As with all creative activities, the process of making art is an end in itself. Of course, it’s fantastic when we come up with (in our humble opinions) absolute masterpieces, but mostly artists just make art for the love of making art.
So what happens when art doesn’t go to plan? You know those days when you sit down with your sketchbook, your cup of tea, your favourite tunes (that’s a folk music playlist on shuffle if you’re me) and then… nothing. So you give yourself a little kick, “Well, come on, do the thing!” Your paintbrush meets the page and… urghh. Nope. No matter what you do, it just doesn’t feel right.
First of all, you’re not alone. Secondly, don’t panic! You haven’t forgotten how to art. In fact, this is part of the process – it’s just not the part we like. The truth is that we can’t be creative geniuses 100% of the time. After all, we’re only human. What we can do, though, is build habits that will carry us through those ‘urghh’ days.
By calmly and patiently persevering through the swamp of yuck that is artist’s block, we can actually lay the foundations for more amazing creative moments to come. Being open to unexpected success and unexpected failure is a skill that we have to master in order for the creative cycle to continue. When we give ourselves space to fail and learn and grow, we actually make room for those all-important improvements that will lead us to our greatest successes.
So when the process isn’t going to plan, just remember that you didn’t do art wrong. Actually, you ‘did art wrong’ right.