I’d like to share a story about what we’re capable of creating when we’re truly inspired. And, how GREAT things can happen FAST.
The largest Niki Owl came to life on July 1st, 2012. I had spent the morning with my friends watching Spain’s soccer team win their second UEFA European Championship in a row. It was also Canada Day, and Canada is very dear to me because that’s where I wrote my first book. And it was a week before my birthday, so I was feeling fully inspired by life.
I had adopted a large canvas from a neighbor a couple months before. And by large, I mean 5.5x7ft large.
I knew I wanted to put Niki Owl on it, and had already pencilled my outline on the canvas.
I knew the caption would say, “Life’s a Hoot!”
It leaned against the wall in the living room, and after my morning meditations I would sit in my comfy chair to contemplate the canvas every day. My thoughts flowed between painting a simple illustrated version of him (black on white) or a full colour version.
I would tense up a bit thinking I had to have it all figured out before I started. And that is the kind of thinking that STOPS the best ideas from flowing. So… I gave my mind space from the thing I most wanted to create.
I filled the rest of my days with meetings, SEO projects, personal development, reading in the park. Every evening I would circle back and gaze at the canvas with new eyes.
Painting the canvas seemed daunting. I was so used to drawing half inch versions of Niki Owl, not painting a 5 foot owl.
However, I could feel myself coming closer to that tipping point of giving life to my vision.
We intuitively KNOW when it is time to act with inspiration. And we instinctively know what to DO in that moment. (tweet this)
It’s no surprise then, that after I got home from watching the game I knew I would celebrate the rest of the day painting that canvas, which ultimately meant painting my largest owl to date. I also knew right then what I was going to do.
For the rest of that afternoon and night, I was switched ON.
I started at 2pm and finished at midnight. I took a twenty minute break for dinner while a dear friend came over to see how it was coming along.
I had a minor moment of panic when I felt the background looked like a mess, yet I reminded myself that sometimes things start out looking like a mess, then everything comes together nicely. Even the Masters messed up their canvases and transformed them into beautiful works of art that we pay millions for today (tweet this). It comes down to our curiosity to experiment, and our commitment to honour what feels good to create.
I felt more and more in awe as I saw the owl take shape.
Hour after hour, I painted his feathers, his beak, his feet, the grass he stands on, the outline… and the words he lives by. The largest Niki Owl literally came ALIVE in front of me – eye to eye.
When the painting felt complete, I signed it and gave myself the biggest inner high five ever. Those 8 hours felt like a breeze, because my Genius was on its best game.
Ever since then I am amazed when I look at this painting… I just want to hug him, he’s so real.
What is one of your proudest moments in life? One that made your whole being come alive and think, “YES. Life IS good.”
To your Inspiration,
Photograph of “Niki Owl – Life’s a Hoot” canvas taken by the excellent Joel H. Mark.