- Do I have anything special to offer?
- Can I create anything that is unique?
- What would separate my simple black dots from those that have already been created by someone else?
In the past, these types of feelings might have kept me from trying something, but I’m learning to resist the temptation to turn away from these worries. Instead I need to push into and through them. After all, hasn’t it been said that there is nothing new under the sun? Perhaps it’s time for me to take Austin Kleon’s advice and Steal Like an Artist. I need to remember that we all borrow and steal from others, but what is important is that I find a way to shift it and make it uniquely mine. And the only way to do that, is to actually do it.
Grace from Design*Sponge had an excellent radio show last week regarding the subject of jealousy and using it as a motivator, and she nailed it. Instead of falling into comparisons or being paralyzed by these feelings, I need to realize that I’m experiencing them because it’s something I want to pursue, have, or create. And I also think I’m having these feelings because I care. I care about doing well and being original. I shouldn’t take the fears listed above and decide that I can’t or shouldn’t do something. Rather, I should take it and decide that it’s precisely the reason why I should do it. I am learning it is part of living a creative life.
My August Challenge
And so, in the spirit of pushing forward -- and to try to maintain the momentum from my July daily painting project -- here is my new personal challenge: one black and white drawing, painting, or pattern every day in August.
This feels a bit more like a private challenge this time around as I try to work through the demons described above, so I don’t plan to post them on Instagram every day like I am with my July painting challenge, but some will surely pop up there and I hope to report back here with my progress. I want to do this just for me. I want to practice line drawing and build up some repeat patterns. And I want to see what I can find within the limits of black ink and white paper.
Do you have similar feelings of jealousy or worry about your creative pursuits? Do you have anything you’re feeling called to do? If so, I’d love to hear about it and perhaps we can all dive in and push through them together.