I’ve been postponing writing the piece on this month’s ’52 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity’ idea because I didn’t like the card I pulled out. I randomly select a card from the deck of suggestions and then share them here. I had no idea, still don’t, what I wanted to say about it.
So to start with let’s see what Lyn Gordon has written on the topic of ‘Do it Wrong’. “Rare is the person who hasn’t had his or her creative process interrupted, blocked, or sabotaged by the insistent internal voice that proclaims, ‘You’re doing it wrong! You’re doing it wrong!’ There’s one surefire antidote to this defeatist message: go ahead and do it wrong. Instead of striving for perfection – just this once – paint the worst picture imaginable. Chisel out the silliest sculpture. Sew a skirt you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Then notice what does, and doesn’t, transpire as a result. Did the world, or your passion for your art, grind to a halt? No? Great! Have a laugh, rip up your imperfect creation (or not), and move right along.”
My response to this suggestion was “Noooooooo!” How could I possibly do something wrong on purpose? After all, I’ve spent my entire life trying to make sure I don’t make mistakes or do things incorrectly. The pressure from other people (read here, parents, siblings, etc.) has always been so strong that I’ve developed a psychological allergy to incorrect actions. So when I look at this message and even try to conceive of following through with it I get a knot in my stomach.
Besides those people mentioned above I had an art teacher who originated my delay in pursuing this passion because of how she viewed my artwork. She saw it as only a release and, through her written words patted me on the back, and said, “It’s okay.” Of course that was never my approach to my artwork and her trivialization of it generated my doubts. How could I move ahead and pursue a career in fine art if I was ‘doing it wrong’? My response was to give up that hope and dream. From that time until a few years ago I didn’t take my artwork serious. Even if I had people tell me, as I gave them a drawing or painting, how good my work was I never believed it was good enough.
Since starting on my journey to pursue that long-postponed dream I have questioned my ability regularly. When my work didn’t sell, even though I was accepted into exhibit after exhibit, I told myself it was my style, execution, or skill. It wasn’t the lack of public interest in fine art or the ever-decreasing market in that realm. I had to be doing it wrong.
Perhaps, I’ll give this a try if nothing more than to jump-start me out of the ‘drought’ I’ve been in this year. I’ve done very little painting and have focused more on my photography after realizing that has become a more accepted, and affordable option, in the marketplace. But I desperately want to fulfill that dream and need to get back to the easel.
If you try this, comment back and let me know how it works.. I’ll be rolling it over in my mind for a while yet but will share my results when I finally get up the courage to ‘do it wrong’.