Stay inspired with our FREE monthly podcast!

Ready to up the awesome in your life? Sign-up to have updates sent straight to your inbox:

Truthy Tuesday: Ordinary Inspiration & Finding Beauty Everywhere

{by guest Maven, Jolie Guillebeau}

I’ve always been a detail person. Everyone else is admiring the tree and I’m looking at the veins on the underside of a leaf.

Most of the time, this works pretty well, unless I’m trying to clean the house. Then I’ll spend ages scrubbing the edges of the sink with a toothbrush, while ignoring the pile of dirty clothes on the bathroom floor.

But as a painter, it’s perfect. Three years ago, when I began my daily painting project, the first question everyone asked was, “What happens when you run out of things to paint?” And honestly, I was a little worried about it myself. If I painted and told a story everyday, wouldn’t I eventually begin to repeat myself? Would my readers get bored? Would I burn out?

Instead, the opposite is true. The more I paint and the more stories I tell, the more I find to paint and the more stories I want to tell. My daily painting practice has taught me to notice more and to share it with others in a way I never expected.

Nearly 800 paintings later, I have painted the same subject more than once, but each time I notice something different. Perhaps it’s the way the light falls through my living room window or the shimmer of a broken Christmas ornament, but everyday I see something that makes me eager to pull out my paintbrush.

Though as the project has continued, I’ve found myself surprised by the way it evolved. I began as a painter, trying to capture the things I see with my brush, but now I’d describe myself as more of a storyteller. The objects I’m painting all have stories. And capturing their image is only part of that story. Now I’d say that my words are just as important in capturing the beauty of these stories and finding a way to share that with my readers.

It was unexpected, but now those words sustain a project I expected to only last three months. Those words turned in to a book (a dream come true) and those words connect me to people all across the world.

It’s a perfect example of how something ordinary became much more beautiful than I could have imagined. And I’m grateful.

Jolie Guillebeau is a painter, a storyteller and a soy ice cream sandwich eater. You can find her work at jolieguillebeau.com or subscribe to her daily painting series here. Her book, Beauty Everywhere, features 100 of her favorite paintings with the stories behind each work.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Share your thoughts/tips/struggles around finding beauty in the ordinary too, and we’ll post a link right here for our readers to check out!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

We’d love to hear from you, Mavens! How do you find beauty in the ordinary? How do you remember to look up and notice the goodness all around you?

2 Responses to Truthy Tuesday: Ordinary Inspiration & Finding Beauty Everywhere

  1. Coral says:

    I do my grateful speech in my car on the way to my day job – that reminds me to be grateful. For big things like fresh food and water and a roof over my head. It reminds me of little things too. Like the purring kitty I had in my lap that morning or when a friend sends me a text just when I need it. My husband often says I am child like (in a good way), because I get excited by little things. Like a pretty leaf or flower out on a walk, feeding ducks at the local park and still being excited to go see Christmas lights. Things so many “grown ups” wouldn’t notice or would dismiss as silly if they did notice.

    The other element of this post that really clicked for me was the courage to start a project and where it can lead. It’s so beautiful to hear that. Despite the doubts or a step by step plan, starting with a basic idea and running with it. Learning unexpected lessons, meeting people who want to be a part of your adventure and the twists and turn the adventure takes once you get started – love, love this

    • Jolie says:

      Thanks, Coral! And I love the idea of your child-like joy over the little things. That’s how my husband describes me sometimes, too.

      And you’re right, the project started with little plans and lots of doubts. I’m glad the adventure has brought me here.

Share your thoughts. We want to hear from you, Mavens!