Creating and Fear

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Art is Not Sequential

Do you ever find yourself staring at a blank screen?  Blank page?  Drawers of beads?  Shelves of yarn?  If you're an artistic person, I may have conjured images that frighten you.  One of the scariest things in the world to me is a blank canvas.  I see so much possibility... and so many ways that I can mess it up.  I'd gotten better about that for a while, but now that I haven't picked up a brush in a while, the fear has returned.  I have easels, paints and canvases, but they've sat unused.  I have all of these ideas floating around in my head and am afraid of letting them out.

Don't get me wrong, I love creating!  In fact, I recently had a conversation with a couple of other artists at Blue Skies Gallery about the process.  Most of us enjoy the creation process - coming up with the idea, creating the item itself, but finishing some projects is tedious to us.  For example, I absolutely love creating items in resin, but many of the hoops need to be cleaned up, sanded with fine grit sandpaper and then polished.  Ugh!  I wanna make more, not do the finish work!  (Insert tongue-in-cheek whiny temper tantrum here.) I would do the clean up work, if need be, but luckily I have a fiancee that absolutely loves that stuff.  Last week, I made several pairs of resin hoops, and he spent several hours on his day off finishing them for me.  I'm so grateful for his help.

But it's this part of creation that gets me in trouble.  How many of us have bins full of WIPs or UFOs?  (That's Works In Progress or UnFinished Objects for those who don't know.). After moving, I went through many of my UFOs and started finishing them.  Sometimes, they remained unfinished because I couldn't figure out how I wanted to finish the piece.  Sometimes, I just became bored with the repetition.  There are days that I know I'm doing production work.  When I had my own gallery, I was located in a county that was heavily Catholic.  I would make rosaries, but the process of assembly is definitely repetitive.  All of these eye pins!  All that bending!

So what do you do?  Me? I fight through procrastinating.  The number of times that I've downloaded a game onto my phone only to delete it when I find myself using it to put off picking up the crochet hook.  Heck, I recently moved my yoga mat to the bedroom so that I don't come downstairs and drink coffee for two hours while putting off working out!  The procrastination is strong with this one...

I've gotten a bit better.  I bought a planner and now make a list of things to do on one side with ideas for projects on the other.  I try to remind myself that projects don't have to be completed every day.  That some ideas need to be planned out (oh that one kills me... I'm a "let the beads lead me" kind of beader.). I even break ideas and projects into steps so that I can cross off those off as I go.  Baby steps, y'all.

One other thing I've been trying to do is this - cut myself some slack.  We each tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else.  We self-deprecate.  We're afraid to toot our own horns.  But I was reminded of something during one of my recent Yoga with Adriene workouts when she asked us to repeat the mantra "I am worthy."  I am worthy.  You are worthy.  Create.  Don't let the fear guide you.  And if it breaks in, remember, you're not alone.  

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