) Fine Art & Sculpture at Central Saint Martins College of Art, London. Her inspiring work-life balance sees her working part-time at The Open University and full-time as a Sculptor, creating sculptures inspired by science (particularly quantum physics), the human body, nature and myth.
I create ephemeral sculptures using metal wire (or sometimes pine needles and other natural materials) that I weave like a spider’s web for strength. I began by exploring nature and quantum physics: making spheres and other forms, progressing into making figures that I often site in trees.
Taking the sculptures into natural spaces inspired me to also look at myth, for instance each Spirit Weave (figures woven from stainless steel wire) emerges from its tree trunk as though the tree’s energy is taking form. The genii loci of folklore glimpsed from the corner of your eye, there/not there, as you pass by and see them from different angles.
Linda shows her sculptures across the UK. You can see examples of her work and find out where she’s showing next on her website: lindajohns.com, follow her on Facebook: facebook.com/artist.lindajohns and Twitter: @lindajohnsart
Linda, you are such a positive person! But who do YOU find most inspiring for their positive attitude and outlook on their life / business?
This one is tough! Inspiration to keep going comes from so many places, but right now I’d say it’s one of my group from college – Gary Martin who has just completed a two-year art project involving a whole heap of people (including me) as assistants, props, actors; an amazing series of ‘sets’ including the War Room at Whitehall, the Victory, a castle in Poland and finally the Historic Docks at Chatham; and has secured a place at the Royal College of Art for his MA … all while working full-time as a paramedic in London. Go Gary!
What would you say is the most important lesson you’ve learned about happiness or staying positive?
I think my most important lesson has been to be true to myself. This has felt selfish at times but now I realise that it isn’t being selfish, it is just being me, and realising that, acting on that, has brought back my positivity. I still have to remind myself of this truth: we do all deserve to be happy.
I am an artist, a sculptor, this is what and who I am. I’m not sure if people who don’t make art can really understand, but there is no aspect of my life which isn’t involved in my art, and no time when a part of my mind is not thinking about making art, being inspired to make art. This isn’t always easy for other people in my life to accept.
I guess I came to realise the importance of making art a bit late in my adult life, I had always made art and been creative but in my mid-thirties I finally went to college to do a degree. As soon as I started I knew that this was what I had to do, this was being true to myself. But it caused a lot of conflict at home.
Finally I had to make the decision to live on my own in order to be true to myself. This has been tough, but it has enabled me to dedicate my time to doing what makes me happy: making art. I’m not saying that such a drastic step is necessary for everyone, just that we do have to be true to ourselves first. I truly believe that we can’t remain positive, share that positivity and care for those around us unless we first care for ourselves.
We all have days that don’t go according to plan! What are your top tips for staying positive when you have one of those days?
If things aren’t going to plan – change the plan!
Some days can feel like the whole universe is against you, but maybe you are just not meant to be doing what you are doing that day. Do something that you enjoy, even if just for 1/2 hour, to rebalance and reset the day. Tell work you’ll be late and go for a walk in the forest (or park or wherever), go shopping, do something just for you.
What’s your favourite quote about happiness or staying positive?
My all time favourite is from a Mindfullness CD:
“If you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you.”
For me this says it all – be grateful, life is a gift.
Finally Linda, what does happiness mean for you?
Happiness for me is lots of things but mostly they are to do with nature and solitude (though I love being out with my friends and dancing the night away/sharing a great meal or just a cup of coffee, too): walking in the forest, taking time to see the dew on a spiderweb, kicking up leaves on a frosty Autumn morning, sitting amongst bluebells on a bright Spring day.
Read more Positively Inspiring interviews…
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