{Echo} Week 1- Emerge

 Emerge 2

That photo there, it isn’t a bad one persay. ..  it just lacks.. well, something. However, it is that very photo that facilitated a ‘lightbulb moment’  for me recently.

“Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.”
 ~ Winston Churchill

Introspection. It is almost an addiction for me. I suppose it comes from living with both mental & neurological  illnesses – in its own way… it has become my method of survival. Recently I find myself dwelling on the tendency I have to fold into myself.  I find myself pulling away, rather than towards people more often than I would like. I do the proverbial ‘all’ by myself. Afraid to ask for help. Unsure of when to reach out. Hesitant to deepen my connections with people.  It can be a lonely state of mind to live in .. for sure.

I foolishly hold on to some warped, misguided notion that <insert any project, business role, decision name here> will somehow be better if I do it myself. So when Susan Tuttle & I finally decided on a collaborative project to embark on it was a little milestone for me and I had no idea that within the first week, I would find it all life changing.


 (please click to see it larger)

That photo i mentioned earlier? 

It is far better paired with Susan’s, than it is standing alone.

Perhaps …I too am stronger when connected, than alone.

“Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees”
 ~ Marcel Proust

I am excited for the chance to take a creative journey with Susan; to get a glimpse on how she views this miraculous world. I am hoping, that you too will join us in the project we simply call: echo. Every 2 weeks we will each post a seperate set of diptychs based on a prompt we decided on prior. The final result is not only a surprise to each of you, but to us as well. What a true delight that is for me! Be sure to take a gander over to Susan’s blog, where she shares our second diptych.

We invite you to take this journey with us .. to take our bi-weekly prompt and interpret it through your camera lens & share it on your blog (or flickr). Be sure to let one, or both of us know in the comments section that you have done it too, I will post a roundup of all the posts I am aware of in the next 2 weeks.  If you haven’t yet guessed it, the first theme is ’emerge’.  Whether you work alone, or pair up with someone we look forward to seeing the world through your eyes, your echo.

Warmly, Chrysti

Update: Week 1 Roundup is posted here… see all the creative folks joining in!

Finding Confidence

:: knowing ::
‘Knowing’ © Christy Hydeck 2009

“Be like the bird who, halting in his flight on a limb too slight,
yet sings, knowing he has wings.”

-Victor Hugo

I want to BE that bird.
Some days I AM that bird.
Other days I forget that I  too, have wings.

Self Confidence is a tricky, delicate thing if you ask me – and a subject I find myself reflecting on quite frequently. Circumstances in my life have changed drastically this year; challenging me on nearly every-single-little-or-big-aspect in my life. Until this year… I don’t think I had realized just how much I unintentionally looked elsewhere to validate my worth – when in truth it is my own validation that was so sorely needed. I suppose I thought I had just the right amount of confidence since I can easily rattle off my strengths, and balance that just as quickly with a list of my shortcomings. I don’t see myself as someone afraid to try things, yet it has become apparent that fear has kept from me so many possible joys I could have obtained had I just given something a go. I have been reminded of a (painfully) harsh lesson this year; that by protecting myself from failures, I have hurt myself more than if I had  just… well, let go. I gave others my power, instead of harnessing it myself… a mistake many of us all too often make.

We speak so often on the importance of self esteem, yet rarely do we acknowledge how it is obtained. Much like art, the importance lies in the process, not the result. Esteem isn’t  innate, it is built by overcoming challenges and learning how to cope with the inevitable failures that cross our paths. I am learning to look at life how I have always seen art and how I view creativity. I am adapting my mantra to fit my personal battles and not just my professional ones… it bears repeating:

For everything I create, there will be someone who loves it, someone who hates it, and someone else who could care less.” –Chrysti

So… ultimately, it is how I feel about  it that matters – the rest? It is just noise. I heard someone once say – ‘give it your best, and forget all the rest…’ doesn’t that ring so very, very true? Knowing that has always kept me focused on the journey and what gifts I stood to learn along the way. Now, I am learning how to apply it to the other aspects of my life… and yes, I am becoming more confident by the day… and where there is confidence, there is happiness….

All because I am simply allowing myself to fail.

What have you failed at recently? Cheers to both of our failures, and as a result… our triumphs.


 :: knowing ::

 OVER HALF OFF! Pre-order special on the 8×10 ‘Knowing’ (print shown above!)

  • $12.00 + $3.50 (US) shipping – October 6th – October 14th 2009.
  • Shipping begins on October 15th.
  • Print will be signed & a free ACEO enclosed!
  • Paypal the total amount & your shipping address to khryctee (AT) bellsouth.net
  • Or leave a comment with your email addy, and I will send a paypal invoice.

Tying up loose ends…

* looks around sheepishly …*

So. Ummmmm. Yeah. 

Hi!  Hello! G’Day! Bonjour! Aloha!

And even more ways to give a long, long overdue hello.

*cough, cough …*

The blog is a bit dusty eh? Even though I dont’ quite feel in the frame of mind to write well, I know I need to get this done. Perfectionism is overrated anyhow. (if i say it enough times, i just may believe it!) Seriously though, the logical side of me knows it isn’t even attainable. Why DO we fret over it?

