I was invited to participate in an art show this weekend. I have been working on a piece of art for months. I took a lot of time to carefully sketch it out in my mind. I reworked it and reworked it several times before I picked up any materials. I was SO sure it was going to be “just perfect” because I had planned so carefully.
What I didn’t do was practice. I had put so much careful thought (which is important) but I didn’t practice with tangible items. When I constructed my piece, it was NOTHING like what I had planned. In fact, it was so far off, I couldn’t even stand to look at it. WHAT HAPPENED?! I was so sad because the deadline was here to turn in my art, and I couldn’t share it. It was not what I wanted to showcase and I had become my own worst critic.
My good friend and fellow artist, Jeannie, shared an interesting blog post with me about creativity and the process. Read below:
Ira Glass of PRI’s This American Life <http://www.pri.org/this-american-life.html> talks about creativity, and absolutely kills it (via these wonderful transcriptions from the Design Talk blog <http://www.mcwade.com/DesignTalk/> ):
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
I’ve been doing this for a long time. I felt I was at a place in my career and art journey that my failure and flubs should be less and less. In reading this, I realize that I can only continue. TRY, TRY, TRY AGAIN! This is what I will do. I hope that no matter what you are working on, planning or developing – whether it be creative, technical, or personal – that you will always TRY, TRY, TRY AGAIN and continue to share and GROW!