Saturday, November 5, 2016

Dreams Do Come True

If I've learned anything in art over the last year, it has been that in the past I mostly took the process of creating art far too seriously (which isn't terrible, but not very helpful either) often too afraid to work on things for fear of failure or being found inadequate to the task. But with all of the classes I've been teaching (Bob Ross classes and general art classes) and trying to get more teaching opportunities going, I've had more pressures of deadlines and had expectations placed upon me, or placed huge ones upon myself--forcing me to just do things, instead of worrying so much about perfection and abilities.

THIS has been monumentally helpful to me.

I have been reading a book, Art & Fear, by David Bayles and Ted Orland, for a couple of years, off and on. It speaks to the fears that apparently haunt many creative people--the fear of failure and inadequacy that I also struggle with. I love that there is such a book for people like me, and maybe you, too. In fact, I think it could be helpful for any number of vocations, as well as avocations, whichever the case may be.

In art, it seems like the struggle is often about discerning whether or not a task is worth doing (do you have the time and the materials available) and whether you're the person suited to do it. BUT it is also about becoming that person, and maybe that is the biggest struggle of all. When I think about where I was a year ago, two years ago, five years ago, even ten--I am amazed at where I am now. At each step, I felt the same fears I do now--fear of failure and not being good enough for the task at hand, but so many times I've accomplished far more than I thought I could.

The dreams get bigger and the steps to achieve them get harder and harder, but the fear and trepidation remains the same. In a way it seems rather comical to me--when I had accomplished little to nothing, I was afraid and timid, unsure of myself, but willing to try at it. And now--I've really done a lot, when I think about it, yet the level of fear hasn't dimmed, or maybe because the dreams are bigger, the fear is proportionately bigger also, and so that is why it feels the same to me. I don't know.

But I do know that regardless of my struggles with fears, I can't seem to shake the desire and passion I have to create and make things. It only seems to grow stronger, pushing me farther and farther down this path I started 22 years ago. Who'd have thought that twelve year old me, poring over art books and sketching and painting to my hearts' content, would twenty years later be spending several hours a week teaching art at different venues, having won art contests and had art hanging in galleries, drawing and painting even more for hours on end, still poring over art books, and day dreaming about my next possible artistic endeavor (online instruction videos, traveling RV art studio, becoming a resident artist somewhere)?  Back then I never thought being an artist would be a "real" thing--I never really thought that that was the path my life would take, because it seemed too fanciful and crazy.

Now the bigger dreams seem less and less impossible, and I seem more and more capable, fears and all, to accomplish them...and I seem to be living a dream come true!

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