One thing I've learned about myself in the past year is that I can be a perfectionist. I've never been a neat-freak and have always thought of myself as pretty laid back, so this came to me as a surprise, but I am also a very harsh critic of myself, and I love structure and routine (and that was a very long sentence, speaking of being a self-critic...). Even though I am not a neat-freak, there are certain things in my life that I want do the right way and will beat myself up internally if I don't.
There are a couple of ways I've noticed this show up in my art process and artistic style.
I've mentioned this before, but I used to take for-ev-or to complete a drawing. Part of that is because it was so detailed, but I believe another large part of it is that I wanted to keep working until it felt just right -- something I could be super proud of. I put a lot of pressure on each artwork.
There definitely is a time for that -- to take your time and be thorough and thoughtful -- but I don't want that to be my default, or to feel trapped by my expectations.
Challenging myself to draw quickly, like in the 100 Day Project, has really helped me shake free of that. Now, since I know that I don't have to take months to complete a drawing, each project feels like less pressure. Every work of art isn't a masterpiece that I'm going to sell countless prints of. That's ok. It's ok to just be ok sometimes. What's important is to keep moving.
As far as my style, my love of structure shows up in that I like to create rules for myself within an artwork, such as in choosing shapes and colors. You can see that in my most recent zendala.
I settled on a few keys shapes when I was drawing and then repeated them in different sizes and combinations. Then I settled on a color scheme and stuck to it.
I've found creating some sort of structure for myself frees me up. I'm not so overwhelmed by all the possibilities. It's also fun because then it becomes something of a challenge -- to create a design that's interesting with limited elements. Constraints that enable (that was the title of an article that I read in grad school).
(You'd think I'd also obsess over having straight lines and perfect symmetry, but nope. I actually perfect the wobbly and human-ness of impercision)
I've never really had the typical fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants artist personality. I'm all about schedules and being on time (by that I mean 5 minutes early) and following the instruction manual.
There are lots of ways to be an artist.
A place to share the process. A space to be honest about the triumphs and trials of my daily life as an artist and mama. Writing motivates and refreshes me.