You’re an artist or designer at the very start of your creative career.
You’ve been doing your artistic thing for a little while now, but…
You are still fine tuning your original voice while the world awaits to see what you’re indeed made of.
Every notch on your belt thus far has come from following your instincts.
And, you’re about to learn a quantum leap of faith takes no more believing in yourself than those puddle jumps did.
Maybe you haven’t had formal interior design training? And the words “self-taught” might as well be your middle name.
But you have always had “a knack” for how things work together.
On this particular day, you find yourself staring at the most significant place about to ever be your home.
It’s a gigantic warehouse converted into an open artist loft. Whoa, Nelly! Like the kind of gem, you might dream of landing back in the early artsy Soho days.
You’ve never taken on a personal design project this scale, with a wide open layout, before. Your knees are bucking with excitement.
You have this feeling in your bones like you were born ready to express your artistic style to the world here.
And, it will manifest using this huge, intimidating, blank, beauty, before you.
The words, “This is a big deal,” seem stuck on the tip of your tongue.
And you start to imagine all the places doing this right could take you on your new career path.
The truth is…
You’ve been working on making your own original designs for a little while now.
But you have never had the opportunity to showcase them in a beautiful setting like the one before you.
The only thought filling your mind as you scan across this wide open floor plan is —
This place is going to be my first creative baby.
Learning To Trust Your Creative Instincts
Trusting your creative instincts is a muscle you’ve been flexing a lot more lately. And this very project is going to prove to be the Hulk version of your creative flexing.
The more you flex, the more you trust, the faster you build your artistic confidence.
The thing is —
As adults, we aren’t encouraged enough to be free thinkers and to trust in free expression.
We learn to fear “breaking the rules.”
Rules put in place for structure, not for stifling our imagination.
It’s not your thing to be pre-sorting colors for your projects.
You have a bohemian style.
You love all things unconventional. You are a non-conformist, a beatnik, a free-spirit.
You want to master your craft.
To continue developing “an eye” for what works together in your personal expression.
The part of you that is special, that nobody else will uncover, but you.
I get it. I know what you’re going through and I want to share my story in the hopes that it will help you.
This is the place you begin to hear your own song, feel your own rhythm. The more you move toward it and dance with it, the more confident you become as a creator.
“We learn creative instincts by constantly moving toward self-realization. Strengthen these instincts by taking chances. Follow the whispers of your heart’s deepest desires. Boldly express your unique gifts to the world. Do this with boundless joy (and without apology).”
I’m Having An Art Baby!
What the…? An Art Baby?
Hello, my name is Jeanne Connolly. I want to share with you the story of my first creative baby. Yes, you heard me right. I had an art baby! Or maybe rather, it was me being reborn on the day introduced to my biggest creative canvas?
Either way, you heard me right. Something unusual happened that day that industrial warehouse became home.
The creation of an “in vitro” fertilization between my mind, body, spirit and this loft.
We had an instant relationship — a special bond. This super space would be the thing that allowed me to express myself in ways I never dreamed. Or maybe it was in the ways that I’ve always imagined?
None-the-less, the process of fertilization involves a sperm fusing with an ovum, right?
Picture my loft, (or this gigantic nest egg) as the ovum. And my creative spirit traveling on what seemed like an endless journey lost.
Only to find its way fusing with this incredible loft space. Birthing a fantastic creative opportunity and thus my insta “in vitro” art baby.
It was love at first sight. From the very moment, I stepped foot into the front door of my new converted warehouse home. It was my destiny unfolding and the beginning of my creative awakening.
Since that original flashback, I went on to create a whimsical free-spirited brand. It was born from a collection of artisan indie-made, one-of-a-kind Vintage Furniture Redesigns, located in Denver, CO.
I fabricate high-end, eclectic, bohemian-inspired style using vintage and recycled materials.
These days you can find me traveling the world for inspiration, and sharing it from Valencia, Spain.
Finding Your Creative Rhythm
So, why was this loft such a turning point in my life?
It was the first place that jarred opened the floodgates to my creative heart. It was the first blank canvas to show my potential in.
The place where I could expand on all the things that brought me the most enormous amount of joy. I was in the trust tree!
It was the space where I trusted my instincts and surrounded myself with things that made my heart sing.
I wasn’t bothered by floor plans or grids to tighten up the open layout.
Instead, I focused on how I would love to see myself utilizing the space.
Then began to create little nooks with a plethora of crazy colors and styles that I loved to fill in the floor plan.
We, as humans, have a particular right of passage from birth. To move toward an authentic life of creating and expressing ourselves.
It’s your birthright to live the dream: that big beautiful, expressive dream. The one that only you can find and create from within yourself.
This was my big beautiful dream.
A 2000 square foot live/work artist loft with white painted brick walls that grabbed my metaphorical hand and said, let’s do this thing!
I created my own living/breathing wonderland of fabrics, colors, textures. And all in a crazy eclectic developing style that was my own.
This loft was a project of the heart.
The most authentic expression of all the ideas locked up in my creative spirit finally set free. All plunked down within the confines of this gorgeous industrial space.
