The Artist Next Door: Lindsay Coleman

     "For some time now, I've wanted to share these people with you in great detail and splendor. I wanted to honor their struggle, their process, their manifested dreams coming true, and those dreams that they are still contending for. I wanted you to understand how I've been shaped as a person, because of their presence in my life.

     The people that I will feature in this on-going series, titled, "The Artist Next Door", will highlight these extraordinary people, and will give you a sneak peak into their world, the behind the scenes of people you may have heard of, or may not have.

     With that said, I can guarantee--you can do anything but forget these stories or these people after meeting them. And I'm pretty positive they'll stir something in you. Perhaps something delightful, you didn't know was still there."

      I met the lovely Lindsay Coleman when she was about 19. She and her best friend Kaitlyn became like spiritual daughters to me, and I've had the pleasure of seeing them both grow and mature into incredible women. Today,  Lindsay is not merely a 'daughter' but a dear friend, and someone who I greatly respect.

      She is candid with you and I, as she shares her battle with fear, her awakening to creativity, and her anchor in God.

      It's a pleasure to officially introduce to you all, Lindsay Coleman:


When did you know that you had a knack for creativity?

Well, I always could feel it. But I started painting and experimenting with photography when I was 15. I quickly became attached to both mediums as outlets for my heart and ideas. But it wasnโ€™t until people started positively commenting and eventually purchasing my work that I realized I had a knack for it.

What do you love most about the creative process.

Oh my. I love that it IS a process. Going from nothing to something is scary and fun and fascinating all at the same time. I love that the creative process pushes me to think in different ways and forces me to see different perspectives. It also requires me to go deep into my heart in order to create something authentic, which can be frightening but is always so good.

What's your current favorite artistic medium and why?

Hmmm, my favorite would have to be acrylic on wood. Itโ€™s been a fave for a handful of years now. It never gets old. I prefer painting on wood instead of canvas because it offers much more texture and just feels better to me. I typically donโ€™t prime the wood before painting because I like how the wood absorbs the paint.

How did we meet?

We met at church in Malibu in 2003/2004. Wow, itโ€™s been over 10 years! I looked up to you so much because of your spunk, heart, and wisdom.

When you were 13 years old, what was your main goal and dream to accomplish in life?

Honestly, all I wanted when I was 13 was to not be afraid/scared of everything. I was always so insecure, shy, and concerned with what people thought of me. I was always wondering if I was โ€œgood enoughโ€ (in any/every way) that it consumed me. And I remember hoping and praying to not be like that someday. Also, at 13 I really, really wanted to be a pediatrician. :)

What has been one of the hardest internal battles you've faced in your life?

Wow. Great question! One of the biggest things Iโ€™ve dealt with in my life is the fear of not being good enough. โ€œGood Enoughโ€ at what? Anything and everything. The way I speak; how I dress; the art I create; the ways I show love; the way my body looks (that was a BIG one); how I give; the way I do mundane things; the way I express myself. I mean, everything has been under the magnifying glass of โ€œis this good enough?โ€ And typically the internal answer was a resounding โ€œNO!โ€

Ever since I was a young girl this has been my battle. Not entirely sure how that got so infused into my DNA at such a young age, but it did. In a major way.

How did you overcome, and if you haven't, how are you walking through it?

Itโ€™s definitely a battle to leave behind something thatโ€™s been so much a part of who Iโ€™ve been. Thankfully, though, the Lord has brought so much healing to my life in many ways and through people like you, Patrice! Itโ€™s also taken the conscious decision every day, sometimes every move I made, to think differently. I have to consciously think about the thoughts I think about myself and my life in terms of judging myself too harshly and unnecessarily. Then course correct those thoughts if needed. I swim in the grace of the Lord and Heโ€™s my refuge when I feel completely inadequate. He speaks life and truth and hope into my heart and His love is what is transforming me.

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

Several people come to mind! Not sure how to narrow it down to one. Letโ€™s seeโ€ฆ My sister, Kelly Blumberg, inspires me to no end. Sheโ€™s brilliantly creative. Tremendously dedicated. So hardworking. Isnโ€™t afraid to speak her mind. Knows how to keep her priorities straight. Generous. Beautifully loving. Is one of the best parents Iโ€™ve ever seen (along with her husband). I have learned so much from her!!

What was the motivation for "You're Enough", "Face The Unknown", and "Let the Light Shine Inโ€?

