Tuesday, February 12, 2013

243/365: Art and Resistance

Today I made:

time for journal therapy...

All day I've been planning on spending the evening in my art space finishing up a project for a friend's birthday. There was nothing else that really needed to get done. You'd think I'd entered a crazy time warp as soon as I stepped foot through my door after work today. This is how I've managed to spend my last few hours:

I enjoyed dinner (without multitasking anything else between bites), took a shower, called my mama, played with my pup, picked out my outfit for my first day at my new job, caught up on emails, looked over tomorrow's schedule, put away laundry...and all of a sudden I'm scrolling through eye candy on Pinterest. How did that happen?!

What started out as giving myself permission to take time out for self-care after a ten hour day of teaching turned into blatant procrastination of something I truly enjoy. Why am I so resistant some days to heading into my art space and just diving into some creative act that I know will bring me pleasure?! Is it a lack of knowing where to go with my latest project, or the fact that I've assigned myself a time frame to finish it? Is it sheer mental exhaustion (and a whole lot of phlegm from my cold)? I feel as if just when I get comfortable with some part of the process, some other challenge presents itself, pushing me back to where I started. I feel discouraged and overwhelmed. 

I know I expect a lot of myself. I often pull 10-12 hour days between teaching, tutoring and running errands, but somehow I've talked myself into believing that this is not enough. I seem to think that when I get home I should still be a productive little artist and homemaker. I realize that is just not always realistic, but I continue to expect it of myself and am hard on myself when it doesn't happen...to the point that I end up needing one of these journaling therapy sessions to recover from the attack of my inner critic.

I know there must be ways to remedy these things, both the inner critic and my occasional strange resistance to art making, but at the moment I'm finding it hard to budge from this stuck place.

Perhaps someday in the future, this blog will be a place for people to find project ideas, tutorials galore, and techniques for working through blocks, but for now I can simply offer you a way to nurture your creativity by sharing my experience on the path. After 243 days of my daily creative project, I still need to remind myself that so much of this is about me documenting my process- my successes and failures, my happy discoveries and fumbles. I guess I feel like I'm fumbling a lot these days...but I know it's all valid and it all belongs here in my little world of finding myself as an artist.

For now I can only provide these encouraging words, for you and for myself:
Tomorrow is a new day and a fresh opportunity to release the creativity that we carry inside us. Two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward on our path. 

Carry on.

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