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Heart to Heart with Courtney Pilgrim of My Friend Court

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Hi Lovers,

Today I am sharing a special artist with you today, one who is near and dear to my heart! She represents those moments in your life when you meet someone for the first time but it’s like your picking up a conversation where you left off just yesterday. I call those moments magical. 

That’s how it was when I met Court. (Read more about that here) Courtney is a beautifully warm soul in this world. The kinda person that reminds you of the charm of the south, speaking words like "gal" and "honey" with a Georgian sound that makes you feel right at home. Her openness and love for others and for life can only come from a colorful soul. Courtney is both hilarious and honest, yet brilliantly blunt. She's lived her life out of an integrity of the power of art to be life changing. An art Journaler and entrepreuner, Courtney's Art and blog speak to her clarity on her place in this world. I am delighted to share her with you! See what she has to say about being an artist and self expression!    

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How do you express yourself daily? 

Being an elementary school art teacher, art, creativity and self expression is [thankfully] weaved into my every day. But even when I’m not teaching, or before I began my teaching career, the most fundamental way for me to express myself on a daily basis is with the way the way that I dress. When I was in middle school, in my agenda- I would write down what I wore to school that day, so that I could come up with new outfits all month long without repeating any of them. [I was destined to blog about style!]

How did art come into your life? 

I honestly can’t remember when I was first introduced to art, or how my love for it came about. I am the only artist in my family, but I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that has  always supported and fostered my love for the arts. I grew up in a big family, with not a lot of money. A lot of my clothes + toys were hand-me-downs, so I guess in a way- making my own art/jewelry/things were a way for me to have something to call my own. My mom would bring me paper/office supplies home from her job to make things with, and would take me to the thrift store to buy my own clothes/accessories that I would cut up and put  together in a new way.

What did it take to convince you, you were an artist? 

I don’t think there is any convincing needed ;) Not to sound conceded or anything. But art has just always been apart of my life. Even as a toddler, sitting down to scribble/color was entertaining, and my parents would call me ‘their little artist’. It was a label that was given to me very young, and one that I have always identified with. 

What shifted for you to take your art to the next level?

Well in high school I took AP art classes (college level) and was fortunate enough to land an art scholarship to attend college. So I think that really pushed me into thinking that I could make a career out of being an artist.

What's your inspiration.?

I would definitely say that color is my biggest inspiration. I am so attracted to color and have very strong feelings about it. When I want to create, but don’t know what to paint/draw/make I by default, start playing with color and something evolves. 

What's the relationship with art to your day job? What do you tell people you do? 

Currently, I work as an art teacher at a public school in Atlanta [GA]. When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them that I am an art teacher + freelance artist. I normally tell them that I also do in home painting parties + run a blog on the side too. 

I love teaching, and feel very fortunate to have a job that allows me to share my love of art with others every day. However, I would LOVE to be able to be full time freelance artist one day. 

How did your art help you with your love for 1. Self, 2. Others, 3. Life? 

I honestly believe that art has helped me find my confidence/voice all through out the years. It was always something that I was good at and I loved it, so I could always find a lot of value in it- despite how I might feel about myself other wise. The same value that art has allowed me to find in myself, it has showed me the value + beauty in others.

Art has also, always been a way for me to connect, communicate and relate with others. I grew up in a small town, and then went to GA State’s art school in Atlanta. It opened my eyes, mind and boarded my horizons learning about art + life in the city, with all different type of artist around me. Art is engrained in everyones culture and quite literally paints a [beautiful] picture of who we are, no words needed, just the artifacts of who we are/were. So it can teach us a whole lot about life! 

Has  your art called you to at different way of living and seeing the world? If so how? 

I think being an artist, and going through the creative process on a daily basis has kept me young at heart. Possibly, immature at times. But I think the problem is with most adults, is they don’t exercise their imagination enough. And the pressures of the real world get to them, and causes bitterness and insecurities, which ultimately result in unhappiness. 

I have a very active imagination and it keeps me young, and spontaneous at heart. This doesn’t mean I don’t have the pressures or the responsibilities of the real, adult world- but it definitely changes the way approach them, and once again- despite how I may other wise feel about myself, I have my art that I value, so there for I can still find the value in myself.  Usually when the real world starts to get to me and I am overwhelmed- I procrastinate, by making art- which makes me feel better. Plus builds my confidence to face whatever it is that I need to. 

Has art been a form of creative therapy for you?

Oh absolutely! Like I said, I think creating art has been the biggest confidence builder for me and helped me find value in myself.  

I get to have these ‘teacher moments’ with my students when talking about a mistake that I wont let them give up on. You know art supplies are scarce in public schools, so you get one sheet of paper per project. There is no messing up, crumbling up the paper and getting a new one. You better use a pencil and draw lightly, if you have to erase. 

So a student will get all in a fuss because I wont let them just throw away their paper, I make them fix their mistake. I make them be a problem solver and make their mistake  work for them. But usually 9 times out of 10, at the end of the project, I get a big ole smile on their face, with a response something like ‘wow, I didn't know I could turn my mistake into something so beautiful/cool’. 

To me, thats what art + life is all about. Art + life can be really messy at times, and your going to mess up and make really ugly mistakes. But you can always turn your mess/mistake into something really beautiful. It may take a lot of work + time, but you can do it. And all that messy stuff, those mistakes that you made, everything that came before that beautiful art/life that your looking at- it all was necessary and had to happen. So that you could have this beautiful end result. 

Well Lovers, this is my friend court! and she is SOOO UNBELIEVABLY HUMAN! All of our messes are indeed beautiful just may take some work to make it so! Thank you Court for opening up your beautiful heart and sharing you!

As always lovers, you are Unbelievably Human so be Unbelievably You!,

Liv

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