Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Butterflies, Flowers and the Creative Process

 Watercolor Painting

I spent the day yesterday painting. Not one painting, but these little illustrations, little things that make me happy, that I think are lovely. I got all sorts of photo references from pinterest. It's such a good tool for those of us who are visually oriented.

I've been a little obsessed with stationery and illustration and lettering. I don't really know what I am going to do with them. It's all still in development. What if I end up not using them at all?

I guess that's the risk of making art, or really anything. The risk of life, even. You don't know how things are going to turn out, if you will like it or if it will all fit together, or if you'll change your mind thirty minutes after you've painted out the last stroke and put the work away never to look at it again. Or if you make something and the world does not receive it well and no one really resonates with it and it just disappears into a drawer somewhere.
I guess that's why you need to enjoy the process of creating, of living, or working. If you're after it all just for the results, for the end product, for the pay or public acclaim, then you are missing the joy that you can get from actually making, from living, from experiencing life and trying new things. The physical loveliness of paint washing on the paper, colors deepening as you add layers, the thrill when something you planned turns out, unexpectedly, to be far more lovely than you were imagining, the hunt for ideas that make you sing.

What this basically comes down to is about enjoying the process.

Release the worry about what it all means and where it is all going. Trust that you are going somewhere you need to go.  Even if these pretty flowers, butterflies and celebratory snacks never go where my vague ideas thought, even if they DO get stuffed into a drawer never to see the light of day, the act of creating them may take me farther down my path. Maybe painting these pages is not about the pages that I've painted, but about the act of painting.

I do so love to paint, you see. And I don't do it nearly enough. So if this project got me to take out my trusty winsor newton travel paint set, then maybe that was the point. Maybe I've already gotten something out of this project because of the thought that I put into writing this post, and the creative process?

Whatever it is, in and of itself, creating is a worthy activity. Not just for what you can create, not just for items that you could sell and posts that you could write, but because creating brings beauty into the world. Creating is you envisioning possibility and making it real in the world.

And let me tell you, there are no limits to where THAT can take you.

So take some time and imagine those possibilities, those things you'd like to see come real in the world, a painting, a novel, a beautiful room, a garden, a meal, and put your energy into creating them.  Put aside your worries about how it might go wrong or take too long or be a disappointment, because the act of creating is transformative, no matter the results.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thinking! It's encouraging and inspirational!

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