It’s pretty amazing that any of us survive, especially first born children. We are bundled up and brought home by people who have no experience, no credentials. And yet, somehow, these parenting newbs do it. They figure it out along the way. Trial and error. Until they become parenting bosses.
I am not a Mom and I don’t like to say my paintings are my children (super creepy). For the same reason I don’t think my dog is my child (even creepier). Paintings are paintings. Dogs are dogs. And children are children.
But comparing paintings and children can be useful, in the sense both are created and both take a lot of time.
When we first start creating something we never really know if it’s going to take. Paint to canvas. Fingers to guitar. Hands to clay. We go through the steps anyways and hope for the best until we see a small glimmer of something taking shape.
Then, miraculously, this thing becomes more than an idea and we can start to see it, start to hear it’s heartbeat, and we instantly fall in love.
We work at it to give it life, and then inevitably we hit a point where this thing we created throws a raging, snotty nose, fist pounding, temper tantrum. It hates us. In other words, we get stuck. A creative block.
So we put it in time out. We close the notebook, put the painting in the closet, turn off the amp and we wait for anything, a sign, a way to fix it.
We have invested so much into this thing. So much time, energy and heart. But this is where we leave this metaphor (you’re welcome) and I tell you if this shit isn’t working, throw it away. Kick it out. Abandon it.
I mean, not immediately. But if it’s not working it might not be the right time, right now. Or maybe this is the error in the term trial and error, which is totally fine. If it’s not salvageable or doesn’t feel right get rid of it. Then take of shot of tequila and move on.
Don’t get so attached to your work that you overlook what it’s becoming. I know, easier said than done. But if you get too attached, it might turn out to be kind of a douche, or worse.
In reality your art/hobby/creativity is not your child, it will never talk about you in therapy. Which means, whatever you're working on, it’s absolutely ok to screw it up, get rid of it, and start over.
I'm Jackie, an artist, illustrator, and friend to ghosts, monsters, and aliens. This blog is full of DIY projects, stories, and things I think are cool. Stay weird.