In second grade, I had the most fantastic teacher. I loved being in her classroom and she fueled my love for words and books. Unfortunately - this is also the year I began to tell myself that I didn't have the "art" gene. I started to notice how other kids were able to draw, color, and create things in a way I believed I never would have imagined. This is the year "the nots" took over when it came to drawing, painting, cutting, gluing, you name it. I became the non-artist.
If there is one thing I've learned about creativity - it is the necessity to move forward and learn new things. Without the challenge, we become stagnant - burnt out. "The nots" have been keeping me from moving forward and I am afraid they will take everything creative I've cultivated in myself since 2007 and make it disappear. I can't have that - not now, not ever. I thought it was time to put those "nots" out in the open and start tackling them one by one. So here's the short list of my "nots".
- I am NOT an artist.
- I am NOT a painter.
- I am NOT creative.
- I am NOT a writer.
- I am NOT as good/smart/pretty/talented/(put any adjective here) as _____________________.
The last "not" is a big one because if I'm not as good as that person - why in the world am I doing this thing? This is the thought that brings me to my knees. I wonder how often "the nots" keep me from moving forward - from my doing my very best. Who would I be without them?
I thought I'd give a quick example. I know the first picture isn't great but it gives you the overall look. I made this card for a friend's birthday last week. I waited until the last minute to do the card due to my massive amounts of panic when it comes to crafting lately. I used my distress markers in the exact way I had seen on several tutorials. I chose one of my favorite images. I stamped it on vintage paper from my LSS. I took one hour to color this girl and I ended up hating it. It's growing on me now - but still all I see are the flaws - the "nots."
- The colors are NOT blended well.
- The papers are NOT matched well.
- Text was NOT a good choice for the stamped image.
- I can NOT make perfect cards.
If you didn't realize it by now - I hate the "nots." I'm giving the "nots" the finger and trying to remember there is more to this creativity thing. Why? I know there is a sweet spot. I've been there before. I know because of this...
|Patterned Paper: American Crafts, Echo Park; Stamps: Unity Stamps (She Art Girl by Christy Tomlinson); Hero Arts; Markers: Spectrum Noir; Ink: Studio Calico, Ranger Archival; Button: Bella Blvd; Cardstock: Archivers|
There have been plenty of times when things have worked - when I've pushed the limits and come out the other side. It's scary and hard but it's doable. I can do this. I need to start repeating that to myself. I need to go to the mattresses with these "nots" and kick them in the ass. I have to fight for my creativity (dramatic, I know)....
So anyhoo - it's a long post. It's definitely one I needed after reading so much about unraveling and self compassion. I'm still having a hard time in that chair - but I'll get through it. I have to. I hope everyone has a lovely Sunday where the "nots" are few and far between (non-existent even). Until then...