[one of my big lessons this year has been rolling with the punches. I drew this practice sketch of an anemone while I was waiting for our son at basketball practice. But forgot my “art pencils”. Instead of shrugging it off, I was determined to get my sketch practice in, so I pulled out my mechanical pencil instead. Boom. Practice. Done.]
Guys – do I really need to say it? I am the woman with a plan. I think if you already know that we homeschool our boys, I run a business, have kids in sports, cook meals and manage our home, it’s pretty much a given that I have a plan. And a schedule, and lots of other things to make sure that things get done.
So. When I came back to my dream of being a working artist the past few years, I had a plan. I’d take these courses, learn these things, attend this conference, arrange to meet with these art directors.
But, I’m finding that an art career can’t be tackled like a business. Well, to be clear, to be successful, you need business skills and a business plan. But the art part must be different.
Our inner artist is like a child. It has to be coaxed and given permission to play and explore. Permission to do the things that seem silly and don’t make sense.
So, yes. I’ve taken the classes. And I’m being the loving parent to myself and making myself tackle the projects and turn in the final assignments for critique and feedback. I’m following “the plan”. But, I’m finding that to actually create the work, I need to give myself permission to not be able to get from point A to point C in the same way as the accomplished artists that I admire did it. My brain and my heart don’t make art in the same way. And that’s the best thing. That’s how I make my own work.
The best teachers show you the skills and give you the blueprint – and then reassure you that this is only the beginning. You will have to be brave and forge your own path. That’s the only way that the work will be yours.
The most important part is to show up and be open to being different. Rolling with the punches. Making things work. Finding what inspires you. This is how real art is made. Not when you force yourself to sit down in a vacuum and then tell yourself, “Ok. Time to make some art.”
I love the Sponge Bob episode called “Procrastination” where he has to sit down to write an essay. I’m a huge fan of SpongeBob. Lots of real life in there. If you get a chance to check out the episode, it pretty much illustrates to a T the lesson I’ve talked about above.
Life happens on the move.