Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fledglings: Finding Your Wings

As a fledgling artist, I find that using other people's works to hone my skills an absolute must. I don't yet have the techniques down. I still struggle to draw what I see in my Mind's Eye. I have ideas, to be sure. Yet those ideas turn out looking like blobs of incoherence (to me). In other words, for now, I attempt to copy things I see and am inspired by.

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That feels right to me. When someone tries to copy me, I do feel flattered. If I can inspire someone with my work, whether it is words or art or music, then I feel a sense of accomplishment. I would never try to pass off someone else's ideas or creations as my own. I give credit where credit is due. And if I still need to use a photo or painting to expand my own artistic Creator, then that is how it is, without apology or regret.

I bring this up today because I'm beginning to feel the pull of my own Creative Mind. It is nudging me toward the images in my Mind, rather than the images in others'. It is whispering, "Go on. Just give it a go. What's the worst that can happen?" The cool thing is, I haven't really tried in several months. Not since that last attempt at a face that turned out looking nothing at all like a face. It horrified me when I finished it. I thought, "OH.MY.GOD. You call yourself an ARTIST?" This is one of the dangers of thinking yourself a Perfectionist. These days, that word makes my skin crawl.

What the hell is Perfection anyway???

People who know me well have called me things like "anal retentive" and "obsessive/compulsive" and "never satisfied". I'm a Neat Freak. I like things in their proper place. The scissors go in this drawer. The clothes go here. The bed must be made every day. The shower stall must be squeegeed and wiped down. The toothpaste cap must be put back on without a bunch of crud around the edges. 

Yes. I'm one of those.

Still, there has been a major shift in my so-called anal-retentive-obsessive-compulsive-neat freak world. That is: there's no room for that shit in Art. Some of the best pieces I've done thus far came from mistakes. I was trying to do one thing and ended up somewhere else. Rather than tossing it in the trash, I went with the flow. I allowed my Creative to play. I ignored that Perfectionist (who was, by the way, screaming like a crazy person!) and did it anyway. And the more I do this, the more my Art seems to rise up. I'm outdoing mySELF by not listening to that annoying Perfectionist.


my house is still neat.

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