Breaking through to the Other Side
Unless I really think about all the small, seemingly insignificant (and often seemingly unconnected) actions that led to this portion of the adventure I cannot say how I got here. Honestly in trying to make sense of it, it makes little to no sense, really. But here I am on the other side. Of a lot of things but what made me see it was a piece of art I created.
I’ve had flashes of inspiration before, sure, but the problem had been action. I didn’t do anything with my flashes of inspiration when it came to art. Who was I to create the big and grandiose vision in my head? It’d never work, was what I told myself. Until finally, during a recent Critical Role episode, I did something. I started something. I trusted the process for what felt like the first time in years.
Yes, I have been drawing and creating prior to this moment since I started reviving my creativity back from the dead. But I hadn’t fully let myself go, really let the process take me where it wanted/needed to go. Trust that the vision, though it was big and beautiful wasn’t exactly what’d come out of this mess but something wholly greater just for the fact that it was realized, real and true in the world.
I broke through to the other side. Of what, I’m really not entirely sure but I know it’s the other side of something. I know that I finally became the artist I’ve always dreamed and wanted to be (also, probably have always been…). I know that I let the muse, if you will, take me for a ride. I’m just hoping I can make a repeat performance...which is thankfully a much smaller voice than it used to be.
I think I’ve mentioned that I wanted to find this place again. This place where the art doesn’t necessarily have an end point or a goal but a direction. As with life, the artwork is about the journey as much as, if not more than, the finished piece. I mean, really, no piece of mine is ever really, truly finished. Not really. I could always do more with them. But somehow I’m finding the balance between ALL the things and just-the-right-amount of things.
The process of this piece was interesting for me, I started with one idea that left out some details I’d rather not touch due to my insecurity as an artist. And then there I was in the weeds of all of those details and more besides saying what about MORE...I’m not sure where the changeover happened but I am glad that I found it and, in the process, my confidence. And not just the confidence that comes from other’s giving me compliments. No, I found the deep and true confidence of belief in myself and my own skills.
So, no, I cannot tell you how. And honestly it’s likely different for you than for me but maybe, just maybe if you work on other things in life while something percolates on the back burner you might find the moment upon you when you least suspect it. You are often your own worst critic and even finding that deep and true confidence doesn’t mean it will quit, but it quiets it just a bit more and seems to make it a little more bearable.
Do you have a skill, goal, or something that just seems stubbornly out of reach? Is there anything else that you can do something about? Maybe try that for a while instead of trying to beat that stubborn something into submission? At least that’s what worked for me, I think. I’m still a bit unclear on the details...
—A Recovering Design Imposter
PS. This is the process video. I'll admit that I'm terrified, deep down to share. Because my ego wants it to be perfect, it's not, and because my inner critic wants hedge and show the behind the scenes process to show just how imperfect it is. But, really, I want to share it because I want others to see the process, to know that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. I know don't need to explain but I want to.