Make Art, Just For the Fun of Creative Expression
Make art just for the fun of it. Those nagging Dragons of Perfection keep us from making art like we did as children. If some art teacher didn’t shame us for making blue trees, we could color and paint and draw people with no necks and no ears and it didn’t necessarily mean that they were revealing that they have issues with not listening. Sure, we drew flowers taller than buildings, but we had a good time, didn’t we? We had fun.
Next to getting in our own way, nothing kills creative expression and the chance to make art because we just want to play, than judgment, or criticism, from others. “Why did you do that,” they say, questioning our choices. Sometimes it’s better not to even show anyone. Our art can be just for us.
That’s what my art journal is for. To explore, to play, to try new techniques out of the reach of those nasty Critical Dragons. Sometimes I show people and sometimes I don’t. It’s good practice, too, to field those questions that may sound critical to discern whether or not they were intended to be critical. Often people are just asking about our artistic decisions. But it’s interesting what we can do with what we think is criticism. If it is, in fact, a critical comment, it can be powerful enough to make us stop making art all together.
Don’t let that happen.
Mistakes As Teachers
We’d all love to hide the mistakes we make, wouldn’t we? But if we can maintain our composure and take the stance as a student of life, we stand to learn a lot! I chose this piece of art I made for fun at 7am this morning. Her bangs are in her eyes, as part of her whimsical hairdo, but I realized afterward that I wouldn’t be able to see her eyebrows through her hair. I had painted them in first with marker and couldn’t undo them. My options were to make her hair darker to hide them, paint white paint on them to blot them out and then paint her hair back in, choose another piece of art from my journal, OR, set an example of how it is to learn to be okay with our mistakes. I learned something and chose that option.
For this week’s Enchanted Breath, shake all of your Critical Dragons out. Breathe in deeply and release your breath with great gusto. Repeat. Shake your artist hands out. Shake your shoulders and legs and feet.
Then come to stillness. Be gentle with yourself and think loving thoughts. Have your back so that neither you, nor anyone else, has the power to make you stop making your art.
Have fun! Stay enchanted.