True statement, I make a lot of bad art. I start out wanting to create a masterpiece, but something happens along the way. I get an e-mail or text, get distracted by Instagram, or my favorite interruption, I forgot that I don’t have dinner made and everyone is hungry. So I stuff it in my sketchbook for another day. Sometimes I get back to it, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I take another look at it and wonder who would want that art on something when I'm not sure that it's good enough. I can be really mean and critical of myself and that voice is something I’m working to quiet down. But I have also realized that it’s okay. You have to make a lot of bad art before you make some good stuff too. But here is the secret, when I was making the art, bad and good, it didn’t matter one bit because I had that feeling of creating, like a type of art magic around me. You know that thrill that you are working with your brain and hands to create something special. Something you can't wait to finish, just to see what shows up on the paper.
Art is always changing and always evolving, styles come and go, techniques fade and reinvent themselves, and colors once vintage are new again. Has my art development been slow in my life? Absolutely, this is technically my second career, or maybe my third or fourth. I’m almost 50 ( like in a few years) and just starting out as an illustrator. I came back to the creative life of painting and drawing after wearing other hats. Being older, and just starting out, has also given me the benefit of seeing younger artists become “professional experts” overnight, then turn around a year later and be in another career. It gives me a different attitude and different wisdom than others in this field. I’m just a slow cooker, I tell myself. I have now been “ learning” to draw for 11 years and I still am learning every day. It’s the magic of creating that keeps me walking down this path.
It’s important as artists and creative people that we go through stages, but at every stage, I saw something I was proud of. Then I simply took that something and built upon it. In this model for growth, I never fully arrive at something. I never have to tell myself, when I make that perfect piece, then I will be an artist. I’m already an artist from the moment I picked up a pencil. As humans, we are always changing and always growing, but as an artist, I also have to keep showing up day after day to see the growth and the “magic” in my work. It’s in the next moment when your brain collides with your hand and that magic shows up. When I consistently show up to art, I get lost in creating and sometimes have no idea what time it is. Art magic at work👩🏼🎨 After finishing a piece, I feel something inside that makes me proud of what I created and that keeps me coming back day after day, to keep building and keep growing, and keep the magic flowing.
When you find that magic in anything you do, from music to art, or even building birdhouses, you have found what you are meant to do right now. So keep searching, keep building on those strong, proud, something special moments, and before long the world will see the magic that you feel in yourself.