What’s it like to do something really different?

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Over the past year a lot has happened. Moving from Massachusetts, where I lived for a very long time, to California–where I’d lived in the past and “Swore” I’d never live there again! (moral: never say “Never!”)  But here I am, and it is like being on a different planet. And actually a good one! I just got back from sitting in with my fiddle (aka violin), with some local bluegrass players in a weekly “jam”—which is informal, and fortunately for me they are very welcoming and patient.

But what is also really different? Being willing to take the time to actually DO something really different. Over the past number of months, that has been developing a project that started unintentionally from a spark of inspiration, taking on a life of it’s own as I became more deeply engrossed in its evolution. I’ve always done some kind of artwork, all my life. As long as I can remember, that has been an essential part of life—in many forms over the years—whether painting, sewing, textile painting, furniture and wall painting, print design, rug design, and other media.

In many ways, working in the field of color consulting—which I’ve been doing since 1986—has been an art expression. But it’s been much more about actually helping others, my clients, tap into, and become more confident in, their own expression with color. I always have loved that part of the work. Now, with an expanded focus on my own art work,  I’m enjoying that experience again but in a very different way.

Sonoma County view.

Sonoma County mountains and pasture.

Most recently, relocating here to Northern California, I started drawing.  It sounds simplistic, but what happened was, for me, remarkable. I found that, with an open and relaxed mind, the images that came out were surprising and actually fascinating. I became spellbound by the process.

What has developed from that experience is the inspiration to do a book. Actually it’s a coloring book. Now, it’s in the final phases and the whole process is much more involved than I imagined when I started with the notion to do it. In fact, the fascinating thing that has come from working on the book is that, while it is a ‘coloring book’ and as such has a great benefit that is very well known for stress relief, I’ve constructed it in a way that will actually help people develop their own sense of colors and how the colors feel to them that is well beyond simply coloring a picture. I’m looking forward to seeing what evolves with it, and to sharing it with you when it’s ready. I will set up a page on this site for the book, also!

Sonoma County

In Sonoma County, a view without boundaries.

The point about this process, that I’ve started to learn from the current experience, is that just being open to something new—without boundaries—is an exciting experience.  Now, you may be someone for whom this is no surprise and who has always just done anything you’ve wanted to do. But I really believe that many people need to have the little “zing” of inspiration that just does not let go, and the exhilarating experience of the creative surge that comes with a new idea that is actually manifested.  I wish I had an easy recipe for that.

But it boils down to this: take the time to get out of the usual way of doing things; change up the routine; see things with a new eye, and breathe!

If you have something to share about embarking on a new experience, doing something really different, please share it in a comment.

Visit my Instagram page – bjacobscolor. 

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4 Responses to “What’s it like to do something really different?”

  1. Kristie Barnett

    This is wonderful and exciting! I think that change, even when it’s painful, is an amazing opportunity for gaining a fresh perspective or opening your mind to possibilities. Maybe it’s because you can’t put things on autopilot like you may had been able to do before the change occurred. Anyway, I’m happy for you and look forward to seeing your book!!!

  2. Marcia Walter

    Hi Barb, what an adventure you’ve been on! That is such incredibly beautiful country.


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