Create to Connect

Painting with acrylics practice.

Artists are not like athletes. We can’t win gold, beat other creatives, or come first. Sport is objective; our craft is subjective. Creating to be the best is a waste of energy. Instead, create to connect to the people who need you because they are out there. Create in your way because there is no right way. Take the pressure off, and focus on your unique brand of magic.

I have struggled to find a solid objective in my artistic practice. What is the payoff for all this time spent sculpting and painting things? Does it have value if there is no commercial value? What is the point of all this? My mind wanders down an existential thought trip, and I’m pretty sure this is resistance objecting to my new habit of making and sharing art each day.

I come from an athletic and business-minded background. I am a planner and a goal setter; there is always an objective path to follow. Pursuing art has been entirely different. I set the objective to make and share art every day for one-thousand days, but I did not define a monetary goal. I could get to the end of one thousand days and make any money. Would time spent still be considered a success? How do I define success in this case?

Thirty-Eight days in, and I can see changes in me happening. I’m managing to be very consistent and keep this as my top priority. I’m getting more comfortable deciding what to share. The daily posting helps me focus, and I’ve been able to draw some insights from reviewing and writing about my artistic endeavors. I know no one else is reading this blog, and that’s okay. I’m reading it, and the process of making each day is already teaching me many things. I hope to develop into a better documentarian along the way. I have faith the people who need my creations are out there; this website is one way they can find me.

Today, I repeated the ‘keep the brush’ moving exercise for my painting practice shared by Lynda Barry. I painted a woman with a mind blooming with bright, colorful things. Painting the same image on three canvasses keeps me from judging brushstrokes and keeps things loose.

While doing this, I had to fight the urge to quit multiple times. Instead, I kept adding layers of color and shapes, trusting the quiet instinctive voice inside telling me what to do next. It was not until the end that I stepped back and felt sincerely delighted by what was on the page.