It’s important to my artist soul to remember that there will never be another person to create the things that I create. My artistic gifts, my artistic vision, is mine only. So if I don’t finish my project, it won’t exist. What a sad thought: that there is magic and joy that I am not allowing to spread because of my own self sabotage. I am not only getting in my own way, but depriving others of my special brand of joy and creativity. What if the one person whose soul my work was meant to touch and inspire them on their own path never sees that drawing? That plushie that makes them want to start creating with their own hands?
I know that my biggest self sabotage is with the Perfectionist. I am working to discover another way for the Perfectionist to be. A way that healthy rather than destructive. Maybe as an efficiency expert when I’m wasting time on something but don’t see it, or as a brilliant organizer. I will find a way to befriend and love the Perfectionist… eventually.
How do you sabotage yourself creatively?
Intuitive creating for me would be about just moving with the inspiration – not plotting out color choices or designs. I used to just play around with a sketchpad and markers when we were listening to a radio show or Nevi was reading. Making “doodles”, but a lot of artwork and ideas came out of those doodles. It was just playtime, just drawing whatever came to mind. Flowing.
When I create from the heart, there is a visible joy in the work. Before it’s even colored, the drawings dance on the page.. They have life and energy. Making plushies and sewing is a joy, even when there are time-consuming little steps that have to be done, I’m happy. I’m having a good time feeling the fabric textures under my fingers and the excitement of watching all the little pieces becoming a whole thing. It becomes an escape from everything around me. My happy place.
When I create from my head, I become impatient and irritable when even little things aren’t “right.” Things that probably no one but me would notice if I don’t point them out. My artwork often comes out looking stiff or the poor little schwoopies look frozen on the page.. Creative expression doesn’t make me happy when I’m over-analyzing it. It saps the energy out of me and all the joy from my work.
The act of creating has to come from the joy in your heart or it just doesn’t work. There are days that I want to create, but I’m “having a bad day” or I’m stressed out and so I get nothing done. “I can’t make happy things when I’m unhappy,” I say. But that seems backwards. I should embrace artwork as therapy. Digging into the soul of that joyful self expression could be the therapy that brings me out of the un-happyness. This is the goal and I will keep working at it.
How about you? Are you able to use artistic therapy to bring you up when you’re down?
This is the first post in a series for the FLOW #30DAYJOURNAL project that I’m taking part in. Lisa Sonora Beam is always a great source of inspiration from me and (even though I admittedly can suck at journaling) I knew her Creative Flow journaling project was for me. It’s so perfect to exactly where I’m at right now, I just had to! I won’t be posting every day about the project, most likely, only because journaling is very private, but I will share my insights whenever I think they might serve others as well as myself. 🙂
Thinking about my creative beginnings… I would have to say that I really started to come to life creatively in high school. I played around here and there before then, but it wasn’t til high school art classes that I started to really express myself through my creativity, to open up a little of me into my work.
I was bullied a lot in elementary and junior high school by the same group of girls every year at school because I didn’t look like I was supposed to, wasn’t wearing the right brands, didn’t have the right hair. I didn’t grow up in the kind of house where we could afford name brand clothes and shopping at the mall. I found that the easiest thing for me to do was try to be invisible. It didn’t always work, but the last things I wanted was to draw attention to myself or show them any cracks. But when we got to high school, it was a whole nother world. They had to find their place in this new food change of hundreds just like I did. There were, of course, other bullies (aren’t there always?) but I was free of crush of those same voices year after year digging into me. It was a new school with so many new people and I made a lot of friends, which is something I never had much in the years before that.
It was truly a new beginning for me and I finally felt like I could start expressing a little of who I was inside. I took every art class I could in high school and the very first inklings of what my style would become years later are there when I look back at what I made. My work got decent grades (I always did hate that you get graded on your artwork – like someone has the right to decide who made artwork “right” and who didn’t) but I was never a star in the class. My stuff was always too cartoon-y. But there really wasn’t a path for illustrators in high school art class, so I didn’t know why I couldn’t paint and draw like everyone else, why all my work looked like coloring book pages and two dimensional. I understand now, so many years later looking back, that there wasn’t anything wrong with what I was doing and the stars in the class weren’t better artists than me. They were just a different kind of artist than me.