Archive - August, 2012

Excuses, art and giving your baby to a troll

Everyone has a valid excuse for not creating.

I could list mine here and trust me it would be a compelling argument. We could all sit back sipping our tea and nodding “oh yes, you should never create anything. You are much too busy and unprepared and undereducated and…”.

Yes, well, I love to create. Doesn’t everyone? Something in us longs for it.

If you’re thinking of arts and crafts right now and having a mini panic attack, relax…creation is not just arts and crafts. I really hate arts and crafts myself and am familiar with said panic attack. When my children were smaller I went to a moms get together which consisted of eating, listening to a speaker, then doing a craft. I would sit and drink coffee while my crafty friend would do my craft for me. It was a beautiful system.

Creativity is in us all. It might be in business or mechanics or engineering or it might be in the arts, but it is there. I am frustrated to see how many people bow to their excuses and fear in this area.

The excuse I hear the most is that what they create is not good enough.

First, I doubt there are many artists who can look at a masterpiece they have created and not point out some flaws (flaws that only the creator would notice).

Second, if you wait until you become really good…then you never will. The act of creating art that isn’t “good enough” is the path to creating something of value.

The ticket price for becoming a “real” artist is being brave. I don’t mean being brave enough to make art, although that is the first step. I mean being brave enough to put your art out there for the world to love and enjoy and criticize and tear apart. That is terrifying.
It stretches you in a way that makes you feel as though your skin may never fit on your body again, but it is a good stretch albeit painful.

Your excuses are valid, but so what. There are thousands of other people out there with more valid excuses than you who are doing it.

Pick one, excuses or creation. If you pick excuses, own it. Cuddle up with them, pet them, love them. You will have an easier life in many ways and the crazies or resistance or whatever you want to call it will leave you alone. But, that other thing won’t. That thing in the back of your mind that says “what if…what if I had had the courage, what if I had become an inspirational story that would light the fire for other artists, what if I had let the world see who I really am?”

If you choose creation over excuses you will still have to continue to fight off excuses, they won’t leave you alone. The crazies will come to tell you that you can’t do it and you aren’t worthy and that you are wasting your time. Then you present your art to the world and it feels a little like handing your newborn to a troll to babysit. Sounds appealing doesn’t it?

But, there are moments. Moments where you can feel another piece of you coming to life. When you can feel how much you have grown and changed. When you touch someone deeply and a long dormant emotion seeps out of their eyes and yours too. The tiny moments of absolute certainty that THIS is what you should be doing…THIS is what you were created for. It’s a little like the moment when you see your baby for the first time. You don’t forget the pain of childbirth, but you realize why it was worth it.

It is worth it.