Hey everyone, long time no chat. I know! If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, I discuss focussing my intentions on my career over these next few months as opposed to my creative outlets. I really want to be able to focus on my various passions while in school, but filming, blogging and creating takes time that really needs to be localized for school and career objectives. My time is not my own at the moment as school, placement and homework demands my hours - which has even taken away from social gatherings and my beloved self-care practices. The juggling act is hard, but I know it will be worth it when I will have 3 degrees to show for it come April.
The one practice that I try to make time for as of late is sketching. I downloaded Pocket Procreate, bought my stylus and had fallen in love ever since.
Back in September when I was cultivating poems, I wanted to find sketches that best represent my words. I found all my already created sketches from Canva and while I love them - they were not my own. It got me thinking about my future and ideally the intention of publishing my works into the writing world. What would this look like? How would I go about it? What artwork would I use? I recently saw Rupi Khaur on The Tonight Showand she discussed how she had personally written, illustrated and published Milk and Honey - on her own. A true pioneer for her own creative outlet. This is something I wanted to consider - producing a work entirely bloomed from me. Which shifted gears from finding an illustrator or even claiming copyrights to designs that weren't my own.
The thing was... I CAN'T DRAW!! I never have and I always found myself to be more digitally creative than artistically. My fixed mindset feared what would come. With a new entrepreneurial idea in mind, I wanted to come up with a logo. I looked at symbols for inspiration which is when I chose to trace the body below. I mean - anyone can trace a photo right? But then came the struggle..."how the heck can I digitize this logo that I JUST traced"!?
I ended up using Procreate for the first time and winged this creation below and it has become my favourite piece. Self-celebration, honour and pride over-filled my heart and I started to erase the narrative of "I can't draw" into, "what else can I create"?
Over the last month, I have taken photos from Pinterest, Instagram and Google, used them as stock for light tracing/free-handed replication and created my own variations through their inspiration.
My journey as a creator has had many bumps in the road, often rooted in a fixed mindset until I prove myself wrong. It is only then, when I try to see what else I can come up with. When we believe that we can't - we almost always succeed in that belief, the belief that there is no point in trying because we will fail. Instead of allowing ourselves the forgiveness to be participants in the trial and error ways to achieve success, we ruminate in this fear of failure that inevitably eclipses our desire to try this or attempt that. We would much rather say we can't and dismiss something that interests us, instead of telling the world we love something so much and produce something that is amateur for our first attempt. Perfection is idolized in our society and we are byproducts of its communication. Through our language, fears and self-talk, we continue this narrative. We continue to believe that loving something must equal success in order to be validated and in order to participate. Through respect, honour and pride we must exude perfection. Our passions must be worthy of societal acceptance, it must be deemed good in order to be participants of what we love. Seldom are the conversations around doing something because you love it and telling people you do not need to be "good" at it - especially with art.
Art is extremely subjective, but society determines success lies in its realism. Only then, does art find merit. This is a weight we carry when we begin a journey through art - thus my start with digital sketches have been rooted in tracing and mirroring already created photos. Perhaps one day, I will try something completely on my own, or maybe this newfound love will always be rooted in inspirations. What I now know is that time is wasted when we believe we can't do something and allow fear of failure to take away from trying anything. I am proud of my creative outlets and I really hope to move away from negative self-talk as I continue moving forward with creating content. I hope to be forgiving and take risks in videography, to be transparent with my words in poetry and to be courageous with the strokes of my sketching pen.
It took over 2 hours to get my logo just right. Erasing line upon line, until I found what I liked best and moved onto the other side. It was tedious - and typically, I do not persevere (a quality I am working on). But, I am proud of myself for continuing on. After the first few sketches, I truly fell in love with something I had discounted as a skill-set, by telling myself this is something I am not. I still don't consider myself to be an artist, really and truly. I do not have the natural ability to conjure up a perfect replication of a fruit bowl without tracing a photo and even then, my natural flow is not there. It is not a skill set I have developed or one that feels innate to me. But nonetheless, this is something I love and am proud of. This is a practice that fills me with joy. Sketching has become a fun way to practice self-care as the stresses of my day melt away. I want to be mindful of how I go about future ventures. I want to encourage myself and try to remove the language of not being good enough. It is okay to explain that drawing doesn't come naturally, but saying I can't draw is something I need to keep in check for the future. We are allowed to feel how we feel, but remind ourselves of who is speaking when we talk about our skill sets: is it our fear speaking - sharing we can't do something in fear of failure or in fear that others will not like our creations, so we just say it isn't good so they don't judge us? Or, are we speaking in terms of reflection - I do not feel like a confident artist as it is something I had never practiced outside of digital creations, I may not be the best, but I love it! Growing up with fixed mindsets, it is hard to abandon negative practices that come to us as easy as breathing. I will be forgiving when I fail as I know I will, I just won't let it keep me down. I won't stop producing, and I won't abandon my new beliefs because I have written down my intentions for mental shift. If someone calls you out for stumbling on an intention, ask them to revisit a time when they were changing practices and if they failed. We all do. Help one another on our various journeys. Be kind. To yourself and others. Try to take risks. Be supportive and help others see the light in them instead of positioning themselves as failures or frauds for abandoning a practice they are hoping to shift. It is a journey not a destination, it takes time and failure means there is attempt. Always keep that in mind! ✨
I hope we honour our passions by taking these risks and believing we can do something because we want to and not to claim accolades for perfection. Love you all!!
p.s thank you Ashley ( @fringeandfair ) for encouraging me to write this post, for your ideas and your support.