You would think this should go without saying, but I have found it to not be so obvious.
In talking with so many of my artist friends, we have collectively admitted that there is far too much time being spent online, looking around, comparing, complaining, reading, bookmarking, intending….than doing. I have been just as guilty of this and I rarely walk away from an outlandishly long session of looking around online, feeling bettered. Sometimes, it’s quite the opposite, and I feel like I want to throw the towel in. Not to say I haven’t learned much, or have not been incredibly inspired by someone’s story or art or process, and, I do believe it’s great and fine, and, perhaps, even gives us a starting point, but then it’s up to us to go, out, and create something of our own from that spark. That can’t happen if you don’t do the work. If you don’t work on your craft, you’ll never know what you are capable of, or what beautiful art is just waiting inside you to be created. I wholeheartedly believe this, as I have seen it happen in my own art/career, what pushing myself and creating my own projects has done for me personally ~ as an artist who is driven to create, and, inevitably, professionally.
I have been creating new content for a workshop I am holding at the end of the month. If you’re interested, you can find all the information here. As I was writing about this very subject for one of the lessons, some of the specifics of the article reminded me that there are areas in my own work that I avoid, push aside, generally don’t like to tackle, or am simply just not that good at. So, yesterday morning, I decided to make a short list of some of those things, go to my studio, turn the music way up, tune the rest of the world out, and work on my craft. I will admit, it was hard. In fact, really hard. I wasn’t liking what I was creating. I was using all the same kinds of elements, but it wasn’t coming together, like usual. I know it was because I wasn’t working in the exact same way that I am accustomed to. I was pushing myself outside my comfort zone, a bit of new territory. New lighting, and emotion, if that makes sense. Honestly, I hate creating crap. It’s not worth it to me. I felt it was crap. But I refused to give in. Somewhere in the day, I started to settle in, and little by little, I was making progress.
In the end, not only did I push through some of my self imposed barriers, I created some of my very favorite images, to date. I feel that most people may not see the differences in the specifics of what I was working on, but I do, and I am proud of the mistakes and progress I made. This is how I (we) learn.
The point is, you can’t grow, overcome, push yourself, create new pieces of work or even see what you are capable of, if you don’t do the work.