"You're Enough" - As I've mentioned, my biggest hangup in life is feeling as though I'm not good enough. Working through that has been a long process. This past summer I heard a beautiful song by Sleeping At Last titled "You Are Enough." When I heard it I cried and listened to it on repeat. It was one of a handful of songs I continually listened to for several months straight. It spoke life to me and is so beautiful musically as well. So, I painted one painting that had "You're Enough" written on it to remind myself. And then I started painting those two words over and over. (Fun fact: The specific painting pictured was a custom ordered one. I made about 15 different pieces for this customer and didn't give her the piece until I felt it was the right one. And this was it.)

"Face The Unknown" -  So, 2014 started with me thinking about how I want to grow this year. I decided my theme for the year is Brave and the word of the year is Authenticity. This painting came out of that place because I had been pondering that being authentic meant I needed to be brave within myself and who I am. I wanted to step away from living in fear and, for me, that was facing the unknown.

"Let the Light Shine In" -  In the fall of 2013 I was working through some personal stuff and was praying a lot about it. During some prayer times I kept remembering that the Lord IS life and breathes life into me and into the places that hurt or feel broken. It then reminded me of the verse John 1:4
" In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." And so my prayer became "let the light shine in." Which in turn is where this painting came from. For me the colors are symbolic of the different facets of life and of the many ways that God moves.

How has being single during your 20s shaped your current outlook on life?

Wow. Well, I learned about not giving up on what I truly wanted and what I felt that God had for me. Thatโ€™s something that has filtered into every area of my life. Also, I realized I could be me and live my own life which didnโ€™t require a man to be in it. That helped me overcome some fear, too.

Being single in my 20s also helped me figure out who I am, how to appreciate myself, and who I wanted to be. As difficult as it was at times to be single for so long (even though a lot of it was because of my own fear) I knew it was beneficial. I also was able to learn what I really wanted in life and in a significant other without the distractions of crushes/boyfriends. Now that I am 30 and in a relationship, I am so grateful for the time I was single during my 20s because, for me, that was exactly where I needed to be as it was foundational for me to learn about myself and God. There was a foundation laid in my heart of continual hope in God during that time that is not easily shaken.

How do you define beauty?

In different ways.

Physical beauty: I think every single person has a beauty all their own. Each is an expression of the heart of God and therefore has beauty to be seen and honored.

Abstract beauty: Is your heart kind? Do you have compassion for others? Do you love yourself? Do you extend grace to others (and yourself!) to be right where theyโ€™re at? Do you laugh often? Are you encouraging? Do you look for ways to serve others? Those are some traits that I think make our hearts beautiful- the kind of beauty the we exude from the inside out. The kind of beauty that really shines.

And how in the world do you make people feel at ease in front of the camera?! I mean, you got me to feel so beautiful about my body no matter what size I was at the time. You have such a gift!

OH girl. Thank you! Thatโ€™s one of my favorite things to do! My heart is to create space for people to be safe and free to be completely themselves. I desire for people to feel valued, beautiful, and seen. I can often see unique facets of people and try to convey that to them while photographing so they can connect with what Iโ€™m seeing and, hopefully, open up more. Itโ€™s a beautiful process and one I donโ€™t take lightly. I appreciate the trust that is placed in me when I have the opportunity to photograph someone.

Photograph of me, by Lindsay Coleman circa 2009

I {Patrice} often feel like a "Late Bloomer" in so many areas of my life, what wisdom to you have to share to other "Late Bloomers".

I definitely feel like a late bloomer as well! I want you to know that though there might be an โ€œaverageโ€, no one is the same! No oneโ€™s life stories are the same. We are all beautifully different and that is GOOD. An example of me being a late bloomer: I didnโ€™t start dating until I was 30 (which I turned last summer!). I didnโ€™t date for a number of reasons- mostly I didnโ€™t feel ready and was pretty insecure, and also because I knew it wouldnโ€™t work out with the guys that were interested in me so I didnโ€™t want to waste time and heart space. So I just kept living my life and dreaming/praying of the time when Iโ€™d be adored and have someone to adore. I am now in that place and it is magical! It has reminded me that no matter what society tells me is good/bad or what I โ€œshouldโ€ be doing or โ€œshould haveโ€ already experienced, my life is on my own timeline with God. And I can rest in the peace of knowing that is a GOOD thing. Remember to have patience in what seems like a challenge or when you are so sick of being a late bloomer. Just know youโ€™re in the right spot for YOU.

Also, on the flip side, if you feel like youโ€™re a late bloomer in an area of your life due to trauma or fear, ask the Lord how you can grow and also seek the wisdom of a trusted friend. Sometimes we can keep ourselves stuck in a place of late blooming because of fear. (I speak from experience!) And when you realize you can let it go and actually bloom, itโ€™ll change your life.


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