Sometimes, I am so excited about the end product that I forget to enjoy the process to get there. A few weeks ago, I was working on a hand lettered painting (fyi, it’s the painting posted here…can’t believe I’m sharing it!). In my imagination, it was going to be a wonderful creation that I would hang up or post to sell. While I was painting, I had a hand lettering, how-to, video streaming. As the video went on, I realized that although I thought I was on the verge of a masterpiece, the letters I was painting didn’t look cohesive. Nope, they did not!
My frustration was on the rise and the excitement I had for this painting was wearing off. I took a minute to think about my process and I began to see that frequently, I want to jump from step one to the last step, finished and complete. I put my paintbrush down and gave this video my full attention, and I learned about stroke marks and where to put them. The next step was to sit down with my pencil and sketchbook and draw these letters out, let my hand get the chance to learn how the pencil should feel when I want to create a certain style of lettering.
Gals and guys, if you are an artist or crafter, learning something new is exciting! We all know this! I am learning that even though I am so excited to start something new, that I need to slow down and take the time to learn the fine details of a new medium. While you’re learning, you WILL make ugly paintings! I have a folder overflowing with ugly paintings, but you know what? We can take a piece of that ugly painting or drawing and use that to create that awesome piece you were hoping for. Maybe it’s a shape, a slant this way or that of a line, or you might be formulating a totally new idea.
Let yourself fail so that you can learn and grow in your craft. Be ok with making crappy work, because the crappy stuff is just a part of the process of growing yourself in your craft. Going forward, I want to know how have you changed your ideas about process and learning? I think this is an always evolving part of my life. I’m finally learning to embrace it, slow down and take time to give myself over to that process.
I hope this rang true for some of you out there! You’re not alone in the ups and downs of creating! I encourage you to share your process for learning a new thing and how your process and ideas of making good work has changed over time.
My Tips for Making:
- Learn from others! Skillshare is my favorite website for learning! You can sign up for a free membership, where you’ll only be able to access free classes, or sign up for the premium membership (that’s what I have). You’ll have more features and access to classes. I have learned so much from taking classes through Skillshare. Another website that I like is called, Instructables. Knowledge is power people! You have the power to expand your repertoire and nobody can take that away from you. Keep learning!
- Take some time to just move your pen/pencil/paintbrush around the page. You can draw whatever you like, just get your brain and your hands moving for some pre-project practice.
- Be ok with ugly work! You can toss it if it totally stinks, or you can save it and reference parts of it that work. Not everything we make will be awesome. Move on and start a new piece of work, nothing is set in stone.