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August 5, 2015

Don't Be Afraid to Make Bad Art - The Artist's Way

Make art everyday.  Live your life as art.  Art imitates Life.  It all seems simple, but if you're not careful, fear can grab a hold of your muse and trap them till you've lost hope.   Making art is very personal.  Making YOUR art is very scary!

In the book The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron writes that Morning Pages get everything out of you, so that you come to [your] work as a clean slate - blank.  With all of your To-Do lists written and worries and fears and etc. written out in the Morning Pages, you can find the art.  It flows more freely from you without distraction.

I'll admit this has been hard to put into practice, but the times in which I've emptied my mind of all the junk I couldn't stop thinking about, I found myself more at ease.  Even though it's hard enough making art everyday, writing everyday is just one more thing you have to do.  It may not come naturally at first, but it's hard to deny its effectiveness.

Lets be honest,  who doesn't go through almost an entire day trying to remember some important bit of information or chore to do.  When the glass is full of such things, trying to think of ideas for your art just runs over the side.  Let the your planner, phone, or post-its do the remembering, to leave your mind free to wander more fun places!

Another trick I try, when the writing seems too daunting or dry, is the doodle.  Very simple, but I pick up a drawing utensil, and tell myself, "fill this page with nonsense".  And do just that.  Often times I find that a good idea sneaks in.  This also lines up with what Cameron writes, "don't be afraid to make bad art."  That's a hard one I know for many artists to accept.  But when fear paralyzes you and not a single mark gets made, this is like breaking the ice.  I have truly terrible drawings, horrible perspective, and doodles that resemble a child's.  But it all is in fun, and I don't think about trying to make it good.  Then I turn the page, and when my pen begins to make a mark, it is loose, warmed up, and performs much better.

My mother once told me a quote: "The pain now is part of the happiness later."  You can relate this to your personal life, romantic relationships, and you can relate this to your biggest relationship, your art.  It's as if your mind must purge sometimes before it can run smoothly.  Junk must be discarded to make room for the new.

Make art everday, and don't be afraid if sometimes its bad.