Best advice for any creative project? Begin.

Every story, every project, even a blog has to start somewhere. THE BEGINNING! The headache inducing, paralyzing stage of any creative endeavor. Where you must write the perfect sentence, choose the perfect colors of paint or find the perfect video clip that captures the audience immediately.

Why is beginning so tough? Because of  that darn word “perfect”. Don’t wait for perfection. Just begin.

What I learned two years after my first painting workshop.

I had always wanted to paint. I took life drawing classes, sketched a bit storyboarding videos. But avoided using actual paint and brush until a friend and I decided to attend a workshop in Sedona. This is where I first encountered the devil “Perfection”. She was evil. I have never been so blocked in all of my life. And I work in a creative industry! Usually I can look at words on a page and easily visualize movement, music, sets and scenes for the videos I edit. After all I had ‘begun’ that work years ago.

But when at a table with a white canvas and a fresh box of acrylic paints I could think of nothing. No image, no place, no story came to mind. And frankly, I was a little afraid of messing up that nice white canvas.

A note here for all newbie workshop attendees, you will feel horribly defeated, weak and wobbly and weirdly determined to get better. Why? Because you began the work of becoming.

Since that time I have read biographies and “in their own words” essays and watched countless interviews of artists , attended lectures, and viewed as much art as I could,  (thanks to Chicago’s MCA, The Art Institue and many galleries) and slowly began to form ideas, understand techniques, start to experiment. Slowly got my courage up to attack a canvas with paint.

To begin.

So after two years of trying to paint, I finally created a painting I love to look at. It took many hours, many times scraping it all off and beginning again, this time knowing that it’s all part of the process. I  let go of what others may think of it and of the “preciousness” of the thing. It is hanging proudly along other artist’s work.  And if others think it stinks,  I don’t care. Really. I just like looking at it.

And just yesterday, I began another painting. So, what will you begin today?



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