On Perfection

These past few months I’ve been happily tied up with participating in the #creativeUNblock projects with the Jealous Curator (she’s just fabulous).  It’s actually been quite liberating for so many reasons.  A huge hurdle I have overcome in doing these projects (specifically with January’s unblock project) is making mistakes.  It used to be I would make a mistake and I wasn’t happy with the outcome of what I made.  I wouldn’t finish the piece I started and make an excuse for not working on it like, “oh, I just need to stop over working it…  I’ll just finish it later”.  Then I would stash the unfinished work with the others that have collected a year’s worth of dust.  Afterward, I would shut down all my creative outlets for a very long while.  It was like I was punishing myself for making something with which I was not satisfied by not making anything else for months on end and sometimes years.  Pretty silly, right?!  Having the expectation that ev-er-y-thing I create comes out to my mind’s exacting specifications, even when my mind doesn’t know exactly know what it wants sometimes, is crazy.  In other words, the expectation of achieving perfection each and every time I pick up a paintbrush or pencil is absolutely ludicrous. And every time I didn’t create that level of “perfection” for which I planned was disappointing.  I felt crushed and often thought, “who am I to even think to pick up a paintbrush?!”

But with these projects it’s becoming easier to make something completely terrible not pleasing to my eye and then moving on to make something that genuinely surprises and excites me.  Now, I am frequently pumped up to start the next project all the while maintaining my enthusiasm to finish a work that I already started.

Allowing yourself to make mistakes is part of it.  It’s a part of the process.  Making mistakes is about growing and finding your creative voice to distinguish yourself through whatever medium you choose.  It can be painful sometimes, but at the heart of it, the work is for you.  YOU choose who can see your mess ups, if you want anybody to see them at all.  Or you can choose to proudly hang up your awkward phase works and celebrate them as part of your creative history.  Whatever.  The choice is yours because the work ultimately comes from the depths of your imagination and squishy feeling parts that are intimate and personal, which is why going through these phases can be difficult.  Just because something you envisioned didn’t come out the way you wanted doesn’t mean you should stop creating, it just means you need to keep creating.

Happy making, everybody!

xo

#creativeUNblock for March

I finally moved forward in time to March for the #creativeUNblock project.  Even though I still feel like I have about a million thirty seven ideas for January’s project, I am embracing March… and actually it’s a lot of fun!

This month’s #creativeUNblock assignment was to paint paper, cut it up and make a collage.  Here’s what I came up with so far:

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Untitled – Uno, watercolor collage, 6″x8″

And this:

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Untitled – Dos, watercolor collage, 6″x8″

Since I’ve been loving this project so much, I’m pretty sure it’ll keep making an appearance in the upcoming months 😉

The Collage Scrap Exchange

Sometime last year I found out about a collage scrap exchange through the good ol’ internets.  Papirmass and Brown Paper Bag decided to get together so the rest of the world can collaborate with each other and make some art.  Basically, participants signed up with Papirmass to enter the contest, then participants were paired up other participants so they could exchange their collage scraps with each other via snail mail. Then the participants were supposed to make a collage with their “new” scraps.  The theme assigned was “New Landscapes”, which really can be interpreted as just about anything.  Pretty cool, right?  I was super stoked and I signed up….  and may have convinced my mom to do it as well 😉 I was fortunate to have been paired up with a great partner who sent some really interesting and colorful collage scraps.

Unfortunately, I forgot about the contest until my mom reminded me about it the morning of the due date.  I finally set to work at 9:30pm – only two and a half hours before the deadline. With a short time frame on arranging a way to use my partner’s collage scraps and finding imagery to go with it, the below is what I came up with. This was definitely one of the most spontaneous pieces I made in a long time and, despite a mishap that may or may not have caused me a great deal of frustration, it was fun!

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The Answer, collage, 9″x12″

If you want to see more participant entries, visit Instagram and type in the hashtag, collage contest. If you want to see the best of the entries, visit the Papirmass blog to have your socks knocked off by imagination and creativity.

xo

All about Diana

Working with this figure for a while has me curious.  Who was Diana Vernon?  Was she very friendly or happy?  Did she discover something? How did she occupy her time everyday? Do you think she would mind me altering her image 50 times?  I dunno.  But these are the questions that pop up while I work away on the #creativeUNblock project.  So much fun, by the way.

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The #creativeUNblock project

If you know me at all, I talk about The Jealous Curator all the time.  If you don’t know her, please, do yourself a favor and visit her blog.  She wrote this awesome book called, Creative Block.  The book is filled with beautiful contemporary art and it’s just lovely.  What’s more is that JC interviewed the artists about their creative process and more importantly, how they work through blocks.  So, not only is the book filled with gorgeous art, it is filled with ideas on how to get yourself unstuck from a creative rut or block.  JC took it to the next level and she is choosing a creative unblock project from the book to do each month of this year.  Which brings me to my most recent works I’ve been…  working on:

January’s #creativeUNblock project was to find one image – any image – and copy it on card stock 50 times.  Then, find ways to alter that image 50 times.  I loved this project so much, it’s March and I’m still working on it.  And besides, I have not yet completed altering Diana (my chosen picture) 50 times.

Introducing Diana Vernon:

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And here are the first few images I created:

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Who is Diana Vernon?

If you have Instagram, and are interested in doing these #creativeUNblock projects, type in the hashtag #creativeUNblock to see what the community is working on.  It’s great fun and an even better way to get yourself out of a creative block or rut.  Also, if you want to find out what this month’s unblock project is visit The Jealous Curator’s blog or her Facebook page.

More to come and happy making!

Studio explorations

Lately, I have been compelled to have figures in my work (as imaged in previous posts).  For some, this is nothing unusual but, I’m more of a landscape and factories kind of gal.  You see, I’ve never really had an affinity to figural work (*gasp*) because I placed more value on what was happening with different environments in various lighting situations, sans people.  Lightplay in a beautiful space, whether it is outdoors or indoors, was (and still is) fascinating to me.  There’s just so many colors going on with morning, afternoon and dusk lighting that I have to stop and drink it all in before I can do anything else.  I can’t tell you how many times I pulled my car over to look at the mountains, or sunset, or moonrise so I could take in all the color… it was like I was trying to sear the image into my memory so I wouldn’t forget the shades and highlights of each color (I’ve since heard of an invention called a camera 🙂 ).  However, the act of collage has me ever more interested in putting figures in my work and the weird thing is that I like it!

I’m happy for these types of studio explorations and discoveries!

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Seafoam dream, mixed media, 8×8