 Untitled - WIP

I am not even going to apologize for letting my trusty blog slide recently. (See Blogging Without Obligation)  How is that for impressive? When hard times hit us – we do what we must to survive, and my blog had to take a backseat for a bit. SO very many of you have checked in, to see how I am… seems y’all know when i vanish, it’s either for very good (too busy) or very bad (hello depression) reasons. This time, it was a combination of both.

Life has thrown some pretty big, life-altering wrenches my way in the last few months … I really am not one to dwell on the negative (we really do become what we think) … nor am I one to publicly air my issues. When the time is right, I will most likely share a retrospective viewpoint of this time period with y’all; but until then .. just please understand there have been some monumental changes in my health and personal life … and I am working through all of it the best I can.

I am confident that I will indeed emerge stronger than before. I have felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown several times recently, but yet I have not completely lost it. 10 years ago, I probably would have been hospitalized handling all of this…. so it is with great pride that I share that growth with you, and continue to remind myself of what a blessing it indeed is. Bipolar disorder is disruptive, it is extremely difficult at times- but it does NOT have to be crippling, or cause one to suffer immensely. There are techniques, medications for some, and tools to help manage it- and those of us who live with it, it is our responsibility to utilize them the best we can on any given day. Choose to fight, daily.. hourly… or by the minute if you have to. It is hard work, but well worth it.

 Untitled Birdie - 5

Now, on the other hand .. there have equally been as many amazing things happening. The yin & yang I suppose. Exhibitions, Juried Shows, Publishing , Teaching, and Licensing opportunities.. and lots more have been heading my way! Sadly, I have had to turn a few things down as I sort things out .. but I continually take on what I can, as I love the distraction and focus on my artwork. Oddly, my recent work has been bright, and vivid and colorful – quite a shift from what I usually create when battling depression. I am TOTALLY digging that, and cannot paint enough these days. I will elaborate on more of these in separate posts.

Now, Moving on…

I wanted to wrap up the giveaway and apologize to the incredibly talented & generous Jodi for taking so long to do this. Don’t worry, I will be doing more giveaways, interviews..and all the fun stuff… just not by blogging daily ..since at this point in my life I cannot commit to it.

Artwork by Jodi Ohl

Artwork by Jodi Ohl

First – Go refresh yourself on the giveaway  & interview with Jodi.

Now… peek and see if you’re a winner…

1)  Prize Recipient Is:  Laura Taylor Mark custom 6 x 12 piece  made especially for this giveaway  (value of $79 dollars)

2)  Prize Recipient Is: Regina R.  A  $40 dollar shopping spree to Jodis online store.

 3)  Prize Recipient Is: Dawn Gold set of 4 of of Sweet HeART magnets “Green Apple” (recently featured in Cloth Paper Scissors, Jan/Feb issue),  value: $24

And I nearly forgot! one more giveaway to wrap up…

read about it here

Prize Recipient Is: Jill Thompson  the delightful book: Layers: Inspired Collage for Paper Projects with Meaning .

Leave me a comment if you won, or I will try to track you down – and contact you for your mailing address!

The remaining 7 days, will be finished – just slowly, as I can. I never default on my commitments, but in this case I need to do it at my own pace… hope y’all understand.

Now – the exciting news, is that i will be doing another 29 days of giving – in a way I CAN commit to. Via …. TWITTER! So be sure to follow me there for chances to win. I will announce here, when it begins… and I can promise you that 140 characters is VERY doable for me. I plan to make it fun like we did here… so I hope you will join us when the time comes.

Facebook & twitter are quick ways I have been utilizing to stay in touch with this amazing community- so join me there, since I tend to keep those up through the rough times. Blog posts typically take me a few hours to do, and is usually the first thing to fall behind.

Again, I cannot thank those of you who check in on me, offer me encouragement, inspiration and positive light enough. I really do hate how trite it sounds to say it’s nice to know people care … because it couldn’t be more real. I am hoping now that I removed this big pink elephant… I can keep up with the blog again, and if not.. I know I will be back, as I can.

Warmly, Chrysti

An Unquiet Mind

“I have often asked myself whether, given the choice, I would choose to have manic-depressive illness. If lithium were not available to me, or didn’t work for me, the answer would be a simple no and it would be an answer laced with terror. But lithium does work for me, and therefore I can afford to pose the question.

Strangely enough I think I would choose to have it. It’s complicated. Depression is awful beyond words or sounds or images… So why would I want anything to do with this illness?

Because I honestly believe that as a result of it I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more intensely; loved more, and been more loved; laughed more often for having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the winters… and slowly learned the values of caring, loyalty and seeing things through. …Depressed, I have crawled on my hands and knees in order to get across a room and have done it for month after month. But, normal or manic, I have run faster, thought faster and loved faster than most I know.”

-Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind

Just wanted to share that passage from a book that once changed my life . The bold words feel as if they are my own, and for whatever reason, I felt compelled to share them this evening. Perhaps, there is someone else who needed to hear them too?