Artist Interview: Jodene Shaw


Jodene {Jodi} Shaw
Business:  Jodene Shaw Mixed Media Art & Photography
Creative Influences:  Kelly Rae Roberts, Shona Cole, Beth Moore, John & Stasi Eldredge, Dan Allender, Carrie Todd, Ansel Adams
Preferred Medium of Creativity:  Photography, mixed media, writing/journaling, speaking to women and girls…{weaving all of it together for their hearts}

Bio:  I live on a family cattle ranch in western South Dakota with my handsome husband Jim and three unique kids son Tom (11) and daughters Sydney (9) and Erin (4).  My husband’s great-grandfather came from Ireland and homesteaded here over 100 years ago. {It is still a rural area—we live 60 miles from the nearest bank, grocery store, doctor and 90 miles from Starbucks and Walmart.}  Bird watching was shared with me by my Grandma Marj as a young girl and continues to be something I delight in.  I enjoy reading and watching movies with my family, as well as history and museums.  My creative journey as an adult is relatively new.  I have really only been sharing my writing, photography and art within the past year.  I work from home.  My “studio” is my kitchen table and counter.

Links:  http://www.jodeneshaw.blogspot.com
          http://www.etsy.com/jodeneshaw

  
 
Earliest creative memory/Finding creative voice

As early as I could remember, I had crayons, paints, paper, scissors, markers – art supplies.  I believe that is where I discovered that I could indeed create and that I enjoyed it.  I believe so much in having those simple tools available to children as early as possible so that they can begin to express themselves and communicate.  At home or at grandparents’ homes, I remember creating.  I was fascinated by maps and flags of other countries, patterns, rainbows, color.

My creative habits moved into my adult life through scrapbooking.  Documenting milestones, celebrations, vacations, moments of beauty—that was important to me to remember.  The photography and working with paper and colors was my creative outlet, and I viewed it as “my time”.  I developed a habit of Sunday afternoon scrapping while my husband watched NASCAR and my kids took their naps when they were little.
 In 2006-07, we were expecting our third child.  I had struggled with depression off and on for several years.  I struggled spiritually, emotionally, financially.  The roots of my struggle ran deep back into my early teen years of searching for security, identity and validity.  For those teen years, I seemed able to lean heavily on academic and social success for those three foundation layers of security, identity, and validity.  As an adult, I rolled that over into seeking that foundation through a career that I thought was the only way to get what I thought I was looking for to find happiness-joy-success-security-identity-validity.  

My struggle {as each person’s life struggles are} was complex.  To state it in a paragraph would be to oversimplify it.  But here goes my attempt:  seeking security, identity and validity as a person through a career and the image it would bring—always on a mission to prove myself to others and especially to me—began to erode all that I was seeking from the inside out.  My foundation that I tried to build on my own, putting up a false front, and a smile and a mask, crumbled on a day in January 2007.  I was broken, raw, exposed before my husband, and I knew I must live a new way.  I did not know exactly how, but I knew that it would be different.  

As the mask of what I now know was pride, began to crumble, I began to discover more and more of my true self.   And so began a wrestling period with God to find the courage to be who He really made me to be and let go of painting a perfect picture image of my life for others to applaud or admire.  I felt like I had lived my life as a resume—always trying to prove that I had value and worth, and I was exhausted from it, tired of living that way.  Ready to walk in truth, be who I really was, be real, and find joy in my everyday.

The Transition 

God has been at the very heart of my creative process and lifestyle.  The change began on that day back in 2007 with the crumbling of my pride which had been like a suffocating skin on the outside of me.  At last I was beginning to break free of it.  My Bible study group began a DVD and workbook series: How To Hear God’s Voice by Mark & Patti Virkler.  I was hesitant to start it—wondering if trying to hear God’s voice was ok, or if it would be like fortune telling.  My hesitation soon melted as I began to hear the Lord care for my heart and lead me into His truth as never before.  I was truly able to hear him heal me with words that poured out into journal after journal after journal.  My Wonderful Counselor, the Holy Spirit, poured truth into the places that I had believed lies about where I would find my security, identity and validity—and joy.  I found a firm foundation in a real, vibrant, alive relationship with God.  As I read the Bible, the words seemed to come off the page and right into my life.  I understood and saw with new eyes as I read.  Music spoke to my heart constantly.  There was a newness to my life.  I was beginning to understand how misled I was, and how the Lord was the source of what I was seeking:  security, identity, validity.  In Him, I am all that I ever need to be or can be, and am more than I ever can be on my own.

My creativity began in this season through writing.  My shelves are lined with journals in which words seemed to flow constantly.  I remember having a journal with me even in the bathroom because thoughts would come while I was in the shower, and I’d grab a pen and start writing again wrapped in a towel before I was even dry.  In addition to writing, I started carrying my camera and found the super-macro setting.

Our third child Erin was born in March 2007, and it seemed that I was new right along with her.  As I watched her see things for the first time, I entered in with her, entered in the wonder and fascination of my everyday life:  the trees, the wind, the snow, the flowers, water . . . 
 

As Erin looked at the world, I looked through my super-macro setting on my camera, finding that I was moved to worship the Creator of such beauty.  In the simplicity, I found richness, life, worship.  

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