It’s just paper.
I used to get wrapped around the axle over a blank piece of paper! “What if I ruin it?”
I started to look at it this way: the paper is already paid for. It’s not costing anything to play on it right now. And the paper’s not doing the job it was made for by just sitting in a drawer!
The fear of failure is real, but fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin. Instead of voicing fear (internally or aloud!), I proclaim that I’m thrilled at the possibilities that are in front of me. Your brain will learn over time to listen to that excited voice and stop worrying about outcomes.
Art should be fun.
When I start to take myself too seriously, my work suffers. There’s a time for serious, yes, but there’s also a great need to laugh at ourselves and the world around us.
I regularly stop and find something that makes me laugh. I glue a googlie eye on a pair of scissors. Draw a silly alien. Or get up and have a dance party with the dogs!
It’s a hot mess until it’s not.
In a number of mediums, I work in layers. Lighter in the background, stronger color in the foreground. And those darker layers can “fix” what’s behind them, whether they were errors or just things I wasn’t worried about because I knew what the top layers would achieve.
It can be hard not to panic, though, when things look rough. But being patient and going through the process pays off in the end.
If you make art, you’re an artist.
Whether art is frameable, wearable, or mailable, the creator is an artist. Beginners are artists, just as experienced ones are.
One medium is not “less” of an art than another. Preferences can drive what we like best, but it doesn’t make one more of an art than another. Celebrating our medium without apologizing or comparing is necessary to understanding our work is art.
Deploy the “yet.”
Rather than telling myself I’m not good at something, I’ve been on a long journey to simply grasp that I’m not there “yet.” The power of that word is huge: it makes me feel hopeful that there’s a chance I’ll accomplish my goal at some point!
I worked five summers on painting ocean waves. Five. My beginning efforts weren’t fruitful, but recent attempts have really made me excited at the improvement in those intervening years!
The journey is the goal.
The process of getting to where you’re headed is a glorious one – the artworks created are only milestones along the way. When I thought of finished works as the aim, I found myself striving hard to finish better and harder….which led to more frustration.
Once I started looking at my process as my goal, sketchbooks became a favorite place to work. Less stress to create a “final” something, and I can experiment with meshing disparate ideas that might work well together.
I may not answer very personal questions, but feel free to drop me a note. 🙂