Who said you can’t make a career of paper dolls?

I learn all the good stuff I know from other Women on Fire.

Lunch with wise Women on Fire — Anne Gallagher and Olga Hirschhorn

A couple of weeks ago I was having lunch with the amazing and irrepressible art maven Olga Hirschhorn.  She was bubbling over with enthusiasm about an art exhibit she’d just seen that featured elaborate clothing made of paper.

Olga is 93 and one of the wise women in my life. So I always listen to her, and mentally made note to go see what I imagined as a “paper doll” exhibit by artist Isabelle de Borchgrave.

*This week’s Pinspiration*

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Strategies to help you follow your dreams- womenonfire.com

Of course, I kept meaning to go but life got busy. Then another Women on Fire member Debbie Cook brought the exhibit’s brochure to breakfast this weekend because she was so over-the-moon about the paper clothing.

I immediately hopped myself over the The Baker Museum in Naples, Florida and caught the exhibit on its last day.

And I’m glad I did because I so want you to see what Olga and Debbie were enthusiastic about — and now I am too.

(Of course, I know not to take pictures in a museum. But I ignored that because everyone else had their iPhones out; so yes, Mom, when everyone else jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge, I do too!)

Mostly though, I eagerly shot photos because I wanted you to see this incredible work of art.  Dozens of intricate, elaborate, historic costumes, shoes and handbags — sculpted of paper!!

But here’s really why I think you would love Isabelle de Borchgrave’s work.

In a brief video that accompanied the exhibit, the artist, 67, from Belgium described the passion she feels for her work.  It began with her first toy — a ball of paper.

Fascinated with paper, she spent her life cutting, painting, folding, molding, crimping, cropping paper.

When she became an adult, still in love with paper, she was roundly criticized that paper, paint, scissors a career did not make. And there was no way to make money from such “child’s play.”

And her comeback to all those negative Norberts who dissed career choice in paper?  “What they didn’t understand was that paper is a means of bringing dreams alive.”

And, oh, what beauty, history and dreams she has given life to!

In my euphoria of being surrounded by her work, I imagined myself wearing the exquisite paper clothing. I wanted to jump into her dresses and kimonos. I wanted to paint, cut and stencil!

I love that one woman’s dream could create a chain reaction for another woman’s  dreams.

What is the dream you want to bring alive?

Do you ever let other people step on your dreams — or do you do that yourself — because it “appears” to be impractical or impossible to make money?

As it had affected Olga and Debbie, I ended up dazzled and inspired by Isabelle de Borchgrave’s art — and empowered by how she ignored the naysayers and owned her dream.

We must take charge of our dreams. It’s the only way they can happen.

Here’s to what may seem impossible ~

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