Fear is not your friend unless it warns you to get off the railroad tracks as the train is coming. There are so many levels of fear, and the most insidious one is the fear that stops us from fulfilling our calling (to be artists or other forms of expression.)
I was talking to a friend who said she always wanted to be an artist. I could relate to her as I’ve always felt that way too. Then I felt so grateful that I had at one point decided to commit to the idea with action.
I know I would feel unfulfilled without it, and now, after many years, I think I have come a long way even though there’s no beginning or end.
I was reading this book: Wild Ideas, Creativity From The Inside Out, by Cathy Wild, and I saw this paragraph that so hit home with what I’m saying here.
“If you want to create, you need to become an explorer. An explorer may be an astronaut living in a space station or a pop songwriter attempting to compose an opera or a former welfare recipient heading off to a first day of work. As an explorer, you must want to find out what lies beyond the boundaries of what you already understand and what you already know how to do.”
You can find the book on Amazon HERE. It’s well worth a read.
So, to be an explorer, you have to keep an open mind and be willing to come across resistance, which is inevitable. Have a conversation with it and ask why it has arrived to instigate reluctance to create.
It will likely say: “If you go down that path, you will only encounter trouble that you can’t handle” In other words, it’s spreading fear and tries to tell you you’re inadequate.
As an artist, you’ll come across that every week, or even every day, if you’re serious about commitment and showing up at your work table or easel.
Working a regular job, you come across problems that need to be solved, right? However you solve your problem, you just do it, or you get fired (worst-case scenario.) If we bring some of that determination into getting past the things that stop us from doing something we love, no problem or resistance can stop us.
Then comes a time when you have to grow out of the comfort zone as an artist. The way I deal with that is to try many different things, materials, and styles. It’s like walking through the jungle with a small machete. You don’t know what you see until you come right up to it. Sometimes you say no, this is not for me, and other times, something pushes you to keep going with the new material.
Frustration = fear = learning curve
Make frustration your best friend! When you feel it the strongest, you’re on the verge of a discovery, so keep on going, past the fear. Honor the learning curve! Anything new has to be learned, and there will be many failures, but those are steps to getting to the place where you’re happy with the result.
What you see above are items I made with epoxy clay, which for me has been really hard to work with. I really love the durability of the clay and how it dries rock hard and attaches to pretty much anything. I have worked quite a while with it, and had to throw out some things that did not work out at all.
You know it’s a learning curve, so you continue.
Do not stop when the going gets tough
If you stop you’ll never know if you could master the challenge.
If you stop, you’ll beat yourself up for not going to the finish line, no matter how “ugly” the art turned out.
I haven’t mastered the epoxy clay (Apoxie Sculpt,) but I’m working on it, and every item teaches me something. I look at videos on YouTube by people who have mastered the clay, and I go, wow, I want to be that good too. Some day, I will! 🙂
My point is: don’t sabotage your dreams, don’t sell yourself short, give your dream a chance! Please. Commit and start making art. Copying other artists is okay in the beginning.
Lots of love,
P.S. I have many new items in my etsy shop, Earth and Faery. Some of them are not all perfect, but people seem to like them anyway. 🙂