Saturday, February 20, 2010

Creative Olympics

OK. I know I said blogs were narcissistic. That I did not want to write about me and my life. All because I saw the movie Julie and Julia! But heck, what else do I have to share from but my personal experience? So, here's your chance to change channels!

I've been having creative issues. I've been blocked! This is nothing new for me, or you I suspect. I heard the same from a few of you. I think that as creative people we need to realize that our creativity is something to be nurtured. Like a muscle that does not get used, your creativity can atrophy!

Do you ever try to create something and it doesn't come out as you had planned? Does that lead to frustration or can you just shake it off? And what if it happens more than once? I happen to be very sensitive to what I consider failure! There are times when I ask myself "and who told you that you were an artist?" I frequently consider myself a hack! Because I frequently "feel" that I have failed! That leads to a kind of creative inactivity, which has at times gone on for years! All because of self doubt and "feelings" of inadequacy I spiral into this place where I will do anything but art. A kind of fear sets in. I know, who thinks about this stuff this much??

Friends say, "do the art for the sake of it! Have fun with it!" And while there is truth to that, if you don't try to improve or move toward where you want to go, you stay in the same place! I know that's comfortable, but I'm not sure it's a good thing. I think we should grow. Try new things. Improve our skills. But with that comes the disappointment of not getting there as fast as you thought you should. Or fighting to get something right-which can be exhausting.

And last, the idea that it should always be FUN and JOY! Well, heck, if that were really true, how many of us would ever accomplish anything? I mean really, if it were only that easy! Nothing worthwhile is ever easy!! How different the world would look if some were not striving for excellence. I think excellence is seldom a waste of one's time.

But when it works-it is FUN and JOY! And that's the payoff! Like the Olympics-we train and practice and sometimes we get a medal. Most of the time we don't even place. That's the reality. But, cliche as it may sound, its about the journey. Beating our personal best. Striving to be the best we can be! And sometimes...the only payoff is just knowing you didn't give up!

So if your not, get back in the game! Back in the saddle, back to the easel! If your already in the game, set a few goals and as one of my students said, work to beat your personal best. And remember, you cant get where you want to go if you don't know where that is!


  1. Nicely put, I mean blogged. Very well written.

    FUN? FUN? Why is it only torture for me???

    Hugs, Mária White

  2. Michelle, I just read this. I had a teacher that used to say to me, "No one ever said being an artist was going to be easy." If I struggled with something in particular, his response was, "Well, Debra, you're just going to have to learn." He didn't give me an out. He put the responsibility right back on me. If you want to know how thinks more about fear, read "Art Fear" it's a great exploration about why we paint, what keeps us from attaining our goals, and what keeps us from painting. Come to think of it, I will re-read it. It was great painting with you at the Arnold. I want to see that painting of the dancer in green with her husband in back in black. Let me know when you've completed it. Your bud, Debra