A good idea can be very exciting. Actually starting the thing, and continuing to push it forward, be it a creative project or a personal challenge, can be tough. Below is a visual representation of how I felt when I realized that if I was going to put on a show of robot art art and goods, I was going to have to jump in, whether I was ready or not:
I started this “one robot a day” thing to challenge myself to dedicate time and energy to making artwork. I wanted a personal creative practice, and I wanted to prioritize it. However, I found myself getting hung up on posting completed pieces, for you lovelies to purchase. I realize now that, in addition to finished work, I want to tell you what happens before and after and instead of a completed piece. It’s much messier, and probably more interesting. I have a show coming up, here in beautiful Grand Rapids, Michigan, on December 4th and 5th, and I promise that those details are coming soon. I’ll be showing painted canvas pieces, handmade and printed cards, gift wrapping things, robot toys (!!!) and maybe a t-shirt or two. When this show first came to be, I was excited, and then I felt overwhelmed with what the show “should” look like, and I started listening to that little voice that says “your art sucks, dummy” and I felt like hiding under a giant roll of craft paper. Thankfully, I have very special people in my life who ask me how my robots are doing, and don’t run away when I start to dump all of my fears and anxieties on them. Hearing myself say the things I was worried about out loud made me realize that, while they were all pretty reasonable fears, they didn’t need to keep me from making this show happen.
Last night, I opened the giant box of canvas that had arrived in the mail days before. I softly swore at it a couple times as I manhandled it onto the kitchen table, while the dog sweetly wove herself around my feet. As I unrolled the canvas, the smell of fresh paint and cloth announced the arrival of a truly blank slate. That was a nice moment.
Starting a thing can be hard, and I don’t know exactly why. I do know that my new method of moving through those initial fears will be to smash into it, with a giant roll of canvas, and a whole lot of paint, and occasional cursing, and the acceptance that sometimes you just need to make the thing.