Updated: Mar 30
I, as a person am all about learning from life and all my experiences. I believe that everything that happens to us is meant to teach us something if we are ready to reflect. Being an artist for a little over 2 years, it was but natural that I take note of the lessons I learnt during this journey. And well, why not? life imitates art, and art imitates life. Isn't it?
Fear of failing is the reason it took me so long to just quit everything and take up painting full time. But, when I did start painting with alcohol inks which is fluid in nature and flows to its own tunes - I ended up with so many failures. Sometimes due to lack of understanding of the medium and materials, sometimes when trying a new style, a new method, a new technique. This made me realise how a failure was actually a way of teaching me how to push myself to come out with something better, or to find better ways of achieving the desired result that would help me in the long run. On encountering many failures and still being at it, I realised that it's a part of the process. If one doesn't give themselves an option to just sit and wallow over failures, there is always a solution waiting for you. These failures may be disappointing at first, but then overcoming them, makes the fruits of my labour, so much more sweeter.
Managing expectations from self
Expectations can lead to a lot of dissatisfaction and hinders the art making process. We tend to have so many expectations of ourselves, which are always so unrealistic, when unmet can lead to lowering our self worth. It creates the pressure to be perfect, to be controlling of the outcome, to make sales, to achieve and so on. These are more often narratives that are fed to us by the society, and never really our own. One big realisation in my art journey was that every time I let go of all expectations, I create some of my best works. In a peaceful 'state of flow',without the unwanted chatter in my mind, affecting my creation process. Letting go of them is giving way to a ‘flow state’.
Surrendering to the process
My art making process is intuitive, and it requires that I have to trust the process. To surrender to the moment, to surrender to the flow of alcohol inks, to surrender to my inner expression, to surrender to the flow state. The joy and pleasure of creating lies in letting loose, exploring, messing about , playing, freely breaking the rules, giving in to the medium. Control is just an illusion, it comes in the way of expressing oneself and limits creativity. Creative growth and development is a steady process and it can't be hurried and has no short cuts. It is best to let go and just give in to the process by setting in the right intention. For what you cannot control, there is no point even trying to control.
To let go of perfectionism
What really is perfectionism? Perfectionism is a learned behaviour which means nothing but setting impossibly high standards to fit into a certain mould. Perfectionism stems from fear, fear of disapproval, fear of failure ,fear of rejection etc. It can lead to self sabotaging behaviour of procrastination. Also in trying to achieve perfectionism, one can get overwhelmed and eventually leading to burn-out. And if nature is imperfect, which gives everything its own unique individuality, so who are we to strive for and idea of perfection, when there is no one mould that fits all. And the things we often try to keep fussing over doesn't even matter in the larger picture.
Seeking external validation
We essentially make art to express ourselves and to connect with people. To bring people together, to start a discussion, to make them feel, to momentarily transport people away from their reality, to entertain, to move. It feels so powerful to be able to do that. It is a natural outcome of creating a piece of art, that is made from the heart. But creating art only to impress others, and seeking their approval curtails the freedom to express. And the fact is that you cannot please everyone. So to have an authentic voice and create vulnerably one must let go of seeking validation from others.