Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Breaking Rules

I was starting to work on my first assignment for my class and I was really struggling. Since it's about embracing your imperfections I thought maybe I should just do the assignments very plainly - nothing fancy - just the facts. It didn't feel like me. It did not feel - happy. I don't want to feel like I have to be perfect, but I do want to be true to myself - and I am a sparkly and glittery person. I don't want to be that serious.

I've decided to embrace my inner rule breaker and make my art journal in an old book I'd bought years ago on the discard table for .25 cents. I gathered up all my pretty iridescent powders and placed it all in a pile for after work.

I was sitting at my desk this afternoon in a boring conference call and I looked over and... Yep friends I made my art tags in the middle of a conference call! I had more fun than anyone has a right to at work. An hour later my call was over and I'd completed my assignment. I was so joyful.

Sometimes breaking the rules, and a little glitter, is all you need.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fitting In

I signed up to take an e-course (by Oprah and Brene Brown) on Embracing Your Imperfections. I have quite a few to embrace. It's all about learning to embrace who you are and stop caring what everyone else thinks. Something I was surprised that I really do care about, and that I wish I didn't so much.

I had the funniest reaction to my required supply list. It was a short list:
  • A watercolor journal.
  • Watercolor paints. 
  • Brushes.
  • Markers.
  • Double-sided tape. 
Over the years of my artistic struggle, I have amassed a rather large collection of art supplies. I knew I had watercolor pencils (unused) and I felt pretty sure I had a pad of watercolor paper. Yet I wasn't really sure where they were, and the idea of getting "new" supplies had me planning a trip to the art store.

Friday I looked over at the bookshelf in my office and there they were - the pad and the pencils. It was like they were sitting there just waiting for me to need them. Suddenly all this anxiety started to come up inside me.

It wasn't the "official" supplies, which meant I was going to be breaking the rules. I was suddenly back in high school, and I couldn't afford the "right" shoes for gym. I was teased cruelly for the knockoff Vans my mom had purchased. I didn't want to be different then and I didn't now - I wanted to fit in. I wanted to do the assignment correctly and be given an e-pat on the back.

Then another thought occurred to me - I was also afraid I would do a good job and be called out for cheating because I didn't have the right supplies.So essentially I couldn't win.

If I caved and got new supplies, then I was just losing the point of the class. If I did well, then maybe I was cheating. If I did poorly, I could blame my failure on not having the right tools. So my default is to be mediocre by design. I hate that. If I'm going to stink or soar at something I want to do it organically not by my own grand design.