When it comes to art making, so many of us are so held back by fear.
What if I mess up? What if I create something ugly?
You know what? I create ugly things everyday. Every damn day. I’m dead serious.
Sometimes my ceramic pieces fall to the ground and crumble back to dust.
Sometimes I make gross, stray marks with my paint brush and crumple up my paper in frustration.
Sometimes I try to sketch out what’s in my brain and when it won’t show up on the paper, I throw it in the wood stove and start again.
But there’s the point.
I start again.
You can’t give up when things go wrong. You can’t quit when you don’t get what you want the first time. You can’t throw in the towel because you made a mistake.
Just as with life, the growth in art is in the struggle. When you reach a painful point in art making where it’s not working out, you have to push through it, because just beyond that point is where you grow and get better.
Think of the kid who’s trying to learn to ride a bike, and she falls off again and again. She scrapes her knee, she bleeds, she cries, she throws her hands up in frustration, she pushes her bike over in rage.
But what’s the next thing she does?
She gets back on and tries again. Because she knows this is something she must learn in order to grow. She knows she can’t keep training wheels on her bike forever. She knows she has to go through this pain in order to grow up. She knows once she gets over this hump, there’s so much good on the other side.
She can see herself riding freely with her older siblings, parents, and friends. She can visualize how fun, exciting, and free her life will be once she gets past this learning curve, and then she perseveres.
There’s nothing to learn from giving up too soon. In order to get better, in order to succeed, you have to push through the hurt and the pain.
When you make ugly things, it’s okay to feel frustrated, cry, scream, or tear your artwork into a thousand pieces. It’s okay to feel any damn way you want to feel. But don’t ever let those feelings stop you from making more.
Push through, keep on, don’t ever give up, because it’s about to get SO good!