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Start Fresh With Fall Reflections AT FORTY FIVE Magazine Issue 2021 05

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Tamara Spence Fine Art

Tamara Spence Fine Art North Cape Lighthouse PEI Ink & Watercolor Potential Acrylic on canvas Awesome Asian Ink & Watercolor By The Sea Ink & watercolor on mixed media

AT FORTY FIVE MAGAZINE /13 lost in the moment. There isn't a lot of thinking going on. You're just moving and It's almost like you've left your body for a while. What I have come to realize is my inner critic was really interrupting that flow state and as I learned to manage that, I could hit that sweet spot more often. How did you know when a piece is finished? That's a great question because sometimes I think I stopped before I've done enough and sometimes, I've done too much and I don't like what I've done anymore. And then there are other times. I look at other paintings that I've done and think why didn't I keep going? It's an inner feeling that I think it's time to stop. I think I'm going to ruin this if I keep going. Sometimes there is a definitive end because of the process. For example, if I am putting on colored pieces I am done when they are all on or I have run out of room. Is there a key piece of wisdom that you'd like to share? Believe in yourself. As an artist, I feared being the failure my inner critic kept harping about. Don't worry. Failure is going to lead to learning. Figure out what makes you happy. Some people have it easier than others as far as knowing what that is or what they want when they're younger. My husband is a police officer, and he knew that, but his route was long and convoluted. His bucket is filled with helping and being there for people. There are many job prospects that provide that opportunity. I think for creatives it is harder to figure that out, especially if you're lacking motivation or a belief that you can do it perhaps listening to that inner critic. I sidestepped it all for a while, but eventually, it starts slapping you in the face. What is a key piece of learning that has helped you? Consult with professionals. I have a counselor who's been great about teaching or pushing me very gently to do things for myself. I have learned if I'm not happy then everybody else is miserable. If I'm happy then things will go more smoothly. In order to be happy, I need to accept myself and accept what I want to do, contrary to the inner critic. As I mentioned, after my back injury I suffered from severe depression and anxiety. That inner critic was very present. I felt suicidal and I knew I needed help. I was put on antidepressants. Medication certainly helps. If you need medications, take them. It doesn't mean you necessarily have to stay on them forever. Some people do and that's ok, but some people don't. I had been on them before, like when I suffered from postpartum depression. Get counseling through whatever means is available. The first counselor was through my work employee assistance program. I had a loss of hearing and my counselor set me up with the deaf and well-being program in Vancouver. That's for people who were born or have a loss of hearing. I took a CBT course with a counselor and a psychiatrist through the Deaf Well Being Program through Vancouver Coastal. I didn't go for a while and started to struggle again. Now my counselor helps me with staying true to myself without belittling or making everyone else the priority. It's been a very important part of my recovery and my growth. I'm always going to be changing and I'm always going to need support. However, my toolbox for helping myself is getting bigger. I have come to realize I am not happy if I don't

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