I had the honour of interviewing Pamela Hodges recently. She grew up in rural Saskatchewan and trained for awhile to be a teacher, but decided she wanted to pursue art instead. She graduated from Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, before she went to Tokyo to work as a fashion photographer for clients like Marie Claire, Elle, Chase Manhattan Bank, and others.
Later she met her husband Nick, they moved to California and had 3 children. She has fun homeschooling her children and is also a painter and a writer who has fun blogging over at ipaintiwrite.com. Pamela’s cat Harper dictates to Mrs.Hodges for Harper’s blog www.thecatwhowrites.com. Also, Pamela is a regular blogger over at www.thewritepractice.com. You can connect with Pamela on Twitter and Facebook.
Summary of the Interview
*Pamela talks to creatives and encourages them to get over the barriers and feelings of “I’m not good enough” to draw or to write. She said her own blogging journey started 3 years ago and she said she didn’t really know what to write so her first post was “This is Imperfect.” She said she really didn’t want anyone to read it.
*She tells her story of growing up and that in the mid 70’s in rural Saskatchewan, her parents wanted her to follow education and have a stable career. She started and barely passed the 1st year of education training, and ended up switching to art because that’s what she really wanted to do.
*When she was in Art College, she went through a 4 year art program and had a teacher who believed that art needed to be realistic and he told her he wasn’t going to recommend her for the graphic arts program. Pamela said she believed when her teacher told her that she wasn’t a good enough artist.
*Pamela encourages artists – painters, writers, etc., – to decide at some point in her life that you don’t need permission anymore. If you want to paint your unique style, just do it. If you want to write that book, don’t wait for an agent, just write and self-publish your book.
*Pamela says that’s what she’s doing now. She’s writing a book and figuring it out as she goes. She wants to encourage other creatives and she’s decided if she has an idea that she wants to act on, she does it. She’s become a Leading Learner.
*She talks about how Jeff Goins’ blog inspired her to believe in herself. She says she’s always asking permission to have her own ideas. She encourages creatives that you don’t have to ask permission to be who you are.
*Sometimes asking permission from someone else to be creative or to do something is our default from growing up. Pamela says the biggest thing she does when she faces a struggle is to remember to tell herself that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
*The book she’s almost done creating now, the artist manifesto, it took her a year to decide whether or not she should illustrate the book. A little voice inside told her believe in yourself as an artist. She still had the fear that someone would tell her later on ‘oh you can’t draw.’ Pamela says she’s taking Seth Godin’s words to heart and WILL finish and ship it.
*Pamela talks about how hard it was when her cat Pooh Hodges died earlier this year. For awhile Martha the dog took over writing at thecatwhowrites.com, until Harper, the cat took over. She encourages any animal if they would like to guest post on the blog, they need their own email account – to send in their guest post idea.
*She said when her cat Pooh was alive, Pooh interviewed Steven Pressfield and he talked about how to overcome resistance. He wrote about that in his awesome book, The War of Art. He says that the more resistance you feel to write about something or paint something, that’s really a signpost for you, that that’s your True North. That’s your soul telling you this particular book or work of art is exactly what you should be doing.
*Pamela says she feels the negative voice of resistance telling her stuff like: come on you haven’t done it yet? or Why do you even bother? She says it’s a daily battle to get through the voice that wants to tell you to stop making your art. She remembers Steven Pressfield saying that the resistance you fight is as big as your dream. So if you have very little resistance in your life now, it’s because you’re not dreaming big enough.
Ask yourself… how big is the shadow of the tree of your dream? If you have a small shadow it’s because you’re not dreaming big enough. The more you dream and the bigger the dream is, if you get scared and more anxious because you’re pursuing something, that’s because it matters a lot to you.
*She encourages artists to not live complacent lives… doing the same old thing everyday. Instead, ask yourself what gets me excited? Try to create what you’re passionate about. You don’t need to be a #1 bestseller right out of the gate… all you need to do is Just Start!
*Pamela says one of the biggest things for writers, painters or creatives anywhere need to remember is that you don’t need to ask permission. Just start creating what you’re excited about. Stop listening to the voice of resistance, and just begin.
*Steven Pressfield’s book Do the Work he talks about how to finish the projects you start. And how to do work that matters to you and how to get started. It’s not about having better ideas, it’s just about committing to do the work, everyday.
*Pamela encourages writers to start today to write down something that has deep meaning… write about something that’s really emotional for you. Take responsibility and have fun creating your art.
You can find Pamela on your blogs ipaintiwrite.com and you can see what new topics Harper the cat is writing about these days over at thecatwhowrites.com. Also, Pamela says her toys will COME ALIVE again in December… check it out here at toycember. Pamela would also love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter.
What helps you overcome resistance & choose yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.