Here we go.
I have always been considered a “creative” person. The family joke is that it somehow skips generations and I’m the one who ended up with it this generation. I remember having plenty of opportunities to be creative growing up- My parents (especially my Mom who was home with us all day) gave SO many opportunities to explore our creativity as kids. I was in dance, singing, show choir. I remember art projects, making playdough, the dining table strewn with supplies to make whatever we want from paper and string. One time we had to dig a large hole in the backyard and I remember taking the “clay” and making small pieces of pottery and pretending I was a sculptor and potter with my brothers in the mud. I remember taking art classes in elementary school and LOVING it all.
Then I remember taking the one art class I took in high school. I remember feeling like I didn’t measure up to the other, very talented artists and students in that class. I remember always feeling like my art wasn’t very good. And then not signing up for another art class in high school (though, I did not have room in my schedule for them either to be fair).
What changed? What happened? Why was I suddenly so self conscious about what I could do and what I could create? Or perform? By the time I got to college and graduated, I’d stopped singing in the shower, singing around the house, and felt like I never measured up to my cohorts in the interior design program. I felt strong technically in CAD and REVIT, codes, and selecting pieces. But hand rendering? I would rather die. I felt SO inferior and sub par. At least with photoshop I could adjust and alter until my work looked decent.
But I CRAVE creativity. I tried watercolor and painting and still just felt like most everything I created was horrid. Now, looking back at the few I’ve kept they really aren’t too shabby. But I’m always TERRIFIED to begin. Terrified that I won’t measure up to my own standards, standards that I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE OR HOW I GOT! Standards that are holding me back. This happens to me on every project in school, and as I create collections for my full time job as a carpet designer. It feels like I hold myself back. I hear a voice in my head that says “are you really even creative?” “why are you struggling” Is it out of fear of failure? Probably.
Over the past year, I have pushed myself to create with my hands more. I took a ceramics class and continue to go to open studio and work and create. My pieces aren’t glorious or even close to perfect (though right before my surgery I threw probably my best piece to date!) but I made an active choice to embrace the imperfection. A bowl flopped over? I kept it and glazed it. Is it very useful? No. Does it look cool? Yeah kind of. But I can see the progress from the first piece I made to the most recent. I’m improving, I’m getting better. It’s a beautiful process to watch.
I got my piano tuned and began teaching a few students the last month of 2019. I find myself sitting at the piano for 20 or so minutes almost every morning playing whatever I want. And it feels good. But I see it as a progression. A progression of me accepting ME. Accepting where my creativity is. That my creativity is an essential part of me. I was listening/watching The Art of Design on Netflix and paused to reflect on what Ruth E. Carter said: Art is a prayer. So I’m choosing to create. To be brave. To find beauty in what I do. Because I feel it. Because I know it’s an essential part of me. I’m choosing to listen to my inner most self and not be afraid of rejection or failure hide me.
So, as we begin 2020 I’m actively choosing creativity. I’m choosing to let go of perfection and not be afraid of an empty canvas or a messed up element. I’m choosing to push my limits and break out of the box of comfort I’ve been finding myself in. I’m taking an abstract painting class. I’m remodeling my home and being brave with my choices. Who knows where I will be as I continue forward, but I’m choosing to accept my art, accept my mistakes, and see the beauty in what I create. I’m choosing to document my process and progression in creativity of any means I use in the next year.
I started January 1, 2020 with tacking an idea I have been hemming and hawing over for a few months. I was always stopping just short of starting because of fear of failure. Fear of disaster. Well I did it, and it looks awesome. I’m glad I chose to not let fear of failure get in my way. The picture above was taken January 1, 2020 after finishing this project. And I’m excited for what 2020 is going to be after this.
So here’s to year filled with raw, real creativity. To me. To life. To confidence instead of doubt.