I am writing this blog to help aspiring artist's that need to start painting or get over stumbling blocks in their artistic journey.
One of the main roadblocks that I have experienced is option overload. You may want to learn an art principle today, but sometimes you need to learn how to create your art habit first!
I learned about option overload from a Ted Talk on The Paradox of Choice—Why More is Less by Barry Schwartz (which is also a book.) Barry Schwartz teaches that often people experience option overload and so they do one or two things:
1 - They stall out and do nothing,
2- Or they do something but because it was 'perfect enough' they give up.
These two roadblocks are summed up into two concepts:
Indecision and Perfectionism.
Let me give you an example.
When my 5 boys were little they would get dressed every day and dump all their clothes on the floor, of course, to find just the right outfit.
I hated it.
Then they'd 'clean' their room by gathering all their clean clothes and shove it into the laundry hamper again!
The system wasn't working.
So, I thought about it. What if their dressing room were somewhere else? Then their room could stay clean.
I had an non-working master bathroom that I thought may help. I turned it into their dressing room! I threw down some carpet and put a big painting of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello home over the huge hole in the shower and Wallah! I had solved my problem.
But then I looked at it.
It wasn't pinterest perfect. I felt sad. I didn't have the money for it to be a real bathroom and this was just plain weird.
Then I remembered what I'd learned about option overload! I had not stalled out and done nothing! I had done something! I had solved my problem! But now I wasn't happy because this room had only gone from a D to a B+.
I could choose to be sad or happy about the dressing room.
I made the choice between my own two little ears to be happy about it! It wasn't that hard to do! And I really liked that painting of Thomas Jefferson's home in Monticello!
No, this dressing room would never be put in a magazine photo contest. And maybe someone else could make the room cuter, but I have learned over and over - COMPARING IS THE THIEF OF JOY! I had solved a problem and increased the peace and beauty in my home!
How does this pertain to your art journey you may wonder?
Well, perhaps you are a person like me that is blessed (and cursed) with a million ideas! I have notebooks full of ideas for novels, picture books, paintings, theme parks, magazine articles, and doodads that I want to create.
I went on a trip to Newport Beach, California with my husband and I sketched from a balcony for an hour. It fed my soul! Time did not exist. I was happily painting again -just for me!
After not painting for 15 years finally, in April of 2016 I started small. I made a decision. I limited my choices. I started sketching with Tombow Markers, a waterbrush in a watercolor sketchbook again. I kept sketching. I logged my hours shooting for 20 hours a week.
I took my sketchbook everywhere - it was the only way I could get the hours in.
One day I was sketching while at a Payson Quilt Show Volunteer meeting, and a lady asked if I would be interested in doing an art show. I responded, "Yes, I would!" I set the date for 2 years in the future so I wouldn't stress about the deadline and started painting big again!
No longer did I pursue all my other dreams - novels, picture books, theme parks! I limited my choices and started getting ready for my art show!
There are talents that you possess that are your low, hanging fruit. It’s your talents that you are interested or passionate about, that you a little bit good at. Notice if other people tell you that something you do is a talent. Do that more! Try starting small and doing something that is relatively easy for you such as picking the fruit on the bottom of the tree instead of getting out the ladder and heading to the top of the tree. Sketching was that for me. What is your low, hanging fruit?
So my advice is:
1- Start small and limit your choices ,
2- And, most importantly, be happy with your creations even if they aren't perfect!
Start small and soon you too will be color dancing!
The Color Dancer