It was love at first sight, and I knew from the first moment our eyes locked that we were going to make music together.
So, the next time you are staring at blank space doubting your ability, take a step back and spread those wings sister girl.
Let down your floodgates. Let that energy flow in and let your deepest desires lead the way.
Developing Your Artistic Style
The breakthrough that made all this possible was trust and listening to my instincts.
I learned that all my happiness comes from within me, not from the paint wall at the Home Depot. “Well, on some days it does!”
I didn’t fight my desires to get outlandish, to mix things up, to combine the loudest and proudest of colors without so much as the slightest apology.
I didn’t struggle to please other people or worry about what they might think about my choices. I let it unfold step-by-step. Things got gaudy. Things got crazy, but I worked through my style.
I entered design contests before having a design plan.
I got featured on house tours in the middle of redecorating, which for me was ongoing. So I started saying yes, I’ll do it!
I learned there is no such thing as perfect timing. You have to go for it!
Waiting for the perfect time is fear rising. Momentum comes from taking that first step. And then a second. And then a third.
I shared my work, my space, and my life. I got feedback from my peers and boy was this scary on occasion.
It started to seem that people became raving fans of my work. Wow, this felt amazing! They either loved what I did, or they hated it.
I never saw other creatives as my rivals. They were always my peers, my peeps, my sisters from another mister.
There is no end to the originality we are all capable of.
My energy was very positive and encouraging, and that was what I attracted back. I never made designs to please everyone or anyone for that matter. I wanted to learn what my signature was and to feel confident to grow and change with it.
I started to develop a voice. I learned that Bohemian style does indeed form in layers. Full of a massive amount of personal expression.
I knew I was the driving force pulling this vision together.
Something more significant than me rose up to create this opportunity for me to shine.
I trusted that I was not given more than I could handle.
I felt something bigger than me reaching into my heart and guiding my instincts toward joyful expression. I had a new confidence and strength. I was building (and flexing) new Hulk-like creative muscles and trusting all my artistic abilities.
I acknowledged the brief moments where I felt self-doubt creeping in and let it pass by. This story is about owning your power, forging ahead and knowing the world is waiting for your special something. I did that! I continued to move toward all the things that made my spirit do a boogie-woogie dance at home.
I knew I had formed a new partnership with a source and strength within myself (my power to create). To trust my instincts and with another source much bigger than me guiding me to my deepest desires. This strength comes from within your own heart. By doing what you love. By taking chances every opportunity you get. To build and express your very own unique personal style.
Growing Into My Unique Style
The truth is we are all here for a unique purpose or creative calling. Mine was to make radically designed vintage furniture. I felt more ready than ever to tackle this dream I had. I could finally show the world how they could incorporate my loud and proud designs into their space. I learned that the more I could express myself through these furniture designs, the more I was connecting with people that were on my frequency. Giving them the chance to show their free spirit at home through my work.
My customers started to become more like my soul sisters.
Sisters that resonated with the fearlessness and creativity that went into designing each piece.
They always chose the perfect piece of furniture for them — The one where my heart and bohemian personality become one with their own.
The public resonated with my work.
The art community resonated with my work.
The media resonated with my work.
There was unstoppable energy around my confidence. My ideas were flowing and most importantly original.
I got featured everywhere a young, hip designer wanted the spotlight at the time.
From popular crafty sites (Etsy Featured Artist);
To cutthroat design contests (Apartment Therapy);
To the “in” magazine for Indie (Readymade Magazine);
All the way to luxury readers (Luxe Magazine) and museum-goers (Denver Art Museum).
You name it; I had a mention there. And not just a mention, if I may toot that horn, but full-blown multi-paged magazine features! How about a woot for that toot, baby! Hells yes! I was on fire indeed.
It was an exciting time. All roads led straight from the confidence I first gained using this loft as my art canvas.
Follow The Whispers Of Your Creative Heart
Expressing ourselves is the reasons we are here. Your life’s desires are talking to you all the time. Are you listening to where they are guiding you? Trust and move toward all the things that light you up, make your heart sing, and fill you with unwavering joy!
Listen to your heart. Welcome your authentic calling. Consistently take inspired actions toward owning your personal power to create. Celebrate that power and share it with the world.
Are you a creative Bohemian girl who wants to express yourself?
Start today in whatever canvas you call your home.
You don’t need to wait for a particular degree. To get acknowledgment from others, or wait for a shaman to tell you-you’re the chosen one.
Look around. Splash your bohemian spirit into your home and start to show the world your authentic style. Layer the things you love into your home little by little. Fearlessly express who you are. Let the world see your personality shine through as soon as they walk through your front door.
Who knows what path your expression might lead you down? You might be the next top designer.
Sign up to follow the brand new blog “coming soon” at vintagerenewal.com where we will inspire you to find your creative voice along with DIY For Designers. We are dedicated to traveling and bringing you the most radical techniques for deconstructing and restyling high-end off-beat bohemian chairs using vintage and recycled materials.
Follow the whispers of your creative heart. What unique gift is waiting inside you to become fully expressed?