Welcome to Week 7 of my Artist’s Way Adventure. If you are unfamiliar with this new series, take a look at The Artist’s Way Adventure – Prologue and then come back here later.
Week 7 is titled “Recovering a Sense of Connection”. What it should be called is “Recovering from Week 6”. The literature to read for this week was short and it did not focus on hard-hitting topics. It instead encouraged the act of dreaming and discouraged the concept of perfection. In a way, I feel as if these chapters as of late have been given strange titles that fail to connect with me. It could be a personal problem with me or by the time Julia got to Week 6 she gave up with chapter titles.
I’m going to go with the former.
I am a perfectionist. I may not be high on the ‘rating scale’ of how much of a perfectionist I am, but I do see myself in the middle of that spectrum. I do not draw often because I personally dislike 95% of the things I draw. Thanks to the power of the internet, I am constantly bombarded by art that is so beautiful that I could not even fathom being on the same level as those artists. I am not jealous of their work, but they do intimidate me.
Even if I were to take out the internet, I am friends with a handful of artists whose work outshines my own. If you have the time, you should check out the following artists if you aren’t already:
I do realize these artists worked absolutely hard to get to their current skill level. They practice their craft with consistency and from what I have seen, they don’t mind the occasional ‘awful’ piece of art. They work hard and deserve all the praise they could muster and more.
This week synchronicity was on my side as I began to apply the ‘Just Do It’ way of thinking into my art. At work, I was told to animate the icons I created for the company. These icons were meant to be used in printed media such as documents and banners, but this co-worker of mine knew my background in animation and decided to put my skills to the test.
I am not going to lie. I was terrified, but also horribly excited. Anyone who saw me on Friday could tell you that I was glowing. I looked up tutorials to learn whatever new tools the Adobe Suite had come up with in terms of animation and just began animating. I quickly brainstormed of ways to animate each icon and applied them.
While they are nowhere near perfect, let me say I am very proud of these rough drafts and will share what I have learned in a single afternoon into a future blog post for your reference.
My Artist Date
Have you ever heard of Improv Everywhere? Have you heard of the group of people who froze time at Grand Central? Improv Everywhere are a group of highly talented and creative individuals who turn ordinary life into extraordinary moments of joy and spontaneity.
I have participated in their MP3 Experiments for several years. While I cannot brag and say I have attended every one of them, I have been in 5, 8, 9, 10, 12 and now 13. I do my best to attend as much of Improv Everywhere’s events and spread the news of their deeds because I truly believe in what they do. They find creative ways to unite people from all walks of like to experience something ‘magical’ for a brief amount of time. People in the ‘flash mob’ have a great time spreading joy and people experiencing their work are wonderfully surprised by the oddity of whatever the group has come up with.
Let’s get back on track.
The experiment took place in a beautiful park nearby the bay. I am a very prompt individual and arrived on site an hour prior to the experiment. I consider this portion, the calm before the storm of the experiment to be my true Artist Date. I was alone and was able to really think about my inner artist and my purpose. It was a delight to smell the ocean and to be surrounded by nature while simultaneously being in the city. While I enjoy nature, I enjoy the convenience of having everything I need a walking distance away.
If you ever have time to visit a place that is harmoniously city-scape and nature-like then please do so. It’s simply amazing being at the crossroads of civilization and nature.
While doing my “Check In” today I realized something horrifying.
I had not done all the tasks this week for Week 7.
It could be the fact that Week 6 was an extremely turbulent week for me, it could be the fact that I was occupied with two relatives being either in a hospital or a rehab center. Regardless, the stress that I experienced this week despite having wonderful experiences such as the MP3 experiment left me in such a drained state that I could not motivate myself to do the tasks.
I kept coming up with excuses. I don’t have time. I don’t have enough magazines to create a decent collage. I don’t want to buy socks or gloves in the summer. The excuses kept piling on and on. There were even moments during the week that I would reread Week 7 because I forgot entirely about what the heck this week was even about. It was awful.
Towards the end of my ‘Check In’ I realized something.
I could come up with a solution for my ‘forgetfulness’ about my Tasks. I use Wunderlist at work to make sure I do all the tasks given to me, so I shall also create a Wunderlist for the tasks I need to finish up for Week 7 and will include all future tasks in there as well. After all I cannot preach about doing things and then not do all the things.
Week 7 was about “recovering a sense of connection”. While the title of the chapter still does not fully sit well with me, I guess at the end of writing all of this… I do feel reconnected with Artist’s Way. Week 6 was draining and Week 7 served its purpose by being light enough to slack off yet strong enough in theme to remind me that I am not perfect and never will be.
I simply need to figure out what my ‘hurdles’ are and jump them.
Are you struggling with connecting with your inner artist? Do you feel like you have any obstacles stopping you from achieving your goals? I’d love to hear them.