Monday, January 30, 2012

The Word I Didn't Think Of

Today I finally read Julie Balzer's post from last week for her Art Journal Every Day group. Her post fit so well with our lunch conversation at the office last Thursday that I spoke about in my last post. She gave a name to those things that block our creativity: ePEcTaTioNs. Not a complex word, but one I didn't think of when I was writing. It fits so well. Our expectations of our art, of ourselves, of others, block us from moving ahead. So, we don't make art. We don't dream. We don't allow ourselves to grow. We don't work through conflict. We don't love others. We don't take steps of faith. We let our expectations immobilize us. Letting go of expectations is valuing and enjoying the process.

Some tips from Julie on letting go of expectations:

Here are some ways to help you let go of expectations:
  • Narrow your focus.  Instead of thinking of the end result, think about what you want to accomplish in the next few minutes.  For example: I want to use this stencil.
  • Follow the shiny ball.  What does that mean?  When something interesting flits across your line of sight or through your mind, follow it.  Take that detour.
  • Walk away.  I often find that the pieces I hate the most are the ones where I was relentlessly pushing and pushing and pushing and overworking my art.  Sometimes taking a break and coming back another day with fresh eyes is just the ticket.
  • Do something to purposely ruin it.  Rip it.  Cover it with paint.  Ruin it.  Gasp.  It works.  It makes you less afraid.  And forces you to let go of your expectations.
  • Don't compare yourself to others.  Maybe I should say that again: don't compare yourself to others.  As Dr. Seuss has taught us, "No one is youer than you."  Art journaling is not a competition.
  • Make art every day.  When making art becomes part of your daily routine it really takes the pressure off.  Release that valve by taking ten minutes a day to do something artistic.

So, I intend to make art every day this year and enjoy the process!

From my Scrapbook Life Journal

Expectation is the root of all heartache.  William Shakespeare
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  Theodore Roosevelt

Dreams grow holy put into action.  Adelaide Proctor

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