Years ago I quit a job ahead of time (I was going back to uni) and spent some of my meagre savings (that probably should have gone on rent) on art supplies. Nothing came of it because I couldn’t give myself permission to “waste” and learn.
My history with art is … not great. It comes from school, I think. Learning creativity for grading is something I’m not sure I support. I think I’ve got a lot to unpack there, but for now… it tainted my learning and opinion of art.
Then I listened to a short video that was part of a creativity summit. And I didn’t hate the speaker. She made me feel comfortable and, for lack of a better term, like I had permission to learn, try, mess up, and keep going. That the outcome was never a given, that you can decide what you like and dislike and when it’s done.
I listened to what I was feeling, and that was restricted. I didn’t want to “waste” money again so I bought small canvases and tried painting. Didn’t like it, but also didn’t hate it. I felt like I wanted something bigger so I felt less restricted. So I bought some new and larger canvasses. I was allowed to make mistakes and try again. It was a big part of the presentation that you can try, mess up, some version of the writing term “kill your darlings”.
Then I swapped to my iPad and realised the freedom I felt on a larger canvas was different again. Why?
Layers. Undo buttons.
I can’t tell if I feel my permission to be wrong has been stripped away or if it’s educational to be able to change layers and view different perspectives of what I’ve done to a digital canvas.
There’s no summary to this post, as with many, I’m just sharing something about where I’m at. I like sharing the messy muddled middle of things as I think (hope) it helps others to not only see finished and polished thoughts, writing, ideas and whatever else you do.