This week we started a new semester at Barcelona Academy of Art. For some students it is overwhelming to enter this environment. We tend to compare ourselves to others and some of us feel out of place. We can fear that we might never be good enough. If you’ve had this experience, know that you are not alone.
I’ve lived through long periods of intense frustration and hopelessness. I’ve given up and quit drawing/painting on at least three distinct occasions during the last 10 years. This just seems to be part of the journey for some people. Somehow I’ve stuck with it, and I’ve come to appreciate that the challenges have sweetened the triumphs.
Here are three images of the same idea. They are from 2004, 2006, and 2008. I admit that this is not the fastest learning curve, but it’s real growth!
I believe that practice leads to inevitable learning. You are invited to test this statement. If you doubt yourself, make it an experiment. Commit to three months of continuous practice and see what happens. If you do, please leave a comment below as a “virtual hand shake”.
What you can do if you feel stuck or filled with self-doubt:
Take a piece of paper and a pen.
Click here to set a timer for 5 minutes and write a description of your current situation. How do you feel? What is frustrating?
When the time is up, click here to set a new timer for 10 minutes. Spend this time collecting as much of your past work as possible in one room.
If you create mostly digitally, either print your images or collect them in a folder on your desktop.
Organize your work chronologically, from the oldest to the most recent.
- Take it in
Let your eyes glide over all these images. Allow the uniqueness of this evolution to wake your curiosity.
- Make a list!
Write down any improvements you notice as you look through these works.
If you can’t find any, pull out work from further back in time. I promise you will see some growth!
Realize that you have come a long way from there you started. This means you are able to learn and improve. Take a moment to feel gratitude for everything you’ve learned. Feel gratitude for the opportunities for learning that life is presenting to you now.
How do you feel now? Write down a new statement underneath what you wrote in the beginning of the exercise.
Ready? Do it now!