Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Things I'm Learning

In my quest to become more artistic and openly myself (like in person, not on the internet), there are a couple of things I'm learning. I figured I'd share.

1. My projects almost never ever ever go exactly as planned. I think I can count on one hand the projects that have turned out exactly as I planned. Actually make that one finger. Sometimes they turn out even better than I could have hoped, but sometimes they do not.

2. It would be really easy to count those mess-ups as total failures and give up on my artistic pursuits. For example, sewing. I tried to hem a maxi dress and ended up with a dress that hit my right knee and halfway down my left shin. Then I tried to refashion one of my dad's old polos and ended up with a shirt who's collar resembled a turtleneck. Also, 65% of the time when I try to doodle in my pocket notebook, I am unsatisfied with the result. Every time I go into a new project, I have all of these grand plans and ideas for how it will turn out, and 75% of the time after about five minutes of working, I realize that I've already messed up.

3. Even though each failed attempt is saddening, each success sends me soaring so high I forget about the mistakes and go with blind hope, once again, into the next project. I like optimism. We're really good friends.

4. It's really easy to compare my artistic goals and dreams to someone else's artistic realities. I've never considered myself innately creative. I've altered my definition of creativity over the past couple of months, but still, I think I have to try to be creative a little more than the kid sketching birds in the corner. I carefully plan out pictures and have to think hard about set up. I blindly buy art journalling supplies just to find that I have the wrong paint or that smash books and washi tape are not things you can just snag at Hobby Lobby. I told my mom last night that I wanted to BE this girl from school. She's a junior and super artistic and she is about the cutest hipster you've ever seen and she and her boyfriend have the sweetest artsy romance going on. She told me yesterday that she loved my shoes and I told Mom that I died. Mom laughed, but I was serious. My heart melts when I look through her instagram. It melts from cuteness but also aches with just the slightest pang of jealousy. I'm sure it's not all rainbows and lollipops like her insta makes it seem, and I'm sure art isn't always a piece of cake for her either, but I find myself criticizing myself and comparing my meager iPhone pictures to her fancy camera and photoshoots.

5. My heart is a shockingly resilient little thing. It yearns for more art and creativity in my life. When I start comparing myself to other, more experienced artists, my trusty old mind gives my heart a solid slap and straightens it right out. After an internal pep talk about how I can do exactly what others are doing and be proud of my art with a bit of practice, that hardy optimism resurfaces and I go about my day with new enthusiasm. I don't think my heart will ever learn the lesson of failure or rejection. It has a really, really hard time giving up on people and projects. It's frustrating at times but also wonderfully nice to always have hope.

6. I'm a lot more dramatic in my head that I am in real life and sometimes I forget that. Every once in a while I'll make a comment late at night to my mom or in a text to a friend and as soon as it's out of my mouth or sent, I'll think about it and realize how dramatic it sounded. So I quickly play it off like a joke and say "I'm not really that silly," but my heart is quietly whispering, yeah you are mal. who are we trying to kid? I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am committing right now to say what's on my mind and let my emotional self reign a little more openly regardless of the looks others will give me. On the occasions where I have let my dramatic self out, like in car rides with friends when I tell my dramatic version of a scenario and then follow it up with what actually happened, I get lots of laughs. And I like making people laugh.

7. There is no room for embarrassment in this journey to creativity I'm embarking on. I need to forget about likes on Instagram or judgements from people on Twitter and if I'm proud of something, post it. If I think that picture I took looks cool, I should post it. I like other people who post pictures like the ones I try to take, so it would only make sense that if I want to connect with more people like that, I need to show the world that I'm like that, right? I was brave and posted an artsy pic on Insta last night and although it probably seems like nothing, I had to give myself a pep talk before I posted. Don't laugh, it's true. But now the first one's up so it'll only get easier from here, right?
^^^Aforementioned photo. I know, so risky, right?^^^

8. I really hate ending on odd numbers. Hence confession number 8. Happy Wednesday y'all.

Sincerely, mad

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