I was talking with one of my most encouraging friends, about my creative process and how it has been a challenge for me to really push myself and try new things. I feel like I have so many people depending on me, and while I’m thankful for each and every one of them, it is hard to push my own boundaries when there’s a very big possibility for failure.
But why is failure ugly?
If failing results in growth then why am I shamed of it?
I remember visiting the Columbus Museum of Art a few years ago and seeing works from Rembrandt’s sketchbook that I’m pretty darn sure he did not think they were his best pieces – certainly not finished or refined!
But the process, the way the ideas unfolded so organically in those drawings, was just as beautiful as the masterpieces hanging a few feet away. And, as a young artist, struggling with my own book of messy scribbles, they were WAY more encouraging.
While I am a million paintings away from Rembrandt’s skill, the more work I create, the less precious they becomes to me overall. With each painting it becomes easier to say goodbye to a piece and the more the process seeps into my soul. That has become precious to me.
I love my paintings, but I could not live without the process.
So, I press on, committing to try new things, to be ok with the ugly, the “failures”, and the lessons learned. I am committing to create for the meditative moments, the creative energy, the feeling of the brushes scratching the canvas with their bristling color-washing strokes, and for the thrill of 1,000 tiny decisions made along the way.
Several months ago I started a community around this theme. The hashtag #DoItForTheProcess has caught the eye of many artists and creative who understand the importance (and beauty) of the process. There are currently 9,000 photos and counting in the collection!
This community is welcoming and supportive – so please join! When you find yourself delighting in the process, share that moment on Instagram along with #DoItForTheProcess