Monday, June 28, 2010

Yes, or Prayer for the Abundant Heart

Yes, or Prayer for the Abundant Heart
21/100 in 100 creative challenge

I am doing lots of drawing lately. I did this one after having a "discussion" with S. Sometimes things have to get a little painful in order for us to open up and let go of the anger. Sometimes we have to dig old things up to allow room for good things to grow.

When I started it, I didn't know where it was going, although I was inspired by some anatomical hearts on line, but this is where it went.

Sometimes I don't draw at all, actually, so busy with life and kids and being tired or, you know, needing more sleep.

Sometimes I am doing small sketches, like the below plan for decorating my kids' bedroom.
Bedroom Carnival plans

I am going to put up those damn striped curtains if it kills me... which it might, just patience wise, because I never seem to have the time or tools to do it. And the pennant? I have plans for creating that out of old second hand tshirts. I can't bear to waste all that good cloth, but I think the colors would make the perfect pennant. And perhaps I can add some details with paint, or use the decorations on the tshirts for embellishments... particularly when it comes to the girl side of the room. You know they always add embellishments to girl's clothes. Why not use them when the tshirts are too small. But again, I've been so busy (or perhaps it's lazy) that I haven't gotten these done.
Common Mandala
19/100 in 100 challenge

This one was done... well, at work. It's on a napkin and following the logo of the restaurant.

One side of me argues that this doesn't count as art. It's on a napkin, for gosh sake. But then the other side of me argues that I started this challenge planning to count ALL the art I did, not just a certain kind of art that I considered "good enough" to be "real art."

Slow Day

I have a real problem with this "not good enough to count" thing. I don't know where it came from, but I have a tendency to devalue what I do, what I can do. Because it is easy for me, or because I do it all the time, it isn't really serious work. It isn't important. It isn't valuable.

The odd thing is that I can evaluate it as decent work. A pretty design or a good sketch I can see, but there's something else about the quality that I still declare as not good enough.

Somehow, I think there is some sort of authority somewhere that says YES to the "real artists (or writers or whatever)" and I have never gotten that YES. But I might actually have gotten that YES (or those yesses, maybe it's not just one authority) but I don't listen to the YES that I get. So even after the YES I still don't think I'm good enough.

I roll my eyes at myself when I get like this, and then I beat up on myself for being such an idiot. I should be able to have confidence in my work, or in myself. And then I think about how I should be farther along than I am. Or I should be braver. Or I should work harder. Or I should have started sooner. Or I should take more chances. Or I should dedicate more time to this or that.

But here's the thing.

I am good enough. I am worth it. I am where I am supposed to be. I am finding my way in this world while also raising kids and working part time and keeping house and maintaining relationships. There's a reason why I am not as far along as I think I should be. It's because I am in the midst of living it all.

So perhaps this challenge of counting all my art as art is really what I need for my life challenge of valuing all the different things that I am doing on a daily basis. Or valuing all the different parts of myself, no matter who has or has not validated me. I validate me.

Are you looking for something outside of yourself to validate you? Are you waiting to be good enough to count? Why?


Brooke said...

I have struggled a lot too, looking for the world to give me that YES. I was raised to think my inner YES was not okay. I wonder why so many people struggle with this? Why are we being raised like this?

Is anyone ever as successful as they want to be? It's the grass-is-greener issue. :) Validating, appreciating, just plain breathing ~ it's enough.

Lola said...

I like the napkin drawing--who says it has to be on strathmore cotton wove bright white paper? When I worked at the Utrecht art store in NYC, we used to draw in back of Tax Exempt forms, and I still have some of those drawings.

I also worked at a gallery and this woman painted on nylon (her work was about women/exploitation/patriarchy, feminine cultural signifiers etc.)

Keep going! I am almost tempted to start drawing myself! Maybe soon.

Stephanie said...

Oh goodness! You are talking about my personal demon! The not 'good enough' demon. Grrrr. sometimes it makes me want to bite something.

I don't know where it comes from either. I do know that what ever we create, we are sharing a vital part of our inner-selves. It is always 'good enough' and usually better than that!

Jessica - Domestic PDX said...

Thank you for writing this. I can very much relate, so it's nice to hear others express it.

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