Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking with so many wonderful creative people. I talked with a book designer, a graphic designer, a pastry chef, a writer, a painter, a photographer, an ice skating teacher, and an emergency room manager (don't worry, nothing happened, just a friend).
It seems that the journey of creativity is not a straight shot line on a graph continuously moving upward at a steady even rate. Why do I struggle with expecting this kind of progress from myself continuously? It is just not human to expect this machine-like climb towards the highest point of success. Struggling with forward motion, however, is human.
The journey of art and life and discovering creativity is filled with hurdles, dry spells, tiny victories before big ones and times of just sitting back and considering yourself and your art. If you find yourself feeling like a failure or feeling like you have wasted your time and have not moved forward at all, don't stop... don't quit the journey. You may need to sit in that spot for a while with your sketch book and take a look around and draw what you see. As artists or creative types of any kind, there is something to be learned through mindful observation.
Many times I get frustrated with myself for not accomplishing everything on my to-do list for the day or the week and I start to think things are never going to get done. That I will never finish any paintings, that I will never be any good. This sort of thing is in no way helpful, seriously, I've tried it and it is not helpful at all. Nor is it necessary. After all, I am a human and not an art making machine. I cannot expect a continuous flow of energy without a time of rest and reflection. So, to encourage you and myself, forward motion is not a straight shot. Sometimes it is a plodding along, a meander, a ramble, a short sprint, a fall backwards, all of these things are real