I had an INCREDIBLE amount of resistance to the exercise for this week. It wasn’t about being a rebel. Throughout my life, I have rebelled against both extrinsic and intrinsic rules, sometimes without even knowing that this was the case. Rather, the moment I saw that the exercise required the use of an Exacto knife, and potentially drawing skills, is when full-on panic ensued. Having no formal art training, I have only used an Exacto knife once and the outcome was less than desirable. There was no actual bloodshed, mind you, but the wound to any belief in my own artistry went very, very deep.
I was pretty amazed at the amount of negative self-talk that took place (I can’t do this, I won’t be able to be creative like the examples, now they will all know that I’m not really an artist). I couldn’t even face the paper and knife so decided to immediately jump to an example using fabric. Fabric is safe, I know how to use fabric. However, I made a turtle (with embroidery, mind you, so it took awhile) that was so childish that I knew I could never submit a photo of it to the group.
A few more days pass with nothing transpiring other than increasing anxiety. Over this simple little exercise! Such a lesson here for me. Finally, I got out some Color Aid paper, made a 4” square (too small for 5” so first rule broken, didn’t have black so there goes another) and cut it up (with scissors!). Once I started pushing the pieces around, I realized 1) how ridiculous all my panic had been and 2) that this could actually be kind of fun. By this point, I’m laughing at myself (and hope you are too!).
I don’t think any of my results are particularly stellar in terms of design. If I had to choose, I would pick the one in the middle because it looks the most like the square just exploded. I broke rules by not using all the pieces in some, adding pieces (and another color) in others and not always having the pieces as mirror image. I didn’t glue anything down. I just moved things around, took a picture, and moved the pieces again.
It is clear that my take-away from this week is a heightened recognition of how fear plays such a huge role in my creativity. I’m fearful that I won’t be able to produce work that I deem creative or artistic. I’m fearful that others may judge my work in similar ways. I had known that this was a problem for me but I don’t think I realized how deeply it affects me. I certainly have experienced other rules or stumbling blocks that Jane identified but self-doubt and fear of inadequacy top the list.